I’ve only seen twelve movies

Disclaimer: “Seen” means having physically gone to the cinema to see a movie. “Watched” means watched a movie, regardless of place.

I hate movies.

Films, if you want to be an English academic and use the “proper” word.

This can be a good and a bad thing. I’m not sure which are good and which are bad. But hating movies means a few things. I don’t waste time sitting and watching something for two hours straight, feeling tired or emotional afterwards, depending on the genre of the movie. I get bored watching movies, and I can’t sit still in the first place. My patience is run-down, and overall, I just have better things to do with my time. Movies are so, so low on my life priority list.

I watch things… at home… sporadically

I do watch movies. Sometimes. But you’re talking to the girl who watched Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Speed and 10 Things I Hate About You over fifty times, to the point where she could remember the entire dialogue word for word. So, in all honesty, I have probably watched less than a hundred movies, whether at home on my computer, on television, or at the cinema.

I have a habit of starting to watch a movie just because it’s playing on television while I am eating dinner or happen to be sitting on the couch. This usually results in one of a few scenarios:

  1. I will sit there and pick up some of the dialogue if I am vaguely interested. I might recognise one of the actors or actresses in the movie. I’ll pull out my phone, and using the information I have, will perform a Google search and find out what movie it is. Then I’ll read the plot summary, and stop watching the movie.
  2. I’ll grab the remote control and look at the guide to see what movie is currently being aired. I’ll pull out my phone and perform a Google search on the movie. Then I’ll read the plot summary, and stop watching the movie.
  3. I’ll keep watching until an ad break and eventually find out what movie it is when the splash screen comes up. I’ll pull out my phone and perform a Google search on the movie. Then I’ll read the plot summary, and stop watching the movie.
  4. I’ll watch the movie until the end.

I just have no patience to watch, or I don’t really care, and believe it is not worth my time to watch. So 75% of the time, I just read spoilers.

I will now tell you why scenario #4 is bad.

I have no expectations. I have no knowledge of what makes a good or bad movie. I have extremely low standards. Heck, I have no standards. I call most things on television “trash”, or say “I’m watching trash television”. Most of my friends will understand that it was a situation in which I happened to be in the room at the time, and got interested in watching something.

That’s the bad thing for me – I will never intend to watch something on television, ever. So when I get hooked on something, I know it’s bad. It eats into my plans; I’ll go back to my room and regret watching the movie.

If it could be seen as a good thing, it is that I give everything a chance. Even a shitty B-grade film; a really, really bad comedy; The Room1; an extremely cheesy, predictable romantic film; a documentary on tapeworms… wait, that’s not really a movie…

Movies I’ve seen at the cinema

In my almost-twenty-three years of living, I have gone to see a movie at the cinema exactly twelve times. That equates to about one movie every twenty five months. For the same reasons above, and the fact that cinemas are uncomfortable, expensive, and stupidly dark, I hate going to the cinema.

While most people can’t remember how many movies they’ve seen in the past year, here’s my list of movies I have seen at the cinema in my whole lifetime, in backwards chronological order:

12. The Book Thief (2013)

When I saw it: About a month ago, January 2014. Lilian and I went to see it together.

Why I saw it: Because it is the film version of my favourite book in the universe.

What I thought of it: It was really good, and really sad. It made me shed a lot of tears, because of the way the events built up. My brother Brandon saw it too, and he also thought it was very sad. I have never heard him mention being emotional over a movie. I thought that the actors’ accents could be more consistent, and some parts more emphasised, but it followed the book really, really well.

11. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

When I saw it: September 2010. I went with James.

Why I saw it: I read the comics. The trailers were ridiculously hilarious.

What I thought of it: It was amazing. It was humourous, entertaining, geeky, and “The cleaner? She cleans up dust. She dusts.” is one of the funniest lines I have ever heard. I watched a clip of that quote a handful of times every day for a while. I could never stop laughing. Seb knows.

10. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

When I saw it: Around Christmas 2009 with James and Lilian.

Why I saw it: It looked cute, and we wanted to watch something together.

What I thought of it: The graphics were great, the story was really nice. The ending was cute just because the protagonists ended up together. Animation always has to do that, am I right?

9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

When I saw it: Early 2009, with James.

Why I saw it: The trailers gave me the impression that it was an unusual but lovely story, and I was curious to see how it would be told in the form of a movie.

What I thought of it: It was really sad, and most of the time very serious. It is based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I was amazed they could expand a short story into a film. But then again, they have trouble fitting all events of a book into a movie, so it is probably easier with a short story. I thought the acting was very well done. I loved that Daisy was a ballet dancer, because I could relate. The movie generally broke my heart in a lot of places because of the way Benjamin and Daisy loved each other, but the situation made things difficult. I think I really liked it because the ending was definite, and the movie spanned whole lives, rather than just a relationship or a situation spanning across a couple of years (which is what most romantic dramas do). It made the movie feel more whole2.

8. Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (2006)

When I saw it: Mid-2006 with my friends Lilian and Katherine, and I think I remember Lilian’s brother and friends coming along too.

Why I saw it: Just jumping on the bandwagon, hanging out with friends. I hadn’t seen the first movie.

What I thought of it: It was funny, I definitely laughed out loud a few times. However, it didn’t make that much of an impression on me.

7. Failure to Launch (2006)

When I saw it: Mid-2006 with my friends Lilian, Katherine and Jennifer.

Why I saw it: It looked humourous and cute.

What I thought of it: It was okay. Just your regular rom-com. It was predictable because you knew they would end up together in the end. I loved Zooey Deschanel in it, and I liked her character’s story.

6. Robots (2005)

When I saw it: Mid-2005 with my dad and brother Brandon.

