by Dick Ward
Need help picking out a few movies for your Christmas marathon? This isn't the list for you. We'll have that list of course, but this one's all about celebrating those holidays that slip under the radar. The weird ones celebrating things that just don't need celebrating. The holidays that you didn't even knew existed. Okay, Christmas people, I'll throw you a bone. 'Die Hard.'
It's true, people don't really talk to their neighbors like they used to. So they want you to say hi. Fine. I say do it one better and make it High-Def neighbor month. Get your player hooked on Blu-ray with my personal favorite disc to date and one that I think really shows the power of the format - 'Star Trek.' Give 'em a taste of what they're missing out on.
Reading books can take you on wonderful new adventures, teach you lessons about humanity and about yourself, and help you learn the meaning of words like "inconceivable." But why read a book when you could watch 'Princess Bride,' a movie about people reading a book? It's faster than a proper book and has way more Peter Falk. Of course... if you're still dying to read an actual book, why not check out HDD Editor-in-Chief Mike Attebery's latest release: Seattle On Ice available as a $2.99 Kindle edition and $9.50 paperback (Makes a great gift!).
Just seconds after you hit play on a Disney movie you'll see an opener that pulls out to reveal Cinderella's Castle to the music of "When You Wish Upon a Star." It's from "Pinocchio" and is one of the sweetest and most beautiful songs put into a Disney film.
Ira who? No, Ira Gershwin. Ira, along with his brother George, is responsible for some incredibly memorable music that you should really know. ' A Star is Born' is debatably the last great work of Ira Gershwin. It stars Judy Garland and James Mason. Also it's great.
Boy do I love Sinatra. The man had style, composure, mob ties, excellent comedic timing, and a great voice. All right, the mob ties aren't exactly a plus but the other bits are. As much as I do love the 2001 version, nothing beats Frank, Dean, and Sammy in ' Ocean's Eleven.'
Sean Astin is the king of the underdogs. The absolute king. For starters, he was Rudy in 'Rudy,' a movie about a guy that might just be the ultimate football underdog. But that's not all. He was Mikey in 'The Goonies,' a tale of a group of underdogs who beat out a crime family and saved their home. Not enough? How about his role as the fat, lazy, unwilling Samwise Gamgee from 'Lord of the Rings.' No one thought he'd ever really help out on the adventure but when times got tough he was the one who managed to overcome significant adversity and get Frodo to where he needed to be. See? King of the underdogs.
Games play an important part in a lot of movies, from the drunken festivities of 'Beer Fest' to the Ouija board in 'Paranormal Activity.' No other movie completely revolves around a game in the way 'Jumanji' does though. If nothing else, watch the movie for Van Pelt - best character by far.
Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Famke Janssen, John Malkovich. That should be all you need to hear about ' Rounders' until you go out and buy it and watch it and love it. Oh, it's about poker.
I have no idea what a Pepper Pot is, but I know who Pepper Potts is and I know that she's played really nicely by Gwyneth Paltrow in both the original and 'Iron Man 2.' December 29th is also my roommate's birthday, and I'm sure he'd love a Pepper Potts of his own. If anyone knows where I can get a brilliant and sexy personal assistant on the cheap, hit me up.
Before the movies started to get funny and long before they added Chris Rock and turned the films into self-parody there was a wonderful and dark movie called 'Lethal Weapon.' It starts just after Christmas and on through New Year's.