I made a math equation about a year ago for a forum (pushes glasses up) that only about three people will appreciate. However, I am getting tired of looking for this awesome equation every time I want to go back to it. I decided to put it here since I never update this blog and it will be easy to find.

A couple of things: Anyone who is ever talked to a film student about movies (while they were still in film school), 99.9% are the most annoying blowhards, completely void of any opinion other than parroting what their professor has told them. The more popular a movie is (ie anything by Michael Bay), the more they hate it and the more they will always try to turn the conversation to Citizen Kane or some other such film. Sometimes they manage to grow out of that, sometimes they get worse with age. Regardless, my formula is based on film students and those that refuse to watch any mainstream movies, always dismissing them as garbage without actually seeing them.

Note, when I refer to “CINEMA”, I am speaking of films that only play in extremely limited runs before going to Criterion for distribution (Michael Bay Criterion releases obviously excluded).

So, without further blabber, here you go:

Fanboy’s appreciation of a movie = PD/DK x P + C + A + DT (in miles)

Where as:

PD = Popularity of Director. The more known a director is to general public, the lower the number. Bay is a house hold name, so he would be -50.
DK = Level of director’s kookiness on a scale of -10 to 10, 10 being Kooky (for example, Lynch would be about an 8, Bay would be a -5)
P = Popularity of the movie – the higher the number, the less known it is (if it makes +$100,000,000 then it stays at 1, and goes down .25 for each subsequent $100,000,000. For example, Titanic would be -1.5)
C = Country of origin (USA would be 1 and go from there. Small or little heard of countries like Qatar get 10)
A = Age of movie. For every 10 years, it’s one point. So if a movie was made in 1964, it would be worth 4 points.
DT is a wildcard. It’s the Distance Traveled to see the movie (if not rented).

To put this into play, here is John Ford’s Searhers:

Now, John Ford’s Searchers.

PD = 10 (Not quite a household name, but not unknown, either)
DK = 1 (not sure, he made cowboy movies, so he was probably bad ass. But he also used John Wayne in his movies, so that gets him a little kook)
P = 4 (no data on theatrical, but it made its money back in rentals. if you asked the average person if they heard of this movie, i would say 6 out ten have, thus the 4)
C = 1
A = 5
DT = N/A

10/1 X 4 + 1 + 5 = 46

With a rating of 46, I can recommend Searchers to film students or any other fan of CINEMA*.

(You have to take into consideration genre, too. People who don’t like westerns probably won’t like this as a movie, but he will find shots in it GENIUS.)

Now, on the flipside, let’s take something like Bad Boys. (Note, I made this one before adding age of movie. This was when the formula was in its infancy stages and still being fine tuned.):

PD = -50
DK = -5
P = 1 (while it didn’t make 100,000,000 theatrically, it’s safe to say this is a popular movie)
C = 1
DT = N/A

-50/-5 X 1 + 1 = -9

With a rating of -9, I cannot recommend Bad Boys to film students or any other fan of CINEMA.

Finally, there are wild cards, such as Oscar winners. For this example, I will be using Slumdog Millionaire. Because of its Oscar win, the movie has to be run twice. One for pre-Oscar, one for post.

Slumdog Millionaire – PRE OSCAR

PD = 5 (Not quite a household name, but not unknown, either)
DK = 1
P = 25 (at one point, this movie wasn’t even getting distributed until fox went ahead, iirc)
C = 8 (originally, india wasn’t known for non-bollywood movies)
A = 1
DT = N/A

5/1 X 25 + 8 + 2 = 135

With a rating of 135, I can highly recommend Pre-Oscar Slumdog Millionaire to film students or any other fan of CINEMA.

Slumdog Millionaire – POST OSCAR

PD = -4
DK = 1
P = 1
C = 2 (drop because of its popularity. I can’t explain why, it’s just one of those things. The common excuse would now be “They make all those Bollywood movies. Big deal.”)
A = 1
DT = N/A

-4/1 x 1 + 2 + 1 = -1

With a rating of -1, I can only lightly recommend Post-Oscar Slumdog Millionaire to film students or any other fan of CINEMA. They may enjoy it on some level, but it will certainly be overrated.


There you have it. Nerd post of the week. Yet, as dorky as it is, that formula works and I should get that shit published (outside of this blog, of course).