Monday, January 1, 2018

My 2018 Blind Spot Selections and Blog Plans

First, I have something to say directly to each and every one of you reading this, and even those who aren't but managed to stop by this site at least once in the last 12 months. With over 343,000 pageviews, you've made 2017 the most trafficked year in this blog's history. You've also put me in position to finally reach 1 million views all-time well before the end of 2018. You guys are awesome!

A few years back, Ryan at The Matinee came up with The Blind Spot Challenge. He challenges us film buffs to watch one film each month that we deem significant, and that we've never seen before. Lots of bloggers play along. 2018 will be my fourth year participating. While not perfect, I am going to declare my 2017 Blind Spot Series a success. I managed to watch 11 of my 19 choices. Yes, 19 and not 12. That's because I've been trying to fit in a rather prominent franchise into one month and I just haven't done it. I'll talk more about this a little later in this post. I will also deduct a point from myself because I watched four of them in December. That was tough. I need to do better.

For 2018, I'm digging deep into my own collection. All but one of this year's selections (October) are currently sitting on a shelf collecting dust about fifteen feet from where I'm typing this entry. Some are pretty recent purchases, while others have been sitting there for years. Let's find out what I'll be watching this year.

Bad Education


Reefer Madness


Dirty Dancing


Rebel Without a Cause

The Towering Inferno

Trouble Man

The Lady Vanishes

Eyes Without a Face

Fist of the North Star


Bonus Pick

The Harry Potter Franchise

Let's talk about that bonus pick. It's not "officially" one of my selections this year. However, after trying and failing to watch this series for two consecutive years, I'm hoping the third time is a charm. If I don't get to it, no worries, I'll try again in 2019. If I do, that's icing on my Blind Spot cake.

Now, let's talk about why I might actually get to it this year.

One of the things I plan on doing this year is visiting or revisiting a number of franchises in full. Of course, The Harry Potter movies are included in those plans. Other series I plan on tackling in 2018 include, but are not limited to, the Ocean's movies, Star Wars, Mad Max, Alien, some Marvel properties that include movies prior to the MCU, and at least one other major horror franchise. I hope to do at least one per month, but I'm not holding my breath counting on that.

Blogathon wise, the usual suspects will be back. Therefore, be on the lookout for exact dates for Against the Crowd 2018 (sometime in August) and Girl Week 2018 (late November). I MAY have one in February for Black History Month and I MAY have one in October during my annual 31 Days of Horror, which will certainly be back.

Awards and lists will also continue to be a big part of things around here. I will have the 2016 Dellies up during the first quarter of the year. The question there is whether I'll be able to do the 2017 Dellies before 2018 runs out. Wish me luck on that one. The big list project is the ongoing "The 100 Project." The end-goal of this is my list of my top 100 movies of all-time. Along the way, I'm making lists for decades, and eventually, individual years. Next up is the 1970s, which I hope to have up fairly soon. To help you, and me, keep track of it all, I'll be creating a page dedicated to this endeavor.

As far as reviews go, expect more Quick & Dirties and fewer full-length reviews. This is partially due to this being my preferred method to cover the franchises I plan on covering. It's also because I'm watching more movies than I care to write longer reviews about. Don't get me wrong, there will be plenty of full-length reviews. They'll just probably fall into one of three categories: really good, really bad, or really current (things I see in theaters).

Speaking of watching more movies, I do have plans to actually count what I'm watching this year. I've had a Letterboxd account for years, but really only started using it about six months ago. I've cataloged lots of things there including every movie I can actually remember watching in full. By that measure, there is a good chance I'll go over 4,000 movies watched in my life. Sounds like a lot to some, a little to others, and I'm okay with both. The counting I'm more interested in, however, is just how many movies I watch or rewatch in a given year. Letterboxd gives me an easy way to keep track of that. It's not to impress any of you guys, but to fulfill my own curiosity. Just to have something down on record, I'm guessing the number will end up somewhere around 200, if I maintain what I believe to be my normal pace of 3 to 5 movies a week. I may write about this, I may not. Whatever.

The hard part of this is that everything I told kinda contradicts my other plan. My post total has gone down for several years in a row and I plan on that number either stays the same as 2017 (140) or drops a bit once again. Real life, ya know.

