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!

Movie Marathon 2016

A new year means a new annual movie marathon! Here is what my wife and I selected for our annual friends and family movie marathon. It may look like there is no method to the madness, but we are following our usual theme of movies neither of us has seen before, but have always wanted to see, or have heard that we should see.

A detailed schedule is below, along with detailed movie information. If you are one of the usual suspects that are invited to this event, I hope the movie list inspires you to come! If you are a visitor to this website, I hope this list inspires you to hold your own movie marathon!

I’m happy to report that kid-friendly zones we a big hit last year, so we are bringing them back Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  From 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM Saturday, we have Shaun the Sheep and Song of the Sea. And at 9:45, for older kids that want to stay late, we have The Dark Crystal. From 8:45 AM to 12:00 PM Sunday, we have Surf’s Up and Ella Enchanted.

Movie Marathon 2016 Schedule Overview

Start TimeEnd TimeTitleRuntime
11:00 AM11:00 AMDoors Open0 minutes
12:00 PM01:57 PMYou Only Live Twice117 min.
02:15 PM04:13 PMRoman Holiday118 min.
04:15 PM06:14 PMRocky119 min.
06:30 PM07:55 PMShaun the Sheep85 min.
08:00 PM09:33 PMSong of the Sea93 min.
09:45 PM11:18 PMThe Dark Crystal93 min.
11:30 PM12:55 AMHigh Noon85 min.
01:00 AM02:42 AMThe Crow102 min.
02:45 AM04:26 AMNotorious101 min.
04:30 AM06:36 AMThe Treasure of the Sierra Madre126 min.
07:00 AM08:42 AMSeven Brides for Seven Brothers102 min.
08:45 AM10:10 AMSurf’s Up85 min.
10:30 AM12:06 PMElla Enchanted96 min.
12:06 PM12:06 PMFinish min.

Movie Marathon 2016 Details

You Only Live Twice (1967)

Action | Adventure | Thriller – Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%
Plot: Agent 007 and the Japanese secret service ninja force must find and stop the true culprit of a series of spacejackings before nuclear war is provoked.
Why watch? James Bond has been a big crowd-pleaser for the past couple movie marathons. We’re going down the list of James Bond films from best to worst.

Roman Holiday (1953)

Comedy | Romance – Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
Plot: A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.
Why watch? Bringing up Baby was a hilarious classic comedy, and well-received at our last movie marathon. We’re going to try another classic comedy with a fantastic leading couple: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

Rocky (1976)

Drama | Sport – Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
Plot: Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.
Why watch? Yep. We’ve never seen it. Honest. File this one under “required pop culture viewing”.

Shaun the Sheep (2015)

Animation | Adventure | Comedy – Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
Plot: When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.
Why watch? Who doesn’t love Wallace and Gromit? Shaun the Sheep is a Wallace and Gromit spin-off and has a can’t-miss Rotten Tomatoes score of 99%. Here’s hoping the kid-friendly zone opens up with a bang!

Song of the Sea (2014)

Animation | Family | Fantasy – Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%
Plot: Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the faeries and save the spirit world.
Why watch? Song of the Sea and the Secret of Kells were both produced by the same studio and feature a plot based on Irish folklore. The Secret of Kells may be too scary for the very young children at our movie marathon. Song of the Sea is more age appropriate but should be just as beautiful and quirky.

The Dark Crystal (1982)

Adventure | Family | Fantasy – Rotten Tomatoes score: 72%
Plot: On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal, and so restore order to his world.
Why watch? We missed this key piece of 80s pop culture too. We hear it is a tad dark, so we are playing it right after the kid-friendly zone for any adventurous kids that want to stay up late.

High Noon (1952)

Action | Drama | Western- Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
Plot: A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.
Why watch? Every movie marathon needs a good western – at least in our family! Some regard High Noon as a candidate for best western ever made. It promises a non-traditional story line, and is John Wayne-free.

