The Birth-Year Movie Challenge: Part 1

I have a profile on LetterBoxd and one of the features is the ability to make lists. Many people have used this feature to create “challenge” lists. It’s something I’ve seen before joining the site personally and, usually, I might look through a few, but that’s all. However, there was one I decided to take part in last year and that’s the birth year challenge.

Usually, these lists have all sorts of hoops to jump through, but on their barebones, it’s always about movies you’ve never seen. The rules of this challenge are relatively simple.

For this challenge you can only pick films that were released in the year you were born (going with Letterboxd dates to avoid UK/US release date confusion), the total amount of films to watch is the same as your current age. There is no time limit on the challenge, only to watch all the films before your next Birthday, or you’ll have to add another film!

I’ll be posting the movies and their “reviews.” in the order I watched them. They’re mostly random thoughts I had while watching the movies.

I don’t know if this inspired the book American Psycho, but it feels like it influenced the movie.

I remember seeing this on TV as a kid. It wasn’t an action movie, so I didn’t bother watching it. I’ve never cared to give it another try, assuming I’d hate it. That was unfortunate. It’s a great movie with great acting. Although a lot of the jealousy seems insane, at the same time feels real. It also has its fair share of unintentionally funny moments.


This movie was a sleeper. I’d never heard of it until putting this list together. It’s a great movie.

It’s supposed to be in the future, but nothing about it seems that way, not even near future. It looks and feels modern-day 1980 at best. The acting was great and the story was interesting, in some ways, it felt like a satire.


A strange and fascinating movie.

The plot is kind of flat and the ending falls apart a little. The music though, is great. It saves the whole thing. I don’t know if I’d ever watch it again, but I need to find the soundtrack.


I watched this with RiffTrax, but it only helped slightly.

The set pieces are actually nice, but the action and editing are cheap. The acting isn’t good either, except for Jack Palance eating the scenery. It’s at least on par with the boring and disjoined plot. I bet if I had seen this as a kid, I would’ve loved it though.


The only movie that James Caan directed. It’s a decent movie, but not great. There are a lot of good actors in this, so it should’ve been better.

For a sci-fi spoof, this movie sure isn’t fun. Overall it’s too boring and the plot goes nowhere. At least the special effects and set pieces were pretty good.

I don’t know how I missed this movie off my radar as a kid. It has great action. Gunfire, car chases, and explosions. And ninja… it has all the ninja you could ask for.

The acting was okay, but the plot was really good. It makes some interesting choices that I didn’t expect with characters. A lot better than I could’ve asked for.


The movie for the first third was really interesting. It drags badly through the whole middle. I was almost completely checked out, but then the ending was extremely satisfying.

Fear and Loathing Where the Buffalo Roam. Bill Murray does a better performance of Hunter S. Thompson than Johnny Depp. The movie overall is not as entertaining as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas though. The drugs were more prominent in the latter and helped make sense of the insanity. Ironic.

That all being said, I know little about Thompson, so both movies seem like a hyper realization of a fever dream. I don’t know how much, if any of it, is true to life.

I don’t know what to say about this movie. I found it completely boring and I checked out of it relatively early. The plot felt like it was put together with duct tape and while the acting wasn’t terrible, but forgettable at best.

Classic Chevy Chase, I do miss him in his prime. Unfortunately, I can’t say that for the rest of the movie. It’s full of forced comedy that isn’t funny.


Was Junior this intellectually disabled in the first movie? I haven’t watched it in a while, I don’t remember him being that stupid. This movie is nowhere near as good as the first one, but the ending is pretty fun. Not worth it to sit through the rest of the movie though.

Great acting all around. The story was good, although it had some slow moments. Never underestimate how good of an actor Judd Hirsch is. I want to go watch some episodes of Dear John now.


Not bad for a Get Smart movie. It’s enjoyable if you’re into spoof movies. However, it does feel a bit like a discount Naked Gun. Although, this title is more on the nose.


I have no idea why Rankin/Bass went from The Hobbit to The Return of the King, skipping over The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. If you go into this not knowing that or worse, not knowing about the books, you’d be completely confused. Seems like a stupid move to me.

The animation is great though. Except the orcs look like goblins and Gollum looks like a toad. To be fair, maybe this is how the books described him, I don’t know.

Lastly, I could listen to Casey Kasem talk forever.


The movie takes a long time to find itself, but it finally does. That’s not to say it’s great. It tries to focus on too many characters. Slowly the subplots vanish until it’s just the main characters left. Even then, some of the story is simply cut off.

Another movie where nostalgia would play a big part in my feelings towards it had I seen it as a little kid. A great space opera, with decent action and amazing set pieces, especially Ming’s palace which looks like Elvis and Liberace were roommates there.

The acting was surprisingly good too. I’ve gone my whole life seeing clips and scenes of this movie, thinking it was a cheap sci-fi flick. It’s cheesy and silly, but a lot of fun.



The movie starts out all right, but about a third of the way through, it runs out of steam. There’s some great actors here but they all of which do subpar jobs.

It’s Stripes, but boring and unfunny.


Seven Samurai in SPAAAAAAACE! The movie bull rushes through the plot. It gives little time to world-building and character development. Meaning anything done has no weight to it and the only information we get is through exposition dumps.

There’s some great actors here, but all the performances are phoned in. The movie is cheap and cheesy, but could’ve been a lot more fun. At least the fighting was okay, mostly. I wanted to like it.


Tom Horn is a great movie about a legend in his own right during the Old West. It’s an interesting look at the later part of his life and how he was screwed over for being too good at what he did.

I had never heard of him or this movie until I was looking for movies for this challenge and that’s a real shame. To me, that makes this movie highly underrated. Definitely worth watching if you’re into Westerns.



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