Thursday, January 15, 2015

One final test for my top 10

Tonight I will be watching Ira Sachs' Love is Strange, the 136th and final film I will rank before finalizing (and publishing) my 2014 rankings sometime after midnight.

See, 12:30 a.m. Melbourne time (Friday) corresponds to 5:30 a.m. Los Angeles time (Thursday), which is when some sleepy actress will be coming on stage with some bushy-tailed Academy bigwig to announce the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards.

That's also my ranking deadline, and when all the madness I've been subjecting myself to will finally come to an end. What madness, you ask? How about 26 new movies so far in 2015? Plus one movie I've rewatched, Rian Johnson's Looper, which makes for 27 total viewings this year.

Naturally, at this point I feel pretty solid about my top 10, to the extent that I don't really want anything to come along and upset the apple cart. However, I also don't like the idea of just watching junk during my last few viewing days, to fill out the numbers. I already did that last night, by cramming in a late-night viewing of the Goddy claptrap Heaven is for Real. It was a total layup in the sense that it very unsurprisingly landed in my bottom 10, rather than top.

So I bypassed a great opportunity to download a movie I really wanted to see this year -- Left Behind -- for a movie I really wanted to see for the right reasons.

And if Love is Strange gives me something to think about in terms of my favorite films of the year, well, that's as it should be. The goal is to see all the year's most beloved films that you can get to ... and a guy on a podcast I just listened to named it his #1 of the year.

In the interest of getting some of the other end-of-the-year stuff started a day early, here are some other movies that just missed out on a conceivable year-end viewing:

The Calling - Borrowed it from the library on Monday but just couldn't fit it in
Get On Up - Just became available for rent on iTunes, and would have rented it if I weren't daunted by the 138-minute running time
Brick Mansions - Available on Netflix streaming, but I just didn't get to it
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit - Available on Netflix streaming, but I just didn't get to it
Stranger by the Lake - Available on Netflix streaming, and I really meant to get it to it, but I didn't
Mr. Tuner - Wanted to see it in the theater on Monday night, but after five theater movies in the previous six days, I couldn't justify it
Unbroken - Opens today, and considered trying to see it tonight, but I just can't justify the $19 for a viewing so close to my deadline -- and I don't like Angelina Jolie

Al ... most ... there. Don't burn out yet, Vance.

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