Movie Marathon

Living room interior with TV and DVD shelves
Home DVD collection (plus sophisticated decor with corgi-themed toys)

So, we have a lot of DVDs in the house. When Rom moved in, he brought a large collection. I have accumulated a lot of movies from discount bins, library discards, and occasional intentional purchases. Between us, I counted 400 titles.

Choosing a movie to watch has changed so much: from paying to watch a film at the cinema, to watching whatever movies were on TV, to renting physical copies of movies by the armful, to watching whatever digital content is available on subscription services. So has the way we watch movies: from total attention at the cinema, to watching a movie intently at home (sometimes with friends or family), to having a movie on in the background, to everyone watching different content on their devices – sometimes in the same room.

Watching movies hasn’t been a high priority for me lately. If my schedule is so clear that I can sit down and watch a movie, I’d rather read a book, or sleep! But every so often I like to be immersed in a film.

My tastes in movies are contemporary realistic films, period dramas, art house films (quirky, surreal), world cinema – experiences of people and cultures everywhere – documentaries, and the occasional rom-com.

Rom and I have watched loads of music concert DVDs and music documentaries, and we’ve watched a lot of series together: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Harry Potter, Aliens, most of the Marvel Universe films since Iron Man, and a lot of British TV comedies. He also likes action and suspense (Jason Bourne, John Wick, etc.) in which I have less interest. We attended a 10-week early film appreciation series a few years ago.

Link and I obviously watched kids’ movies when they were little, but I was happy to leave those movies behind when Link grew up. We have tried to watch all the anime feature-length films that had a cinematic release in North America, and we used to watch all the films produced by Studio Ghibli. My tolerance for anime series episodes is limited, though.

Lately I watched The Farewell (2019) and remembered how much I love movies!

In the same way I read every book I owned, I’m now ready to watch every movie I own! I am not even going to include Rom’s collection for now. I’ve identified 45 DVDs I either have not watched, or haven’t watched all the way through. I’ll give them another chance. I’d best watch them while DVD players are still available! It’s quite difficult to find those specific movies on subscription services because the content is so random across all the platforms – and I don’t want to pay to watch films I already own.

You might think Winter is the best time for watching movies, and Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere. I spent January through March doing very intensive household decluttering. Gardening season doesn’t begin here until mid-May. In the meantime, it will be cool and rainy. I plan to watch 2 or 3 DVDs a week.

Here’s my list!

Covers of 15 assorted DVDs
  • Animal Farm (animated, political farce) 1954
  • Anonymous (period drama, Shakespeare theme) 2011
  • Art School Confidential (art house comedy) 2005
  • Atonement (drama) 2007
  • The Black Parade is Dead! (My Chemical Romance concert) 2008
  • The Book of Negroes (TV mini-series, 4.5 hours) 2015
  • Bright Star (period drama, about John Keats) 2009
  • The Danish Girl (drama) 2015
  • Dear White People (satire) 2014
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age (period drama, Elizabeth I) 2007 – have seen the earlier movie, Elizabeth
  • The English Patient (drama) 1996
  • Hero (action, Jet Li) 2002 – have seen House of Flying Daggers, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Hugo (children’s/family) 2011
  • I Heart Huckabees (art house comedy) 2004
15 more assorted DVD covers
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (drama) 2013
  • Kate and Leopold (romantic comedy) 2001
  • Milk (drama) 2008
  • Namesake (drama, dir. Mira Nair) 2006
  • The Sapphires (drama) 2012 – controversial cover art deemphasizes the Aboriginal women who are the subject of the film
  • Saving Mr. Banks (drama) 2013
  • Strictly Ballroom (comedy) 1992
  • Three Colours: Blue, White, Red (drama) 1993-1994 – a trilogy
  • Thumbsucker (arthouse comedy) 2005
  • Times Square (drama, punk music) 1980
  • Wadjda (drama) 2012
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (drama) 1993
  • Where the Wild Things Are (children’s/family) 2009
  • Wonder Woman (action) 2017

And the anime set:

