Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Movie Meme - Token of Appreciation



This week, I was all set to list movies about racial discrimination, in honor of MLK. Foiled again! The Bumbles, our hosts for Monday Movie Meme, have instead suggested we talk about those movies in which must be seen at least twice to fully appreciate. The ones where you need to see how it ends to understand how beautifully it was put together from the beginning.

Well, you could interpret this many different ways. There are some epics that are so rich and multi-layered (Gone With the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Reds) that it does serve the movie well to see it a few times. There are also the hilarious, quotable movies (Caddyshack, Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Rocky Horror Picture Show) that have risen to cult status from the re-watchings.

However, for me personally, multiple viewings are always required when there are unforeseeable twists. You watch the movie for the first time, and when you hit those twists, you go "Wha??? What just happened? What does this mean?". And it changes the way you perceive everything that just transpired for the last two hours. Then you must rewatch the entire thing again. Here are some of those movies:

The Sixth Sense: The mother of all twist movies. The awesome thing about my first experience watching this movie was that I HAD NO IDEA what the twist was. No one had spoiled it for us. And it was just mind-blowing.

Primal Fear: Again, I had no spoilers the first time I saw this one. It was also the first time I'd seen Edward Norton in action, and he is brilliant. And once you know the truth, it is with awe that you go back and analyze not only Norton's brilliance, but the character's as well. I liked this one so much I own it on my iPod.

The Game: The twists in this movie (and there are dozens of them) occur throughout the movie, not just the end. To the point where you really have no freaking clue what is going on. By the end of the movie, your brain hurts. This one is at least a three-time rewatch.

The Usual Suspects: The movie is loaded with great actors, but the one that shines through is Kevin Spacey (which actually earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, if I'm not mistaken). Similar to Primal Fear, once we are enlightened at the end of the movie, you must then turn back and observe both the character and the actor's amazing performance.

Memento: The premise of this movie is the main character cannot store new memories, and must do bizarre things in order to keep himself straight. The movie starts at the end of the story, where the protagonist thinks me may have killed his wife, but...can't remember. The story line moves backwards in time in short snippets. If it sounds confusing, it is. It's head-spinning. (Don't see this movie while drinking.) But at the same time, it is amazing and creative and you won't forget it any time soon.

The Village: The gig was up on M. Night after he did The Sixth Sense, so we all knew there was a twist with this one. It isn't quite as mind-blowing, but is respectable enough to give you an "Ahhhh haaaa!".

And last but not least, I must list the movie that never fails to delight, whether I'm viewing it the first time or the tenth...


Eastern Promises: 'Nuff said.




17 comments:

Beth F said...

The Usual Suspects was absolutely worth the second (or more) viewing. Eastern Promises, Viggo on a Monday morning.... Sigh.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Same here with Sixth Sense - no one had spoiled it for us and it was really mindblowing. I loved watching it the second time and seeing how it worked. As for Memento, I think you gotta watch that one more than twice to figure out what the heck is going on! :--)

Frances said...

For me, the multiple viewings at home always tend toward the fun stuff. Guilty pleasures. Don't ask me how many times I have watched the new Star Trek or Ironman. Or the chick flick thing? Had to buy a new copy of You've Got Mail.

Trisha said...

What an awesome list of movies! Seriously this reads like a movie list for one of my film courses.

I, unfortunately, did not have your experience with The Sixth Sense. Towards the beginning when Bruce Willis sits down at the restaurant with his wife...yep, I knew the truth at that point. And I quite evilly proceeded to ruin it for my husband. Then again, he didn't believe me, so I guess I didn't really ruin it. I predicted the Village too. My husband says this is an indication of watching too many movies - you start to see the tricks of the trade too clearly. :)

Susan said...

Same here! I truly did not know until the very moment of reveal on the The Sixth Sense! I immediately started watching it again so I could catch the clues. Same with The Village. I guess I'm really gullible or something!

kaye said...

that's a nice list of puzzling movies you have there.

ds said...

Ahhh, Viggo! Other than the flicks you cast aside (GWTW, Monty Python, Rocky Horror), I don't think I've seen any of the movies you list here. *sigh* But I'm glad you have, so I could learn about them :D

caite said...

Yes, I think The Sixth Sense was the winner in this category. I had no idea, and yet when you look back at the movie all the info was there, it all made sense. excellent...

The Bumbles said...

On the DVD Extras for the 6th Sense they went into detail about how they used the color Red to signal the big "twist" - after seeing that and watching the movie again - it seemed so obvious and I felt incredibly stupid for being so duped the first time!

Ed Norton is one of my favorite actors. Primal Fear was his best performance I think. But Fight Club was another gem - with a nice twist of its own!

Heather said...

Did not participate again this week with all that's been going on, but thought I'd see what others posted. Definitely agree with The Sixth Sense and The Usual Suspects. Have not seen the rest.

Nymeth said...

I love Mememto! It's one of my favourite movies ever!

Sadly, I had both Sixth Sense and The Village spoiled for me :\

Irishcoda said...

Yep, you're so right about Sixth Sense--absolutely mind blowing! I love twists in movies and I'm glad so many have them now. Before Sixth Sense, I remember being surprised like that by "Deathtrap" which starred Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve. Remember it?

stacybuckeye said...

Love your list and of these I'd pick Primal Fear. It was the twist and the outstanding acting that make it worth extrs viewing :)

Alice Teh said...

Again, I haven't watched any of the movies you've listed here. Yep, not even SIX SENSE.

Jenners said...

I've seen all but "Eastern Promises" but now I think I need to see that because I loved loved loved all these movies but had forgotten just how great they all were until I read this post. I remember actual SHOCK at "The Sixth Sense." The whole theater was like "Whhhhaaaatttt?" It was brilliant. And "Primal Fear" --- did not see that coming. And I still need to think about "Memento." that hurt my brain big time! Great picks.

Zibilee said...

I heartily agree with your choice of Memento and The Game, and the others are really good choices as well. I think these are my favorite type of movies because they are engrossing not only the first time, but on the second time around as well. I am going to stick a few of these in my Netflix queue...I think my husband is new to a few of them.

Amy said...

I've never seen Eastern Promises and have added it to my Netflix list. The other movies on this list are outstanding, fantastic movies! They are all worth seeing multiple times because there's so much going on & so many twists and turns and also because they are so well done and superbly acted. The Usual Suspects is one of my Top 10 favorite movies. Memento is briliant and fun as is The Game. It's been a long, long time since I saw The Sixth Sense.....Ohhhh Netflix....
Great post, Sandy.
~ Amy