Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

What Movies Make You Ignore Everything Else?

It's been well documented that TV is a time-suck. One reason: the repeat showings of movies, some of which, even if you've already seen them a hundred times (and you might even own on DVD), you will stick with for the duration, through commercials, bad cable edits and all. (Speaking of cable edits, was I the only one who didn’t know about that pubic hair on the pizza scene in She’s All That?!?) We asked an assortment of folks which movies never fail to suck them in.

Kurt Andersen

Pretty much the only time I mindlessly flip TV channels these days is when I'm traveling alone and staying in a hotel, or my wife's out of town. I guess probably Badlands, because it's one of my favorite movies and the real-life story on which it's based (young couple on a murder spree in Nebraska, where I grew up) is my earliest memory, from when I was 3. And almost any Bill Murray movie.

Kate Aurthur

I realized that there are two things that stop me dead in my tracks when I notice they're on:

Jaws 2: I lived in East Hampton full-time until I was 10, so the Jaws phenomenon affected me profoundly. (I told adults I wanted to be an ichthyologist specializing in sharks.) I wasn't allowed to see the first one in the theater until its re-release the following summer—and I still don't know why my parents allowed that—but by the time Jaws 2 rolled around in 1978, I went immediately. I argued passionately to my parents that it was better than Jaws. They laughed in my face. Now I see that it is terrible, but man, I cannot stop watching it whenever it's on.

Jaws 3: I was nearing 14 in 1983 when Jaws 3 came out. And this I knew was horrific upon first viewing. The 3D is so, so bad. And yet, there are things I love about it, like the horrendous miscasting of Bess Armstrong as the grown-up Mike Brody's (Dennis Quaid) girlfriend. God, I love it! I wish it were on right now. It's awful.

Katie Baker

Legends of the Fall: I've bailed on plans with friends multiple times when I've caught a glimpse of Samuel and Susannah playing tennis on that grass court and known I was now in(side) for the long haul. The only time I don't stop is if I've gotten there AFTER Colonel Ludlow's legendary chalkboard-swinging "AARGGSSCRRWWWUUJMM" scene, because if you've missed that one then what's the point?

A League of Their Own: Someday I am going to produce a 10,000-word chapbook on why this is one of the (if not THE) greatest sports movies ever. And it's worth watching all the way ‘til the end because the old lady casting is so completely sublime. I'd actually love to see someone do a side-by-side of each actress in, say, 15 years with her League of Their Own flash-forward counterpart. I feel like Madonna may have actually appeared in both roles.

Armageddon: And it doesn't matter if I watch all 151 minutes or just the last ten, you can bet I will be choking back tears. (Also, I just went to IMDB to look up how many minutes the movie is—don't worry, I'm not THAT much of a freak—and saw that it's playing this [past] Saturday on FX. Setting my DVR now!)

Alex Balk

I always hope to hit Goodfellas closer to the end than the beginning, because I had plans for those next three hours, but regardless of where I come in I'm stuck for the duration. And every time I land on Silence of the Lambs, I tell myself that I'll turn it off after the "Goldberg Variations" scene where the face-eating happens, but I always get sucked in until the end.

Allison Benedikt

I have been known to stop and sob throughout Father of the Bride (the Steve Martin one, YEP), can easily get pulled into two out of the three Bourne movies, The Upside of Anger (when it used to be on a lot), Gattaca, Funny People (if I catch it in its first two-thirds, before Adam Sandler and Leslie Mann do it), and, lately, that great Ethan Hawke-Philip Seymour Hoffman dysfunctional family thriller Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. But these are the three I've probably watched the most in the past few years:

Groundhog Day: Because it's always good to be reminded that Bill Murray used to be actual funny, not Wes Anderson-funny, and actually moving, not Sofia Coppola-moving. And a great physical comedian. Also: weather humor, Andie MacDowell's only good role.

The Heartbreak Kid: The Farrelly Brothers one. Starring Ben Stiller. It is such a bad movie I can't defend myself but I have watched this thing maybe ten times? Sorry.

Role Models: A great David Wain comedy. Perfect Jane Lynch role. And an essential exhibit in the Case for Why Seann William Scott Should Be a Star. (see: The Dukes of Hazzard, Southland Tales) Pro tip: Whenever Ken Jeong is on screen, go scoop your ice cream.

Sarah Blackwood

Titanic, even if stretched to three or four hours on network television. The dresses! The cross-class romance! Billy Zane's wig! Billy Zane's maniacal exasperation ("I put the coat on her!")! Just… Billy Zane. On a more personal note, this movie came along at exactly the right time in my life, saving me from Godard and insufferability. Popcorn is delicious, it whispered, and I ate it right up.

