Thursday, August 25, 2011

4 for 4 club

You know how baseball has the 30/30 club for players who have stolen 30 bases while hitting 30 home runs? Or the ultra exclusive 40/40 club which has only four members?

I have my own exclusive club when it comes to movies.
I call it the 4 for 4 Club.

The requirements to get in are simple.
First a movie must have a four star rating by me, a rating that must be declared right after seeing it for the first time. Second, I must see the movie a minimum of four times in a theater.

A few technical details.

I use the old school four star rating system so **** out of *** is the top rating.
By theater it has to be a first run theater during a film’s initial run.
So dollar houses and drive-ins do not count. Nor do re-releases, anniversary restoration shows or any other special exhibitions. And of course, any kind of home video is ineligible.

For instance I saw Blade Runner opening weekend in 1982 in a theater and gave it four stars. I saw it few weeks later again at the same theater. The next time I saw it in a theater was the spring of 1984 in a film class. Then I saw it again that summer at a midnight showing, and again two more times during the 1992 director’s cut theatrical-re-release. So even though I actually saw Blade Runner in a theatrical auditorium six times, only the first two viewings count toward the 4 for 4 club. So Blade Runner does not make the club.

And indeed I have seen many less the four star movies four or more times in a theater. Example, the Star Wars prequels. Even the most die-hard fan would be hard-pressed to make a case that they are **** films. I saw The Cable Guy four times in theater in 1998, and I could make the case it is a **** wonderfully subversive dark comedy. But the humor is so specific to someone with my twisted sensibilities, I'd best just keep that on a personal favorite list.

This list is weighted heavily toward movies from the 80's and 90's for a number of reasons, not the least is there was a far better variety of films released. Movie were less bloated and had more manageable running times. In other words the writing was better, the editing tighter, and movies were better paced making multiple viewings feasible without taking off from work, school, or life in general.

Plus there were many more physical theaters spread out in more locations and movies played much, much longer. Now days if I miss seeing something opening weekend I am often fucked.. Even hit movies vanish after a month.

Okay, enough self-indulgent rambling, here is the list presented in images, starting with the most recent inductee and working chronologically backwards.

2011 - 4 viewings (and counting)

2001 - 4 viewings

2000 - 4 viewings

1999 - 4 viewings

1999 - 4 viewings

1997 - 4 viewings

1994 - 5 viewngs

1994 - 5 viewings

1993 - 4 viewings

1993 - 7 viewings

To be continued in: 4 for 4 club part II:  Get a life.

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