July 2007 on 50 Words

Aug 12, 2007 - One Response

I wrote 37 Reviews in July on 50 Words, six more than my goal. In August, I’m going to try to keep up with my average of one review per day. Here’s what I reviewed in July, in order of letter grade:

  1. Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane – At Carnegie Hall
  2. Tito Puente – Live at the Village Gate
  3. Joe Henderson – Double Rainbow
  4. Joe Henderson – Lush Life
  5. Billy Taylor – Dr. T
  6. Buddy DeFranco and Terry Gibbs – Holiday for Swing
  7. Modern Jazz Quartet – A 40th Anniversary Celebration
  8. Sicko
  9. The Tao of Steve
  10. Thirteen
  11. Gerry Mulligan – Midas Touch
  12. Hargrove McBride Scott – Parker’s Mood
  13. Herbie Mann – Sultry Serenade
  14. Jimmy Smith and Eddie Harris – All the Way Live
  15. Lackawanna Blues
  16. Oscar Peterson – Compact Jazz
  17. Shattered Glass
  18. Teodross Avery – In Other Words
  19. Eric Dolphy – Outward Bound
  20. Lee Konitz – Subconscious-Lee
  21. Sonny Stitt and Richie Cole – Battle of the Saxes
  22. Stanley Jordan – Standards, Vol. 1
  23. Transformers
  24. An American Rhapsody
  25. Nine Lives
  26. Tom Dowd & the Language of Music
  27. All Over Me
  28. Mi Mejor Enemigo
  29. Proof (1991)
  30. Stanley Jordan – Stolen Moments
  31. Ella Fitzgerald – Ella By Starlight
  32. The Young Americans
  33. Head On
  34. The Last Days of Chez Nous
  35. Keane
  36. Last Days
  37. Eric Dolphy – Wherever I Go

Highest Grade: A++. Lowest Grade: D-. July’s GPA: 3.21 (B+).

Category Breakdown: Movies (17 – 45.95%), Music (20 – 54.05%)

Goal for August: 31 reviews or more.


Movie 250

Jul 12, 2007 - Leave a Response

Yesterday, I posted the 250th movie review, The Tao of Steve (2000) at 50 Words. Since May 24, I’ve posted 50 movie reviews, an average of about one a day. Some of the movies I’ve reviewed are ones that I’ve seen before. Some of them I own. I only review things once on 50 Words, though.

Oh, I should update the list:

  • Seen: 586
  • In Queue: 443
  • Unavailable: 319
  • Left to see (but not in queue): 997
  • Total: 2345

June 2007 on 50 Words

Jul 12, 2007 - Leave a Response

I wrote 29 Reviews in June on 50 Words, one short of goal. So, in July, I’m going for 31, an average of one review per day. Here’s what I reviewed in June, in order of letter grade:

  1. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (1964)
  2. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (1959)
  3. Miles Davis – Birth of the Cool (1956)
  4. Sonny Stitt – Personal Appearance (1957)
  5. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  6. Whale Rider (2002)
  7. 21 Grams (2003)
  8. The Bill Evans Trio with Stan Getz – But Beautiful (1974)
  9. Paris, Je T’Aime (2006)
  10. Walk the Line (2005)
  11. Cannonball Adderley – Things Are Getting Better (1958)
  12. The Beautiful Country (2004)
  13. Joe Henderson – Mode for Joe (1966)
  14. A River Runs Through It (1992)
  15. John Coltrane – Stardust (1958)
  16. Grizzly Man (2005)
  17. Abbey Lincoln – Abbey Is Blue (1959)
  18. Paradise Now (2005)
  19. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
  20. Trees Lounge (1996)
  21. My Cousin Vinny (1992)
  22. Happy Endings (2005)
  23. Broken Flowers (2005)
  24. The Secret Life of Words (2005)
  25. La Vie en Rose (2007)
  26. Corpse Bride (2005)
  27. Oscar Peterson – A Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra (1959)
  28. Knocked Up (2006)
  29. Forty Shades of Blue (2005)

Highest Grade: A++. Lowest Grade: F. June’s GPA: 3.46 (B+).

Category Breakdown: Movies (19 – 65.52%), Music (10 – 34.48%)

Goal for July: 31 reviews or more.

