Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Films I've paid to see twice at cinema on initial release.

I've just returned from seeing 'Mary Poppins Returns' again, a month and a day after my first viewing. Having enjoyed it so much first time I wanted to catch it again on the big screen before it disappeared, this being its final week in these parts. (I comprised one-third of the audience!) Did I think it held up to my original verdict? Yes - and more than! I was familiar with the songs this time, having played them and watched some excerpts available on YouTube, and they really are good with some especially fine lyrics. Also, I saw the film this time at a different cinema with superior sound quality so it was easier to hear and appreciate the verbally dexterous wit. 
Shame that the Oscars having just been announced today, the film only gets recognition for a couple of minor awards, just as with the BAFTAs, though that's not entirely unsurprising. I'd give it a special award for 'The Most Uplifting Film of the Past Decade' - well, perhaps jointly with 'Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again' (the first 'Mamma Mia' falling just outside the last decade).

So I was wondering if there are others of you who occasionally, if only rarely like me, pay to see a film for a second time (or more) at a cinema, or does everyone re-watch them on DVD or wait until it comes round on TV? 

These are the films in recent years where I've liked something so much on its first release (obviously excluding re-releases) that I've paid to see it again on the big screen:-

2013 - 'Les Miserables'
2012 - 'Hugo'
2010 - 'Inception'
2008 - 'Mamma Mia'
2003 - 'Chicago'
2002 - 'Amelie'
2001 - 'Moulin Rouge'

So, as you see, it's quite an infrequent occurrence. I'd be interested to know if there are any which you've seen that so got under your skin in a positive way that you just had to see again in the medium for which they were intended to be viewed.


  1. Not so oddly enough for me, but I have seen Les Miserables, Chicago and Moulin Rouge more than once each in a theater.
    I do love a show tune ... though as you may note, not 'Mamma Mia.' I saw it once and I was good.

    I also saw non-musical Three Billboards more than once; that's one of my favorite recent films.

    1. That pleasantly surprises me, Bob. I was wondering if, in fact, there'd be anyone at all who'd pay to see a film, any film, for a second time.

      I'd have seen 'Three Billboards' again if it had been around longer. Most definitely a very good film, actually my #2 choice of last year.

    2. I think, like you, seeing a film again on a big screen allows you to catch things you may have missed the first time; and you can't often get that when it comes on TV.

    3. Exactly so, Bob - plus TV doesn't immerse one in the experience the way that cinema, due to its scale, is capable of doing - and without everyday distractions too, one hopes.

  2. In my short new life of being able to go to the cinema (18 months) I have seen one film twice - Bohemian Rhapsody. I dare say I will go again too. I even considered going to see The Favourite a second time the other day but was too short of time to fit it in. In fact any film I have really enjoyed I wouldn't hesitate to go see it again.

    1. I'd see more films a second time if they hung around for longer, but one's choice is usually limited to those which are screen successes, which may not be entirely fair.

      Not sure I'd care to see Bo. Rhap. again, and even when it comes on telly I wouldn't care to watch if it means staying up for it.
      Still puzzled by my failure to recognise why 'The Favourite' is considered as being such a goody, and will feel it yet stronger when (not 'if') it picks up all the awards. Even so the thought of sitting through it again doesn't exactly fill me with excitement.

  3. I have seen two films twice on the big screen: "Hugo" for the 3D effects -perfection and "The History Boys". Not sure if "History Boys" qualifies as it was intended as a play.

    I fully understand your going to see "MPR" a second time, just for the joy it gives you. I've done that with plays several times, the latest being "Hello Dolly" with Bette Midler. Broke the bank on this one, but so worth it to escape a few hours from Trump. If you get a chance, type in "A lady in a red dress walks down the stairs" on YouTube and you'll see what I mean. Almost forgot, I did see "Mary Poppins" on B'way, but that was to see Gavin Lee whom I love, do "The Step In Time" number.

    1. Yes, I also saw 'Hugo' a second time for the experience of watching it in 3D, though even apart from that I would have seriously considered seeing it a second time even in flat-screen.
      I'm sure 'The History Boys' qualifies. A fine piece of theatre, certainly, but it was intelligently opened out for the screen. I only saw it the once at the cinema but have watched it twice on TV since, and it holds up well.

