Sometimes it takes more than one viewing to appreciate a movie. Other times, a movie will just keep getting better the more you watch it. The staff at AiPT! discuss movies that were better on repeated viewings.
What movie gets better every time you see it?David Brooke: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off seems to only get better maybe because I’m getting older and I appreciate those days in school when life was your oyster and the sky was the limit. It also holds up incredibly well.
Justin Cohen: Sunshine. Danny Boyle is one of my favorite directors, Alex Garland is one of my favorite writers, and sci-fi is one of my favorite genres. Sounds like a recipe for success, yet when I first saw the movie in theaters I remember liking it but being slightly underwhelmed, probably because I hyped it up so much. I’ve watched it a ton of times since that day in 2007 and it’s grown to be one of my all time favorites. It’s “low budget” sci-fi done well. The third act isn’t perfect but it’s such a beautiful movie all around and the score is epic. Probably my second favorite sci-fi film behind 2001.
Davis Pittman: Identity (2003) is one that I have loved since the first time i saw it, and every time I rewatch it, it seems to get even better. Gone Girl is for sure one that I’ve seen multiple times and it never gets old. Chicago (2002) is another one of my favorites that seems to improve with every viewing.
Nathaniel Muir: Airplane! is as funny today as it was when I first saw it. Even funnier since I only got half of the jokes. The movie is a classic, extremely quotable, and will makes me laugh at loud every time.
What movie did you hate at first but have turned around on?Dave: I’m going to go with The Road based on Cormac McCarthy’s excellent novel. I went in with expectations the movie just couldn’t hold to the book. Upon reviewing the film it’s still not a perfect movie by any means, but the performances and look of the film are quite something.
Justin: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. I really hated it the first time I saw it. Twin Peaks is one of my favorite television series and after finishing the show back then (well before season 3 came out in 2017) I was so angry that this film gave almost zero answers to the massive cliffhanger at the end of season two. I didn’t even revisit the film until just before season 3 premiered, and I have to say I respected it a lot more on second viewing. Perhaps it was knowing that it was going to be tied into season 3 or that I was finally able to look past Donna Hayward being recast, but I enjoyed it a lot more. I like to think I just accepted it for what it was finally. It was a separate creation from the show, another special David Lynch creation.
Davis: Death Becomes Her and the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives. I didn’t appreciate the comedy in either at first, I thought they were lazy/boring films. But then I revisited both and came to really enjoy them. Both of them have very talented actors and good dark-ish humor.
Nathaniel: I agree with Justin completely on this. I love Twin Peaks and David Lynch, so I had unreasonably high expectations. I was super pissed after watching Fire Walk With Me. It wasn’t until years later that I rewatched it. I was trying to get my wife into Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me came on IFC. Not sure why I chose to watch it, especially since it does spoil the show if you’ve never seen it, but we did. I liked it a whole lot more and since then I have seen it in theaters and a special edition with deleted scenes.
Is there an entire genre that you used to hate but now really enjoy?Dave: Really bad horror movies were something I never really understood, but as I got older I can appreciate the craft of movie making on the cheap. Maybe because I made a lot of short films in college!
Justin: Not really. I love all genres. Always have. There are a few I’ve grown to appreciate more as I’ve gotten older. Romantic comedies, especially classic ones like When Harry Met Sally or Pretty Woman, didn’t hit my radar until I was in my 20’s.
Nathaniel: I never really cared much for horror movies when I was a kid. I really was interested in movies that were banned like Faces of Death and Cannibal Holocaust, but on the whole I thought horror movies were corny. I would watch the major ones just to say I had seen them, but they were never my first choice. My wife loves horror movies, so when we first started dating I started watching more. Then I discovered giallos and found some stylish horror movies that I really liked. Somewhere along the line I got hooked on found footage and… anyway I watched a lot of horror movies now.
What movie did you not “get” the first time you saw it? Dave: Starship Troopers for sure. That movie was sold with the great Blur ‘Song 2’ music which made it seem like a fun party. Then I went in and got gory sci-fi weirdness. Not bad, but not what I was expecting!
Justin: Anchorman. I just wasn’t ready for it at all. I didn’t understand the style of comedy and didn’t really like it. Then I watched it again on DVD and lost my mind. Biggest turnaround I’ve ever had with a movie. It’s a top 5 comedy all time for me now. How now brown cow?
Davis: Basic Instinct. I didn’t really like it at first and found it drab. After watching it again, I just don’t think I fully got it the first time. After rewatching it, I found it to be very interesting, and that may be because I’ve grown to really like film noir. Speaking of film noir, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is yet another film I didn’t really get or appreciate after my first viewing. It’s now become one of my absolute favorites.
Nathaniel: I agree with Justin again. I had heard so many great things about Anchorman and then I saw it I just didn’t see what was so great. The animated scene in particular really annoyed me. When I saw it a second time, I though the entire cast was hilarious. Guess I was in a bad mood the first time I saw it. But that animated scene still sucks.
As you get older, you see things differently and the stuff you loved as a kid you now cannot stand and vice versa. As an adult, do you find your first opinion on a movie tends to remain the same, or does it change on second viewings?Dave: I’ve seen so many movies I think my opinion can change because I tend to look at films with a critical eye that can ruin the first viewing. Bad editing, weird music changes, stuff that regular audiences don’t necessarily see can bug me. If I sit back and let it roll over me I tend to like it more. It’s okay to turn off your brain sometimes.
Justin: In general, I’d say my first opinion on a movie tends to remain the same. It’s very rare for me to like a movie and then dislike it on subsequent viewings. I have had a few movies that I didn’t love on my first watch grow on me and become movies I love, but my first reaction usually sticks. For me, I either rewatch movies either because I already love them or to see if I pick up even more from it for complex movies (Cloud Atlas comes to mind).
Davis: Most of the time, it does not change. But in cases where it has changed, I find that I didn’t get a film the first time because I hadn’t been exposed to certain types of content, so therefore i couldn’t appreciate it. For instance, with something like The Stepford Wives, the type of humor mainly used there wasn’t something I really got the first time, now that I’ve gotten a little older… I appreciate it much more and can enjoy it.
Nathaniel: I appreciate some of the movies I saw as a kid more now, but the movies I saw when I was older I pretty much keep the same opinion on. I think part of that is there are so many movies now, I don’t have the time to rewatch movies as much as I used to. I guess I don’t have time to change my opinion.