One of the interesting things that have come up is the possibility of holding a "focused" DVD marathon -- that is, watching a bunch of movies that all have a single thing in common. Marcelle seems to love the idea of a Frat Pack marathon, for example: That means that everything we watch should involve some combination of Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carell and their fellows.
While I'm generally okay with the idea of a Frat Pack marathon (in fact, I'm looking forward to Ferrell's and Carell's stuff), it does strike me as a little monotonous. A bunch of Frat Pack movies will almost definitely be equivalent to a handful of comedies, and I usually like a little variety to my marathons. I don't want to start laughing at the first movie, only to be totally sick of their brand of humor at the end of the day.
In the end, this got me thinking about other possible ideas for DVD marathons. I mean, there are about a million possible focal points out there; Which of these go across different genres and touch various ends of the spectrum? I want to experience some combination of comedy, drama, action and whatever else when it comes to my movies... if I can somehow find a category where all of these can fit in, then so much the better.
As a result, I came up with a few ideas. You're welcome to suggest anything else that's good with the criteria, by the way -- I'm just considering the following topics below.
Short-of-Best-Picture winners: Sometimes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sure can pick 'em... and sometimes they can't. There are a few movies on my "must-watch" and "must-watch-again" lists that were nominated for Best Picture yet fell short of the mark for whatever reason. Although dramas are usually singled out for the Best Picture statuette, the nomination finalists are far broader in terms of genre: There are light comedies (The Full Monty, As Good as It Gets), a few mob movies (Goodfellas), action flicks (The Fugitive), animations (Babe), and even a Baz Luhrmann musical (Moulin Rouge!). That would make quite a program, in my opinion.
My contribution: Dog Day Afternoon. This 1975 nominee stars a young Al Pacino in what was supposed to be a quick bank robbery; Instead, everything goes terribly, hideously wrong, and we're there to watch every second of it.
Martial Arts demonstrations: I grew up watching the chop-socky, and I get pretty jaded with a lot of the mundane modern-day stuff. So whenever the martial arts even so much as appear in a movie, I feel that the picture must be interesting enough for me to even consider it redeemable. With that said, I would be glad to see stuff like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and Shaolin Soccer on a marathon playlist. Even dogs like Kung Pao: Enter the Fist might be worth watching, if only because they're such curiosities.
My contribution: Kung Fu Hustle. It's not your typical martial arts comedy, because it takes everything that's absurd about the genre and somehow attempts to play it straight. That, and the humor is remarkably insightful.
Tom Hanks movies: The thing about Tom Hanks is that he started off as an actor working in comedies, then somehow moved into doing dramatic roles. What makes his career interesting is that a lot of his movies actually turned out well... which means that a Tom Hanks marathon would probably hit a certain level of quality. You could run award-winners like Philadelphia, or 80's comedies like Big. You can even run into romance (Sleepless in Seattle) or animation (Toy Story). As long as you don't get tired of hearing his voice all the time, I suppose that this would do fine.
My contribution: Punchline. This forgotten movie has Tom Hanks as an unknown comedian, mentoring Sally Field on the skills of the stand-up act. But when everything comes down to a single contest for discovery and stardom, their line between friendship and individual achievement gets placed into question.
This doesn't cover everything that's floating in my head right now... but it's a good reference.
Of course, I'm open to other ideas or feedback. If you want to suggest something, or figure that my taste in movies somehow appalls you, feel free to sound off. You know my wants here -- I'm looking for a focus that can cover multiple genres, or at least a few interesting pictures that won't necessarily blur together after eight hours.
Heck, you're free to suggest anything, just as long as it won't obligate me to track you down for a marathon or two. :)