These are things I learned in the course of watching 750 movies in 2009, presented in 4 parts. Here's the link to Pt. I if you missed it...
13) I really like Cary Grant (my sister said, "What is Cary Grant?" ... I was shocked.)... and William H. Macy. What an odd combo. And for very different reasons. Well, they both make me laugh and I enjoy them in almost every role. But Cary Grant is also because he's nice to look at! I already knew I liked Meryl Streep, though I've definitely seen her in roles I didn't appreciate. I think she's become a better actress as she aged which is awesome. I like Shirley MacLaine, too but I didn't like their film together (Terms of Endearment). Go figure.
14) I really like classics. They're generally so fun to watch though the love stories go from slightly unbelievable to downright ridiculous. Really? You fell in love after 30 minutes together? *Eye roll.*
15) It's nice to be around people who are open to watching docs, fiction films and foreign films. I have that in my classmates and even better, in Rashan. I really enjoy being able to watch a huge variety of movies and have multiple people to discuss them with.
16) The most talked about foreign films are usually really worth the effort to get past the subtitles if that's your hang-up: Volver, Amelie, Life is Beautiful, La Vie En Rose, M.
17) Foreign docs are really difficult to get into sometimes. I think more than any other genre. The language barrier along with being dropped into a completely different culture can be overwhelming. This doesn't mean I won't watch them, but it might take me longer to get into them. That said, I LOVED "To Be and To Have," a French doc about a one-room school house.
18) There are lots of cliches in documentary, things that have been done to death: the Holocaust, the environment, the personal film, the war in Iraq. And the market is so saturated with these types of films that it becomes a chore to try to watch one even if you've heard great things about it. Particularly if the last -- ones were torturous or pedantic.
19) Narration is a horribly overused crutch. There is no reason to put narration in every single part of every single film. It's particularly excruciating in personal films where you have these people who should not ever be allowed to speak on wax or P2 cards or video tapes or film or cassettes or digital audio recorders because their voices and delivery are JUST.THAT.BAD!! Ugh. I had to take a voice & diction class as part of my journalism instruction in undergrad. Why didn't you?
20) I can sense really bad movies very early on. Structural flaws rarely wait until the middle or end to flare in the worst of the worst. With those not as extreme, flaws often appear in the middle and end which brings down the quality of the film but doesn't kill it. Terrible films get turned off after 5 or 10 minutes (The Good German).
21) I realized I don't really like watching films where I know the outcome sucks because it's based on history I'm aware of... I actually already knew this because when watching 'Titanic' in theaters I actually said, "SINK THE (expletive) BOAT ALREADY!!" But it became more clear over the last year. Lol.
22) The more movies I watched the easier it became for me to figure out how I would rate them long before the end. I usually wrote my ratings with more than an hour to go. Sometimes as little as 30 minutes. I would tweak if necessary but it often wasn't.
23) Oscars don't mean jack. I never understood how people could say they didn't need to win awards or get accolades. WHAT?!!? I want to be recognized!!!! And still do! Lol. But I can now understand what they mean. You can love your work and produce some amazing films and not get the attention you deserve. It doesn't minimize your awesomeness. I feel you. There are a lot of Oscar-nominated or winning films I have no affinity toward. I still want to make one.