Once all the presents have been opened, the food as been devoured and the carols have been sung. Now you need something to keep the whole family entertained. A movie seems to fit the bill. But which one? Something that will work for your Grandma, your nephew and for you. I don’t like movies, but you’re in luck, my husband Josh loves them. Here are his movie picks for your after Christmas entertainment.
Dumb and Dumber: A few years ago, this movie used to be on continuous repeat on TNT (edited, of course) during the holiday season. It stands the test of time with lots of physical comedy and lowball-yet-pg13 humor. Jim Carrey at his absolute best. Other Carrey comedies don’t hold up over time. Have you seen Ace Ventura recently? It’s goosebump-enducingly embarrassing 18 years later. D&D is utterly rewatchable.
The Princess Bride: No swearing, classic story line, witty occasional humor. All attributes that are great for kids from 1-92. Another timeless classic for me. Mandy Patinkin will never equal his turn as Indigo Montoya. Peak of Cary Elwes’ career (now relegated to direct-to-dvd stinkers and Saw rehashes). Andre the Giant? C’mon. you want to watch this.
About a Boy: Quirky heartwarming story about a surprisingly non-annoying Hugh Grant and a dysfunctional kid/Mom combo. Toni Collette (mom) is always excellent.
Die Hard: Maybe a little edgy for grandparents. But it’s the seminal action movie event from which dozens if not hundreds of future action movies copy-catted. Bruce Willis is a badass regular dude. And it takes place at Christmas time, so it makes the list.
Hoosiers: Sports movie to end all sports movies for me. Simple and straightforward. They used all no-name actors for the basketball players, who could actually shoot and pass a basketball. I’m pretty sure the dude who played Jimmy Chitwood ( I always thought it was Chipwood until I looked it up) has never done anything else of note in Hollywood since. Dennis Hopper should have won the oscar for best supporting actor that year. Love the picket fence.
Inside Man: I don’t like all of Spike Lee’s offerings. This one is a gem, and it’s been on TBS/TNT recently. Very thoughtful and suspenseful bank heist/caper movie with a unique angle. Nice performances by Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster.
L.A. Confidential: Another underappreciated movie in my opinion. Yes, it was nominated for best picture. But it is immensely entertaining and not ‘artsy’ like a lot of best picture nominees. Great cast, film noir feel without the usual gloominess of that genre. Nicely constructed, straight-forward story. And a satisfying ending (sorely missing in a lot of current movies).
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Quintessential goof-off movie and generally non-offensive. I remember watching this as a kid at my friend’s house. His parents recommended it to us because THEY connected with it. Cutting class to have some good clean fun is a universal wish.
Once: Modern take on a musical (I traditionally hate musicals). Beatifully simple ‘like story’ (not love story) with great music. I watched this twice in a row, meaning I watched it, then rewound and immediately watched it again. Never done that before.
Documentary Category - This has been a recent favorite genre of mine the past 3 years.
Murderball: My favorite movie of that year, 2005. It’s so good. Truth is stranger than fiction. Lots of emotion and such unique characters.
Spellbound: Spelling bee kids. They’re different, weird, and interesting. We all know this. But it’s great to get to know them personally and see their stories.
Wordplay: Nice succinct history of crossword puzzles and the place it has in today’s society, including the many famous/influential people who obsess over them. Also focuses on the crazy crossword geeks ala Spellbound.
King of Kong: Unintentionally hilarious and also a poor man’s “Hoosiers-esque” (not a word) documentary about an outsider trying to succeed in the face of doubters. The ‘villain’ Billy Mitchell in this one is just classic.
Josh Macatol loves movies, the Ohio State Buckeyes and golf. He is originally from Marietta, Ohio but currently lives in Charleston, SC where he sees fewer Buckeye games, but has the opportunity to play more golf. He generally does not write blog posts but since his wife asked him and it was Christmas he figured what the hell.
Tags: About a Boy, Die Hard, Dumb and Dumber, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Holiday Movie Picks, Hoosiers, Josh Macatol, King of Kong, L.A. Confidential, Murderball, Once, Spellbound, The Princess Bride, Wordplay