Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

What’s Your Sure Thing?

Posted on April 1, 2015 in Movies by Deborah Wright

SneakersI enjoy watching the latest movies as much as anyone, but there are times when I just need to watch what I think of as a sure thing. A sure thing is the movie equivalent of comfort food — that is, a movie guaranteed to either match my current mood or provide just the right emotional payoff that I crave.

It should be no surprise that these are movies I’ve watched many times over. Some I’ve watched so often that I can quote long stretches of dialogue by heart. They aren’t necessarily movies that are critically acclaimed — in fact, I’m sure there are some on my list that other people might think are downright stinkers — but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what they convey to me.

Big Trouble in Little China They aren’t interchangeable; one isn’t as good as another in all instances. For example, when I’m feeling hemmed in by life and need to daydream about the possibility of a complete change, I might watch American Dreamer or Under the Tuscan Sun or Last Holiday. When I’m sick, I tend to watch really old movies — especially Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies or The Thin Man. If I’m in desperate need of a good laugh, Big Trouble in Little China, North to Alaska, and The Hallelujah Trail never let me down. And when I want my heartstrings tugged, I might turn to Apollo 13, Gettysburg or Secretariat.

My list of sure things won’t be the same as your list. And that’s as it should be. You have to have a personal connection to a movie — it has to touch you in some way — for it to qualify.

So, how about it? What movies do you count as your sure things?

My Top 20 Sure Things

  1. Sneakers (1992)
    “We got bupkis! We turn ourselves in now, they’ll give us twenty years in the electric chair!”
  2. American Dreamer (1984)
    “The important thing, kid, is that you’re doing something you like to do.”
  3. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    “Son of a bitch must pay.”
  4. The Hunt for Red October (1990)
    “The hard part about playing chicken is knowin’ when to flinch.”
  5. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
    “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.”
  6. The Thin Man (1934)
    “The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. Now a Manhattan you shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.”
  7. Apollo 13 (1995)
    “So long, Earth. Catch you on the flip side.”
  8. Live Free or Die Hard (aka Die Hard 4) (2007)
    “You just killed a helicopter with a car!”
    “I was out of bullets.”
  9. Gettysburg (1993)
    “To be a good soldier you must love the army. To be a good commander you must be able to order the death of the thing you love.”
  10. That’s Entertainment! (1974)
    “Thank God for film. It can capture a performance and hold it right there forever.”
  11. High Road to China (1983)
    “The ox is slow, but the earth is patient.”
  12. Twister (1996)
    The Suck Zone. It’s the point basically when the twister… sucks you up. That’s not the technical term for it, obviously.”
  13. Secretariat (2010)
    “He leans back against the starting gate like he’s in a hammock in the Caribbean…”
  14. North to Alaska (1960)
    “You’re a pig-headed no-good and you always were.”
  15. The Hallelujah Trail (1965)
    “If it’s the last thing I do, I’ll have that entire band transferred to Alaska!”
  16. National Treasure (2004)
    “Who wants to go down the creepy tunnel inside the tomb first?”
  17. Independence Day (1996)
    “I picked a hell of a day to quit drinkin’.”
  18. Last Holiday (2006)
    “Next time… we will laugh more, we’ll love more; we just won’t be so afraid.”
  19. Shall We Dance (1937), but also Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936), and any of the other Astaire/Rogers films
    “Well, to tell the truth, I don’t know you well enough to tell you the truth.”
  20. Monty Python and the Meaning of Life (1983)
    “You are all dead. I am Death.”
    “Well, that’s cast rather a gloom over the evening, hasn’t it?”

That Movie Meme

Posted on January 23, 2012 in Movies by Deborah Wright

There’s a movie meme circling the interwebz (yes, another one) and I thought I’d give it my take. I tend not to watch sad or gross movies, so I removed those questions rather than leave them blank. I’ve also added some new questions that more closely fit my movie watching habits. And I removed the silly restriction that only one movie can be chosen per question, because…Really? I can only have one favorite? Sorry, no can do.

  1. What’s your favorite movie of all time?
    Casablanca

    This one was a no-brainer for me. Casablanca has been my favorite film since I first saw a butchered version of it on TV as a kid many (many) moons ago, and the uncut version is even better.

  2. What is your favorite romance movie?
    The Quiet Man

    Another no-brainer for me. I usually watch romantic comedies, not heavy drama-type romances, and The Quiet Man is my all-time favorite. In fact, it’s second on my list of Top 10 Favorite Movies, right below Casablanca.

  3. Continue »

Favorite Christmas Shows

Posted on December 24, 2011 in Movies by Deborah Wright

I suspect most people have a list of favorite holiday programs, some of which they may or may not confess to watching. For me, that holiday is Christmas, and I’ll freely admit several of the shows on my list are fairly…cheesy–or maybe sappy is a better description–in point of fact. I don’t care. I’m happy to own my list. Because when it comes right down to it, most of these shows are tied to happy memories, and that’s why they’re my favorite holiday viewing. They either take me back to my childhood or they remind me of good times later in life.

The first part of the list are the theatrical movies I associate with Christmas. Some of them aren’t Christmas movies, per se, but they make me think of Christmas–maybe because they’re set during the Christmas season or they have a Christmas scene that somehow fixed them forever in Christmas for me. It’s funny that doesn’t happen with all such movies. For instance, The Thin Man is one of my all time favorite films and it’s set during Christmas, but I’ve never once thought of it as a Christmas movie.

Anyway, here’s part one of my list. The first movie is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but the rest of the list is in alphabetical order.

Continue »

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Posted on December 21, 2011 in Movies by Deborah Wright

Mr. W and I went to see the latest Sherlock Holmes movie yesterday and had a great time. The movie was fun and a worthy sequel to the first. I always worry about going to see sequels if I love the first movie, because so often the sequel isn’t as good as the original. The worst offense, for me, is when the writer or director or producer think he/she needs to make the second movie MORE! — as if equaling the experience of the first movie isn’t good enough. Those sequels usually end up being a mess of over-the-top effects and muddled story.

A Game of Shadows didn’t fall into that trap. It had just the right amount of action that fit well into an intriguing plot. Mr. W and I were thoroughly entertained. Of course, I could watch Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in just about anything, but it’s so much better when they’re in something enjoyable. I’m hoping for a third movie, but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll happily settle for the two we have.

It was a bonus being able to watch it at our favorite downtown cinema on $5 Tuesday (all movies only $5 all day). It’s only about 10 minutes from the house and they serve great food during the movie. So, we saw the movie and had a fantastic grilled chicken breast sandwich for lunch. All-in-all, a fun outing.