Reflecting on 1000 Films

Gammera the Invincible (reviewed here) marks a big milestone for me. It’s the 1000th theatrically-released feature film that I’ve seen and rated on IMDb. That’s full-length feature films, not shorts, and only counting those films that were released to theatres, not TV or video. Now, there may be a little fluctuation on the exact number, due to films that I’ve watched and don’t remember, or due to cases where IMDb and I disagree on what counts. (For example, it lists the 1949 Batman and Robin as a feature film, but it’s a serial, and it lists a few direct-to-video films as theatrical releases.) And, of course, the number will be going up almost instantaneously. But as near as I can figure, Gammera was #1000.

I gave a bit of a breakdown by genre 100 films ago. For 1000, I’m going a bit further. But I’ll start with genre once again.

GenresAt1000

As noted before, IMDb lists most films under multiple genres. This is usually correct, although I still don’t think Tombstone should count as a romance, and it does have some redundancies such as action and adventure almost always going hand-in-hand. Still, it’s the best we’re going to get.

As might be expected, no genre grew by a huge margin in the 100 films between the last breakdown and now. Most groups grew in about the same proportion, though a few only gained one or two films. Everything but music and documentaries grew by at least one, though. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years remains my sole tick mark in the documentary category. Of course, I’ve watched a few documentaries since then — Women in Rock and Chasing Ghosts — but they don’t count here for a simple reason: they didn’t receive wide theatrical releases. (In fact, I’m not totally certain Decline II did, but it was on the last breakdown, so it remains here.) The simple fact of the matter is that documentaries seldom get wide theatrical releases, so coupled with my general disinterest toward political editorials (of which the genre is rife) it’s always going to be the smallest bar.

I still need to see more war movies and westerns. I’m still baffled by the apparent number of older films I’ve watched that don’t count as film noir according to IMDb. You’d think among all those crime films and mysteries, more than nine would also be noir. Horror has grown to 99, as of the Gammera posting (which didn’t itself count; it’s only sci-fi). It’ll hit the hundred mark by morning and will surpass mystery by the end of the month, though I expect mystery will probably overtake it again at some point.

DecadesAt1000

The decade-by-decade breakdown of my films isn’t too surprising. Mostly modern stuff. Fewer films from the 1960s and 1970s than I would have expected, but I suspect the percentages on both will grow over time. Not much from earlier decades, and the earlier the decade, the smaller the slice. The one film from the 1910s, by the way, is Shoulder Arms. The newest theatrical feature I’ve seen is The Conjuring, I think. Naturally the 2010s aren’t a big slice yet; we’re a little under halfway through the decade.

What does surprise me is that the 1980s aren’t the biggest slice of the pie. Now, it probably would be if I could remember all the movies that I saw as a kid, instead of just remembering most of them. But even with that caveat, it’s surprising to see the 2000s equaling the 80s, and even more surprising to see the 1990s having a non-trivial lead. This is particularly interesting since it’s not reflected in the blog; looking at the tag cloud down below, the 80s have an 90-to-56 lead. I suspect the balance will shift to the 80s over time.

MPAAAt1000

This is a little interesting. I give very little consideration to the MPAA rating of a film when I choose what to watch. I think there are good G-rated films. I think there are good R-rated films. And bad ones of each as well, of course. I’m not picky about what a film is rated. It’s not surprising, therefore, that PG, PG-13, and R make up three fourths of the chart, with G splitting things roughly evenly with the films that the MPAA never rated. (Note: IMDb will sometimes list films under each rating they’ve received, so considering films are sometimes re-rated, these numbers are approximate.) I am a little surprised that it’s R that gets the largest chunk; I would have expected it to be PG-13. Incidentally, that NC-17/X title isn’t anything risque; it’s The Evil Dead, watched earlier this month, and the only film I’ve watched that was rated X initially and not later given an R rating on reconsideration.

RatingsAt1000

And finally, the most personal breakdown. As stated in the beginning, I’ve watched and rated 1000 films on IMDb. Here, converted into my five-stars no-halves rating system, is the breakdown. It’s pretty clear that I’ve mostly watched movies that I enjoyed, just in case anybody wanted to accuse me of being a harsh critic. Four-star films have a commanding lead over the other scores. I’ve seen about as many five-star films as I’ve seen one-star and two-star films combined. All in all, that’s a trend I’d like to see continue in the next thousand films.

As with before, I’m going to try and shore up some of the weaker spots in the genres and decades (at least, with those decades that have a decent number of feature films available to watch… the 1910s are rather sparse in that department.) And I will be holding off on another breakdown like this for a good long while. Say, perhaps the next thousand films.

About Morgan R. Lewis

Fan of movies and other media
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11 Responses to Reflecting on 1000 Films

  1. le0pard13 says:

    That is impressive, Morgan. Congrats 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Coongrats on the milestone!
    I’ve been catching up on short films, westerns and horror the last couple of years, but I’m way behind on film noir, animation and 1900-1950

    • Yeah, I haven’t even been counting the short films. It’s a little harder to quantify those, what with the number of theatrical cartoons such as Looney Tunes that were then put out on TV.

      Film noir’s probably a tough one to catch up on, since so few noirs get made past the 1950s.

  3. Very impressive analysis! Congrats, Morgan.

  4. Nostra says:

    Very nice overview and congratulations on reaching a 1000. I have been keeping track since 2004 and have rated over 1700 titles at the moment (which includes short movies and a lot of movies which probably have not had a wide release). Shame you do not watch many documentaries as there are tons out there worth checking out. On to 2000!

    • Yeah, I have no idea what the total would be if I was counting short films and video titles as well. Actually, hang on… I bet it’s easy to check with IMDb. IMDb says 1383. Respectable number, but not a patch on yours.

      With documentaries… it has to be something that both interests me, and which I don’t think the director is putting his own personal spin on it too much. After all, I’m looking to be entertained (and in this case informed), not to be nagged at. One reason I don’t check out Michael Moore’s work; he doesn’t document, he editorializes.

      But also documentaries so seldom receive theatrical releases, they just don’t factor in much on a breakdown of theatrical features. I did review Women in Rock and Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade here, but neither was a theatrical release.

      • Nostra says:

        Maybe you should check out some Werner Herzog or Errol Morris documentaries. The latest one by Herzog for AT&T you do not hear him, but it is a very powerful documentary. Another I highly recommend is Dear Zachary.

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