Realizing I couldn’t bankroll a project with a such a large, continually expanding catalog, I gave it up, but my passion for collecting did not die. Not long after I graduated high school, my future wife gave me an action figure of Homer Simpson which sparked a second wave of obsession. After 200 figures and 50 playsets, Playmate stopped making new figures. A lot of people might buy a Homer action figure, but not many people would buy a Frank Grimes, or Gil Gunderson, or Hans Moleman.
Luckily for me, I found a new obsession when my friend, Diane, gave me a book: 101 Four Star Movies. At my wife’s suggestion, I watched all 101, then every winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Like reading all of the Bible or Shakespeare’s plays, this sounds like something cultured people should do, right?
I started keeping track of what I had seen, challenging myself to watch 500 movies in a year. I got to 515.
Then, inspired by my friend Randy, I started ranking what I’d seen.
In the fall of 2013, I stumbled upon icheckmovies.com, a community of people like me, who obsessed over which movies they’d seen and, more importantly, which ones they hadn’t.
Slowly, a goal formed in my head: 10,000 movies before I turn forty.
Forty seems like a monumental milestone to me because my dad and maternal grandfather died at thirty-nine.
This is my game, so I make the rules.
Watching a movie multiple times doesn’t count. Neither do TV series, but some miniseries do. Each movie has to have an IMDB page, which means the few films I made don’t count, but for entertainment purposes here’s the best one.