How to Have Movie Night At Home



The upcoming Oscars Award show always gets everyone in the movie-going spirit and why not it’s fun to plan a night at your local theatre taking in a good movie followed by a late night meal and a glass of good Zindfandel!  But wait, hold on, are you really going to spend $20+ dollars for tickets, $15+ dollars on snacks, and then $50-$75 dollars on dinner and a decent bottle of wine?  The answer is an obvious no and not just in the current economy; I find many of our friends who consistently do dinner and a movie to be consistently amongst the cash-strapped crowd.  Don’t get me wrong I love film, I just don’t like spending my hard earned cash on overpriced tickets and snacks.  What I do instead is plan movie night at home and head to my local library for DVDs.  Yes, some local libraries lack a decent film collection, but our town library happens to have a nice assortment of films.  I’m also an on and off subscriber to Netflix, but I never keep the service running for more than 4-6 months (I essentially exhaust the movies I really want to see and then cancel my, auto renew, subscription).  
Either way you get your films, you’ll need some snacks to go with your movies!  Here’s a list of some of my favorite chips and dips, as well as a list of some great movies by category!
Potato Chips 
There’s something about thinly friend potatoes with copious amounts of salt that gets me excited!  Potato chips are one of my all time favorite foods and please don’t let my mother find out.  I can enjoy potato chips during a late night rummage through the pantry or, in this case, with a good movie.  My all time favorite potato chips include:

1. Cape Cod Potato Chips (Classic and Salt & Vinegar are my favorite) 
2. Kettle Chips (any flavor, really!)
4. Terra Chips (Original) 
Tortilla Chips
Corn chips exploded into the US marketplace in the early to mid nineties and they’ve become a staple (any one know why?) of informal get togethers and parties.  And there are pretty tasteless, and overly salted, products on market (such as Tostitos and Santitas White Corn chips made by FritLay).  You can of course make your own Tortilla Chips, however there are also some good brands on the market, I prefer the following products: 

1. Green Mountain (great combo of salt and corn taste)
3. Doritos (yes, I like Doritos!)
Next to the egg, the avocado would be one of the food items I would want if I were stranded on a remote island.  Mix in fresh lime juice and cilantro and you have an exquisite tortilla chip accompaniment; here is my recipe:
– 2 large, very ripe, Hass avocados
– 1 large lime (keep out of the fridge for a few hours and roll on cutting board before juicing)
– 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (I know cilantro is a love/hate type of herb, but I happen to love the flavor)
– ¼ finely diced red onion
– ½ finely diced plum tomato
– Salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocados with a fork and add your lime juice (click here if you’ve never sliced an avocado before).  Stir the two ingredients and the cilantro, onion, and tomato. Next, add salt and pepper to taste and give the mixture a final stir.
Sour Cream Dip
Potato chips, in my view, really don’t need a dip, but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy dipping my perfectly salted chips into a nice white mixture of sour cream!  Here’s my favorite recipe for Sour Cream and Onion Dip:
– 1 pt of sour cream
– 3-4 finely diced green onions
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3-4 cloves of mashed caramelized or roasted garlic 
Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix very well.  
A movie critic will tell you that one can, objectively, rate and talk about a given movie.  And we’ll see a perfect example of how certain movies become more highly regarded than others with the upcoming Oscars – we’ll soon know which 2008 movie wins best picture (Slumdog Millionare, Frost/Nixon, he Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or The Reader).  In my view, however, deciding on whether a movie is good or bad can often be a very subjective experience and depdendent on how many other films one has watched, personal history, ethnicity, education, mood, etc.  So, I recommend the following “movie night” movies based solely on the fact that I really liked them all!  Most of all, however, each one of the movies below (categorized by actor, genre, or style) made me feel as though I was totally submerged in the plot and the story the director wanted to convey.  Pick one of the following up:
1. Woody Allen
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2. Bill Murray
The Royal Tenenbaums
3. Johnny Depp
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
4. Sean Penn
Carlito’s Way
5. Foreign 
Y Tu Mama Tambien
La Strada
6. Engrossing
The Shipping News
Mulholland Drive

7. Classics

The 400 Blows
Odd Man Out
Sudden Fear
8. Western
The Magnificent Seven
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
(Thanks to for the first photo above)

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