When my family's out of town (this time for eight days), my viewing habits change a little; often, I keep the noise going just for noise (so the music channels are on a lot), but mostly I watch things that I can't watch (either because of their content or because I get interrupted a lot) when the kids are around - or I just background stuff I've seen while I work on other things. I also compulsively watch infomercials which lie about products. Here's the list from this time around;
Doctor Who: The Armageddon Factor (1979) A 4th Doctor and Romana story in six parts, and the end of the Key of Time thing which took a whole season, apparently.
Red 2 (2013) Seen at the theater with Mer & San on a rainy night that couldn't make up its mind and wasn't disappointed, though that's mostly due to my total lack of expectations going in.
Snatch (2000) Watched it the night before Dennis Farina died after having not seen it for some time; a movie I can't watch when my kids are around, and still the best movie representation of a near-knockout punch I've ever seen. Also, killer soundtrack. I know I'll catch hell for this, but I like it a lot more than Lock, Stock.
Wag The Dog (1997) I really wish this movie had a 3rd act.
Red (2010) The first and best, still a satisfying watch; will never be as good as the comic, but it doesn't try to do the same thing, anyway. Best parts are still Victoria & Ivan.
The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) Like I need a reason to watch the best science fiction / anti-war / anti-racism / Christian allegory movie ever made. Boom.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) Panders excellently well to fans of the comic books and the cartoon. I will never see the sequel, as I like this one and can be done with this re-hash of childhood now. This is what I watch for no-thought movies.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003) Yeah. I still don't think this is a bad movie, but it flops in the middle, and is profoundly ridiculous.
The Replacement Killers (1998) Hundreds of bullets, pretty camera angles and Mira Sorvino's smile can make you not miss John Woo. Much. Movie's also a lot louder than I remembered. I could also be getting old, I suppose - but my viewing choices don't really bear that out.
George Carlin: What Am I Doing In New Jersey? (1988) Realized that I pretty much have this memorized.
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) Have a hazy recollection of having seen this when it was in the theaters, ca. 1985 or 1986. It's terrible. Much of the cast was pretty unexpected. I really can't say anything positive about it other than Joel Grey's make-up. They make him look like an old Korean who teaches a non-existent martial art.
Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011) Because the Netflix description said, "Superhero Damian, who rides a robotic motorcycle that knows karate, is called upon to battle the syndicate Sigma, led by the evil Dr. Akunomiya." And I thought, "Hell, yes." It is a remake of a 1970s Japanese TV show, as it turns out, and is totally bizarre and hilarious.
Doctor Who: The Movie (1996) Acquired through eBay because I couldn't find it anywhere else either intact or as cheaply. You watch this because you are compelled by the fact that you've seen ten other Doctors but not this one, who only exists here. It becomes painfully clear why this did not work as a pilot and then took until 2005 to get the reboot going.
Alias: Facade (2004) My all-time favorite episode of this show (and it's a Jack Bender) - it's got everything that I liked about the show and very little that I didn't like AND it's got Ricky Gervais playing a mad bomber. Best Jack Bristow moment since he did Morse Code by blinking.
48 Hours (1982) Because I'd never seen it, and I'm a golden era Eddie Murphy fan. It's way more sexist and racist than I'd realized. I mean, it's not like 80s action comedies are known for their sensitivity or anything, but this one seems to go the extra mile in terms of making Nick Nolte into a brute and reducing most of the characters to stock. Or maybe this is where those characters were born.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012) Because everyone said that there was a lot more going on with this movie than what was immediately apparent. If they meant what was apparent from the poster, then that's true, but the "extras" are pretty much given away in the first 10 minutes, and after that, it's a waiting game just like every other slasher flick. It is, one assumes, an incisive and cutting analysis/satire of slasher films, a genre which does not, perhaps, deserve this level of consideration. I can't recommend this - it was smart, but ultimately pointless.
New Girl: Normal (2012) Because it's the one with "True American" in it. Repeated viewings do not clarify the rules of this game. Took the edge off the previous entry.
Justice League Unlimited: Dark Heart (2004) Written by Warren Ellis, has some really entertaining dialogue in it, and the "villain" is based on the theories of mathematician John Von Neumann. Awesome Batman, Atom, and Wonder Woman moments. We fanboys feel sorry for you people who need to see an actual guy dressed as Batman to watch stuff with Batman in it.
Hellboy: Director's Cut (2004) Consistently makes my top 10 comic book movies, if for no other reason than how true it is to the source material. There's also the make-up, Abe, Selma Blair as Liz, John Hurt, surgical addiction, talking dead Russians and Mr. Del Toro.
Eddie Izzard: Live from Wembley (2009) Because I'd never seen this one.
The Grifters (1990) Sucker for young John Cusack in the movies, plus Anjelica Huston and naked Annette Bening. Like a film noir with redemption allegories. It even has an Elmer Bernstein score. Of course, I have never watched a noir and felt really good about humanity after; you always kind of want to throw lit cigarettes at people and wonder aloud, "...what's the fuckin' point?!?" This movie is no exception.
Grosse Pointe Blank (1996) That last one made me watch this one. This one's about a hitman, and is somehow more life-affirming.
Three Kings (1999) Possibly my favorite war movie. You know, of the war movies that are actually about war. There are the added benefits of Ice Cube saying, in all seriousness, "I have a ring of Jesus fire that guides my decisions," and the camera work and lectures about sepsis and collapsed lung. All of this makes the terribleness of the horrors of war still live at home in an entertaining movie.