Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Movie Marathon

In my college and graduate school days, a perfect weekend was getting together with a couple friends, stockpiling pizza, ice cream, and other assorted junk foods, and then settling in for a mini movie marathon. I've decided that the right length of a mini movie marathon is three movies. Anyone can do two, four is right out, and with five the nervous system begins to shut down. So three is the magic number.

However, these days I find precious few opportunities for such frivolity. Most of my movie-watching buddies now live in other states from me and having young children pretty much means that six-hour blocks of uninterrupted time are now non-existent. Yet, I often find myself getting nostalgic about such times. One such period of reminiscing led me to imagine ideal movie groupings. Typically, our movie selections for these marathons were eclectic and random, with little to no forethought involved. This often led to combinations like Face Off, JFK, and Tommy Boy, thus creating a form of cinematic whiplash. So I began to devise my own list of movie trilogies that would be fitting for juvenile movie sessions (I use "juvenile" here in the sense of lack of maturity, not lack of age).

I created a few ground rules, though. First, sequels do not count. Watching Die Hard 1, 2, and 3 lacks creativity. Second, there must be a unifying theme to the movies that has more depth or oddity to it than something like all Adam Sandler movies (not to say that such a collection would not produce a fine night indeed). I'm thinking more along the lines of comedies that involve fruit.

I'll share three of the trilogies I've devised over the years. One would be "Movies Involving the Classic Monsters from Universal Films Starring Respected Hollywood Actors in the Titular Roles." This night would kick off with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (Robert Deniro), followed by Wolf (Jack Nicholson), and concluding with Bram Stoker's Dracula (Gary Oldman). My second trilogy would be "Recent B-Movies of the Horror Genre Invovling Unnaturally Large or Genetically Enhanced Creatures." This set includes Lake Placid (gargantuan crocodiles), Deep Blue Sea (gargantuan, genetically smartened sharks), and Anaconda (gargantuan, well, anacondas). My final entry in this trilogy of trilogies is "Thrillers on Air Planes Involving Deranged, Self-Absorbed Criminal Types," such as Air Force One, Flight Plan, and Red Eye. However, I suspect that in the near future I will need to substitute Air Force One with a new cinematic tour de force coming this August to a theater near you: Snakes On a Plane. In fact, if the filmmaker could see fit to make these gargantuan, genetically-smartened snakes on a plane, I could neatly overlap two of my categories.

Now I only need to find some new buddies to watch them with.


At 12:09 PM, Blogger Ron Cox said...

What if, before their genetic enhancement (which hurts, I should tell you), the snakes were originally egyptian mummies and the mad scientist who did it was Richard Dreyfuss (out to thwart the godly NeoCon President on the plane)?

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Seeing as you are near Hollywood, you should use your influence to get that movie made!

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...


All of this sounds like mucho fun. Picks for "Documentaries of the Seedy and/or Tragic" are:

The Thin Blue Line
Brother's Keeper
Dark Days

But this could get depressing.

Your ideas about categories will have me day dreaming for a while. What about these?

When We (the actors) Were Young

The Last Hurrah (final films)

Let's Get Crazy!

The Movies that Made Them

We Know What's Going to Happen ("All the President's Men", "Titanic" etc.)

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Good suggestions! "The Movies That Made Them" sounds promising.

At 2:27 PM, Blogger Jim said...

I completely agree with your conundrum of finding a 6-hour slot to watch three movies in a row.

My question is, how do guys who golf do it?


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