Now that I had all the information I needed, I set about googling for movie lists with the genres I liked. After a lot of mix and match, I found that I liked movies that had a good dose of romance and comedy and sensible characters. A strong female lead was a definite plus. One of the first movies that I watched was The Devil Wears Prada. I totally loved Meryl Streep (though I didn't know who she was then) for her acting. There was one scene right at the end of the movie where she sees Andrea (Anne Hathaway), gives her a kind look and then turns haughtily to the driver to say "Go!". In that one word and gesture, she communicates so much to the audience. That scene made me consider that there was something to the movie world where an actor can emote so many emotions and implications with just a nod and a well placed word. That made movies more powerful than books and I was sad that I had missed it for so long. I was ready for the next movie on the list.
I remember watching Confessions of a Shopaholic, Mr & Mrs Smith, Just Like Heaven and my childhood favorite, Kramer vs. Kramer. I was delighted to find that Meryl Streep had acted in Kramer vs. Kramer. Then I watched a lot of movies, english, tamil and hindi, but not much stood out. There were some good ones, like It's Complicated, The Proposal, Alice in Wonderland, Alvin and the Chipmunks, 3 Idiots, Avatar,Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, etc. But there were also movies like (500) Days of Summer (I couldn't sit through the movie - even though most of my friends said it was great! Guess its the slow-movie thing again!), Public Enemies (I expected the movie to have a good ending - but it was not to be so! And it seemed to drag at first and then the movie was over in the last 15 minutes), When In Rome, Leap Year, etc. This made me wary of watching movies. I spend around 2 hours to watch a movie and in the end, if I don't enjoy it, then its time that could've been better used.
I found that IMDB reviews and ratings were a big help. I glanced through the movie and the synopsis and if I liked that movie and felt the story was right to me, I watched it. This made me finish the top 250 list faster than I expected. And my movie counter was increasing! But I was still in the 2 or 3 movies/month and needed more movies. This was around the time I started watching movies on my friends' lists. M's list was a great one - I needn't even read through most of them since the 8s and 9s were usually good ones. I also started watching movies that I heard my friends talk about (one of them being The Butterfly Effect which was highly recommended but I didn't enjoy watching it). As I finished the 9s and 8s on M's list, I realized there were some movies that I was just not comfortable with.
As I plowed through his list and any and every other list I could get my hands on, I found that there were more bad movies than good ones. Especially with tamil and hindi movies, I started fast forwarding songs and fights and sometimes, even parts of movie where nothing just happened. This one act greatly increased my movie watching speed :P I went from 3 movies/month to 7-8 movies/month. Which was about the best balance, I should think so.
But life is life and things don't go as you plan. As the rate of movies I watch and the movie counter increased, the rate of bad movies/movies I didn't like also increased. Rather increased exponentially! From what I understand, out of 100 odd movies that come out in Tamil/Hindi, there are about 3-5 that would pass my filter. That is less than 5% of movies. With English, it was harder to judge; there were more movies with different stories and I had no way to know if a movie was good or not unless I tried it (Iron Man 2 was one such movie - I thought I might not like it, but the technology used was cool :) and it was worth the effort). Any idea how I can reduce the rate of bad movies watched? What tactics do you use to weed out bad movies from the good ones?