Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Speak Your Brain! Part 46. Which films have you seen the most?

Thanks to Charlie Horse 47 and Killdumpster for their sponsorship of this post, via the magic of Patreon

The Steve Does Comics Megaphone
Image by Tumisu
from Pixabay
There's only one day of the week named after a pagan war god!

And that's Tuesday!

Does that mean today's red-hot topic of debate is to be that of pagan war gods?

I've no idea.

No one has. You see, right now, not one person on this planet knows just what's going to happen next.

That next might be the arts, carts, cards, cars, marts, Mars, bars, darts, smarts, parts, films, flans, plans, books, bagels, cooks, nooks, crooks, ducks, drakes, pixies, rocks, socks, blocks, music, mucous, fairy tales, fairy lights, Fairy Liquid, fairy cakes, Eccles cakes, myth, moths, maths, magic, tragedy, comedy, dromedaries, murder, larders, Ladas, mystery, mayhem, molluscs, Moorcock, May Day, mangoes, bongos, drongoes, bingo, Ringo, Pingu, Ringu, Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Doris Day, Marvin Gaye, Marvin the paranoid android, Brookside Close, Ramsay Street, Coronation Street, Albert Square, Scarlet Street, Dead End Street, chickenpox, the Equinox, parallelograms, rhomboids, androids, asteroids, The Good Life, the Next Life, pomegranates, raisins, grapes, currants, blackcurrants, figs, waves, granite, marble, marbles, maples, staples, fables, stables, sofas, eggs, pegs, legs, dregs, moons and supermoons, Supertramp, Supertrams, streetcars, desires, sodas, sausages, eggs, whisky, broth, Bath, baths, Garth Marenghi, Garth Brooks, Garth Crooks, Bruno Brookes, Bruno Mars, Mars Bars, wine bars, flip-flops, flim-flam, flapjacks, backpacks, see-saws, jigsaws, dominoes, draft excluders, blockheads, blackheads, dunderheads, deadheads, webheads, flowerpots, flour bags, shower bags, shower heads, mop heads, Deadheads, Bill and Ben, Ben and Jerry, Margo and Jerry, Tom and Jerry, flour pots, bread bins, bin bags, body bags, body horror, shoddy horror, doggy bags, bean bags, handbags, glad rags, silk, milk, mink, coal sacks, cola, cocoa, dodos, Dido, Soho, Solo, silos, windows, day-glo, glue, Gloy, Oi, Joy, Bostik, pancakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell Tarts, Fabulous Wealthy Tarts, Mr Kipling, Rudyard Kipling, pizzas, pastas, pastors, baking soda, sci-fi, Wi-Fi, Hi-Fi, sewage, saunas, suet, Tomorrow People, yesterday's men, Forever People, Party People, purple people-eaters, Blobs, Globs, slobs, snobs, Sheila Steafel, steeples, Silurians, Sontarans, Sea Devils, sins, suns, sans, sense, sludge, slumps, sumps, pumps, sunshine, slime, soup, sandwiches, servants, Sultanas, Santana, Sultans, grapes, grappling, grippling or sandcastles.

Or something even better than that. That's because it's the senses-shattering return of the feature where the topic du jour is decided by you, the always-eclectic reader.

Therefore, feel free to scroll downwards, downwards, ever downwards and suggest a topic in the comments section below. From that point on, we'll see in just what direction the winds of fate deem fit to blow us.


Matthew McKinnon said...

Which films have you seen the most times?

Which films have you seen too many times? So much so that despite still theoretically liking them, you're a bit sick of them?

Is your threshold for sticking with a film / book / TV series you're not enjoying the same or shorter these days?

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the topic, Matthew. I'd say the films I've seen the most are Quatermass and the Pit, Jason and the Argonauts, The Innocents, Night of the Demon and Aliens.

I don't think I've ever got sick of watching any film I like.

I suspect my threshold for sticking with a film, book or TV show is the same as it's always been.

McSCOTTY said...

