So just out of curiosity, and because I just got reminded of a movie I really wanted to see but can’t due to physical limitations (I’ll explain in a minute), I wanted to ask the collective group here if there were ever any movies that you never got to see for whatever reason that you regret not being able to see?
For me, that list mainly consists of one film; Hardcore Henry. I’m a fan of bonkers action flicks that are just totally improbable for real life (probably why I like superhero films so much, with a couple of exceptions), but I could never see this particular movie for one simple reason; it’s filmed entirely in first person perspective.
I have what’s commonly known as simulator sickness, which for me manifests whenever you have me sitting still watching something on a screen that is filmed from a 3rd person perspective but following all the movements of the character on screen exactly (i.e. a game character on a game map) or is filmed from first person perspective (which can also be video games but was also the whole “found footage” genre of film for a while). I get what I call nauseous headaches, where I feel sick to my stomach and am nursing a pounding headache, after spending a decent amount of time watching something of that nature. (For example, while watching the movie “Devil’s Due” in theaters, I ended up having to keep my eyes closed for a good third of the movie due to dealing with my simulator sickness.) So… Hardcore Henry, despite being in a genre I love to watch and which I truly wanted to see when I saw a trailer for it, is something I will probably never see unless they can come up with a treatment for simulator sickness.
So how about you guys? Any movies you’ve been unable to see (not available where you are or whatever) that you regret not being able to see?
I’m not an anime guy, but I love the work of Hayao Miyazaki.
We had this locally operated theater that had a print of Howl’s Moving Castle, which was making the rounds across the country at the time. I thought, “Oh, wow, how cool! I’m very busy, but as soon as things clear up, I’m going to watch that.”
Never happened. They had it for a very brief time, and I never got to see that on the silver screen as I had intended.
As for the availability question, that would be Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, of course.
I learned about the movie through the Satellite News newsletter, which I started receiving due to writing to the Info Club after getting the address from an episode of the newly syndicated Mystery Science Theater Hour.
I thought it would have been SO COOL to have caught the MST3K movie at the theater, but that was not meant to be, thanks to the studio’s wonky limited-run distribution setup.
Usually availability is the factor stopping me from seeing a film I want to see. Either it’s an obscure older film that hasn’t gotten a proper re-release (such as Mister Frost, which I have seen but don’t have a decent edition of), or a foreign film which hasn’t been released over here yet.
Also, there are a handful of actors whom I absolutely detest and I refuse to watch any film with them in it. This keeps me from seeing films I otherwise would like to watch as well.
I saw that as an audience test group, though for some reason I remembered it as Anthony Hopkins rather than Alan Bates.
For me, it happens all the time. Hundreds of movies are shown here every year, a great many for one day (and with the cast and crew the primary audience), and most every one is preferable to any of the six films that dominate 95% of the screens.
I can relate, there’s a long list of must-see movies I’ve somehow never seen: North by Northwest, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, etc. and many more.
I’ve absorbed the cultural impact of most of them, but I need to one day sit down and actually watch them. I’ve seen the first Godfather but not the other two. It’s a very High Quality movie – made by a great director with great actors – but I’ve never understood all the hubbub over it.
There are probably folks who would chase me out of town with pitchforks for this, but I think Goodfellas was a vastly more engaging mobster story.
I personally wouldn’t put Goodfellas above The Godfather Part II, no.
But I’d put Goodfellas above The Godfather, yeah.
All solid movies.
But don’t feel that you HAVE to watch those just to check off films from a “gotta see these” list. I’m an absolutely fanatical movie buff, but my philosophy has always been: watch the movies that you WANT to watch. That’s as it should be.
I’m a film buff, with an alt-Oscar blog, so I watch just about everything and anything I can see, doesn’t matter if I dislike the actor, or the director for whatever reason (personal, professionally) I’m going to watch.
Availability can be the biggest hang-up (took years to track down wishlist movies from the Kazakh New Wave) and some of that can be baffling (why hasn’t Christian Puiu’s “Sieranevada” been released with English subs yet? I can see everything around it, the earlier and later films, but not that one, why?)
And watching the proper version in the proper venue is important (I so want to see a nitrate print of “Black Narcissus”, which Scorsese has hosted, under very rigid safety precautions. I also wish I could see Hugo again on 3D in a nice theater, it’s just not the same in 2D at home, it loses an important storytelling element)
Yeesh, I’m long winded, apologies…
Getting to the point, 2001 A Space Odyssey, the recently restored version, in an IMAX theater (with me sitting in the prime, middle area seat). I don’t really like 2001, but I know I’ve never SEEN 2001 the way it’s supposed to be seen. I was hoping to have that opportunity in 2020, but we know what happened there, and despite being vaccinated I’m in no rush to sit in a box with a bunch of strangers for hours, anytime soon. But maybe, one day, it’ll happen.
True, but on the other hand, there could be a new favorite movie, just sitting there, waiting for you to give it a whirl.
I put off watching “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” for ages, decades. I had no interest in it. But eventually, yeah I said, “have” to see this… after a while “have to” no longer applied. I loved the movie, and the acting, I became a Pamela Franklin fan because of it, and Maggie Smith was sublime. At the end I thought, “and why did I avoid this for so long?”
Still, maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it had I seen it as a teen or in my 20s, maybe I saw it when I was supposed to see it, in my late 50s.
This is a great point; I think there’s a lot to be said for our age regarding movies. Having crossed the half-century mark myself, I notice so many movies/things I appreciate today that I would not at all have properly appreciated in my 20s or 30s.
Which kind of circles back around with MST; the age diversity of the original cast and writers has serendipitously worked out such that I can keep returning to episodes after decades and still discover new things. Riffs/jokes that were invisible to me 10 or 20 years ago pop out suddenly, and I’m guessing this will keep happening as time rolls on.
Oooh, another fan of Mister Frost! That is actually my favorite film. I spent a very long time trying to track down a VHS copy, which I finally found at a video rental store that was going out of business (it doesn’t look like anyone ever rented it). I too would love a remastered version of this film, because all I have is the crappy VHS transfer that I made to DVD, and the version that’s up on YouTube isn’t any better.
It could happen… it happened with Night of the Creeps and Damnation Alley, which are two other films I enjoy that took forever to get a proper DVD/streaming release.
I’ve always wanted to see Raiders of the Lost Ark in the theater. There are some local theaters here that occasionally get old film prints, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching the original Alien and The Thing in theaters, which is a totally different experience. When our theater got a print of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the tickets sold out before I could get one… and it never came back.
Tangent: I was so happy that a theater near where I lived at the time was showing the 70mm “Roadshow” print of The Hateful Eight. I’m not a Tarantino fanboy by any stretch, but knew that would be my only chance and it would look fantastic.
Of course, some blockbuster something-or-other also released that week—a Star Wars sequel, maybe?—and the multiplex had that running on all their primo screens.
There are any number of “lost” films that can’t be seen any more, but the few surviving production stills from them still exist and tantalize us with the possibilities. And then when a complete print is found, it’s like the Holy Grail for film aficionados.
Metropolis is one of those, as I recall. And one that’s still lost is London After Midnight, a Lon Chaney Sr. film that’s possibly the first vampire flick ever, or at least is one of the first. It would be amazing to see some of those lost films.