Author Archives: Glenn Norris

October 2016

Well, it’s been a while.  Thought I could keep up with this monthly blog but time seems to get away.  Okay, so after a short hiatus, we’re back with some new movies for you to check out –

The Best Movie You’ve Never Heard Of  – Lucky Number Slevin

lucky-number-slevin-poster-artwork-josh-harnett-morgan-freeman-ben-kingsley

I like to call Lucky Number Slevin a poor man’s Usual Suspects.  It’s not as good, but it’s a pretty entertaining movie with some nice twists.  Josh Hartnett’s best movie, by far (I’m not a big Josh Hartnett fan).  Check it out and tell me what you think.

 

 

Something Quirky – Safety Not Guaranteed

safety_not_guaranteed_2012_1400x2100

If you’re in the mood for something different, check out Safety Not Guaranteed.  What would you do if you saw an ad for a companion for time travel?  Well, follow three magazine employees on assignment as they meet Kenneth, who is looking for someone to travel with.

 

A Guilty Pleasure – Eurotrip

eurotripEurotrip follows a group of American teens as they travel through Europe so Scotty can find the girl of his dreams.  Whether it’s Matt Damon making a cameo singing the catchy tune “Scotty Doesn’t Know” or Fred Armisen making everyone feel uncomfortable on the train, there is something to make everyone laugh in this movie.  Soccer hooligans? Check.  Robot man? Check.  German kid with Hitler mustache? Check.  It all goes together, trust me…

February 2016

Last day of the month, barely made it!  Thank you Leap Year, I needed the 29th day.  Tax season blues – but I need the break, so here are your February picks.  Back to the original format:

The Best Movie You May Not Have Heard Of – Sicario

Sicario caSicariome out last fall, but I don’t think a lot of people noticed.  It did do about $46 million at the box office and has a score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, which seems right to me.  A highly intense movie about an FBI agent assigned to a task force dealing with the drug cartels along the US – Mexico border.  Lots of action, great acting by Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro (one of my favorites since his role as Fenster in The Usual Suspects).  Definitely worth watching.

A Classic Must See Movie – Witness

Harrison Ford iwitnesss one of my favorite actors (Han Solo and Indiana Jones, how could he not be!) and very rarely did he not make an entertaining film (Hollywood Homicide anyone?).   One of my favorites of his is Witness.  A well made thriller directed by Peter Weir, it’s currently streaming on Netflix, check it out!

A Guilty Pleasure – The Big Lebowski

big lebowskiSo, this is my 12th installment of my monthly movie picks, and I can’t believe it’s taken a year for me to get to The Big Lebowski.  This is clearly one of my all-time favorites.  So many great things in this movie, but maybe none better than John Turturro, who’s only in the movie a few minutes in a few scenes, but in one of the most hilarious roles ever.  I don’t know how much the Coen brothers wrote and how much he brought himself, but somebody there is a genius.  How many references can I get in in thirty seconds – it really tied the room together, at least I’m potty trained, is this your homework Larry?, I am the walrus?, shut the **** up Donnie, different mothers, huh?, pederast, me & Liam gonna **** you up, you got a date on Saturday, I brought the ringer, they didn’t get the money, stay out of Malibu Lebowski, you’re Lebowski Lebowski, and your wife is Bunny, they peed on my rug, mark it zero, MARK IT ZERO, you’re in a world of pain, oh you need a toe?  I’ll get you a toe.

January 2016

This month’s category is “Far-fetched movies that actually came true”.

The Chase

The ChaseSo, back in March of 1994 I sat down and watched what I thought at the time was the dumbest movie ever.  The Chase, with Charlie Sheen and Kristy Swanson, is about a guy who kidnaps a girl and heads for the Mexican border down I-5 here in California.  Everything that happens in the movie is ridiculous – people lining up on the freeway with signs to watch the car go by, overzealous renegades trying to stop the car, non-stop television coverage with newsman taking absurd chances to get a better angle.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  It could never happen.  People wouldn’t act that way.  Worst movie ever.  Then, on June 17, 1994 (just three months later!) O.J. Simpson went on a ride that the world will never forget.  And it makes The Chase look like the greatest prediction in history.  Every stupid thing in that movie came to life on that historic afternoon in Southern California.  Unbelievable.  Worst movie ever becomes greatest movie ever in some sense.  After all is said and done, the only thing that confuses me is not Charlie Sheen playing the role of O.J. Simpson, that makes perfect sense, but why would they cast Kristy Swanson as Al Cowlings?!

