The Revealing-Who-We-Really-Are Staff Challenge

After numerous requests from folks who aren't as familiar with film as I am - and I don't even think I am that familiar with film - for a "Required Viewing List," which I eventually put together and published on FB, I started to think about the movies that I had seen the most. Stuff that I had re-watched many times, in some cases over twenty times, and looked at that list as a separate entity. When I perused that list I was sort of, as I am wont to do, thrust into an existential crisis.
Is that really the shit I have seen most? I thought I was a smart person.

As a challenge to all you Buffers, which I will initiate by exposing my list first, I dare you all to reveal your own lists of your go-tos.

What have you really watched over and over again? And more importantly what does that say about us? My own personal conclusion is that I am a big fat baby.

Here goes, these are the movies I think I have seen the most.

1. Withnail and I - I am actually proud of this one. It is my absolute favourite film and with the cult following that it has developed since its release in 1987, I have no problem admitting this one. I have easily watched this film - yes - fifty or more times.
2. Godfather (parts 1 and 2) - Again another selection I am not ashamed of, it seems to always happen around Christmas. A few times during the festive season I will watch these films back to back.
3. Shawshank Redemption - Partly because it was always TV, but this is a near perfect film that just makes me feel fuzzy.

(okay - cue the WTF! text message)

4. Good Will Hunting - I don't know what it is about this film but I have seen it, well, a lot. And it seems to be when I am feeling sick.
5. Wonderboys - I don't give a shit. I love this film. It is tight and it is bar none Michael Douglas' best performance. This film also re-established Robert Downey Jr. as a reliable actor after his decline into the ditch. Now he's Iron Man.
6. Batman - Yes, the 1989 Tim Burton, Michael... what's his name again, and what the hell happened to him...?
7. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves - Just an awesome action movie, based upon my favourite story of all time. And even though the reviews have been shit, and I HATE going to the theatre to see anything, I will be going to the new Ridley Scott attempt.
8. Ghostbusters - Yup, I said it. Nearing the 30 mark of times-viewed. Probably more, because it was a childhood obsession, but Rick Moranis still cracks me up. Can't help it.
9. The Big Lebowski - When I feel like a big piece of crap, which is often, but there comes a time during the cycle of feeling like a big piece of crap where all of a sudden I go "gotta watch Lebowski." That one ain't so bad.
10. The Insider - solely for the acting. That's my pure actor wank talking, but this is one of the best acted films of all time.

So there's ten. I feel just sorry for myself looking at the list. There are no foreign films, there are no "indie" films, there are no Canadian films, there are no Classics, etc... WTF.

Anyway, I dare you all. We ain't such Film Buffs after all are we?


Withnail said...

I forgot Die Hard. Sorry.

the coelacanth said...

awesome idea. where did you get that pic of me? anyway, off the top of my head:

1 - curiously, robin hood: p.o.t. is also on my list. i haven't seen it in probably 15 years, but i watched the shit out of the dundas public library's vhs copy when i was 15 (give or take). probably about a dozen times through.

2 - another one we share is the big lebowski. never, EVER gets old.

3 - silver streak - a weird one, as, like rh:pot i haven't watched this in 8-10 years. however, my friend mark sampson taped this (in two parts, mind you, ads and all!) off tv when we were 10 or 11, and i'm not lying when i say that we watched it at least once a week for nearly a year. i am confident i could recite 75-80% of the dialogue to this day if someone threw it on.

4 - another childhood one, another mark sampson taped off tv special, gi joe: the movie, was watched with nearly the same frequency of silver streak. cobra lalalalalala!

5 - halloween - it's become a tradition of mine to watch this every year around halloween, and adding the times i had seen it before, i'd safely say i've seen this one about 10 times.

6 - night of the living dead - probably seen this romero classic about half a dozen times, never loses its impact.

7 - dumb and dumber - watched this at least 15 times back in the vhs days. hmmmm...

8 - suspiria - watched 6 or 7 times.

