Why It’s Impossible to Do a Beatles Biopic in a Single Movie

As a musical unit, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr enjoyed the most unique experience in popular entertainment. While Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra similarly spent the most exciting periods of their careers circumnavigating hordes of rabid fans, persistent, compulsory photo-ops, and suitcases of ticket sales cash, they still broke through as […]

The post Why It’s Impossible to Do a Beatles Biopic in a Single Movie appeared first on Den of Geek.

Before Blu-ray or DVD, before you could just open up an app on your phone and stream things, there was the beloved VHS tape, that most bulky of physical media. Whether you rented them from Blockbuster, owned a library of them and organized them neatly in the shelves running alongside your home entertainment center, used them to record your favorite movies or TV shows, or simply prayed for your teacher to pull one out on a Friday afternoon in middle school, the VHS tape was king of ’80s and ’90s home media.

There was simply nothing better than the experience that came with popping one of these bad boys into your VCR — unless the film was a stinker, of course, but then again, you probably still at least remember watching it, unlike so much of the mindless filler on today’s streamers. In fact, let’s take a stroll down memory lane as we recall the Den of Geek staff’s most-watched VHS tapes. And when you’re done, don’t forget to rewind!!

Twister (1996)

I’m not sure how that VHS copy of Twister came into our lives, but I remember it being one of the go-to tapes for anyone who voted on what we watched that night. In retrospect, it checked a lot of boxes. It was a trendy ‘90s disaster film, but it didn’t have all that sci-fi nonsense that scared the older folks away from popping in Independence Day. It was deeply Southern, which almost certainly won over my Texas parents’ hearts (despite the film tragically being set in Oklahoma). Mostly, though, it was a solid little movie that balanced spectacle, comedy, romance, and action while finding ample time to spotlight its ridiculously stacked cast (Todd Field and Philip Seymour Hoffman are bit players in this movie). Inevitably, watching Twister would also make someone hungry for a perfect plate of steak and eggs – Matthew Byrd

Annie (1999)

I was born right around the time that DVD players were invented and started to become popular, so my memory of the VHS days is a little fuzzy, but if there’s one tape that I know got played ad nauseam in my household throughout my early childhood, it’s Annie (1999). The death grip that the 1999 version of Annie had on my tiny human brain was so intense, that it’s a miracle I didn’t drive my parents to madness belting “Tomorrow” at the top of my lungs every chance I had. I still remember how distraught I was when the soundtrack for the film got stuck in the CD player in my mom’s car and wouldn’t play anymore. This movie sparked my life-long love of musicals, and I bet my bottom dollar that it will forever be my favorite version of this story. – Brynna Arens

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

My family got their first VCR pretty late in the game, and I’m pretty sure my most watched tape was a blank that I used to record my favorite shows, like episodes of Quantum Leap or The Flash. But in 1991, McDonald’s sold tapes of certain movies along with their burgers and fries, including the Indiana Jones trilogy. My parents bought Raiders of the Lost Ark and Last Crusade (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was also for sale, but I had nightmares after watching it and my parents could only stand so many sleepless nights). Although Raiders is certainly the better flick, adolescent me preferred Last Crusade. The repartee between Sean Connery and Harrison Ford, the boat and tape sequences, and the Biblical story worked better for young me – to say nothing of Alison Doody as Elsa Schneider, who ignited my love of scary but pretty ladies. – Joe George

Aladdin (1992)

How many times have I watched Disney’s animated masterpiece Aladdin? Couldn’t tell you! No, like – I really couldn’t tell you. All I know is that I ran our VHS copy of this flick ragged. That’s because this 1992 classic was my childhood comfort movie. As any parent could certainly tell you, every kid has a movie that they will inexplicably become obsessed with. Aladdin was that for me. I spent virtually every day from 1992 through 1994 watching the movie, oftentimes accompanied by my grandma (who sadly just passed this year. R.I.P. Carol). Though I no longer have a physical copy of Aladdin, those Arabian nights remain etched into the magnetic cassette ribbons of my heart. – Alec Bojalad

Summer Holiday (1963)

What was it that eight-year-old me loved about London bus-based musical Summer Holiday? Everything! The bus. The scenery. The outfits. The songs. Cliff Richard before he told that weird story on This Morning about not wanting a photo with fat Elvis.