Speaking of popcorn, you know that part in Dirty Dancing, when Johnny Castle sexily plucks his air guitar, and then shows off some ideas to Neil for a new last dance—a cross between Cuban rhythms and soul—only to be snootily instructed that the last dance will in fact be a pachanga (can you imagine? A pachanga?!), and then also how when you pause the television just so, when Johnny is getting out of bed with Baby, you can maybe, just maybe, see something you aren't supposed to see? Yeah. So maybe I've been watching this movie nonstop since I was twelve years old.

And finally: Go. I can't believe that I have already lived through an entire subculture that has since disappeared. I mean, I wasn't super rave-y, but I did wear a few pairs of ill-advised big jeans. Thank God I never got around to buying one of those teddy-bear backpacks. This movie rules, though, the film that launched a thousand Olyphanatics.

Maria Bustillos

Vincent Price's voice induces satori, so I will watch/listen to any movie in which he appears to the end, no matter when I came in.

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle is the Ur-text of my personal ethics, a touchstone that repays close and frequent study. It teaches grace under pressure, tolerance, a philosophical submission to the cruel twists of fate and most of all, it shows us how to balance the demands of an independent mind with the responsibilities of brotherhood.

Any animation produced by the Fleischer brothers will also find me rooted to the spot for the duration.

Bobby Finger

Overboard: Kurt and Goldie have been together for nearly 30 years, and their real-life relationship is one of only two things that makes me believe true love is possible. The second thing is that Randy Newman song used during Overboard's end credits.

My Cousin Vinny: Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) is one of my favorite movie characters, and denying myself the opportunity to hear her say, "I'm an out-of-work hairdresser" during that final courtroom scene is practically self-harm.

Emma Garman

My picks are basically identical: early eighties L.A. noirs involving murders, heroes getting framed for murders, cruelly thwarted love and bonkers suntans. Against All Odds, with Jeff Bridges and Rachel Ward, makes me nostalgic for the distant days when romantic leads had chemistry and SPF only went up to 8. Ditto for American Gigolo with Richard Gere and Lauren Hutton: lonely politician’s wife/gigolo patron Michelle is, inexplicably, the only decent role Hutton ever got, and Michelle’s to-die-for Ralph Lauren wardrobe, alone of all clothes ever, actually warrants the adjective timeless.

Virginia Heffernan

Tootsie; Jerry Maguire; Boiler Room: I don't mindlessly flip very often, but somehow if I find one of these on, I believe it contains a topical message for me. I have to watch each one the end—again—to see what the message is. Message from Tootsie recently is a line of Michael Dorsey I missed the first 78 times I saw the movie. "It's depressing to be disagreed with." That's just TRUE.

Michael Idov

Groundhog Day always works. For obvious reasons, it's a movie most conducive to tuning in at any point.

Almost 20 years later, I am still enough of a sucker for The Fugitive to watch it every time it's on. In fact, I love coming across it about half an hour in, because the prologue is the weakest part.

Every time I find AMC showing Goodfellas, which is to say roughly once a week, I will drop everything and watch 15-20 minutes in yet another futile attempt to understand why it's considered a great film.

Julie Klausner

Fargo, The Birdcage, Men in Black, Jackie Brown, Legally Blonde, Working Girl and Little Shop of Horrors.

Dan Kois

As I am a dude, the answer is The Shawshank Redemption. Always. Every time. And then it gets so dusty in the TV room and my eyes water a lot, from the dust.

Also based on what is going on right now on HBOCOM, another answer is Say Anything.

Richard Lawson

It feels like the fourth Die Hard movie, Live Free or Die Hard, is on FX every other day, and I have probably now seen at least the Bruce Willis vs. Maggie Q. elevator shaft fight some twenty times. The line "Can I get another dead Asian hooker bitch" resounds.

I'll watch any of the great mid-'90s John Grisham trilogy—The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client (never The Chamber)—whenever they're on, but sadly they play them less and less the farther away they get.

Embarrassingly, almost any Julia Roberts movie merits a watch, whether it be Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich, or Ocean's Eleven (not really a Julia Roberts movie, but y'know). Like The Pelican Brief (another Julia Roberts movie), they don't play Sleeping With the Enemy on TV near often enough anymore.

Will Leitch

Love and Death: IFC plays this every month or so, and there is not a single frame of this movie that does not make me laugh like a buffoon. Woody Allen getting his old-school Bob Hope on.

Bull Durham: I feel like they used to show this a lot more than they do now; I blame Tim Robbins being obnoxious about his political opinions, and also table tennis. The only movie, still, that gets baseball right.

