Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten Random Movies to watch during a Snowpocalypse

So the weatherman says you're not going anywhere for the next few days. Lo and behold, it turned out he was right. Why not take this opportunity to call up a few friends within walking distance and pop in a movie? To help you figure out what to watch, here's a list of ten movies that have nothing to do with each other aside from the fact that they're easy to enjoy (and may or may not have some snow related elements to them).

Odds are you have a few of them in your collection too. If not, hopefully you're within walking distance of a Blockbuster.

10. Die Hard 2
Yeah. The first one is without question the best, but if you're going to be trapped at home in a snowstorm, why not watch a movie about fighting terrorists in a snowstorm? Just try to look past the fact that it involves a terrorist plot that probably involved months of planning, yet seems entirely reliant upon the fact that there is a blizzard on the day they try to pull it off.

9. Ratatouille
Every time I watch this movie I get a strange compulsion to cook a big fancy meal and knock back a bottle of wine. Maybe you're the same way, maybe not. But if you're not going anywhere for the night, it's a good dinner/movie combo. It would have made an even better dinner/movie/wine combo had Costco decided to go through with it's plans to sell Ratatouille inspired wine.

8. The Saint
A good heist movie is always fun, but this one is a personal favorite of mine. Maybe it's because this one strive to be slightly more epic than the usual heist movie. Instead of just being about a thief pulling off a big job, it's a big job that ultimately involves taking on the Russian mafia. The score for this movie is pretty kick-ass too (if you're into electronica). And if anything, this movie should put your little snowstorm in perspective, reminding you that at least you're not in Russia.

7. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
This is one of those movies I think everybody saw and everybody loved. It's just a great revenge story that builds up slowly but keeps a good momentum going all the way through with all it's little twists and turns. Jim Caviezel as the Count is a guy you genuinely want to root for, and Guy Pearce is genuinely despicable as the villain. And dude... there's sword fighting!

6. The Wonder Boys
There was a running gag when this movie was released that it was the best reviewed movie of the year that nobody was seeing. I suppose it's because it's also a really hard movie to make a trailer for. The film follows an english professor, played by Michael Douglas, over the course of a weekend as his school hosts a writer's festival. All the problems in his life mash together all at once from his novel he can't seem to finish to the affair he's having with his boss's wife. I'd explain more, but that would just take away from a lot of fun of discovering the film's best moments for yourself.

5. Stardust
Yep. More sword fighting. I suppose I could have just as easily put The Princess Bride in this spot, but you've probably seen that movie to death by now, whereas Stardust is still building it's audience. Also, it's got one thing that The Princess Bride doesn't: a fight scene set to "The Can-Can" featuring Robert DeNiro in drag.

4. Gladiator
I don't know about you, but these days I'm usually too busy to watch any movie that pushes over two hours. I suppose that's what weekends are for, but it does sound a bit anti-social to say you're not going to meet up with friends because you want to watch a two and a half our epic. Hopefully when Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe team up again for Robin Hood it will be at least half as good as this.

3. Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Sure, you can write it off as a chick-flick, but there's a reason why people are still making movies based on a book that's almost 200 years old. It's a story romance story which actually convinces you that the main characters are falling in love, as opposed to just being a few well paid Hollywood actors stuck in some gimmicky plot. This version also manages to be a costume drama without being a "stuffy" costume drama.

If you're only familiar with this story through the mash-up novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, maybe you can try watching this back to back with Shaun of the Dead to put you in familiar territory.

2. Superbad
'Nuff Said.

1. Your Favorite Disney Movie
I think we all have some movie that we thought kicked ass when we were kids then when we watched it years down the road realized it was so bad you almost wanted to apologize to your parents for making them take you to see it. (Personally, I'm still trying to figure out what was going through my mind when I dragged my parents to see Super Mario Bros. on the same weekend that Jurassic Park opened.)

However, I'm willing to bet two things:
  • That Disney movie you loved when you were young will still be as enjoyable now as it was back then.
  • You haven't watched it in years.
For me, it's Aladdin. After this movie came out I wanted my own flying carpet more than anything. (Okay, so I still do). Whatever Disney movie you get nostalgic for, the animation will still look sharp, the voice acting will still sound natural, and you'll probably still find yourself singing along to the songs.

So there's my list. Hopefully it helps. I suppose I should have put this out before this most recent storm hit so you could have ventured out to Blockbuster, or put one of these in your Netflix queue before you got locked in, but I suspect you've got at least one of these movies in your collection already.