Saturday, February 26, 2005

 

Flypaper Movies.

On the phone this morning with my friend Lori we discussed the concept of "flypaper movies."

Everybody knows flypaper movies. These are movies that, irrespective of their objective quality (or lack thereof), immediately suck you in anytime they're on TV. Flipping the channels, the moment you come across a flypaper movie, you're doomed-- you have no choice but to watch the rest of the movie, whether it has ten minutes or two hours left. Resistance is futile.

Entire television networks are set up to show flypaper movies: TNT, TBS, Spike TV, Comedy Central. Local UPN & WB affiliates specialize in these films, airing them in the preferred flypaper time slots of 3:00 pm Saturdays and 11:00 am Sundays.

Many people-- I like to call these people "mothers"-- don't seem to appreciate flypaper movies. The most common complaint is "But you already own this movie on DVD!"

Uh, yeah? What's your point? Putting a DVD in means I planned this. Watching the film when it comes on TV is demonstrating fealty to the whimsy of the programming gods.

Now, what's important to remember in discussing flypaper movies is that while there are often differences between what men and women consider flypaper, for the most part, there is actually a fairly objective "core set" of flypaper movies that everyone can agree are simply inescapable.

For our discussion, here are a few nominees I suggest for the most potent flypaper movies likely to show up on a Superstation near you:

The Indisputable Greats:
Roadhouse
The Shawshank Redemption
Any James Bond movie
Jaws
The Blues Brothers
Fletch
North By Northwest
A Christmas Story
(seasonal)

The Comedies:
Airplane!
Animal House
National Lampoon’s Vacation

Spies Like Us
Caddyshack
Stripes

Fast Times At Ridgemont High
48 Hours

Trading Places
Smokey and the Bandit

The John Hughes Selection:
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
The Breakfast Club
St. Elmo's Fire

The War Movies:
The Great Escape
The Dirty Dozen
Kelly's Heroes
Patton
Red Dawn

Full Metal Jacket
The Big Red One
Platoon
The Deer Hunter
(if I’m feeling suicidal)
Southern Comfort
Apocalypse Now

The Crime Movies:
Goodfellas
Casino
Heat
Scarface
The Untouchables
Godfathers I & II
The French Connection
The Warriors

The New Classics:
Office Space
The Rock
Armageddon
Fight Club
Any Given Sunday
Almost Famous
High Fidelity
Swingers

The Chick Flicks:
Dirty Dancing
The Princess Bride

The Period Pieces:
The Right Stuff
The Last Of The Mohicans
Glory
Braveheart
Conan the Barbarian
(c’mon, the Hyborian Age *was* a period)

The Sports Movies:
Any Rocky movie except #5
Field of Dreams
Major League
North Dallas 40
Slap Shot

The Prison Movies Other Than Shawshank:
The Longest Yard
Cool Hand Luke
Lockup
Escape from Alcatraz
Deliverance
(okay, not a prison movie, but I needed to stick “Squeal like a pig” somewhere)

John Carpenter, The Early Years:
The Thing
Big Trouble In Little China
Christine
Escape From New York


The Science Fiction & Horror Films:
Aliens
The Terminator
and Terminator 2
Planet of the Apes
(and associated ape marathon)
The Silence of the Lambs
Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan
Robocop

The Westerns:
Tombstone
Any Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western
Okay, pretty much any Clint Eastwood Western
The Wild Bunch
The Magnificent Seven
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

The Action Films:
Die Hard
Lethal Weapon 1 or 2
Bullitt
The Dirty Harry films
The Delta Force
Invasion U.S.A.
The Road Warrior
Highlander


The “Everybody’s Kung Fu Fighting” Guilty Pleasures:
The early work of Steven Seagal
The early work of Jean-Claude Van Damme
The early work of Michael Dudikoff, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and any cast member from the Penitentiary movies
All the work of Bruce Lee

---

You know what? Now that I look at that list, that would make one helluva great DVD collection.

Trouble is, who would ever pop these DVDs in, when the flypaper's always unrolled on TV?

__
Comments:
The Band of Brothers miniseries is full-body flypaper!

And I'll watch Branaugh's Henry V every time until I understand the whole script.
 
