Weekend Warriors: Homebodies Edition Volume II

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The final weekend of SBI is upon us, but let’s face it; you have a test Monday and the CE presentations on Wednesday, and you’re not going anywhere this weekend. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take an hour or two to unwind. Here are a few more movies worth checking out on Netflix for when you need a break. Background information, including quotations, awards, casting, and content advisory, courtesy of imdb.com

Airplane! (PG, 1980, 87 Minutes): There’s a reason that even 30 years after its release, this film is consistently ranked as a comedy classic. When food poisoning incapacitates the crew of a jumbo on a cross-country flight, passenger Ted Striker (Robert Hays), a rattled ex-pilot, must step up and save the day. A ludicrous script, written by Jim Abrahams and the Zucker brothers, meshes with the cast’s deadpan delivery to create comedy gold. Recommended. Contains nudity and sexual situations.

The King’s Speech (R, 2010, 118 Minutes): Thrust onto the British throne by the unexpected abdication of his brother, King George VI (Colin Firth) finds himself in an unenviable position. Threatened by the looming shadow of Nazi Germany, England is badly in need of a king who can provide strong symbolic leadership, yet a persistent stutter makes public speaking all but impossible for the King. With the help of an unconventional speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) and his Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), King George sets out to conquer his impediment and to become the strong voice that Britain needs. Powerful acting and an inspiring plot netted The King’s Speech eight Academy Awards, including the Oscar for best motion picture. Recommended. Contains strong language.

Out of the Furnace (R, 2013, 116 Minutes): Russell Baze (Christian Bale), a steel worker in a dying Pennsylvania mill town, is trying to put his life back together after a prison sentence when is brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), falls into the hands of gangster Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson).  Russell’s search for Rodney and DeGroat takes him across moral boundaries and into DeGroat’s stronghold, an insular community nestled in New Jersey’s Ramapo Mountains. The premise sounds like any of a dozen cookie-cutter action movies that have come out in the past few years, but Out of the Furnace is something far more thought provoking, a character-driven drama that only sounds like another Taken clone. As menacing as Harrelson makes his thug, it is the Baze family’s demons, not DeGroat, that serve as the primary antagonist. Recommended. Contains violence and strong language.

The Untouchables (R, 1987, 119 Minutes): “You wanna know how you get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!” Better than anything else, this quote captures the essence of The Untouchables, an account (albeit one that takes substantial historical liberties) of the law enforcement unit that set out to destroy Al Capone’s criminal empire. Kevin Costner plays Eliot Ness, the federal agent tasked with assembling a team of men who could not be bribed or intimidated, “Untouchables”, and with building a case against Capone (Robert De Niro). An outstanding cast is rounded out by Andy Garcia, Sean Connery, and Charles Martin Smith as fellow Untouchables and by Billy Drago as Capone’s lieutenant, Frank “The Enforcer” Nitti. The Untouchables is an action movie at heart with a classic good versus evil plot, phenomenal acting, and a compelling, Oscar-nominated score. In case you can’t tell, this is one of my personal favorites. Contains strong language, violence, and (lots of) blood and gore.

 

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