Sure you’re still recovering, both spiritually and financially, from Spring Break. However, there’s only about a three-day grace period before you have to start planning what to do with family and friends come summer vacation. In just a few short weeks, it’ll be time to get out and enjoy the sun and surf. The question is, how can you find an affordable yet memorable trip in these troubled economic times? Well, not to worry. It turns out there is a way to go on many journeys on an incredibly low budget. It’s called watching movies.
Sitting at home watching some select cinema on your big screen TV offers the chance to trek to many different worlds and still order pizza from your favorite carryout joint. You may not be able to take quite as many home movies to bore the neighbors with later, but by choosing wisely, you will get to travel into worlds that make a week in Maui look like two weeks in line at the post office.
Think of Streampix as your travel agent for the trip, and these films – all of which take place in unique universes unlike any other you’ll ever see –make for perfect stops along the way. Okay, so sitting home watching TV may at first not sound quite as impressive as two weeks in Europe, but remind the kids that as opposed to Disneyland, there is no height requirement to watch any of these provocative pictures.
This Robin Williams vehicle is as wild a ride as anything you’ll find at any amusement park you might spend the day at. What begins as a simple story of some kids playing a board game becomes a wild fantasy when that game’s crazy world comes to life. “Jumanji” builds slowly but by the time you see a herd of rhinos chasing Williams down a hallway, you know you’ve come to a very strange place.
Reading fairy tales to your children at bedtime is certainly commendable but there are times when it just seems so much less sleep inducing (for adults, anyway) to show them one instead. Which is where “The Neverending Story” comes in. This 1984 flick about a young boy whose real life becomes entwined with the fantasy world inside the book he’s reading is a fascinating tale all ages can appreciate.
Talk about your fantasy worlds….a land where dealing with the post office is the most reliable thing you can do sounds slightly less believable than Oz. And yet, that’s precisely where this 1997 Kevin Costner epic is set. The world has been wiped out following a nuclear war, but a mysterious loner (Costner) poses as a mailman to deliver old letters and hope to what’s left of the population. The most hopeful news of all? No bills or junk mail.
Knowing that the star would someday get to rule his own land of odd enchantment (a.k.a. California) makes you look back at this 1982 Arnold Schwarzenegger epic a little differently. Still, the first film version of the “Conan the Barbarian” novels and comics was taken pretty seriously as a major big-budget action adventure during its day. It was a sort of medieval James Bond tale that transported viewers to a place where the unexpected can sometimes happen. (Like, for instance a weightlifting action film star becoming the governor of the nation’s biggest state in the union.)
Martial arts movies are to the world of film what Hot Pockets are to the judges on “Top Chef.” They may be cheesy fun, but nobody really wants to take them seriously. “Crouching Tiger” changed all that. It may be the only film in history to combine the dreamy yet ill-fated romance of a Bronte sisters novel with the flying sidekicks of a Jackie Chan flick. It’s a strange world, but at the same time, it’s one that will make both the men and women in the house happy.