It is difficult to imagine something more ill-advised than playing drinking games during a 24-hour movie marathon. You think a night of drinking and a morning hangover is tough? Try combining those two things and adding no sleep on top of it. I’m not gonna lie: that sounds rough.
But, it does make you think: could you devise a set of rules for a movie marathon drinking game if you wanted to? Most of the movie drinking games out there are focused on one movie or a small collection of movies. How could you keep a drinking game going through a movie marathon that has a variety of movies?
I say: easy! Just be on the lookout for overused movie clichés. Movies are often a playground of recycled ideas, impossible physics, and overused tropes. You just need a watchful eye to spot them, and a drink in hand to take advantage of them.
Movie Marathon Drinking Game Rules
Take a Drink When Your Action Movie Has…
Characters that walk away from a giant explosion without looking at it.
A villain who decides to start a monologue when the hero is in his clutches
A single boss, computer, or spaceship that is blown up and renders an entire army of bad guys instantly useless.
A bomb that is defused with zero or one seconds remaining
A car that explodes after falling off a cliff, getting shot, or otherwise touched in any way.
At check-in, if you’ve met the minimum fundraising goal, you got a wristband which gets you a free pass to any movie, any time, throughout the day. You also got a goodie bag, a refillable bucket of popcorn, and a refillable cup for fountain drinks. Food, drink, shelter, and free entertainment. You basically have everything you need to survive for the next 24 hours.
The goodie bag contained an assortment of candy and a few coupons for local businesses. And I was delighted to see they included a toothbrush and toothpaste. My hat is off to the foundation for thinking of the breath of the guests at 2:00 AM after about 10 sodas and an indeterminate amount of popcorn.
The goody bag also included a few free raffle tickets. A few smart volunteers sold more tickets to marathoners later in the evening. I bought about 20 and put most of them on the necklace from a local Jeweler in hopes of getting free brownie points with my wife. I also put a few on a giant meat and cheese gift case.
The prize drawing was at 9:00 PM. Alas, it was not to be. My numbers were not drawn..
Dinner was catered by Buffalo Wild Wings and featured wings in three different sauces, fries, and a salad option. Thanks to them for volunteering to feed us fundraisers!
The theater had a self-serve soda creator, the Coke Freestyle. I realized the tremendous potential this device contained at a movie marathon. What if I tried all the diet coke flavors over the course of the movie marathon? I had to collect them all!
And collect them all I did. My official report is as follows:
Diet Coke with cherry, vanilla, cherry vanilla, and lime were all pretty good.
Diet Coke with lemon – meh – not as good as lime.
Diet Coke with raspberry – we are starting to enter some weird territory here.
Diet Coke with orange – I do not endorse this flavor combo. About as good as mouthwash and orange juice.
I learned after the fact that the Coca-Cola freestyle has an app because…well – why not? I could have increased my efficiency by pre-selecting my drink mix on my phone prior to using the machine. Ah well. There is always next time.
As far as the theater itself went, the Emagine theater was big, clean, and looked nice. This theater was unique: it has a bar with cocktails and multiple local beers. I would have appreciated the novelty of a drink and a movie, but I stay away from the alcohol on movie marathons (caffeine only!). One theater had leather seats with large armrests. I do appreciate the trend toward luxury seating in movie theaters.
Foreign-language movies are hard. There is the obvious language barrier, of course, but accessibility is a challenge too. Why go seek out some obscure movie from another country that most people have never heard of, when Hollywood manufactures a new blockbuster every couple of months and pipes it directly into every movie theater in the nation?
I think we all know the answer. There is a real sense of adventure in being immersed in a new culture, and introduced to new sights, sounds, and ways of thinking. And you can do it all without buying an expensive plane ticket! I say: if you haven’t had the time to explore world cinema before, do it all at once with an international movie marathon!
IMDB Summary: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.
My take: This three-hour epic from Japan was an early discovery in my movie marathoning career. What really struck me was the authenticity of the story. These aren’t hollywood ninjas jumping all around the screen. One of my most memorable moments from this movie is a duel between a samurai and a bandit. The samurai is perfectly still, while the bandit fidgets and twitches nervously. The bandit loudly and awkwardly lunges at the samurai, who kills him with a single stroke. Now that’s badass.
It’s also fascinating to compare this movie with the classic american westerns. Some, like The Magnificent Seven, are literal copies of Kurosawa’s classics. I would watch this movie again!
IMDB Summary: Amelie is an innocent and naïve girl in Paris with her own sense of justice. She decides to help those around her and, along the way, discovers love.
