5 Movies I Had To Watch Twice Before I Liked Them

21 Sep

We have all seen those films where we walked out going, “Wait…what?” or “Man, Pineapple Express should not be seen sober,” but for whatever reason, upon further viewing  they grew to be films that you thoroughly enjoyed and even loved. I have had several of those films, but here are five that stick out the most in my mind.

#5 Rushmore

I think I was too young when I watched this the first time. I watched it as a sophomore in college and wasn’t as attuned to the subtlety in the dialogue and the quiet desperation of Wes Anderson’s characters. Plus, being a poor college student, I watched it on a desktop computer with crappy speakers and a lot of the humor is found the quick and dry wit by Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman which I couldn’t hear that well. Upon further viewing on a regular tv, after taking a film class and having aged a little bit, I was really drawn into the characters’ world and found myself identifying (even if it was in absurd ways) with them on certain levels. I have probably watched this film about ten times now and never get sick of it. It also is #9 on my list of 20 favorite movies.

#4 Mystery Men

I remember seeing the previews for this in 1999 and the satire didn’t translate through the previews. It looked like Ben Stiller was trying to make a serious superhero movie and I thought, “Who would want to see that?” The box office numbers shared my sentiments as well and I was confused how this movie was getting at least decent reviews (it had 60% on RottenTomatoes). At about 2am after staying up for New Year’s my friends and I put this on in the background on DVD and I remember just thinking it was really dumb and pointless. The next morning one of my buddies started quoting it and we all started laughing and trading lines back and forth. We decided to watch it again that day and I realized that sarcasm does not translate well at 2am either and I was dying laughing at the ridiculousness. While it is not great piece of cinema, it is an entertaining and humorous spoof on the superhero genre and features great performances by Ben Stiller and Greg Kinnear.

#3 Spy Game

I chalk my dislike of this on the first viewing up to misleading previews. From the previews, it looked like an action-packed spy thriller and at this point in his career I wouldn’t have thought Brad Pitt would do a slower film. To my original disappointment a lot of the film was spent within the confines of a conference room watching Robert Redford multi-tasking between trying to keep his skin from falling off his face and talking on a phone (I think he was using the phone to hold his skin on).

Rumor has it that they injected more botox into his face in between takes.

 What I missed while I was distracted by this was the intricate story of mentor and protegé and a complex spy gambit. I watched it again a couple of years later, after finding out what it was actually about, and picked up on a lot more. While this isn’t the fastest paced movie, it will reward viewers who are willing to pay thorough attention to everything that is being said and done by Redford and Pitt.

#2 There Will Be Blood

I blame my original dislike of this film on misinformation and deployment. I was stuck on deployment in the middle of the ocean with little to no internet connectivity, therefore all I could do to find out about new films was to read the synopsis and some reviews. I couldn’t see previews and if I did want to look at reviews I would have had to block out a good chunk of time to download the page. When the film finally arrived to the ship I was excited to see what I thought would be about competing oil companies (which was kind of true, but not really).

There is no competition when I drink your milkshake.

Instead, it was something much more, which I couldn’t really see through the first time because I had to stop the film several times and pick up later due to its length. After the film was over it kind of sank in as a whole, especially when a lot of the time I was staring out a window at the ocean for hours on end, I realized how intriguing Lewis’ character was and went back and watched it again and found it compelling and disturbing with characters and lighting as black as the oil they were digging for.

#1 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Another one of my 20 favorite films that I didn’t like the first time I watched it. This one I don’t think I liked because it was a change from anything I had seen at the time. It seemed like Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who wrote the idea for this film on a napkin in a restaurant, just kind of thought up the characters, showed up to the set and said, “What kind of shenanigans can we have the news team do today?” Up until this film I hadn’t really seen a comedy like that. I had seen dumb comedies, but not one that didn’t really have a coherent plot. I remember walking out just being confused and mildly amused. Again, this was one that I sat around one day quoting the movie with buddies of mine and the more we quoted the funnier the movie seemed. When I watched it again, my sides hurt and I had a headache from lack of oxygen to the brain. This is one of my favorites, if not my overall favorite comedy, and it is one that I don’t think needs a sequel because you can watch it over and over again and still laugh hysterically.

There are so many more that I could list, but what are some movies that you didn’t enjoy until the second viewing?


3 Responses to “5 Movies I Had To Watch Twice Before I Liked Them”

  1. Brian Pac Sostak September 21, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Trick ‘r Treat:
    I didn’t know what I was getting and was left stunned and confused after the first viewing. Second time around I could see how all the stories wove together and how it really captured the essence of Halloween.

    Observe & Report:
    I hated this movie the first time I saw it, I thought it was trying to be the rated R “Paul Blart”. Then I heard more about it, learned that it was Jody Hill’s love letter to “Taxi Driver” and really enjoyed it the 2nd time around

    I still don’t love this movie, but I was really disappointed with it on 1st viewing. Upon 2nd viewing I found the characters more enjoyable and the movie more likeable (especially Martin Starr from Freaks & Geeks).

    Quantum of Solace:
    I’m a huge Bond fan and after “Casino Royale” the anticipation for this movie was boiling over. I walked out of the theater disappointed I think because it wasn’t as gritty and raw as “Casino Royale”. During my 2nd viewing I realized though that it is much smarter and I love this movie now.

    • Chris Petersen September 21, 2010 at 10:25 am #

      Yeah, those are all movies I didn’t like so much the first time, but haven’t gotten around to seeing them twice, so maybe if I watched them again I would like them more.


  1. Pac’s Best/Worst Films of 2010 « Chris Petersen's Film Blog - January 5, 2011

    […] posts ago, Chris wrote a post compiling a list of movies that he didn’t like until his second viewing, and earlier in this […]

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