Are Some Movies Better on TV? (Or With Beer?)

While channel surfing this weekend, I found myself sitting there thinking about something I never thought I’d say aloud. To my friend Breese, I proclaimed, “I really like Tango & Cash. I know, I know, it was a shock to me too. My positive opinion on the movie only comes from watching it with a half-focused attention span during our viewing. It also helped that it was replete with commercials and some “picture in picture” channel flipping of course.

To keep myself on good terms with all you readers, I’ll tell you that I don’t own T&C, or will I ever put in on any of my “favorite” lists. Yet in light of my most recent viewing experience, the film really isn’t bad when it’s broken up with commercials. So that got me thinking…How can segmenting a movie make it more tolerable?

For me the convenience and tolerability of plunking down to watch bits and pieces of something like Fantastic Four is that I didn’t waste a spot on my Netflix queue, nor did I actually wait in line at the theater to see said fine piece of film history. Sort of a casual “come and go” attitude can go a long way in making you enjoy something that has bad acting, a poorly executed plot or something else which eats away at the quality factor of the movie.

Now if that isn’t enough to make you enjoy the decidedly bad film, there’s always the old College stand-by…that’s right beer! You get a few in you and you and your friends may even tolerate Elektra…but that’s still a pretty big stretch. I’d like to refer you briefly to a write-up a friend of mine did for a similarly dumb movie (which she still enjoys) that really can be tolerable if you either A.) check your brain at the door, B.) watch it in snippets, or C.) simply deplete your brain cells as quickly as possible.

So basically, are there any films you avoid at the theater, but would take a chance on if it was on FX? Or could you stand a movie if you had a six-pack just begging to be opened??


  • mcarteratthemovies

    Thanks for the shoutout!

    Your post reminds me of my favorite quote from “Ghost World,” listed in my Top 100 movies: “After about five minutes of this movie, you’re gonna wish you had 10 beers.”

    For me, there’s a fine line between “fun bad” and “bad bad.” Sometimes you can’t describe that line until you see a movie that walks it. Take “Deep Blue Sea.” It’s cheesy and overwrought and obvious and has terrible “special effects,” but it’s funny. Same with movies like “The Stupids” or “Ed Wood.” There’s a cheeky undercurrent you can’t help but admire, the sense that the director and actors know how bad their movie is but DON’T CARE. I think “bad bad” comes in when the movie is so bad you can’t laugh, like absolutely everything Uli Lommel has done. Or Steven Seagal, who always looks dour and constipated even while he’s beating the tar outta people.

    For some real fun, try watching a fun bad movie when you’re wasted. But not too wasted, because you run the risk of sudden bladder evacuation (SBE).

    • Marc

      No prob! When I’m inspired by the great Mer, I will humbly recognize your greatness:)

      Yeah, I’ve luckily seen very few “bad bads” all the way through. A recent one was the Robert Pattinson “How to Be”… just dreadful. Also even the hysterical crew at MST3K couldn’t keep me from running out of a room on one of their terrible screenings. They’re stronger men (and robots) than me…and wow, I thought I had a bad job:P

      I’m not sure if Army of Darkness and Mannequin are at “fun bad” or a level just above but there are just some stand out goofy scenes that are almost groan inducing. They get you laughing at the sheer lunacy of it all as opposed to the cheezy effects. Although beer or not, I will watch them in their entirety without hesitation. Fantastic Four on the other hand would have to have a hell of a lot of commercials and I’d need 2 pony kegs to get the job done:)

  • mill1924

    I think so, especially when it comes to a lot of niche comedies. For example, I am sure if I would have saw Zoolander, The Big Lebowski or any Woody Allen movie in theaters I would be a little let down, but man, do they make great TV/DVD pleasures.

    • Marc

      Agreed, I never cared to see certain things in theaters (like all the Michael Bay classic neo-horror remakes), but if there’s nothing else on, the commercials (or a few pints) can help make it all the more enjoyable. Yeah, a lot of people love Lebowski, but I find it an acquired taste I’m just not ever going to have.

  • Aiden R

    Never seen Tango and Cash, and even though I love Stallone and Russell, lots of movies are better with beer and this is probably one of them. Movies would be better on TV if they bleeped the swears instead of dubbing over or silencing them. Had a damn good time killing a 30 with my friends during Beerfest.

    • Marc

      I think you might actually enjoy this…with another 30 that is:) One thing about T&C is that it seemed like they tried sooo damn hard to get in as many one liners as possible. I guess the writers figured “if we throw enough at a wall, something’s gotta stick”. I mean, what’s an action movie without one lines? Yet after all their efforts, I don’t recall anyone ever saying the ones I heard in the film. Hmmm…maybe I’ll start using some and bud a T&C legacy for them. Trouble is, I don’t remember any of the lines:P

  • Steve

    TBS survives by the grace of this phenomenon…

    Out of full respect to the film, I would never buy The Fugitive (and I buy everything – I just bought Under Siege on bluray today) on DVD. It’s on TV so often and is so easy to watch in that kind of easily segmented fashion that it only makes sense to watch it that way. I guess that’s not exactly what you’re talking about – but it’s all I’ve got.

    • Marc

      Good call on TBS…but whatever happened to USA Up All Night? That was the epitome of how commercial segmenting can make ANYTHING bearable…oh and Rhonda:P

  • Ronan

    Me and the Mrs were watching Die Hard the other night on TV (were supposed to watch Laputa: Castle in the sky), but it was nice to not have to change the scart plug in the back of the telly and just appreciate the ultimate Saturday Night TV Movie in all its glory. Well, almost all its glory, it was segmented by commecials, which usually doesn’t bother me as most of the stuff they show on terestial channels oever here is dying to chopped up in small pieces to go down easier. But don’t do it with Die Hard for crying out loud! It was agony, still great though. Even with commercials that movie doesn’t lose slack. Class.

    • Marc

      Yeah if you ever see something like Die Hard on TV and feel like watching it, turn off the cable box, go grab Die Hard off your shelf (yes, you should already own it) and fire up the surround sound:) Agreed, Ultimate Saturday Night (and Christmas too) film indeed!!