Why I saw it: Again sucked in by the trailers, and the movie being a cute animation. I love robots! And I guess there was a bit of promotion for the movie on cereal boxes. I think Brandon and I even got a promotion CD with some games.

What I thought of it: So cute and heartwarming! I also can’t get over the phrase “son of a dishwasher” (you’ll find me using it occasionally).

5. Troy (2004)

When I saw it: Mid-2004 for my then-boyfriend’s birthday (in June). We went with a bunch of his friends to the local cinema.

Why I saw it: It was my boyfriend’s birthday and it was part of the celebrations. Haha. My boyfriend was kind enough to give me two other invitations so I could invite some of my friends if I wanted.

What I thought of it: I hated it. It was boring and I fell asleep.

4. Charlie’s Angels 2 (2003)

When I saw it: Early 2003 with some of my primary school friends. We were catching up and decided to go to the shopping centre to hang out.

Why I saw it: Seemed okay? I don’t think I even saw the first movie. And we just wanted to see something. I think it was one of the first movies I saw that was rated M (for mature audiences).

What I thought of it: It was pretty funny, and it was exciting, but I didn’t care much for it.

3. Treasure Planet (2002)

When I saw it: Some time in 2002 with my dad and brother.

Why I saw it: McDonald’s had related toys in their Happy Meals. Brandon and I wanted to see the movie after we collected all the toys.

What I thought of it: It was a nice animated movie. I remember missing some because I had to go to the toilet.

2. Madeline (1998)

When I saw it: Some weekend in 1998 with my mum and brother Brandon.

Why I saw it: I was obsessed with the Madeline books and television show. I watched the show every day after getting home from school, and I would recite “In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines” so many times.

What I thought of it: I loved it. I didn’t like the actors or actresses very much but I liked how well the movie followed the books and television show. We got a seat right up the back of the cinema. We spent a few minutes at the beginning looking behind us because we could see into the tiny projector room.

1. A Bug’s Life (1998)

When I saw it: Some weekend in 1998 with my mum and brother Brandon.

Why I saw it: Brandon and I really wanted to see a movie at the cinema, and there were so many colouring books and activity books for the movie. Not to mention McDonald’s had their own toy series in their Happy Meals, I think.3 I think we had to go to a cinema far away because all the ones near our house were full.

What I thought of it: I was only about seven years old at the time, of course I loved it.

What makes me go and see a movie?

I will often need to be physically dragged to the cinema if you want me to watch a movie. Trailers can and will always impress me, but after that, there is rarely any action. You can name any trailer and I will likely say that I haven’t seen it, or I have seen it and “yeah, I might see the movie”.

99.9% of the time, I won’t. I continually see it as a waste of time, something I do any time later if I am bored, and I know I will be sitting there in a dark cinema/theatre and not having a good time. And if I only seem to watch movies when I get bored and have nothing else to do, then they are obviously not that entertaining.

When the movie comes out on DVD, I will not buy it. Because most of the time I don’t pay attention to when things are released on DVD. Instead, eventually, someone will download it for me or give it to me because they enjoyed the movie themselves and will recommend it to me. At which point I will say, “Oh yeah, I was gonna watch that.”

But I still have over a hundred movies sitting on my hard drive that haven’t been watched. It has gotten to the point where people will say, “Ah, I’ll just tell you what happens, you’ll never watch it.”

Which is, about 98% of the time, completely correct.4

I say 98% because I have indeed watched Pulp Fiction and Pan’s Labyrinth, both recommended to me by James, and 2/100 or so movies makes that number sort of correct.

Recommend me something, anything

I guarantee you if you recommend me something, it will take me at least a few years before I even get my hands on it. I would be curious to revisit this post in some time and see if 1) I have seen any movies since I wrote this and 2) anyone made any suggestions and if I have watched them.

  1. Labelled as one of the worst movies in existence.
  2. As a side note, I also prefer books that span longer periods of time, or bildungsroman (coming of age) novels that go through an entire lifetime.
  3. Dude, I haven’t had a Happy Meal in ages!
  4. To date, anyway – maybe I’ll watch all the movies on my hard drive by the end of the month?

Comments on this post

When I was in my teens, going to the movies with my friends was sometime I did often — not all the time time, but only when we wanted to see something together. To think off the top of my head, I saw Pocahontas, Shazaam, Titanic, Meet Joe Black, Operation Condor, October Sky, Titanic 3D, LotR 1+2, HP 1+2, and probably more I just cannot remember. I know I’ve seen more than this, but a lot of the films I saw didn’t make much of an impact on me.

As I got older and with DVD/Blu-Rays becoming affordable, I started to buy the films on them because I’d much rather watch them at home with close captions/English sub. I have trouble hearing, and many dialogues are too low and I always miss an important info! But with the close captions, I’ll be able to follow along easier.

And you liked The Book Thief? I usually am not fond of book-turned-to-films, but I may check that one out! I did like the book, too!

I love watching movies, whether with friends or alone (I love going to the movies alone). I guess I like the experience around it. I watch with friends and we talk about it afterwards. If we REALLY liked it, we end up joining the fandom and reading/writing fanfic and.. yeah. :P

My favorite movies tend to be slow-paced so I don’t know if you’ll like them. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Atonement, 500 Days of Summer… just throwing it out there.

I totally hate movies, mostly because nowadays it’s all bad stuff and I’d rather spend my money on something more interesting for me. Plus, I really despise celebrities, especially Hollywood celebs. /poo

So even if a movie seems interesting to me, which rarely happens anyway, I still prefer to go do something else because I know I’ll end up hating it just because of actors, and all that’s behind that kind of world.