7 Movies That Get Better Every Time You Watch Them
Sometimes, you watch a movie for the first time and it’s not that good. Or maybe it’s good, but not great. And then a year or so goes by — maybe longer — and you watch that same movie again and somehow, some way, it’s better than you remember it. And it keeps getting better each time you watch it. Maybe it’s because you’re a little older and a little wiser, so you understand the movie a little bit better, or maybe you just start to pick up on small details and are able to appreciate its craft a bit more, but whatever the reasons may be, there are some movies that simply get better with each subsequent viewing.
I set out to identify 7 of my favorite films that seem to have aged like a fine wine, and yet like Paul Rudd, never get old. Maybe you’ve seen some of my picks already and didn’t like them, or maybe you liked them but didn’t love them, but that’s the whole point of this exercise — to identify films that improve the more you see them. Yes, the film itself is the same, but we all change, as do our tastes, fears and desires.
All of the films I chose are available to watch using Movies Anywhere, a service that allows you to access all of your digital libraries, so that when you buy a Blu-ray that comes with a digital code, or you purchase a movie on places like iTunes, Prime Video or Google Play, you can access those purchases in one place by linking your various digital retailer accounts to Movies Anywhere.
The service allows you to share your love of movies with other users (even if they haven’t purchased the film themselves) thanks to its new Screen Pass feature. you can also Watch Together, even if you’re apart, with its fully-integrated co-viewing functionality. That’s a lot of flexibility at a time when the rules of society aren’t terribly flexible, so check out my picks below, and use Movies Anywhere to fire up an old favorite… unless it’s a future one.
AVAILABLE ON MOVIES ANYWHERE
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
This classic John Hughes movie gets richer every time you watch it, as you get a deeper understanding of the pain that each of these characters is going through. The Breakfast Club is still one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen, but it was probably funniest on that first watch, for it’s the pain that stands out on subsequent viewings. The empathy that Andrew has for a classmate he humiliated. Brian’s shame surrounding his grades. Claire’s anxiety around being perfect. Bender’s tough guy act hides his vulnerability. And like the Cable Guy below, Allison is just lonely, which perhaps makes her the most relatable character of the bunch. Sure, this movie is Peak ’80s, but the problems faced by the Breakfast Club are the same problems that today’s teens struggle with, and I think that awareness that only comes with hindsight actually enhances the entire movie. Each time I watch this film, I come away impressed with the script and the performances (especially Judd Nelson) even more, because it’s perfectly written and cast. You don’t have to be a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel or a recluse to appreciate the universality of this utterly rewatchable and eminently quotable coming-of-age dramedy.
THE CABLE GUY
I first saw Ben Stiller‘s pitch black comedy when I was 12 years old, and there’s no question it went over my adolescent head. All I knew was that Jim Carrey‘s creepy title character was a far cry from his goofier turns in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber, and The Mask. I didn’t know what to make of The Cable Guy after that first screening, but eventually I matured enough to realize that the film is really about loneliness and a fear of abandonment. The Cable Guy just wants a friend, so when Matthew Broderick‘s Steven takes a liking to him, his entire life suddenly has purpose. But when Steven warns him that he’s getting too close too quickly, the Cable Guy goes to great lengths to get his revenge. The brilliance of the film is its message about television, which effectively served as the Cable Guy’s only friend when he was younger. In fact, we never even learn his real name, because he doesn’t have one. He is a child of television, raised by famous families who were perfect for primetime. And by the end of the film, when everyone is glued to their television sets awaiting the verdict of a high-profile murder case, the Cable Guy gets the last laugh, forcing his customers to find a new babysitter to entertain them, and maybe pick up a book for a change. That’s a message we can all get behind, even if it didn’t quite register with me as a kid. Go back and watch this early Judd Apatow production now, and I bet you’ll get more out of it than you remember.
DAZED AND CONFUSED
This really is one of the seminal coming-of-age movies, one that benefits immensely from the passage of time. This movie isn’t trying to capture the present moment, it’s in love with the past, for better and worse. The first time I saw Richard Linklater’s love letter to the ’70s, I watched it through the eyes of its young protagonist Mitch Kramer, and as they say, you never forget your first. I was quickly seduced into this world of hazing, keg parties and high school romance. But it wasn’t until those second, third and fourth viewings that I came to watch Dazed and Confused from the point of view of its upperclassmen, and so much more was revealed to me under that guise. Instead of focusing on the fun stuff, it was the more adult themes that stood out, such as Mike’s anxiety about his future and how sad O’Bannion’s life really is, or how rare it is to see a guy like Pink show a little backbone and prove himself capable of independent thought. Dazed and Confused is a party movie on its surface, but if you look deeper on subsequent viewings, you’ll see there’s a whole lot more going on under the hood of its beer bus. It’s a movie that speaks to multiple generations that never gets old no matter how many times you watch it, and that’s just the way Wooderson likes it, alright? Alright? Alright.
