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These days, a majority weekend movie consumption is via streaming. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or flexing that big time money by renting something on pay-per-view. We’ve reached a point where even the DVD has become mostly obsolete.
Despite the access to instant streamed media content directly to our TVs or tablets, for some reason on weekends, we as a society devolve by twenty years by getting sucked into movies on cable TV. Does it make sense to sit and watch something that’s edited for TV and spliced with shitty commercials, when you could feasibly stream it or at the least pop the DVD in with much better results? No, but we do it anyway.
While you may not watch beginning to end when one of these favorites comes on, you’re at least tuning in for the highlights, as well as the end that you can probably already recite word for word.
– The Day After Tomorrow
– Major League 1 & 2
– National Treasure
– Space Jam
– The Legend Of Bagger Vance
The Back To The Future Trilogy
Pretty certain that ABC Family (Freeform be damned) runs these in succession every other weekend. Counting commercials you’re looking at an eight hour-ish commitment and, honestly, if you think there’s any other way to better spend your time then you can make like a tree and get out of here.
At the very least you have to be dialed in for all three Tannen family chase sequences and the Johnny B. Goode performance.
What do you get when you combine Denzel, Chris Pine, Law & Order-style dialogue/mood music and action via a speeding train that literally never stops for 2+ hours? TV viewing gold. This is one that simply doesn’t allow you to change the channel at commercial because every break in the movie still throws the question at you: “Are they gonna figure out how to stop that fucking train?”
Unstoppable doesn’t get nearly as much hype as it should; Denzel and Chris Pine having initial tension but becoming BFF’s to stop an unmanned train at 70 mph should obviously be the gold standard of movies. I’m buying all the stock in this flick and consider it a must-watch when TNT or AMC grace us with its presence. Despite seeing it 50+ times, Unstoppable still kept me up an hour past my bedtime on Saturday riddled with anxiety over if Denzel & Co. were gonna stop that train.
The Fugitive/US Marshals (1993/1998)
If stopping everything you’re doing and sitting through umpteen commercials to watch United States Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard hunt down fugitives who may not actually be guilty is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Honestly, I could watch Tommy Lee Jones hunt down my grandma for 3+ hours with commercials, but it’s much better when it’s Dr. Han Solo or Wesley Snipes with a blonde wig.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Pitt & Clooney were the two coolest guys on the planet in this movie, and a couple hours of watching them be smooth as hell, three steps ahead of anyone they’re conning is just priceless TV. The two sequels I wouldn’t break a commitment for, but watching Ocean & Co. shake down Terry Benedict and steal back his girl is worth the watch every time.
The Departed (2006)
Don’t get me wrong, The Departed is a classic and definitely deserves a cable viewing when AMC runs it out for a month a year, but I’m mainly including this just so JR Hickey doesn’t shoot me.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Frankly, if you even think about turning your nose up at this suggestion I’ll throw you some Miranda Priestly-esque shade. Watching Anne Hathaway’s journey from fashion novice to capable assistant to sleeping with Simon Baker from The Mentalist to quitting her job and realizing her dreams is as well spent a three hours as I can think of.
Titanic is one that’s on constantly that you can build an afternoon around. Where it really shines as a TV movie is for as long as it is, there are only a few parts you need to watch, the rest you can just pleasantly drift in and out of.
You gotta hear old Rose tell Bill Paxton (RIP) that it was her 80-year-old nudes that he just popped out of a safe. And you probably need to tune in for Jack to ball out at dinner, then steal Cal’s girl and give his body man the slip before banging out in a car. Then once the ship starts going down you need to park your ass on the couch until Rose (selfishly) drops the diamond in the water and dies(?), subsequently bypassing her late husband in favor of reuniting in the afterlife with her fling of three days, Jack.
My Cousin Vinny (1992)
This is one I inherited from my old man. Every time this movie comes on, he’s tuned in until the end. He and I are both chronic channel surfers, but no one touches the remote when Joe Pesci is spitting hot fire in the courtroom. I also firmly believe that Mona Lisa Vito was the expert that the OJ prosecution desperately needed.
My dad has watched this movie on cable TV 5,000 times. I got him the DVD seven years ago for Christmas and it’s still in the plastic..