Ben Lott catches up, writes with news from the frontier

The following is a message we received from listener Ben Lott. Ben is the man behind the Blott Score, and after months of silence, he wrote this week to explain his absence with statistics. We've posted Ben's letter here with permission, because he's awesome.


Well, it took me just over 14 months but I've finally done it. I have now watched, rated, reviewed, and Flickcharted every single movie you guys have covered on the Next Reel (with the exception of The Thin Man which I'll be watching in a day or so because it was not available from Netflix.) That's right, 185 movies I watched thanks to you guys. I still have a handful of movies where I'm waiting on a DVD release before I'll catch up on the Film Board movies, but I'm almost there with those too.

So what have I learned through this journey? You have excellent taste in movies and I almost always agree with at least one of you when you give your opinions. I thought it might be fun if I gave you guys some comparison stats, but if you want to see my full rankings of just Next Reel movies you can look at my Flickchart I'm using just for your films with the username = blott2013on. Also my short reviews of every movie are posted on Letterboxd with the username = Blott.

A. Top 6 movies I like much more than you =

  1. We're No Angels - Not sure why this movie was so underwhelming for you but I found it absolutely charming, well-written, and basically an instant classic I wanted to add to my annual Christmas viewing. I rank it #20 to your #172.
  2. Compulsion – I feel like you just kind of forgot how awesome this movie was as you moved on through the years of the show. Such amazing acting and a final speech that could rival Jack Nicholson’s in A Few Good Men. I’d put this film up against any of the movies in your Film Noir series. I rank it #11 to your #138.
  3. The Hudsucker Proxy – I didn’t love this movie, but it certainly gave me some good laughs. I can totally understand why this isn’t so high on your list, I just happened to get a little more enjoyment out of it. I rank it #48 to your #165.
  4. Field of Dreams – You’re killing me, Pete! I don’t care what piece of lumber Kevin Costner reminds you of, this movie is magical. I cry every time, and James Earl Jones turns in a performance that is absolutely magnificent. It’s not just nostalgia, this movie is amazing. I rank it #7 to your #117.
  5. Gattaca – I love me some original sci-fi, and this was one that worked extremely well for me, even if it wasn’t magic for you. I have a feeling this is just one you would justify by saying “we’ve reviewed a lot of great films on the show.” I rank it #30 to your #139.
  6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – I do not comprehend Andy’s objections to this film. It is comical in all the right ways that fit within the context of the movie, not in the hokey awful ways that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull does it. Thanks to the amazing interplay between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery I actually love this movie more than Raiders. I rank it #3 to your #112.

B. Top 6 movies you like much more than me =

  1. The Exorcist – I’ve already made my comment on your forums about this. I hate horror, and watching this film is like slow torture for me. There is nothing I like about this movie. I rank it #185 to your #27.
  2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Three hours of nothing happening, kill me now! This one is roughly on par with Yi Yi, so I’m mystified that Pete enjoyed it. My biggest pet peeve: The one unique aspect of the film (backwards aging) literally adds nothing to the story and almost becomes a non-issue for most of the runtime. I rank it #177 to your #46.
  3. Delicatessen – I didn’t hate it, it just didn’t quite draw me into the insane world they created. I never understood the value of adding the underground society either. I rank it #137 to your #15.
  4. An American Werewolf in London – This is pretty much related to my horror movie hatred. The tone was kind of all over the place, and I just didn’t enjoy it all that much. I rank it #162 to your #58.
  5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – I don’t see how this movie holds up for you guys. It is OK but the story is dated, the movie drags at certain points, and I find Dreyfuss’ character to be completely unsympathetic. I rank it #119 to your #17.
  6. Brazil – No offense to your movie, Andy. I think I mentioned this on the forums, but on a first time viewing it was really out there and hard to follow. I think it might improve with more times watching it, just not sure it interested me enough to watch it again. I rank it #115 to your #13.

C. 4 movies we rank exactly the same =

  1. Adaptation – Hits both our charts at #87
  2. Zodiac – Hits both our charts at #39
  3. Misery – Hits both our charts at #29
  4. The Bishop’s Wife – Hits both our charts at #154

D. My top 5 favorite movies that I watched for the first time thanks to you guys =

  1. Up in the Air
  2. Jaws
  3. The Fisher King
  4. Compulsion
  5. Panic Room

E. My bottom 5 least favorite movies that I would have happily never seen if it weren’t for you guys (Just kidding)

  1. The Day of the Locust
  2. Strange Days
  3. Yi Yi
  4. Knowing
  5. Labor Day

Again, I just want to say a huge thank you to both of you for making such an enjoyable podcast, and utilizing it to expand my horizons, and I’m sure those of many other listeners out there. While I’ve tailed off recently in commenting on each episode, I might get back to that just because I love that you guys interact with me on the forums and I can voice my opinions as a newcomer to most of these films. And, hey, if you ever need another voice on one of your Film Board episodes I’m ready and willing :)

Sincerely,
  Ben Lott (Your #1 Fan)