If I'm watching a movie or tv show or playing a game, if it is good and sucks me in with the story, I find it hard to pay attention to the sound. I'll notice little bits here and there, but I am more interested in enjoying good media then being a sound geek. I'll tell people about a game or movie that I really enjoyed, people ask me how the sound was, I usually say I don't know, I was too busy enjoying the movie.
If there is something bad about the sound/music/dialog, usually I'll pick up on it and it will end up distracting me and hindering my enjoyment of the movie/tv/game.
If the sound is really good something will catch my ear. Then I'll need to revisit the movie/tv/game a least a second or third time to focus on the sound.
If someone was to ask me what the best sounding movie I've seen in the last year, my answer would have to be something that I've watched more then once. I actually can't think of anything I've seen in the last year that I remember the sound in, except maybe Star Trek, because I've watched it a few times :) Take Avatar for example. I really enjoyed the movie (saw it in 3D) I don't remember the sound, was it good?
Remember, if we do our jobs well, no one should ever know we were there....
Actually, I did think of a couple of movies where I really focused on the sound the first time I watched them.
Wall-E. Sound is such a key storytelling element in that film. Impossible to ignore. Amazing work by one of the true greats in our field.
Saving Private Ryan. That movie changed my life. I remember flipping through the cable channels, SPR was on, maybe half-way through the movie. I had a sound request on game I was working at the time for some darts that should sound like the bullets in SPR. So I started watching it to check out the sound. I was so floored by what I heard (and the film in general), that I watched it to the end and then watched it again right after (it was on HBO and repeated for west coast time). I then went out a few days later, bought the DVD and watched it again.