The films I have seen the most are:
Jason and the Argonaughts
Groundhog Day
It's a wonderful life
The great Escape
About last night ( I had a thing about Demi Moore)

I don't think I ever want to see the "Great Escape" again and I would probably give "About last night" a miss.

My threshold for sticking with a book has certainly dropped , I give a book 3 chapters at most.

Films I tend to stick with unless they are really awful and i will switch channel(if on TV, Netflix etc), if at movies I will stick with it. I've only left one film at the cinema early (Capote) as myself and my better half found it turgid despite its critical success

Colin Jones said...

At Christmas I watched 'Planet Of The Apes' (1968) on BBC iplayer and I still loved it despite the plot making absolutely no sense (Pierre Boulle's original novel wasn't set on Earth so it avoided the film's gaping holes in logic). Anyway POTA must count among the films I've seen the most over the years.

I never want to see another James Bond movie!

As for books, I've reached the point where reading has become a chore not a pleasure so I can't face any more novels.

Anonymous said...

When the kids were small I must have sat through The Incredibles dozens of time (although, it remains my favourite movie version of the Fantastic Four) but as a result of my own choice, it's probably between Star Wars, Jaws and Planet of the Apes.

As an aside, when I was staying towards the Chartered Accountancy exams (early 90s), I attended a six week intensive programme, which was full-time, five days per week. The student I sat next to had formed some weird compulsion where he had to watch the second half of Pretty Woman (there was a specific point he always started), and would then watch the first half, up until that specific point, at which time he'd turn it off. He did this every night for weeks, but never simply reverted to watching the movie from the start . He fully recognised this was not exactly 'normal' behaviour and constantly tried to break the cycle. At one point he failed to turn up for the class and I was worried his VHS (or the tape) had broken and led to some kind of breakdown. But it turned out just to be a cold.


Anonymous said...

The James Bond films, for the first two categories.

Point Break & Biggles: Adventures in Time, are both films I've watched several times, despite them not being stellar. Little concentration required, perhaps?

Generally, watching films is something I now rarely do, unlike when I was younger when I watched them all the time. In middle age, I prefer one hour shows, usually.

As regards thresholds for books/tv/films, I generally re-read/re-watch books & shows that I already like (nothing new, at the moment, catches my fancy), but probably my thresholds are shorter.

I've also now, however, discovered podcasts, whereby you can get a very in-depth 1 or 2 hour discussion of a variety of topics, at your fingertips, which also sends you to sleep!


Charlie Horse 47 said...

MATTHEW - Nice question!

Charlie has a few films nd books, he has returned to several times over his 60 years and continues to:

- MEET JOHN DOE - from 1934 (?) Gary Cooper is everyman against the machine

- IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - Heavily played on TV during Xmas in the USA and in the glorious, old movie theaters still.

- BATAAN - from 1942 a squad of americans defending a bridge on a Phillipine island against the Japaneses

- SAHARA - from 1943 HUMPHREY BOGART in a Stuart tank defending an oasis against the Germans in north africa.

- SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - usually around June 6 annually

Books -



- BEOWULF (what's not to like about old english, vikings, and dragons?)

- THE SONG OF ROLAND (in the english, not the french...lol)




Colin Jones said...

Charlie, what about 'The Odyssey' by Homer? I've read it all the way through (in English not ancient Greek) and I found it engrossing unlike 'The Iliad' which I found rather tedious although I did like the constantly repeated description of Zeus as "Zeus Who Drives The Storm Clouds".

Colin Jones said...

Tonight is Burns Night - I've got a bottle of 'Johnnie Walker' whiskey but not a haggis!

Anonymous said...

Good question, Matthew - it surprises me films don't come up in 'Speak more often.
Plus, who needs to discuss pagan war deities? Everyone knows the Morrigan is the coolest.

