Some people love movies. Some of these people see movies like Star Wars or The Dark Knight 10 times or more in theaters. Some stand in lines outside the theater for days or weeks waiting for the moment when the house lights dim for the first show. I’m not that kind of film buff. I may watch a movie multiple times, but I don’t have the time and money to sit for the equivalent of days on the same stretch of 35mm. The closest I’ve come is seeing a film 3 times in theaters. When this happens, I obviously love the movie. Over Christmas break, I saw Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol three times… in a week… each time on the local IMAX screen.
Since then, I’ve thought about the films I’ve seen 3 times in theaters. It usually follows the same pattern too. The first time I see it is usually opening day or a midnight show; the second either alone or with a separate group of people than the first time; and the third time I finally get my dad to go with me so he can see it.
Ideally, I’d like to do a breakdown of the top three-peat films I’ve seen in theaters, but with so few, instead I’m just going to take apart a little of each one. Anecdotes, asides, and other memories tied to those films will be used.
– Minority Report
I remember wanting to this see this for two reasons: I’m a big Tom Cruise fan, and Roger Ebert gave this a glowing review. I saw this film for the first time with cousins who were visiting that summer. I was in awe of the visuals, and the story kept me riveted until the final moments. The third time I saw this movie in theaters wasn’t a complete show. My sister and some of her friends had decided to see it while I was at work at the same theater. So, the second I clocked out, I joined them. I caught the last hour or so, but I didn’t care. That movie was in theaters for what felt like an eternity (5 months total). I remember working the theater and announcing it seating years after it left just to be cheeky. That was one of my favorite Christmas presents that year, the two-disc DVD and a portable DVD player.
This may be the first staff screening I ever attended (I wasn’t invited to many, too much red tape). I laughed and took my friends Billy and Sam to see it after it opened. Sam drenched his popcorn in a disgusting aroma of popcorn seasonings as the three of us rocked out to Slipknot in my mom’s blue Chrysler Town & Country. Over time, I grew more and more annoyed with Beyoncé’s character to the point I started to hate the movie. Looking back at the franchise, this is their weakest, but the opening scene is funnier than most comedies that have followed it. With Mike Myers preparing Austin Powers 4 and a musical version for the stage, I’ll be curious to see where this goes from here.
– 2 Fast 2 Furious
Fast Five will continue to be my favorite with the Fast and Furious franchise. But 2F2F had something that the original didn’t have: a sense of humor. Tyrese and Eva Mendes bring a nice change of pace from the first film. The first is a fun and action-packed film, so when Vin Diesel decided not to return for number two; things were up in the air. I remember seeing this film twice the first week it was out. I enjoyed hearing Ludacris scream, “Act a fool!” over the credits as I cleaned the theater while working. “Act a fool” became a part of my obscure movie references after a while. When I purchased the film on Blu-ray last summer, I was taken back to the time I first saw it. I still remember where I sat, with my buddy Matt.
– Star Trek
I saw this the first time with my dad. We both loved seeing J. J. Abrams revamp an old franchise and give it new life. I saw it a mere three days later with my friend David and his girlfriend at the time. I found it hard to sit through and boring seeing as I had just seen it days before. The last time I saw it, I was with my Air National Guard office down in Jacksonville, Florida for a conference. With rain being the forecast of the entire trip, we were forced to spend our time drinking and going to movies. The first one we picked was this one. And it didn’t feel so boring this time. I was actually excited to see it again and experience such a great film for a third time in theaters. Everytime I watch this film now, I’m reminding of how otherwise bored we would have been in our hotels had we not ventured out and seen it.
– V for Vendetta
This movie was gaining a lot of controversy before its release in 2006. Having a terrorist as a lead character just five years after September 11 was hard for a lot of people to fathom. What we got was a masterpiece of a film that raised a lot of great questions about government, terrorism, and morality. I drug my friends to see this when I was in Montana. I made a day of it. We had dinner, and then the four of us went and we all loved it. It stuck with me long after the credits rolled. So, on an otherwise quiet day, I watched it a second time in a mostly empty theater. I was way too antsy to get the whole experience this time, but I loved it enough to take my father to it (my third time) when I came home to visit. I haven’t seen the movie in years, unfortunately, but I was completely enamored by the parallels between it and George Orwell’s 1984, my favorite book. Writing this makes me want to watch it again as soon as I can.
– Iron Man
I was a fan of Robert Downey Jr. as soon as I saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starring him and Val Kilmer. When it was announced that he would be Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, I was excited. The lives of Stark weren’t far from Downey’s own, so the similarities were too interesting to ignore. When I found out Marvel was releasing it at 8:00 pm on a Thursday instead of a Friday, I bought my ticket. Only a few weeks later, I saw it again at The Alamo Drafthouse, my favorite theater ever. Here I was watching RDJ on the big screen while munching on Chicken Parmesan and chili fries. When I returned home yet again, I took my father for my third time. Everytime I watch it, I get something else from it. It’s such a well-made and exciting film that I have trouble finding its flaws. Of all the films I saw three times in theaters, this is one of my favorites.
– Tron: Legacy
The first Tron is a marvel in cutting edge technology. This sequel, 28 years later, is as much homage to the original as it is showing what the original should have been. I was at a fever pitch waiting to see this film. I convinced David and a couple of our other friends to see it at midnight with us, and we weren’t disappointed. I do remember that I didn’t at all enjoy the 3D glasses dimming an already dark screen, but the 3D was great when it was there. Having seen it all three times in 3D, I gained a much better respect for it when I got it on Blu-ray. It was an event film, but a risky one for Disney. I watched the box office gross every day to see it climb the long uphill road to profitability. I wanted another sequel, I still do. But for now, I’m settling for the fun film this one is.
– Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
I’ve never seen a movie three times in a week, in theaters or otherwise. But I couldn’t help but watch it again and again. Between The Dark Knight Rises sneak peek and the brilliant Burj tower sequence, I fell in love with this movie. I remember turning to my girlfriend halfway into the movie and telling her I was going to buy the movie. I didn’t care how it ended. Tom Cruise, a new favorite actor of mine Jeremy Renner, the impossibly gorgeous and talented Paula Patton, and comedic Simon Pegg made a cast that was both relatable but also fun to watch. The second this movie becomes available on Blu-ray, I’m buying it. This film alone swayed me from the hooks of 3D to prefer IMAX cameras every time.
Ok, so I lied. There were a few more films on the list than I thought. So what? What are some of the films you have seen over and over again in theaters? Let me know by posting your responses below.