Stephen King Movie Marathon

There have been 65 movies based on the writing of Stephen King?? For heaven’s sake, that’s more than the number of novels he has published (56, in case you were wondering). Granted, the 65 movies includes sequels, remakes, and reboots (Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror anyone?), but that is still a ridiculous number of movies.

I remember “Stephen King Films” as hokey horror shows like Pet Cemetery or the TV mini-series The Langoliers. But then I found out he wrote The Shawshank Redemption – the film consistently rated as #1 in the IMDB Top 250. While his work definitely tilts towards the thrilling, horrifying, and the supernatural, he has a dramatic range that isn’t immediately clear if you are only familiar with, say, Creepshow.

Why not celebrate his best movie adaptations in a 24-hour Stephen King Movie Marathon? The “best of stephen king” movie lists are pretty consistent on which are the best adaptations out there. You can see the best eleven in 24 hours!

Stephen King Movie Marathon Movies

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption Movie PosterMy take: Might as well start with the best! The epic story of wrongful imprisonment, despair, clawing back from the brink, retribution, and finally (may I say it?) redemption. Features Morgan Freeman, the undisputed king of voiceovers, as the narrator.

Stand By Me

Stand By MeMy take: Take a brief break from Stephen King prison epics with a short, meaningful story about boyhood friendship. Features 1980s boy wonders Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, and River Phoenix.

The Green Mile

The Green MileMy take: Settle in. At over three hours, this one will take a while. But where else but in a movie marathon will you find the time to watch the famous, critically acclaimed other Stephen King prison drama – the one with psychic powers?

The Shining

The ShiningMy take: The horror movie like no other horror movie. So “out there”, it was nominated for two Razzie awards, but now is considered one of the best horror films ever. Features Jack Nicholson as a crazy person.

Carrie

Carrie Movie PosterMy take: Who hasn’t fantasized making their high school prom a bloodbath of psychic revenge against their childhood enemies? No one? Oh. Forget I said that.

The Running Man

The Running Man Movie PosterMy take: At the midway point of the movie marathon, take a break from endless epicness, bloodsoaked horror, and madness. Instead, go to pure 1980s action with Arnold Schwarzenegger in spandex spouting 80s action one-liners. It’s showtime!

The Dead Zone

The Dead Zone Movie PosterMy take: Schoolteacher is granted the power to see visions of the future just by touching someone. This turns out to be a handy skill when trying to avert future deaths and World War 3. I’d advise caution though: time travel and future visions may not be as simple as they seem (see: Hitler Time Travel Exemption, Godwin’s Law of Time Travel)

Misery

Misery Movie PosterMy take: Annie Wilkes is the ultimate fangirl and her favorite author basically just drops right into her lap. What would every fangirl do? Hold him prisoner and make him write fanfiction of course! So true to real life it’s chilling.

1408

1408 Movie PosterMy take: A haunted hotel room that will drive you mad through hallucinations of horror? “Challenge accepted!” says the main character in this film. Wait. Isn’t this The Shining again?

The Mist

The Mist Movie PosterMy take: A portrait of people under stress. The stress – giant monsters hiding in mist. The people – infighting and murder.

Dolores Clairborne

Dolores Claiborne Movie PosterMy take: End your Stephen King movie marathon with a good, old-fashioned murder mystery and psychological thriller. Did she do it? Or did she not? Find out!

Stephen King Movie Marathon Schedule

Start TimeTitle
12:00 PMThe Shawshank Redemption
03:00 PMStand By Me
04:45 PMThe Green Mile
08:00 PMThe Shining
10:30 PMCarrie
12:15 AMThe Running Man
02:00 AMThe Dead Zone
03:45 AMMisery
05:45 AM1408
07:30 AMThe Mist
09:45 AMDolores Clairborne
11:57 AMFinish

 

“F This Movie” Loves Movie Marathons!

I was delighted to stumble across Patrick Bromley’s F This Movie weblog and podcast and find an impressive number of 24-hour movie marathon ideas.

Patrick recently held his first full 24-hour movie marathon for his 40th birthday, but also creates hypothetical 24-hour movie marathon schedules just for fun. My favorite was his “Before They Were Famous” 24-hour movie marathon – featuring early work by Scarlet Johansson, Jeff Goldblum, Sylvester Stallone, and many others.

Take a look at this index of his 24-hour movie marathon ideas below. Support his work by checking out his website and podcast, won’t you?

24-Hour Movie Marathon Ideas from “F This Movie”

Genre Marathons
movie marathons featuring an actor
Movie Marathons Featuring a Place
  • Movies based in Los Angeles – I think Hollywood is a little biased on this one – lots of movies are set in L.A. I guess we’ll just settle and say these are the best movies set in L.A.
  • Movies based in New York – Big things happen in New York, as any New Yorker will tell you…without asking. Take a peek at the best movies set in New York.
  • Movies based in Chicago – Chicago, the city less full of itself than L.A. and New York. Check out the movie set here.
Movies From a Particular Year
Other Movie Marathon Themes

  • Movies Set in Cold Weather – Ok – we’re really reaching for a theme here, but it is a fact that many movies are set in cold weather. Yup.

Baby Movie Marathon!

My wife and I are expecting our fourth baby by the end of the month. Over the course of three deliveries at the hospital, we learned three things:

  1. Newborns are super-cute but don’t do a lot
  2. Nurseries help us sleep better at the hospital than we will at home
  3. Daytime television is super-boring

And by super-boring, I mean nonstop Law and Order, infomercials, and Judge Judy knock offs. Ugh!

This time around, we are planning ahead. We have a baby movie marathon planned! It won’t be 24 hours. We aren’t going to watch movies all the movies all at once. But we’ve got ten – count ’em – ten movies picked out and ready to go.

