Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Alright already, hand me the remote!

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about movies (or "fillums" as we like to call them around these parts much to the Yorkshireman's amusement), where you mention you haven't seen that particular film and suddenly there are screeching brakes and the band stops playing and everyone is gaping at you with open mouths like you've walked into a party naked and drop-kicked a puppy, all because "you've never seen it?!?!?!" Yeah, that.

It happens to me more often than it probably should. I've never really been one to sit down and watch whatever movie happens to be on TV that night, nor do I go to the cinema very often, so my film knowledge is somewhat lacking… something which was clearly evident when we went to the Queens Film Festival quiz a couple of years ago (*shudder*). I think I got one answer, which was obviously the candyfloss one they threw in to amuse the "real" film buffs who wouldn't deign to watch the likes of Bridget Jones's Diary.

Our merry band of amigos recently tried to make a list of movies we'd never seen but it all went awry when the IMDB list we were using changed in between various viewings… oops. In the end we remembered noting that none of us had seen The Graduate, so we plan to remedy that at our DVD night this weekend.

However when yet another "you've never seen it?!" movie conversation arose at work yesterday, it also reminded me of the Yorkshireman's 2012 list, where he's said he wants to watch 20 new movies this year, and of my own aim to experience new things this year. And so I decided that I would make my own list of these so-called "must see" films and make a point of actually watching them at some point this year. I figure I'll go for ten to start with and aim to watch them in the next six months or so, since no doubt if I came up with a defintive list now, another billion suggestions will come up in conversation over the course of the year anyway.

I'm always a little wary about these "Oh. Em. Gee! You've got to watch it!" movies though. Last year I finally got around to watching Ghost and The Breakfast Club under the same pretext and was pretty underwhelmed. Also I hated Saturday Night Fever when I finally got around to watching that too. I guess when people build something up so much and when you've seen so many parodies of it before you see the actual original, it maybe loses its impact a little.

That said I also recently watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off for the first time ever and genuinely enjoyed it. It has also helped me get little in-jokes in other things, like a Family Guy episode I saw recently where Peter springs Meg and Chris from school in a convertible, or Stewie's race against the clock in the Stewie Griffin The Untold Story movie, or even in 2011's big seasonal all-star movie New Year's Eve where the big boss of the Times Square ball drop is played by Matthew Broderick himself and is called Mr Buellerton. So perhaps I'm being cynical in my sceptism. Time will tell.

Okay so, the list! Well, the first list. Here goes…

  • Annie Hall
  • Casablanca
  • Cocktail
  • Footloose
  • Last Tango in Paris
  • Some Like It Hot
  • The Big Lebowski (wasn't originally going to make the list but the Yorkshireman bought the DVD yesterday since it was on his never-seen list, so hey, two birds, one stone, etc)
  • The Godfather (only the first one for now - not sure if my pacifist little soul will cope well with all the violence!)
  • To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar
  • Top Gun

It seems that Casablanca is actually on TCM this Sunday afternoon, so that looks like the first one I'll check off my list. For the rest I'll investigate Play and Amazon but I'm also considering this whole Netflix thing - it looks intriguing and could certainly assist me in my quest. After all, if the films suck, why would I want to keep the DVD anyway?

So… what must-watch movies have you somehow survived without seeing?


  1. Do you know the Radio 4 programme I've Never Seen Star Wars? Sara Millican was on it recently and watched Some Like It Hot for the first time. She hated it! Which surprised me and has certainly put her down in my estimation. Somehow, I've never seen E.T. but the one big one I'd definitely put on my list is The Shining. Casablanca should be good for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Do you get many of those in NI? ;-)

  2. How very strange... we had one just today funnily enough! We did indeed watch Casablanca as planned but (oh no!) we had to leave the house 10 minutes before the end! Such a shame because we were really enjoying it. I may have cheat-watched the last couple of minutes on YouTube so I know how it ends but I plan to watch it again in full again next time it's on. Very good film!

    Also yes I have seen that show but not Sarah Millican's one. I shall reserve judgement until I have seen Some Like It Hot for myself but I'm hopeful I will like it from what I know of it. As for E.T... well, it never made me cry as so many claim but I would definitely put it on your must-see list anyway :-)

    The Shining... never seen that either. Another future possibility there!