My Movie Diary (2000-2009)
I can’t remember why, I’ve slept since then, but, in January of 2000, I found myself sitting in front of a blank Word document. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do, and, now, 10 years later, I’m still working strong at it. I began keeping a sort of diary, listing the days and months and putting down the films I saw in the theater into it. I don’t remember why I only included movies I saw in the theater. I could have started just as an idea-giver on how many movies I actually saw each year (I also kept a running count each year). It began on January 7th, 2000, when I entered BICENTENNIAL MAN as my first film in this long and ever-growing endeavor.
In 2000, I saw 166 films in the theater. There were many a high (seeing GLADIATOR on May 5th and UNBREAKABLE on November 24th after a double feature of BOUNCE and THE SIXTH DAY) and, probably, just as many lows (I saw MISSION TO MARS on March 10th, but, thankfully, it was balanced with a showing of THE NINTH GATE).
The Christmas season that year also saw me do something I had never done before nor have I ever done again. On December 23rd, I drove myself to the theater (I frequently went to the theater by myself at that time, one of the many reasons why I got married and did trivial things like make friends) and watched six films in one day. In order, they were CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, MISS CONGENIALITY, CAST AWAY, THE FAMILY MAN, THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, and DRACULA 2000. You might say I started strong and petered out by the end, but I’ve always been one who like finishing a day at the movies with a nice horror movie. DRACULA 2000, while fairly stupid and pointless, is, nonetheless, entertaining.
2001 ran pretty much the same way minus the six-movies-in-one-day marathon, the high point being seeing MEMENTO on March 31st. The first movie I have listed for that year, in which I saw 156 movies, was my second viewing of Cast Away. For the life of me, I can’t remember what prompted me to see this film again. I had very little sense of time at that time, but I’ve always said, I love going to the movie so much I’d rather watch a bad movie at the theater than not watch anything.
In October of that year, I hit another milestone in my life, though it’s not, entirely, cinematic in nature. Having met the woman who would, eventually, be my wife on October 5th, we had our first date on October 10th, where we watched THE OTHERS. Don’t look at me, the horror movie was her idea. In fact, our first, four dates would be horror movies (THE OTHERS on October 10th, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on October 12th, FROM HELL on October 19th, and HALLOWEEN on October 26th). Incidentally, that showing of HALLOWEEN on October 26th was the first time I was able to see my favorite movie in the theater.
Having now realized that I am 500 words in on this trek back through my last decade of movie going and only covering two years, I also note the self indulgence of it all. Running through very quickly, I will note that I saw 173 films in 2002 (high points: ROAD TO PERDITION on July 13th, THE RULES OF ATTRACTION on October 11th, and GANGS OF NEW YORK on December 22nd), and 180 films in 2003 (high points: ADAPTATION on January 10th, OPEN RANGE on August 16th, KILL BILL VOL. 1 on October 10th, and the LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy Tuesday on December 16th).
In 2004, I got married. I note in my movie diary that, the day before my wedding on May 10th, my wife and I saw VAN HELSING in Las Vegas. Say what you will, but we had an absolute blast. The first film we saw together after being married was TROY on May 21st. I saw 150 other movies in 2004 with high points being KILL BILL VOl. 2 on April 16th and, ironically, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT on December 26th. It was also in 2004, on December 31st of that year, that my wife and I began our standing tradition of seeing a late show to ring in the new year. That year, it was PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the second viewing of the film for both of us.
I saw 182 movies in 2005, high points being SIN CITY on April 1st (which followed up FEVER PITCH), OLDBOY on May 20th, and KING KONG on December 14th. The New Year’s Eve movie that year was also KING KONG.
I had a drop-off in 2006 and only watched 112 movies in the theater. Fortunately, there were a number of high points in 2006 including UNITED 93 on April 28th (which was promptly followed up by AMERICAN DREAMZ), BRICK the next day on April 29th, a MIAMI VICE/THE DESCENT double feature on August 5th, THE PRESTIGE on October 20th (I also saw JAWS later that night), THE FOUNTAIN on November 22nd, and ROCKY BALBOA on December 22nd. The New Year’s Eve movie in 2006 was DREAMGIRLS, but the rest of the year made up for it.
2007 wasn’t much better for me in terms of quantity (I saw 114 movies in the theater that year), but the quality carried over from 2006 right from the outset, as I saw CHILDREN OF MEN, probably the best movie I would see that whole year, on January 5th. Other notable entries that year are GRINDHOUSE (the entire experience) on April 6th, KNOCKED UP and MR. BROOKS on June 2nd, SUNSHINE on July 27th, ONCE on August 19th, and THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD on November 1st. I was also able to experience a showing of the 1925 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at St. Louis’ Fox Theater on September 30th that year. Just for the sake of completion, our New Year’s Eve movie that year was SWEENEY TODD.
In 2008, I saw 123 movies. High points that year were a CLOVERFIELD and THERE WILL BE BLOOD double feature on January 19th (I also promptly ran out and watched CLOVERFIELD a second time the next day), IRON MAN on May 2nd, and THE DARK KNIGHT on July 18th. It was at the July 24th screening of THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE that I first saw a few of the guys here at the site wearing their We Are Movie Geeks lanyards. The first movie I watched as a member of the site was on STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS on August 9th, and the rest is history.
The remainder of 2008 and all of 2009 in my movie diary is packed full of movies thanks to Scott, Travis and everyone else who welcomed me into writing for We Are Movie Geeks. There are many high points (my first movies at South by Southwest were THE 2 BOBS and ONG BAK 2 on March 13th, STAR TREK on May 2nd, and (500) DAYS OF SUMMER on June 12th as part of the Cinevegas Film Festival) and, probably, just as many low points. Somebody had to cover PINK PANTHER 2 on February 5th, YEAR ONE on June 16th, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN on June 22nd, and THE PERFECT GETAWAY on August 4th.
It began as something fun, but it’s become something I can’t stop doing. In hindsight, I’m glad I did it. There are moments in the past ten years that I’m sure I would remember, but, should anyone ask me precisely what day it was that I first saw CLOCKSTOPPERS, I can look in my diary and see that it was, in fact, March 29th, 2002. It’s okay, though. I followed that up with PANIC ROOM, and all was right with the world. I can also look back at dates that intrigue and almost frighten me. Why I have down that I saw SON OF THE MASK not once but twice on February 18th, 2005 entices me. It’s not a lie. Being something for my, sole purpose, I have no reason to lie, and there it is in black and white.
It’s not so much a diary as it is a collection of reference points, all movies that I have seen in the theater over the past decade. As I write this, my 2009 is looking to hit 160 movies with a planned viewing of NINE on New Year’s Eve (yes, with the rare exception of KING KONG in 2005, they have all been musicals). I plan to continue my movie diary well into the 2010s, and, who knows, maybe, at some point in the next decade, I will begin jotting down all the movies I see and on what days, not just those watched in the theater. Time will tell. For now, the diary continues to grow both in highs (MOON on March 14th, 2009), lows (FEARDOTCOM on August 30th, 2002), and all-around memorable (THE WHITE TIGER: THE STORY OF RICK AND RODDY on August 20th, 2009). Movies are memories. I’m just glad I have a detailed reference system to help me pull them back up to the front.