Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Once is never enough.

Can a movie be considered great if you have no desire to see it more than once? I don’t think so. One of the distinctions of a great film is that you actually want to watch it over and over.

Here are some Best Picture winners that I have seen only one time:

The Last Emperor
The English Patient
Shakespeare in Love

None of those films suck. Well, maybe Titanic. But I don’t want to watch them. They are boring movies that won Best Picture.

My favorite movies include Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, The Graduate and Fargo. If any of those films come on TV, I stop what I’m doing and I’ll watch for 30 minutes or so.

Maybe I’m confusing great movies with favorite movies. I don’t know. I’m nursing a bit of a hangover.


Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Out of those, I have watched Titanic several times. Turned off The English Patient. Loved Gandhi, but agree I wouldn't watch it again.

I find the films I'm not likely to watch more than once tend to be great performances in dramatic films with often harsh content, like Sling Blade or The Deep End. Are they great films? Yes. Need to see them again? Not likely.

Looking at your fave's list I think we'd have a different option, but I though I would share my 2cents.

brian said...

Shannon, which movies do you enjoy watching repeatedly?

brian said...

Shannon, which movies do you enjoy watching repeatedly?

J.D. said...

So, correct me if I'm wrong, if a film is truly great but incredibly hard and you can never watch it again, does that mean it's not a truly great film?


brian said...


The fact that I enjoy watching Goodfellas over and over makes it a better film for me, than say Gandhi, which I only saw once.

But you make a good point. I can watch Sixteen Candles over and over and I would never call that a great film.

PIPER said...

For those of you paying attention, this is Brian's bag on John Hughes movies week.

I have watched Titanic once and have been trying to burn my eyes out ever since. I can watch Goodfellas over and over and over again. As well as High Fidelity, Out Of Sight, Army Of Darkness, Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and lots and lots of others.

I think Schindler's List is a great film and I have only watched it once and could never watch it again. I think Munich is a great film and I could watch it over and over again. J.D. makes a good point and I don't think there's an easy answer for his question.

brian said...

Schlinder's List proves my original theory wrong.

I stand corrected.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

The films I watch repeated fall into a few catagories:

1) Movies to fall asleep to.
Almost always action flicks: The Matrix, Deep Blue Sea, any Star Trek

2) Movies that create visual rich worlds, and are also good:
Matrix again, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Constantine

3) Movies that just make you feel good/guilty pleasures:
Gidget, Romy & Michelle, Practical Magic, Sound of Music.

I don't think repeat watchability is the only factor in making a good film, but it tends to express if it was an enjoyable film.

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