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The Movie Rut: Introduction

Kris King Kris King
June 12th, 2010 9:30am EDT

Groundhog-DayI’ve always wanted to be the guy who has seen everything. The type of person that waltzes into a video store (or logs into Netflix, if we’re talking about the real world) and comes out with an armful of movies he or she has never seen. Like spinning a globe and venturing off to wherever your finger may land, watching a new movie is an adventure that broadens horizons and strengthens character. Of course, going to a random place on the planet also runs a pretty high risk of landing in the middle of a desert or in some godforsaken war torn hellhole.

As much as I’d like to be the next Peter Bogdanovich (minus that stupid ascot he always wears) or Quentin Tarantino, able to glibly rail off director names and production years like some sort of dorky savant, I lack the patience and good faith required to believe that the random title I picked up at the store isn’t just total shit.

I, like many others, have a tendency to hoard over the familiar territory of movies I’ve already seen. Rather than boldly venturing off into some wild cinematic frontier, I tend to treat new movies like vacations, going to them as often and for as long as possible, but ultimately ending up back at my familiar cinematic home with movies I’ve seen a few dozen times.

The line between movies that I consider my favorite and ones that I am always up for watching is thin. The Conversation is one of my favorite movies, but if I had to choose between watching that over, say, watching Rodney Dangerfield’s 1986 comedy Back to School for the 487th time, I’d likely opt for the latter. It takes a special kind of movie to captivate one’s attention over and over again, and I’d like to dedicate this series to looking at the films I could watch on rotation for the rest of my life. Many of these films I do consider amongst my favorites, like Groundhog Day or Jaws, but others I simply find perversely fascinating, like Krull, which feels akin to watching an especially ugly man hammer nails up his nose.

Gah. 

Gah.

In essence, I am stuck in a rut when it comes to movies, so with The Movie Rut (as I am calling it for now because, well, I can’t think of anything better) I hope to come to some sort of an understanding as to what keeps us coming back to the same old movies when there are perfectly fine new ones out there waiting for us to enjoy. I plan on including some television in this series as well, certain episodes from series that I continually flock to rather than just continuing with a new episode. At the very least this series will be a decent excuse to talk about why Summer School is a better movie than you think it is.

To kick off this series, I’m going to cover a movie that actually is one of my favorites: the 1985 board game adaptation Clue. (Check back tomorrow)

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Photo Credits: Bernard Bresslaw in "Krull," Copyright 1983, Columbia Pictures