I Am 100 Movies Closer to Being a Real American

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am dreadfully illiterate when it comes to films. It’s fair to say I have not seen most movies that would be considered essential to people I deal with on a daily basis. Because of coworkers especially, there are dozens of films I can quote without ever having seen the things.

A few examples:
“Say hello to my little friend”
“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.”
“I see dead people.”
“We’re gonna have to go right to…ludicrous speed.”
“Those aren’t pillows!”

I am not exactly unequivocally proud of this accomplishment, but I’m satisfied at the result: As of this past weekend, I reached the 100 film mark in my project to make myself less ignorant about movies people find important.

I want to clarify these are not necessarily good or classic movies; they are just films people refer to over and over again in daily conversation. The list I work from is made of films I want to see because I’m so, so tired of hearing variants of, “You haven’t seen The Blues Brothers!? Everyone’s seen The Blues Brothers!”

Well, no, until September 29, 2014 I had not seen The Blues Brothers. Now I have, along with Silence of the Lambs, Pulp Fiction, The 40 Year Old Virgin, etc. But there are so many more left to endure — I mean see.

There are also a fair number of movies in my list that I want to see just because I’m intrigued by them and never got around to taking the time to watch them. I mean, I saw Gattaca over the weekend not because it’s filled with quotes people parrot at me all the time over and over again — I just wanted to see the thing. Primer, Moon, Arrival, and a lot of other films were on the to-be-seen list as treats for having endured terrible movies like Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (shudder) or Pet Sematary (I mean, really, wouldn’t you learn after the 2nd time the same stupid strategy went pear-shaped?)

There have been some unexpected gems — films I did not expect to like but which I ended up really enjoying. Anchorman was my first surprise, and an early one in the project.

Here are the 100 films I’ve seen so far as part of the project, sorted by my personal rating system: Link to spreadsheet

I’d like to add that A Hard Day’s Night caused me to add the zero rating to my former 1 to 10 system. I hated it so much, I had to add a rating below 1. I shudder to think what I’ll have to sit through to consider adding a minus-one to the system…

Here’s also a link to the full spreadsheet I work from when I’m choosing my next film to watch.

Happy viewing!