What to Watch. . .

What to Watch. . .

When you have too much time -- We recommend ''Twin Peaks, Vols. 1-6,'' ''War and Peace,'' and ''Shoah''

When you have too much free time

1 Twin Peaks, Vols. 1-6 (1990-91, Republic, unrated)
Just pop in some episodes of David Lynch's anti-narrative TV serial in any order at all — they're so baffling, it makes little difference — and you'll fall right into a waking dream state.

2 Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980, Facets, unrated)
You'd have to feel listless to dive into Rainer Werner Fassbinder's elliptical 15 1/2-hour epic about an ex-con (Gunter Lamprecht) in late-'20s Berlin. But you'll be rewarded: It's got sumptuous cinematography and evocative atmosphere for days — and we mean days.

3 Shoah (1985, Paramount, unrated)
How many tapes? Five. And they run? In total, 9 1/2 hours. What is it, a Holocaust documentary? It's a series of question-and-answer sessions with eyewitnesses who detail the specifics of the Nazis' death camps. And the little questions illuminate larger truths? Inexorably and indelibly.

4 War and Peace (1967, Kultur, unrated)
Seemingly no page in Tolstoy's classic is left unadapted in this six-hours-plus Soviet superproduction, which plays much more satisfyingly in the subtitled version than in an awkwardly dubbed one (just say nyet to any abridged versions, too).

5 Terminator 2: Judgment Day-Special Edition (1991/93, Pioneer/Carolco/LIVE laserdisc, unrated)
Sixteen extra minutes flesh out the bond between John Connor (Edward Furlong) and his cyborg guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger). But it's the exhaustive making-of section that proves James Cameron may need to get a life even more than you do.

By Jason Cochran, Steve Daly, Glenn Kenny, Lois Alter Mark, Chris Nashawaty, Tim Purtell, Michael Sauter, and J.R. Taylor

Originally posted Aug 04, 1995 Published in issue #286 Aug 04, 1995 Order article reprints
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