What Makes a Movie Infinitely Rewatchable?
Chicago Now’s generally well put together list of the “101 Most Rewatchable Movies” has me thinking about the infinitely rewatchable movie. These are the movies that go beyond being simply rewatchable to the point that you can watch them on a near endless loop. This doesn’t mean that they are necessarily better or even “good” movies. In fact, the opposite is often true. Think Super Troopers. Can be (and has been) watched on a near endless loop but not one of the greatest movies of all time. On the other hand take The Godfather which is undoubtedly one of the greatest movies of all time and definitely rewatchable to a point, but you could never watch it on an endless loop. You feel too exhausted when its over, and if you’re hungover, forget even making it all the way through. Not so with the permanently rewatchable. Being hungover may even be an advantage. Here’s my criteria for an infinitely rewatchable movie:
1. Must be generally mindless
To be able to watch a movie on an endless loop, you have to be able to partly shut your mind completely off. You can’t do this if you’re watching Gone with the Wind, but if you’re watching Con Air your brain almost automatically shuts off. If your brain is on during this kind of movie then you’ll needlessly and endlessly pick it apart to the point that you won’t enjoy it. Of course Nic Cage’s accent is ridiculous. Of course no one gets to sent to the federal penitentiary full of certified maniacs because of self defense. And, of course, John Malkovich is completely unbelievable as someone named “Cyrus the Virus.” But you just let it go, because your mind is shut off and you don’t want to turn it back on. This is how a certifiably horrible movie becomes enjoyable and infinitely rewatchable.
2. Must include humor and/or action
3. Must work in a marathon format
4. Must be watchable in (nearly) any physical state
it also eliminates those movies that are only watchable while on drugs. Sorry kids, but The Wall or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are barely watchable at all if sober. If the only one enjoying the movie is the high kid in the corner, then that movie is not infinitely rewatchable. Sorry guy who likes Half Baked.