Friday, August 14, 2009
One thousand bad movies
Most people spend the majority of their movie-watching lives trying to avoid seeing bad movies.
So it is, then, that there are very few people out there who've seen at least 1,000 movies they didn't like.
As of last night, you can include me in that small group.
It's a little different for film critics -- seeing bad movies is one of the job's primary hazards. But still, 1,000 bad movies is quite a lot. If you consider the average movie to have a length of one hour and forty minutes, that's 1,667 hours -- or nearly 70 days -- that I've lost to movies that were ultimately not worth my time.
Number 1,000 was Jody Hill's The Foot Fist Way, starring Danny McBride. It's basically the story of how McBride's Fred Simmons, a tae kwon do instructor, is a blowhard idiot and an insecure jerk. That point is made ad nauseum until you're ready to turn off the TV. No wonder more than two years passed between when it played festivals and when it received a perfunctory release last year. Without researching it too much, my guess is that the eventual release was prompted by McBride's rising star -- and little else.
How do I know I've seen exactly 1,000 bad movies?
Well, if you're one of my regular readers, you know I keep a list of all the movies I've ever seen in a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet. This allows me to keep a lot of other information about the movies in a corresponding cell, including whether I liked them or not. Then I keep a running total at the bottom of how many movies I like, and how many I dislike.
Going into yesterday, I'd liked 1792 movies. And disliked 999.
The Foot Fist Way makes 1,000.
Now, not all of these yeas and nays have been easy to come by. I've agonized. I've flip-flopped. I've ranked generally bad movies as good because they were so much better than I thought they'd be, and generally good movies as bad because they were so much worse. So I can't unilaterally say that all of those 1,000 are bad -- but I did give them a thumbs down. You start at Absolute Power and finish at Zombie Strippers, and there are 998 others in between.
I don't need to belabor the point. But I did think you might like to know there's someone out there who's wasted his life more than you have.