My take: If you find the world of “French cinema” intimidating, then try Amelie. This movie is quirky, but it feels so relatable. Amelie is a lonely, quiet girl who learns that she can make people happy by finding what they want the most. So she sets off to do so in some pretty fantastic ways. Eventually, she might just find happiness herself. That might sound like a cliched plot – but this movie is so funny, happy and goofy – it still has a place in my top shelf of all-time movie favorites. If you want to laugh and feel good, you should check out this movie.
IMDB Summary: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.
My take: A Swedish vampire love story, but oh – so not sparkly. This movie is all about a bullied boy, and a strange little girl, who turns out to be a vampire. Together, they find a way to overcome those darn bullies…by viciously massacring them – along with a good number of people throughout town. This movie will warm your heart, right after ripping it out.
IMDB Summary: Inspired by true events, a 16th century prince falls in love with a court dancer and battles with his emperor father.
My take: The world of Indian films is vast, and increases in size every day. I have to admit it is hard to know where to start. Mughal-e-Azam seems like a good start. It took 16 years to complete. It was the most expensive Indian film ever made. It was shot three times in three different languages. It is three and a half hours long. In other words – this is an epic. Like all good epics, it is set in classical times, and features kings, princes, forbidden love, sword flighting – and a good dose of Indian musical numbers.
IMDB Summary: A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution.
My take: This Iranian animated film caught my eye when I first read Roger Ebert’s four-star review. It is a coming-of-age story of a girl in Iran during the Iranian revolution. “Finding yourself” may seem difficult to American teenagers, but what about those who are growing up in a country that is changing in fundamental, and hostile, ways? What do you do with that? Where do you fit in?
Sidenote: This movie is technically another French film….made by a French-speaking Iranian and set in Iran, Germany, and France. Does this count as an “Iranian” film? I hope you can give me a pass on this one.
IMDB Summary: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.
My take: This Chinese movie is my personal favorite Kung Fu movie. It has everything. Incredible fight scenes. Multiple love stories. Drama. Character growth. Loss. Near-magical secret martial arts fighting techniques. Philosophy, and an ending to make you think. I was lucky enough to see it in theaters when it was released in the U.S. After seeing it the first time, I remember thinking: “I’m going to need to see this three more times.” And so I did see it four times in the movie theater alone.
IMDB Summary: In post-war Italy, a working-class man’s bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it.
My take: This Italian film was Sight and Sound Magazine’s greatest movie of all time in 1952. Since then, it has dropped to 33rd best film of all time. It tells a simple story. A man needs his bicycle to get work. His bicycle is stolen. He searches for it. Realistic human drama ensues. While I have not seen this film yet, something about it seems to connect with those that do. We feel for this man who wants to provide for his family, but life in poverty keeps him in poverty. sometimes we just have to watch movies like this to feel empathy for our fellow humans.
IMDB Summary: After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.
My take: This German movie is so….German. Lola has to save her dopey boyfriend from sheer death by coming up with 100,000 Deutshmarks in 20 minutes. How could she possibly do this? You’ll find out – three times! This film delightfully plays with time and how slight variations in the choices you make every day can dramatically change the outcome. Deep? Yes! Full of heart-pounding techno music set to Lola sprinting around town? Yes! At 80 minutes, this movie is short, sweet, and oh so much fun.
So now you know all about the movies – how do they fit into a 24-hour movie marathon schedule? Lucky for you, I have pre-packaged the 24-hour international movie marathon schedule for you below. Think you are up to the task?
It is a brand new year, which means it is time to hold a brand new 24-hour movie marathon! We have selected the movies and set the schedule. Read on to learn all about the movies we picked out. I hope we inspire you with our movie roster.
The movie is one we’ve always wanted to see, or have heard we “should” see
We’ve found that this really helps foster variety and novelty in our movie marathons. It is a risky approach. Sometimes the movies don’t work out. But sometimes we stumble on a real gem, and it becomes a favorite movie we re-watch for years to come. We don’t know until the movie marathon what we are going to get. It is all really exciting!
This year is no different. We’ve assembled a variety of films based on recommendations from friends, recent releases in 2016 which we missed, entries from great film lists, and more. Let’s look in detail at the movie roster.
My take: We’ve opened our movie marathons with James Bond films for the past several years. James Bond films are great for opening movie marathons because they have beautiful and exotic settings, contain plenty of action, and keep us laughing with hokey jokes. The problem is we’ve already seen the best of the Bond films. If we want to see more, we have to reach farther down in the Bond barrel. I frankly just wasn’t getting excited about, say, The Living Daylights. So, instead, we’ll open with Crimson Tide – a drama recommended by a co-worker. I’m guessing there won’t be any corny jokes, but it should be a good action thriller.
