With television screens becoming larger, sofas becoming comfier, and snacking options becoming infinite, it’s never been a better time to combine all of these into an enjoyable activity known as the movie marathon.

A symptom of modern movies is that it’s very rare that a film is greenlit without the producers having some kind of sequel in mind. Whether the sequel is an afterthought bought on by box-office success or a deliberate and thoughtful continuation of a story is often a matter of contention, and will shape the success or demise of any movie marathon you embark on.

There are some general guidelines that will make your movie marathon enjoyable. If you’re in mixed company, you might want to gauge if flatulence is seen as disgusting, or potential comedy material. Drinking games must be accompanied with a note of caution: Sylvester Stallone speaking a word with more than two syllables is a safe way to go, but if you drink every time John McClane says something that can be classed as too witty for someone being shot at, then you might want to have a liver transplant on standby.

Which brings us to the last vital ingredient, the cinematic journey you are going to embark on. Any movie series that goes past three sequels (Harry Potter, The Fast and the Furious, Rocky, Police Academy, Star Wars) are best to be avoided in one sitting — in fact, there’s probably something in the Geneva Conventions against such activities. Some movie marathons aren’t going to win you any friends (Twilight forms the main basis of this), and there are many others that simply shouldn’t be viewed at all (the two Matrix sequels are largely unwatchable).

But there are some movies series that make for their own enjoyable marathon experience, depending on your tastes. Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, a carefully selected handful of Bond movies, Monty Python’s efforts, Die Hard, Back to the Future, take your pick or come up with your own.

Grab the remote control, a blanket, and a bowl of popcorn. Invite some friends over, order some pizzas. If you’ve got some free time and the stamina, why not reacquaint yourself with some of your favourite movies?

Matt Smith teaches journalism at La Trobe University and blogs at the End of the Spectrum.