Move Recommendations: The Sequel!

Self-Isolation is continuing to be very important at this time. But don’t worry, I’ve still got plenty of movie recommendations!

Hey even if you are reading this after we can go out and get back to normal again, there’s never a bad time for a film!!

But a good movie really helps in times like these.

Chef-  Have you ever seen a movie that made you want to sell everything you own and buy a food truck? No? Well “Chef” made me want to do that! It tells the story of a hotshot chef who looses his job at a big time restaurant. He decides to go back to his roots and open up a food truck.  Along the way, he humbles himself and grows a greater bond with his son. In fact, while this movie is definitely a food lover’s dream on the surface, it is truly a Father-Son story at the core. It will make you want to pursue what you do best with the people you love. 

Also….be sure to check out “The Chef Show” on Netflix! It’s a cooking show spin-off of this movie! The director Jon Favreau goes on many food adventures in the show, and meets a lot of famous people along the way. 

Anger Management-  I’ve always felt like “Anger Management” was the Adam Sandler comedy that never got the love it deserved.  A lot of people may disagree with this, and that’s fine. IT JUST MAKES ME SO MAD WHEN PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THIS MOVIE!!!! Okay….now that is off my chest…let me tell you why I love this flick! The chemistry between Sandler and Jack Nicholson is absolute gold. Who would’ve thought to pair them up? A genius, that’s who! I’ve actually always wanted to see the two of them do more stuff together on screen! Sandler plays Dave, a guy who always lets his anger implode. Because of that, he lets others walk all over him. Nicholson plays Dr. Buddy Jewell. He comes in and helps Dave with some very interesting tactics! He even tries to steal Dave’s girlfriend in hopes of curing him!!! Beyond all of the craziness between the two, the ending is something I found pretty heartwarming. I even felt like I could relate a lot to Dave. It’s easy to let people step on you, and I know how frustrating that can be. Sometimes, I just want to yell “I’m CALM!” at an Air Marshall just like he did.  Don’t let that happen to you. Watch this great mid-2000’s comedy and learn from Sandler and Jack. 

Blinded By The Light- Do you remember how you felt the first time a song or artist impacted you? Like really impacted you? This movie perfectly encapsulates that feeling.  Javed lives in a strict household. His Father doesn’t tolerate any of his interests. Including a growing obsession for Bruce Springsteen. His love for The Boss’ music evolves into more than just an interest, it becomes a lifestyle. Through music, Javed finds out how to tackle some of his biggest problems in this great coming of age story. The whole thing is a wonderful love letter to Springsteen’s art too.  Fans of The Boss are totally going to dig this movie’s soundtrack! 

Cars- This is the Pixar series that has always gotten the most hate.  But I have always loved the first film. Maybe it’s the NASCAR fan in me. Growing up, I was a really big Pixar lover. That studio might actually be why I’m such a big film fan today.  So when I heard they were making a movie with race cars in it, I was excited. I’ve always felt that this movie nailed the atmosphere of NASCAR. They even got Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to appear in it!   One big complaint I’ve always heard about Cars is that the story isn’t unique enough. And yes, that is true. The plot here has been done many times before, as it involves a hotshot humbling themselves with the simple life. But it’s told with the kind of magic and heart that only Pixar can provide. Maybe even if an idea or theme in a film has been done before, it can be done again. If it’s something that still feels good multiple times, I don’t see the problem in it. Some stories just resonate with people no matter how many times they see it. I know “Cars” has always been something I go back to, and probably will continue to for years to come. 

Jumanji….All Three Movies!- What’s not to say about the original “Jumaji” movie? It’s a Robin Williams classic!  What kid wasn’t enamored by the idea of a board game coming to life? I always wanted that to happen with Candyland!  As for the other two films, I love them as well. I remember when I first heard they were going to bring back “Jumanji.” I was upset about it. I’m glad they proved me wrong though. Both of these movies embrace the first film all while reinventing the original concept in a great way. I want to be in the “Jumanji” video game! That is, if I”m guaranteed to get out and have The Rock’s persona! I hope more of these movies get made. Who knows, maybe they will reinvent the series again. Because there’s really no telling what all could be done with the world of “Jumanji.”

Guardians of the Galaxy- Like a lot of people, I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  I’ve found that there’s at least something I really like in all of the MCU movies. “Guardians of the Galaxy” will always have a unique place in my heart though. I bring it up because I feel like I saw it at the perfect time in my life. In this movie, a bunch of misfits come together and save the galaxy. Along the way they all find something they were missing.  A family. I saw this in college when I found my “family” of friends. I remember watching it with some of them one night and thinking, life is perfect right now because of these people. This film always brings me back to that time. Movies can do that for anyone.There’s something so powerful about that. 

