The Pantheon: Matt’s Film Viewing Throughout History

About This Section

NOTE: This was the post that I wrote and published when initially creating this feature on March 22, 2014, so if anything appears dated, that’s why.

Today, I did a dumb thing.

Well, actually, it would be more accurate to say, “This week, I did a dumb thing.” Movie buffs — hardcore guys like me who watch everything they can get their hands on and casual fans alike — get asked this question a lot: “How many movies do you figure you’ve seen?”

The right answer to this question is to shrug and cough up a rough estimate/complete guess and call it a day. Who cares, right?

Well, I’m famous for two things — only being right about stuff when it’s inconvenient for me, and caring about things that no reasonable human being with a job and a life should care about. So, my response to that question was the worst one possible: insatiable curiosity.

So, instead of guessing at the answer…I tried to find out.

And this whole deal was the result. I have just published a new page — The Pantheon: Matt’s Film Viewing Throughout History. The goal: to document every single thing I have ever seen ever and to continue to do so for as long as I still have eyes to see. Any movie I see, from now on, old and new alike, goes on the list.

It’s subdivided into years. I arbitrary selected 1900 as my starting point. Those years will be listed on separate pages, so click away.

That was another reason I did this. If you have a favorite critic, you’ve probably had that moment where you thought to yourself, “Gee, I really wish I knew what he/she thought about this movie that came out before he/she began writing reviews.”

Well, that’s no longer a problem here (though if I’m your favorite critic, you…probably have reason to be concerned). Now, you get to read my self-important opinions on everything.

The downside is that I’m about to publicly reveal exactly how poorly versed I still am on major portions of film history. Trust me, however low your opinion of me is right now, it’s about to get, like, way lower. However many movies you think I’ve seen, the truth is an order of thousands fewer. And there are some really, really important classics missing. I am doing my best to rectify that. But you should be warned if only so that I can say, “Told you so.”

As for the movies themselves… Well, I began this process earlier this week by going through Wikipedia’s Years in Film lists and marking everything I’ve seen, an effort that took, no lie, probably about six hours in total. My only rule was that I had to be absolutely certain I had seen the film in its entirety (with a handful of exceptions, largely for films that are so outright terrible that I’ve never had the endurance to finish them). If there was any doubt in my mind, I left it off the list. So, yeah, as close as I tried to get, this is never going to be a complete list of everything I’ve seen. I watched dozens upon dozens upon hundreds of kids’ movies when I was little. I have watched about that many terrible horror movies on the SyFy Channel while bored. And there are probably hundreds more movies where I’ve seen substantial portions of them but not the whole thing.

And even human error was a factor. After completing the list, I immediately thought of four or five films that weren’t on there and added them. I also noticed a few sequels without the original listed, so I had to go back for those. I know I missed a few movies while going through the Wikipedia lists. Foreign films or obscure arthouse stuff are also problematic because they’re not always listed on those pages; fortunately, I can count on one hand the number of those I’ve watched outside of the years when I began reviewing, so I hope my memory was able to make up for that absence.

Otherwise, here it is. You probably won’t enjoy it, but whatever. I gave it to you anyway. I’m in charge here.

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