Films are awesome. I think we can all agree on that. Some films are good, yet you can only watch them once (sure, I loved the Godfather, but it is a bit of a heavy film to watch again), or I might see an action film at the cinema, like it, but not enough to go out and pay to see it again (Bullet to the Head). Other films are worth a couple of watches, especially ones that had a twist that turned the movie on its head (Fight Club and Shutter Island have completely different experiences on a second viewing). Then, there are of course the cult movies like ‘Aliens’ and ‘Sin City’ that can be watched again and again.
However, today I want to talk about the films that you can not only watch several times, but actually improve while doing that. With the three examples below, I keep coming back to them and am able to take something new away with me. Leave a comment if you know any other movies that have this effect or if my examples are completely wrong.
3 – THE DARK KNIGHT
Right, here it goes. This next statement could make me lose several followers and fans, but I need to say it: ‘I wasn’t overly impressed by ‘The Dark Knight’ the first time I watched it.
Let me embellish, before I am lynched. Yes, I loved the characters, especially the Joker, who, as I have said, is the greatest superhero villain of all time. There were moments I loved, but I found it… and I am not the only one who thinks this… that it was a little too ‘political’. OK, that’s the wrong word, but Christopher Nolan focused on Harvey Dent’s side of the story too much and I found myself missing the Gothic Tim Burton style at handling Batman. ‘The Dark Knight’ was too real for me and I felt that the mythology surrounding the Batman universe was tainted slightly.
I have watched it about five times since and I must admit, bit by bit, the film won me over. It is mostly due to the smaller details: I am noticing new things about some of the background characters each time (did you know that Mr. Lau was based on failed Batman villain, The Calculator?). Also, I am starting to understand Nolan’s vision a bit better. It helps that I have read the graphic novel the film is loosely based on ‘The Long Halloween’, which tells of Harvey Dent’s slow corruption and the birth of Two-Face. It brought an interesting side out of the character and the universe in a whole.
And before you say that I should have picked that up the first time, I still stand by my initial criticisms. Although I have found new things to enjoy from the movie, I still prefer Batman Begins and the Dark Knight Rises, because it has a more ‘Batman’ feel to the story. It’s still a great movie (four or five stars), it’s just the weaker one in the trilogy.
2 – THE PHANTOM MENACE
Another lynch awaits me.
Come on, guys, this film came out in 2001: get over it. Our wounds have healed and we can look at this movie now, without feeling betrayed by George Lucas’s mess of a movie. The more I watch this film, the more I begin to forgive the flaws. Sure, Jar Jar Binks is an awful character, but he isn’t enough to make the rest of the film a failure (plenty of films have one terrible character). The Phantom Menace opens up a new side to the Star Wars universe and I am beginning to appreciate that.
Each time I start the movie, I realise how much I love the special effects Lucas gave the Star Wars world with. I love the Podrace – nothing else comes close to this kind of thing in any other movie. The final fight between Qui-Gon and Darth Maul is one of the most awesome things to happen in the prequels. Mainly though, I think I am just more prepared to handle the flaws. I can brace myself for when young Anakin is on screen and can go for a bathroom break, when midi-chlorians are mentioned.
1 – ANY DANIEL CRAIG BOND FILM
I have no idea why these films keep on improving, because I loved them the first time around. Yet somehow, I find myself loving them more and more.
I think this is partly due to me getting over my Pierce Brosnan stage. Everyone loves the Bond they grew up with and Pierce was mine. However, Craig just reinvented everyone’s perception of the character and made it impossible to hate him. Every time I watch the film I cannot help feeling grateful that Craig came along and saved a franchise that, in all honesty, was dying out.
I don’t have too much to say here, because I cannot explain my growing love for the films. I am sure, when I finally get around to watching Skyfall again, I shall fall back in love with the cinematography and explosive nature of the film. They’re the kind of DVDs that you will not regret adding to your collection, because you will never grow bored of it.
Now, got to go: a lynch mob is knocking on the door.