Movie Marathon 2018

It is 2018, which can only mean it is time to throw 24-hour movie marathon 2018! 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 to throw your own 24-hour movie marathon this year.

Movie Marathon 2018 Theme

When my wife and I host a movie marathon, we don’t center it around a single genre or theme as most people expect. Instead, we always follow two rules when selecting movies:

  1. We have never seen the movie before
  2. 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. Compared to, say, watching our favorite movie series for the 100th time, 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 which we missed, entries from great film lists, and more. Let’s look in detail at the movie roster.

Movie Marathon 2018 Movies

The Incredible Hulk

The Incredible HulkIMDB Summary: Bruce Banner, a scientist on the run from the U.S. Government, must find a cure for the monster he turns into, whenever he loses his temper.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

My take: We typically open our marathons with an action-adventure crowd pleaser. You might ask “Why ‘The Incredible Hulk’?” The answer is: Everyone has already seen all of the other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. This is one of the forgotten early origin stories. Remember those? Watch the Incredible Hulk and you can travel back in time to a straightforward superhero origin story before the MCU became the complex cinematic juggernaut that it is today.

Pitch Perfect

Pitch PerfectIMDB Summary: Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school’s all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

My Take: Some light musical comedy to follow the typical “I’m a Marvel superhero, so I am all sad and complex and have problems and stuff.” I’m told it is a crime against movies that we have not seen this movie yet. Let’s all bop along to this simple college movie about dueling singing college groups.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder On The Orient ExpressIMDB Summary: In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

My Take: I saw Murder on the Orient Express (2018) in theaters and loved it. Then I read some of the reviews. A good chunk of them complained “Not as good as the original!” and “Not as good as the book!” and “Not as good as the book or the movie because I’m a cultured critic and I’ve read and seen both and I already know the plot twist blah blah blah”. Well, I say “challenge accepted” critics! Let’s see how good the original 1973 movie really is!

A Bug’s Life

A Bug's LifeIMDB Summary: A misfit ant, looking for “warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers, recruits a group of bugs that turn out to be an inept circus troupe.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92% Common Sense Media Age: 5+

My Take: One of the few Pixar films we have yet to see (the only other ones being derivative sequels like Cars 2 – those can wait), yet it still has excellent critical reviews.  Let’s catch up on this lesser-known classic together!

Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving CastleIMDB Summary: When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87% Common Sense Media Age: 8+

My Take: Another film in the portfolio of Hayo Miyazaki. Like most of his films, it promises a fairy-tale story, gorgeous animation, and goofy characters. Let’s hope it can live up to expectations, since my kids are running out of excellent American animated cinema to watch!

3:10 to Yuma

3:10 To YumaIMDB Summary: A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

My Take: As far as I know, there is nothing stunning or unique in this movie. It is just a well-executed, recently-made, Western movie. Don’t we all need a movie like that sometimes? Its comfort food for your cinematic soul.

La La Land

La La LandIMDB Summary: While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

My Take: A second exuberant musical – because why just have one in your movie marathon when you can have two? Lest we forget, it was almost the Academy’s best picture winner in 2017. You know it must be good since one of Hollywood’s favorite topics is itself.

Your Name

Your NameIMDB Summary: Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

My Take: So good, this anime got a limited release in theaters beyond Japan. The basic premise is stereotypical anime (mind/gender swap) but the reviews say it is well done, thoughtful, and doesn’t go for salacious gender comedy. In short, it is a movie worth our time to seek out.

Stand By Me

Stand By MeIMDB Summary: After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

My Take:  Did you know Stephen King writes stories that don’t have anything to do with killer clowns, psychics, or psychopaths? Who knew, right? This movie presents a short, meaningful story about boyhood friendship and features 1980s boy wonders Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, and River Phoenix. It should fill the niche of “required 80s movie” in our movie marathon nicely.

