by Dick Ward
The summer is over and that means it’s time to go back to school. Or at least it used to be. For most of us, the end of summer just means that we’ll continue going to work every day, but we won’t have to stare longingly out our windows wishing we were outside. It’s actually a pretty nice feeling. “High-Def Holidays” is a celebration of that and all the other strange and wonderful things that September brings us.
When I think classical music, the first thing that leaps to mind is the ridiculously long but insanely good ‘ Amadeus.’ You may need an intermission in the middle, but ‘Amadeus’ is a fascinating movie and it has one of the finest soundtracks you’re ever going to hear. Yes, even better than ‘Top Gun.’ Suck it, Kenny Loggins.
You know what? It’s about time to start a petition to get this month changed to “National Hunny Month,” because dangit, ‘ Winnie the Pooh’ is great. Admittedly, the new Pooh movie didn’t have the same adult appeal that ‘The Muppets’ did, but it’s a fine flick nonetheless, and well worth watching. Especially with some waffles covered in honey. Or just some honey on its own. Go nuts, I won’t judge you.
Some people think about Betsy Ross. Others think about quilts and Boy Scout badges. When I think about sewing, I think about my very favorite sewing serial killer Buffalo Bill from ‘The Silence of the Lambs.’ Sure he’s sick and twisted and deranged, but the man loves sewing!
Until the hard-R Quentin Tarantino version of the videogame ‘Paperboy’ gets made, there will only be one movie that represents just what it means to work one of the most thankless jobs there is. On top of that, ‘Newsies’ does it in style, complete with Christian Bale, Ann Margaret, Bill Pullman, and the videogame playing kid from ‘The Wizard.’ That being said, where the hell is ‘The Wizard’ on Blu-ray?
I read a lot as a kid, and I mean a lot. I read walking to school, I read at the dinner table, and I even took baths instead of showers so I could keep my book with me. The reason, of course, is that I loved reading, but I think a little part of me thought that one day things would get all ‘ Neverending Story,’ and I’d get myself a princess and a flying dog and I guess a snail too.
Alright, hear me out on this. ’17 Again’ is awesome. It’s a body-swap movie starring Zac Efron, but you really can’t hold that against it. Or rather, you shouldn’t. If you do, then you miss out on one of my favorite Thomas Lennon – Lt. Dangle from ‘Reno 911’ - performances ever. He turns this from a forgettable body-swap flick into one that you really should see.
There’s something wonderfully reassuring about a movie where the main character doesn’t have a mean thought in his head. That’s Chance, from Hal Ashby’s ‘ Being There.’ He’s a sort of Forrest Gump like character, but unlike Forrest, he doesn’t seem to be concerned with much at all – just gardening. The movie is a satire of just about everything you can satire, and the performance of Peter Sellers really brings the whole thing together. Look, just see it alright?
I’ll just come right out and say it. I don’t care for dogs. I try, but dogs and I have come to an understanding – they don’t like me and I don’t like them. That being said, ‘Lady and the Tramp’ is still one of the finest Disney movies there is. Every kiss that has happened because of two people eating the same end of a piece of spaghetti is directly attributable to this movie. If that doesn’t put it up there as a reason to celebrate our quadruped friends, I don’t know what does.
Keeping with the whole dog theme, let’s talk about one of the most famous political dogs of all time – Checkers. While the dog himself didn’t do too much, he was one of the subjects of a very famous speech that Richard Nixon once gave. I didn’t see ‘ Frost/Nixon,’ but they probably mentioned that in the movie. If not, well, Sam Rockwell is in it and he’s great. So go watch it.
Apparently safety pins were made for things besides showing how punk you are, which is why I had to go to a grocery store to get them in high school instead of Hot Topic. Well whatever their real purpose – fastening things maybe? – we’re going to go all punk rock with this and enjoy some glorious Gary Oldman in ‘Sid and Nancy.’