It has become a bit of a running joke now that I am that person who sees a film multiple times. When my friends ask me to go to the cinema with them, I always ask them to pick the film because I have probably already seen everything that is out. If they ask me “have you seen [insert film name]?”, my answer is normally, “Yes, but I’ll see it again if you want?”!
I am that person who saw Frozen (don’t laugh), 7 times at the cinema, which was then beaten by Age of Ultron (mainly because I wanted to beat the record!), which I saw 9 times. This was trumped spectacularly last year by The Force Awakens, the current record holder at 10 times.
Multiple viewings of a film isn’t always about beating my record though; sometimes I feel I missed things the first time, or I genuinely did enjoy it so much I want to see it again. I really struggle however to rewatch a film that I hated the first time round; my stubbornness tells me “if you hated it then, why would you change your mind now?”.
Recently however, I rewatched a couple of films I disliked the first time round, and realised my opinion had changed. This got me thinking about how rewatching a film, months or sometimes years later, can completely change your mind, both for better and for worse.
Here are a few examples of films that changed my mind after rewatches. Don’t forget you can leave your thoughts on this article, and some films which you changed your mind on, either in the comments below, or by tweeting me @sarah_buddery.
Man of Steel (2013)
First reaction: MEH
After the rewatch: Eh, s’alright. Apart from that bit though…
Controversial statement, but I am generally a bit “meh” about Superman. I’m a big superhero fan, but I always just found him incredibly dull. He can do anything and is pretty much invincible, which is kind of hard to identify with. I did not like this film at all when I first saw it, but post-Batman vs Superman (which I did like!), I wanted to rewatch MoS. It wasn’t a complete 180, but there were bits I appreciated more the second time around. Prior to the battle with Zod, this film is actually a pretty decent origin story, but like most people I found the CGI-tastic final scenes a complete turn-off. I still don’t like these scenes, and I’m not entirely sure whether I like this film, but for me, BvS makes MoS a better movie; kicking off with the flipside of the battle in Metropolis is super interesting, and as some of the human impact was taken into consideration, it didn’t leave as foul a taste. See, Batman vs Superman did do something right!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
First reaction: EUGH MICHAEL BAY AND MEGAN FOX SUCK
After the rewatch: But kickass turtles though?
I really did not enjoy this film when I saw it two years ago, but then in hindsight I think I had unfairly written it off from the start as soon as I saw the name “Michael Bay” attached to it. Add this to my well known dislike for Megan Fox, and it spelled a recipe for disaster. However, after seeing and enjoying the trailer for the sequel (due out in 2016), I thought I’d give it another go, and it shames me slightly to admit it, but I really enjoyed it. I still loathe Megan Fox and cringe at all the shoehorned in “nerd” references, but it’s a good time, and maybe even the best Ninja Turtles film we’ve had so far. Shame on me for writing it off! But Michael Bay does still make crappy movies.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
First reaction: What did I just watch?
After the rewatch: THIS IS LIFE-CHANGING.
It seems crazy to think about now seeing as I went through a very recent phase of not being able to sleep unless I watched some of Fury Road before going to bed, but after the first watch I really wasn’t sure. Now don’t get me wrong, I liked it a lot, but it wasn’t until I watched it again that something finally clicked and I was able to fully appreciate this film. It is balls to the wall crazy, and there’s a lot to take in on the first watch, but the repeated watches deliver so much more, and it just keeps on delivering. I will never not be in the mood to watch this movie, and the more I watch it, the more it inches ever closer to my coveted Top 10…
First reaction: YES! Do I like it more than Skyfall, I think I like it more than Skyfall? I mean it’s not Casino Royale but sure, it’s up there!
After the rewatch: YAWN.
Ok, so just to clarify, I somehow accidentally ended up seeing this film 5 times, which was definitely 3 times too many. After the 1st and 2nd watches I liked it, although it gradually slipped below Skyfall after my initial misjudged statement about it being better. When the credits rolled after the 5th watch I realised it’s actually not that great. So it isn’t a bad film, and it still comes ahead of Quantum of Solace in terms of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, but it does not hold up to repeated viewings! It’s very long, and the drawn out scenes of nothingness really start to grate after a while. I haven’t ruled out watching it again sometime in the future, but I don’t want to go back to it for at least a year!
The Prestige (2006)
First reaction: Wait. What? Yes. No. Wait. I GET IT. This is wonderful.
After the rewatch: This film. Christopher Nolan, I am not worthy.
So I watched this for the first time last year, and had successfully managed to avoid finding out what the twist was in the 9 years that it had existed. As with most Nolan films, you will get the most joy out of it after the first watch, but that second watch, and the subsequent watches after that are so satisfying. Knowing the twist can completely ruin some films; for example I find The Sixth Sense completely unwatchable when you know what is coming. However with Nolan film’s, knowing the twist only makes you appreciate the film more. Prestige is so clever, so layered, and so wonderfully watchable, that it feels like one of those films that gives you more each time you watch it.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
First reaction: WOW BEST FILM EVER, I LOVED JAR JAR, HE WAS HILARIOUS! (Disclaimer: I was 8 years old and impressionable)
After the rewatch: WAY TO SH*T ON ALL MY HOPES AND DREAMS, GEORGE LUCAS!
I know I’m not alone in this, but there is nothing like the crushing disappointment of realising one of the films you loved as a child is legitimately terrible. The Phantom Menace was my Star Wars, and it holds a weird special place in my heart despite the fact it is awful. 8 year old Sarah thought this film was the greatest thing since sliced bread, but 24 year old Sarah has realised the error of her ways, and it would still bum me out if The Force Awakens didn’t exist!
First reaction: I mean the robot was cute, but it’s no Toy Story!
After the rewatch(es): I take it all back Wall-E!!
I have a rather shocking confession to make, I did not think much of this film at all when I first saw it, and in fact it took me four viewings before I fully appreciated it! It’s still no Toy Story, but Wall-E is so beautiful, and easily up there with Pixar’s best. It’s simple, funny, but has a wonderful heart and message behind it, which clearly took a little while to make it through to me, but I’m sure glad it did!
First reaction: WOAH. I mean that 3D, those effects, that film was soooo good.
After the rewatch: I mean this is basically a crappier Pocahontas, what the hell is this, and where is the storyline? Did they hide it behind all that CGI?! I FEEL CHEATED.
I’m 75% sure most people had the same reaction as me when they first saw Avatar, and I stand by the fact that at the time, the 3D and the effects were amazing. However this film is all style and no substance, and it was only when watching at home without the 3D and the initial impact, that the incredibly weak storyline became noticeable. This film is completely unwatchable for me now, and really makes me wonder how I was able to enjoy it at all 7 years ago when the storyline/acting/script is that atrocious.
What films made you change your mind? Let me know in the comments, or send me a tweet @sarah_buddery.