What Are Your Movie-watching Regrets?

No… no regrets…. Well, actually, there are quite a lot of them, particularly when it comes to watching movies. Or not watching movies. Or not watching movies in the cinema, as Ross McG explains below.

It was somewhere in between Colm Meaney calling John Cusack ‘dictionary boy’ and Colm Meaney shouting ‘This is a situation that needs to get unf***ed, right now!’ at John Cusack that it hit me. By the time Nicolas Cage’s prosthetic hair had dived out of the way of an exploding propane tank or seven, I knew there could be no doubt. One of my biggest movie regrets is that I didn’t go to see Con Air at the cinema.

Like any movie lover worth their salted popcorn, I have seen Con Air about 347 times. It is a film currently doing the rounds on BBC3. It is a film that asks so little yet gives so, so much. It is a film of unexpected nuance and depth. It is a film in which John Malkovich points a gun at a toy rabbit’s head.

Most of all though, Con Air is a film of grown men, some of them perfectly decent actors, shouting at each other. In between the shouting, there is the odd explosion. This is what cinema is for.

And yet stupidly, I have never seen Con Air in a cinema. While this may not be a regret up there with, say, foolishly forcing myself to sit through the first 25 minutes of Pauly Shore/Stephen Baldwin disaster Bio-Dome (on IMDb, people who like it also like Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo), it still rankles.

It got me thinking about the other cinematic regrets in my locker. The films I hadn’t seen on the big screen… the films I haven’t yet seen… and, perhaps, the films I have seen.

Let’s stick with movies I really ought to have gone to the cinema to see for the moment. The sheer spectacle of Con Air deserved to be viewed on the biggest screen in the vicinity, and the same goes for the first Mission Impossible film. Unfairly criticised by many for being baffling (come on, how hard can it be to guess that Jon Voight would turn out to be the bad guy?), it’s a shame I didn’t get to see The Cruiser catch that bead of sweat from his glasses in a theatre. Every time I’ve watched it on a TV screen since, the pang of regret has been the same.

Of course, I would have loved to have seen Jaws on its release, but I hadn’t been born yet. Luckily for the regretful like myself, there are a plethora of festivals and cinemas – indoor and outdoor – screening old movies regularly.

But can you regret going to a film you didn’t like? When it comes to terrifically excremental movies, I’ve never subscribed to the old adage, ‘There’s two hours of my life I will never get back’.

Even if a film is shockingly dreadful, there is always something you can take from it. Bio-Dome, for instance, gave me the chance to make a pithy reference in a blog post. Well, the first 25 minutes of it did, anyway.

So I ask you, what are your biggest movie regrets? It could be a film screening you missed, or a film you saw and hated so much you want to erase the experience from your memory. Or it could be unwisely choosing to watch a particular movie with a certain person, maybe Requiem For A Dream… with your mum. It could be the regret of banging on about a movie you loved for years, only to watch it recently and find it was a big pile of steaming crud. It could even be wasting the time to read this blog post. Whatever it is, let us know…


This post also appeared on the Huffington Post HERE


4 Responses to “What Are Your Movie-watching Regrets?”

  1. todayiwatchedamovie Says:

    I used to heap tons of praise on Empire Records…until I watched it with a friend for the first time in over five years and quickly became embarrassed of my past self.

  2. Empire Records a good shout. One of those that is great when you’re 14 but not again thereafter.

  3. I always regret not seeing big, audience-heavy, fun movies at midnight shows. I hadn’t gone to one since Spider-Man 3 until The Avengers and now I regret everything I missed in between. So much more fun than a regular showing.

  4. Oh Con Air….that’s a film I love. I recently wrote about my guilty pleasure films and I do admit to watch some pretty heinous stuff http://journeysinclassicfilm.com/2012/05/09/the-journeys-in-classic-film-guilty-pleasures/

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