Our picks for the baby movie marathon trend toward action, comedy, and comic book oriented. We love watching these genres and most of these movies will be  easy to start and stop watching as we get interrupted (yep – Thor. He’s got a hammer. He whacks bad guys with it. Got it).

As usual with our movie marathons, each movie will be new to at least one of us. Bonus: they are all movies that are not quite little-kid friendly. It’s a real treat to watch movies for adults when our house is filled with kids seven and under.

The Baby Movie Marathon Lineup

The lineup is for kid #4’s zero-th birthday is:

La La Land

 

John Wick Movie PosterI’m really looking forward to John Wick (85% rotten tomatoes), which I didn’t know even existed until John Wick 2 was released in theaters to a ton of hype. And we’re both looking forward to Bad Moms, since neither of us really fits the definition of “queen bee soccer mom”.

It takes all kinds to make a world, right? Some parents give birth at homes in kiddie pools. We give birth in hospitals and have movie marathons!

Hollywood Nights 24-Hour Movie Marathon 2016 Recap Part 2 – The Experience

In part 1, I reviewed the movies playing at the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan’s 24-hour movie marathon. In part 2, let’s recap what event itself was like.  I hope I can convince you to come next year!

The Event

The Emagine theater in Novi is an 18-screen theater in a large shopping district conveniently located off Interstate 96. The doors opened to the movie marathon crowd at 9:00 AM for check-in. The volunteers and fellow movie goers mingled a bit at the entryway. Everyone was friendly and there was a good vibe going.

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.

24-Hour Movie Marathon Check-In at the Emagine theater.
24-Hour movie marathon check-in at the Emagine theater.

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.

24-Hour Movie Marathon Goodie Bag
The 24-hour movie marathon goodie bag. It included candy, toothpaste, toothbrush, and coupons to local businesses.

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.

Children's Leukemia Foundation Movie Marathon Raffle
The movie marathon raffle included jewelry, a meat and cheese gift box, pies, and coupons to local businesses.

The prize drawing was at 9:00 PM. Alas, it was not to be. My numbers were not drawn..

Foundation volunteers raffle ticket prize drawing
Foundation volunteers drawing raffle tickets.

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!

Soda machine
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.

The Gear

As I mentioned in my previous post, I brought a variety of gear to get me through the marathon. Here are some highlights:

  • One spare external battery was all I needed to keep my cell phone alive for the duration of the marathon. No need to plug into anything else.
  • The facial cleansing wipes felt awesome after a full day and night of movie marathoning with no shower. I’ll be bringing those again!
  • I brought a sleeping bag in case I needed it, but staying awake during the movie marathon was a slam dunk this year, and driving home was a non-event. I don’t think I’ll need to pack that again.

Conclusion

The Hollywood Nights 24-Hour movie marathon was a great event! I’m looking forward to attending again, and I hope I see you there next time!

Around the World In a 24 Hour Movie Marathon

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!

I’ve polled Empire Online’s 100 greatest films of world cinemaWhat Culture’s 50 world cinema films to see before you die, and Sight and Sounds Top 50 to construct an international movie marathon schedule that has movies from eleven unique countries and a variety of content. These movies range from silent classics to modern techno-music chase movies. I hope you find a little something of everything in this list. Enjoy!

International Movie Marathon Movies

Seven Samurai

Seven SamuraiIMDB 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!

Amelie

AmelieIMDB 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.

Battleship Potemkin

Battleship PotemkinIMDB Summary: A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre.

My take: You don’t hear much about Russian cinema here in the United States. This movie is consistently in the top charts as one of the best movies of all time. and reportedly stands up to modern viewing remarkably well. I wonder if, as a silent film, language is less of a barrier? I’ll have to watch to find out someday.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth PosterIMDB Summary: In the falangist Spain of 1944, the bookish young stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer escapes into an eerie but captivating fantasy world.

My take: I also don’t hear much about Spanish-language cinema. That seems like a shame, since there seems to be plenty of good spanish-language movies out there, and the entire continent south of the United States speaks Spanish! Pan’s Labyrinth is the late-night show for my movie marathon 2017. Some call it “A Fairy tale for Grown Ups”, with a mix of fantasy, horror, and adventure. It is one of the most successful Spanish language film released in the U.S., so it seems like a good place to start.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One InIMDB 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.

Mughal-e-Azam

Mughal-E-AzamIMDB 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.

Persepolis

PersepolisIMDB 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.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger Hidden DragonIMDB 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.

Bicycle Thieves

Bicycle ThievesIMDB 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.

Run Lola Run

Run Lola RunIMDB 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.

City of God

City of GodIMDB Summary: Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

My take: The novel this Brazilian film was based on was written by a man who grew up in the slums of Rio De Janeiro and escaped. This movie tells the tale of those who live there, in the lawless, violent cityscape that it is. Roger Ebert compares the movie to Scorsese’s Goodfellas – another excellent organized crime drama. While I haven’t seen the film myself yet, the storytelling and camera style is said to bring an urgency and a sense of realism to the desperate live on the streets of Rio. I hope to catch it someday!

International Movie Marathon Schedule

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?

Start TimeTitle
11:00 AMStart
12:00 PMSeven Samurai
03:45 PMAmelie
06:00 PMBattleship Potemkin
07:15 PMPan’s Labyrinth
09:30 PMLet the Right One In
11:30 PMMughal-e-Azam
03:00 AMPersepolis
04:45 AMCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
06:45 AMBicycle Theives
08:15 AMRun Lola Run
09:45 AMCity of God
11:55 AMFinish