I'm not surprised that our lists are almost identical. But here's some you left off:

The Raiders films

SCI FI
Outland
Blade Runner

WAR MOVIES
Where Eagles Dare
Guns of Navarone

CRIME MOVIES
The Usual Suspects (Indisputable Great in my book)
Electra Glide in Blue

I hate this movie. But I always watch it, and then feel all ashamed and stupid afterwards, like a furtive sexual encounter with an ugly person in a bus terminal maintenance closet. Or something. But hey,it's flypaper.

COMEDIES
Any older Zucker film takes precedence over anything but maybe Fletch. Especially Kentucky Fried Movie, Hot Shots, and Top Secret.
Clue

The rest of the SCHWARZENEGGER CANON

Just about any Schwarz movie makes the flypaper list:

Running Man
Predator
Eraser
Commando
Red Sonja--iffy
Total Recall
Red Heat (underrated)
Raw Deal (rare, and because it's fairly obscure, I always watch it thinking, is this Commando? Or Eraser? Or that new one?)


It's a very good thing I don't have cable. If I did, I'd have to go back to dial-up internet!
 
the last one that got me was "real genius"

you forgot blade runner,bull durham, and more importantly NO john wayne?
you're kidding me.
 
What about Coneheads?
 
john wayne wasn't in that one.
 
What's funny is that I literally just finished watching Caddyshack after finding it accidentally on HBO. So much for my Saturday night.

I'd personally also add a category for "Submarine Movies." I stop every time The Hunt for Red October or Crimson Tide are on, to the point that I can practically recite all lines for both verbatim. A little threat of nuclear war goes a long way in my entertainment heirarchy.
 
Western - Bad Company

War - 84 Charlie MoPic
- Gettysburg
- Gods & Generals
- Das Boot

Sophisticated comedy - Truly Madly Deeply

Other - The Bear

History - The Hanoi Hilton
 
Oooh, some good additions folks!

-- Band of Brothers is on the new list for sure.

-- Outland is definitely on the list, but Blade Runner. . . *great* movie, but I don't know if it qualifies as flypaper.

While not ever flypaper movie is cheesy, most of them have an element of cheese to them. Blade Runner is pretty much sans cheese, so it's more of a meal than a snack.

-- Guns of Navarone is good, but I'd place money that the far inferior Force 10 From Navarone is actually the greater flypaper movie. It's much harder to resist.

-- Top Secret, of course.

-- Not all Schwarznegger movies are flypaper. Obviously, his later ones are not (I wouldn't include Eraser, I don't ever need to see that one again). But I can't believe I forgot Predator, and Running Man/Total Recall/Commando are certainly in the mix (Red Heat and Raw Deal work too, but I have to be in a real mood).

-- OF COURSE Real Genius is on the list.

-- John Wayne. . . I thought about it, but I decided against his films. Because I don't catch myself losing hours into a John Wayne movie. That's not to say they aren't great, but for the most part, if the flipper passes by a Wayne film on AMC or TCM, it's like "Oh, a John Wayne movie," and moves on.

That said, Sands of Iwo Jima, The Searchers and Rooster Cogburn usually will make me think twice about flipping the channel.

Oh, and let's not forget The Longest Day (i.e., The Longest Movie). Ditto the non-Wayne A Bridge Too Far.

-- Speaking of sands, The Sand Pebbles usually gets me. All seventeen hours of it.

-- Hunt for Red October definitely, Crimson Tide less so (although as I've written here before, it's one of my favorites)

Funny how Red October's really the only Clancy movie to qualify as flypaper. Probably because it was the only Clancy movie that worked at all.

-- The Bear?

Get out. No, I'm not kidding you.

Go read somebody else.
 
>Funny--I thought about putting Force 10 instead of Guns of Navarone, but figured that was purely idiosyncratic.

>Blade Runner is TOO cheesy.

>I've mentioned here before that I hate Brazil after 9-11, but I'd probably stop and watch it.

>John Wayne movies that are not his best but are flypaper include The Green Berets and McQ.

> Clear and Present Danger is just an awesome Clancy movie (yes, I am biased)and you are just a poopyhead if you don't agree.
 
No love for Jeff Speakman???
 
See-Dub:

Yup on Green Berets. It's got Sulu.

