Meewella | Fragments

The Life of P

Resolution Review: The New 52

With the resolution complete, paying closer attention has taught me some interesting things about my filmwatching habits and choices. Firstly, in numbers:

  • Resolution films watched: 52/52
  • Lowest rating: 3/10
  • Highest rating: 10/10
  • Average rating of Resolution films: 7.2/10
  • New films watched this year: 122
  • Average rating of all new films: 6.8/10
  • Current length of watchlist: 378

One thing I realised halfway through the year is that, even if I met my target, I was still unlikely to reduce the size of my watchlist by the end of the year. In fact it has grown a little to 379. Even so, without this resolution it would easily have broken 400. The average rating I gave to films on my watchlist was a fairly high 7.2, which makes sense for a list of films that looked good enough to pique my interest. I was pleasantly surprised by the spread of 3 to 10, although virtually everything on the list was 5 or higher. The average for all new films was only slightly lower at 6.8 but then I rarely watch anything that I expect will be bad.

The resolution caused a few changes to my film-watching habits. The most noticeable was that I was making more time in the evenings to watch a film, which, after all, does not require much more of a time commitment than to binge a few episodes of a TV drama. The biggest change, and one I actually found difficult, was prioritising new films – 122 new films (this includes films released in 2017 and older films that were not already on my watchlist) is considerably higher than I have managed in previous years – but this came at the expense of the ability to rewatch films. On one hand, increasing new experiences is good. However, two thirds of the way through the year I found I was really struggling without the opportunity to watch the “comfort films” that I typically watch once a year. I eventually caved to watch Lost in Translation. The experience reminded me just how important some of these films are to me and, in turn, why I will always need to own certain films rather than relying solely on streaming services with a fluctuating selection. I am certainly looking forward to the increased freedom next year.

Typically 9/10 is the highest I would score a movie on first watching it, with the ability to move to a 10 if it holds up on rewatching. The one exception this year was Cinema Paradiso, already a classic in its own right and targeted at those who love cinema. There were a number of 9s from the watchlist: Whiplash, Rear Window, Paterson, Hell or High Water, The Handmaiden, A Clockwork Orange, Eye in the Sky, Black Hawk Down, Patton and The Pianist, spanning 1954-2016. It shows a surprising bias towards well-made war films, which is not a genre for which I have a particular affinity. There were a handful of additional 9s, two of which were on the list but released this year: Carol, Logan, Blade Runner 2049 and a short film called Testing. Two of the lowest rated movies were on the list, making them particularly disappointing: The Neon Demon and Hick. They were joined by two off-list films: the disappointingly unfunny and unnecessary sequel Ted 2, and risible 1970s low-budget horror Three on a Meathook.

Halfway through the year I also upgraded my living room setup to support 4K and HDR (now that the standards have crystallised). The biggest change was the TV itself. I have been eyeing OLED TVs for some time because of their near-perfect black reproduction (each pixel can be switched on or off independently and there is no backlight to bleed through). LG is producing stellar large flat panels, and (after a little consideration) I decided to go all in on a monolithic 65″ model OLED65C7V. I am unlikely to replace many films with 4K versions, given the relatively modest improvement, but it will be a consideration for future purchases where available. As with the PS3 last generation, the Xbox One S is now my default blu-ray player since it supports 4K and is likely to get software updates to address any changes to the format.

2 Comments

  1. Well done! I had a weird reaction to The Neon Demon, which I can fully recognize is not a great, or even good, movie… And yet it will not leave me alone. I keep thinking about it. I… I think I love it.

    Happy New Year!

  2. I can see how it could have a hypnotic pull, although I am thankfully immune. Franklyn may be the equivalent for me, which I don’t think is a bad film objectively, but which has imagery that stays with me way more than the convoluted and messy plotting ought.

    Happy New Year!

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