The Movie Stuff We’re Thankful For This Year

By  · Published on November 28th, 2013

It’s weirdly easy to forget, but Neal and Dell make it home at the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The film is so much about the journey that it always strikes me funny to remember that they end up in that foyer with 90s sweaters and love surrounding them. For Neal, it’s about returning to his kingdom, and for Dell, it’s about finding a new place to settle into. Leave it to John Hughes, there’s a powerful message delivered when Steven Martin jumps off that train to find John Candy sitting alone in the station. It might be the birth of the bromance, but that’s for a different article.

Obviouly PTandA is one of only a couple dozen Thanksgiving-themed movies (Rocky totally counts, right?), so it’s a nice annual touchstone for the lengths we go to in order to be in the same turkey-centric room with the people we love.

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition around here to give thanks (which is something I’d be thankful for if it didn’t cause a paradox that resulted in Bruce Willis coming from the future with gold strapped to his back), but it’s also nice this time of year to remember that we only have to go as far as our computers to be surrounded by FSR’s friends and family. Although it makes the turkey part trickier. This year, we Rejects – including Landon Palmer, Kevin Carr, Allison Loring, Christopher Campbell, Nathan Adams, Robert Levin, Kate Erbland, Luke Mullen and me – compiled a list of the cinematic stuff we’re most thankful for.

Without further mush, here it is. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

What We’re Thankful For in 2013

That people are almost done talking about the ethics of Man of Steel’s climactic fight

Steven Soderbergh’s un-quiet retirement

The wide-release provocation that was The Counselor

Whatever the hell was going on in Computer Chess

Steve McQueen (both of them)

Frances Ha, Blue Jasmine and Enough Said

Netflix’s emergence as a creative hub

The McConaughssance

The miserable failures of R.I.P.D., The Internship, and The Lone Ranger


Being mad as hell and not taking it anymore

Walter White’s chemistry demonstration

That the Fast & Furious franchise has somehow rebooted itself to make one of the most entertaining films of the year – with more to come! With Statham!

More minion action in Despicable Me 2 and an all-minion movie on deck

Breakout performances from Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) that make That Awkward Moment required viewing just to watch these two acting powerhouses being silly together

The music Cliff Martinez created for Only God Forgives and Spring Breakers

The Dude’s photography

The promise of a mustachioed Peter Dinklage

Calvin and his pal Hobbes

That the scene of Ryan Gosling stripping down at the police station in The Place Beyond The Pines was released

Every line said by Biaggio in The Kings of Summer

Discoveries waiting to be made on the Sight and Sound list

Every flavor of Cornetto

Emma Watson’s Bling Ring American accent

A new film from Richard Curtis (About Time) to give Love Actually a run for it’s feel good money

Another Anchorman movie

Not talking about Fight Club and not talking about Fight Club

Brie Larson in Short Term 12

Truth in Journalism

Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

The rise of the orange tabby, thanks to Inside Llewyn Davis

The Zone (it wants to be respected)

Harryhausen’s stop-motion mastery

Movies that make us cry without very clearly setting up a “here is a big scene that will make you cry” scene, like Captain Phillips, Her, 12 Years a Slave, and yes, even The Best Man Holiday

Good kid actors who herald in a new generation of talent we can all appreciate, like Tye Sheridan, Nick Robinson, and Ty Simpkins

Films that make food sexy again, from the pies of Labor Day to the pasta of Blue Is the Warmest Color

That there are more Star Wars movies coming (still)

Vimeo’s continued push to help indie filmmakers

The Teutonic Titwillow

Randomly finding a new favorite

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

International box office (which saved Pacific Rim)

Groucho’s grease paint eyebrows

Schwarzenegger/Stallone returning to movies (even if they are bombing hard)

Award screeners

The Biscuit Rig

That the It’s a Wonderful Life sequel seems to have been killed

Blofeld is back!

Hi-def, big screen, 3D TVs

Annapurna Pictures bringing us new films from Harmony Korine, Wong Kar Wai, Spike Jonze and David O. Russell in the same year

Joel Hodgson bringing back the Turkey Day tradition of watching cheesy movies with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew all Thanksgiving day

Greta Gerwig run-dancing to David Bowie

The fact that it’s the kick-off of Home Alone watching season

The /Filmcast Marathon

What’s in the box

Jamie Foxx rocket launching things out of a moving car while playing the President

Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker getting to play the leads in a feature film

James Wan bringing some credibility back to mainstream horror

Blu-ray drives and streaming apps on both next-gen consoles

Barnes and Noble Criterion 50% off sales

Roger Ebert’s thoughtfulness and joy (we miss you, man)

Amazon Black Friday deals

Lars Nilsen’s programming for Austin Film Society

Casablanca on Blu-ray

The weekly Criticwire Survey

That the teddy bears in Die Hard and The Hunt for Red October are the same bear

Seeing The Long Goodbye for the first time, what an incredible film

Seeing Chaplin’s City Lights for the first time, amazing

Megan Ellison

All of James Franco’s shit (not his career, his Spring Breakers scene)

The wonderful films of Les Blank, even if it took his death to appreciate what all he’s left us with

That heavy discussion of documentaries never ends, nor does it ever cease to be easy nor boring

Drive-ins, for when you have an infant who can easily sleep in the backseat and you don’t want to waste money on a babysitter but want to go to the movies with your wife

Remakes not physically replacing the original (unlike say a special edition that wipes out the existence of an original preferred version of a film)

Sarah Polley

Saying “Yes” when someone asks if you’re a God

Alamo Drafthouse coming to the New York area

The Inside Llewyn Davis soundtrack

Brilliant, big-budget blockbusters that aren’t about superheroes (i.e. Gravity)

Video stores like Video Free Brooklyn, that continue to fight the good fight

And what are you thankful for?

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector Podcast@brokenprojector | Writing short stories at Adventitious.