Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Smell of the Season

Something’s in the air, and it’s not spring fever, whooping cough, or love.
A few days ago my mom said something to me about all of the positively rated movies in theaters now. A popular movie review site that I’ve mentioned frequently in posts,, as of November 28th has eight positively-reviewed movies that are included in the top box office, which includes ten total. That’s a really strong percentage but, for this time of the year, completely normal.
Do you smell that, Mom?” I asked. “It’s Oscar season.” (She answered with a, “What the hell are you talking about, Mason?”, but that’s not important. I was right.)
Any movie that wants a good chance at winning an Oscar in February is released a month or two before the deadline for nominations is. That way, the movie (actors, script, director, even the sound-mixing and cinematography (whatever the hell that is)) is fresh in the voters’ memory when they get their ballot in the mail.
I mean, imagine if Obama had only campaigned for the 2012 election at the beginning of his first term of office and Mitt Romney campaigned for a year up to voting day. Hardly anyone would even remember Obama’s campaign, Romney would’ve probably won, and we would now be getting ready for that.
Since late October, the number of movies certified as “rotten” (meaning less than 60% of critics gave it a good review) on RT has gone down each week. The weekend of the 26th, the number of “fresh” movies was only three (two of them barely making the cut). The first weekend of November had four, then there were two weeks of six. Now the number is eight.
I have sort of a love-hate relationship with this pattern. I go to the movie theater a lot more often during this time of the year and my parents leave me home alone to do the same (which I totally love because then I can do whatever I want, which usually ends up being watching movies on TV or going on Tumblr; this is ironic because it’s what I do when they’re home, too). The hate part comes in when I open my wallet to see if I have enough money to see a fourth or fifth movie for that month. I don’t. (About the worst time for a bunch of awesome movies to be released is during the buy-a-gift-for-everyone-you’ve-ever-talked-to (pronounced kris-muh s) season.) Instead I have to sit in my house, watching movies on TV or going on Tumblr.
Because most of the hard-hitting, amazingly-written, well-acted, perfectly edited movies are released in the last few months of the year, this leads January and February to be kind of a crap sack. And not that great movies don’t get released during the first nine months of the year (after all, Inception came out in July of 2010 and won for visual effects, cinematography, sound editing, and sound mixing at the following Oscars), these gems are just slightly rare.