Top 10: Must-See Films

Batman, in the flesh.
April 2019.

This April, be sure to check in on your friends from the Midwest. They’re not doing well. Game of Thrones, the Milwaukee Bucks, a cold Spotted Cow, and a trip to the local casino are literally all that fits us right now.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the Relentless Winter Season of 2018-2019, please refer them to the list of Must-See Films below. I used the word “films” because something about authoring a blog really gets to your head – fast!

If you’re still suspicious of how a combined 25+ hours spent fusing to your sweet ass to your sofa might improve anything, you are so barking up the wrong tree right now.

I’m a firm believer that a well timed cinematic escape into a world created by Christopher Nolan, John Hughes, or Tim Burton can be just what the doctor over-prescribed. If Stanley Kubrick directed it, your doctor didn’t even mention it and your parents are worried about you. Call them back.

Leave your sweatpants on (presumptuous, I know!), open up a fresh pack of fuzzy socks, buckle up, and settle in. We’re riding this one out on the sofa instead. We’ll talk summer bods once ‘skys out, thighs out’ season works to resolve its deep-seated commitment issues.*

I’ve taken special efforts to one-up the sassy broads at Netflix by including: familiar faces, selling points, signature quotes, and nummy cocktail recommendations. Quite thoughtful for a ginger, I know.

The Man Who Knew Too Little.
Familiar Faces: Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, What About Bob?, KKCO for some reason…?)
Selling Points: One fateful night, Wally is under the impression he is improv-ing for “Theatre of Life”; and unknowingly entangles himself in hilariously impossible, but wholly criminal reality. This one requires undivided attention and a strong stomach for delightfully awkward moments.
Signature Quote: “No one asked me to be a human being!”
Nummy Cocktail: Martini. Extra dirty.

The Princess Bride.
Familiar Faces: Robin Wright (House of Cards), Cary Elwes, Andre (the giant, not 3000).
Selling Points: Whether you know it or not, family members and acquaintances have been quoting this movie in your proximity your whole entire life. Except, you just said “yeah, that’s crazy” and nodded along. This movie is the perfect mix of sharp wit, unlikely adventure, and ‘true wuv’.
Signature Quote: “Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while”.
Nummy Cocktail: Spanish wine. Lil something for Inigo.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.
Familiar Faces: The American Psycho himself, plus an incredibly worthy entourage (“Neeson, Freeman, & Hardy” – the personal injury law firm one can only dream to call!).
Selling Points: Nolan’s Batman is complex, morally sound, and entirely conflicted about his role in Gotham’s future. Each film is equally thought provoking, chill inducing, and visually stimulating. Virtually every spoken line is worthy of a tributary lower back tattoo.
Signature Quote: “A hero can be anyone, even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat on a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”
Nummy Cocktail: Bushmills Irish Whiskey – 16 year. Rich, dark, & smooth AF.

Practical Magic.
Familiar Faces: Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman (scorching hot!), lil Evan Rachel Wood.
Selling Points: Two ill-fated sisters deal with some toxic male drama, equal parts overpowering & inspiring aunts, mischevious daughters, and the typical fallout from improper use of black magic! We watched this one so much growing up that my older sister once convinced me we were a similar family of cursed witches (explaining that is why we had so many spices in our cabinet). I cried.
Signature Quote: “I don’t want to believe it but, there is no man, Gilly. Only that moon.”
Nummy Cocktail: Midnight Margaritas! Bonus points if you put the lime in the coconut.

Save the Last Dance.
Familiar Faces: Julia Styles, Sean Patrick Thomas (Cruel Intentions… yikes!).
Selling Points: Incredible story of love, self-discovery, and proof that white women CAN dance. I had no business watching this one as young as I did. I was convinced I was going to eventually dance battle my way through an inner-city school cafeteria rumble to the tune of Donell Jones’ “U Know What’s Up”. One day.
Signature Quote: “You know, you talk a lot of shit for someone who never says anything”.
Nummy Cocktail: Gin & Tonic. Rhythmically sway your shoulders without fear of staining your carpet.

Now & Then.
Familiar Faces: Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Devon Sawa (discount JTT).
Selling Points: The soundtrack! The nostalgia! The spookiness! The nod to the pain & complexity of navigating one’s teenage years! Asking someone if they like this movie is akin to the ‘do you like dogs?’ litmus test. If they’re not into it – CUT THEM RIGHT THE HELL OFF!
Signature Quote: “Things will happen in your life that you can’t stop, but that’s no reason to shut out the world. There is a purpose for the good and the bad.”
Nummy Cocktail: Mudslide. It has the best consistency.

Django Unchained.
Familiar Faces: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson. You’ve never wanted to kiss a German dentist so badly in your life.
Selling Points: Arguably Tarantino’s most haunting work. A story with moral conviction, unbelievable hardship, and incredible triumph; wrapped in impressive style. Samuel L. Jackson is angrier than that one time the reptiles got loose on the aircraft.
Signature Quote: “Hey there, little troublemaker”.
Nummy Cocktail: Hurricane. Sweet like sugar, but sour like cough syrup.

Coach Carter.
Familiar Faces: Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, the ’95 Chicago Bulls.
Selling Points: Sammy STAYS pissed! He’s the Hilary Swank of the high-school basketball court, with a few more pantsuits and a little bit more bite. This movie features the most incredible motivational speech scene; which has always left me wanting to trade in my tampons for a sweaty jersey.
Signature Quote: (originally adapted from Marianne Williamson) “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” Read. That. Again.
Nummy Cocktail: UV Blue and Lemonade. It’s so high-school.

Kill Bill – Volume I.
Familiar Faces: Uma Thurman, David Carradine (queue the Weeknd’s jaw-dropping lyric right here…).
Selling Points: The realest female anti-superhero. She’s got a vengeance that no other female character has been burdened with since. Her shit-list is almost as long as her ninja sword. The transitions read like a comic book, rocking your world frame by frame.
Signature Quote: “That woman deserves her revenge…and we deserve to die.”
Nummy Cocktail: Stone Sour. Make it yellow.

The Chorus: Les Choristes.
Familiar Faces: Absolutely no one. Unless you and I took AP French class together.
Selling Points: First of all, you expected at least one pretentious recommendation from me. Second of all, the story of a French music teacher turned Defense-Against-The-Male-Dolores-Umbridge enthusiast is absolutely heartwarming. Little baby Pepinot himself is worth all the subtitles.
Signature Quote: “Action, reaction”. Read it in a French accent, so I know it’s real.
Nummy Cocktail: Sidecar. Pour it while listening to “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”. Itemize this grown-ass behavior on your 2019 taxes.

*It’s deep-seated, not deep-seeded. This is like the time I learned that “blurry” and “glory” were different words. Okay, maybe not a similar lesson necessarily. At least ya girl is humble.