      I've seen fewer theatre pieces more than once, for obvious reasons - 'Les Mis' thrice, 'JC Superstar' four, 'Evita' five, 'My Fair L' maybe four?..... Not many straight plays, though - John Gielgud in his final stage run.

      Now as for the YouTube you refer to. I can't imagine a camper version of the big title number - or almost ANY number! Throws into relief how strait-laced the film was, with Streisand clearly being far too young for the part, and with Gene Kelly having rinsed all the campness out of it, if that's what he'd intended to do. The casting of Matthau didn't help one bit either!
      But here, in the very live version that you saw both cast and audience are having a whale of a time, as they rightly deserve. As it's obviously a hopelessly inadequate illicit recording (were they allowed to do that or wasn't it noticed?) it's a shame that the spoken dialogue is all but lost. But Bette, one can see, is totally F-A-B, and still looking darned good for her years. I can well appreciate the thrill you must have go in being there. Thanks for the pointer.
      Wish I'd seen Poppins on stage too, with ANY cast - as well as 'Chitty.....Bang', 'Dr Dolittle' (though with no real animals, I'd have to stipulate) and so many more. But there you are - so many of us are complete suckers for the live musical, are we not?

    2. Illegal to record a live performance. But so many phones out there that it is difficult for management to control. Most of these end up on YouTube and in a sense I'm happy that I can relive my experience with Bette.

      During Bette's run, she took Tuesday evenings off and was replaced by Donna Murphy - a very respected Broadway performer. Always was curious about her performance and thanks to YouTube, I now know: Very good job, but didn't get the audience she deserved difficult to follow Bette. I recommend you view her "Dolly."

      For some fun, I also recommend that you watch Gavin Lee's "Step In Time" - professionally filmed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne. Just type in: "step in time mary poppins broadway"

  4. Just watched both of these, for which I thank you.
    Donna Murphy is a name I don't know but for this she certainly makes the song her own. Of course in terms of celebrity star power she's understandably eclipsed by the Divine Miss M. but she's nevertheless more than big enough not to attempt the slightest imitation. I think she sings this better than the bigger star but as that's probably because she needn't fool around as much as Bette M. would only be expected to do.

    Likewise the name of Gavin Lee means nothing to me, but this clip is most entertaining. I like the fact that they (Matthew Bourne himself, no doubt) took the risk of doing something entirely different from the film. It may not have pleased the kids expecting something emulating the celluloid but it's much more inventive than simply doing that, both in choreograph terms and the music itself. I'm pleased I saw these clips. 'Ta' once more.

  5. I did enjoy seeing Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born and I would have gone again if they were still playing, but am happy to watch them again at home on the smaller screen.

    I must have seen Dirty Dancing and Grease at least once a year since they came out at home. Other musicals leave me cold though - I didn't really enjoy The Greatest Showman or Mamma Mia. I really disliked the original Mary Poppins too so won't be seeing the new one. I never enjoyed its type of whimsy or songs.

    Julie Q

    1. I'd see both 'BoRhap' and 'Star' for a second time at the cinema, but only after a decent interval, and we're nowhere near that length of time yet. I'll almost certainly have to wait for their coming on telly which I would watch, though without much enthusiasm for them in 'miniaturised' version.
      With 'Dirty Dancing' once was enough.
      I did sit through it on telly about two years ago, my first since seeing it on its original release way back when, but that's definitely it for many more yeas, if ever again!
      'Grease' is, and has always been, one of my most loathed films - sorry! - though some of the songs are rather good. It's the outdated psychological mindset of boy/girl relationships that makes me squirm. It was outdated even before the film of the stage musical came out. For some obscure reason I acquired the video about 30 years ago which I still have. I've never played it, and don't intend to. So why do I keep it? God knows!. But I am aware that it has its dedicated fans. I only wish I was one of them. Yes, really!
      I regret not having seen 'The Greatest Showman' on the big screen when I had the chance. I liked it very much first time round despite it's general critical damning. Of course now we have these dreaded singalong screenings, which is just not me.
      Likewise wish I'd seen 'Mamma Mia 2' a second time, as I did with the first one - but then I'm an incorrigible ABBA fan.
      Was never over the moon with the first 'Poppins' either. It hasn't dated very well but sections are still quite watchable. As for M.P.2 - I'd gladly pay to see it a THIRD time!