Jon Methven

Jaws: My wife found out about my Jaws fetish before we were married, so it’s fair game. A lot of times we’ll be on our way to bed and she’ll come back to the living room and find me on the couch—“Sorry, Jaws is on, I’ll be an hour or so”—and like a heart surgeon’s wife, she understands.

Rudy: I’ve been flipping around, about ready to drop off, and clicked on Rudy—and thought, “Oh damn, here we go again.” This guy never quits getting beaten up and down the football field, the least I can do is sit here for another 90 minutes to support him. Just give up, Rudy, so I can go to bed.

Road House: I’m not sure why a movie about the world’s greatest bouncer always gets to me. If I ever were to become an accomplished bar fighter, I’d like to fashion my life after Dalton.

Sarah Miller

For some reason, I really like anything with Denzel Washington in it. I just find his movies consistently entertaining in that way you want a movie you probably shouldn't be watching to be.

My boyfriend, Rob Guerin, says, Pretty in Pink, "because it's dumb, and I've seen it."

Neither of us would ever pass up the chance to watch Bring it On—it's got a great color palette, a great fart joke, amazing dancing, the whole jazz hands thing, Ian Roberts as the evil choreographer may be the best character in a movie, ever.

Amy Monaghan

"C.K. Dexter Haven! Oh, Mister C.K. Dexter Haven!" I will always stop for drunk Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story. He and Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant are all at their most beautiful and young Dinah rivals Groucho himself singing "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady."

All About Eve: Thelma Ritter, George Sanders and the cattiest single-entendres ever! Yay! True story: a student once told me she hadn't ever seen a black-and-white movie before and that she was surprised by how… "bitchy they were?" I asked. "Yes!" Silly girl—she thought her sorority sisters had invented backstabbing!

A tie (Can I have a tie? Please don't ask me to choose.): Pee-wee's Big Adventure and The Blues Brothers. I know every goddamn word. Every single music cue. SPOILER ALERT: There's no basement in the Alamo. Also? Sometimes it's hard to be a woman.

Emily Nussbaum

Tootsie: Every scene in that movie is funny. Except for the one where Jessica Lange talks about the flowered wallpaper, which is sweet and touching.

Broadcast News: Because of Albert Brooks imitating Schwarzenegger on TV, and the rant he gives about the devil, and the sweating newscast, and the part Holly Hunter walks through her perfume in the polka-dot dress and says defensively, "I read it in a magazine!" and all the other parts. I'm also a sucker for Shattered Glass and any other movie in which journalists are sassy yet horribly fucked up.

Daytrippers: I've watched it about 25 times so I might as well watch it again.

Alex Pareene

I have a deep aversion to watching edited-for-broadcast versions of R-rated movies I like (so like no Goodfellas on TNT or whatever for me) but there are a ton of heavy-rotation TCM movies that I regularly end up watching most of. (Like Ball of Fire, which I swear is on monthly.)

Also, for real: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. (Especially happy if I have already missed the slooow beginning.)

Troy Patterson

Around the tenth or twelfth time I watched The Big Sleep, I learned to stop worrying that it makes no sense. I stopped watching the movie and now just let the movie happen to me. It works well as both an ambient comfort and as an object to zone out on. It is a noir white-noise machine—zen in the zing of the gunshots, velvet unfolding from Vivian's throat.

James Poniewozik

I was about to say I don't watch movies on TV (I usually don't), and then I remembered: Dazed and Confused. There was a stretch a while back when it was being rerun constantly on cable, and it's it's a movie I can easily pick up at any point. I have older siblings who were in high school in the '70s, so it somehow makes me nostalgic for a time I didn't actually experience. (Wet Hot American Summer = same deal, but don't think it ever got rerun as much.) Funny, sweet movie.

David Roth

Devil's Advocate: Fully insane, and always on. I'll never write my 3,500-word essay on the joys of Bad Pacino, but I don't really have to, thanks to this. He's all teeth and bellowing, everything else is as over-the-top as he is, and also apparently the Turner cable channels have some sort of deal requiring that this air every 48 hours, so my affection for it is refreshed constantly.

Super Troopers: I know, I know. The first time I saw this was years ago on HBO, fairly late at night. I wound up watching about 40 minutes standing up, waiting to turn the TV off as soon as I stopped being amused. Eventually I just sat down and watched it.

Exorcist III: Legion: This almost never happens, but it's like a holiday when it does. William Peter Blatty writing wild and wildly metaphysical dialogue for a bunch of veteran character actors; Brad Dourif rants and raves with a weirdly pitch-shifted voice; there's a dream sequence in DC's Union Station that features Samuel L. Jackson, Fabio and Patrick Ewing. There is no other movie like this in the world, which is both sad and perfectly okay.