May 2007 on 50 Words

Jun 1, 2007 - Leave a Response

May was a fairly busy month on 50 Words. I wrote 25 Reviews. In order of letter grade, here are the items I reviewed:

  1. Clifford Brown – Memorial Album (1953)
  2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  3. The Flying Scotsman (2006)
  4. Joe Pass – Virtuoso (1973)
  5. Lonesome Dove (1989)
  6. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)
  7. We Were Soldiers (2002)
  8. The Constant Gardener (2005)
  9. Legends of the Fall (1994)
  10. The Mighty (1998)
  11. North Country (2005)
  12. Platoon (1986)
  13. ‘Round Midnight (1986)
  14. Seth Godin – The Dip (2007)
  15. Billy Elliot (2000)
  16. March of the Penguins (2005)
  17. Howards End (1992)
  18. Hustle & Flow (2005)
  19. Junebug (2005)
  20. Ken Peplowski – It’s a Lonesome Old Town (1995)
  21. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  22. Jack McDevitt – Eternity Road (1997)
  23. The Man Without a Past (2002)
  24. Chocolat (1988)
  25. A History of Violence (2005)

Highest Grade: A++. Lowest Grade: C-. May’s GPA: 3.42 (B+).

Category Breakdown: Movies (20 – 80%), Music (3 – 12%), Books (2 – 8%)

Goal for June: 30 reviews or more.

Movie 200

May 24, 2007 - One Response

A few days ago, I posted the 200th movie review over at 50 Words. It seems like only yesterday, I came up with the idea and sold Mr. Bye and Mr. Ferrante on it. It’s actually been a year, a month, and ten days. The very first post on 50 Words was my review for Primer. There are a few posts dated earlier, primarily remixes of reviews on this site and others in my “review this” list on Backpack (of which nine remain unreviewed).

I really enjoy writing these little tiny reviews, although sometimes I feel as though I’m saying the same things over and over again. Admittedly, I’m not the most creative reviewer out there. I also tend to be very generous with my ratings. That said, I’m looking forward to seeing how the next 200 movies goes.

Oh, I should update the list:

  • Seen: 567
  • In Queue: 459
  • Unavailable: 319
  • Left to see (but not in queue): 1000
  • Removed from list: 2 (duplicates)
  • Total: 2345

Since I posted here two months ago, I’ve seen 14 movies — an average of one movie every 4½ days. At this rate, it should take 18 years to watch the remaining 1459 movies, if no more are added to the list. In order to see all of these wonderful films, I really need to increase my numbers a little bit.

Trimming the List

Mar 24, 2007 - 2 Responses

Since adding to the list a couple of months ago, I’ve been sorting through the unavailables in the outside chance that some of them are being released eventually on DVD.  I was surprised by my results.

Tally from January 27:

  • Seen: 544
  • In Queue: 345
  • Unavailable: 416
  • Left to see (but not in queue): 1048
  • Total: 2353

New tally:

  • Seen: 553
  • In Queue: 432
  • Unavailable: 318 (I got to remove almost 100)
  • Left to see (but not in queue): 1044
  • Removed from list: 6 (Usually because Short films inadvertently ended up in the master list)
  • Total: 2347 (I’ve seen 23.56% of them).

Obviously, I’m a list maker.  I imagine the unavailables will constitute an ever smaller number as time goes by.  On with the movie watching!

Adding to the Tally

Jan 26, 2007 - One Response

On recent announcements of award nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Academy Awards, I’m awarded the opportunity to more movies to my database. As delineated earlier, I’ve culled the list to the 88 eligible movies and eliminated one of them for not being listed as “Save” on Netflix.

Before the addition to the list, here’s my tally:

  • Seen: 538.
  • In Queue: 264.
  • Unavailable: 415.
  • Left to see:: 1048.
  • Total: 2265.

Following are the movies. I’ve seen the ones in bold. The rest are in my queue. The unsavable one is stricken. Reviews on 50 Words are linked.

  • 12:08 East of Bucharest
  • A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
  • A Lion in the House
  • A Prairie Home Companion
  • After the Wedding
  • American Gun
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Apocalypto
  • Babel
  • Blood Diamond
  • Bobby
  • Borat
  • Brothers of the Head
  • Bubble
  • Cars
  • Chalk
  • Children of Men
  • Chronicle of an Escape
  • Click
  • Conversations With Other Women
  • Curse of the Golden Flower
  • Day Night Day Night
  • Days of Glory
  • Deliver Us From Evil
  • Dreamgirls
  • Flags of Our Fathers
  • For Your Consideration
  • Four Eyed Monsters
  • Friends With Money
  • Half Nelson
  • Happy Feet
  • Hollywoodland
  • Infamous
  • Iraq in Fragments
  • Jesus Camp
  • Kinky Boots
  • Land of Plenty
  • Letters from Iwo Jima
  • Little Children
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Man Push Cart
  • Marie Antoinette
  • Miss Potter
  • Monster House
  • My Country, My Country
  • Nomad
  • Notes on a Scandal
  • Old Joy
  • Pan’s Labyrinth
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  • Poseidon
  • Quinceañera
  • Running With Scissors
  • Sherrybaby
  • Sorry, Haters
  • Steel City
  • Stephanie Daley
  • Stranger Than Fiction
  • Superman Returns
  • Sweet Land
  • Thank You For Smoking
  • The Black Dahlia
  • The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • The Dead Girl
  • The Departed
  • The Devil Wears Prada
  • The Fountain
  • The Good German
  • The Good Shepherd
  • The Illusionist
  • The Last King of Scotland
  • The Lives of Others
  • The Motel
  • The Painted Veil
  • The Prestige
  • The Pursuit of Happyness
  • The Queen
  • The Road to Guantanamo
  • The Trials of Darryl Hunt
  • Twelve and Holding
  • United 93
  • Venus
  • Volver
  • Water
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known
  • Wristcutters: A Love Story
  • You’re Gonna Miss Me

