Tag Archives: Bill Murray

Five for Friday – Five Festive Films

Christmas is coming… very soon.  With that in mind – a (very early) Five for Friday – Five Festive Films (I haven’t done this in quite a while, so consider this an early – or late – gift):

According to Moviefone, these are the top five Christmas films.  My tastes are similar to those of the Moviefone family, but in a (somewhat) different order:

5. White Christmas (Moviefone description) Aren’t we all dreaming of a ‘White Christmas’? The movie starring Bing “Mr. Christmas” Crosby and Danny Kaye is as charming as the tune, with all the elements to warm the heart: Two GIs come home from WWII, fall in love with singing-and-dancing sisters and help their general with his failing Vermont inn. Awww.

My thought: I’m good with this one.  My family has watched this together for years on Christmas Eve.  It’s a classic.  I also like the film that introduced the song White Christmas – Holiday Inn.

4. Scrooged (Moviefone description) Only Bill Murray could so expertly walk the fine line between pathos and hilarity, as he does playing miserly TV exec Frank Cross. Complete with a taxi-driving Ghost of Christmas Past and a (literally) ball-busting Ghost of Christmas Present, this Dickens send-up is so offbeat and fun, Yule love it!

My thought: I’m pretty good with this one too.  I love Bill Murray’s humor – Groundhog Day and What About Bob are among my favorite films.  Plus, I have a soft spot for almost anything Dickens.

3. Miracle on 34th Street – (Moviefone description) If this ’47 classic doesn’t make you a Santa believer, nothing (especially the ’94 remake) will. It’s dark stuff for a Christmas flick — Kris Kringle is put on trail to determine if he’s legally insane — but the endgame (in which the US Postal Service saves the day!) is utterly heartwarming.

My thought: This is probably my spot for A Christmas Story (see #1), but ‘Miracle’ would likely still be in my top 15.  I love it when he bops the psychologist on the head.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life – (Moviefone description) A tale of depression and almost-suicide doesn’t exactly scream “Christmas classic” — which is probably why Frank Capra’s flick flopped at the box office. But more than 30 years later, it endures as a beloved testament to everything Christmas embodies: family, friends and the joy of life.

My thought: This is a movie that really caught on with the advent of TV and a need to fill time during the Christmas holidays.  Enough airplay and it became a classic.  My son and I love it, my wife and daughter hate it – not much of a barometer to go by, because that is true of most movies in our home.  ‘Wonderful Life’ is still in my top 10, but  my number 2 is Moviefone’s number 16 – Die Hard.  Nothing gets one in the holiday mood like terrorists/thieves battling the entire Los Angeles police force and FBI, but being brought down by one New York cop (well, he is played by Bruce Willis).

1. A Christmas Story – (Moviefone description) There’s nary a scene to forget in this near-perfect nostalgic look at where Americana and Christmastime meet. The story of a young boy’s epic quest to get his hands on a Red Ryder BB gun provides the hilarious backdrop for a timeless tale rife with family hijinks, frozen tongues and, of course, sex-oozing leg lamps.

My thought: I think it is a funny film and very well done, but not quite up to number one – maybe third.  Watch for yourself on TBS on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, it will make an annual 24 hour run.  My number 1 is Moviefone’s number 11 – Alastair Sim as Scrooge in the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol.

Honorable Mention: Elf. (Moviefone description) Frank Ricard. Ron Burgundy. Ricky Bobby. They’re all unforgettable Will Ferrell personas, but the role he might be remembered for most in 50 years is Buddy the Elf (what’s your favorite color?) from ’03’s instant holiday classic. This non-stop laugher exemplifies all-ages entertainment.

My thought: Elf is on the edge and may very soon make it into my top five.  It is humorous, charming, and very nearly innocent fun.

Enjoy!

Groundhog Day Trailer Recut

I love Groundhog Day (the movie).  What if the director had decided to go a different direction instead of making it a comedy?  Here’s a trailer remix that shows an entirely different side of the film:

Enjoy!

Five For Friday – Favorite Films

My five favorite movies:

1. Groundhog Day – Creative, funny, and thought provoking (at least to me).  Maybe Bill Murray’s finest film:

2. To Kill A Mockingbird – A nearly perfect movie.  Gregory Peck was wonderful:

3. In the Heat of the Night – Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, a great combination as they battle racism while attempting to solve a murder:

4. Hoosiers – My favorite sports movie – it’s all about TEAM.  Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper are great in this film:

5. Rio Bravo – My favorite western.  What a mix – John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Rick Nelson, Angie Dickinson… (although I also really like The Magnificent Seven and The War Wagon):

I’m Flying!

The title of this post reminds me of Bill Murray’s character in What About Bob, when he is tied to the mast of a sailboat, yet yells, “I’m sailing!”

One of my goals was to fly an airplane – not take off or land, mind you – just fly.  I’m kind of cheap, so it wasn’t likely that I was actually going to give money to someone with a plane to take me up just so I could take over the controls, so this goal seemed a bit unreachable.  I was fortunate, however, to be principal of a middle school when we were selected to be a NASA Explorer School.  This was a huge honor and proved to be a great partnership between our school and NASA. 

One summer, our faculty went to a NASA facility to attend a science summer camp for teachers.  While there, we were able to tour through most of their aircraft, including the one that travels through storms to gather data and the one that shuttles the Space Shuttle between California and Florida (I sat in the cockpit of both).  We were also able to have our photo taken in the cockpit of a jet – quite a trip.  We were also taken to the flight simulators and allowed to fly all kinds of aircraft – even taking off and landing.  I was somehow able to land a jet in a vertical position on it’s tail – not easy, practical, necessary, repeatable (according to the flight instructors), or anything but humiliating.  Anyway, the next day we were driven to a local airport and were taken up in a smaller prop plane and given the controls so that we could experience and understand flight.  We had a flight instructor in the seat right next to us (who took care of take off and landing duties), but were in control for most of the actual flight.  The instructor gave us directions and kept us on our toes.  It was one of the most fun, yet slightly terrifying, experiences in which I have been engaged.

It was the best of all worlds… I was able to fly an airplane, meet a life goal, engage in an enjoyable experience, do something memorable, and not pay a cent to do so.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.