What’s Your Sure Thing?

Sneakers I enjoy watching the latest movies as much as anyone, but there are times when I just need to watch what I think of as a sure thing. A sure thing is the movie equivalent of comfort food — that is, a movie guaranteed to either match my current mood or provide just the right emotional payoff that I crave.

It should be no surprise that these are movies I’ve watched many times over. Some I’ve watched so often that I can quote long stretches of dialogue by heart. They aren’t necessarily movies that are critically acclaimed — in fact, I’m sure there are some on my list that other people might think are downright stinkers — but that doesn’t matter. What matters is what they convey to me.

bigtrouble They aren’t interchangeable; one isn’t as good as another in all instances. For example, when I’m feeling hemmed in by life and need to daydream about the possibility of a complete change, I might watch American Dreamer or Under the Tuscan Sun or Last Holiday. When I’m sick, I tend to watch really old movies — especially Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies or The Thin Man. If I’m in desperate need of a good laugh, Big Trouble in Little China, North to Alaska, and The Hallelujah Trail never let me down. And when I want my heartstrings tugged, I might turn to Apollo 13, Gettysburg or Secretariat.
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That Movie Meme

There’s a movie meme circling the interwebz (yes, another one) and I thought I’d give it my take. I tend not to watch sad or gross movies, so I removed those questions rather than leave them blank. I’ve also added some new questions that more closely fit my movie watching habits. And I removed the silly restriction that only one movie can be chosen per question, because…Really? I can only have one favorite? Sorry, no can do.

  1. What’s your favorite movie of all time?

    This one was a no-brainer for me. Casablanca has been my favorite film since I first saw a butchered version of it on TV as a kid many (many) moons ago, and the uncut version is even better.

  2. What is your favorite romance movie?
    The Quiet Man

    Another no-brainer for me. I usually watch romantic comedies, not heavy drama-type romances, and The Quiet Man is my all-time favorite. In fact, it’s second on my list of Top 10 Favorite Movies, right below Casablanca.

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Favorite Christmas Shows

I suspect most people have a list of favorite holiday programs, some of which they may or may not confess to watching. For me, that holiday is Christmas, and I’ll freely admit several of the shows on my list are fairly…cheesy–or maybe sappy is a better description–in point of fact. I don’t care. I’m happy to own my list. Because when it comes right down to it, most of these shows are tied to happy memories, and that’s why they’re my favorite holiday viewing. They either take me back to my childhood or they remind me of good times later in life.

The first part of the list are the theatrical movies I associate with Christmas. Some of them aren’t Christmas movies, per se, but they make me think of Christmas–maybe because they’re set during the Christmas season or they have a Christmas scene that somehow fixed them forever in Christmas for me. It’s funny that doesn’t happen with all such movies. For instance, The Thin Man is one of my all time favorite films and it’s set during Christmas, but I’ve never once thought of it as a Christmas movie.

Anyway, here’s part one of my list. The first movie is my favorite Christmas movie of all time, but the rest of the list is in alphabetical order.

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Mr. W and I went to see the latest Sherlock Holmes movie yesterday and had a great time. The movie was fun and a worthy sequel to the first. I always worry about going to see sequels if I love the first movie, because so often the sequel isn’t as good as the original. The worst offense, for me, is when the writer or director or producer think he/she needs to make the second movie MORE! — as if equaling the experience of the first movie isn’t good enough. Those sequels usually end up being a mess of over-the-top effects and muddled story.

A Game of Shadows didn’t fall into that trap. It had just the right amount of action that fit well into an intriguing plot. Mr. W and I were thoroughly entertained. Of course, I could watch Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law in just about anything, but it’s so much better when they’re in something enjoyable. I’m hoping for a third movie, but if that doesn’t happen, I’ll happily settle for the two we have.

It was a bonus being able to watch it at our favorite downtown cinema on $5 Tuesday (all movies only $5 all day). It’s only about 10 minutes from the house and they serve great food during the movie. So, we saw the movie and had a fantastic grilled chicken breast sandwich for lunch. All-in-all, a fun outing.