You know the situation, we’ve all done it before; there are always movies that no matter the fact you have them sitting on your DVD shelf and quite in spite of the fact that you’ve seen them tons of times before, if someone else is watching them or they’re showing on television you find yourself quite inadvertently glued to the sofa watching for the umpteenth time – even with all the advert breaks!
Here then are five movies which I never seem to be able to switch over whenever I stumble upon them;
School of Rock
Starring: Jack Black
Genuinely, I’ve probably seen this film more than any other film ever. Seriously. And you know what? Every time I watch it, it’s a blast. Jack Black plays his usual over the top obnoxious character but, perhaps oddly for him, actually has a development arc that is both realistic and satisfying. The jokes are funny, the kids are amazing and perhaps most importantly, the appreciation and love of Rock is worn firmly on this film’s sleeve from the moment it opens right up until the second it closes. The final pay off is perhaps the best part of this movie, it sends shivers down my spine and brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.
Highlight: Jack Black’s vocalising during band practice of the solo he later plays at the battle of the bands.
This is one of the films that I can really credit with getting me into movies – I first saw it when I was about fifteen and it completely changed my opinion of what action movies could be – it shifted my opinion of them from being musclebound guys effortlessly fighting off entire armies to character pieces involving trapped heroes, personal threat, intrigue and a countdown to destruction; that’s not to say it was the first one action flick ever to do that, but it was certainly the one that broke the mould for me. The action is fast paced and intense, the direction is Woo’s usual dovey best and Cage and Travolta are compelling in both roles.
Highlight: The escape from the floating prison has always been a favourite of mine, as well as the opening shoot out at an airfield (which I usually miss if I turn it on part way through).
As referenced in the last episode I am firmly of the opinion that Back to the Future II is one of the most complicated films ever written – which is somewhat exacerbated (or perhaps caused) by the fact that I’m usually drunk whilst watching it – worrying considering it’s usually on at about six o’clock on ITV2 on a Saturday afternoon… Seriously though this film is a wondrous sequel which realistically needs no real knowledge of the original and has enough gripping and hilarious moments throughout to hold your attention no matter what point you tune in. Tell me honestly you haven’t dreamed of owning one of those hoverboards!
Highlight: The ending where Back to the Future II Marty is stuck in 1955 and receives a letter from 1985 Doc Brown who is now trapped in 1885 and rushes to see 1955 Doc Brown just as Back to the Future I Marty goes back to 1985. Mind boggling!
Perhaps the most off the wall of the list and the one that maybe needs the most explanation. I grew up surrounded by women, living in a house of three sisters and a mother who all love rubbish films and a father who (much like myself) preferred to just let them get on with it rather than have the hassle of trying to convince all four of them that whatever sopfest they’re watching is infinitely less interesting than the F1. Occasionally though there’s a sopfest which stands out above all the others and is at least watchable, and king amongst all of them is Notting Hill.
Hugh Grant is on form at his awkward British best, Julia Roberts is at her most vulnerable and perhaps best looking and the periphery characters all play their part without being too intrusive (including a noteworthy career launching performance from Rhys Ifans). If you’ve never seen it before, it’s as simple as thinking Four Weddings meets Pretty Woman and try to ignore the awful Ronan Keating song that accompanied it.
Highlight: Perhaps one of the best passing of time montages committed to celluloid.
No list of mine is complete without an Arnie film and what more appropriate to drop into this list than the very film that Casta is named in honour of. Cameron’s stunning and character shifting sequel has the original Terminator switching sides and an even more fearsome threat in the shape of Robert Patrick as the T-1000, which may look kind of dated now, but was revolutionary at the time and really brought computer generated imagery to the forefront of Hollywood cinema. This really is one of the ultimate action movies and it’s fit to burst with memorable characters, frenetic action scenes, well thought out time travel and a healthy dollop of comedic wit on the side. Absolutely incredible from whatever point you watch it.
Highlight: Every second Arnie is on screen.
Needless to say then that I love the five films above and, quite surprisingly for once, all of them are widely considered to be at least quite good. That’s not to say however that there aren’t completely awful movies that I wouldn’t sit through were I to stumble upon them (some of which figure in my earlier critics got wrong posts) – these were just the first five that came to mind.
I’m really interested in hearing what you sit through time after time so why not share your thoughts in the comments below?