Best Movies of All Time + Vertigo

Top 10: Films I Need to Re-Watch

Have you ever watched a movie based on someone else's recommendation, only to find that it didn't quite live up to the bar they set? I can't begin to tell you just how many times this has happened to me. This becomes most frustrating when I watch an allegedly "great" film that has achieved a certain stature in cinematic history, but I simply can't find a way to like it or enjoy it. Because I want to have that intimate knowledge of the better films released through the course of history, I can say that I've had my share of disappointments. However, I think I may have a bit of a problem with my logic.

I usually only give most of those films a single viewing, and because I'm so put off by them the first time around, I simply don't take the time to give them another shot. There could very well be a chance that I'll enjoy the flick more the second time around, but I'm always just a tad bit wary of undertaking a film I didn't necessarily enjoy for a second time. However, sometimes it yields fantastic results. For example, I strongly disliked Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction when I first gave it a view, but after a second watch, I managed to see its incredible merit. Perhaps there are more such films out there.

So what I've done is create a list of films I've seen in the past that I didn't particularly enjoy for whatever reason of another. These are films that have stood out to me as ones that, for whatever reason, I think I might like after a second go-around. I could be completely wrong, but here goes nothing.

(Note: Of all the films on this list, I did not hate any of them on my first viewing. I simply think I didn't like them quite as much as I expected, and subsequent viewings seem to be in order.)


Kill Bill Vol. 1


Kill Bill Vol. 2

(2003 / 2004)

Fitting that the film should start with another Tarantino venture, isn't it? When I saw the two Kill Bill films, I was in a place where I didn't really like Tarantino's style. Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs were good flicks, but I didn't really think they were all that brilliant. It wasn't until 2009's Inglourious Basterds that I started to come around on his filmmaking process, and I've since come to respect and enjoy Tarantino's vision. The Kill Bill flicks are the only ones I haven't managed to re-watch just yet, but I'm thinking I might like them a bit more than I did last time.




My dislike for Rocky stems from two particular sentiments. First, I thought the film was a little bit too slow, and all that build up didn't really make for a terribly strong finish, in my opinion. Second, I'm really not much of a Sylvester Stallone fan, so it was difficult for me to relate to his character. Still, I understand the merit and achievement of the film, but as a pure entertainment factor, I think a re-watch might do me a little bit of good.


The Exorcist


Cited as one of the scariest films of all time, The Exorcist simply managed to spark a rise out of me the first time I watched it. Maybe it's been a bit dated since it was released in 1973, but I wasn't even left sitting on the edge of my seat, let alone be scared out of my wits. The problem I saw was that it felt like two different movies. The scenes with Linda Blair were fantastic, but everything else seemed like a melodrama that was a bit too talky.




Now, I did not dislike Vertigo the first time I watched it, but after a bit of studying, I realize I may not have entirely understood its meaning and message. It was recently voted by Sight & Sound as the greatest film of all time, and that alone makes me want to give it another watch, if only to remember just how great it is.


Blade Runner


Another film that I found to be a bit boring on its first viewing, I think I may have been a little too young for Blade Runner when I first saw it as a teenager. Having grown accustomed to seeing Harrison Ford in over-the-top action flicks, this dialed-down thinker didn't do quite enough to keep my adolescent mind engaged. Now, I think I have a little more patience with films, and this one might be right up my alley.


The Birds


Growing up, I was unable to watch The Birds because the concept utterly terrified me. I finally watched the film in a high school film class, and the ending left a sour taste in my mouth. I was extremely put off, and for a while, I was arguably quite angry with Alfred Hitchcock for ending the movie in such a way. The more I've thought about it though, the more I think it might be the right one, but I want to watch the movie again to give myself a little peace of mind.


Apocalypse Now


My problem with Apocalypse Now is that my only introduction to it was the Redux version, which runs fifty minutes longer than the original piece, which is lengthy itself at 153 minutes. Any film that lasts over three hours has to do a lot to keep the viewer engaged, but the Redux version couldn't quite do that for me. I think seeing the film in its original incarnation might give me a stronger appreciation for it.


The Shining


Can one actor ruin a film? In the case of The Shining, I'd argue yes. Shelley Duvall is so off-putting in the film that I was completely taken out of the storyline. It's even sadder to imagine because Jack Nicholson is so damn good in the film, ya know? Watching the film again knowing about Duvall's character should alleviate some of the strain, allowing me to focus on the story at hand.


The Matrix


I'm a little embarrassed about this one, but the reason I think I didn't like it the first time around is because literally everyone was enjoying it. I was in a stage of my life where I wanted to go against the grain, so disliking The Matrix was my big source of rebellion. Now that we're thirteen years later, I think another viewing is in order, if only to know that I've given it a proper chance.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail


The first time I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I hated it. I didn't get the humor, and I didn't find even one bit of it to be funny. To be fair, I was much younger than I am today, but I'm not quite sure that makes up for it. In the time since I've seen the film, I have seen - and thoroughly loved - a stage production of Spamalot, which is "lovingly ripped off from" the film itself. I think it was a matter of understanding the humor, and my positive reaction to Spamalot might mean that I'll have an equally positive reaction to the film.

Well, there you have it. The ten films I need to re-watch. Tune in next week for another top ten list!

Apocalypse Now, Birds, Blade Runner, Exorcist, Holy Grail, Kill Bill, life, Matrix, Rocky, Shining, top 10, and more:

Relevant to: Top 10: Films I Need to Re-Watch + Vertigo