Maureen Ryan

Not so long ago, a basic cable channel used to show an O.G. Star Wars marathon around Christmas. Nothing could be better than sitting around, sated with too many carbohydrates, watching light saber battles, and you could rest assured in the knowledge that the cable network wouldn't bastardize the movies as much as George Lucas did.

Any Terminator movie, any time, will command my full attention. If there's one principle that I've gleaned from watching hundreds of hours of science-fiction television and film, it's that robots fighting are always cool.

Rakesh Satyal

I have maintained since childhood that, at any given point in time, Mrs. Doubtfire and/or Steel Magnolias is on somewhere in the world. I am actually convinced that when TV stations have an extra 10-15 minutes of airtime, they simply play a scene from one of those two movies to plug the hole. It's like, "Oh, a boom fell on one of the Idol Top Twelve; cue Ouisa getting her mustache waxed."

Never turn Baby Mama off in my presence. It's one of the most underrated comedies ever. The scene in which Greg Kinnear surprises Amy Poehler by showing up at Tina Fey's apartment is only slightly less funny than if Greg Kinnear surprised Amy Poehler by showing up at Tina Fey's apartment in real life.

Bethlehem Shoals

From Hell: It's like a History Channel special with stars and a budget.

Anything with Matthew McConaughey: Too lumbering for sitcoms, too frequently oblivious for the big screen, but still our era's single greatest poet of male dumbness. Only on basic cable does it feel as if he's in on the joke.

Chinatown: I promise, I'm not trying to save face here. Chinatown is eternal because it can so easily be watched as trash.

Lizzie Skurnick

Kill Bill, Gladiator, Overboard and, apparently, Back to the Future II. THIS WEEK.

Todd VanDerWerff

Anything by Quentin Tarantino: I find the man's output often overrated, but damned if it doesn't make for perfect channel-surfing entertainment. There's something about the way his movies feel like chopped up and reassembled versions of other movies that lends itself to casual drop-ins, even when the movie's two-thirds over.

The Back To The Future trilogy: Perhaps the movies I watched more than any other at that pivotal age of 11. There's something about them that remains undeniable to me, even as I've realized the sequels practice a law of diminishing returns.

His Girl Friday: The plot is so secondary to the real attraction here—rapid-fire wit and two people gradually re-falling in love—that I'll gladly watch over and over and over again.

Sara Vilkomerson

I hesitate to say this first one, at the risk of sounding high-falutin, but whenever AMC shows either of The Godfathers 1 or 2, I have a very hard time walking away. My favorite moment is either the smoking the cigarette scene on the steps of the hospital with the baker ("I am Enzo!") or any time Sonny loses his shit.

Of course I am equally mesmerized by You've Got Mail, but I think that's because there's something so relaxing about it: pretty Upper West Side vistas, Meg Ryan's perfect, pleated, Marc Jacobs wardrobe, and sunny apartment, and the shout-out to the NY Observer is always amusing.

Meg Ryan again for pick three! I can't explain why I always stop for When a Man Loves a Woman, but I always do. I'm not even convinced it's an all-that-good movie, and yet, here we are. Thanks Oxygen.

Honorable mentions: An American President, Two Weeks Notice and The Cutting Edge.

Related: What's Your Most Played Song?

Nadia Chaudhury always stops to watch the Harry Potters, Never Been Kissed, and The Notebook (only for Gosling).

142 Comments / Post A Comment

BirdNerd (#4,196)

Oh man, some great films listed here.

I'd add Big Lebowski and the Outlaw Josie Wales.

And for larfs, certain scenes in Step Brothers make me cry laughing even for the 30th viewing. Not a great comedy (top to bottom) but totally rewatchable.

David Roth (#4,429)

@BirdNerd Co-sign on Step Brothers all the way (although I never see it on) and certainly on Lebowski. I DQ'ed Lebowski from my list because I do watch it on purpose (i.e. on DVD) with some frequency.

@David Roth Lebowski lives on my iPhone, so I DQ it for the exact same reason. (plus, it's not on TV that often).

zidaane (#373)

@BirdNerd Also Jeremiah Johnson and Downhill Racer.

cinetrix (#47)

@David Roth I also wavered on LEBOWSKI and traded it in for PEE-WEE and BLUES BROTHERS because my dad quotes the former TO THIS DAY and would call me in college whenever the latter was on, even when it was the shitty dubbed version on a crackly, commercial-happy UHF station out of Worcester [shudders; fans self].

TheRiverCharley (#51,772)

@zidaane Jeremiah Johnson is an eminently rewatchable film, and for some reason I never would have remembered that every time it's played on AMC I watch it.

Also, Coal Miner's Daughter.

