MOVIES GUARANTEED TO BREAK YOUR WINTERTIME SLUMP
Sitting here in my St. Louis apartment, I can see the cars on the street below being buried under a heavy blanket of snow, and I’m trying to devise a way to lower my dog out of our third-floor window so I don’t have to take him outside myself. I have to wear two pairs of gloves just to carry my customary 44-ounce sodas around town.
During these depressing, nose-numbing months of the year, my movie-watching trends lean toward films that allow me to escape to a warmer, more inviting time and place. For that reason, I put together a short list to help you do the same.
The Sting (1973)
One of my personal all-time favorites. Two con men (Robert Redford and Paul Newman) set out for revenge against a Chicago mob boss (Robert Shaw) after a mutual friend is murdered. The plot is complex and well-executed; the picture is perfectly over-produced; the sets and costumes were award-winning; and the ragtime music creates the 1930s allure. But what really sets this film apart is its iconic cast. In a great year for American cinema (The Exorcist, Serpico, American Graffiti and Enter the Dragon to name a few), putting these three actors together proved to be its biggest asset. Think of it as Ocean’s Eleven, but without a need for all the gaudy extravagance.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Why is Samuel L. Jackson yelling at me? I don’t think I did anything to deserve it. As retribution for all the years of feeling berated after his movies, I occasionally take pleasure in seeing him get devoured by a genetically-altered Mako shark. Don’t get caught up in the crazy plan to use man-eating beasts to cure Alzheimer’s—just enjoy the mindless ride.
Miss Cast Away and the Island Girls (2004)
Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate spoof movies. Absolutely abhor everything about them. But they do serve one great purpose—eating 90-minute chunks of your life like Now-and-Laters. Miss Cast Away is great for those long winter days when you can’t get motivated to do anything productive—it’s got everything, including a race of ape people, Noah’s Ark, bikini-clad beauty queens, a giant prehistoric killer pig, and Charlie Schlatter (a poor man’s David Arquette if such a thing exists).
P.S., if you thought Evan Marriott had trouble pretending to be himself on Joe Millionaire, wait until you see him pretending to be someone else—delightfully uncomfortable to watch.
The Wizard (1989)
Oh how Fred Savage ruled my childhood. A true fixture of my youth, The Wizard will take you back to those simpler times when hitchhiking across the country for a Nintendo competition with your mentally disabled younger sibling seemed like a totally legitimate endeavor for a young boy. Whether you associate more with the brash do-gooder Savage or the smarmy, showboating Lucas Barton, you’ll find something here to warm your jaded, aging heart in the dead of winter. Extra Bonus: Christian Slater!
Bad Boys (1995)
The Mixtape Monster loves Will Smith and the summertime feel of Bad Boys makes it a must-add to this list. Smith and Martin Lawrence pull off the buddy cop genre without the latent homosexuality and lame ego conflicts that are so common. The Miami sunshine, truckloads of flying bullets and mass carnage create the summer blockbuster feel that Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer do like nobody else. And if that’s still not enough for you, take it for the sage wisdom it offers: Too much bass in your voice scares white people.
Until next time,
*** Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Big Soda can be reached at email@example.com ****