Bill Simmons proposed an interesting question today in his column:
"It's one thing to continually discuss the '80s movies like "Rocky 4," "Karate Kid," "Fletch," "48 Hours" and everything else of that ilk, since you can only truly dissect a movie after you've seen it 700 times. But if you look at the most re-watchable movies from the past 10 years, the list looks like this: "Rounders," "Boogie Nights," "Good Will Hunting," "Almost Famous" and "Swingers." Any time one of those five movies comes on, I'm watching. Even if I stumbled in halfway through the movie.
But did you notice something about that list? Each of those movies came out between 1996 and 2000 … which means there hasn't been a Hall of Fame re-watchable movie in five full years. So what happened to the really well-done, really entertaining movie that could be watched again and again? Where did it go?"
That's a great question. Just going over movies that either myself or friends I know watch over and over again, the list is close to what Simmon's lists: Top Gun, Karate Kid (the first and Part III), the Star Wars movies, and so on... you know those type of movies that everyone likes. But what's gone on since 2000? There is next to nothing...
I drew up a quick list:
*Pirates of the Caribbean (other than Johny Depp there is no reason to watch this movie)
*Elf (I'd put it there, but then again I don't want to watch a Christmas movie in July)
*The Last Samurai (ummm, no)
*The Bourne Identity (I'm putting it on the re-watchable list, but I like movies that don't take place in the USA)
*Anchorman (No... I can't do it, it isn't good enough)
*Austin Powers (too bad it was made before 2000, but it's on the list or should be)
*The Royal Tenenbaums (Too much of a cult film)
*Rushmore (Better than Tenenbaums in my opinion, but still too much of a cult film)
*Zoolander (No, sorry, this movie just isn't funny or interesting enough to make the list)
*"Band of Brothers" (YES! But it's a mini series more than a movie)
*Gladiator (I go back and forth on this one, it's a good movie, but it's not that good... but then again if it's on I'm watching it)
*Traffic (Much like Gladiator, but not enough maybe too much of a drama)
*High Fidelity (Love story sinks it, but it's pretty good no matter)
*Fight Club (Let's put it on the list, but it was made before 200 (in 1999) so it should be on the list above)
*Old School (This was a movie where they had only a half hour of material... so the other 60 mins just suck)
First lets add Fight Club and Austin Powers to the '96 to '00 list of:
"Rounders," "Boogie Nights," "Good Will Hunting," "Almost Famous" and "Swingers."
So what does the leave us with... what movies if they came on TV or you walked into a buddies place and he/she is watching this movie that you stop what you're doing and watch?
* The Bourne Identity
* Band of Brothers
Three movies and one is a miniseries. The other is a violent and dark drama that has almost no comedy to speak of and the other is an action flick with again, almost no comedy to speak of. Basically all comedies now-a-days are stupid slap sticks that really aren't that funny in the first place (Zoolander anyone?). Movies like Tenenbaums and Rushmore have that good movie, plot, characters, and humor mix; but for some reason they aren't mainstream in anyway. But there is nothing like a Top Gun or 48 Hours or Pulp Fiction or Karate Kid or Shawshank Redemption.
Hopefully the era of re-watchable movies will return soon.