Someone once said they there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. I built many tools for this site to track which films i watch, and ratings and reviews. In retrospect, i wish i had done an even more thorough job at adding even more statistics, such as for example, the ability to track each separate viewings of films, and maybe comments for each viewing etc. Right now, the site only tracks the first time and most recent times a film is watched. As soon as i have some time, i hope i can add this feature. We'll see.
In any case, this blog entry came out of a realization when i was checking out the list of the movies i have watched the most. That list is informative in and of itself, but it got me thinking because in there, i really saw three types of movies.
And it made me wonder. There are films one can rationalize to be their favorite movies. But there are movies that you know aren't the best movies ever, yet these are the movies you tend to enjoy the most over the years, sometimes surprisingly so, the types of movies you derive a lot of enjoyment from over and over again. It's funny that there is some overlap, but those two parallel lists are generally not the same. For me, it tends to run based on Directors. I don't know why, it just does. So, on a regular basis, here are the movies i like to watch over and over again.
- First, there are movies that i watched many times over a very long period of time (they are older movies of course, for example West Side Story (1961)), or movies that i simply saw many times in the theaters (for example E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) which i remember seeing at least 6 or 7 times when it came out) or on TV (for example Pere Noel Est Une Ordure, Le (1982) which is an annual fixture on French TV).
- Second, there are movies which i get to see a lot because my kids love them and watch them a lot. I do let my kids watch movies that other parents i know wouldn't let their kids watch, but we always watch them together. Such films include the Star Wars films from Star Wars 1, Episode 4, A New Hope (1977) to Star Wars 6, Episode 3, Revenge Of The Sith (2005), so it's normal that they figure in my top 100 most watched films too.
- Third, there are movies that i seem to be in the mood for again and again, and feel like i could watch randomly pretty much any day, anytime. Such a film is Game, The (1997) which i have had an urgent need to watch again for a few days. No idea or reason why. I just felt strongly like it. and it was thoroughly enjoyable, and i thoroughly loved it as if i had watched it for the first time.
Then there are films that i watch over and over again simply because i keep cracking up each and every time as if i had never heard or seen the jokes before. These may simply be my favorite comedies. Pere Noel Est Une Ordure, Le (1982) is not a movie i would expect anyone in the US to actually know, but it's perhaps the best French comedy ever made. Then there are Airplane! 1 (1980), Young Frankenstein (1974), National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2002), Mad Adventures Of Rabi Jabob, The (1973), Top Secret! (1984), Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975), South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut (1999), Team America: World Police (2004) and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986).
- I love David Fincher. He has a great sense of the macabre, fate, and twistful stories. All of that, along with great technical skills, makes him one of my favorite directors. Films such as Se7en (1995), Game, The (1997), Fight Club (1999) or Panic Room (2002) continue to be an endless source of entertainment for me. My list made me discovered that i have watched regularly Seven and Panic Room, but that i have seriously neglected Fight Club and The Game which i haven't watched once since i started this site 6 years ago now. Shameful! I have some catching up to do.
- I also love Paul Verhoeven. His sense of perversion, provocation, and his ability to package it all in a shiny box is unparalleled . His movies both entertain me to no end, and continue to fascinate me with their undertexts that are surprisingly deep under all this gloss. He has been called a fascist (which, given his background, i have never understood), a mysoginist (which, since Camille Paglia extolled the feminist virtues of the Femme Fatale personae in Basic Instinct 1 (1992) , and his recent amazing film Black Book (2006) kind of contradict), and an apologetic merchant of violence (which i can understand). Of all his films, Robocop 1 (1987), Total Recall (1990) and Starship Troopers 1 (1997) remain pure popcorn with brains fun, and i think i have watched each of those at least once a year for the past 4 or 5 years. Then there are Flesh+Blood (1985), which i first discovered as a 15 year-old in Paris when it came out in the theaters, and Black Book (2006), which is too recent to have a high view count, but i have a feeling it will get there. and finally, there is Basic Instinct 1 (1992) which is undeniably one of my favorite movies, and yet, my list once again shows me it's one of those movies i have neglected to watch since i started this site. Gotta fix this.
- And how about Ridley Scott? He is probably the most visually esthetic and dynamic director who has ever lived. I have watched Black Hawk Down (2001) and Kingdom Of Heaven (2005) once a year for the past 3 years, and now that Blade Runner (1982) is finally available as it should be on DVD, i will add that both the original and final cut versions of the movie to my yearly program. I also love Legend (1985) and Alien 1 (1979)but i haven't re-watched either since they came out on DVD for some reason.
And finally, there are movies that don't necessarily fit in any category, but which i love, and love to watch again and again. Those include Matrix 1, The (1999), Fifth Element, The (1997), Little Big Man (1970), Altered States (1980), Blues Brothers, The (1980), Alien 2, Aliens (1986), Vengeance 2, Oldboy (2003), Time And Tide (2000), Ten Commandments, The (1956).
So there it goes... A quick run down through my list, and trying to sort out those movies that i have watched the most over the years... I need to find a way to capture this information better so i could run those lists more often. Maybe a future feature for the site.