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The Great Cabin Film Festival

Cure cabin fever with these fine flicks

By Andy Bennett
Published: March 1, 2009
You’ve got the perfect cabin weekend planned. A little  fishing, a little water-skiing and finishing it all off with  grilled steaks and a bottle of red.  So, you organize your tackle box and stuff it with  shiny new lures – only to dump them in the drink. Then  you break out the water skis – only to be surprised by a freak summer  blizzard. But still you soldier on, braving the pelting summer  snow while you light the gas grill – only to have your steaks stolen  by a marauding band of jackalopes.
  
Hey, it happens.  Well, maybe it doesn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the  general idea. Bad weather can quickly turn a weekend in the great  outdoors into a cozy weekend indoors hiding from Mother Nature.  Thankfully, there’s one indoor entertainment almost everyone can  agree on – movies.  A big bowl of popcorn, a few cold beverages and a marathon of  favorite flicks can turn any lost weekend into an absolute blast. But  before you stock up on movies to add to your emergency fun stash,  take a look at these suggestions for the ideal film festival for every  type of situation.   

Hunting Party 
 
You and your buddies’ weekend of hunting and fishing has been  spoiled by bad weather. Salvage the weekend by stocking the fridge  and kicking back with these flicks.   “Old School” – A riotous R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell,  Vince Vaughan and Luke Wilson as three friends who battle their  mid-life crises by starting a fraternity. This story of male bonding  taken to slapstick extremes will have you forgetting about the “one  that got away” in no time.   “Tombstone” – Take a trip back to the Wild West with this  well-acted, highly entertaining telling of the gunfight at the OK  Corral. Kurt Russell is good as Wyatt Earp, but it’s Val Kilmer’s perfect  turn as that wily huckleberry Doc Holliday that steals the show.   

Romantic Getaway   
You and your spouse were planning to get away from it all for  a weekend of quiet romance. However, howling rain, damaging  winds and lightning weren’t supposed to be part of the equation.  But you can still salvage the weekend and provide that spark by  starting a fire, opening a bottle of wine and snuggling up on the  couch to watch these films.   “Love Actually” – This charming, funny romantic comedy  stars Hugh Grant, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson and dozens  of other fine English film actors. A series of stories weave and  wind together over one holiday season to create a rich tapestry of  fuzzy good feelings. It’s sweet but not cloying, romantic but not  sappy. It’s a perfect romantic comedy.   “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” – Academy Award- winner Charlie Kaufman wrote this trippy, devastating love  story of one couple (played by Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey) so  determined to forget each other they have their memories erased.  But Carrey’s character changes his mind and begins a desperate  attempt to cling to the memories of his greatest love.   

Family Fun   
In anticipation of a weekend chock-full of boating, hiking  and swimming, you’ve let the kids indulge in a little too much  sugar. Now they’re bouncing off the walls and no amount of  books or board games can hold their attention. So try these movies  instead.   “The Iron Giant” – A fantastic animated film that somehow  slipped off most people’s radar, it tells the story of a little boy who  befriends a giant alien robot that the Government is intent on  destroying. It’s a funny, touching, non-stop ride that everyone will  enjoy. The director, Brad Bird, later went on to direct “Ratatouille”  and “The Incredibles,” but he cut his teeth on this film.   “Stand By Me” – This 1986 film about a group of friends  who journey out into the woods on a very grown-up adventure is  a classic film about childhood. It’s uproariously funny in its depictions  of boyhood and deeply moving at the same time. Not for  the littlest of the little, but ideal entertainment for your teenagers  and pre-teens.   

Ladies’ Nights   
You’ve left the husbands with the kids and have gathered up  your best girlfriends for a weekend of fun in the cabin sun. Then  the heavens open and send you all scurrying inside. Take advantage  of the peace and quiet by screening a few good flicks that  aren’t “just for chicks.”   “Moulin Rouge” – This eye-popping, pulse-pounding film  is largely credited with reviving the movie musical genre. Nicole  Kidman plays an out-of-reach courtesan to Ewan McGregor’s  troubled writer. When the two share the screen, they truly make  beautiful music together.   “Kill Bill: Volumes 1 & 2” – Make no mistake, this isn’t a  romantic comedy. This is an edgy, hyper-violent, bloody tale of  revenge. It’s also dynamite entertainment. It’s not for everyone,  but who says you and your girlfriends only want to watch the girl  get the guy? Sometimes it’s more fun to watch the girl get even.   If the rain still won’t let up, feel free to mix and match any of  the films from these four lists.   ... Although, you should probably keep the kids away from  “Kill Bill” until they’re old enough to vote. .    

Andy Bennett is a self-described movie nerd. He claims his favorite  film is “The Godfather, Part 2,” but if it’s raining he’s probably  watching “Dumb and Dumber.”

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