Monday, January 7, 2013

The Unreasonable Movie Project (Vol. 1): Kicking Off The Disaster

What makes you want to read someone’s blog? It’s got to be good, right? Anyone will watch seven seconds of a pug on a skateboard, but its got to be WAAAAY better than that if you’re actually going to spend time reading something. Reading takes effort.

Only a train wreck of a blog project is going to get you to read. Well, you’re in luck, because I am creating a major disaster for you. Become a witness...

There are seven weeks until the 85th Annual Academy Awards, happening on Sunday, February 24. Starting today (January 7), I will SEE and WRITE ABOUT most of the movies that are at all relevant to the Oscars, not to mention the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, the SAG Awards, and some other award shows you've never heard of. I will take you on my journey, my careening-down-a-mountainside movie journey that crash lands at the Oscars. If I live, and sell the script, Michael Bay will direct.

If you like movies, maybe you’ll find something you want to see. Maybe it’ll even be entertaining. If you aren't into movies, maybe you’ll just enjoy the spectacle. That’s fine too.

I got the idea from my sister, who told me last week that she wanted to see all the movies up for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. I've had the same thought in years past, like a lot of people. My next thought was, and this was a silent thought in my head, despite the quotes, “How can I do this AND write about it?” My answer, to myself (still silent): “Make it really unreasonable. You can’t just see the ten Best Picture nominees.  That's easy. Make the project so big it’s insane.”

And with that, I've sorted out some of the details. I've made lists with spreadsheets. Hey, you can see a handful of movies over seven weeks without writing anything down, but you cannot do what I’m about to do without a spreadsheet (may or may not be revealed in its entirety at a later date).

And rules. We need rules.

Rule #1 - No documentaries
I love a good documentary, but my spreadsheet already has 43 movies in it. These 43 are all the movies that are, or might be, nominated in those award shows I mentioned. In order to dial this back from IMPOSSIBLE to unreasonable, I can’t do documentaries.
Rule #2 - Every movie must be seen from this day forward
If I've already seen it, I have to see it again. I’d be cheating you if I write about a movie I saw 6 months ago. You don’t want that. You want freshness. And Junior Mints. But this is the internet and I don’t have chocolate for you so go buy your own.
Rule #3 - There are exceptions to Rule #2
Some of the 43 movies on my list are longshots for awards. Example: The movie Hope Springs is on the list because Meryl Streep either is, or may be, nominated for some awards. Nothing else about that movie is being talked about. I know you’re out there saying “but it’s Meryl Streep, you have to see it!” Well, I might see it, but this isn't The Iron Lady I would be skipping. I think I’m going to end up seeing about 28 movies, give or take. I had to cut it down somehow. More on Meryl later in the project...
Rule #3a - The Animation Corollary
7 of the 43 movies are animated. Because I have kids, I've already seen 5 of the 7, but I’m not going back to re-watch animated movies. Again, I'm aiming for unreasonable, not impossible. I am planning on seeing Brave and Frankenweenie for the first time, but only because I love you.
Rule #4 - The Indies are in
I didn't put all the movies nominated for Independent Spirit Awards on my list, but there is a good representation. I’m not about big budgets folks, I’m about quality.
Rule #5 - Theaters are not required
This project wouldn't be possible if I had to see everything in the theater, even though I love that theater experience. DVDs are legal. Maybe I’ll even buy a movie on iTunes. Netflix is allowed too, even though their streaming selection sucks (sorry, needed to be said). But while my wife is supportive of my writing, there are limits. And consequences. Even with this rule, I am going to owe her, big.
I haven’t figured out every detail of the project yet, but I know I will post something every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to keep you up to date on what I've seen and how in God’s name I’m doing it. It may not be pretty, but that’s why you've read this far, right?

My first movie will be Flight, which is at the cheap theater near my house this week. Denzel has some Oscar buzz, as he always does, and I’m afraid of flying, so of course I want to see him crash land a jet upside down in a drunken stupor.

Symbolic though, don’t you think?

Next Post: Oscar nominations revealed January 10; BAFTA nominations revealed January 9; my first (few) movies

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