Daily Archives: March 23, 2012

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Johnny Guitar

Alright, I confess. I’m a movie nerd.

I’m a movie nerd to the extent that, somewhere around 2005, I started building a strange database. When I first built it, it simply listed all the movies in IMDB’s Top 50/Top 250 lists, and which ones I had seen. I’d refresh the data every few months.

Over the years, it grew in scope. The tool now uses list rankings to generate a “score”, by which I statistically rate the “value” of each film, and which unseen films are most important for me to watch. The tool incorporates IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert’s Great Movies list, and certain Academy Awards categories. This data monster lists 2,913 films. As of today, I have seen 28% of them.

The reason I do this is because it pushes me to watch films that I wouldn’t ordinarily watch. If I simply walked into a video store (and yes, I still do this) and had no plan, I’d most likely pick up a cheesy horror film and enjoy the hell out of it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. However, having this list to conquer makes me dig into 1940s war films and 1950s musicals and westerns and silent movies and lots and lots of foreign movies from the 1960s. And do you know what? A lot of that stuff is awesome.

Since I’ve been picking off the top-scoring films on this database for years, I’ve covered most of the best-of-the-best. I’ve seen the Raging Bulls and the 8 1/2s and the Godfathers and the Casablancas of the world. Now I’m starting to dig into the more obscure stuff.

Which is what brings me to Johnny Guitar, which I watched last night. Continue Reading →