BirdNerd (#4,196)

@zidaane OH YES, JEREMIAH JOHNSON. Although I guess I haved to DQ since I got the DvD this past holiday.

And as Roth mentioned above, I shouldn't count Lebowski either, I own it on VHS and DVD….still can't flip through TV while its on without pausing for a few minutes.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

This is so interesting to think about. And I'm not ashamed to say that Legally Blonde, Drumline, and Walking Tall (with the Rock) are on my list.

Tyrantanic (#13,751)

anything remotely involving Keanu Reeves for me. Special K 4eva!

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@Tyrantanic Oh man, the Replacements was on last weekend and I put off leaving the house to pick up lunch for two hours, so I guess this is me too.

RickVigorous (#214)

@Tyrantanic Constantine! It seems to always be on and it gets me every single time.

I don't really have any because I'm lame. The closest is Marie Antoinette.
And LoTR, except that it's never in wide-screen so I just put in the DVD to save myself the headache.

tessamae (#211,648)

The Mummy/Mummy Returns. But not that Weisz-less dreck the finished the trilogy. A girl has standards.

mrschem (#1,757)

@ameago hello? 'Constantine?'

hedgehog (#15,866)

@ameago YES exactly

Hawthorne Strainer (#196,817)

The Sting.

The Hudsucker Proxy. (I think this one is largely due to the Khachaturian-heavy soundtrack.)

Little Book of Calm (#157,178)

@Hawthorne Strainer The Hudsucker Proxy is my favorite Coen Brothers movie! And yes, probably in part because of all the Khachaturian.

The Hunt For Red October

growler (#476)


whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@growler Definitely Shawshank! Also that Screen shot up top was perfect for me since I will never walk away if Groundhogs Day (or Bill Murray) is watchable. Fact: the town square scenes were filmed in the town square of Woodstock, IL., not far from my humble beginnings.

Find: [The Thing ] Prev Next No matches found

(sound of keyboard flung angrily into corner)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose James Arness or Kurt Russell?

melis (#1,854)

Wilford Brimley.

@Clarence Rosario : Oh, Kurt Russell all the way. The original is fun, but lacks :
1. whatever ineffable quality it is that compels me to watch the entire John Carpenter version, even if it's like right at the beginning.
2. Wilford Brimley, yes.

Van Buren Boy (#1,233)


And to a lesser extent The Rock, but mostly Caddyshack. Even if my apartment building is burning down I'll still watch the Country Club party scene with Rodney Dangerfield firing off one-liners.

Keith Kisser (#9,714)

@Van Buren Boy God yes, Caddyshack. I watched that movie in bits and pieces for years, when it was always cut to hell and had all the naughty words dubbed over. In fact I don't think I ever saw it all the way through until I was in my twenties and bought it on DVD.

And the thing is, as a movie, it shouldn't work. Even the director admits that they dropped the A plot half way through to just let Chevy Chase, Bill Murry and Rodney Dangerfield just make shit up. And it's brilliant.

TableNine (#1,104)

Needs more Kurt Russell. That man has been single-handedly propping up TBS' weekend lineup for decades.

keisertroll (#1,117)

Overboard made me want to be a whiny bitch who didn't know how to swim.

katiebakes (#32)

@keisertroll Weeping with regret that I didn't give a shout out to that one. I LIKE IT WHEN SHE GOES BUBBUBBUBBUBBUB

@TableNine She needs food. *throws grape* This is fun.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@TableNine: You know what 'ol Jack Burton always says at a time like this?

You look radiant, Jo-Jo.

Oh, please don't call me that. I feel like a Pomeranian.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Everyone on the Internet has terrible taste in movies.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Mr. B I stayed up till 4 a.m. Friday night to finish watching U.H.F.

Pandemic Endemic (#3,825)

@Mr. B So did I! Where I live, "UHF" aired on a UHF-like antenna TV channel, which really amplified the fun of the movie watching experience for me. That same channel also repeatedly shows the "Car 54, Where Are You?" movie, featuring Buster Poindexter in the lead role and a lot of "Will it play in Peoria?" rap music. That movie is my preferred time-suck at this time.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Pandemic Endemic "Will it play in Peoria?" rap music Oh god, M.C. Vanilla, etc. Love it.

KenWheaton (#401)


How did Tremors not make this list? I always ALWAYS stop for Tremors and also Twister (same for everyone else who grew up in the Midwest).

hockeymom (#143)

Truly, Madly, Deeply
Animal House
Slap Shot (obvs)
Anything with 80s James Spader
…and All About Eve.

wprry28 (#211,663)

80s Movies very boring….

melis (#1,854)

When Harry Met Sally, you whores and the offspring of whores.

mrschem (#1,757)

We're talking network tv here, right?
Because the only time I have ever seen 'Badlands' on terrestrial tv is in England. but anyway,

'The Big Chill,' for Jeff Goldblum's 'rationalization' scene, alone.
'The Terminator'
and 'The Outsiders'

LondonLee (#922)

TCM showed Badlands last year I think, pretty sure I recorded it.

