Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Are movies a waste of time?

I originally had this at the end of the movie meme (see next post), but I decided to cut it out and make it a separate thing.

I think some people are missing (what I think is) the point of this meme. The instructions say
It's been said that allegedly if you've seen over 85 movies you have no life.
It's not that having seen 85 or more movies in general is a waste of time. I think it's saying that seeing 85 of these *particular* films is, in the author's opinion, worthless time. And for a huge number of the films on this list, I agree. (That is just my opinion! You are welcome to yours.) That's why I had only seen 86 of them, with only six others that I'm even interested in but have not seen. I have had more than ample opportunity to see most if not all of the films here. I simply chose not to because I felt they would be waste of time (or too scary for me, depending on the film). 90-ish out of 240-ish sure isn't many. Barely 1/3 ( 92 (86 seen + 6 want to) / 239 = 37.657%, if you must know). And of those, there is at least one I do consider a sheer waste of 2+ hours of my life (Hulk). I didn't find much worthwhile about Meet the Parents or Highlander either (except that it yielded the television series, which I quite enjoyed).

Now, if that is what the author of this list is saying, then there are definitely a few films that need to be removed from this list immediately! The Wizard of Oz has been adored by generations and will continue to be for generations. It is a fantastic film, a true classic, and in no way a waste of anyone's viewing time. Star Wars (the REAL ones, not those new fangled things), the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and The Princess Bride are definitely new classics and will go on to be the Gone With the Wind and Ben Hur and Wizard of Oz of my generation. I have no doubt of that. There are plenty of others that I have watched and will continue to watch many many times, so I obviously consider them worthwile and in no way a waste of my time.

We won't mention the fact that I averaged seeing 50 films a year for at least 5 years, some of which are on this list, but many of which are not. And very few of those were a waste. I own close to 300 DVDs (I think). And believe it or not, I have seen plenty of movies we don't actually own. Movies are not a waste of time. They are a cultural group experience. They are the modern version of sitting around the fire and telling tales. That experience pervades almost every culture on earth! We simply do it differently now. Less personal, perhaps, but still a powerful communal shared experience. And a great escape from the real world! And sometimes, a life-changing event or deeply emotional release. All films aren't worth your time, but the great ones are worth far more.

Currently feeling: preachy


  1. I don't know the original intent of the meme's author, but I know I'd certainly feel like I had more of a life if I had got out to see a single movie in, oh, the last 2 years, I think it is now!

  2. Gone With the Wind and Ben Hur and Wizard of Oz aren't even on this list. Does anything on this list pre-date 1975?

  3. Many many good movies aren't there in the list!! Some of them that are there are not even worth mentioning. But, that's OK...

    As for me, watching movies are definitelty not a waste of time. And I totally agree with you - All films aren't worth your time, but the great ones are worth far more!! Wonderfully said....

  4. It's a very weird list if you ask me... How in the heck did they include Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Orgazmo and Team America World Police but leave out South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut?

    And what do you mean you've never seen Shrek 2 or Sixteen Candles?!

    My score was 82.


My apologies for not allowing comments from Anonymous users. I was getting way too much spam. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment!