Oscar Pool Rules Will Ruin My Year

Every year, we run an Oscar pool and whoever gets the most guesses right wins a stash of DVDs brought to the party by the guests. The rules are simple: You win whatever you don't already have in your collection, and that you didn't personally put in the box. Anything you don't win goes to the runner-up, then to the second runner-up, etc. And I've won more than my share. Since we started the pool half a dozen years ago, I've won three times (this year included), and usually place in the top 3. And I hate "winning streaks" because they make people not want to participate in the contest, but I'm too competitive to throw a game.

So I add personal rules to the contest, rules only *I* must follow: If I win, I must - MUST! - watch every single film I won, and of course review it on this blog, before the next Oscars are held. Even if I've theoretically seen them before, and all extras flipped. And so people who don't think they have much of a chance themselves and put their faith in me to win, take perverse pleasure in finding the most terrible movies in convenience store bargain bins on the fair chance I'll HAVE to watch them. B-movies? Think C-movies. Made for kids, but that talk down to them. Action films shot on video. And even big budget crap that's lucky to get 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sure, there are usually some good things in there too. Guests who are getting rid of DVDs after they converted to Blu-Ray, for example, or who aren't cruel by nature.

This year, I won 27 films and a season of Dragonball Z (some would say YAY, I just say OK, but I don't have time for all this Goku screaming stuff), and MOST look absolutely terrible. Let's break down what's going to be my main watching project for the next year...

The good
Ghostbusters (happy to have it in my collection)
Detention (this one too)
12 Years a Slave
Mad Mad Beyond Thunderdome
Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III

Probably okay
The Sandlot (kids movies are my bane, but everyone was like "no no it's gooood!")
Taken 2
Dark Matter
The History Boys
A Knight's Tale
The aforementioned season of Dragonball Z

Probably not (from this point on, I can't promise not to watch on double-speed)
Direct Contact (with Dolph Lundgren... so bad it's good?)
Lovers & Liars
Josh Kirby... Time Warrior: Chapter 2, the Human Pets
Maximum Overdrive (could leap up if I'm in the mood to laugh)
They Must Eat
Little Red Devil

Please God no, make it stop!!!
The Smurfs
Ma Tante Aline (a stupid Quebec comedy? Arrrgh!)
Disaster! The Movie
Dragonball Evolution
Evil Offspring
Biker Zombies from Detroit
Lurking Terror
Gothika (with Halle Berry, who can do no right)
Epic Movie

I love you guys, but I hate you guys. Wish me luck, y'all.


Justin Guitard said...

For your english subscribers, I would discribe Ma tante Aline (the one I put in the pile) as if Betty White decide to act in a movie, in witch she will be an old french cancan dancer, who decide to stay young, go to Cuba with someone younger who doesen't like her in her family (let's say Drew Barrymore in her bad years), and do some '' stunts'', like dancing some hip-hip and do some '80 not-so-funny stuff... A '' classic '' who gets reviews between 0,5 and 1,5...

I can't wait for your review of it...
Was it the only french movie in the lot this year?

Toby'c said...

The only ones I've seen from your last two lists are Epic Movie (pretty awful) and Dragon Ball Evolution (kind of a guilty pleasure).

A Knight's Tale was good, Taken 2 was okay and The Sandlot was kinda disappointing considering I found it on the IMDb Top 1000.

Michael May said...

Very curious to hear your thoughts on Maximum Overdrive and Mortdecai, both of which I like more than they probably deserve.

I'm curious to know how many DVDs each person brings to the party. Do you just have that many people or is everyone bringing multiple DVDs? We just do a chocolate Oscar statue as the prize, but I'm interested in the way you do it.

Siskoid said...

Some clear house and drop 10-20 DVDs on my doorstep. Some do so and don't even come to the party! Some don't bring anything at all, but it doesn't disqualify them. Most will put in one, which they might even have picked up on the way over. And some movies make the rounds getting dropped in the pile every year by whoever won it last time (Disaster! has been in the pile three years running now).

I'd say the party runs anywhere from 10 to 20 people. I've seen as many as 50 movies in the pile (including 4 copies of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), and that time I think even 5th runner up got something. We used to allow people to play from a distance, but voted on never doing so again last year when 2 of the top 3 weren't present, which just isn't fun.

Tie breaker is number of minutes show goes over 3 hours.

But chocolate sounds good too.

Michael May said...

I love it. Especially because it also rewards runners-up, which ours doesn't. Gonna see if my group would be interested in this (though I'm sure we'll keep the chocolate, too). Thanks!


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