And where do you live that shows 'The Outsiders'?

mrschem (#1,757)

@mrschem come on. what I will tell you is that I stupidly pay for cable and I don't even get TCM-the one channel I would watch. *dirty water

mrschem (#1,757)

'Dumb and Dumber' forever

Murgatroid (#2,904)

Bridget Jones' Diary
Dumb and Dumber (+1)

I'll also point out that "From Hell," considering its putative 'source material', is a complete failure in all directions.

ComradePsmith (#4,477)

Sadly (or happily!), anything with Ryan Phillipe that involves private school. Mainly Cruel Intentions and Igby Goes Down.

Myles Tanzer (#13,698)

BEDAZZLED forever and ever.

barnhouse (#1,326)

@Myles Tanzer only the old one!!

hockeymom (#143)

I forgot.
The much discussed, "Love, Actually"

And Pride and Prejudice* (circa 1995)
* may not actually count, because of the PBS thing.

OmniJeff (#211,674)

HBO used to stand for "Hey, Beastmaster's On!" I used to watch the hell out of the Beastmaster. I like the ferrets and the monsters that would hug you with their wings and you'd come out bones.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@OmniJeff Not just bones, there was some slime in there too. Is HBO why I had this movie memorized? I always assumed that it was just a really popular movie that was always on every single channel.

David Roth (#4,429)

@Brunhilde Early-days HBO was so weird and great with that. For years it was just boxing, Kevin Meaney comedy specials, Beastmaster and Just One Of The Guys.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@David Roth So this is why no one ever gets my "Where do you get off having tits!?!" line.

Other memorable HBO mainstays: The Worst Witch, and Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas.

growler (#476)


Spiker Tab (#180,514)

The movies my mom used to rent for me on days when I was home sick from school still exert a weird pull, so: The River Wild, What's Up, Doc?, The Witches, and The Last Emperor.

katiebakes (#32)


BirdNerd (#4,196)

@Spiker Tab River Wild is a goodin.

quatsch (#201,284)

Ghostbusters, always and forever.

Stephanie@twitter (#211,684)

@quatsch That one caught me the other day and made me miss the Golden Globes!

zidaane (#373)

Key Largo is on TCM right now.

F.F. Woodycooks (#211,675)

Mean Girls, every time it is on.

FODForever (#211,699)

@F.F. Woodycooks Boo, you whore.

Mr. B (#10,093)

Fight! Fight, you 200Ks, fight!

Heather Wagner (#9,797)

Coming to America. Oh, and Outrageous Fortune. And Overboard one hundred times over! YOU SAID MOMS DON'T LEAVE. sniff.

@heatherwag Coming to America and Trading Places go hand in hand, and must be watched at any opportunity.

Plus, I don't know why but A Few Good Men. It's so bad but so fun. I love seeing Christopher Guest as the ornery doctor.

melis (#1,854)

"Mortimer…we're back."

MichelleDean (#7,041)


Also the Before Sunrise/Sunset movies, and Purple Rose of Cairo, which is the best light yet profound romantic comedy ever set to er, filmstock.

cinetrix (#47)

@MichelleDean SECRET SOCIETY! All of what you say is correct. Now I want a do-over.

ComradePsmith (#4,477)

@MichelleDean Never be ashamed!

Mission: Impossible.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

Ha, I had never seen or heard of My Cousin Vinnie until I caught it near the beginning on late-night cable one night, while staying on someone's couch, and got sucked. Good film!

madge (#211,678)

i am going to hell, but "the other sister."

i can never not watch carla and danny and tom skerrit.

hman (#53)

"plans" – Balk

purefog (#999)

Clear and Present Danger, Apocalypse Now, The Shining, Barton Fink.

SuperMargie (#1,263)

Constantine. I get sucked in every single time. It is so,so,so awful, but I make a game out of re-editing it, recasting it, and enjoying Gavin Rossdale and Tilda Swinton who were still oddly compelling and enjoyable.

norrey (#211,680)

Oh my god, Baby Mama. How does anyone watch that and *not* find it to be the funniest movie they've ever seen. Seriously, when I talk to people who didn't like that movie I stare at them like they just told me my forehead is sprouting leaves. SERIOUSLY.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@norrey What's your opinion of Will Ferrell's SNL cheerleader skit?

