2021 New Year Resolutions and Goals

Ahh yes, resolutions and goals. Have you made yours yet?

If you have a website, it’s usually considered good form — at least privately — to write down where you want to go with your website and to reflect upon the results at the start of the new year. We are going to try and do this every year we’re here. In January at some point anyway. This is year #2.

We did this last year on January 1st (see: 2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals) but this year feels so much like an extension of 2020 that time has carried over. It just doesn’t feel like a new year … yet. Not even three weeks plus later.

I recorded a 20 minute video on this earlier in the month and you can queue that up below which goes through where we’ve been and where we want to go in 2021.

2020 was weird, no doubt, and we actually watched less movies in theaters in 2020 (44 movies) than we did from August to December 2019 (68 movies).

2021 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions

  1. 4-star, 4.5 and 5 star movies are now the only recommended movies here, increased from what used to be 3-star and above, see: Effective Jan 1, 2021 We Will Only Recommend Movies 4-Star and Above
  2. Classic Twilight Zone TV show 156 episode detailed reviews will continue. Maybe only 1 will appear in 2021, but the goal is to span this over many, many years at this site before all 156 episodes will be reviewed. Speculating 25-30+ years to complete this goal.
  3. Still, no ads! No third party advertising will be added anywhere on the website in 2021, including affiliate links. We might explore a premium area for some behind the scenes on the creation of content and webmaster-specific interest, but none of what we do here now will be charged for.

809 Review Distribution through Jan 23, 2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (22 movies – 3%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (41 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (113 movies – 14%)

176 out of 809 recommended (22%)

Everything above is recommended, everything below is not as of 1/1/2021.

⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (143 movies – 18%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (169 movies – 21%)
⭐️⭐️½ – OK (114 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (100 movies – 12%)
⭐️½ – Bad (59 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (35 movies – 4%)
½ – Unwatchable (10 movies – 1%)

633 of 809 not recommended.

In 2021, we’ll get over 1,000 reviews. We continue the streak of at least 1 movie review every day. How long this streak will last is anybody’s guess, but we haven’t stopped yet. Also approaching 500 days in a row with at least one post every day on this site. That’s another streak that doesn’t look like it will fall anytime soon.

Thank you for reading and may you all be safe in 2021 and beyond! Happy movie watching to you.

2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals

How does this look the day after?

Ah yes, another year is upon us. Looking forward and back. Hopefully, if you went out last night you didn’t party too hard. Will try not to burn too many neurons with this post.

While most movie review blogs are posting their best/worst of movie lists for the year and, some, posting best of the decade lists, this year we can’t really do that here because I only started reviewing movies in August 2019 and this site started in September. Yeah, we’ve got that new car smell still.

We all start somewhere.

Baby Yoda started somewhere … too … just don’t poke his eye!

Doesn’t seem fair to me to post best/worst of lists where only 4-5 months of 12 were analyzed and reviewed in detail, so need to wait until next year to share those lists. Still, I may link, comment and discuss lists others are making. Came across a few good posts in my reader from others already today.

Full disclaimer: I made one best new movies in theaters of 2019 list (since August 12, 2019) on Letterboxd, but, again, it’s incomplete, so don’t feel it’s worth talking much about here, much less linking.

For those curious, my favorite new movie watched — of the 68 seen in theaters — since August 12, 2019 — was Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I watched several other new movies in 2019, but since those weren’t reviewed and rated, they aren’t included in that list. See, it’s messy, hence, the reason I’m not bothering with posting any lists or trying to rationalize why something was my favorite for the year when not even the whole year is included. Next year.

I can, however, discuss what was watched, rated and reviewed in 2019. For the statistics-friendly readers, let’s look at star rating distribution.

Star Rating Distribution

Since August 2019, a total of 385 movies were watched, rated and reviewed either via streaming (Amazon [176], Netflix [35], Hulu [16], Disney+[14], etc) or seen at the theater [69 – 68 at Regal, 1 at independent]. The picture below shows how it looks like climbing up a mountain and then down. Here is the actual breakdown of the star ratings:

Movies watched, rated and reviews in 2019 (actual count is 385) ratings distribution

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (16 movies – 4%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (18 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (62 movies – 16%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (72 movies – 19%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (77 movies – 20%)

A total of 245 of 385 (63.6%) above are recommended. Below movies watched are not recommended:

⭐️⭐️½ – OK (55 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (39 movies – 10%)
⭐️½ – Bad (27 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (11 movies – 3%)
½ – Unwatchable (8 movies – 2%)

The remaining 36.7% movies. Curiously, I see some Letterboxd users having almost no reviews beneath three stars. These users must have chosen not to post any ratings of movies they didn’t like.

