Saturday, May 29, 2004

Movie math

I have a TiVo with a huge pile of movies that have built up on it, and I have a wife on vacation leaving me with lots of time to clear out my inventory. I think the TiVo will outlast the vacation, so it's worthwhile to decide what to watch first.

I made a list of movies along with running times and IMDb ratings. Then I actually sat with a calculator and computed "bang for the buck" ratios for each. That's IMDb rating divided by hours.

This favors good movies and short movies. For instance "Taxi Driver" rates 8.4, much better than "Glengarry Glen Ross," which got 7.8. In "bang for buck" terms, however, "Glengarry Glen Ross" came out ahead because it's 15 minutes shorter. Likewise, I have "Magnolia" at 8.0, but, being over three hours long, it comes behind the lowest rated movie on my list.

I won't be a slave to the list, of course. Some of the movies on there, I've already seen. I'd like to see them again, but I won't as long as there are new movies to watch. I won't watch a stinker just because it's short. Still, it helps to have some order. I suppose it marks me as some kind of fanatic that I'm using computing machinery to determine the direction of my entertainment, but I use a CPU to help me with so many other things, it worked for me.
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