Movie Marathon

Shelf Help: Movie Marathon Madness

March stomps onward with its usual madness. Spring is heading our way (finally) as we get ready to see the sun again. While we wait for the weather to improve, it’s the perfect opportunity to hunker down with a movie marathon. The rainy transition of Spring yields a chance to feel better about dedicating an entire day to watching movies. That’s why we’ve delved into our favourite movie marathons. – Kate MacDonald

Today, our Shelfers share: What is your favourite movie marathon to watch and why?

Halloween film series

If I was curating a marathon at a local theatre, I’d probably say Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. But, if I’m being honest with myself, I would pick the Halloween film series. With John Carpenter’s original, you have a certified classic, a film that has aged wonderfully in the many years since its release. You could then follow it up with the solid-if-unspectacular Halloween II. Skipping Halloween III for continuity, this brings us to Halloween 4 (underrated) and Halloween 5 (total garbage). In watching the films together you get a sense of where slashers were heading (for better and worse) and how quickly Hollywood monopolized them into ATMs for easy money, even when fans deserved better. Even after the relative failure of David Gordon Green’s Halloween reboot trilogy, people love watching Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. For that same reason I tune in almost every year. – Colin Biggs

TIFF films

I have a tradition each summer where I go back and rewatch favourite films from previous editions of TIFF to get pumped for the festival. The marathon usually includes a few #1s from years I’ve attended (ex: Wild, Anna Karenina) but other times it might be an early feature from a director you discovered who is debuting something new at the fest in September. This marathon is a great way to stay a movie lover at heart and not let the soul-crushing grind of the machine get to you. Revisiting old favourites in this context can be great reminders about why you cover film. Some favourites age really well (Wild kills me annually), while others definitely don’t (Labor Day) and are embarrassing reality checks: sleep deprivation impairs your judgment, kids. – Pat Mullen


Ocean’s Eleven trilogy

While my first instinct is to say a James Bond marathon (remember those TBS marathons in the early 2000s?) the reality is, at 25 films and my short attention span I’d never make it past Thunderball. So instead I offer the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. I absolutely adore these films (yes, even Ocean’s Twelve, which is the best one, don’t @ me)! I love the chemistry between the cast, the fun heist plots, Soderbergh’s gorgeous cinematography, David Holmes’ killer score, and just that sense that everyone on screen is having an absolute ball. I watch at least one of them once a year, and they keep gettin’ better every single time! – Adam Schoales

Halloween horror marathons

My favourite movie marathons are the 12-hour or 24-hour horror marathons that pop up around Halloween. As a previous Boston inhabitant, I was completely spoiled with the annual Halloween Horror Marathon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Running from midnight to noon, it felt like home being surrounded by my fellow horror hounds, overnight in a gorgeous theatre watching a slew of classic films, all on 35mm. The films are rarely new, but they are each worthy of praise and a die-hard audience. As I’ve been moving slowly westward, I am happy to report that each city I’ve moved to has its own genre fans and horror marathon. Cleveland has its 12 Hours of Terror, and Chicago has its Music Box of Horrors 24 hour marathon. Sure, these are not for everyone. And yes, the theatre does smell like you think it would at the end of it. But cinema is a social experience, and watching as much bleeding as possible with my fellow weirdos is a beautiful tradition. – Deirdre Crimmins

Doctor Strange


Marvel – it’s just fun and easy!! – Ethan Dayton

Dreamworks Animation films

Every year, I find myself drawn to a marathon of Dreamworks Animation films, especially in the sour months of Winter. Rewatching these hearty nostalgic films seems to restore some sort of peace to my inner child. This marathon typically consists of How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Megamind. I adore the animated style, emotional capability, and humour of these family films. As I surround myself with more “mature” film works, returning to these simplistic stories helps bring balance to the content I absorb. As films approach darker and deeper topics, these childhood films help alleviate the tension I hold from beautifully upsetting films. – Kate MacDonald


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Lord of the Rings trilogy

I can never get enough of the original Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy. Once I start watching The Fellowship of the Ring, I find myself continuing each time until I’ve completely indulged in the full series. Peter Jackson’s films still take my breath away with their lush visuals, special effects and, most importantly, genuine heart. It’s such a hard balance to strike, between emotion and spectacle, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example of a successful attempt at just that. Perfectly cast–from Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn to all 4 Hobbit friends–the LOTR series is genuinely epic cinema, and it is worth revisiting any time you get a chance. There’s nothing better than taking a whole day to truly immerse yourself in this picture-perfect journey to Middle Earth. In fact, I think I may just start another marathon right now… – Emma Badame