I am on a quest to watch 150 movies that I have never seen before in 2012. I originally caught myself wondering if I could watch 365 previously-unseen movies in a year, but I quickly realized that would be impossible without some serious discipline. And I am completely devoid of serious discipline.

So this means that I have to watch an average of 13 movies a month. My criteria is pretty simple: any feature-length film, whether released in theaters, televisions, or straight to DVD, will count towards my goal so long as I haven't seen it before. And yes, I am counting movies that I start and don't make it all the way through because I can't watch anymore, and movies that I come in later to, so long as I see more than 1/2 of the film. Despite this simplicity, I'm already in trouble. Here's the list for January, in the order I watched them:

1. Arthur (2011)
Russell Brand's Arthur is less drunk and more madcap than Dudley Moore's, but the movie was enjoyable enough if you don't mind a dark subtext to your glossy romantic comedies.

2. Yogi Bear (2010)
The premise of this movie is that Jellystone Park has to raise money to support itself or be shut down, and it's impossible to understand how a park with an outgoing, talking bear could fail to do that. It really tries too hard for its own good.

3. Underdog (2007)
You'll never believe me, but I found an unenthusiastic Jason Lee voicing a dog fighting a midget more satisfying than Yogi Bear.

4. Cinema Verite (2011)
A movie about a documentary about the first reality television show. Somehow, I really think this should count double. Enjoyable.

5. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
The first genuinely good movie I watched this year. Despite being a movie ostensibly about soccer, almost no actual soccer is played in the movie outside of montages that said "this girl is good at soccer." That's a plus, in my book.

6. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)
I had never seen any documentaries by Morgan Spurlock before this, including Super Size Me. But I found Spurlock engaging, good-natured, and humorous. I will totally watch more of his work.

7. Cyrus (2010)
Full disclosure: I gave upon this film after 45 minutes. I never walk away from films if I think there is any chance I'll eventually enjoy it, but after nearly an hour of watching a variety of losers careening awkwardly from one uncomfortable and unfunny moment to another, I could take no more. I probably need to watch another film to make up for walking out on this one, but these are my rules, and I can do whatever I want!

8. Sucker Punch (2011)
Looks great. Less filling. At the end I was left wondering why the protagonist gave up on herself. Maybe I should have given up on her, too.

9. The Switch (2010)
I gave up on this film, too, after the child was introduced. Leslie insisted that I had watched the bad half of the movie, so I tried it again. She was right, the second half was better than the first.

10. Jonah Hex (2010)
Truly a movie that never should have made it out of the screenwriter's office. Someone please remind Warner Brothers that they released this movie as Wild Wild West in 1999.

11. Master of Disguise (2002)
Covered in detail here. 'Nuff said.

12. Bad Teacher (2011)
All the jokes came from supporting actors in this bad movie. I guess people like to see actors on screen doing socially unacceptable things as wish fulfillment, but I don't have that hang up.

More to come next month.

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To be continued...


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