Very few Sundays go by that I don't spend at least a small portion of watching movies like Krull. Movies like Krull, Ladyhawke, Dreamscape, and so on, are background movies, which are watched most frequently on Sundays -- I guess because a lot of people prefer to stay home and not do all that much on Sundays (although I don't much like to do anything ever, but we're not talking just about me). What you do is, you make an agreement with your spouse or significant other, or whoever, that neither of you are going to do anything that day which requires you to stand up very often. Then you pick a sedentary activity on which you have decided to ostensibly focus, like reading or napping. Then you pick a movie to put in the DVD player, one which you are content to pay attention to only intermittently. That's your background movie.
For a background movie to be worthy of the title, it has to meet a few requirements. The most important one, to me, is that it can't be all that good. It would be preferable if your background movie wasn't a total horrorshow, either, because those can distract you away from your nap just as completely as an immortal classic can, so you want something that is professionally made, well paced, and -- let's be honest here -- reasonably violent. I remember the reviews for 'Night Mother being pretty withering, yet it features two Oscar-winning actresses, so it has the bad-mixed-with-professionalism thing going for it, but, at the very most, one person dies in the whole movie. You need something that will cause you to glance at the screen occasionally.
And yet, you don't want your eyes locked on the screen more than you'd planned, so sorry, Arnaud Desplechin, but subtitles are right out. La Sentinelle might otherwise seem like the ideal choice for next Sunday's background movie, but at worst you'll tune it out to the point where the French language starts sounding like nothing more than white noise (which, let's face it...), and at best you'll find yourself attentively watching the entire 2-plus hour film, and suddenly the whole point of background movies has been perverted. So no foreign films. Game, set, and match, Arnaud Desplechin...you lose!
No complicated plots, either, unless you've seen the film before. Mediocre fantasy and science-fiction films really are the best genres for background movies. Most fantasy films are quest stories, right, so you watch them to see how it's all handled, and what twists to the traditions the filmmakers add. In Krull, the twist is a spiky boomerang, so all you need to do is lift your eyes to the screen when the cyclops gets smooshed, and any time Lysette Anthony appears. This also works with Clash of the Titans and Judi Bowker, but that one also has a Kraken in it, and by the end the distractions are coming at a lightning pace. You have to know CotT pretty goddamn well before you can safely use it as background material. If you've never done this before, try to ease into it by starting with Krull. Or no, Willow. You're not ready for Krull.
Length is also an important consideration. Personally, I like long background movies, because it's like settling in for a baseball game -- your day is pretty much blocked off. You can plan out, cook, and eat all your meals before the film is over. For instance, today's selection was The Towering Inferno. That fucker is about a building catching on fire, and it's almost three hours long. So there are no plot intricacies you need to concern yourself with, you know you can't completely tune out lest you space on Robert Wagner running through a hellish conflagration with only a wet towel wrapped around his head for protection (to the film's credit, this actually doesn't work out too well for him), and by the time it's over you can start thinking about going to bed.
You're all probably judging me now, because I didn't use my Sunday as an opportunity to snuggle in with Andrei Rublev, but I know you all do this, too. Maybe not quite as often as I do, but you do it. Even now you're thinking, "Is it too late to watch Tron?" Well, yes, it is. That's what you get for judging me, asshole.