Friday, January 13, 2012

The 2012 Movie Showdown: AFI vs IMDB

As I've mentioned before, I worked at a movie theater in the early 90s as I was getting out of high school. A couple of years ago when I reconnected with some of my movie theater buddies, I found they had been keeping a yearly movie list of all the films they watched each year. I, of course, totally jumped on that stupid bandwagon.

2010 became an excessive movie-watching year for me. I started off just keeping the list, then it turned to a competition (with myself - nobody else cared) to see how many movies I could watch in one year. I ended up with 331 on the list. Yeah, it was ridiculous.

In 2011, I toned it back quite a bit: a mere 175 movies. But in my defense, I also ran my first marathon and wrote a novel in 2011, so that explains some of the movie-viewing slackerness. :-)

In the off chance that anyone happens to care, here is my Movie List for 2011.  (An asterisk* denotes I was seeing the movie for the first time. Highlighted movies were my favorite for the year.) My biggest surprise - somehow I had never seen Roman Polanski's Chinatown. (My college film professor and mentor would probably pound his head repeatedly against his desk upon hearing this...)

Movies I Watched in 2011
1 His Girl Friday*
89 Captain America*
2 The Other Guys
90 Stardust
3 Inception
91 You Again*
4 Salt*
92 Tombraider: Lara Croft
5 City Island*
93 Serenity
6 Knight & Day
94 First Saturday in May*
7 The A-Team
95 Catwoman
8 Blue Crush
96 Hall Pass*
9 Exit Through the Gift Shop*
97 Battle: Los Angeles*
10 Prince of Persia
98 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
11 Minutemen
99 The Dilemma*
12 I Am Comic*
100 Cowboys & Aliens*
13 Assassins
101 Sourcecode
14 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps*
102 Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief
15 Before Sunrise*
103 The Winning Season*
16 Clash of the Titans*
104 Opposite Day*
17 Eat Pray Love*
105 Cedar Rapids*
18 Morning Glory*
106 Spy Kids 4: All the Time In the World*
19 Death At a Funeral*
107 Just Go With It*
20 Life as We Know It*
108 Thelma & Louise*
21 Unstoppable*
109 The Art of the Steal*
22 Limitless*
110 Secretariat*
23 Next Three Days*
111 Tell No One*
24 The Town*
112 Beastly*
25 Empire Records*
113 Limitless
26 Batman Forever
114 The Fighter*
27 Eagle Eye
115 Big Trouble in Little China*
28 Love and Other Drugs*
116 Lemonade Mouth*
29 Fast & Furious
117 The Lives of Others*
30 Catfish*
118 The Groomsmen*
31 Wet Hot American Summer*
119 Last Night*
32 Source Code*
120 Thor*
33 The Hangover
121 The Mummy
34 Red
122 Sliding Doors
35 The Rundown
123 The Jane Austin Book Club*
36 Sideways
124 Push
37 Supergirl
125 SWAT: Fire Fight*
38 Kinky Boots*
126 Something Borrowed*
39 True Grit (1969)
127 Easy A*
40 Charlie Wilson’s War
128 Transformers: Dark of the Moon*
41 The King’s Speech*
129 Never Let Me Go*
42 Freakonomics*
130 Mr & Mrs Smith
43 Hanna*
131 North by Northwest
44 Robin Hood (2010)*
132 V for Vendetta*
45 Black Swan*
133 Real Steal*
46 Standing In the Shadow of Motown*
134 The Lottery*
47 Red Riding Hood*
135 Jonah Hex*
48 Vertical Limit
136 Footloose (2011)*
49 The Long, Hot Summer*
137 Ondine*
50 Iron Man 2
138 Bridesmaids*
51 Salt
139 Blue Crush 2*
52 The Wildest Dream*
140 Trouble With Men & Women*
53 Aurora Borealis*
141 The Book of Eli*
54 Forbidden Planet*
142 Air Guitar Nation*
55 No Strings Attached*
143 Captain America
56 Timecop
144 Invictus*
57 The Ballad of Little Jo*
145 I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell*
58 Nowhere to Run
146 Twilight: Breaking Dawn*
59 The Sound of Music
147 Fast Five*
60 The Tourist*
148 Women in Trouble*
61 Running the Sahara*
149 Anvil! The Story of Anvil!*
62 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest*
150 For Love of the Game
63 Up Close & Personal
151 Dolphin Tale*
64 How Do You Know?*
152 Crazy, Stupid Love*
65 Step Up 3*
153 Green Lantern*
66 Batman & Robin
154 Super 8*
67 The Golden Child
155 A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
68 I Am Number Four*
156 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides*
69 Green Hornet*
157 Winter’s Bone*
70 Tron*
158 UltraMarathon Man*
71 Gone with the Wind
159 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows*
72 Firelight*
160 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
73 Kung Fu Panda 2*
161 Evan Almighty
74 Connie & Carla*
162 Echelon Conspiracy*
75 Searching for Debra Winger*
163 Page One: Inside the New York Times*
76 Robocop
164 A Walk to Remember
77 Cliffhanger
165 Three Days Later
78 Hangover 2*
166 Before Sunset*
79 True Grit (2010)*
167 Driving Miss Daisy
80 Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone
168 Chinatown*
81 Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
169 Knight & Day
82 Harry Potter & the Order of Phoenix*
170 Tron: Legacy
83 Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince*
171 Interview With a Vampire
84 Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (Part 1)*
172 Monte Carlo*
85 Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)*
173 Tales From the Script*
86 Cemetery Junction*
174 Bill Cunningham New York*
87 Funny Girl*
175 Louis C.K. – Hilarious*
88 The Adjustment Bureau*

