No game tonight? No problem. Your boyfriends at Surviving Grady have got you covered, with the following video suggestions that are far less exciting than hiring a pro or hitting the rifle range, but also far less expensive.
Family Business: Sean Connery is a career criminal currently laying low. Dustin Hoffman is his son, an ex-con himself who’s trying to set a better example for his own son, played to nebbish perfection by Matthew Broderick. Then sonny approaches dad and gramps with a plot for an easy score, an all hell breaks loose. Funny, clever and poignant, something that isn’t easy to pull off (especially when your cast lacks Rob Schneider), this is one of the most underrated films of the ’80s and I still can’t believe that most folks I know have never heard of it. School yourself; it’s in Comcast’s free movie bin this month.
Local Hero: Peter Riegert (AKA Boon from Animal House) plays a Texas oil exec sent to a small Scottish village that his company wants to buy up to build a refinery. As Reigert’s cell-phone toting yuppie slowly becomes seduced by the breathtaking scenery and local charm, the all-too-willing-to-cash-in townspeople plot to squeeze as much coin as possible out of the deal. A harmless way to spend 90 minutes, and there’s a cool Mark Knopfler soundtrack to boot.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three: No, not the new Travolta/Washington travesty. I’m talking about the gritty original with its swanky 70s crime drama soundtrack and scenery-chewing from Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw and a young Hector Elizondo. This is where Tarantino lifted the cool device in Reservoir Dogs where all the criminals refer to themselves by code names like “Mr. Green” and “Mr. Black.”
Henry Fool: A shady and possibly dangerous loner stumbles into the life of a nerdy garbage man and inspires him to create what becomes the Great American Poem. No, it’s not The Julian Tavarez Story, but it’s every bit as strange and engaging. Provided you can get around Hal Hartley’s dialogue, which tests the limits of one’s pretentiousness meter.
25th Hour: Spike Lee’s best film, in my opinion, examines the frailty of the human condition in the shadow of 9-11. Actually, it’s literally in the shadow of 9-11, as several key scenes take place in and around ground zero. With Edward Norton as a convicted drug dealer spending his final hours as a free man chillin’ with buds Philip Seymour Hoffman and Barry Pepper and trying to figure out who the f@#k ratted him out to the cops. Also starring Rosario Dawson’s spectacular rear end.