On Clear and Present Danger, it's okay. It's a good action movie, but as a Clancy adaptation, it's still mediocre (although better than Patriot Games, and MUCH better than The Sum Of All Crap).

Flaws? Many.

-- Still no continuity between movies. Paramount wanted to make each movie stand alone, like a Bond flick, while each of Clancy's books have Ryan develop and mature over time. Of course, it's difficult to do that when you have a 78-year old Jack Ryan.

Granted, a lot of these elements are minor (the whole "take care of the helo gunner's family" angle that pays off so well in the novel The Sum Of All Fears), but it's the little things that I miss.

-- Willem Dafoe, great actor that he is, was totally miscast as Clark. (Surprisingly, the one thing I *did* like about The Sum Of All Fears was Liev Schreiber as Clark, who was such a weird choice it worked well, for me at least).

Sooo. . . sorry See-Dubya, I guess I'm a poopyhead ;-)
 
No Trains, Planes and Automobiles? No Black Hawk Down? This list has some serious flaws in it. I don't even like Steve Martin and TPA suckers me in everytime it's on. We just watched it again tonight with the kids.
 
Sheesh Mike, cut me some slack!

This is why I have comments, so good readers like yourself can *suggest* new films to add. PTA most definitely qualifies as flypaper.

No need to get snooty. . . I mean snotty.
 
There's another term for this: The Head Cheese Syndrome. Although, HCS usually refers to really bad movies that you just can't stop watching. Like slowing down at a car wreck to see the carnage.
 
Could we include Raising Arizona?
Never considered anything but Huggies for my kid!
 
hi Blogger,
Cool blog. You have put a lot of effort in here. You certainly make me feel a bit humble :)
I have a movies related site. Please take a look and feel free to post a link to your blog on the links page.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)

Kerry
 
You have obviously put lots of work into this blog. it's obvious that I need to put in more effort on my own site. If you are interested, go see my mobile entertainment related site. Maybe you could leave a comment for me there? Or even post your link. It helps to know that people are visiting once in a while :)

Kerry
 
This IS The Easiest Money I've Ever Made!

And You Can Do It Too!

spa product
 
Blogs are relatively new and entrepreneurs and corporations alike are just now starting to experiment with using them .
Very informative blog site Blogger.

I have a Puzzles and posters site. It pretty much covers Puzzles and posters related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time.
 
If you want over 18 adults only dating then Swinger Dating is the site for you. Totally free too :)
 
Hi, Blogger,
Good blog. You’ve put lots of thought in here. It looks like we have an interest in common. If you are interested, go see my mp3player related site. It’s totally focussed on the Zen Micro at the moment and is still growing. You may still find something of interest. I recently added a MP3 link page - you would be welcome to post a link to your site there

Kerry
 
Hey Blogger, I was searching blogs, and came onto yours, and I like it. I kinda landed here by accident while searching for something else, but nice blog..

If you got time , come visit my site, http://www.themalloftheworld.com/deneskollar. It pretty much covers Puzzles and posters and similar stuff.
 
Hey there Blogger, you've got a great blog here! I'm thinking of bookmarking your site!

I have a Movies site. It pretty much covers Movies related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
 
Hi, Blogger,
Good blog. You’ve put lots of thought in here. It looks like we have an interest in common. If you are interested, go see my mp3 related site. It’s totally focussed on the Zen Micro at the moment and is still growing. You may still find something of interest. I recently added a MP3 link page - you would be welcome to post a link to your site there

Kerry
 
Found your blog very interesting I will be sure to book mark it and come back to it later. If you have time please visit my video downloads It relates to different entertainment downloads.
 
Hey Blogger, I was searching blogs, and came onto yours, and I like it. I kinda landed here by accident while searching for something else, but nice blog..

If you got time , come visit my site, http://www.themalloftheworld.com/deneskollar. It pretty much covers Music and similar stuff.
 
Hey there Blogger, you've got a great blog here! I'm thinking of bookmarking your site!

I have a online shopping for olympus digital cameras site. It pretty much covers online shopping for olympus digital cameras related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)
 
Nice informative blog on Flypaper Movies. . If you wouldn't mind, I'd would like to post on your blog. Please visit us at Payday Loans, for your Loans solution and share a note with us
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?