I’ve written before on why I don’t do a Best of the Year list. That hasn’t really changed, except for the part where it’s even harder now for me to see movies in the theatre than it was then. (Because I have an additional kid, and one of my babysitters moved away and another died.) In time, I hope to be able to go to the movies more often—after all, my kids will at some point be old enough to not need a babysitter, and we’ll be making the decision then about what discretionary income goes to theatre visits. But the corollary no one talks about to not having a Top Ten list is that it means I also don’t have a bottom ten list.
I have, I must tell you, gotten really bad at using my Letterboxd, in part because feedback is important to me to keep writing, and I essentially don’t get any on Letterboxd. (I’ve seen The Shape of Water twice now and still haven’t reviewed it, I’m afraid.) However, I think it’s accurate for movies I’ve seen in the theatre this year, and there are four of them. Three of them have superheroes in them, and those are the three where I went out of my way to arrange the time and find the babysitter and so forth. Yes, they could have turned out to be bad;it wouldn’t be the first time, and we’re still in conversation about whether we want to see Aquaman and whether we think it’ll be good. But for the most part, the movies I see these days are movies I think will be good.
Now, I have never been as into Ironic Bad Movie Watching as some people I know. Sure, if it has puppets in the corner, but by and large, if I’m going to take the time to watch something, why not make sure it’s something I want to watch? I won’t say that’s always something good;there are a few bad movies that have a deep hold on my affections. But something I enjoy, at very least.
This was only reinforced the last time I seriously did my annual Oscarpalooza, the last time I was able to freely, or at least somewhat freely, go to the theatre and see as many movies as I wanted. It took maneuvering around my boyfriend’s time off from work, but I did manage to see six or eight or something movies theatrically. And as things wound to a close, I was one day left with a choice. Would I go see The Revenant,which was fully expected to win at least one and probably several Oscars, or would I take the same time—literally the same time; the movies were in the same theatre at almost the same showtime—to go see Hail Caesar!instead just because I wanted to see it? I chose The Revenant and have regretted it ever since. Though it was funny, how the dozen or so senior citizens there with me all seemed to dislike it about the same amount. Most of us even groaned in unison when he went over the waterfall.
You will note, I think, that I have not mentioned the fourth movie I saw in the theatre this year. (As always, this leaves aside RiffTrax events, which are a separate category to me.) A group of my friends got together to see Crazy Rich Asians. I didn’t have any hand in choosing the film; I was invited along fora Girls’ Night Out after plans had already been settled. One of them even bought my ticket, as it was toward the end of the month and I was broke. As it happens, I liked it. I had some problems with it,but mostly, I liked it. And that was luck. But even if I hadn’t,one movie isn’t much of a Worst Movies list, now, is it?
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