Sunday, January 8, 2017

2016: My Film Blog Year in Review

Fifty eight films. Not too shabby. One year ago I wished for no personal bad news, and there was none. Plenty public bad news, but since this is a FILM blog, I’ll leave it there. Allow me to start off saying I watched some pretty good films. My father, whom you may know passed a couple years ago, was a television addict. He was also a TV hog and my mom didn’t care for war movies and westerns, but she liked the stuff I was watching. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but in February I started bringing DVDs to her house.

Not only did I get to watch with someone who loved old movies, but to also revisit films I loved. I have no count, but I’m sure I watched over a hundred classic films in 2016. She loves Hitchcock, so we watched six. She likes Rom-Coms, and we got twelve in. It’s been great.

Anyhow, the four musicals and seven silents are about on par from last year. I didn’t hate any of them. Something I’ve noticed is how I stick to the 2.5 to 3.5 range for my films. I feel reluctant to not criticize nor praise a movie too much. I will try to be more generous on both sides. Only five horror (by my definition anyhow) and one Sci-Fi. That change was partially a migrating interest, and partially looking for mom-friendly films. This trend will likely continue.

The films that stuck with me the most were 12 Angry Men, Rear Window, Lifeboat, Fiddler on the Roof, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Harvey, and Pandora’s Box, a couple of which in retrospect deserved a half point higher. And there were more. On the stinker side, despite how terrible Cat People was, goes to General Spanky. Not only is it insulting in a “Will you be my massa?” way, but it also serves up nothing remotely interesting visually, comedically, or through narrative. All it does is pair slavery as a joke along with editorializing how bad the Yankees were for trying to stop it. At least Cat People had a topless Nastassja Kinski. One has to admit, thought, that two stinkers out of fifty eight is pretty good.

I have tried to streamline my writing process so I can publish on a more regular schedule, and it’s better, but I do still have two pre-Christmas films (and a third pre-New Year’s) left to do. I cannot dedicate as much time to this project as some, but I suppose I am lucky to find time to watch movies at all. I still have over a hundred and fifty classic films on my watch list, and I seem to add a new one for every two I watch. Certainly I won’t run out of films.

So, looking forward I expect more of the same. I upgraded my mom from an ancient DVD player to Blu Ray, and may convince her still to get TCM. I toyed with the idea of doing films featuring people we lost on 2016, but I decided against that. There were just too many and life is too short to watch many Nancy Davis films. I’ll throw a couple in the mix when appropriate. Here’s to hoping 2017 goes a little better than 2016.

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