Movie Marathons: 5 Film Series Best Watched Back to Back to Back to Back
Got a lot of time to kill? Stuck somewhere between flights, or something? Then maybe a movie marathon is a good option for you. Perhaps a film series is what you're in the mood for. But you can't just pick a bunch movies at random to watch back-to-back-to-yet-another-possible-back. Which are the best ones for this kind of thing? Here are five of the best movie series to watch all in a row. Don't forget to go to the bathroom in between movies.
"Back to the Future"
The usual philosophy for sequels is to give audiences another story with the same characters and basic premise, but Robert Zemeckis decided to do everyone one better and release two sequels to "Back to the Future" that actually revisit the story of the first movie. The time-travel obviously made this a lot easier and more interesting, and the way the three movies bounce against each other would be even more apparent and enjoyable during a marathon viewing.
Going by the exact opposite principle, the plots of the four "Indiana Jones" movies have almost nothing whatever to do with each other. But, they're three of the most entertaining movies of all time plus a dumb fourth one, so there are worse ways for you to spend an afternoon, evening, and night. It might also be fun to watch "Temple of Doom" right after "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and see George Lucas get really depressed in real time. Cool!
Back in the days before TV, movie studios cranked out "series pictures," which served much of the same purposes of modern-day procedurals like "CSI" or "Monk." One of the best of these series is the "Charlie Chan" movies, featuring the portly and wise Chinese detective solving mysteries with the help of his hip number one son, played by Keye Luke in the installments starring Warner Oland as Chan, which are the best ones. Another plus is that these movies are only an hour or so long, so you can crank out five or six of them in a row without losing more than half a day.
"Robocop" (in reverse)
Austin, TX movie theater The Alamo Drafthouse recently had a novel idea for a movie marathon: Show the "Robocop" movies in reverse chronological order, so they get better as you go on instead of worse. So you start with the worst of the series, "Robocop 3," before watching the pretty-okay "Robocop 2," then you finally get to the undisputed masterpiece that is Paul Verhoeven's original "Robocop." Lots of other film series might benefit from this treatment as well.
"The Thin Man"
Another mystery series from the golden age of Hollywood, the "Thin Man" movies are a notch or two classier than the "Charlie Chan" series, and stars William Powell and Myrna Loy are absolutely electrifying to watch. Also fun: Seeing future superstar Jimmy Stewart before he was famous in the second installment. If you're a fan of the old-school cinema, this is about as good as you could do as far as serials go. Long shots, longer gazes, and classy cigarette holders abound!