Pop Rocks: 5 Reasons It Isn't Weird to Watch a Movie Many Times

movie-watching-stripes.jpg
"I didn't know they could DO that."
Sometimes I'm convinced my wife thinks I'm nuts. She cannot figure out why I watch movies repeatedly. She has a few chestnuts she enjoys and will watch on occasion, but I'm not sure she'll ever understand why when certain movies happen to be on TV, I feel almost compelled to watch them. They run the gamut from funny to thrilling to dramatic. The ones I really love I've seen sometimes a few dozen times.

It started with The Empire Strikes Back. I was 11 when it was released and there was a movie theater in the mall less than a mile from my house. My friends and I went to see it first thing in the morning, standing in line with the other nerds. Once we were in, we didn't leave except to pee and get popcorn through a half dozen showings. We went back and saw it multiple times after that. I don't know how many times I've seen it now that I own the DVD, maybe 100 or more, yet that whole "Luke, I am your father" crap never gets old.

It might be because I watched reruns a lot as a kid. I would see the same episode of The Jeffersons or Three's Company more times that I or anyone else would care to. It bled over into film. This isn't to say I don't like watching new movies. I do. But, once I get my claws into one, I go back for seconds, thirds and twentieths on occasion. Here's why.

5. If it is compelling, it's compelling.

Or funny or fascinating. I will never get sick of Jason Robards telling a story about J. Edgar Hoover as Ben Bradlee in All the President's Men or watching Quint, Hooper and Brody talk about their scars on the boat in Jaws. I could watch John Winger convince Russell Ziskey to not only steal the EM-50 in Stripes, but drive it into Czechoslovakia to rescue their unit, 1,000 times. When it's good, it's good.

4. Often things are missed in one pass.

Watching a great movie is a little bit like listening to a Beatles record. If you pay attention, each time you'll hear something different. I've listened to Beatles songs hundreds of times over the years and I still find myself hearing things I'd never heard before. That is the power of discovery that comes with repeated watchings of movies, particularly in this new world of CGI technology.

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3 comments
Erica Murphey
Erica Murphey

Titanic was the only one I've ever seen three times in a theater.

Bert Duplessis
Bert Duplessis

Casablanca, Groundhog Day, Office Space, Big Lebowski, Back to the Future, My Cousin Vinny.

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