New Year’s Eve 2015

It’s another New Year’s Eve already! Man, they seem to come faster every year.  Perhaps there’s a lesson somewhere in this about cherishing each moment…

When I was quite young, my family would celebrate New Year’s Eve by going out to the movie theater – typically to see the blockbuster of the season (The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno come to mind). Also, for the past more-years-than-I-can-even remember, a small, but decidedly hip and cool (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), group of us have been gathering every New Year’s Eve at my brother’s place to ring in the new year.

This year’s NYE combines both of those traditions.


The Hateful Eight – Roadshow Edition

hateful_eightThe “roadshow edition” of The Hateful Eight (2015) harkens back to the days of the mega-movies of the 1950s and 1960s which, in addition to their general release, were shown in a limited number of theaters complete with a musical overture, intermission, and program.

The intention was to make each of these films an event.  In that regard, the roadshow edition that I saw at the specially decked out Music Box Theater in Chicago did not disappoint.

The sight of a movie shot in old-school Panavision – on film (apparently retrofitting the original lenses onto newer cameras) – is special.  The visuals are expansive, and the film takes its time to let us see what’s going on.

The story before the intermission is more of a slow-moving character study, complete with a lot of snappy Quentin Tarantino dialogue.  And it ends with a bang.

After the intermission, the action picks up and, as one might expect in a Tarantino film, things get a little bit crazy.  Not wanting to spoil any of the fun, that’s all I’m going to say about it – other than to provide you with an easy means of checking out a “roadshow” edition of this film wherever you may live by clicking here.


The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer

NYE2015 - The Bachelor and the Bobby-SoxerThe Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), is utterly charming good fun.

It’s something akin to a love triangle (although I expect it’s more of a scalene triangle than an equilateral one) between Judge Margaret Turner [Myrna Loy], her sister (not daughter!) Susan [Shirley Temple], and Dick Nugent [Archibald Leach … er … Cary Grant].

Apparently, Susan has become smitten after seeing the good Mr. Nugent somehow transformed into a knight in shining armor while giving a lecture at her high school about art.

The good judge, on the other hand, after having her own not-so-knighly interaction with said Mr. Nugent in her courtroom, is eager to see her sister’s (not daughter’s!) affections directed more appropriately for a 17-year-old.

However, in the process, one finds that shining armor can be viewed from more than a single perspective.  To find out how – as well as to see the full exchange started by the quote below – check out this fun little flick!

“You remind me of a man…”


About Time

NYE2015 - About TimeI reviewed About Time when it first came out back 2013 – and I’ve been suggesting it as one of our NYE films ever since.

In short, this film is truly special.

Writer/director Richard Curtis – who gave the world the wonderful “alternate” Christmas classic, Love Actually, as well as The Black Adder (this guy is versatile!) – offers us with what I consider to be one of his best works.

Unlike Love Actually (which if you haven’t seen it, shame on you!), though, this film turns the volume down quite a bit.

On his 21st birthday, Tim [Domhnall Gleason] learns from his father [the incredible Bill Nighy] that all the male members of their family have the power to travel back in time.

Now life becomes a whole lot more interesting when one learns of this ability…  But – and this is the “be careful what you wish for” thing – one’s decisions in each version of a day (the original one or the revisited one) can have consequences.

Although quite funny (in a chuckle rather than laugh-out-loud way), this film is also incredibly sweet and life-affirming.  And if my initial review didn’t convince you to see it, then perhaps my gentle nudge here will.

At one point (via the magic of narration) Tim informs us that one lesson he learned from his dad was to live each day twice – once as it came naturally followed by the second time, where he was armed with the knowledge and wisdom from having already lived the events of the day.

Since, to the best of my knowledge, nobody has developed the ability to travel in time, in the new year, may all of us find a way to live each day as if we’d already lived it – and in so doing, reap the benefits of fully living each fleeting moment of every precious day.


Happy 2016!

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