It’s been awhile since I wrote about the FiftyFiftyMe challenge, but I’m still working at it. I’m just not doing the best job, which is crazy, because clearly I could be. I recently started watching the entire series of The X-Files, and given that I’m done with season four, I could clearly have been watching movies this entire time. If I count every title, no matter the length or whether it was for school or not, I’ve read about 100 books this year already, so I’m already “done” with the 50 books part of the challenge (but will obviously continue to read more and more). Movies, though, I find really difficult to watch.
It’s not even that I don’t like them. I love movies, and I have a huge list of films that I’d really like to see. Many aren’t in theatres yet, so that’s a problem, as is the fact that I really can’t afford to go to the movie theatre 50 times a year. But even the movies that I could get on Netflix or DVD are a problem. I’ve returned at least five DVDs to the library unseen this year, just because no matter how excited I am about them, and no matter how much free time I have, I just can’t bring myself to watch them.
I think television has killed my ability to stay engaged with a narrative that takes longer than 23 or 44 minutes to unravel, even though the irony is, of course, that with television you end up watching twelve episodes in a row and wasting your entire day, when really a 90-minute movie would be more practical. But I just can’t seem to enjoy movies alone the way I can television. I am constantly pausing or googling other stuff or flipping through magazines or just sitting there, anxious and waiting for the movie to be over so that I can say that yes, I’ve watched another one. That’s no way to be.
So I’ve watched 27 of the 50 films this year. I’ve enjoyed a lot of them. “Moonrise Kingdom” is, I think, the best example of, of all things, what excellent middle grade novels should look like. “Young Adult” was pitch perfect. “In Time” and “Friends With Benefits” have made me admit that Justin Timberlake is both rather talented and rather attractive. “Alice” was totally derivative and pointless but good, nonsensical fun with an amazing set designer. “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” proved that I really should make a living as a screenwriter because I can call everything that is going to happen from a mile away. “The Devil’s Double” is an example of a terrible movie that survives because of its amazing starring performance. And so on.
I guess that only makes me a little bit behind. But I’m going to have to get together with some friends, otherwise I’ll never make it the rest of the way.