I can see some logic in being an upbeat, mostly positive movie reviewer, but others reading and trying to establish a reviewer’s taste need to see both the good and the bad, not just one or the other. Also, it’s impossible that every movie you ever watch is liked. I mean, you’ve never seen any movie you disliked? Ever?

I don’t know if my rating distribution is indicative of what it should look like, but the law of averages suggest that regardless of taste, if you watch a lot of movies, over time a five star rating curve should favor the middle with rarities at either spectrum. From a purely mathematical standpoint, the curve appears accurate.

No 4.5 or 5 star ratings were given to new movies in 2019

Just didn’t think any 2019 released movies I watched were worthy of that high rating. Realize that might be controversial for some, but that’s my opinion. If you had 4.5 and 5 star ratings on movies I rated lower, that’s awesome, I’m glad you enjoyed them. I’m a strong proponent of defending individual taste. Yours will undoubtedly differ on some, perhaps many, titles. I think the larger the group of people, however, the best movies will have higher overall ratings.

My #1 movie seen in theaters since 8/12/19

An example of a 2019 movie that I didn’t think was amazing like many other moviegoers is Parasite. It’s an entertaining, creative movie, yes, but didn’t think it was The Shining ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Toy Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ or the James Bond masterpiece Goldfinger ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I wish every movie I saw was 4.5+ rated, really I do. But I’ve seen way too many movies to compare against and as time soldiers on, I’m getting more picky about which movies meet that threshold.

A few 2019 movies were close to 4.5, but that’s all I can say. Again, keep in mind this is only movies that came out in 2019 on/after August 12, 2019. My sense is that I probably would have given some 4.5 or higher ratings to movies watched earlier in 2019. As time goes by and I catch up reviewing these other 2019 movies, we’ll both find out.

(Avengers: Endgame fans: I still haven’t seen that movie yet)

Clearly, I’m stingy with 4.5+ ratings. Those are reserved for the most amazing movies I’ve ever seen. When you talk about 40+ years of watching movies, that list is proportionally smaller.

One movie reviewer I read indicate that he never gives five star ratings on the first watch to any movie. I like that policy, although probably won’t adopt it. He said he liked to watch at least two times before deciding a movie was “perfect.”

Can you tell a movie that is perfect the first time you watch it?

2020 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

Something else bloggers everywhere are doing is posting New Year’s Resolutions for 2020. On this very topic, I shot an 11+ minute or so video on Christmas day outside the movie theater about to enter and watch Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

2020 New Year’s Resolutions and Goals for MovieReviewsByUs.com

Let’s break down the goals for this website in 2020 in order presented in the video above (not by priority):

  1. More Themed Movie Viewing Challenges: the January 2020 viewing challenge will focus on new movies, February will be rom-coms (Valentine’s Day!).
  2. Ad-free! No third party paid advertisements: no popups, banner, text, rollovers, affiliate links, etc on the site in 2020
  3. Expand and share more movie-related opinion posts
  4. Start an ongoing review process for the 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone TV series (my favorite TV series of all time), detailed episode by episode reviews, that spans 20+ years. A new episode review every other month or so (would take 26+ years).
  5. Always have a current, active TV Series episode by episode being reviewed. Just finished the first season of The Mandalorian (Disney+) and currently reviewing new episodes every Friday of Harley Quinn (DC Universe).
  6. Continue the Wednesday OPENING wide movie reviews and NOW PLAYING REVIEWS after watching the wide theater reviews
  7. Continue the collected reviews the “US” part of the domain name (moviereviewsbyUS.com) and including with critique, perhaps with a focus on a preferred list of other movie review sites to highlight and share

What do you think of these site goals and/or for those reading who have their own websites, what are your site goals? Any feedback, insight, criticism, commentary is welcome as long as it isn’t completely troll-hostile. I’ve got fairly thick skin having been active on the web for 20+ years (yes, I was there in the pre-AOL dial-up days), but I also don’t tolerate much BS.

The last blog I ran had a very active commenting section, although it took awhile to build, so I do welcome and encourage interactive comments and discussion for those who feel obliged, just please keep it civil between each other (comments are moderated). If you leave comments here, the likelihood of me at your site leaving comments, likes, shares, links, etc increases. Quid pro quo.