I cannot, no matter how hard I try, ever pass by a channel where Shawshank Redemption (damn you Turner broadcasting) or The Empire Strikes Back (damn you Spike).

Stephanie@twitter (#211,684)

Does anyone else HATE Dirty Dancing? I know I'm in the minority here (every highschool and college sleepover I ever went to has taught me that). Maybe I'm missing some crucial girl-gene but that movie just does nothing but annoy me.

Stephanie@twitter (#211,684)

@Stephanie@twitter I feel so alone.

@Stephanie@twitter You're not alone. I've never liked that movie. I'm missing that girl gene too.

elizabeast (#211,686)


(How is it possible that no one in this entire post mentioned Selena?!)

crescentmelissa (#10,702)

@elizabeast SELENA!!!!!!! Meeee tooooooo! It used to be on all the time, now not so much?

chevre4evre (#3,871)

A Few Good Men! The Princess Bride! Dead Poets' Society! And a whole bunch of the movies already listed (The Cutting Edge and Shawshank, in particular). I heart TBS!

LondonLee (#922)

Mega-ditto Jaws which I can watch over and over and over again (even though I own the DVD). I think it might be the most efficiently perfect film ever made.

And 'Duel' while we're talking early Spielberg.

@LondonLee : HOLY CRAP YES DUEL. Talk about a damn efficient machine of a movie. Duel is like the Juan de Pareja to Jaws's Innocent X — a tight little limbering-up exercise showing off all the skill the artist's about to deploy full-bore in the big work coming up next.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

Groundhog Day, Tootsie, All About Eve, GWTW, Goodfellas, Godfather un and deux.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

@scroll_lock – also When Harry Met Sally.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

@scroll_lock – and Annie Hall

Keith Kisser (#9,714)

The Princess Bride, Big Trouble In Little China, the Breakfast Club and the aforementioned Philadelphia Story and Caddyshack.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@Keith Kisser I made my boyfriend watch Big Trouble in Little China because he had never seen it, and now occasionally when he leaves me a message in a hilariously accurate Jack Burton dialogue. "This is Jack Burton from the Pork Chop express and I'm talking to whoever is listening…"

chouette (#2,277)

Center Stage, the best worst ballet movie ever.

crescentmelissa (#10,702)

Quiz Show! The

Flaneur (#998)

@crescentmelissa Good one. Paul Scofield eternally FTW. "Your name is mine!" Chills.

Dark Beauty (#4,046)

Point Break!
There's no way Bells is bigger than Waimea, bro.
It will be next year.

Equestrienne (#201,975)

Cool Hand Luke, Better Off Dead, The Deer Hunter

ejcsanfran (#489)

I was forced to cancel my plans for the evening when I stumbled onto Bourne 1 during the first 30 minutes – and it was followed immediately by 2 and 3.

OK, I didn't have any plans, but still!

Brunhilde (#1,225)

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. And pretty much everything else that people have already posted.

garge (#736)

I say, "Right on top of that, Rose" all of the time, and no one ever ___. :/

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@Brunhilde Talks like she's eating her face? That's the one.

Calvin Ball (#211,701)

Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, Groundhog Day, & Legally Blonde

Flaneur (#998)

The Untouchables, The Paper, Broadcast News, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, St. Elmo's Fire, most Coen brothers, most John Hughes, most Tarantino (lately Inglourious Basterds is on a loop everywhere, and the other night I had to wrestle myself away like Strangelove fighting his arm), His Girl Friday, Annie Hall, Metropolitan (never on, but I would watch it twice in a row if it were), Goodfellas, Midnight Run…enough for now.

camanda (#210,901)

nth'ing Goodfellas, I'll watch that anytime. Independence Day — it is pretty much always on, so it's exactly like having it on DVD, except with commercials and no pause button, because I live in 1960 and don't have a DVR. And anything with David Strathairn in it. LOVE HIM. And also James Bond movies. SyFy (why?) was showing Goldeneye recently and I couldn't not watch it.

Most of these are great, but seriously Kurt Andersen? Badlands? I love Badlands too but I don't think I've ever seen it just randomly on television which is obviously the point of this question.

C_Webb (#855)

@Lindsey Bahr@twitter Youy don't get TMC (The Terence Malick Channel)?

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

All Bill Murray except What About Bob? which has somehow never come up.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@dntsqzthchrmn You just did and I'm glad. I often make the "mmmm MMMMM MMMMMMMMM" joke when eating with friends. Dryfuss gets so pissed!

RickVigorous (#214)

Am I really the first to mention Clueless?

Bitzy (#1,913)

A League of Their Own. Somehow playing on TBS every day I was home sick from school.

