Valentine’s is for Vendettas

Some of you around here may remember that Vin and I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, per se. It’s not that we don’t like things like love and flowers and romance. We just like the mob more. Therefore, we like to celebrate the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Our favorite way to celebrate is by watching mob movies.

 

So, in honor of the most romantic day of the year, here are our favorites. If you happen to be as twisted and warped as we are, this is the perfect way to in the romantic spirit! If not, ignore this post and come back Friday.

 

1.) The Godfather (Part I and II, never III)

 

Any list of mob movies is obligated to include The Godfather and I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit that it’s one of my favorites series. I fell in love with Michael Corleone in college. When I took a film history class for my minor, we watched Part I and II. On a big screen. In one sitting. It was intense.

I’m not lying when I tell you that when we all stumbled out of that theater and into the blinding afternoon sun, every person in class was incredibly paranoid. We walked across the quad as though someone had a hit out on us. It’s an obsession that led me to perform a scene from Part II for my film acting final (which I aced, thankyouverymuch) and endlessly quote the movie to this day. These movies are perfect for a Valentine’s celebration because they’re super-romantic (Italy, duh).

 

 

2.) Mystic River

 

 

Okay, so this one is a favorite, but promise me you won’t watch it if you’re feeling especially sensitive. There’s some heavy stuff in this movie. Heavy stuff like child abuse and parents dealing with the death of their child. Heavy.

But, guys. Sean Penn is the best crier of all time. Plus you get fantastic performances by Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon. This is seriously one of the best and most interesting explorations of guilt, innocence, criminal motivation, and the evolution of friendship. This is definitely a good pick if you’re down for a serious time.

 

 

3.) The Departed

 

Leonardo DiCaprio. I’ve been obsessed with him since forever and he’s fantastic in this one.  Also, there’s Matt Damon, who is, well, Matt Damon. They play guys working undercover for the state police and Irish mob, respectively.  There’s a great story line here that involves both men fraternizing with the enemy, forging relationships they know they’ll have to betray, and the question of whether they’ll be able to betray them when the time comes.

There’s also Jack Nicholson as the mob boss. He generally creeps me out, but that’s absolutely perfect for his role in this film. I just love the idea that you never really know who’s on who’s side in this movie. Definitely a tense movie, which is what you want on Valentine’s, right?

 

4.) Gangs of New York

 

 

Don’t tell Michael Coreleone, but this one might be my favorite. I know I said they were all favorites, but this one is more favorite. As Vin says, this is more your average blue collar, working man’s mob movie. I believe his direct statement was, “When I watch The Godfather I feel like I’ve got to put on a shirt and tie.” So, I guess if you’re wanting your Valentine’s affair to be a classy one, go Godfather. If you’d like to keep things more casual, then Gangs of New York is for you.

So, we’ve got kind of a similar story line as The Departed, in that there’s Leonardo DiCaprio playing a guy trying to infiltrate the mob. This time he’s in Civil War era New York trying to avenge his father’s death at the hands of Bill the Butcher (best name everrrr and played by Daniel Day Lewis). This movie has it all. The juxtaposition of a personal vendetta and the climatically violent war over control of the Five Points in New York is just wonderful.

The gang names are phenomenal, too. I mean, how can you go wrong with the Natives vs the Dead Rabbits vs the Bowery Boys? You can’t, especially when the gangs include guys named Happy Jack Mulraney, Priest Vallon, and Hell Cat Maggie. The cast is excellent; DiCaprio and Day-Lewis are joined by Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly, and on and on. The weak link, if there is one, is the inclusion of Cameron Diaz who isn’t my favorite actress. She’s decent enough and I guess you have to have some sort of a love interest…and since this is for Valentine’s Day, I’ll let it slide. Plus, there are top hats. Lots and lots of top hats and fantastic plaid pants. Overall, this is one of my favorite movies ever, so go watch it.

 

 

If you’ve already made plans for Valentine’s, I seriously suggest you scrap them. I mean, who wants hand holding and roses when you can have the severed heads of horses, knife fights, and blood baths? Not this girl, that’s fo’ sho’.

 

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Seven Things: Part 10

She liiiives! She liiiives! I’m totally not comparing myself to Our Savior, however, recovering from being ill with two (also ill) little ones makes me feel like miracles have happened around here! Sorry we’ve been so quiet, but we are back…with a vengeance!

 

Okay, not really “with a vengeance,” but it’s Oscar season and I have a movie trailer voice in my head 24/7 this time of year.

 

So. Seven Things! Whip crack sound effect! (Did I mention I also have a foley artist in my head, too? That’s all year long, though…)

 

1.) Have you seen this movie? It’s my favorite.

What’s Up Doc, 1972; Barbara Streisand, Ryan O’neal, Directed by Peter Bogdanovich

 

Funniest. Movie. Ever. There’s no way to describe it, really…it’s only the most glorious screwball comedy ever. This film will make you have a crush on Ryan O’Neal, which isn’t hard to do in the first place.

 

It may also make your very conservative, non-movie loving husband laugh out loud and develop a crush on young Barbara Streisand. Be advised.

 

It also has hilarious appearances by Madeline Khan (ohmysweetgoodness, I love her so much) and Austin Pendleton, who may be my new Awkward Celebrity Crush.

 

2.) Mags and I made a Valentine garland out of an old book that was falling apart and I larve it.

I think the garland does a lovely job of accenting our avalanche’o’toys, don’t you?

 

 

3.) Lils is starting to pull up on things, specifically the things that are most likely to maim her and get me turned in to the authorities. You know, like the side of the crib or bathtub, or the zoo animal activity block. Nothing like the shriek of a child being impaled by a wooden giraffe to really accomplish that “Home Sweet Home” vibe. Sheesh.

 

Good thing she’s so cute…

 

 

4.) I get to go to a Violent Intruder Training at work on Valentine’s Day! This fits perfectly with our new-ish tradition of celebrating the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. I’m sure I’ll be amped up to watch a great mob movie with the hubz when I get home. Any suggestions of good ones? Mayhaps we’ll go old school this year and get some Jimmy Cagney?

 

 

5.) So, I like Instagram. You should follow me! I’m ohblessyourheart…original, I know. Here are some good ‘uns I’ve shared as of late.

Bahahaha…This is like the gift that keeps on giving since I’ll get to enjoy it all over again in ten years when she discovers it and freaks out…

 

Eatin’ some pancakes!

 

Braids.

 

 

6.) My sweet Mama and my dear sister, Mara, are coming to visit soon!! I am so excited I can’t even handle it! If you are ever lucky enough to have a Southern mama, please make sure she’s the type who sends you Valentines even when you’ve got kids of your own. Even more importantly, make sure she’s the kind who makes Jalapeno Peach Jam and sends that to you. And then make sure you marry a guy who makes the best homemade bread of all time. Combine the two and, I’m telling you, you will not be sorry. I’d share a picture, but I ate it all.

 

 

7.) Best link of the week, hands down, goes to Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas. She wrote this beautiful post, “A Letter to My Former Self On the Day I Became a Mother” to celebrate her eldest turning four. Hold on to your tear ducts, mommies, cause this one is honest and wonderful and so, so good.

Much love to all!

-Mary Susan