9 - big trouble in little china - with the recent screening at the toronto underground cinema, i've now seen it roughly half a dozen times.

10 - the good the bad and the ugly - watched it +/- 5 times.

so many more that i've watched at least 3 times. off the top of my dome: abominable dr. phibes, the old dark house (whale), field of dreams, stalker, ed wood (probably about 6), the fog (probably about 5), dead man, two lane blacktop, the limey, the ring, the changeling (george c. scott), fulci's zombie, let's scare jessica to death, and about a hundred more b-grade horror flicks that are forgotten for a reason.

the coelacanth said...

how could i forget about mulholland drive? have seen it roughly 5/6 times.

the coelacanth said...

i should add that your list is a lot more "reputable" than mine...

Chandles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chandles said...

Both of your lists are far more ‘reputable’ than mine are.

10) Gigi
Musicals were really big for me when I was a kid and this one was always on TV. I still see it showing up with a fair amount of regularity and I’ll always watch some of it if I can. I’ve probably seen it all the way through a good ½ dozen times, but also watched it in bits another 2-3 if you put it all together. Now that I think about it, it may explain a lot that I was in love with a musical where an innocent young girl is seduced by a rich, older playboy. Interesting.

9) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
What a fucking magical movie. I think I watch this at least once a year, and have done so for the last 15. One of the few occasions where a film adaptation completely surpasses the book it’s based on.

8) Annie Hall
I may not have actually seen this movie more than some other ones (like Bye Bye Birdie which I watched every time I went to stay with my dad – i.e. every two weeks – for almost a year. What an asshole, eh?) but I have seen it a good half dozen times and none of those was when I was a kid, when my tolerance for watching the same thing over and over again was apparently much, much higher, so I think that counts for something.

7) Pulp Fiction
This was my first real foray into film with substance and it’s always stuck out to me as such a near-perfect movie, in my opinion. I remember when my mom went to go see this in the theatres, she came home and said how amazing it was and how I was forbidden from watching until I was 13 years old. Clearly that didn’t happen, I think I snuck a peek a few years later and while some parts were certainly shocking to my 11-year old brain, everything about the way the film moved – through its weaving plots, through the camerawork, through dancing and music – totally got me.

6) The Point
I grew up listening to Harry Nilsson, and watching this movie, because he was one of my dad’s absolute favourite musicians. I even ate dinner with his son in California when I was 12...but I mostly remember the tacos. Anyways, it’s my favourite animated film – charming story, fantastic music, and my VHS is the original Dustin Hoffman version, which I way prefer over the Ringo one. So great.

5) Ghostbusters
Taped off of City TV, this was my go-to sick day movie. I was sick a lot, so I saw this one a lot. Never gets old, either.

4) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
I’ve had some pretty heated debates on what the best Indiana Jones movie is and I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone’s favourite was the one that they owned. If you owned all three you were lucky. I owned Last Crusade (and by ‘owned’ I mean, once again, recorded off City TV) and it has become, by far, my favourite of the trilogy and, I think, formed a substantial part of my love of grail lore and medieval history.

3) Victor Victoria
I still love this movie. When I first saw it as a young’un I thought that butch-yet-faggy Julie Andrews was the coolest, James Garner was the hottest, and that Lesley Ann Warren looked like she had one of the most fun roles to play. Le Jazz Hot still gets me going and I can still watch this one at least once a year.

2) Little Shop of Horrors
You can’t really beat a musical about alien plants, calling themselves mean green mothers from outer space, or Steve Martin as a demented dentist and young Bill Murray as his even more demented patient. And I thought that the doo-wop/back-up singers were the shit, I had big dreams of performing as one of them on stage one day.

1) Princess Bride
The story is just the best and it’s one of the several movies from my childhood that serves to remind me why I hate CGI so fucking much when doing things for real can create such an incredible sense of World like that existing in Princess Bride.

Niki Diamonds said...

Princess Bride is my top as well!!!! I once watched it back to back for an entire day! Jesus. Good thing I was ten when I did that.

Dropkick said...

