Double features – watching two movies in quick succession – used to be a staple of cinemas and movie theatres. It’s a practice that’s largely died out, but dedicated film fans can still curate their own carefully-themed double bills, with two films that neatly complement each other. In honour of comparethemarket.com’s MEERKAT MOVIES – which allows members to enjoy 2 for 1 cinema tickets every Tuesday or Wednesday for a whole year – here’s a few double-bill suggestions.
Two sides of the gangster movie coin. One’s a grand, epic generational take on a good man doomed to a life of crime; the other’s a rollicking take on how intoxicating and damn fun crime can be. Both ultimately warn that crime, to coin a phrase, doesn’t pay. Are there better gangster movies out there than these two? Fuggedaboudit.
Toy Story/Spirited Away
Pixar and Studio Ghibli may be two animation studios separated by an ocean and a culture, but they share sensibilities and a mutual respect. Toy Story and Spirited Away are very different films, but they’re among the best work of both so this pairing is an ideal showcase for their best work, and enough to enchant any age – from 8 to infinity and beyond.
Step Brothers/I Love You Man
Forget romance. These days, it's all about bromance. In I Love You, Man, Paul Rudd seeks platonic male companionship in order to gain a best man for his wedding; in Step Brothers, it’s goofier still, as Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly go from frenemies to bezzies, resolutely refusing to grow up in the process.
Walter Hill’s 1978 thriller never gets the attention it so richly deserves, but his ingenious use of car chases to propel a story influenced legions of filmmakers - not least Nicolas Winding Refn, who updates the formula for a icily cool 21st-century take on the genre.
When Harry Met Sally/Bringing Up Baby
Romcoms look very different to how they used to in the 1930s, and it's not just about the infrequency of big cats. But Howard Hawks’ 1938 screwball classic has plenty in common with Rob Reiner’s 1989 cult favourite – both offer sparkling dialogue and irresistible leads (Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in the former, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in the latter) and both movie couples only realise their love in the film’s final minutes.
The Dark Knight/Batman: The Movie (1966)
One has a state-of-the-art technology-fuelled batsuit; the other has shark-repellent spray. One has a Joker who won an Oscar; the other has a Joker whose moustache can be easily seen under makeup because the actor refused to shave for the role. One made a billion dollars; the other was made-for-TV. These are two movies about the same character, we promise, and they're both, in their own particular ways, quite brilliant. Pow! Bam!
28 Days Later/Shaun Of The Dead
How would you respond to a zombie apocalypse? For the heroes of Danny Boyle’s undead thriller 28 Days Later, the answer is straightforward: follow radio signals to the nearest army base and await further instructions. For Shaun Of The Dead’s schlubby stars, it’s a little different: pop down the pub, order a pint, and wait for it all to blow over.
The Shawshank Redemption/Escape From Alcatraz
If you’re looking for prison break-out tips, this double bill provides two suggestions. Either you go the Clint Eastwood route, and spoon your way out of your cell using papier-mache dummies; or you go the Tim Robbins route, involving a tiny rock hammer and a poster of Raquel Welch. (Chances are today’s prison guards are wise to these methods by now, mind.)
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