I have a dear friend named Charlie. He’s part of our crew called The Fleet—here’s the crew playing MMH Trivia:
One fateful day when The Fleet was hangin out, Charlie threw down an idea that is as simple as it is sublime: watching two movies linked by a theme. “Double Feature,” he called it.
Charlie presented Double Feature one winter when we were fresh out of college and back home for the holidays. I believe during a snow-covered outdoor adventure. Everyone loved the idea and we spent the day brainstorming themes and pairings, it kept us warm. The idea was so captivating it stayed with me, but like most ideas in life, I never did anything with it.
Years later, after moving to Austin, getting married, and adding a few tattoos, one day something just clicked. I’m really not sure what, but I decided the time had come for me to actualize Double Feature. I live in a nice apartment with an L-shaped couch setup, Christmas lights strewn around the living room for vibe, and most importantly an HD projector. I made a Facebook event, invited a bunch of friends over, and Double Feature sprang to life.
I wanted to think of an adventurous theme to start this new enterprise on a zesty note. But much like the B-52s starting their live sets with “Love Shack” (which is true), I ultimately decided to play the hits, and my first theme was: music.
The movies were Almost Famous followed by Coco.
It was a charming night! I think of the eight people who attended the festivities, one person other than me made it to the credits of Coco. But hey, for a 5-hour event on a Friday after a long work week—that’s just fine with me. I think everyone enjoyed themselves for however long or short they stayed, and that’s what it’s all about.
Sweet legend of Ernesto de la Cruz those movies are good. Almost Famous has been covered extensively of late because we passed the 20th Anniversary last year and anyone who’s had the pleasure of watching Coco knows how special that move is. Nate rated it the #1 Pixar film in his Pixar Power Rankings piece last week. All I will say is that in a shared Almost-Coco-verse, a few years after Coco takes place, when Miguel has reached stardom, I can totally see William interviewing him and those two gentle souls forging a lifelong friendship.
Crazy enough, the last hang I hosted pre-COVID was the second installment of Double Feature. It was the Friday before the infamous Rudy Gobert-Tom Hanks-the world grinds to a halt week.
The theme that night: Villains. And the movies were No Country for Old Men followed by The Dark Knight. Here’s the invitation I made for it:
Amazingly, there were two wild synchronicities between the movies that I either had forgotten or only knew subconsciously:
1. They came out six months apart.
2. Both prominently feature a coin-flipping-fate-determining theme.
Pretty cool! Everyone gave me props for finding two movies with such unique ties, but the truth is it was just luck!
Real quick, I freakin’ love the topic of villains. I think it would be too hard to rank my top five villains, but Anton Chigurh and Ledger’s Joker belong in there. And in no particular order, these wrongdoers are all deserving of that list:
Xenomorph from Alien
So I have my next Double Feature lined up and ready to go! And finally, finally, it might just be time to rev it back up! The theme is thieves and the movies are Catch Me If You Can followed by Oceans 11.
Rewatched Catch Me If You Can recently. It’s fantastic. The impelling pace fits the plot like a glove and it has one of the low-key most colorful and unique John Williams scores out there. Meanwhile, the Oceans crew is probably my number one draft pick for the movie crew I’d like to be part of. Every minute with them is elevated, charming, and intoxicating. Regarding the film, Soderbergh confirmed his ambition was to give the audience, “pleasure from beginning to end.” Mission accomplished sir.
I wanted to close by sharing a bunch more possible Double Features. Please let us know, which you’d most want to watch and any themes or pairings of your one!
- Summer: Dazed and Confused and Do The Right Thing
- Space: Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
- Communication: Lost in Translation and Arrival
- Shakespeare: Shakespeare in Love and 10 Things I Hate About You
- World Domination: The Social Network and The Fifth Element
- Problem Solving: Back to the Future and The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Road Trip: Mad Max: Fury Road and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Friendship: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Wedding Crashers
- Escape: Children of Men and Where the Wild Things Are
- Infiltrating the Enemy: Inglorious Basterds and Mean Girls
Oh also, I reached out to Charlie—the Double Feature pioneer himself—here’s what he added:
- Food: Tampopo and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover
- The Tube: UHF and Videodrome
- Forgeries: F for Fake and Close-Up
- Foreign Vampires: Let the Right One In and Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
- Dry/Wet: Mad Max and Waterworld
And of course, fellow Fleet member and MMH’s Jimmy Iovine, Masseo Davis, couldn’t help but get into the mix:
- Space Adventures: Sunshine and The Fifth Element
- Foreign Fable: Life Itself and Amélie
- Cops & Robbers: Catch Me If You Can and (any) Bad Boys
- Myth & Monster: Jurassic Park and The Abyss
- Future Earth: Arrival and Blade Runner
- Sports Night: Cool Running and Rudy
- Concert Night: Dave Chapelle’s Block Party and Amadeus
- Movies About Movies: Tropic Thunder and Adaptation
- Christmas: Love Actually and The Muppet Christmas Carol