The greatest cops-and-robbers movie ever made, in my humble opinion. Michael Mann‘s magnum opus is a three-hour tour of LA’s vibrant crime world, in which the most successful crooks live by a code, and the most successful cops don’t let anything — or anyone — get in their way. Lt. Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) is on his third marriage, and that’s because he’d rather be out on the streets catching bad guys than doing the family man thing back at home. That little factoid about Vincent’s personal life is a throwaway line, but one that reveals so much about the man, and it’s lines like that that stick out the more you watch this epic saga, which is as sensitive as it is macho. We’re so focused on the mano-y-mano battle between Pacino and Robert De Niro that it’s easy to lose sight of the excellent supporting cast, and I’m not talking about Val Kilmer or Jon Voight. Those second, third and fourth viewings allow you to savor certain details such as when Ashley Judd signals Kilmer not to enter their home, or the way Danny Trejo begs De Niro to kill him when he learns his wife is dead, or the sting in Amy Brenneman‘s eyes when she sees De Niro run past her with barely a second thought, leaving her alone in a chaotic world that she was ready to give up just to be with him. When we think of Heat, we often think of Pacino ranting and raving about “great asses” and such, but this is a movie that thrives in its quiet moments, and because there’s so much going on in this megamovie, we only come to appreciate those moments on subsequent viewings. I could watch Heat until the end of time, not because of its big shootout on the streets of LA, but because of everything it never says, and doesn’t have to, because it’s all there in De Niro and Pacino’s sunken eyes at the end as they hold hands, neither wanting to let go, because to do so would be to lose a vital part of themselves. It’s as close to poetry as crime films may ever get.
You can watch Heat on Movies Anywhere.
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS
Listen, Wes Anderson‘s style isn’t for everyone, but for those who abide his whimsical eccentricities, it reaches its apotheosis with The Royal Tenenbaums, which finds Gene Hackman playing the patriarch of a seriously dysfunctional family who still manage to love each other despite their flaws. This is the kind of layered family portrait in which you notice something new each time you watch it, and maybe you identify with different characters as you get older. As a teenager, I think I identified most closely with the existential angst of Margot Tenenbaum (Gwyneth Paltrow), but once I got to college, the self-destructive Richie Tenenbaum (Luke Wilson) became more relatable. I don’t have kids, but if I did, Chas Tenenbaum (Ben Stiller) might be the character I see myself in, so it really all depends where you are in life and love, since that’s what this movie is really about. Richie’s love for his sister, Chas’ love for his children, Henry Sherman’s love for Etheline (Anjelica Huston), Pagoda’s love for Royal, and Royal’s love for his family. This is one big love-fest, but it might take a few viewings to realize that, since The Royal Tenenbaums has an acerbic surface that can leave a sour taste for the uninitiated. Some may find Anderson’s style twee and pretentious, but his specific attention to detail enhances the flavor of this family dramedy, which like Royal himself, only seems to get better with age.
This is one of two perfect films on this list, and if you don’t think so, go back and watch it again, because there isn’t a cast member, a line of dialogue or a prop that I would change. Every decision is perfectly calibrated and they flow together like a river. I watch this movie twice a year, and I swear it gets better every time, typically with regard to David Fincher‘s masterful direction. Subsequent viewings allow you to fully appreciate the way he foreshadows the ending with certain shots, such as when the camera cuts to Brad Pitt‘s character when Morgan Freeman is rattling off the last of the seven deadly sins. As amazing as Pitt and Freeman are in this film, the more you watch it, the more that the supporting performances stand out, from R. Lee Ermey as their boss to Richard Roundtree as the D.A., Richard Schiff as the killer’s attorney, Leland Orser as the perpetrator of Lust, Michael Massee as proprietor of the massage parlor where Lust takes place, Hawthorne James as the night guard at the library, Mark Boone Junior as Freeman’s FBI connection, and John C. McGinley as the SWAT team leader. At first glance, these are character actors doing what character actors do best — blending in — but you don’t realize how perfectly calibrated their work is until you see it a few times. I can’t imagine how many takes the notoriously meticulous Fincher asked these guys to do, but they do an incredible job helping the two leads bring Andrew Kevin Walker‘s depraved screenplay to life. Though many remember Seven as a police procedural, the more you watch it, the more you’ll come to see it as Fincher did — as a “meditation on evil.”
You can watch Seven on Movies Anywhere.
I always liked Step Brothers — you’d have to be a real sourpuss not to — but I didn’t come to love Step Brothers until I’d seen it a few times and could fully appreciate the position it puts Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in as Brennan Huff and Dale Doback — not to mention their poor parents. Adam McKay‘s 2008 comedy may be about a couple of manchild idiots, but it has some surprisingly smart things to say about sibling rivalry and the powerful bond that brothers can share, even if they’re step brothers in their ’40s. What stands out on repeat viewings isn’t so much the jokes as it is the character work here, with Ferrell and Reilly doing their best to show how these guys are completely different creatures, even if they have enough in common to become “best friends.” There’s no question that these two are the stars of the show, but like most of the movies on this list, the more you watch this one, the more the supporting cast stands out, from Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn as Brennan’s brother and sister-in-law, to Richard Jenkins and Mary Steenburgen as the stars’ put-upon parents, who just want their sons to grow up and make something of themselves so they can get out of the house and leave them to enjoy their twilight years together. I’m in my mid-thirties now and I still feel like a kid sometimes, so I can relate to Brennan and Dale’s mid-life malaise and stunted adolescence. The older we get, the less we want to grow up, and I think this movie makes some worthwhile points about wanting to hold on to the things that make us feel young, whether it’s a drum set or fast-fading karate skills. Step Brothers is a surprisingly smart treatise on aging and what true friendship looks like, so watch it again with your best pal — you know, as soon as you’re allowed to — and keep an eye out for those loving details that elevate this movie to modern classic status.
This article is sponsored content presented by Movies Anywhere.
Movies Anywhere and Screen Pass are trademarks of Movies Anywhere, LLC.
Source : Jeff Sneider Link