Top 5ive Double Features: Commentary on Matt’s List

Jeremy’s Commentary–

5. Primer & Timecrimes. Two of the best time-travel movies ever. I’m so glad that Matt included, and so upset with myself that I didn’t think of it. I love the sparse yet tight narratives of these films. They eschew the grandiose special effects that too many time-travel movies rely on, and instead focus, as Matt points out, the effects it has on individual. These are two great films, and a great connection.

4. Trading Places & The Toy. I’ve not seen either of these movies, but I like Pryor and Murphy so they might be worthwhile. Plus, I almost always enjoy films that satirize rich white people., because they probably are the worst.

3. Big Fish & Up. I do agree that Big Fish is Burton’s best film. It’s goes a bit too far on the sentimental side, but the visuals and the overall sincerity hold it back just enough. The first 15 minutes of Up is probably the best single sequence of the current century. I don’t think I’m completely on board with the connection Matt draws. I think of Big Fish as more about fathers and sons. Though there is some of that in Up, it’s most about Karl and Ellie.

2. Troll 2 & The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Speaking of Trolls. There’s camp, and then there’s Camp. And then there’s these two movies. I must say I can tolerate only a particular kind of camp (the The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension kind). I’ve not seen either of these films, and doubt I ever will. I might watch Troll 2 purely out of morbid curiosity, but unless the stars align just perfectly I don’t foresee myself watching Rocky Horror. Nice try, Matt.

1. Signs & The Overnighters. This is an inspired¹ choice (and I don’t say that lightly). Signs is probably Shyamalan’s second or third best film. I do like that crisis-of-faith element, though it fades into a overly-manufactured theodicy near the end. The Overnighters is a tremendous film that everyone needs to say. The crisis-of-faith is much less obvious. It’s less “I don’t know what I believe any more” and more “I’m not sure how my faith should manifest in my daily life” type of thing. I would not have thought of this myself, but it does make a lot of sense. Just try to ignore the ending of Signs–it could be better.

¹pun is intended

Blake’s Commentary – 

5. Primer & TimecrimesI have to admit, Matt, while I think this is probably a good pairing, I never made it through Primer–because I got bored–and I haven’t seen Timecrimes–though I have seen the cover numerous times. Now, before you lose your shit, let me explain. When Primer came out, I was in my second year of college and I didn’t know jack about films outside of a handful that I enjoyed. I haven’t tried to re-watch it because of that initial viewing. So, you know, Matt, I will pull this double feature just for you. Just because.

4. Trading Places & The Toy. These are great choices and, like you and Jeremy, I, too, am a fan of Pryor and Murphy (with a slight push given to Pryor). I really have nothing bad to say about either of these films, but top 5? Not sure I would have put it this high. Especially since there are better Pryor and Murphy films out there.

3. Big Fish & UpSo I hated Up. I absolutely loved Big Fish–which is crazy, because I really, really don’t like Tim Burton. I would never do this double feature unless physically forced at gun point. But I also know that I am in the minority opinion on Up, so I am willing to concede this one to you. I wouldn’t put myself through it, but I think this is probably a solid populist choice for your list. I also like your thematic connection tying these films together. It’s something that is often overlooked in films.

2. Troll 2 & The Rocky Horror Picture ShowI really like this selection. When I first saw the pairing on your list, I will admit to being a little confused, but I see where you are coming from and I find it to be a surprisingly intriguing pairing of films. And, plus, any time I get a chance to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I will take the chance to do so. Tim Curry is a beast. Now, if I had chosen to pair Troll 2 with another film, it would have been the documentary about it called The Best Worst Movie. Because it is one of my favorite documentaries.

1. Signs & The Overnighters. Matt. This is brilliant. I think all of the number one choices, this week, have been superb. Shyamalan was probably the first director I started watching movies by because he directed them. Signs is easily by second favorite film (behind Unbreakable) in his catalog and I think the exploration of faith in it is way more substantial than any one gave it at the time–though I think the opinions on it have changed somewhat in the proceeding years. And, then pairing it with The Overnighters, oh my, that is genius. I never would have even thought about it. I would almost say that these two movies for destined to be played together. Nice work.


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