I have a fairly low threshold for watching films repeatedly - I've never understood the habit of buying dvds/videos - but there are a few.
The obvious one that springs to mind is 'Apocalypse Now' - that was popular in the 80s, at least among the kind of people I know. Without changing my mind that it was pretty good, it definitely got to the point where I'd had enough of people just paraphrasing quotes about loving the smell of napalm in the morning, let alone ever seeing the film again.
But recently I did catch it on tv, curious to see the 'final cut' (a couple of decades ago I couldn't face sitting through 'Apocalypse Now Redux'). And it was pretty good - my mind wandered a bit, but I don't think that would have happened if I'd seen it on the big screen.

The odd thing though was the scene with the French colonists - suddenly seeing something 'new' after a lot of familiar stuff, I have absolutely no perspective on whether its an improvement or not.
On the one hand, it was good to see a bit of historical context for the Vietnam war in 'Apocalypse Now', and it was really well done. Especially when Willard asks the French why they haven't left the country and they start ranting about Algeria and being stabbed in the back - it really captured something of the European post-colonial mentality of the period.

But does it really fit the film? I have no idea.


Anonymous said...

Sergio Leone's 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' and 'Fistful of Dynamite', and Tarkovsky's 'Stalker' and 'Mirror' stand up to repeated viewing imo.

Am I the only one who finds Quentin Tarantino's films - apart from 'Jackie Brown' - generally don't? (Individual scenes can very watchable though)

I try to avoid seeing Bond flicks even once.

Also, Colin - come on, how can you seriously comment on the Odyssey and Iliad if you haven't read them in the original Greek?


Anonymous said...

* That first comment of mine above should read "it surprises me films don't come up in 'Speak Your Brain' more often" at the start.
Not sure what happened there. Duh.


Anonymous said...

Tough crowd today!

SEAN i cant imagine introducing French colonists and Algeria into APOCALYPSE NOW. Most americans are fairly clueless about the rest of the world; such a scene would surely be incomprehensible.

But i did see AN last year. Maybe it was the 3rd time but it’d been several decades since the last viewing so it seemed fresh and reminded me was i was inspired to fly choppers in the Army.

COLIN- ive tried to read THE ODYSSEY and it just doesnt grab me. Why?

Matthew McKinnon said...

Nice to see some Aliens love in there. It is endlessly re-watchable, the greatest action film of all time.

The films I've watched the most are probably Jaws, Close Encounters, Aliens and Blade Runner. Maybe Superman The Movie as well.

I did go through a phase with Blade Runner [similar to yours with Apocalypse Now, Sean] where by the mid-90s I'd just seen it too many times on tape and occasionally in the cinema, not to mention listening over and over to a recording of the entire soundtrack of the film on cassette that I'd made off the VHS tape.

I didn't buy it on DVD, just stayed clear for a long time.

Then when the Final Cut came along in 2007 I was off the wagon again.

We recently watched Groundhog Day again and I think I've reached my limit on that one.

Sean -
As regards Apocalypse Now, that plantation scene is interesting as a big long deleted scene but it absolutely kills the forward momentum of the story. It's one of the few bits from the Redux edit that's still in the Final Cut from a few years back, though. Apparently Coppola can't let it go because his son - who died young - is in it.

And apart from, yes, Jackie Brown, I don't watch Tarantino films more than once. They're piffle.

My attention span is f***ed since smartphones became the focus of every single aspect of life. So I try hard to focus, but getting older I generally give up if something isn't doing it for me by a third of the way through.

Anonymous said...

I adore APOCALYPSE NOW and abhor APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX. None of the ‘restored’ scenes add anything of value, IMO, in fact i think they all weaken the film’s power. I feel that way about most so-called ‘Director’s Cuts’, actually.

I don’t know which movies I’ve seen ‘the most’, but here are some that I’ve seen many, many times:

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE GODFATHER, PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, CITIZEN KANE, JAWS, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE PRODUCERS, all of the Connery-era Bond films, the two Dalton ones, the Lazenby singleton, and a few of the Moores. The Brosnans and most of the Craigs I can pretty much do without.

