Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Most Watchable Movies, The Unforgiven Effect



Have you ever noticed that there are some movies that are just infinitely watchable?

I'm not talking about the greatest movies ever made, because cinematically speaking, there are some perfectly crafted films that I can recognize as amazing pieces of art and storytelling that I don't necessarily want to see more than once or twice.

Then there are those movies that, regardless of how many times you've seen them, you'll watch them over and over again and, if you happen to come across them on TV, it doesn't matter how long they've been on, you will watch them.

It's what I like to call the Unforgiven effect.

Everyone has those movies they'll watch any time over and over, but the one film that's basically on everyone's "watchable" list is Unforgiven. It's pretty much universally understood that anytime anyone stumbles on Unforgiven on AMC, you pretty much just have to watch it.

I was once up far too late on a Sunday - technically it was about 1am Monday - and I was just finishing a beer and dreading the prospect of being up again so soon to go to work. As I finished the last swig of my beer, I channel surfed to Bravo and happened upon these words on the screen:

"She was a comely young woman and not without prospects. Therefore it was heartbreaking to her mother that she would enter into marriage with William Munny, a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."

I just sighed and grabbed another beer. It was going to be a long night.

The next day I was late for work. Another dude just looked at my tired face and said, "Unforgiven?"

Some other movies I would watch anytime include:

  • Tombstone
  • A Few Good Men
  • Bull Durham
  • Tin Cup (I have no idea why - and it seems to be always on. Tin Cup has wasted so much of my life)
  • Goodfellas
What are your most "watchable" movies? Those movies you've seen a million times and will put on in the background just to do laundry? Those movies that you can stumble on when you know there's only twenty minutes left, but you watch the end anyway, then try to find the movie starting somewhere else on time-shifting?

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