2014: The movies I watched

At the movies

My final tally for 2014 was 262 movies, at a total runtime of 28,025 minutes – or 467 hours and 5 minutes, or 19 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes.

Why I did this (watched this much and kept this diary), I’m not entirely sure, and I’m surprised I kept it up all year. First, I wanted to know just how many movies I was watching. Then I wanted to know how much time I was wasting spending watching movies. Then I thought it would be neat to know the medium on which I was doing my movie watching (of the 262 movies I saw in 2014, 99 were on DVD – my own, the library’s, friends’, video-store rentals – and 57 were theatrical releases. I saw 39 movies on Netflix and 67 in “other” ways – mostly these were films that were on TV, or screeners, or movies I watch at other people’s houses, or movies I watched at/for work when I worked for a subtitling company. Side note: I spend way too much money every month on my cable package, but I am making the most of it.)

I hadn’t set a goal for myself when I started this thing, though I was on course for a 400-movie year. In January and February, I’d easily average eight to 11 movies a week. But then I stupidly got myself a full-time job (I was in grad school at the beginning of 2014), then a part-time job, then another. Employment gets in the way of spending 22 hours a week watching movies.

I never went to film school and I’ve always felt like a bit of a fraud keeping up with current releases but not delving deep enough into film history, including the silent era. I’ve become re-acquainted with my library card, which I use almost weekly for my DIY film school. But I’m not done. Not even close. That’s the great thing about cinema: As much as you watch, you’re never, ever done.

My 2015 movie wish list: quality over quantity; that Montreal’s movie theatres’ schedules become double-feature friendly again; go to more film festivals; watch more foreign films; watch more classics; keep a diary, again.

Here’s my 2014 film diary:

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Review: Frozen on DVD/Blu-Ray (+ Saving Mr. Banks)

"FROZEN" (Pictured) ELSA. ©2013 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Seventeen weeks after its theatrical release, Frozen is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray today. The Disney musical and Oscar winner for best animated film is still in the Top 10 at the North American box office, having grossed more than $2.1 million this past weekend.

The film is a return to the heyday of the Disney musical and is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen. Frozen just reached the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide B.O., but if you are not one of the people who contributed to that monstrous haul, here’s a quick synopsis. Elsa and Anna (pronounced like Faris, not Wintour) are sisters and princesses. Elsa has magical powers but hasn’t learned to control them yet, so she’ll sometimes accidentally freeze stuff … like her younger sister Anna. After a close call, Elsa stays locked up in her room for years, away from her sister and any human contact. The two princesses are in their castle, closed off from their town, until Elsa’s Coronation Day. Anna’s thrilled; “for the first time in forever,” there’ll be people in their castle. But Elsa’s worried; she hasn’t quite mastered her magic yet and must keep the townspeople from finding out her secret. At the Coronation Ball, Anna tells Elsa some news that really sets off her older sister. After freezing the town perpetually, Elsa banishes herself to a faraway mountain, leaving her townspeople literally in the cold.

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