Rock Star

Unlike the The Crock-star-movie-poster-2001-1010272449hase, I really liked Rock Star.  Being an 80’s Hair Band fan and a fan of early Hip-hop, it was awesome watching Marky Mark Wahlberg take on a role of heavy metal superstar.  He pulls it off too, he could have been a rock star had he not preferred Hip-hop.  Rock Star is the story of Chris Cole, an ultra-obsessed fan of the band “Steel Dragon”, who has memorized every tiny detail of their performances and recreates them in his tribute band.  A disagreement between the members of the actual Steel Dragon band and, 14 year old spoiler alert, Chris is invited to join the band.  Pretty far fetched in the history of rock and roll, until 2007 when Journey (one of my all-time favorite bands BTW) hired Arnel Pineda right off of YouTube.  I wonder if they got the idea from this movie.

The Third Movie is Up To You!

Ok, time to get the conversation started!  What far-fetched movie do you think may be proven true one day?  Make your picks in the comment section and the conversation started.  Here are a couple of my thoughts:

  • The Martian – could a man get stranded on Mars and survive long enough to be rescued.
  • The Hunger Games – could the world get this distorted?
  • The Help – could someone really pull off making that pie?

December 2015

Well, here it is December 29th and Christmas has come and gone.  Hopefully you had a chance to watch some of my favorite Christmas movies.

Elf

Elf

Probably Will Ferrell’s best movie, a must watch every December.  I like it so much we answered the office phone “Buddy the Elf, what’s your favorite color?” one year.  It didn’t go over very well, only about 1 in 10 people got it.  The other 9 were totally confused.  We had to do a lot of explaining.

A Christmas Story

So TBS and TNA-Christmas-Story-Movie-PosterT run A Christmas Story for 24 hours on Christmas Eve/Christmas.  12 times on each channel.  I think we watched it 6 times.  Why not?  So many great moments.  Triple Dog Dare.  Pink Nightmare.  Major Award.  Christmas Duck.  Classic.

Home Alone

Home Alone

So, by now we have all seen Home Alone more times than we can count.  But.  But.  Think back to the very first time you saw Home Alone.  Funniest. Movie. Ever.  Everyone loved this movie.  It is soooo funny.  I saw this movie for the first time in Australia and had never laughed so hard in a theater.  Even withAustralians.  I don’t think I laughed that hard in a theater again until the Hangover came out.  That’s a lot of years.

November 2015

Today is Veterans Day, so I want to start off with a thank you to my dad and all the other veterans around the country.  In their honor, I will pick three of my favorite military movies. Nothing new here, just great movies you have probably seen.

Saving Private Ryan

saving-private-ryanSaving Private Ryan is a great, great movie.  One thing I think why it is great, is the fact that I can’t watch it over and over again, like I can most movies.  It is so real and so well done it is emotionally draining to watch.  From the very first scene to the very end it just keeps coming at you.  One scene in particular, the hand to hand combat scene is amazingly done, and it’s hard for me to watch every time.  Great movie.

 

 

 

Platoon

Another wellPlatoon done movie, very realistic.  Charlie Sheen when he was a normal guy, and Willem Defoe in his second best role (see Boondock Saints!).  One of the first movies my wife and I went to see together – in High School!

 

Apocalypse Now

Apoalypse NowMy last pick for favorite war movies is Apocalypse Now.  Like Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now is a war movie I can watch over and over again.  These movies don’t play with your emotions as much as Saving Private Ryan and Platoon.  They do, but it’s just different.  I can hear Robert Duvall deliver his line about loving the smell of napalm in the morning a million times and it’s still awesome.  It’s like, victory.

