Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Holiday Movies


In Bruges- It just happens to take place during Christmas in picturesque Bruges, Belgium. 2 hitmen wait for their boss on the dl in Bruges after a hit gone wrong. Comedy. 
Starring: Colin Farrell, Ralph Feinnes

Love, Actually- One of the best Romantic Comedies & Ensemble films I've seen, let alone a fantastic adult Xmas film. Set in London, a group of interconnected lives during the 6 weeks up to Xmas, each story showcasing love in all its forms. 
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, etc.

Gremlins-Comedy Horror film about a man who adopts an unusual pet named Gizmo with some very important rules about care-taking. If those rules are broken, Gremlins roam the earth. Takes place on Christmas Eve.
Starring: Pheobe Cates

How The Grinch Stole Christmas  1966 &(2000)

Winter Solstice

Happy Feet
Animated film about a penguin with the gift of dancing. Incredible singing by the late, great Brittany Murphy
Also voiced by: Elijah Wood & Robin Williams

Winter Solstice 

In this suburban drama, a widower (LaPaglia) confronts his older son's (Stanford) decision to leave home and his younger son's self-destructive behavior.



New Yr's Eve

When Harry Met Sally
Possibly the greatest New Year's Eve scene of all: After years as friends, Harry (Billy Crystal) finally declares his love for Sally (Meg Ryan). The best quote? ''It's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve,'' Harry says. ''I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.''

Bridget Jones's Diary
Containing one of the best New Yr's scenes ever, with Zellweger drunkingly singing All By Myself and vowing to not to all the things she has done in the past, making all kinds of New Year's resolutions she couldn't possibly keep & keeping a diary of her accomplishments & setbacks. This Academy Award nominated Renée Zellweger romp is perfect NYE material: It's all about fresh starts, clean slates, and self-improvement.

Someone Like You
It's romantic comedy 101: New Year's Eve rolls around and our heroine (the plucky Ashley Judd) realizes her feelings for a platonic pal (Hugh Jackman). She rushes out to meet him — but will she make it in time for a countdown kiss? Ok so that's the only New Yr's scene, but this movie is so funny, endearing, & real for romantic comedy standars that it should still be on your watch list. 

Sex and the City: The Movie
Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie Bradshaw) rushes to Miranda's apartment for a New Year's bonding session. She even (gasp!) takes the subway. Now that's a good friend. Again the only NYr's scene, but this film is sooo amazing & such a perfect way to round out a truly fantastic, tv-altering series. 

No plans this evening? Why not pull off a major bank heist or watch a pre-Chicago Catherine Zeta Jones wiggle, writhe, & conjoin her body around all kinds a red laser beams.


An American Tail
The sweet story of Jewish mice immigrating to America to escape the 1885 pogroms by the Cossacks (cruel cats), is a classic for the holiday. The brave young Fievel Mousekevitz even gets his signature blue hat as a Hanukkah present from his father, who explains the hat has been in the family for three generations. 

 A parody of 1970s exploitation movies, this Hanukkah even has Andy Dick playing an insanely evil Santa Claus.

A Rugrats Chanukah
As delightful for all ages as a really good jelly donut, the world's most adventurous babies quest to save the meaning of Hanukkah. Through a misunderstanding of adult-speak, they think they're out to vanquish the "meany of Chanukah". You can find this on Netflix find searching & adding Rugrats Holiday Special which includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa

Eight Crazy Nights
Adam Sandler voices Davey Stone, an alcoholic with a criminal record, is sentenced to community service under the supervision of an elderly referee. Davey is then faced with trying to reform and abandon his bad habits.


The Black Candle 

documentary film that uses Kwanzaa as a vehicle to explore and celebrate the African-American experience. Narrated by Maya Angelou

you can find this on Netflix find searching & adding Rugrats Holiday Special which includes Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa

Winter Themed Movies

Image of Frozen
Three skiers are stranded on a chairlift and forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death.
Director: Adam Green
Image of Smilla's Sense of Snow
Based on Peter Hoeg's bestseller, this film is set in snowy Copenhagen where a small boy is found dead after he fell off a roof.
Director: Bille August
Stars: Julia Ormond, Gabriel Byrne

Image of The Grey
After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step. 
Director: Joe Carnahan
Image of Groundhog Day
A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again. 
Director: Harold Ramis
Image of Misery1990
A famous novelist is "rescued" from a car crash by an obsessed fan. 
Director: Rob Reiner
Image of Alive1993
Uruguayan rugby team stranded in the snow swept Andes are forced to use desperate measures to survive after a plane crash. 
Director: Frank Marshall
Image of Ravenous
Captain John Boyd's promotion stations him at a fort where a rescued man tells a disturbing tale of cannibalism. 
Director: Antonia Bird
Image of Serendipity2001
A couple reunite years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they'd end up together.
Director: Peter Chelsom

Holiday Movies in theaters now:

A Madea Christmas
Black Nativity
A Christmas Candle
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- At least one of his fantasies involves snow-with him scaling a snowy mountain. 
47 Ronin- I saw a scene in the trailer with snow.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 Indie Spirit Award Nominees & Winners

Winners  announced March 14th

Winners are in BOLD

My picks for winners are in PINK

Best Director


J.C. Chandor for All Is Lost (2013)
Jeff Nichols for Mud (2012)
Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)

Best First Feature


Best Female Lead


Brie Larson for Short Term 12 (2013)

Best Male Lead

Best Supporting Female


June Squibb for Nebraska (2013)

Best Supporting Male


Will Forte for Nebraska (2013)

Best Screenplay


Best First Screenplay


Nebraska (2013): Bob Nelson

Best Cinematography


Best International Film


Gloria (2013/II): Sebastián Lelio

Best Documentary