I grew up in New England (southeastern Connecticut) and heard many times as a young man, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Someone attributed it to Mark Twain, but it was probably around longer than that. We lived in Oklahoma from 1989 to 1992, and I heard the same phrase (this time attributed to Will Rodgers.) Some years later, living in Korea, I heard that they had the same phrase…for about four hundred years.
Christmas Eve brought us four types of precipitation in 15 hours: hail just after 1:00 a.m., rain through most of the night/morning, sleet in the early afternoon and accumulating snow by 3:00 p.m.
So, after living in Texas for the past six years, I can say those other locations were pretenders. It was in the 70s on Friday and heading south of 34F right now.
We discovered last year that Andrea and I do not collaborate well on her art. I can make the boxes and frames she needs but my creativity and hers do not align. Not so with son Brandon. He has a knack for paper placement Andrea sometimes uses in her mixed media works. See here for progress photos. I do get a kick out what has become my role in her brainstorming process: “What about…?” is usually met with “No. but thanks.” So, I contribute by helping Andrea eliminate the things she doesn’t want to do!
Well, there are only a handful that you really should see (#1, #20, #26, maybe #7, and #4, of course) but the rest are strong recommendations. I churned out 40 pretty quick and then set the list aside about a month ago. Deciding on the full 50 was fun.
- The Shawshank Redemption – maybe the best movie I’ve ever seen (and the Oscar goes to…Forrest Gump??); there’s a reason it’s ranked #1 on IMDB’s user vote list
- The Big Lebowski – because that rug really tied the room together
- Across the Universe – great music, great interpretation
- Bugs Bunny, many several, but I’ll choose “Rabbit of Seville”, “What’s Opera, Doc?” (spear and magic helmet), “Hare Raising Hare” (with such eentresting monsters!) and of course, “Rabbit Seasoning” (pronoun trouble!) by Chuck Jones; “Knighty Knight Bugs” by Friz Freleng; “A-Lad-In His Lamp” (one of my favorites) by Bob McKimson ; and “A Wild Hare” by Tex Avery – not my fav, but it was the one that birthed a phenomena. But don’t stop there! So many more…
- Lars and the Real Girl – a wonderful story of acceptance and understanding
- The Goonies – the first movie I saw with Andrea; she doesn’t like it, but I do
- Firefly – the entire series (just 14 episodes); absolute BEST science fiction television show ever (and I do like Star Trek)
- The Dinner Game – the French (“Le dîner de cons “) original, please
- Secretariat – even though you know the ending, it’s a thrilling story
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – almost any Frank Capra should be on this list, but Mr. Smith will show that things today aren’t new at all
- Cast Away
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – the Thanksgiving annual
- The Court Jester – a pestle in the vessel
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – fun
- The Sixth Sense – the only “didn’t see that coming movie” that I got into enough that I didn’t see it coming
- Elf – Will Ferrell is very funny in this
- Phantom of the Opera (live) – Sir Webber’s powerful score drives it; I haven’t seen the movie, so can’t recommend. Family wants The Lion King play included with this one…so it is
- Everybody Loves Raymond, Season 7 Episode 7, “The Sigh”; when you see the bathroom fight, you’ll know why
- A Day at the Races or A Night at the Opera – both Marx Brothers classics
- An Inconvenient Truth – because even with a little sensationalism, it’s still the truth and when it’s too late, even Fox News will finally see it
- Silverado – all the epic scenery, music, really good guys and really bad guys of a western, and despite that it’s a western (not a fan of westerns at all), it’s still good
- Seven Pounds – a great, if painful story
- A Beautiful Mind
- Multiplicity – I like pizza. I like it!
- The Princess Bride – Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Dread Pirate Roberts, Vizzini…inconceivable!
- Schindler’s List
- Paint Your Wagon – if only to hear Lee Marvin growl out “I was born under a wandering star” (but fast forward through Eastwood’s romantic ballad)
- Mary Poppins – Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke? A must
- “Finding Nimmo” episode of Boston Legal (Season 2, Episode 3)– Denny and Alan fishing? Denny’s solution to rookie Alan showing him up was priceless
- My Cousin Vinny – blending and yutes and shooting at owls
- Step Brothers – stupid funny, but still funny
- Hotel Rwanda
- Everybody Loves Raymond, Season 8 Episode 23, “Golf For It” – the van scene is one of the funniest in the entire series
- Avatar – because my family thinks it should be on this list; and it’s a three hour movie I didn’t fall asleep I the middle of
- Apollo 13 – if only to see how the engineers solved incredible problems
- The “Atomic Shakespeare” episode (season 3 episode 7) of Moonlighting – fun watching Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd taking off Taming of the Shrew, and Willis sings “Good Lovin’”
- Full Metal Jacket – but only the first part (basic training)
- The Sting – I fibbed a little about The Sixth Sense being the only one, but then, I saw this one before I started critiquing movies as I watched them
- The Wizard of Oz – the Lollipop Guild is represented
- Beauty and the Beast – Silence of the Lambs was good, but this should have won the Oscar
- The Ten Commandments – you need to see a DeMille epic and this is one of his better ones
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – because even though I didn’t think it particularly “mind-blowing”, many people do; besides, Kubrick got the science right
- Gone With the Wind – en epic
- Under the Tuscan Sun – beautiful scenery and a wholesome story
- Some Like It Hot – a list like this isn’t complete without Billy Wilder, and this was one of his best
- Road to Morocco (Road to Utopia is a close second) – the chemistry of Hope and Crosby, with Hope’s timing is top notch
- It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – what a cast!
- Singin’ in the Rain – Gene Kelly! Debbie Reynolds! Donald O’Conner!
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Disney’s landmark 1937 classic is amazing in its quality, especially considering it was the first feature length animated film in color and sound
- The Gold Rush(1925), Metropolis (1927) or The General (1926) – one must really see a silent film, and any of these three are great; I’m partial to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, but The Gold Rush is a classic classic (written, directed and starring Charlie Chaplin) while The General is on many lists as the best of the silents (Buster Keaton co-wrote, co-directed and has a role). Oh, I recommend the fully restored version of Metropolis – closest thing to what Herr Lang created (most of the lost scenes restored from the copy found in Argentina in 2008)
There. Happy watching. Let me know if there are any of these you haven’t seen, then watched, and whether my recommendation was on or off.