Since today is Black Friday, a day many Americans spend violently fighting each other and abandoning their children for the opportunity to purchase deeply discounted 50” TVs, I thought it’d be nice to have a list of good movies, all of which have the word Friday in the title so we can all wash down all our rampant consumerism with a nice cool shot of cinematic concordance. All films listed below have links to their appropriate Amazon pages.
Friday the 13th: Though there are twelve films, two atrocious video games and a three season long TV series with that title, I’m referring to the 1980 Sean Cunningham original film. The first film in the 32 year old series, while establishing many of the series tropes, is distinct from the rest of the franchise. It doesn’t feature the infamous Michael Meyers in his traditional hockey mask and knife wielding visage. Here he’s more of a disfigured ghoul and his psychotic mother does most of the killing. It’s most atmospheric film in the series and by virtue of being first it also feels fresh and unburdened by the weight of history. After spending the day fighting with ravenous crowds, the carefully executed murders in this film might act as a filmic palate cleanser.
The Long Good Friday: The great Bob Hoskins stars as forward thinking British Mob Boss whose empire is slowly torn apart by a mysterious adversary. A film with as much social commentary about the rise of Margaret Thatcher’s England as it an excellent mob movie. The film follows a standard track, Hoskins gangster tries to go legit with backing of the US mafia, but instead of falling prey to the usual traps of misjudging the differences between upper and lower classes or being unable to truly leave the life behind him, Hoskins instead sees his downfall come at the cost of underestimating forces he couldn’t hope to understand.
Friday: F. Gary Gray’s first film follows stoners Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker) as they try to scrounge up $200 so they don’t get killed by ice cream truck driving drug dealer Big Worm (Faizon Love). The film is genuinely funny in way that its many imitators aren’t because even at the end of Western civilization there are still new indignities to fall prey to and as opposed to more histrionic ghetto chronicles like Boyz n the Hood, Friday captures the utter boredom and disconcertingly perfect landscaping that make up life in South Central Los Angeles. Over the years, you might have heard rumors that this film hand a sequel or two. Those rumors are lies.
Friday Night Lights: Adapting H. G. Bissinger’s book of the same name, Peter Berg made the best ever movie about the high school sports. Following the trials and tribulations of a small west Texans football team, the film also quietly tells stories of the thwarted ambitions, unyielding pressure and crushing failure. Few films illustrate the overwhelming fear and excitement that comes with playing in the most important game you’ll barely remember in twenty years.
Freaky Friday: While the Jodie Foster original is an incredibly charming, it’s also pretty dull while it’s 2003 Lindsay Lohan stars remake is equally charming, but has less dead spots under director Mark Waters sure handed direction. Lohan is no Foster but she was an incredibly confident 17 year old and Jamie Lee Curtis as Lohan’s uncaring mother is whole lot fun even once the body swap takes effect. The film is puddle deep, but it is an easy, sweet film and one we could all use after today.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org