Two-thirds done

With August now behind us, 2008 is two-thirds complete. And so, as I missed halfway, now seems like a moderately appropriate time to reflect on how well my aim of watching 100 new films is going in 2008.

By this point in 2007 I had made it to 98 films, which makes my current tally of 60 look a little lacklustre (reviews for ten of which are still in the works). At least it’s a nice round number. Still, there’s 17 weeks of the year to go — that means I need to average 2.4 films per week, or 10 per month, from here out. Considering my averages to this point are 1.7 and 7.5 respectively, it’s still all to play for.

I would say the summer blockbuster season has given me a hand though: at the end of the year’s first third I’d only made it to 22 films (averages: 1.3 per week, 5.5 per month), but, since Iron Man dragged me to the cinema for the first time in nearly a year, I’ve visited the big screen a total of eight times — not exactly a mind-blowing number, but at 8% of my aim (obviously) it’s not wholly insignificant.

Here’s a few more largely-pointless statistics to round out this post: as well as those eight cinema trips, I’ve seen 39 films on DVD, six via downloads, four on TV, and even one on VHS. There’s also been my first two films on Blu-ray, and one each for the new additions of IMAX and “in-flight”.

I’ve seen five alternate cuts (three of which warranted proper numbering) but just one short. Of all the features I saw, 16 ran over two hours (two made it past the three-hour mark!) and 15 didn’t even make it to 90 minutes! Films are often accused of having spiraling running times these days, but that’s clearly not the case for much of my viewing. I’m reviewing films from across the history of film, of course, but 10 of those 15 were produced in the last decade.

I’ve seen eight feature films that the BBFC awarded a U certificate, 20 that require some PG, 16 that warranted a 12 or 12A, 12 that pushed things to a 15, and just four of those naughty 18s. Two were unrated.

I did a statistics post earlier this year, for 100 days. Back then, I hadn’t seen any films from the ’70s, ’60s, ’50s, or before 1939. While I’ve still not managed anything from the ’70s or before 1939, I have at least seen two from the ’60s and four from the ’50s. As well as that, I’ve watched three films from the ’30s, five each from the ’40s and ’80s, and six from the ’90s. The 2000s still sit proudly atop the pile however, with a grand total of 37.

Three directors have managed to squeeze more than one film into the total so far — namely Kenneth Branagh, Alfred Hitchcock and Akira Kurosawa, each with two films. (Francis Lawrence and Christopher Nolan don’t really count as they appear twice thanks to alternate versions of the same films.)

Finally, I’ve handed out ratings right across the board. Animated Sherlock Holmes mystery The Baskerville Curse grabbed only my second-ever single-star rating, while seven films merely managed a lowly 2 stars. Ten films are theoretically average with 3, while the majority (30) made it up to 4. A total of 12 films so far this year have touched the giddy heights of 5 stars (not counting The Dark Knight twice). All of this leaves my average score for first-view films at 3.75 — as ever, I’m either largely watching good films or am just fairly generous with my scores.

That’s all for now. Back to actually watching films then… or maybe even getting round to reviewing them…

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