New tally:

  • Seen: 544
  • In Queue: 345
  • Unavailable: 416
  • Left to see (but not in queue): 1048
  • Total: 2353

Last Day at Work

Sep 29, 2006 - One Response

Today is my last day at BMC Software. It’s been two years as a contractor. I’ve had a lot of fun, lots of laughs, and did some really good things. It’s time, however, to move on. So, right now, I’m taking the posters off the wall, finishing up the last of the AdvancedITIL books in Traditional Chinese.

I really appreciate all the great people I got to work with at Remedy, BMC, and on the peripheral projects. I hope that we all stay in touch and that our cross paths in the future.

Nominee Project Update

Sep 7, 2006 - Leave a Response

About five months ago, I announced the Nominee Project here. Since I posted that, I’ve seen a few movies, started a reviews site with a couple of friends, and kept my database of nominees up to date.

Let’s take a look at my progress. It isn’t awards nomination time yet, so the total remains the same.

  • Total: 2,265 movies
  • Already viewed: 519 (22.91%)
  • Unavailable on DVD: 415 (18.32%)
  • Left to See: 1,331 (58.76%) — 267 (11.79%) in my Netflix queue

At this rate of 30 every five months, it should only take me about 18½ years to get through this list. I intend to pick up the pace dramatically. I’ve been a little busy with other things.

Nominee Project

Apr 11, 2006 - 3 Responses

Some time ago, I decided to embark on a new project. I have decided to attempt to view every movie nominated for either an Oscar, a Golden Globe, or an Independent Spirit Award during the course of my life. This includes any movie nominated from 1971 until now (no matter when it was filmed).

After watching this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, I noticed how many interesting movies had come out that I had never heard of. So, a few weeks ago, I embarked on a hobbyist project to determine just how many we were talking about. In the process, I decided to eliminate certain categories from my project. To wit:

  • Any movie nominated only for “Best Original Song.” A movie that only got a nod because Elton John sold a few million soundtracks doesn’t merit consideration, if only because that doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the movie.
  • Any short movie nominated (“Documentary Short”, “Animated Short”, “Live Action Short”), because of the impossibility to find them reliably on DVD.
  • Any movie unavailable via Netflix, or unlikely to be available in the future (generally, movies that have been out more than a few years who are not in Netflix’s database — either as “Add to Queue” or “Save”).

In order to build a master list of all of the movies (and eliminate duplicates), I built four tables in a MySQL database (not here), manually grabbed and culled the lists from IMDB, wrote a PHP page that generated an HTML list of the movies, ran ‘sort’ on it, and built a list of all the movies (minus Short Subjects and Best Original Song). From this master list, I found all the movies I’ve already seen, and began clicking on the others (which popped me over to IMDB). Any movies I found that didn’t indicate US DVD availability in that Amazon corner, I searched for them on Netflix. Those that I found were added to my Queue. Those that I didn’t got crossed off the list. In the process, I added them in blocks of 100 (with a status indicating unavailable, added to queue, already seen, or left to see) into a master MySQL table.

This evening, I finished the list. It is rather large:

  • Total: 2,265 movies
  • Already Viewed: 489 (21.59%)
  • Unavailable on DVD: 417 (18.41%)
  • Left to See: 1359 (60.00%)
    • Added to Queue: 245 (10.82%)

When the awards ceremonies roll around again, I’ll add the nominees to my database and watch those, too. Given that I have over 1350 available (or to-be-available) movies in my database, I am hoping to catch up with whatever the current year is in about five years. At an average movie length of 2 hours, this is 113¼ days of movie viewing.

This project in no way restricts me from viewing movies I’ve already seen, movies that weren’t nominated, or TV series on DVD or in tivo. I’m pretty excited, though. I know I’m going to hate some of these films, but a number of them will probably end up in my DVD collection.

Wish me luck!