1- Star Wars Trilogy (pre-special edition)
I have seen these movies more than any other and still believe in its majesty. Even after Lucas rubbed his old hairy balls all over them.

2- Bruce Campbell vs. The Army of Darkness
When i was too young to watch the Evil Dead I was allowed to watch this and i did so, religiously.

3- Evil Dead 1 and 2
at one point in my life i had these on repeat everyday... i was a lonely kid.

4- Ghostbusters 1&2
I was obsessed with Ghostbusters when i was a child and in the last few years have become obsessed all over again. It's one of those rare films that actually gets funnier with every viewing. A lot of people run there mouth of about the sequel but i don't get it. I love both equally.

5- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1&2
These two films put me to bed for close to three years of my life when i was growing up.

6- Back to the Future Trilogy
yep, all three of them. Even the western... no, especially the western. As i've gotten older i have been increasingly amazed by the universe Zemeckis created.

7- Indiana Jones Trilogy (fuck Crystal Skull... SKULL FUCK IT!)
The best thing about staying with my grandparents over summer holidays growing up was being able to watch my grandpas vhs copies of all three films. I like Last Crusade the best because of how funny it is, and Temple of Doom least for how silly it is.

8- Roger Moore James Bond films
I know, i know. Crazy right? Between 10 and 14 i was crazy about James Bond and tried to buy as many of them as i could. For some reason I really liked the Roger Moore ones, they were silly and fun as sin. My favourite of the bunch being A View To A Kill with Christopher Walken being one of my favourite Bond villains. I Liked Brosnan second best with Goldeneye being my favourite Bond film of all time. After that came Connery. I don't know why but when i was younger i thought the earlier Bonds were quite boring. Although i really dug Thunderball. Now that i'm older i know the deal. After Connery would be George Lazenby in his single role in the ever so curious On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Followed by Dalton. And then last and indeed quite least is Daniel Craig. Just don't feel him as Bond.

9- Chasing Amy
The first time i caught this movie on an illegal cable box on a fateful night at my uncles house i completely lost my shit. I hadn't seen anything like it before and had no idea a film could be so powerful. I watched this to no end and learned Ben Afflecks love confession speech verbatim. As i've gotten older i see the flaws but i was really head over heels for this one.

10- Star Trek 2009
It's weird... i didn't think this film was that amazing when i first saw it. I mean the whole red matter mess is so silly. But i find myself watching it over and over especially when falling asleep. For me this film is all about the characters and their interactions with each other. It's funny, and action packed and a damn near perfect popcorn film. Couldn't ask for more.

Sorry i used a few trilogies and sequels as single entries but you have to understand that's how i watched these films growing up. I couldn't watch one without immediately watching the rest.

La Sporgenza said...

Interesting exercise, but I'll admit to never having seen any movie more the 2 or 3 times that I can think of......

+/-3 times

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (maybe 4 times)
Uncle Buck (ditto)
The Blues Brothers
Die Hard
The Bourne Identity
Big Lebowski
Planet of the Apes

2 Times

Kiss Me Deadly
Touch of Evil
The Girl Hunters
Gun Crazy
Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back
Star Trek
Lady From Shanghai

Of the one's listed by others, I don't think I've seen....

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
Night of the Living Dead
Willy Wonka (bits of, but not the whole thing)
Annie Hall
The Point
Victor Victoria


Chandles said...

S -
So you mean basically you haven't seen half of Joe or I's lists.

andrew said...

great idea for a list. i like to think of these type of repeat viewing films as the ones that i stop on halfway on some shitty channel but have to sit and watch the rest even during commercials every 90 seconds.

1. almost every Paul Verhoeven flick... dunno why. Starship Troopers was so bad its amazing. same goes for Robocop and Total Recall
2. Die Hard 3. i know the original is probably the best one, but something about Willis and Jackson teaming up a year after Pulp Fiction was just gold.
3. Kingpin
4. Castaway. only until he gets rescued. then i turn it off. No way would Helen Hunt be any ones motivation to escape a deserted island.
5. Braveheart