Venom-  I know, I know.  A lot of people hate this movie. I don’t care. I love it!  Which is weird because, “Venom” doesn’t necessarily do anything unique or new. In fact it is sort of dumb, but it’s the kind of dumb I love. Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a reporter who is good at finding the dirt on people.  One day his life is changed forever when he comes into contact with that dirt. In the form of a parasitic being called a symbiote. It takes over his body and he has to deal with the ups and downs of having a carnivorous monster inside of him. Man, doesn’t that sound like a fun sitcom idea?  Anyway, I love watching Brock come to terms with this new lifestyle. Hardy plays it all pretty over the top, but it is entertaining. The villain and his plot to use symbiotes is crazy fun too. If you’ve never seen it, give the film a shot. Maybe even give it another shot if you have seen it! I think you’ll have a good time. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)-  Walter Mitty doesn’t go out of his way to do things in life. He lives comfortably, but he never acts upon his dreams of adventure. Oh boy does he have a crazy imagination too! Are you looking for a coming of age story that will inspire your inner adventurous soul? You could watch Pixar’s “Up” to fill that void. But right after that, go watch Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” I was fascinated the first time I saw this. I couldn’t believe how inspired I was. It’ll make you want to get up off of the couch and go do something out of the ordinary. Even if that means doing something at home! 

Legends of The Fall-  I just re-watched this movie about a week ago and it still holds up for me. The story focuses on three brothers and the places life takes them. They all go down different paths but one thing calls them all back…Home. The heartbreak in this movie is so raw. I feel it every time. Especially through Brad Pitt’s character. At times he is the most likable guy in the world, while sometimes I found myself hating him. I think a lot of people look past the complexity of the characters within this film. So much of it feels real to me. It’s a movie that builds slowly, but pops all of a sudden right at the end! Leaving for one heck of a finale involving family and bonds that can’t be broken. 

The Rookie- Nothing beats an underdog movie. “The Rookie” follows the true story of Jim Morris, played by Dennis Quaid. Morris always had a talent for baseball but other things got in the way of him making the big time. That is until one day when he decides to give his baseball career another go. The only catch is that Morris is now much older than many players who are in their prime, and he has a family and job to worry about. He pushes through though! While this movie has a lot of the same ups and downs you will see in any Disney sports film, it is still an absolute pleasure to watch.  It’s hard to sit through a movie like this without a smile. 

Richard Jewell- I saw this one for the first time about a week ago. I have no problem recommending it already! This film is about a man named Richard Jewell, just like the title says! Anyway, back in 1996 he was working security in Atlanta for the Summer Olympics. During the festivities, he discovers a bomb and alerts everyone. By doing so, he lessened the damages that could have occurred. Even though he was hailed as a hero, the FBI decides to look at him as a potential suspect for the bombing. Even though there was no way Jewell could’ve done it, his public image changes in a heartbeat because of the FBI’s suspicions. The rest of the movie is about Jewell and his lawyer fighting to clear his name. Paul Walter Hauser, Kathy Bates and Sam Rockwell were all fantastic in it. The whole thing is about normal people getting wrapped up in a not so normal situation. It was a fascinating story that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard before. But I’m glad I finally did. 

Sling Blade- I like to watch this movie with a side of fried french taters!  If you have never seen “Sling Blade,” there’s not a better time to watch it than anytime at all. The story involves a man named Karl who has just been released from a  mental health hospital. He is played ingeniously by Billy Bob Thornton. How Thornton didn’t get an Oscar for this role I’ll never know. While going out into the world for the first time in years, Karl meets a mother and her son Frank. Karl befriends Frank and becomes somewhat of a Father figure to the young boy. But Frank has a problem. His mother’s boyfriend, an abusive drunk named Doyle. Dwight Yokam plays Doyle, and he nails the part. He’s so good in this. It’s to the point where Doyle is probably one of my favorite antagonists in movie history. This film starts out as this sweet story involving a man who is given a second chance in the world, and then it turns into a gritty revenge movie. Sounds like a strange twist, but it all works really well. Some folks call “Sling Blade” a good movie. I call it a classic. 

The Simpsons Movie- People forget how good “The Simpsons Movie” is. I know I do. Every time I watch it, I’m reminded. It genuinely feels like the biggest adventure the Simpson family has ever been on. Which is a tough task considering how much The Simpsons have done over the years. I mean they’ve been to so many places and done almost anything and everything imaginable. I think this movie works so well because each member of the core Simpson’s family gets a great arc in it. Problems dealt with in the film are things that have been weighing on the characters in the series for a long time. It felt like a culmination of many things to come before it. In fact, it probably could have worked as the finale of “The Simpsons.” The closing shot featuring Homer and Marge riding off into the sunset on a motorcycle is the kind of ending that gets me a little teary eyed. When you grow up watching characters like the ones in The Simpsons, a movie as good as this is going to stick with you.