Now let's see how this goes. 

Oh, I almost forgot about Kevin of Speaks in Movie Lines. He won Spot the Movie Titles Contest No. 5, earning him a link on my first seven posts of the year. It's his own Quick & Dirties style post...


  1. Happy New Year Wendell. Let's hope we survive it. As for your Blind Spots, we share a film we haven't seen in Rebel Without a Cause as it's playing on Turner Classic Movies in February. I've seen 6 of the films in your Blind Spot choices as I'm hoping to do more Blaxploitation as well as more old-school films. Of the ones I've seen, Bad Education is an excellent pick as it's Almodovar being a bit like Hitchcock but also be quite provocative. Ronin and The Lady Vanishes are excellent choices while Spaceballs.... I fucking love that movie. Eyes Without a Face is a true original and perfect for October. Dirty Dancing is a film I'm fucking sick of. At least it's not the new version that came out last year which I heard was horrendous.

    Then there's the Harry Potter series as you're kind of in luck as HBO is having a Harry Potter marathon, right now. So, you've got time to watch all of those films.

    1. Happy New Year! Yeah,it feels like it's going to be another rollercoaster. Looking forward to trading thoughts on Rebel. And I'm so looking forward to Eyes Without a Face. Unfortunately, I don't have HBO so that isn't helping me.

  2. The ABBA song “Happy New Year” is going through my head right now. I like your picks and have seen quite a few, The Lady Vanishes is one of my favourites. The Towering Inferno is great camp and makes me laugh so I can’t wait for you to see it. Spaceballa is funny but not great, Rebel is great but not a personal favourite of mine. I enjoyed Ronin but I like spy flicks and ughhh to Dirty Dancing even though I wished Patrick Swayze could have made more musicals.

    1. Sounds like I have some good stuff ahead. Can't wait to watch them all, even Dirty Dancing. That's one I've sort of seen in bits and pieces but never gave it a proper watch. The plan is for my first ever real viewing to be with my daughter who has already watched it a zillion times and loves it.

  3. I've seen half of your Blind Spots. I'm most interested on your take on Eyes Without a Face. It's such an odd movie in so many ways, but so great. It's not for everyone, and I can't watch it that often, but I think it's kind of a strange masterpiece.

    Belated welcome to Letterboxd.

    1. I'm most curious about Eyes, as I've heard nothing but good things about it.


  4. THE TOWERING INFERNO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH! I LOVE that movie!! Not the same way I love and was excited that you were going to watch The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (BTW no Westerns this year?) Liberty Valance is a thoughtful meditation on the death of a way of life and myth building Towering Inferno is just a big old exciting disaster movie done up right with a glittery passel of actual movie stars in every role. I can watch it anytime but I'm glad to see you scheduled it for summer, that's when I first saw it (probably way too young in the theatre!) and it certainly seems like a summer flick.

    As to the others I've seen the majority (Oy! Reefer Madness) and have been meaning to see Bird for yonks so this should spur me on. Never heard of Trouble Man I'll have to poke around and see what I can find.

    As much as I like to play along Fist of the North Star looks like a bridge too far for me. I'll wait to comment on the others until you watch them but will join in with the others and say that Eyes Without a Face is an interesting, challenging watch.

    Look forward to the return of your signature blogathons and anything new you might try.

    Thanks for mentioning that you can track how many films you watch a year with Letterboxd, you've inspired me to take a look and see how I did last year. Of course the thing that would make me happiest there is if my watchlist was smaller-it's comprised of the films that have alluded me in my quest to complete the filmographies of my favorite performers. Still so many!

    Finally thank you for always responding to the comments!

    1. I figured you'd be happy to see me take on The Towering Inferno. And I definitely scheduled it for summer on purpose. There was a western up for consideration, the only one (I think) in my collection that I haven't seen. However, it's a universally panned film. With Reefer Madness already taking up the "one of the worst movies ever made" slot, I decided not to include it. I may still watch it this year, or it could wind up on 2019's Blind Spot list so I won't reveal it just yet.

      Trouble Man is widely thought of as one of the better Blaxploitation flicks.

      Given your aversion to animation and reaction to my Akira viewing, I'm not surprised Fist of the North Star is one you won't stress not seeing.

