Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ah, March... we love thee!

Even though you are one of the two ugliest months in the year (November, you know who you are...),  we are delighted to see you!

Besides having the tremendous advantage of being not-February... also bring us more daylight with the time change...

...delights like St. Patrick's day...

...and the first day of Spring... we forgive your dirty snow banks and barren, leafless trees for the hope you provide that winter will indeed come to an end...

With all the sunshine and milder temperatures we've had recently, I thought I might try swinging my hickories in the back yard...but when I walked into my dining room, this is what I saw...

...needless to say I was shocked - shocked! - by this unseemly collusion between normally inanimate objects.

Thankfully I was able to break it up without too much difficulty, but Sir Kitschalot did have to spend some time in the timeout position...

...while I took my wayward hickories and swatted some whiffle golf balls.

Quite enjoyable...probably another month before the courses open but at least it's within shouting distance now.

To help you deal with the boredom that accompanies the enforced COVID lockdowns, I personally directed my department of expert researchers here at the the AMC... scour our extensive vault of historical records and compose the definitive list of the best movies you absolutely need to watch while you're hiding out from the Attack Of The Monster Virus... wit:

#1  The Artist...

...the absolute pinnacle of silent movie making - filmed in 2011 - and a delightful love story with a happy ending.

Jean DuJardin won Best Actor and Berenice Bejo should have won Best Actress for their brilliant performances.

You could use a happy ending right about now, couldn't you?

#2  Their Finest...

...the spectacular 2016 film that tells the story of tragedy and triumph during Great Britain's "finest hour"...The Blitz of 1940 in WWII.

Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin and Bill Nighy all give exceptional performances.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be inspired at this "movie within a movie".

Great story telling at its best.

#3  City Lights...

...a Charlie Chaplin masterpiece from 1931.

The "Little Tramp" at his comic best in a heartwarming story of love and philanthropy.

Be inspired by a spirit of giving and selfless love, and laugh along the way.

#4  Casablanca...

...the 1942 classic directed by Micheal Curtiz starring Bogey and Bergman.

World weary cynic Rick Blaine runs a saloon in Vichy controlled Casablanca during WWII where "...everybody comes to Rick's".

And of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, who walks into his but Ilsa Lund...Rick's long lost flame from days gone by. she's with her husband, Victor Laszlo, leader of the Czech resistance who's being hunted by the Nazis.

Rick may be able to help the fugitive couple, but...will he?

And does anyone actually say "Play it again, Sam" in the movie?

You've got to watch it to find out...and right after you do, be sure to cue up...

#5  Play It Again Sam...

...Woody Allen's hilarious 1972 send up of the film noir classic, Casablanca.

Allen takes the ability to laugh at himself to previously unknown heights and you'll be laughing right along with him.

Marvel at Jerry Lacey's dead on portrayal of the hard boiled Bogart at his wisecracking, tough guy best.

And of course, watch for the tip o' the hat to the famous Casablanca ending.

#6  The Rocketeer...

...Joe Johnston's 1991 sleeper that turned into a cult classic, and why not?

Set in 1930's Los Angeles, it's got adventure, romance, Hollywood stars, gangsters and a handsome pilot (Cliff, played Billy Campbell) who gets to be a comic book hero.

Plus, he gets the girl (Jenny, played by Jennifer Connelly) before the credits roll.

As a bonus, you'll finally find out the real story of how the HOLLYWOODLAND sign became just HOLLYWOOD.

What are you waiting for?

You're not afraid of flying, are you?

#7  Testament Of Youth...

...released in 2014, this is James Kent's powerful portrayal of Vera Brittain's moving autobiography set during WWI.

Alicia Vikander plays Vera and gives a luminous performance as an independent and talented young woman determined to make her mark on the world.

Sadly, the world has other ideas.

By the autumn of 1914 WWI has burst forth with all its unprecedented fury, shattering hopes, dreams and lives.

Her men march off to war - fiance, brother, friend - and she soon follows them as a volunteer nurse in the bloody conflict.

The acting is excellent, the cinematography gorgeous, but keep the Kleenex handy for this one, folks.

A meaningful and thought provoking experience.

I tried this...
...doesn't work at the movie theater.

But it does work here at the ol' homestead and I've figured out many a plot twist while enjoying a good cigar.

In fact, I hear one calling me now..but as I go, I leave you with this important reminder from Ike and Papa X... is better down that old dirt road...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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