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.

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

Horror Movie Marathon 2016!

October brings us crisp fall air, freshly harvested apples, and flickering images of unspeakable horror piped directly into our quivering eyeballs! Graphic eh? My high-school advanced english class did not go to waste. Anyway – want to know the best options for your very own 24-hour horror movie marathon 2016? Then read on…if you dare!!!

If you live in Ohio, you are in luck. The 8th Annual Ohio 24-Hour Horror Marathon “Shock Around the Clock” starts at noon on October 15th and goes until noon on October 16th. It plays at the Drexel Theater, and you can find the event on Facebook. Advanced tickets are $40. That is a mere $1.60 for each hour of horror! You would be stupid not to go! You can see the schedule of movies here.

If you live in Chicago instead of Columbus, you could try The Massacre 24-Hour Movie Marathon. It starts at noon on October 22nd and goes until noon(?) on October 23rd. It plays at the Patio theater. A detailed schedule doesn’t seem to be available, but advance tickets are $20. That is a mere $0.83 per horror hour! You’d be even stupider not to go!

Don’t live in the Chicago or Columbus. but you have cable? Then your next best bet is American Movie Classics Fear Fest. It starts on Thursday October 13th at 9 AM and runs until the wee hours of Tuesday, November 1st. That’s 19 days and over 80 movies. At a going rate of about $80 a month for cable TV, prorated for those 19 days, that’s $49 dollars for 19 days, or a mere $0.10 an hour! You’d be…well, you know.

Don’t have a good cable TV package? There’s still hope. You can stitch together your own horror movie / TV show marathon via this handy schedule of horror movies and shows playing on TV this month. The one nice thing about The Simpsons running for the last 26 years is we always get an annual Treehouse of Horror Episode.

Don’t watch cable or broadcast TV? Thankfully, we live in the 21st century where Netflix has done away with the need for such things. Paste magazine has put together an excellent article of the 60 best horror movies streaming on Netflix in 2016. Your choices range from The Exorcist to Zombeavers. Yes. Zombeavers. What? Zombeavers got a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Is it unclear what the movie is about? (Hint: It’s about zombie beavers).

None of these sound good? I’ve got your back. 24hourmoviemarathon.com has some excellent recommendations for 24-hour horror movie marathons, if I do say so myself.

This season is truly an embarrassment of riches when it comes to opportunities for movie marathons. If you can’t find something to scare the pants off of you this season, then you make my head explode. Happy Halloween!

Photo by Alexas_Fotos

The Top 100 Films of The 21st Century

Is it too early to start proclaiming the best films of the 21st century? After all, this century is only about 16% complete. Shouldn’t we wait until at least 51%? Of course not! Otherwise, the BBC would have to fill their website with boring content like world events and dry British humor. And I would have to write original content instead of just linking to better websites than mine. Do you think I have that sort of time (answer: yes)?

Anyway, as I’ve noted elsewhere, most of the “best 100 movies” lists from movie critics are suspiciously devoid of movies made since 1980. I like watching classic movies as much as the next film snob, but sometimes I want to see a good movie where iPods and YouTube could be reasonably expected to appear. Thankfully, the BBC and about 200 film critics have the answer, with a list of the top 100 films of the 21st century.

Looking through the list, I was surprised to see I’ve only seen 13 of the 100 films listed. This is despite me having a couple of decades to address this problem. It sounds as if I have a new list of movies to get into the annual movie marathon rotation.