2021 New Year Resolutions and Goals

Ahh yes, resolutions and goals. Have you made yours yet?

If you have a website, it’s usually considered good form — at least privately — to write down where you want to go with your website and to reflect upon the results at the start of the new year. We are going to try and do this every year we’re here. In January at some point anyway. This is year #2.

We did this last year on January 1st (see: 2020 New Year Resolutions and Goals) but this year feels so much like an extension of 2020 that time has carried over. It just doesn’t feel like a new year … yet. Not even three weeks plus later.

I recorded a 20 minute video on this earlier in the month and you can queue that up below which goes through where we’ve been and where we want to go in 2021.

2020 was weird, no doubt, and we actually watched less movies in theaters in 2020 (44 movies) than we did from August to December 2019 (68 movies).

2021 MovieReviewsByUs.com New Year’s Resolutions

  1. 4-star, 4.5 and 5 star movies are now the only recommended movies here, increased from what used to be 3-star and above, see: Effective Jan 1, 2021 We Will Only Recommend Movies 4-Star and Above
  2. Classic Twilight Zone TV show 156 episode detailed reviews will continue. Maybe only 1 will appear in 2021, but the goal is to span this over many, many years at this site before all 156 episodes will be reviewed. Speculating 25-30+ years to complete this goal.
  3. Still, no ads! No third party advertising will be added anywhere on the website in 2021, including affiliate links. We might explore a premium area for some behind the scenes on the creation of content and webmaster-specific interest, but none of what we do here now will be charged for.

809 Review Distribution through Jan 23, 2021

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Love it, Must See (22 movies – 3%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Amazing (41 movies – 5%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Great (113 movies – 14%)

176 out of 809 recommended (22%)

Everything above is recommended, everything below is not as of 1/1/2021.

⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Good (143 movies – 18%)
⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Entertaining (169 movies – 21%)
⭐️⭐️½ – OK (114 movies – 14%)
⭐️⭐️ – Mediocre (100 movies – 12%)
⭐️½ – Bad (59 movies – 7%)
⭐️ – Terrible (35 movies – 4%)
½ – Unwatchable (10 movies – 1%)

633 of 809 not recommended.

In 2021, we’ll get over 1,000 reviews. We continue the streak of at least 1 movie review every day. How long this streak will last is anybody’s guess, but we haven’t stopped yet. Also approaching 500 days in a row with at least one post every day on this site. That’s another streak that doesn’t look like it will fall anytime soon.

Thank you for reading and may you all be safe in 2021 and beyond! Happy movie watching to you.

9/8/2020 this site turned 1 year old

This website was started on 9/8/2019

Our power went down locally on Monday at 8pm, due to some extreme wind, fires, downed trees and power lines. It just came back up this afternoon, so we’re trying to get back on track with what’s happening in the movie world.

We missed our own birthday celebration yesterday, so cutting the cake a day late.

For those who don’t care about website birthdays, that’s what the rest of this post deals with, so you can safely skip from here out.

If, however, you’ve been thinking about starting your own movie review site, we have some data for you that might serve as a benchmark or goal comparison sheet so you can see how much better your site can perform than ours 😉

As of yesterday these are the stats:

  • 666 movies reviewed through 9/8, although 2 haven’t been posted as of this writing, they have been watched and reviewed and will show over at Letterboxed soon. An oddly satanic number, yes, but entirely coincidental. We watch and review at least one movie every day currently
  • 126 TV series episodes reviewed, although we are primarily a movie review site, we enjoy covering some TV series
  • 511 subscribers (followers as they’re listed) which is average growth of 42+ subscribers per month (+1200 followers at Letterboxd)
  • 930 posts published, an average of 78 new posts per month. We try to make at least 2 new posts every day. Our biggest post day was 5 posts (a few times), our smallest was 1 (also a few times). We’ve posted every single day at least one new post since this site started.
  • 2148 reading sources subscribed to
  • 1020 reader comments, average of 85 per month (THANK YOU!!!)

Probably our biggest area of improvement needed involves our “Just left the theater” video blog at YouTube. The production values are non-existent, just after leaving the theater recording on a camera phone and uploaded unedited to YouTube. The finished product could definitely be improved, editing the videos and such, but that requires energy and time neither of us have for that project. We both hold regular 40+ hour unrelated jobs.

Watching movies for us is something we enjoy and this is our place to keep notes on pretty much everything we’ve watched. Am not sure many people (few, it seems lol) like or even want to watch our supplemental videos, but we figure it accurately captures our raw, unfiltered feelings after leaving the theater which is something worthwhile to us. Honestly, there is a germ of a cool idea there, but needs more refinement.

In retrospect, overall, it’s been a good, active year and the results have exceeded our expectation and that is in part to readers.

The only major change we’ve made recently that will effect year #2 is that we’re now writing full text non-spoiler reviews of movies watched inside theaters and posting here first. We still post shorter form (no spoiler) reviews to Letterboxd. We have always posted TV Series reviews only here on the site.

We still have no ads on the site except for the required WordPress text ad in the footer. We have no plans at this time in the immediate future anyway to add any paid advertisements, affiliate links, popups, popunders, etc. We could monetize the site in its present form and earn back the hosting and domain costs, but would rather continue to focus on the posted content than defraying costs.

What are those costs? Not too much, fortunately.

The domain costs us $18/year and the hosting costs are $96/year (business account). We’ve used 16% of the allowed image hosting space in the first year, so at this rate in 6-7 years we’ll need to expand this image space hosting or use somewhere else to include hosted images.

As for moviegoer-related expenses? We kept track of those last year, but pretty much stopped (it can be averaged out, see below). We pay $44/month for the Regal Unlimited plan which cuts down our ticket cost, but we to pay extra for “convenience fees” when we use the app to order tickets, also it costs more for formats other than 2D. IMAX costs $6.50 each. So we still pay $13 to see any IMAX movie, even though we have “free” tickets. The concessions usually cost us around $150/month and then there’s the fuel cost to drive to the theater and back. Right now we’re going 30 miles each way to the one an only theater and our car gets like 25 mpg. So it’s costing around $5 in travel expenses for each movie, unless we catch a double or triple-feature. So figure in conservatively $300/month for our moviegoer expenses, or $3,600/year on top of the site hosting.

I think this is the primary reason people don’t go to more movies in the theater: the cost. It might be other reasons right now, but in general, cost has to be at/near the top. In these times especially, people don’t have an extra $300/month+ to watch a bunch of movies. We’re fortunate that we’re nearing our senior years and our children are grown up, our bills are small and we budget responsibly. We could save even more in our retirement, I suppose, instead of going to as many movies, but where’s the fun in that?

That’s enough stats and site-related data for now. Gives us a template for birthday #2, 3 and so on to be able to explore growth from year to year (or a decline, if we aren’t as active).

See you then, good health and interest for all of us willing!