Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Is it really 2013 already?

Have you ever heard someone say, "I've seen that movie like 100 times" and wondered if they really had?  Maybe not, but I always did, especially when I was 12 years old and just starting to really get excited about movies. Not that I didn't enjoy films before that.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up during the Disney Renaissance, so I distinctly remember going to theaters to see The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and several other great children's films.  When I got the chance, I watched movies at home, but my family didn't have a VCR, let alone DVD player, until I was about 10.  I didn't really turn into the movie freak I am today until my mom decided to start borrowing classic films from the library, when I was about 11 or 12.  She introduced me to a whole new world, and I couldn't get enough of it.  It was my introduction to that world, well over ten years ago, that planted the seed that eventually led to this blog.

In January of 2003, when I was not yet 13 years old, I decided to start keeping track of the movies I watched.  It was one thing to say that I'd watched a film so many times, or even to feel like I'd watched a film so many times, but to know how many times I'd watched a certain film would be truly awesome, I thought.  I wanted to know which, if any, films I had actually seen "like 100 times".  So throughout the year, I would keep track by hand in a notebook, writing down each movie as I watched it the first time that year, and keeping tallies for multiple views per year.  At the end of each year, I'd add the new data to an ongoing spreadsheet, which later included statistics about how many films of certain actors I'd watched and other analyses that I found interesting.

I can't believe it's already been 10 years since I started.  I now have a ton of data, which in a way documents the last 10 years of my life.  I've had phases: several movies were watched a lot for a few years, then not for several years, if ever again.  In addition, the way I've watched movies has changed drastically since 2003.  Back then, I didn't have very many movies, so I was mostly dependent on the library for my movie needs.  Over the years, I've accumulated more and more videos and DVDs (yes, I still watch videos; some of my favorite movies were never released on DVD).  A few years ago, I started watching the free on-demand movies, which are usually not that great, so I started seeing a lot of films that I had no inclination to watch more than once.  And just this past year I started using Netflix, which has opened up many new movie-watching possibilities.  Combining these with movies on TV and at theaters, I have managed to watch 1,017 different movies a total of 2,335 times in the last 10 years.

But even with all these ways to watch movies, I haven't seen a single film anywhere close to 100 times.  I have seen several films at least 10 times, though: 35 to be precise.  And I thought that, since this is an important milestone for my movie-data-gathering career, I would blog about those 35 movies and why I'd watched them so many times.  Since only two of them are best picture winners, this won't overlap very much with my other blog.  So I'm going to write about each one, starting with the films I've seen 10 times and counting down to my most watched movie.  When there are ties, I'll take into account how many times I probably saw each movie before I started keeping track, and the first time I watched it since keeping track.  So stay tuned for my top 35 most watched movies in the last 10 years!

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