Find the R(eE)Lz Longevity Index for Your Favorite Movie
10.01.12 by Mandy
Here at Reelz, we've noticed that there are some movies that are great the first time around, but they simply can’t stand up to a few years or repeat viewings. Other times, movies are alright with the first viewing, but the more times we see them, the better they get. The question about a movies longevity led to some lively debates in the office, but we ultimately wondered what factors actually determined if a movie could make it through the long haul. After awhile we devised our own R(eE)Lz formula to determine the Longevity Index. That Good Will Hunting ain't got nothin' on us.
The Plot (P) and Script (S) are given a score between 1 and 10, as are the movie’s more Dated aspects (D) and the Topicality (T) of the content. The plot rating is fairly straightforward, but the script is rated in terms of characters, dialogue and how effectively the elements of the plot are delivered. A good movie should score well in both those areas. A movie that looks or feels dated (or has a great deal of potential to look dated in the future) in terms of design or effects would get perhaps an 8 or a 9 in that category. Similarly, a movie with very topical content — something like W perhaps — would have a larger number as it's T score. (For a movie that will never look dated and has no topical content, a 1 must be entered to make the math work.)
The Univerality factor (U) is a little different. It's a score between 1 and 100 determined by how universal the themes of the movie are. If it’s a movie about life lessons and family or about justice and protecting loved ones, it’ll probably score fairly well on Universal themes. If it’s a movie about the day-to-day nuisances of being a billionaire, it probably won’t have much universal appeal.
After the numbers are plugged in and the math is done, the result is the movie's Longevity Index (LI). Here are what various scores mean:
1 - 49 — If a movie scores between 1 and 49, it probably wasn’t worth watching the first time, let alone watching it again.
50 - 99 — A movie scoring in this range might’ve been pretty good the first time around when it was brand-spankin’-new, but a second viewing or the passage of a few years may leave something to be desired.
100 - 124 — This group is composed of movies that are worth a re-watch on cable on a lazy afternoon, or perhaps these are the flicks that were just ok the first time around, but with lowered expectations, they're really pretty entertaining.
125 - 174 — A movie scoring here is solid and definitely worth re-watching.
175-249 — This one demands a second viewing, if only out of sheer respect. Be careful if you catch the beginning of it on TV during a busy day, though. It will suck you in and not turn you loose until the closing credits.
250+ — Any movie scoring over 250 absolutely, positively must be a part of any and every worthwhile movie library.
It's our formula but feel free to try it out on your favorite movies to see how they hold up. Let us know in the comments how it works for you.
Photo courtesy Universal Pictures