I was just checking out an article at Slate (check it out here) about movies that people have watched again and again. None of the films listed there are on my list, but I certainly do have a list. This is one of those things that I think you do or you don’t do (watching movies multiple times I mean). I absolutely do this. In some cases I love the story and want to see it again and again. In other cases there may be a particular way that the story is told like the acting or writing or directing. Add to this the fact that I really don’t like dead time. Even when I’m cooking or cleaning I prefer to have some kind of background noise on. If I lived in a stand-alone house I might crank up my stereo, but as is I think that might piss my neighbors off unnecessarily. Instead I throw on a movie that I like or, as is far more frequently the case these days, an episode or two of The West Wing (aka The Best Television Program of All Time). I therefore present here, for the first time, my Top Five favorite movies to watch over and over again (find the movie reference in this sentence and win a prize!!).
1. High Fidelity – I have no idea how many times I’ve seen this movie, but it’s a hellofalot! The writing is great, the music is great, it’s funny and touching and edgy all at the same time. And if all of this weren’t enough…John Cusack ladies and gentlemen!
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Okay, shut up! This is a great movie and I feel totally justified watching it again and again. Seriously, shut the hell up! Okay fine, the acting is tragically wooden, and Potter fans are the poster children for Nerds Anonymous, but I still love this stuff. The first film in particular is, I think, an excellent translation of Rowling’s world onto the big screen. For pure cotton-candy, escape-from-reality fantasy nonsense, you can’t beat Potter.
3. The Matrix – This film has the distinction of being both packed full of action and brimming with pop-culture pseudo-philosophy (read here: philosophy without the pain and hassle of actually reading Plato and Aristotle…or, you know, thinking very hard). The Watchowski brothers hit it clear out of the park on the first try, revolutionizing both the special effects industry and the possibilities and potential of ultra-violent action movies as social and political commentary.
4. The Usual Suspects – Best murder-mystery movie ever! The first time I watched this movie I had never heard anything about it. I picked up the one copy that was available at the movie store and watched it in the middle of the night. It almost broke my brain. I still watch it because I like to see the setup for the big plot twist. Plus Kevin Spacey rules.
5. Grosse Pointe Blank – John Cusack takes the top and the bottom of my list. This movie is darkly, deviantly funny. It takes a common Hollywood caricature (the mysterious Hitman) and turns him into an actual person visiting his high-school reunion and feeling angst over the general emptiness of his life. I can’t see myself ever getting tired of this one.
And there you have it…five more reasons to believe that I am, indeed, the biggest nerd you’ve ever met.