 

 

October 2015

Almost missed October!  Couldn’t do that, so better later than never here are some scary movies you should watch.

 Halloween

HalloweenThe first scary movie I ever saw, still holds up as one of the best.  Who would have thought a William Shatner mask could be so scary!  A friend of mine growing up was an extra in the movie, one of the costumed kids in the opening scene when Michael kills his sister.  So I guess you can say I’m one degree from Michael Myers.  Cool.

 

The Exorcist

the-exorcist-slThe Exorcist might be the scariest movie ever made.  Audiences in the early 1970’s FREAKED OUT!  And no wonder.  I’ve seen The Exorcist at least 10 times and it still creeps me out!  If I’m ever in Washington D.C., I will for certainly take a trip to Georgetown University to see the infamous steps!

 

 

Saw

sawMy most controversial pick is Saw.  I am not a huge fan of “slasher” movies.  I don’t need to see a bunch of gore.  I won’t recommend Saw III through whatever number they are on as they got progressively gorier, But the original Saw (and although quite a bit gorier than the original, Saw II) is great movie, but a little gory.  The original, though, leaves a lot to the imagination, it doesn’t have to show you every thing, you know what’s happening.  A great plot, a great twist, and a lot of suspense make this one of my favorite movies.  Give it a shot if you dare!

September 2015

The Best Movie You Not Have Heard Of – Hoop Dreams

I don’t watch a loHoop Dreamst of documentaries, but I do enjoy them when I find one that is well done.  Hoop Dreams may be my favorite documentary.  A great story about two inner city boys with dreams of playing in the NBA, the movie follows them for years, from the time they are grade school kids being praised for their basketball prowess all the way to their opportunity to play college and pro ball.  A long movie, but once you get into it you don’t realize it’s a long movie.

 

A Classic Must See Movie – Scream

I was going toscream save Scream for next month, since it’s October I thought I would do my favorite scary movies, but, with Wes Craven passing away recently I felt I should recognize my favorite movie of his.  I, as many people do, remember the first time they saw Scream, and the first scene that to this day I think is one of the best opening scenes ever.  If you haven’t seen Scream, take some time to watch this Halloween, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

A Guilty Pleasure – Desperado

Speaking of great Desperadoopening scenes, Desperado has what may be my favorite opening scene of all time.  Steve Buscemi, who I love, walks into a bar and gets everyone’s attention with his story of the man with the guitar case full of guns.  It’s so funny and clever and gets you into the movie right away.  I like Robert Rodriquez as a director and this is my favorite film of his.  Salma Hayek, Cheech, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo and Antonio Banderos as El Mariachi make a great cast and Joaquim de Amleida (a guy nobody knows, but everyone recognizes) is great as “Bucho”.  Maybe my favorite thing about this movie is that Steve Buscemi’s character’s name is “Buscemi”.  I wonder how long they took to come up with that one!

August 2015

Look out Chapman, here comes another Norris!

Our daughter Megan is heading off to Chapman University this month where both my wife and I attended, according to Megan, “back when dinosaurs roamed the earth”.  So, this month’s picks are a movie filmed at Chapman, and two picks Megan selected as her favorites that we watched as part of our family movie nights.   Of course she immediately spouted off The Sandlot, but I had to tell her that was part of my July picks (apparently she doesn’t read my blog…).

Accepted

accepted

Accepted is a funny little movie in which Chapman University portrays “Harmon College”.  It’s funny because Harmon College and it’s dean and student body president are portrayed as a stuffy, uppity university, so unlike the actual awesome Chapman I know and love.  Justin Long and Jonah Hill star along with Lewis Black.  Not a movie that will win an Oscar, but pretty  funny and entertaining.

Star Wars

Star WarsMegan’s first choice is probably my all time favorite movie, the original Star Wars.  I was so happy when she chose it.  She still brags about beating me at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit several years ago.  I’d say she got lucky, but she just beat me.  When we were talking about Star Wars, she said “Dad, so many people at school haven’t seen Star Wars, that’s like not having a childhood at all”. Amen.