Brunhilde (#1,225)

@Bitzy Niiiiiice Avatar. I love that house!

whoneedslight (#758)

Valley Girl.

oscarina (#45,226)

Holiday, with Kate Hepburn and Cary Grant! They even interviewed me about how it changed my life!
Love that movie!

Brian Shaw@twitter (#211,728)

No one has said 9 to 5? The Last Holiday…..?

Clare (#516)

Zoolander. Speed. Moonstruck, which I could watch whenever I want, because I own it on VHS and DVD, and yet whenever I catch it on TV, there's two hours I won't get back.

mrschem (#1,757)


mrschem (#1,757)

The Grifters, of course.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

I am in a Nic Cage movie watching group so I feel obliged to mention "Anything with Nicolas Cage". (There's a lot)

Joe Hackett@twitter (#211,780)

Any thing where Tommy Lee Jones plays a villain / antagonist – Under Siege, The Fugitive (YOU FIND THIS MAN!), Blown Away, etc. Relish these performances.

Lethal Weapon films – MURTAUGH

Batman Begins – the pacing sucks you in. The one liner ridden script helps a lot too – TASTE OF YOUR OWN MEDICINE, *DOCTOR*?

On the same Lethal Weapon note, any Shane Black scripted movie, particular the Last Boy Scout.

Mission Impossible 3 – monotone hoffman.

All the Ocean films draw me in despite the last two being hacked together because of Soderbergh's quirky direction. Always new things to find.

Miller's Crossing – because it is Miller's Crossing.

Sidney Lumet films – Dog Day Afternoon in particular, but all of them I try to stop and watch every time.

Flaneur (#998)

@Joe Hackett@twitter So much yes to Miller's Crossing. And your Shane Black mention reminded me: The Long Kiss Goodnight.

melmuu (#202,046)

Drop Dead Fred. What?

The Mummy, The Mummy 2 and my favorite- The Golden Child.

jdazzle (#211,825)

Ever After, all the time. And seconding Mrs. Doubtfire.

hedgehog (#15,866)


carolynell (#211,865)

Jurassic Park?! No else mentioned Jurassic Park?!

Magister (#1,444)

"Princess Bride" and anything Woody Allen or Spike Lee, especially "Get on the Bus". I don't know if it's Andre Braugher, Ossie Davis or what, but that movie is mesmerizing for me.

Magister (#1,444)

Also, a lot of Julia Roberts and pretty much all early to mid Burt Reynolds.

willieveith (#211,912)

nice collection….Yups I mention Jurassic Park is on of the most watches movie.

TheRiverCharley (#51,772)

I just discovered that Dazed and Confused is an instant play on Netfilx. See you later, Thursday.

Little Book of Calm (#157,178)

Shawshank Redemption, the Usual Suspects, Groundhog Day, Back to the Future, Bull Durham. Bickford Schmeckler's Cool Ideas used to be on Comedy Central all the time, totally underrated movie. Albeit one arguably enhanced by herbal reinforcement.

Little Book of Calm (#157,178)

@Little Book of Calm ooohhh and any ZAZ Movie. Airplane! Top Secret! Gaaaahhh greatness.

mely01smith (#212,087)

wow nice to read

lobsterhug (#66,323)

God, for months I had to watch Avatar whenever I found it on HBO, even if it was just the last hour or so. And I may have watched it on demand a few times.

BirdNerd (#4,196)

@lobsterhug I dug the hell out of Avatar in the theater (maybe the last time I was at a cinema, actually) but it didn't quite translate for me to DVD, found myslef getting bored in the last 45 mins. Maybe bc it brought out so many polarized opinions that the first viewing and subsequent discussions took all the juice out of it?? Not sure.

lobsterhug (#66,323)

@BirdNerd What I found so confusing about this compulsion was that I actually didn't like the movie all that much! It was Dancing with Wolves in Space with the White Savior rescuing them from destruction and I don't even want to think about what they did with that weird hair/tail during sex. I thought the 3D was just ok and I had no desire to see it again. Yet, I watched it multiple times! And I liked the look of it better on my dinky HD tv than I had at the movies.

Bittersweet (#765)

No love for The Fifth Element? I watch that on TNT every time I find it, despite the terrible TV edit.

Ledrew (#654)

TRAINING DAY (subset of the every-Denzel vote above).

belltolls (#184)

I got here too late and all my movies have been taken.

mathy4baty (#212,450)

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LizzytheSortaGreat (#212,654)

I will watch Anne of Green Gables literally every single time it comes on PBS. It doesn't matter that I own it, that I've seen it a hundred times. I will stop everything and watch.

misslovekaren_80 (#210,863)

I can watch "Pretty Woman" over and over again, for millions of times, without getting bored!

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