The Crow (1994)

Action | Drama | Fantasy – Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%
Plot: A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.
Why watch? The Crow was highly regarded by some of the comic book and fantasy nerds I went to college with, and yet I’ve never seen it. Time to fix that!

Notorious (1946)

Drama | Film-Noir | Romance – Rotten Tomatoes score: 97%
Plot: A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Why watch? An Alfred Hitchcock movie is required at every movie marathon. We’ve already seen his most well-known films. Notorious is a less well-known film, but has a good reputation, and stars Ingrid Bergman (the leading lady from Casablanca)!

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Action | Adventure | Drama – Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Plot: Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains
Why watch? If you haven’t caught on already, we’re suckers for certain actors, directors, and genres in our movie marathon. After seeing Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart is one of our weaknesses. This is the latest in a line of Bogart films we’ve seen. I believe this one has a twist, in that Bogart is not the leading “good guy”.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

Comedy | Drama | Musical – Rotten Tomatoes score: 88%
Plot: In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.
Why watch? Because sometimes you have a have an exuberant musical in your life. That’s why.

Surf’s Up (2007)

Animation | Comedy | Family – Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship, and its newest participant, up-and-comer Cody Maverick.
Why watch? Leonard Maltin identified Surf’s Up as a great overlooked children’s movie in his Maltin on Movies podcast. I think Happy Feet came out around the same time and audience only have so much capacity for talking penguins.

Ella Enchanted (2004)

Comedy | Family | Fantasy – Rotten Tomatoes score: 50%
Plot: Ella is under a spell to be constantly obedient, a fact she must hide from her new step-family in order to protect the prince of the land, her friend for whom she’s falling.
Why watch? Ever since Roger Ebert wrote a positive review of this movie, I’ve wanted to see it. It seems to be a Shrek-like take on fairy tales, with some good comedy and modern sensibilities thrown in.

Someone did it: Disney Movie Marathon

Do you think you can watch 17 Disney movies in 48 hours? Ralph Jones did it and documented the experience in this article on the website Hexjam. His write-ups are entertaining*, and I enjoyed the YouTube link that illustrated Disney animation scenes recycled in multiple movies. You notice these sorts of details when you watch similar movies back to back to back to back.

It looks like he indulged in the luxury of sleep during his Disney movie watching binge. Had he read one or two of my articles on planning a Disney movie marathon, he could have learned he could have watched 15-16 movies in a mere 24 hours (Disney movies are short), and that he should have stuck to the best of the Disney Animation Studios classics (he included High School Musical and Atlantis: The Lost Empire? Really?).

Just sayin’. Am I feeling a little snobbish today? Maybe.

*Ralph uses a lot of saucy language to express his thoughts on the movies. If that isn’t your thing, you should probably move along.

Movie Marathon 2015 Pictures

Movie marathon 2015 was a smashing success! I plan on recapping the details over a series of posts, but I thought you would enjoy a few movie marathon 2015 pictures – in all of their graphic detail!

Entertainment center The entertainment center – complete with newly-purchased soundbar and excellent movie reference material from Roger Ebert and others.
Food - Part 1

The snack  and pop spread. The flowers were a nice touch.

Food - Part 2Some healthy snacking options which I mostly did not exercise.

Food - Part 3

Three delicious meatball and barbeque sauce combinations for dinner.

Not shown in any of these pictures was the pizza armada (6 pizzas in all – most of them extra large), the sundaes bar, attendees (to protect the innocent), or the giant blizzard outside that almost scuttled the entire event!

Thanks to all who attended and made it one of the best movie marathons ever!

Movie Marathon Of Flops

We all love catastrophic failures, and Hollywood flops can single-handedly lose hundreds of millions of dollars, bankrupt entire studios, and ruin prestigious careers. A movie marathon of flops would be like watching a train transporting a load of fireworks smashing into an orphanage located on an active volcano during a Sharknado. You know you couldn’t look away.