The King’s Speech

The King's SpeechIMDB Summary: The story of King George VI of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, his impromptu ascension to the throne and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch become worthy of it.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

My Take: This period drama is an Academy award winner for best picture and best actor (Colin Firth). Nobody knows drama better than the British monarchy.

Into the Woods

Into The WoodsIMDB Summary: A witch tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71% Common Sense Media: 10+

My Take: I first saw “Into the Woods” as a play in college. I remembered it fondly as a Shrek-like. winking take on fairy tales. Apparently I wasn’t paying attention since this movie was released by Disney several years ago! This will be the 3rd musical in the marathon, and the second musical in the marathon to star Anna Kendrick.

The Muppets Take Manhattan

The Muppets Take ManhattanIMDB Summary: Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it’s a more difficult task than they anticipated.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81% Common Sense Media: 5+

My Take: My kids are currently re-discovering the joy of the Muppets via clips from YouTube. Everyone sings the praises of the original Muppet Movie, but some say this is perhaps the overlooked, best Muppet movie of them all. Let’s hope it closes out the marathon with Muppety love.

Movie Marathon 2018 Schedule

So how do all the movies fit together into a 24-hour schedule? Check it out below.

 

Start TimeTitle
11:00 AMDoors Open
12:00 PMThe Incredible Hulk
02:15 PMPitch Perfect
04:15 PMMurder on the Orient Express
06:30 PMA Bug’s Life
08:15 PMHowl’s Moving Castle
10:30 PM3:10 to Yuma
12:45 AMLa La Land
03:00 AMYour Name
04:46 AMStand by Me
06:15 AMThe King’s Speech
08:15 AMInto the Woods
10:30 AMThe Muppets Take Manhattan
12:04 PMFinish

What’s Playing at Hollywood Nights Movie-Thon 2017

It’s official! The following movies will be playing on November 10th at the EMagine theater in Novi for the Hollywood Nights Movie-Thon 2017! The movies below are sorted by Rotten Tomatoes score.

Which ones would you see?

Thor: Ragnarok

Thor RagnarokRotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Runtime: 130 minutes

IMDB Summary: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.

Thank You for Your Service

Thank You For Your ServiceRotten Tomatoes Score: 78%

Runtime: 109 minutes

IMDB Summary: A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.

Happy Death Day

Happy Death DayRotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Runtime: 96 minutes

IMDB Summary: A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer’s identity.

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder On The Orient ExpressRotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Runtime: 116 minutes

IMDB Summary: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

LBJ

LBJRotten Tomatoes Score: 51%

Runtime: 98 minutes

IMDB Summary: The story of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson from his young days in West Texas to the White House.

A Bad Moms Christmas

A Bad Moms ChristmasRotten Tomatoes Score: 32%

Runtime: 104 minutes

IMDB Summary: Amy, Carla, and Kiki struggle to cope when their respective mothers visit for the holidays.

Jigsaw

JigsawRotten Tomatoes Score: 31%

Runtime: 92 minutes

IMDB Summary: Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one man: John Kramer. But how can this be? The man known as Jigsaw has been dead for over a decade.

Boo 2: A Medea Halloween

Boo 2Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6%

Runtime: 101 minutes

IMDB Summary: Madea, Bam, and Hattie venture to a haunted campground and the group must run for their lives when monsters, goblins, and the boogeyman are unleashed.

Daddy’s Home 2

Daddys Home 2Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0%*

Runtime: 100 minutes

IMDB Summary: Brad and Dusty must deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.

* Technically there is no Rotten Tomatoes score yet. However, the original Daddy’s Home got a 31%. Does anyone really think this sequel is going to get much more than a 0% rating?

Early Movie List for Hollywood Nights Movie-Thon 2017

The Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan’s Hollywood Nights Movie-Thon 2017  is less than two months away! You should go if you can. It’s a great cause and it’s great fun.  If you are on the fence because you want to know what movies will be playing, read on.