As for movies I’ve seen so many times that I’m finally tired of them — I watched STAR WARS a few months ago and found that I know it pretty much by heart now. Ten minutes in, I had to turn it off. I still haven’t reached my limit on NORTH BY NORTHWEST.


Anonymous said...

As for Tarantino — i simply haven’t seen very many of his movies, but I thought JACKIE BROWN was excellent and I’ve watched ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD three times so far, and definitely plan on watching it again.


Colin Jones said...

On the subject of books - my local Tesco has just removed its' paperbacks section so now they sell only a small selection of hardbacks along with magazines and newspapers.

Anonymous said...

They still sell DVDs Colun?

Anonymous said...

Colin. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Matthew, yeah,the plantation segment was a lot longer than I expected. Its really good and of itself, but as to how it fits... 'Apocalypse Now' is fairly episodic anyway, so I find it hard to judge whether it unbalances the film or not. It definitely makes it longer...

b.t., I think 'Blade Runner' benefitted from being re-cut - its much better without the tacked on ending. Although apart from that the various versions - the ones I've seen anyway - don't seem to add that much. Not even the one with the unicorn.
The only film I can think of that was significantly improved by a 'director's cut' - as opposed to a restored version like, say, 'Once Upon A Time in America' - is Oliver Stone's 'Alexander'. It was seriously disappointing on release, but fast forward a few years and the extended dvd version was great.

'The Godfather' is a good call - that and pt 2 hold up really well. Mind you, I even like the third one, obvious flaws notwithstanding (apparently there was recently a director's recut 'The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone' which seems to have had a good reception...)


Anonymous said...

Gotta say I wasn't so keen on 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood' - on the Tarantino spectrum it was more 'Inglorious Basterds' than, say, 'Django Unchained' or 'Kill Bill', let alone 'Jackie Brown.


Redartz said...

There's several films I've watched repeatedly over the years; and these films will probably continue to entertain me until the Next World (and perhaps even then).

Airplane!; I've watched it countless times, and laugh out loud every time.

Young Frankenstein: yes, I've a thing for comedies. What can I say; life is grim enough; I'll take the laughs when they pop up...

Raiders of the Lost Ark: mainly for the first five minutes or so; but I never tire of it.

As far as memory serves, there has only been one movie so repellant to me that I left it in the middle. My wife asked me to watch "Deuce Bigelow", and I found it totally unwatchable. Thirty minutes and I was gone.

Anonymous said...

I’ve bailed on lots and lots of movies on home vidéo, but have never actually walked out of a movie theatre in the middle of a film I’ve paid money to see. At least, i don’t think i have.

As for books, I LOVE them, but I’m afraid I’ve abandoned way more than I’ve finished. I’m a slow reader and easily distracted. That’s always been the case, and it’s not getting any better as I get older.


Colin Jones said...

Anon (Charlie) - no, my local Tesco doesn't sell DVDs (or CDs) anymore. Nobody was buying them apparently. Is the same thing happening to paperbacks too?

Colin Jones said...

That should have been Anon (Charlie?)...

Colin Jones said...

I've walked out of only ONE movie at the cinema but it wasn't my fault. The film was 'The Witches Of Eastwick' and I was in a group. One of the group walked out then another and so on until there was only me and one other person left and so we decided that we'd better leave too. I did eventually see 'The Witches Of Eastwick' on TV several years later.

Matthew McKinnon said...

I can recall walking out of three films:

'Cobb' by Ron Shelton. I was not in the best place personally for a dramedy like this, and it felt like it was stitched together from movie cliches. Lasted twenty minutes.

'Evolution' by Ivan Reitman. I got about halfway through, and then promised myself that if the next scene wasn't better, I would leave. Cut to our heroes driving through the desert singing 'Play That Funky Music White Boy' for no reason whatsoever.

And the recent 'Hamlet' with Michael Fassbender in it. Because it just felt like a long music video. I only lasted fifteen minutes.

Matthew McKinnon said...

*MacBeth, not Hamlet.