The Princess Bride

Princess BrideMegan nailed it again with The Princess Bride!  Such a great, fun movie with so many memorable characters and lines.  There’s not a lot to say about this movie, except that it’s so good!  Perfect for kids and enjoyable for adults, have you ever met someone that didn’t like The Princess Bride?  Inconceivable!

 

 

 

 

So, three fun movies to watch this month, two you’ve probably seen and one you haven’t.  Enjoy!

P.S. – Megan, you’re still dominating.

 

July 2015

Awwwww Summer!

So a little different format this month from my normal 3 picks.  I’m just going to choose 3 of my favorite Summer movies.  No hidden gems, no real surprises, just three movies you should watch at some point every summer.

Grease

Grease

 

Maybe my all time favorite summer movie, one summer I spent just about every day at my cousins house and we would watch Grease everyday.  Seriously.  Everyday.  Not much else to say, just watch and enjoy!

The Sandlot

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The only thing I like more than The Sandlot is the fact that both of my kids like The Sandlot as much as I do.  Who didn’t grow up with all of these characters in their neighborhood? The stud athlete, the fat kid, the nerdy hilarious kid – all of them played to perfection.  Throw in James Earl Jones and this is one great movie. You haven’t seen The Sandlot?  You’re killing me Smalls.

Vacation

NationalLampoonsVacation_1983

Remember when Chevy Chase was funny?  Seems like forever ago, but yes kids, at one time Chevy Chase was funny.  With the new installment of Vacation coming out this summer, it just seemed natural to pick the original for this month’s blog.  I’m so hopeful that the new Vacation is funny, then I can forget all about Vegas Vacation.

June 2015

The Best Movie You May Not Have Heard Of – The In-Laws

The-in-laws-movie-poster-1979I’m not talking about the remake with Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks, I’m talking the original.  Peter Falk and Alan Arkin.  My dad and I would watch this movie again and again and laugh every time like we had never seen it before.  The characters are perfect for Falk and Arkin and they play it to perfection.  It has been a long time since I have watched this movie, but all I have to do is tell my dad to “Serpentine” and he will immediately crack up!  I just moved it to position #1 in my Netflix cue and will be watching it this weekend.  My kids will love it.  I even think it will make my wife laugh.

 

 

A Classic Must See Movie – Full Metal Jacket

I love a good war movie and there are so many great ones, the classic Tora Tora Tora!, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, and Saving Private Ryan – to name just a few.  But there is something about Full Metal Jacket that I just love watching it.  The opening sequence with R. Lee Ermey (you may not know the name, but I’m sure you would recognize the face) as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is one of mFull Metal Jackety favorite scenes of all time.  His ranting and raving and name calling is brilliant.  I always wonder how much of that scene was scripted and how much was just him going off.  There are so many moments and characters and an ending you would not expect it’s hard to list them all, so I’ll end with this – any movie with characters named Joker, Animal Mother, Gomer Pyle**, Eightball, and Rafterman normally has my seal of approval.

** A side note on the original Gomer Pyle, Jim Nabors.  I’m a huge NASCAR racing fan, but I do love watching the Indianapolis 500 every year.  There’s something about the pomp and circumstance that just screams patriotism to me.  So, although it may be a little weird, I always enjoyed Jim Nabors singing Back Home Again in Indiana.  This year was the first year since 1972 (basically my whole lifetime) that Mr. Nabors did not sing at the 500.  Jim, I missed you, but thanks for all the memories.

A Guilty Pleasure – Super Troopers

Yes, Supesuper troopersr Troopers is a stupid movie.  I admit it.  But, since I mentioned Full Metal Jacket has one of my favorite opening scenes, I thought I’d bring up another movie with an awesome opening.  Soooooooo funny!  I host a guys movie night at my office about once a month for a couple of friends and this month was my pick so I played Super Troopers.  It was great to share a goofy movie (not THE Goofy Movie) with a couple a buddies who had not seen it.  Good times.