There are all kinds of reasons we sit down to watch movies. Often we’re looking for something fresh and exciting we haven’t seen before; sometimes we revisit that which we’ve seen previously in the hopes of some new insight.
However, there are also times when all we want is to kick back with something we’ve seen time and again, yet never grow tired of.
This, surely, is the key reason the video/DVD/Blu-ray market exists: the joys of repeat viewing, watching movies over and over until, by accident or design, most of the dialogue and action is committed to memory. Yet even then, further viewings often bring to light little details you didn’t quite pick up on before, which only enhance your enjoyment that bit further.
Obviously, opinions are going to vary on the subject, and most of us (this writer included) will have certain favourite movies that mean a great deal to them personally, even if they’re not so widely adored.
However, it’s fair to assume that most if not all of the following 15 films will be on the shelf of any real movie lover; and that the films in question will have been played, and replayed, and replayed a great many times over the years, with a great many more viewings sure to come in the future.[/nextpage][nextpage]
Martin Scorcese has given us more than his fair share of bona fide classics – Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino – but when it comes to sheer rewatchability, surely Goodfellas has to come out on top.
The 1990 film is an adaptation of Nicholas Peliggi’s book Wiseguy, a non-fiction account of how real life New York gangster Henry Hill went from criminal to informant. Though it’s 145 minutes long and tells a story over the course of a few decades, the film’s sense of momentum never once lags, thanks to the energy of the camerawork and editing, the use of music, and of course the blistering performances from Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Ray Liotta as Hill.
Before 1990, the yardstick by which all gangster films were measured was The Godfather; but since then, arguably, it’s been Goodfellas. Yes, it really is that big a deal.
Endlessly repeatable quote: “Whaddya mean, I’m funny?”[/nextpage][nextpage]
14. Back To The Future
It’s hard to think of another movie quite like Robert Zemeckis’ beloved 1985 classic. It’s a science fiction adventure with a super-cool time machine, centred on a frenzied race against time; and yet, this is ultimately just the backdrop to a more personal, down to earth story about family, perseverance and self-respect.
It’s curious now to think that, until Steven Spielberg came onboard as producer, Zemeckis had no luck getting Back To The Future off the ground as the studios thought it was too tame by comparison with the teen comedies of the time (e.g. Porky’s).
The thing is, while it may largely centre on teenagers, Back To The Future is truly a film for all ages. Kids respond to the sci-fi spectacle, and the remarkable chemistry of Michael J Fox’s Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd’s Doc Brown; whilst older viewers relate more to the nostalgic elements, and the compelling “what if?” question about being friends with your own parents.
It’s all such joyous, feel-good entertainment that we can overlook those icky incestuous overtones.
Endlessly repeatable quote: “1.21 gigawatts!”
13. The Matrix
When The Matrix first hit screens in 1999, audiences were anticipating little more than another standard Keanu Reeves action movie. What they got was a film that completely redefined the action genre, and the possibilities of CGI; and, most importantly, a near-flawless film that stands up to endless repeat viewings.
With its mind-blowing central idea that everyday life is merely a computer simulation, The Matrix has inspired endless reams of philosophical speculation (not to mention conspiracy theory).
With its clear overtones of socio-political and religious allegory, it’s been subject to many varied academic readings; a matter which has arguably only intensified since its directors, then known as the Wachowski Brothers, have both come out as transgender.
But ultimately, The Matrix endures because it’s so well made, crafting a compelling and totally immersive world that it’s always rewarding to revisit. Too bad the sequels failed to do it justice, but the original still works perfectly as a stand-alone feature.
Endlessly repeatable quote: “There is no spoon.” Or alternatively: “WOAH.”
The horror genre is far broader and more prone to variation than a lot of critics give it credit for. Even so, for a single horror movie to strike a chord that resonates with wider audiences, it has to play things that bit simple enough, whilst alluding to a great deal more below the surface.
John Carpenter’s 1978 classic Halloween does just that. Madman Michael Myers returns to his home town Haddonfield, 15 years after murdering his own sister, and promptly sets about stabbing his way through the new crop of neighbourhood teenagers, until it’s just him and the archetypal final girl, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis).
A film doesn’t inspire so many rip-offs as Halloween without doing a hell of a lot of things right. That blank white mask, in tune with Carpenter’s masterful use of the camera and the sparse, ominous musical score, all combine to a perfect storm of dread.
It’s still the film to measure all masked madman slashers by, and still gets the heart thumping after almost 40 years.
Endlessly repeatable quote: “Death has come to your little town, Sheriff.”
(Excerpt) Read More at: WhatCulture.com