A while ago, I got a bright idea to write down all the movies that I watch, that way, when someone asks, "Have you seen any good movies lately?", I don't go, "Ummm... ahhh... I saw something. Was it last week? Well, I saw a bad one last night, but I'm sure that I saw a good one recently."
So, I found a mini-binder that I'd had for a while, and started writing down movies that I watched. It is now more than 10 years later and it's a habit, so much so that I obsess about writing down the movie name in the book and if I don't, it feels weird. I realize to anyone listening, and in fact, anyone who I mention this to that it sounds very anal retentive. I'm sure it is.
I have a standard format as well: type (i.e. theater, DVD, video, tv etc...), Title, star rating (1->5 in 1/2 star increments - someone mentioned that this is exactly like a 10 star rating, but I ignored him), and date watched.
The first movie in my book was in the theater, "From Dusk Till Dawn" with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. I gave it a 2 star out of 5 and saw it on Feb 4th, 1996. I realize that I'm actually closer to 11 years of record keeping.
My lowest rated movie ever is "Crash", the David Cronenberg one from 1996, not the recent one that won best picture at the Oscars (which I also saw). I finished the entire movie and gave it zero stars. I sometimes rate a movie (u) as unfinished, which is arguably the lowest rating I can give, but occasionally, I don't finish for a valid reason and not just that the movie was monkey turds. I saw "Crash" on October 4th, 1996 in the theater.
I have a few 5 star movies, but have to say, they are few and far between. I second guess myself a lot and I look back at and regret giving higher ratings. Sometimes movies that rated lower, I would like to increase. I am not sure if it's because I've talked to other people and they've said either "That movie sucked", or "I really loved that movie"... both of which influence me quite a lot.
I give higher ratings to movies that evoke an emotional response, so higher rated movies have either made me cry or made me laugh long and hard.
5 star movies:
- Dead Man Walking
- The Green Mile (I take a lot of grief for this one :-) )
- Galaxy Quest (a 2nd viewing got 3 stars)
- Almost Famous
- Lord of the Rings - the Fellowship of the Ring
- The Matrix (previous viewings didn't rate this high, this is my 4th I think)
- Whale Rider
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- Love Actually (made me laugh - the DVD extras really, really takes away from this movie)
- The Last Samurai
- About Schmidt
- Sin City
- The Woodsman
- My Life Without Me
- Brokeback Mountain
Of these, I would take away a 5 star rating from "The Green Mile", "Love Actually" and "The Last Samurai", and that was only my initial reaction. While I still liked them and found them good movies, I would rate them lower a 2nd time around.