In 2012, in an effort to become a more well-rounded person (and to save me from myself), I have decided to more closely regulate my film-viewing activities. I was going to watch the American Film Institute's (AFI's) Top 100 films of all time, but that’s just too predictable, and hopefully I’ve seen most of those anyways (lest my college film professor continue to give himself a concussion).
Instead, I’m going to do a blend of the AFI list with the IMDB’s top 100 list. These two lists are really a case of The Academic vs. The Masses. Only 42 films made it on both list. AFI’s #1 is Citizen Kane – as well it should be. The IMDB #1 is The Shawshank Redemption – one of my personal favorites. This should be interesting! AFI’s list includes lots of wonderful early films (nearly 1/3 on the list are from 1950 and earlier) – but honestly ones you probably wouldn’t have heard of outside of a college film course. The IMDB top 100 list includes many fabulous contemporary films and… Back to the Future? Ummmm… okay.
I'm going to start at #100 (AFI - Ben Hur; IMDB – The Elephant Man) and work my way up to #1. Don’t worry, I will spare you my summaries and opinions unless they are truly entertaining.  :-) My plan is to do a showdown between the two lists each week and determine a “winner”. Based, of course, solely on my perfect opinion.
The 2012 Movie Showdown: AFI vs IMDB.  aka: Yet another way for Janie to avoid housework. (Like I needed one).


  1. I see you are going to watch Knight and Day twice!

  2. No, I actually did watch Knight and Day twice 2011. Can't blame AFI or IMDB on that one. :)

  3. OK, a few things...

    1) What would possibly possess you to watch Catwoman again?

    2) I honestly find Chinatown over rated. Much to my College Professor's dismay.

    3) I often flirt with keeping a list of "perfect" movies. I've never compiled it, but movies that are "perfect" in every way. Back to the Future makes that list (as does Shawshank).

    4) So... are you concentrating on all 160 movies (that singularly appear on both lists)? I can be down with this. I'll try and (re)watch as well so I can tell you when your opinion is wrong. So... this week is BenHur and Elephant Man?

    5) Sorry, but I'm hijacking this idea. If you wanted this to be a movie geek showdown - you're on. If not... you're still on.

  4. Some of the things that you decided to watch again are... horrible. these are movies that you watched this year for NOT the first time:
    - supergirl
    - Pirates III
    - Tombraider
    - Catwoman
    - Prince of Persia
    - Batman Forever

    In the nicest way possible... what the hell were you thinking?

  5. Vinnie ~

    Bring it, Geek Boy. I just sent you the combined list. (Although I already ran into a snag because Netflix doesn't have Elephant Man. Sigh. Now I'm going to have to dust off the ol' Blockbuster card). I'll even post some of your less asinine comments. At one time I would've said I'd post whatever you've got to say, but that was before you lost your mind, evidenced by your negative opinion of Serenity.

    As for the repeats, I do have an excuse for each of those: You have to sometimes allow your children to make their own mistakes. They wanted to watch each of these. They learn what is good by also watching the bad.

    But Prince of Persia... I liked. :) Jake = yummy.

  6. Blockbuster Card...? I might have to skip Elephant Man then. I mean, I can get it from the library, I'm sure. But probably not this week.

    Serenity is just disappointing. The characters (especially Mal) are incredibly miswritten. I wish beyond all wishes (except maybe that the Star Wars prequels were better written) that I liked Serenity more. I love FireFly. I was just very disappointed in the cinematic effort.

    OK, if your kids wanted to watch those... I can appreciate that. I had to see Happy Feet 2 this year, after all. Of course, at some points don't you, as a parent, have to say "listen, sorry, but for your own good, you can't see Catwoman"?

    Wonder if we can do a podcast throwdown on these lists...

  7. So what do I need to do to get in on this? I have seen 47 off the AFI list and 65 off of IMDB's top 100. I actually just watched "Lawrence of Arabia" for the first time this last weekend and have "Doctor Zhivago" and "Raging Bull" already in my too watch pile. For the record I did not count films that I think I saw as a child only films I have seen as an adult (I use the term adult loosley).

    And Vinny, "Serenity" was a solid follow up to the show. Was very loyal to the characters including Mal. Now I grant you that Inara is the Counselor Troi of the movie but still that is being loyal to the show. At least they killed off the Shepherd.

  8. Lane, I knew there was a reason I keep you around.

    I'm watching "Serenity" right now and Vinnie, I mean this as no attack on your personal character when I say: you're just stupid. Mal was written *perfectly*. Mal's darker than in the series, but he's got a lot of weight on his shoulders. He's being crushed from every direction while trying to remain the plucky hero. It's sheer beauty.

    Podcast... I'm up for mentally but not as much technically. Not sure what is involved...