My Take: After a heart-pounding action film, I usually like to show a comedy. My parents, aunts, and uncles are all telling me Caddyshack is one of the best comedies of all time, and is Bill Murray’s best film. That’s some high praise – I’ve seen Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day! I hope it can live up to these lofty expectations.
My Take: My wife loves Pride and Prejudice. Love and Friendship was just released in 2016 and got an exceptionally high rotten tomatoes score of 98%. I wanted to give this movie a try since it is well-written and funny. I love the witty dialog of Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith movies. With some luck, this Jane Austen adaptation will be the 19th century equivalent of Kill Bill.
IMDB Summary: After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther, Bagheera, and free-spirited bear, Baloo.
IMDB Summary: The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
My Take: It’s no secret that I love Hayo Miyazaki’s movies. For those who are not familiar with him, he is sometimes called “Japan’s Walt Disney”. Miyazaki wrote the screenplay for this film a few years before he retired. With any luck, his filmmaking skills just improved with age.
My Take: Every movie marathon at our house has to include at least one Western. No one embodies classic American western better than John Wayne. This movie has the distinction of being John Wayne’s last film, and is a goodbye to both him and the Wild West itself, in a way. I’m happy to see Lauren Bacall co-stars. Lauren has appeared in at least two past movie marathons due to my enduring love of Humphrey Bogart films.
My Take: Another tradition for our movie marathons: including a movie from the 1980s. I’m excited to see sixteen candles because I catch references to this movie all the time in pop culture. I hope it compares well to The Breakfast Club, which was a big success in a movie marathon a few years ago. John Hughes directed both, so I think we have good odds.
My Take: This movie is sometimes called “A Fairy tale for Grown Ups”. I can appreciate that. The best Grimm Fairy Tales have elements of fantasy, horror, and adventure mixed together to thrill and delight. The visual effects in this movie are spectacular, and some of the characters truly horrifying. Also, this Mexican movie is the most successful Spanish language film released in the U.S. So, bonus points for us for including international films in the movie marathon.
IMDB Summary: At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.
My Take: What was the last good, modern romantic comedy you saw? Love Actually? Romantic Comedies are dead or at least dramatically changed from their heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. But this one’s got time travel! A co-worker recommended it, so I hope it can live up to expectations as both a sentimental romantic comedy and a sci-fi film.
My Take: This is an outlier of a Disney film. I love including outliers in my movie marathons because I’m always seeking out novelty and unique movie experiences. This film is highly rated but generally overlooked, and frankly, a bit goofy. I’m ready to give it a chance, and it will open our morning kid-friendly zone of the movie marathon. I hope the kids like it!
My Take: This is a short film from France that apparently everyone in the world has seen as a child…except for me. Despite being only 30 minutes long, it won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1956. It has virtually no dialog, so language is no barrier. My kids will become French film snobs in no time!
My Take: I loved the movie Coraline. It is beautiful, weird, scary, and surprising. Kubo and the Two Strings is Laika Studios‘ latest film, and the critics agree that the animation, characters, and settings are gorgeous in this film. The plot is controversial, with some thinking it is too confusing and sad. I’m willing to take the risk. I just hope it doesn’t traumatize the kids.
Movie Marathon 2017 Schedule
So how do all the movies fit together into a 24-hour schedule? Check it out below.
The most useful tidbit is to watch what you eat. Typical movie marathons provide a cornucopia of carbohydrates, fats, sugars, and other delicious ingredients to delight your tastebuds. The military guys say gorging just sets you up for a crash. Eat light, and focus on proteins (jerky, nuts, etc.) to stay full. This will help you avoid the crash carbs and sugars bring. The same goes for your drinks – go sugar-free to avoid the crash.
Like with the advice for food, spec ops recommends steady dripping the caffeine to avoid a crash. The article indicates 100-150 milligrams every 2-3 hours should do it. That’s a relatively high amount of steady caffeine, per my previous article on caffeine for movie marathons. For comparison purposes, that is one 16-oz McDonald’s Latte every 2-3 hours. I think the key is to start late when you need it, not continuously gulp down 12 lattes throughout the entire marathon.
Strategic napping is also a useful idea. A ninety minute nap is more effective than caffeine at boosting alertness. The recommended nap zone is between 1-3 PM and 1-3 AM. I think napping during the movie marathon itself defeats the purpose (you are trying to stay awake!) – but I like the idea of short naps immediately before the marathon. Sometimes you can’t always get a perfect night’s sleep ahead of time, but just 90 minutes of extra sleep immediately before might be able to give you a good boost in performance.