I know I loved Una Stubbs doing this dance. All the dances in this film are excellent, especially the one where you crouch like an imp and throw your head back in the manner of a spooked horse with your elbows tight to your sides as if putting the key in the door while carrying in the weekly shop. The whole thing’s a dream. Someone in the family must have taped it off the TV one afternoon, allowing me to watch it every day after school for definitely a whole term, possibly two. Time enough, anyway, to have learned all the words to “Bachelor Boy” and absorbed a sufficient number of sleazy 1960s chat-up lines to get me sent to Mrs Henley’s office. – Louisa Mellor 

Legends of the Fall (1994)

If we’re counting recorded off the telly, then it would be The Omen trilogy and The Mary Whitehouse Experience. If it’s proper VHS tapes that I actually owned then it was Legends of the Fall or The Doors. The Doors was a gift from a former boyfriend and a treasured item (I loved the band at the time). Legends of the Fall, on the other hand, I have absolutely no idea why I owned. I definitely didn’t choose it. This is basically a non-story. The story of a film I must have watched, I dunno, 10 times, that I can’t remember, never liked, and never wanted. I wonder sometimes if this film is magic. How can a film be so slippery that every time you see it on the shelf you think “what’s that film again?” I think it’s about some brothers and maybe Julia Ormond gets married to one of them and then is seeing a different one. Does one go to war? Or die possibly? Not sure. There are fields. I imagine it takes place in Autumn. Brad Pitt’s in it. And that’s all I’ve got for ya. – Rosie Fletcher

Jurassic Park (1993)

I was just old enough to remember the hype when Jurassic Park hit theaters in the summer of 1993—and just young enough to not fully partake in it. Ours was a Steven Spielberg household, so my folks and sister were as hyped as myself—the dinosaur-obsessed six-year-old. But the movie was PG-13 and, worse, it was reviewed as being “too scary” and “too intense” for youngins. So most of the family saw it in cinemas, and I stayed home with my grandmother. It still didn’t stop me from soaking in what was early ‘90s kids’ Star Wars. I got the action figures, the tie-in picture books, even those McDonald’s plastic cups. My sister breathlessly recounted every bit of the plot to me, including how awesome it was when that guy said “clever girl” and then had his face ripped off.

Still, I never saw the movie until it came out on VHS a full year later. Yep, back in the day, studios would put their VHS releases on entirely separate calendars, so as to not minimize the theatrical experience (funny how a change in that thinking has coincided with diminishing ticket sales, huh?). In any event, after a year of pure dino-kid hype, my folks deemed their now SEVEN-year-old son as sufficiently mature enough to handle Jurassic Park.

The first time I watched the movie I was terrified of the scene of the T. Rex trying to eat the kids in the jeep; of the venom of the dilophosaurus; and especially of those damn raptors. But I was also in complete awe. The movie met and surpassed every expectation my fragile little mind could hold. And I watched it over, and over. And over. To this day, I can still quote Malcolm, Hammond, Ellie, Muldoon, and Dr. Grant verbatim. “What do they got in there, King Kong?” “No, Ian,” goes the callbacks we developed. “Something better.” – David Crow


Pop quiz, hot shot: What do you get when you put young stars Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock on a bus rigged with a bomb that will detonate if this sensible mode of public transportation goes under 50 miles per hour? An absolute banger! This action hit has everything, from some of the unintentionally funniest lines you’ve ever heard in a movie (“CANS! CANS! It was full of CANS!”) to Dennis Hopper hamming it the hell up as a disgruntled former cop who really hates his gold watch and tiny pension to Jeff Daniels hating his life as an explosives expert to a bus “jumping” (?) over the gap in an unfinished LA bridge. Then there’s every single thing Bullock does in the movie, a scene-stealing performance as the unfortunate soul who’s forced to drive the bomb-strapped bus despite having her license revoked. This movie is just pure gold and I will love it for all time, not that I owned the official VHS tape released by the studio. It was for sure a grainy recording of an HBO broadcast of the film and dubbed in Spanish, so technically I was watching Maxima Velocidad. ¡Han puesto una bomba en su autobus! – John Saavedra

Tell us about your favorite VHS tapes in the comments!

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The post What Was Your Most-Watched VHS Tape? appeared first on Den of Geek.

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