Sunday, October 19, 2008

Special Guest Blog: Movies I have inexplicably seen more than 10 times

Ed note: here's a very special guest blog from your friend and mine, Reyna.

There are movies that I have seen two or three or even five times, but more than 10 deserves its own category.

1. Grease. Now if you’ve seen this movie once, you’ve probably seen it more than 10 times. I once estimated that I saw it about 20 times actually. No need to explain why. This is the only movie that I saw in a theater and then left, only to turn right back around and see it again.

2. When Harry Met Sally… This definitely falls into the inexplicable category. It’s not a great movie, in fact it might be called annoying at best (and I always cringe during that deli scene) and in many ways it’s also alarmingly dated. But. If it is on anywhere I cannot help watching the whole thing. Billy Crystal should be awful in this movie, but he’s not so bad. Still, I can offer no real explanation.

3. A Clockwork Orange. I will never forget the first time I discovered this video hidden in the top drawer of my parents’ dresser. The minute I heard that haunting music and Malcolm McDowell’s voice, I was hooked. The fact that it is chock full of violence and rape makes it perhaps a questionable choice for a 16-year-old, but damn, it’s a good movie.

4. Rude Boy.
What’s not to like about a quasi-documentary of the Clash? Except that it has no real story and is mostly concert footage. But if you’re a girl of a certain age there is nothing better than a young Joe Strummer. Sigh.

5. The Big Chill.
Again, I can’t explain. It’s pretty dated and implausible in parts and yet, it’s kind of funny and likeable too. Can I help it that I bought the soundtrack too?

6. Harold and Maude. The plot – a love story between a 20-year-old boy and an 80-year-old woman – sounds perhaps unappealing, but this movie is nothing less than perfect. Though it is so much a product of its time (early 70s), there is nothing at all dated about it. I first saw this movie in the tenth grade in my friend Hilary’s dining room and it damn near changed my life. If you know any tenth graders, please direct them to this movie.


Anonymous said...

Great topic. I'm seen tons of movies over ten times, for whatever obsessive reason. But not only the great ones--some, like Raging Bull, are so painful that I've only watched them two or three times. These six would definitely be the ones I've seen most:

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Saw it eight times in theaters in its original release, and then probably 20 more times on video. Oddly, as much as I love it, I probably haven't seen it in ten years.

2. GoodFellas. I know I saw it "only" seven times in theaters, but probably about 20 times on video/DVD. It might be #1.

3. Fargo. Only once in the theater, and fewer than nine times on DVD/VHS, but *whenever* this movie is on cable, I have to watch it. So I've probably seen it 20-25 times en toto.

4. Crimes and Misdemeanors. I think it's Woody Allen's best work, and I've definitely seen it at least 15 times.

5. The King of Comedy. It's not Scorsese's best movie, but if you've got 100 minutes to spare, you can't beat it. And it has the Clash as Street Scum.

6. Slap Shot. I'm a hockey fan; 'nuff said. Rest in Peace, Reggie Dunlop :-(.

I'm sure I've seen A Hard Day's Night, Take the Money and Run, Citizen Kane, Dumb and Dumber, Bang the Drum Slowly, Taxi Driver, Do the Right Thing, the Gene Wilder/Zero Mostel Producers, and the first Godfather more than 10 times each. Probably some others as well. Great list.

snevets said...

What fun... let's see...

1. Raising Arizona. This movie just makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Classic lines: "not unless you think round is funny"; "son, you got a panty on your head"... I think I might have to go watch it ag'in...

2. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Perhaps a trite, safe choice, but despite the faltering ending, this film is "the most ut". I mean, they throw cows, fer chrissakes...

3. Lost in Translation. If you are ever feeling lonely and/or displaced, watch this film. It makes lonely displacement sooooooo utterly beautiful...

4. The Dark Crystal. My sister and I still "quote" from this, if you can call a gutteral Skeksis noise a quote. It's still, to me, one of the Henson Studios' best works... timeless...

5. Trick. It's my equivalent of a "Friday night at home alone with the cats and a pint of ice cream" movie. Don't bother yourselves with it; it's trype. But Tori Spelling is ridiculously entertaining in it, and that J. P. Pitoc sure is easy on the eyes. Still, it's trype.

6. Napoleon Dynamite. Yes, I'm "one of those".

7. Magnolia. Even if it weren't written around Aimee Mann songs, I'd still love this film. I'm all for a nonending, and this film has, like, eight of 'em.

8. La Jetee. Well, I had to put something heady on this list...

SZ said...

Thanks for the post, Reyna. Here are some of mine:

1. 16 Candles. I could probably recite the script from memory. As it is, I quote lines from this movie on a near-constant basis: "Take those ridiculous things off," "The Donger need food," "No, he's not retarded," etc. (Yes, I am painfully aware that I need a life.)

2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Spicoli is pretty freakin' funny.

3. This is Spinal Tap. Possibly my favorite comedy of all time.

I've also watched Arthur and Neil Diamond's remake of The Jazz Singer many more times than is warranted. (Hi, Alyson!) Meatballs is probably up there, too, considering it was on HBO constantly when my family first got cable.

Random streams fo consciousness said...

Ditto on Fast Times & 16 Candles.
May I add Pretty in Pink and where is About a Boy.
Movies I plan on seeing 10 more times Withnaill and I

-j. said...

Yeah, I have to definitely put Grease, Slapshot, Sixteen Candles (Pretty in Pink is closing in fast), and Fast Times are on my list as well.

But also, in no particular order...

1. Star Wars (of course)
2. Caddyshack
3. Road Warrior
4. Heat
5. Betty Blue
6. The Big Blue
7. Time Bandits
8. Finding Nemo (I have a kid)
9. Smokey & the Bandit
10. Airplane
11. Rocky Horror
12. Hooper (1st 2x at Hollowbrook Drive-in)
13. Blade Runner
14. Hot Dog (the movie)
15. The Natural

Nothing inexplicable about it though. I love, or once loved every one of these. Some I saw 10+ in the theatre. Some I get sucked in every time it's on TBS. Some I actually bought copies of. A few I haven't seen in 15+ years, and two I saw during the past 60 days.

Alyson said...

I don't even know where to start with this list. I'll stick with the inexplicable ones, so that leaves out favorites like 16 Candles, Animal House and the Godfather.

In no particular order:

1. Overboard
2. The Jazz Singer (hi Susan!)
3. Rocky III
4. Drowning Mona (there's a scene in this movie that makes me laugh in ANY situation and if I ever get to meet William Fichtner, I'll tell him all about it.)
5. Vegas Vacation
6. Dirty Dancing
7. Tommy Boy
8. The original Yours, Mine and Ours (with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball)

I know there's more...