However, just because a movie wasn’t a commercial success doesn’t mean it isn’t good. In fact, the most spectacular flops have great production values simply based on the sheer amount of money spent on them. I think a movie marathon of flops has some real untapped potential. It is going to be an entertaining spectacle one way or another.

However, to put together a decent flop movie marathon schedule, the key thing we need to know is: how much money was lost in bringing this cinematic experience to you? The answer is harder to figure out than you might think. Hollywood has strange and secretive accounting practices, which are only amplified when they just lost a ton of money.

So, knowing that the best we can do is form an educated guess, I found some decent flop lists (with financial figures) on Wikipedia, CNBC, the Each list disagreed with the other in terms of the movies on the list, and how much money was lost, and one of them wasn’t adjusted for inflation. So, what I did was take an average based on the numbers from each list (when available), and adjusted for inflation as needed. That sounds a lot like science, in that math is involved.

And so, I came up with a list (dollar amounts are in 2014 dollars).

Top 20 Movie Flops, Based on Total Loss

MovieYearEstimated Loss
Mars Needs Moms2011-$144,439,582
Cuttthroat Island1995-$142,147,256
The Alamo2004-$134,784,016
John Carter2012-$133,289,640
The 13th Warrior1999-$133,127,431
The Adventures of Pluto Nash2002-$130,429,259
The Fall of the Roman Empire1964-$126,417,784
47 Ronin2013-$126,158,267
The Lone Ranger2013-$119,173,592
Town and Country2001-$115,352,672
How do you know?2010-$115,215,810
Heaven’s Gate1980-$112,748,057
Final Fantasy: The Spirits within2001-$108,125,697
Speed Racer2008-$106,054,234
Jack the Giant Slayer2013-$105,813,215
Treasure Planet2002-$83,833,389

Now, this is a fine list, but we have a 24-hour movie marathon format to satisfy. So, to get the most flop in the least amount of time, we’d want to schedule the biggest losers according to how much money they lost per minute of movie. That results in the following list.

Top 20 Movie Flops, Based on Dollars Lost Per Minute

MovieYearLoss / Minute
Mars Needs Moms2011-$1,641,359
The Adventures of Pluto Nash2002-$1,372,940
The 13th Warrior1999-$1,305,171
Cuttthroat Island1995-$1,146,349
Town and Country2001-$1,109,160
47 Ronin2013-$1,069,138
Final Fantasy: The Spirits within2001-$1,020,054
John Carter2012-$1,009,770
The Alamo2004-$983,825
How do you know?2010-$952,197
Jack the Giant Slayer2013-$928,186
Treasure Planet2002-$882,457
The Lone Ranger2013-$799,823
Speed Racer2008-$785,587
The Fall of the Roman Empire1964-$672,435

Picking off the top of this list, and making a few creative choices along the way to create a decent schedule, I give you….

The World’s Best Movie Marathon of Flops

Start TimeTitleRuntimeLoss / Min
12:00 PMMars Needs Moms88 min.-$1,641,359
01:45 PMThe Adventures of Pluto Nash95 min.-$1,372,940
03:30 PMThe 13th Warrior102 min.-$1,305,171
05:15 PMCuttthroat Island124 min.-$1,146,349
07:30 PMTown and Country104 min.-$1,109,160
09:15 PM47 Ronin118 min.-$1,069,138
11:15 PMFinal Fantasy: The Spirits within106 min.-$1,020,054
01:15 AMJohn Carter132 min.-$1,009,770
03:30 AMThe Alamo137 min.-$983,825
06:00 AMHow do you know?121 min.-$952,197
08:15 AMJack the Giant Slayer114 min.-$928,186
10:15 AMTreasure Planet95 min.-$882,457
12:00 PMFinish

This movie marathon cost the studios an astounding $1,472,716,233 (that’s almost $1.5 BILLION dollars – adjusted for inflation) of their own money. These movies lost an average of $1,118,384 per minute of runtime. Awesome!

So hey – the next time you complain about movie ticket prices – remember – sometimes the studios take one for the team too.