I’ve been a film fan for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, Sunday afternoons were spent watching John Wayne movies with my Uncle Jake. I somehow convinced him and Aunt Ethel to drive me into town thirteen times to see Star Wars the summer it came out. I was seven. The first place I went after getting my driver’s license was to see a matinee of Howard the Duck. I realized my wife, then just a friend, was the one for me the day she chose for us to watch, out of all the DVDs in my collection, The Outlaw Josie Wales. I just love movies.
I used to go to the movies a lot, but with rising ticket prices, those trips have become less frequent. Now, I watch most of my movies at home, either on DVD (no Blu-ray yet) or streaming on Netflix. I listen to a couple movie podcasts, and am always looking forward to new releases. I dig artsy films like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I also loved the silliness of the Farrelly brothers’ Stuck on You. Talking movies with the wife recently, I mentioned I’d never seen It’s a Wonderful Life. She was incredulous. How could I consider myself to be a true movie fan if I’d never seen that, or Gone With the Wind, for that matter? She was right, of course.
I’ve been wanting to write more lately, but I’m always at a loss for ideas. This seemed perfect, I’d just start filling in the blanks, watching all the old classics I’d never gotten around to while I was busy re-watching Clerks for the hundredth time. But which movies? I was originally going to use the British Film Institute’s Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time, but in looking over it, there were a lot of foreign language films, and while I loved Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, I did find it tough to follow while reading the subtitles and switched over to the dubbed version halfway through. No, I’d have to start with the American Film institute’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. Of those, I only remember seeing 43, and many of them were so long ago, I don’t recall much about them at all. Everything on the AFI list is in English, and it’ll provide a good base of knowledge should I want to take a stab at the BFI list at some point in the future.
So, the rules for this are simple, I’m shooting for one review a week, though if I have trouble getting a copy of a particular film, I reserve the right to take a little longer. I’d rather do that than skip it and try to come back later. I feel like that would put off a lot of the older, more obscure movies to the end, and randomness is definitely something I’m striving for. Speaking of, I used a random number generator to set the order, and I’m gonna do my best not to look ahead too much. There are some movies on the list I’m really looking forward to, others not so much, but I’d hate to have my anticipation or apprehension of an upcoming selection taint the current review.
Thank you for coming with me on this journey. I’ll always post what the upcoming film is at the end of each review so you can play along if you’d like. Hopefully, some Spring day in 2015, I’ll post that last review and feel satisfied that I’m at the very least no longer a liar when I claim to be a big movie buff. If you like what you’re reading here, take a look around the site, check out some of my other reviews, and as always, feel free to leave a comment below.
And finally, like Elwood Blues said, “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.” Let’s hit it…
Up next in the queue, 1941’s The Maltese Falcon, in which our hero decides to get down and Bogey.