Looking up movie release dates is straightforward. IMDB has a list of upcoming movies and their release dates. However, the key question is “which of these movies will actually be playing on November 10th and 11th?”.

We can’t answer that question with certainty, since it is ultimately up to what each particular theater purchases and for how long. However, we can establish probability based on typical movie performance.  According to this article, virtually no movies run shorter than two weeks, an average movie plays in theaters for four weeks, and some may go longer if they perform well.

So, based on these two sources, I give you: what will definitely probably maybe be playing at Hollywood Nights Movie-Thon 2017!

Highly Likely Playing

The following movies will be released on November 10th or no more than two weeks before.

Thor Ragnarok

Likely Playing

The following movies will be released 2-4 weeks before the marathon.

Mother

Might Be Playing

The following movies will be released more than 4 weeks before the marathon, but may have good staying power.

Blade Runner 2049

 

24-Hour Game Marathons For Charity

If you like 24-hour movie marathons (why are you here if you don’t??), I’m betting you’ll also like the charitable organization called Extra Life. Their website says it all:

Extra Life unites thousands of players around the world in a 24 hour gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for local CMN Hospitals.

A 24-hour game marathon to support children’s hospitals? Now there’s a fundraiser I can relate to!

Remarkably, Extra Life has built up a flexible infrastructure for supporting gaming marathons. Gamers can raise funds without being tied down to a specific location, date, or time. Again, from their website:

You can game from the comfort of your own couch, at your friend’s house, at a rec center—anywhere is fair game (Pun intended. Eyerolls permitted)! Lots of Extra Lifers organize big group events for the occasion and just as many pull out the sweatpants and snacks for a chill day at home. It’s your fundraiser—do it your way!

The next “official” gaming marathon is scheduled for November 4th, 2017. You can play anywhere, but there are cities across the United States and Canada which have guilds that organize local events. Check out this handy Google map.

They also provide some tips for fundraising success and safety rules.

It sounds as if Extra Life has gained some real momentum. I wonder if we can apply what Extra Life has learned to 24-hour movie marathon fundraisers?  If you have any ideas, comment below!

Six-Day MST3K Movie Marathon Starts Monday!

Twitch.tv is no longer just for watching some nerd on the internet play StarCraft while prepubescent boys hurl insults in a chat box. Now you can do that AND watch a six-day MST3K movie marathon! Check out the video promo for the marathon here.

If you aren’t familiar, MST3K stands for “Mystery Science Theater 3000”, the greatest show from the 1990s (and recently revived on Netflix) which takes bad movies and makes fun of them with jokes in real time. It’s funny. You’d like it. (for more on my deep love of MST3K and how it probably started my obsession with movie marathons, check out my article on the subject here)

According to the Twitch.tv announcement, they’ll be playing 38 classic episodes of MST3K over the space of six days, starting on June 26 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time and end July 3. A typical MST3K episode (minus commercials) is about 1.5 hours. By my count, that’s approximately 57 hours of MST3K content. The announcement indicates that the remaining time will be filled with “an assortment of vintage educational shorts and other bonus content in between each episode.” Commercials are also presumably involved.

If you are a prepubescent boy, no worries, real-time chat will still be available during the marathon. In fact, that’s part of the appeal. According to Variety’s article:

The point: to highlight Twitch’s ambitions of becoming a home for more than just live video-game action. Twitch refers to itself as a “social video platform,” letting viewers chat in real-time in a window next to the video.

Not convinced to take the next week off of work? Need to try before you buy? Many classic MST3K episode are available on the MST3K YouTube channel. Might I suggest one of my personal favorites: King Dinosaur?

King Dinosaur MST3K Cover ArtIn this movie, 1950’s scientists travel to planet Nova, discover giant iguanas and call them T-rexes, and (spoiler alert) end up nuking the new life forms they discovered. Why? Because…well… they brought an atom bomb with them. It was a good time to use it!