Small Movies: The Ground Rules

So what makes a movie “small” enough to include here? It’s tough to get a good sense of where to draw the line, but since this is my project and I’m the only person working on it, It seems okay for me to make my own rules — and violate them if I wish.

What sort of posts will you see here? I plan to watch one movie every Saturday. Every movie will be a movie I have never seen before. (Don’t worry, the list of movies I haven’t seen is extremely long.) On the preceding Thursday I’ll preview the movie, telling you what I know about it and giving you my best guesses about what it’s going to be like to watch. I’ve been doing this for football games for years so I’m not shy about making predictions, even if they turn out wrong, because they almost always do. Nor am I scared that any of the movies will be so bad that they’ll wreck my entire weekend. I have willingly watched Rutgers football, after all.

After I’ve watched the movie I’ll write a review of it, letting you know what I got right or wrong and giving my overall opinion of the movie. I’ll also tease the next movie I’ll be watching, but I won’t tell you what it actually is.

Now, about the sort of movies I’ll be watching: these are the general principles I’m going to follow:

  1. No blockbusters, period. Those movies are already pretty well covered. I don’t plan to talk about anything that did great at the box office.
  2. No “movies that everybody knows,” particularly if they’re pre-spoiled for me. There will be cult films, but not ones like The Usual Suspects (I already know), The Sixth Sense (ditto), The Crying Game, Fight Club and any other movies that depend on twists I already know. Also, I’m not going to watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show, because “Time Warp” is in it.
  3. No franchises. Joe Queenan wrote a great article once about watching Part III movies in franchises where he had never seen Part I or Part II. They were all horror movies and he pretty much hated every one of them. You should read his article, because I’m not going to do what he did.
  4. No movies known primarily for being bad unless there’s disagreement about whether they’re actually bad. North and Gigli are out, but Ishtar is a possibility. In fact, it intrigues me precisely because it’s such a stupid concept.
  5. I am a pacifist. I’m not going to watch movies that are mostly about violence, not even if the movie portrays that violence as somehow redemptive. No movies that try to make you think war is cool. Mind you, I’m not an absolutist about this. GoodFellas is violent but it’s not about violence and the violence in it comes across as tragic, usually. I liked that movie. I don’t ever need to see it again.
  6. No movies about dystopias. I’m writing in America in 2020, I don’t need a movie to show me a dystopia.
  7. No movies with Tom Cruise in them. I only have so much time left on Earth, why use any of it to watch Tom Cruise movies?

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