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Movie binges rule: Warming up a chilly weekend with films

Every now and again, a movie binge is just the trick to help unwind after a busy week. That’s what went on with me this past weekend, with the end of the NFL season and the extra chilly temperatures prodding me to rent some DVDs.

Haven’t become a Netflix or Hulu client like most of the world, but maybe one of these days, those instant, at-hand services will be in my entertainment life.

For now, it’s still fun to go to the store and pick out some titles that have intrigued me. Although there are some films that are just better on the big screen – like “The Force Awakens,” which I haven’t seen yet – most of “my kind” of movies are fine on the smaller screen.

My five selections to bring home were supplemented by a Friday night dinner and movie invite to the home of some dear friends, the Juidici family. Dinner was phenomenal and the company even better. We sat down together and watched “The Intern,” which I had actually seen in the theater during its release in 2015.

Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway are excellent in the film. Without saying a word, DeNiro can make me weep. But in this one, he really makes the audience roar with laughter.

The temp outside might have been below zero, but the house was warmed with friendship and laughter.

Got after my own rentals Saturday after “my” cooking shows were over on the Food Network. First up? “Hot Pursuit” with Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Vergara. Bad movie which definitely wasted these two talented women.

“Paper Towns” came next. Liked the movie but loved the John Green book much more. That, unfortunately, is the case too often. Not a lot of movies meet the excellence of their source material.

Bill Murray and Melissa McCarthy in “St. Vincent” was the third part of Saturday’s triple feature. Wasn’t sure about this pick, but it turned out to be wonderful. Not for everyone, mind you, but Murray is just so darn good.

Sunday was a double-feature morning. “Inside Out” was up first and it was awesome. Had me sobbing toward the end, which, just as a warning, I find myself doing at many animated films. Don’t sit next to me in the theater for a Pixar movie if you can’t tolerate snifflers.

Saved what I hoped would be a laugh-fest for the finale: “Spy,” with Melissa McCarthy again in a starring role. She was hilarious and the rest of the cast was funny. Not for people who are easily offended by language, but it served its purpose and made me laugh. A lot.

The list of movies on my “want to see” list grows all the time so it was cool to cross a few off.

If you have any recommendations for me to check out, email me, please. We have a ways to go before the weather warms up so movie weekends could be a part of my schedule for weeks to come.

And I’d love to have someone point me toward a movie that’s an unexpected gem. Thanks!

Editor’s note: Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 240.