Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why do they call them Great Whites anyway? They're mostly grey, why not call them Great Greys?

I always get a kick out of noticing the random set dressing on old sitcoms, be it the inappropriate for the character band posters on a teenager's wall, the protagonist's VHS collection, cereal boxes with the logos blacked out or books lining the shelves. I have been rewatching Cheers starting with the first season on Netflix Instant, and amongst the classic Boston sports ephemera lining every square inch of the bar's wallspace is a poster for future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. While Eckersley had a solid career as a starter for the Red Sox, and had been with the team for five years in 1982 when Cheers debuted, including one 20 win effort, he was nowhere near the superstar he would be when he became the dominant closer for the late 80's-early 90's Oakland Athletics.

Seinfeld is another goldmine in this regard, for example if you pay close attention at any episode where the quartet goes to the movies you will notice this poster for the long forgotten 1992 Tim Daly/Penolope Ann Miller comedy Year of the Comet, which shares Seinfeld's production company, Castle Rock Entertainment. Recently, while watching the 14th episode of season three, The Pez Dispenser, I noticed none other than Carl Gottleib's journal of the making of Steven Spielberg's Jaws, The Jaws Log, on Jerry's bookshelf. I wrote briefly about the Jaws Log a few years ago, which you can check out here.

There it is on the second shelf, two books up from James Clavell's Shogun. Somebody might want to inform Jerry that a good conditioned copy of that edition is going for $35 on eBay.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Film Viewing Stats

It’s time again to reflect on my film viewing habits for the year 2012. This seems to be a popular post here and I enjoy this endeavor myself. You can see prior year’s summary posts by clicking on the year: 2008; 2009;  2010; due to circumstances I never completed 2011’s list.

Also, if you are interested in which particular films I viewed during 2012, check out my Letterboxd profile, and if you read this and are on that site, add me to your friends’ list.

Of course the big change for me this year was becoming a father on February 17th. While that definitely ate into my film watching schedule, having a few months off of work helped even everything out, and despite the fact that I watched 61 fewer films than in 2011, that year was a bit of an outlier, and this year’s total matches 2010’s and exceeds 2009 and 2008’s totals. The major impact that my son did have was a lot less visits to the cinema. The last two years I watched 59 films in theatre for an average of just over one a week, the total this year is down by more than half of that, and let's not mention the 80+ trips to the cinema I made in 2008 & 2009! Hopefully, my wife and I can find some reliable babysitters to try to increase that number in 2013.

Total # of Films watched in 2012:  353
First film watchedThe Godfather (Blu Ray) on 1/1/12
First film watched theatricallyHayware (at the Arclight Pasadena) on 1/21/12
Last film watchedThe Kid with a Bike (Netflix Instant) on 12/31/12
Last film watched theatricallyLincoln (at the Arclight Pasadena) on 12/29/12

Films by decade
Note: As I got closer to the end of the year I set a goal of watching at least ten films from every decade starting with the 1920s and up, I mistakenly had notated the years of two films which led me watching two 1920s films the last few days of the year

1920s: 10
1930s: 13
1940s: 12
1950s: 15
1960s: 31
1970s: 60
1980s: 97
1990s: 20
2000s: 22
2010-2012: 73

Films by method watched:

DVD: 186
Netflix Instant: 52
Blu Ray: 46
DVR: 34
Theatre: 29
Online (Amazon Prime, Youtube, etc.): 6

Films by number of time I have watched them:

1st Viewings: 237
2nd Viewings: 51
3rd or more Viewings: 65

By month:

January: 37
February: 29
March: 31
April: 27
May: 27
June: 29
July: 34
August: 17
September: 32
October: 35
November: 26
December: 29

By country of origin:

United States: 235
England: 35
Italy: 20
Japan: 14
France: 12
China: 6
Canada: 5
Germany: 4
New Zealand: 3
Australia: 3
Spain: 2
South Korea: 2
Belgium: 2
Denmark: 2
Mexico: 2
Thailand: 1
Sweden: 1
Netherlands: 1
Indonesia: 1
Turkey: 1
Iran: 1

Directors with 3 or more films watched in 2012:

Sam Peckinpah: 5 (Junior Bonner, The Getaway, Pat Garret & Billy the Kid, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Killer Elite)

Steven Spielberg: 5 (E.T., War Horse, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, Lincoln)

Robert Zemeckis: 5 (Back to the Future, Back to the Future part II, Back to the Future part III, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Flight)

Clint Eastwood: 4 (The Gauntlet, Firefox, J.Edgar, Honkytonk Man)

Josef vonSternberg: 4 (Blue Angel, Shanghai Gesture, Crime and Punishment, Macao)

Guy Hamilton: 4 (Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man with the Golden Gun)

Lucio Fulci: 3 (New York Ripper, Don’t Torture a Duckling, The House by the Cemetary)

Peter Jackson: 3 (Fellowship of the Rings, Two Towers, Return of the King)

Enzo G. Castellari: 3 (Street Law, Keoma, The Big Racket)

Ridley Scott: 3 (Alien, Blade Runner, Prometheus)

Walter Hill: 3 (The Driver, The Warriors, 48 HRS)

William Wellman: 3 (Wings, Safe in Hell, Night Nurse)

Terrence Young: 3 (Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball)

Lewis Gilbert: 3 (You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker)

Terence Fisher: 3 (Curse of the Werewolf, The Brides of Dracula, Dracula: Prince of Darkness)

Buster Keaton: 3 (Sherlock Jr., The Navigator (co-directed), Seven Chances)

Here’s wishing everyone a satisfying 2013, how many films did you watch in 2012?

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