by Dick Ward
So it's February. It's a month full of holidays and Blu-rays to celebrate them with, but there's one day we're not going to worry about in this list. If you're looking for something to cuddle up in front of with your significant other, this one isn't for you. This list is for the rest of the holidays - the strange and underappreciated ones that get overlooked in favor of chocolates and flowers. Nothing against chocolates, mind you.
If you're seeing heart shaped boxes of chocolate and greeting cards and candies, that's probably because February is American Heart Month. It's a month set aside to educate people on heart disease and raise funds for organizations dedicated to that cause. If there's one man who can appreciate the concern over heart problems is Tony Stark, who had to imbed a reactor into his chest to fix his. Yes I'm talking about 'Iron Man'. Who else?
Before you get all science-y on me, yes, I know that a black hole isn't really a giant vacuum in space. I don't care, I'm still recommending 'Star Trek,' because Spock makes a black hole to suck up a supernova. Also because the movie is great and if you don't own it, you should.
Surely Disaster Day is meant to recognize disasters where people suffer physical harm, but there's such a thing as emotional trauma too. All kidding aside, George Lucas created a trilogy of films that made millions of people angry. Those people then took that anger out somewhere and in a million small ways the world got just a little bit worse. So watch the 'Star Wars' prequels in remembrance of May 19th, 1999, when millions of excited voices cried out in excitement, and were suddenly silenced.
Freelance Writers Appreciation Week is coming up and that means two things. First, you should really be appreciating me. Are you appreciating? Good. Now it's time to watch a movie about one of the most famous freelancers ever. 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' an exciting tale, and if you take out the drugs and the drinking and the adventure, it's pretty much what all of us freelance writers do on a daily basis. Take out Tobey Maguire too. He's creepy.
There are an awful lot of Boy Scouts in movies, but few of them are cool or heroic or even respected. While Russel in 'Up' isn't technically a Boy Scout, he starts out with the stereotypical Boy Scout behavior. He's dorky and dumpy and he doesn't have much going for him. In the end though, he kind of kicks ass.
Who the devil thought it would be a good idea to celebrate toothaches? Sick people. Crazy people. Still, there's at least one man that a toothache worked out for and that's Charles Foster Kane. Thanks to a toothache he got himself a hot new mistress that soon became a hot new wife. If you ignore the end of the relationship, it's actually kind of a sweet story. You really can't blame the character's descent in 'Citizen Kane' on the toothache.
I thought to mention some of my favorite secret agents here, but both James Bond and Sterling Archer don't hide their names. In fact, they seem to go to great lengths to publicize them. So I turn to 'Fight Club,' because it teaches us that in death, a member of Project Mayhem has a name. His name is Robert Paulson.
Movies with Ferris wheels exist, but none of them come to mind. Why? Because the word Ferris brings up memories of what might be the best movie John Hughes ever penned - 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.' That dreadful Honda commercial got me nostalgic, I'll admit.
I was recently reading '
Writing Movies for
Fun and Profit
' by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon and they told a terrific story about Jackie Chan. When the pair was pitching 'The Pacifier,' Jackie Chan suggested a
bit of business where he would flick a toothpick at someone. He did so by flicking a toothpick past one of the writers and it "hit the opposite wall
of the restaurant so hard you could hear it." It's a cool story, but 'The Pacifier' and 'The Spy Next Door' are terrible so get 'The Legend of Drunken Master' instead.
I'm well aware that Dia de la Bandera is Mexico's Flag Day, but I also know that Antonio Banderas is awesome. Pick up the 'El Mariachi/Desperado' two-pack as well as ' Once Upon a Time in Mexico' if you're so inclined. I'm sure there's a flag in there somewhere, so appreciate it if you happen to notice it.