15 DVD covers for anime films and series
  • Astro Boy (7 episodes from series) 1980
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender (aka Legend of Aang) – complete series, 25 hours 2005-2008
  • Castle in the Sky (Studio Ghibli) 1986
  • From Up on Poppy Hill (Studio Ghibli) 2011
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Studio Ghibli) 2004
  • Millennium Actress 2001
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (orig. 1991)
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Miyazaki) 1984
  • Ocean Waves (Studio Ghibli) 1993
  • Origin: Spirits of the Past 2006
  • The Place Promised in Our Early Days 2004
  • Steamboy 2004
  • Tales from Earthsea (Studio Ghibli) 2006
  • When Marnie Was There (Studio Ghibli) 2014
  • The Wind Rises (Studio Ghibli) 2013

This week I launched my Movie Marathon with these three:

I Heart Huckabees – An environmentalist (Jason Schwartzman) hires “existential detectives” to help him discover the meaning of life while he dukes it out with a property developer (Jude Law).

LIKED IT! – funny, dark humour, artsy, surreal

Howl’s Moving Castle (anime) – Based on the children’s fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones. A young working woman is cursed with old age. She makes her way to the magician Howl’s castle, where she makes a deal to reverse her spell, while pretty-boy/work-averse Howl avoids being called to military service.

LIKED IT! – funny, adventurous, inventive

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? – A young man in a “dead end” American town has a “dead end” future. He’s responsible for his intellectually challenged brother because their mother is unable to look after them. Features Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio looking very youthful at 30 and 19.

LIKED IT! – emotional, uplifting

Have you watched more or fewer movies in the Covid era?

Do you love or hate any of the movies on my list?

9 comments

  1. The Three Colors Trilogy are three of my all-time favorite movies.

  2. I love The Sapphires and Strictly Ballroom. Both considered classics here. (My version of the DVD has Jessica Mauboy on the cover – she’s well known here so we don’t need the international actor on the cover.) Kate and Leopold is a nice easy watch. I watched Saving Mr Banks as I wanted a closer to the truth account of the author of the Mary Poppins books, and I like Emma Thompson. I thought I wouldn’t like The English Patient because Elaine (from Seinfeld) didn’t. But I loved it. So moving.

    Look forward to reading your views on them.

    • You’ll have to tell me what your favourite Australian movies are. I haven’t seen many: Muriel’s Wedding, Japanese Story, Better Than Sex (one of my favourite movies), Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Walkabout, Shine, Romeo + Juliet, Rabbit Proof Fence, hopefully more!

      • So I was thinking about what movies to recommend and then I dropped off the blogosphere (again). But I was still thinking. Not an easy question. It depends on my mood and what I’m in need of. Rom com. Comedy. Historical awakening. Drama.

        One I just watched which I recommend is Top End Wedding. It is a rom com but with an indigenous First Nations’ perspective. And the Top End is so unlike anywhere else in Australia. Funny and meaningful.

        Mr S loves war movies. I think Beneath Hill 60 is one of his favs.

        Red Dog will make you cry. (Don’t all films with animals?)

        I can rewatch Picnic at Hanging Rock (from the 70s), The Sapphires and Strictly Ballroom. So they must be favourites though I wouldn’t say they were.

        Like a lot of Aussies, I quote from The Castle but don’t think I could watch it again. Too cringy as a lot of Australian drama can be. But it’s kind and gentle.

      • I was able to place a hold on The Castle at the library – I’ll let you know how it goes! I’d like to see Top End Wedding – I can “rent” it from iTunes. Beneath Hill 60 sounds harrowing!

  3. I’ve seen about half of those movies, haha. The one that stands out the most is Inside Llewyn Davis. I went in with HIGH high hopes in it not only being a Coen bros movie (No Country for Old Men is one of my favourite movies ever), but also a musical. I’m a huge Oscar Isaac, Garret Hedlund, and Carey fan as well. I was SO disappointed after seeing it. Then a few years later I decided to watch it again, this time with much lower standards. For some reason I actually appreciated it much more.

    In the end go in with low standards and an open mind. Then I think you might like it! Haha

    • Excellent advice! I can be faint-hearted at times. I tried watching Inside Llewyn Davis and I was turned off by the fight scene at the beginning! But I do want to give it another try.

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