Stock up on popcorn and drinks, surround yourself with cushions and staaaart viewing.
These days binge viewing tends towards barrelling through an entire TV series in one sitting, whether it’s on Netflix, DVD or a box of old Twin Peaks videotapes you found in the garage. But for a truly excellent screen-based experience, here are five movie series it’s worth watching back to back over the course of a long weekend. Don’t forget to order pizza well in advance, and do your blinking exercises between each instalment.
Back to the Future spans a century of time-travelling greatness
You might have seen Marty McFly dive into the Delorean and cruise back to 1955 for a maternal make-out session a million times, but there’s nothing like viewing all three Back to the Future movies in one hit. You can compare the different settings from film to film, whinge about them replacing Crispin Glover in the second one, wonder why Marty’s kids and great-grandfather look exactly like him, and shake your head sadly as Clara Clayton turns up to steal Doc Brown away from his teenage bestie. Keep an eye out for the little kid who pointing at his pant region… (spoilers on that link)
Another option: The Godfather trilogy is another great, tightly connected story that kinda goes off the rails in the third film.
Do the Star Wars series in Machete Order
Look, if you really want to you can watch Star Wars from The Phantom Menace through to The Force Awakens, maybe even slotting Rogue One in there before A New Hope. Or you could watch them in the order they were made, like everyone did the first time around. But a few years ago some guy called Rod Hilton came up with what he says is the best way to enjoy the saga: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi then The Force Awakens (notice he dropped The Phantom Menace entirely). If you want to read Rod’s reasoning, here’s an article that will take about as long to read as the series will to watch.
Another option: The entire Harry Potter series lets you watch the kids grow up like magic.
Making it through the Saw octet is like surviving a Jigsaw puzzle
There have been a massive eight of these torture-porn flicks made since Aussie legends James Wan and Leigh Whannell first made us squirm in 2004 – including this year’s Saw: Legacy. Obviously when you make that many films about terrifying trap-based situations that people find themselves in, the scenarios have to become more and more outlandish and disturbing, to top the previous instalment. And so, after 10 or so hours of rusty blades and reverse beartraps, you’ll feel like you’ve beaten Jigsaw at his own game. Until you wake up in a poorly lit tiled room with a handsaw in easy reach, that is.
Another option: For a more retro feel, watch the Nightmare on Elm Street series steadily get worse over time.
Watching every Marvel Universe movie requires Hulk-like fortitude
Got 25 hours or so spare? Why not kick off with Captain America: The First Avenger and fly through the decades to… well, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 will probably be in cinemas when you finish. Two guys called Ryan and Luke marathonned 12 MCU movies in the lead-up to Captain America: Civil War last year, so have a read of their account to learn from their mistakes. (You’ll probably want to have some energy drinks or strong coffee on hand.) And if you want to go even harder than the boys, Marvel have released an official timeline of when everything happened, which includes the events of all their TV shows. Obviously this will take a tiny bit longer than just the movies.
Another Option: Not a fan of Marvel? Why not watch every single Batman movie ever made (including the 1966 one with Adam West, for completeness).
Pixar’s animation gets better and better
Sometimes a marathon is about the creators rather than the series. In this case, you’re going to watch all of Pixar’s masterpieces from 1995’s Toy Story to last year’s Finding Dory. How will it feel to go from The Incredibles to Cars? Will you be overwhelmed by feelings? Will you spot the Pizza Planet truck in every single movie? Apparently this one will take 28 hours and 23 minutes, but that might not account for toilet breaks.
Another Option: Either watch all the Dreamworks movies instead, or every Disney animated movie from The Little Mermaid to Tarzan.