Thursday, January 09, 2014

Those "I've got to watch this" movies...

I might well have covered this ground before, but since I'm sitting here and watching "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" on SyFy, I figured I'd bring it up.

I'm a movie fan. Those of you who follow along here enough to know that I do a Movie Monday post every Monday already know that. I love most kinds of movies - old, new, most genres, black & white or color, doesn't matter. And I like good movies.

The thing is, there are certain movies that I will sit down and watch every time I come across them, whether or not the qualify as "good". There's just something about those movies that I like and will watch an infinite number of times, even if I should be doing other things (right now, I really should be working on my book project). One of those movies is "Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull", even though the critics didn't like it very well, and some people seem to be offended that it involves "aliens" and "woo-woo stuff".

I'm not even really sure why I like this one so much, although I find myself endlessly entertained by the completely unbelievable refrigerator scene near the beginning of the film:

Only Indy would be able to pull that off. And, you know, in reality there isn't anything entertaining at all about nuclear explosions. But in this case, an exception has to be made. And, really? The prairie dog is just perfect.

Two of the other three Indiana Jones movies also fall in the category of anytime, anywhere movies. Not "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", though. I didn't like that one when I first saw it, and I tend to avoid it if at all possible.

Other movies on my "anytime, anywhere" list...

"The Day the Earth Stood Still". The original, from 1951. I've honestly lost track of the number of times I've seen this, partly due to the fact that they used to show it a lot on Channel 9 in Los Angeles when I was growing up. This is the ultimate science fiction film, and particularly the ultimate "first contact" movie, and I love it a lot. Here's the trailer (there's fifteen or twenty seconds of blank screen at the beginning, but hang with it):

And then there's "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1968). Yes, again the original. I didn't actually see this film until three or four years ago. And I will admit that I'm kind of obsessed by it. It's a caper film and stars Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway, and it's very, very good. The same year, another McQueen film, "Bullitt" also appeared in theaters. I saw it when if first came out, and I'll still stop and watch if I come across it. Of course, there's the chase scene in "Bullitt", but that isn't the only attraction in the film. I believe I might have mentioned these when I wrote about how good a year 1968 was for films.

In a completely different vein, I'll also stop what I'm doing to watch "Empire Records" (1995). Yeah, it's aimed at a much younger demographic than I belong in. That's okay. The writer, who I understand worked in a record store at one time, managed to write characters that are sympathetic, and that always goes a long way to making a watchable film:

There are others. "Zoolander". Another '50s science fiction film, "Invaders From Mars". "Road House". "A Hard Day's Night". I've probably mentioned all of these around here at some time or another, and so I won't go on about them now.

What I am interested in, because I think most people have a list like this, is: what are the movies on your "anytime, anywhere" list? Which movies do you stop to watch whenever you get the opportunity? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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