the best way to watch movies

February 22, 2012

Maybe not the best — the best way to watch movies actually depends on the movie, like the very best time I ever saw Aliens was the time in college when we hauled a sofa from the lounge into somebody’s dorm room, hooked up his stereo system to the surround sound on his gigantic TV, turned the lights out so the room was pitch dark, filled the room with people, and put the one person who’d never seen the movie front and center.  HOLY CRAP, PEOPLE.  If you’ve seen Aliens a million million times (like I have) and want to watch it with fresh eyes, see it in a totally dark room with surround sound and somebody who’s never seen it before.  You will hit the ceiling.


One of my favorite ways to watch movies is in awesome and unlikely pairings, based on a theme.  Not sequels or two movies in a series — two completely different, yet awesome, movies.  You can make a whole night of it, with costumes and food and everything.  Here are a few movie nights I haven’t done yet that I want to:

Vintage Steampunk:  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in 80 Days (the original, not the remake) OR Metropolis (Depending on how patient the rest of the audience is with silent movies.  Metropolis is an amazing, gorgeous, groundbreaking film.  But it takes some patience.)

Retro Weird:  Midnight in Paris (which I haven’t seen yet, but might do in conjunction with…) and Cast a Deadly Spell  (Because, you know, why not?)

In Space No One Can Hear You Bwah?Dark Star and The American Astronaut  (Two of the most amazing, whacked-out SF movies I’ve ever seen.  Pairing them might just alter space and time.  I want to try it and see.)

Any other suggestions for awesome movie pairings?


22 Responses to “the best way to watch movies”

  1. Tobi Summers Says:

    Chocolate Night: I know it’s not exactly an unlikely pairing, but try watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with Johnny Depp) back to back. About the only thing they have in common is half a name.

  2. Andrew Says:

    I remember stacking couches on coffee tables for stadium seating.
    As for movie nights, how about dueling disaster movies. You could mix disasters, you could do combinations like Armageddon/Deep Impact or Volcano/Dante’s Peak.

  3. Jamie Says:

    I sometimes enjoy pairing silent films with their talkie re-makes. For example, Charles Bryant’s SALOME (1923) and Ken Russell’s SALOME’S LAST DANCE (1988) – two great versions of the Oscar Wilde play. (FYI, both are available in their entirety on YouTube.)



  4. Slater Stone Says:

    I don’t know about movie pairings, but I enjoy watching movies with the subtitles on and the movie in fast forward. I have no love of annoying dramatic pauses and scenery shots and long extended conversations with “nuance”, blah, blah, blah. Just get to the point.

    Most stories can be told in half the time they use. When fast forwading with subtitles I can read what they are saying, and then just slow down for the action sequences. Much less painful way to watch any movie.

  5. James Targett Says:

    First time watching Aliens: The Directors Cut, at Uni, at a FreakSoc showing. The fire alarm went off, just about the time that Ripley is waking up from sleep at Gateway. Took everyone in the room a good ninety seconds to realise that the alarm was in real-life and not something added to the movie. … Anyway. *ahem*

    Movie pairings: Dog Soldiers and Troll Hunter – indie monster night?

    Movies inspired by the Zodiac murders in San Francisco – Zodiac and Dirty Harry!

  6. WanabePBWriter Says:

    The Thing, The Thing, and The Thing.

  7. Jim Van Pelt Says:

    Repo Man, and Memento (with a nightcap of either Pulp Fiction or Sean of the Dead).

  8. carriev Says:

    Ooh, and I should mention one we actually did: the Lovecraft FTW night: “The Last Lovecraft” and “Dagon” (brilliant, because The Last Lovecraft gave us the phrase “fish raped,” which turned out to be incredibly useful in Dagon).

    Slater: I wonder that you watch movies at all and don’t just stick to books! The pacing, the pauses, the visual storytelling, are usually the entire point to most good movies.

  9. hattorihaze Says:

    Mind-boggle movies: Pan’s Labyrinth, City of Lost Children (honestly, if you haven’t seen this Carrie, I think you’d love it), Inception, Inside Man. If you get through all four, you’ll become either a conspiracy nut or a lunatic. lol

    Japanese Horror Night: My ex and I did this. Ju-On 1 and 2, The Ring (original), and to throw in some anime for my otaku-ness, Ghost Hunt. Especially fun to watch if you have someone like me nearby that is a complete wuss when it comes to horror flicks.

  10. carriev Says:

    My friends have banned me from seeing The Ring because of my violence-to-horses trigger…

  11. annapi Says:

    Any Star Trek original series movie (II & IV recommended) and Galaxy Quest.

  12. WanabePBWriter Says:

    The three versions of I am Legend (Omega Man). Vincent Price Charlton Heston and Will Smith.

  13. As an addendum to what someone upthread said, the three movies in John Carpenter’s Apocalypse Trilogy back-to-back: The Thing, Prince of Darkness (the only one I haven’t seen yet), and In the Mouth of Madness.

  14. Emily E Says:

    Blue Velvet and the Wizard of Oz. Both are scary with hyper color.

  15. Re WIlliams Says:

    Classical comedy night: Bob Hope and Bing Crosby ‘Road to Utopia’ and ‘They’ve got me covered’

    Blood letting night: Dracula, pick randomly from the half dozen, with at least one black and white and one modern. For comic comparison add in a random Twilight (with the optional use of the FF technic described above. 🙂

  16. Brian Says:

    Some SciFi/Comedy pairing would be: Ice Pirates and Spaceballs

    Classics. 🙂

  17. JeffW Says:

    What about 80’s-post-nuke-that’s-not-Mad-Max? Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone followed by The Blood of Heroes.

  18. WanabePBWriter Says:

    Adding to JeffWs list A boy and his dog. Based on story By Harlan Ellison.

  19. David Bowles Says:

    Game over, man. Game over!

  20. Jakk Says:

    I love Cast A Deadly Spell. I can never remember the name of the sequel. This is a wonderful idea, Carrie! Thanks!

    And i remember my first time seeing Aliens, and you are right.

  21. hattorihaze Says:

    Hmmm… Comedic spoof-horror: Dracula: Dead And Loving It, and Trannsylvania 6-5000.

    Witches That Don’t Irritate Real Witches: Practical Magic and The Good Witch series (also, pretty good chick-flicks).

  22. Griggk the goblin Says:

    The sequel to “Cast a Deadly Spell” is “Witch Hunt”.

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