      I hope you can continue to contribute to whatever blogathons I have. You've been such a great asset to this blog.

      One thing I don't do on Letterboxd is keep a watchlist. That could be an almost infinite and discouraging list. I may change my mind on that one day, but for now, I'll just continue seeing things as I come across them, or get recommended to me.

    2. I constructed my watchlist with a very definite criteria in mind.

      I'm sure I've mentioned my project of trying to complete the filmographies of about 100 performers that are favorites and I had all their films on a big list that I would correct each time I managed to find one of the movies. But even though it was a file on my computer it was unwieldy and I was concerned about losing it if anything should happen to the file. With the watchlist it's all collected in an independent location and it gives me a sense of accomplishment when I knock one off (There were over 250 titles when I made it and right now it stands at 136 which is still an awful lot but hey it's heading in the right direction!)

      But I wouldn't do one of just everything I wanted to eventually see. It would be huge and I'd be adding to it every time I turned around, watching it get larger and larger and as you said it would be discouraging.

    3. That's a cool way to use it. I don't have anything that focused to do something similar.

  5. Against the Crowd - yaaaaaaaaaaaas! It will be the fifth year right? I'm so excited. I hope I don't miss it! Better tag me so I won't miss it on Twitter! :D

    Happy New Year and good luck with everything you have planned! Get onto those HP films asap, seriously, it's a shame you haven't seen them yet. Third one's my favourite, gets super dark after the two first, and changes the whole tone of the franchise!

    1. Yes, this will be year 5 for AtC. I'll try to remember to tag all of last year's participants when the time comes.

      Happy New Year. And I do plan on getting through the HP franchise this year. I've been really lazy about them.

  6. WHAAAAT??? You still haven't seen the Harry Potter movies?! I really hope you get to watch them this year. The third one is my favorite too. I hope you'll enjoy Rebel Without a Cause. It's such a great movie and Dean is so good in it.

    Wow you've seen so many movies! I've seen like 1,700

    Happy New Year and good luck with those goals!

    1. Hope I get to them also. I'm looking forward to Rebel. Should be fun.

      Happy New Year and thanks!

  7. Good luck with those franchises! Harry Potter is so important to me, I hope you like them, even if the books are better. *insert snob face*

    I had Rebel Without A Cause on my first Blind Spot and that still remains the only movie on my Blind Spot lists that I've full on hated. I've disliked a few, but never the way I loathed Rebel. I can't wait to read what you think about that. Bad Education is one I'd like to watch, otherwise the only other one I've seen is Dirty Dancing and that was years ago.

    Glad you're keeping your awesome blogathons. I love those!

    1. I hope I'll like them after all this buildup to it.

      Very interesting about Rebel Without a Cause. Now I'm really looking forward to it.

      I hope you'll be able to take part in those blogathons again this year.

  8. Thanks for the link and the opportunity to play your game! Proud of myself. I've seen Reefer Madness, Dirty Dancing, and all the Harry Potters. All of them have something to like, so enjoy!

    Best of luck with your 100 project and 2018, in general.

    1. Be proud. You earned that win! Best of luck to you, too! Yeah, the 100 project is the most taxing. I hope to get back on that train, shortly.

  9. An excellent selection Wendell! Eyes Without a Face is one of my favourite films, so creepy. And the Harry Potter franchise is just the best. Hope you enjoy them! And happy happy new year! :)

    1. Thanks. Eyes Without a Face is the one I'm most looking forward to.

  10. Great picks! It's funny, I just watched the entire Harry Potter franchise in 3 days, and I dug them a lot more than I thought. I had no recollection of the ones I'd seen, only that they were kid movies. But man, those things definitely get darker as they move along. My favorites were Order of the Phoenix (which everyone else hates; I thought it moved), and Deathly Hallows Part 2. Half-Blood Prince was the only one I struggled to get through. Soooo much set up in that one.

    Eyes Without a Face is one of my favorites as well. If you get the Criterion DVD, watch the short doc special feature, Blood of the Beasts. Wow, is it something.

    1. I think once I get rolling on the HP movies I'll get through them pretty quickly. We'll see. Had no plans on getting the DVD for Eyes, but that does sound interesting.