PICKIN' ON FILM: These great movies are worth watching

JOHN BRAGG III, Post Columnist

Now that winterlike temperatures are keeping many people from enjoying the outdoors, here are five great movies to watch indoors.

Most of these movies can be found on premium cable channels right now or in On Demand selections.

‘Cedar Rapids’

This comedic gem follows insurance salesman Tim Lippe (played by Ed Helms from “The Office”) as he travels to a big sales conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Lippe is a bit simple minded, yet kind and optimistic guy who is sent to the conference when an co-worker is found dead in after a lascivious act.

All the pressure is on Tim to win the annual sales award that his predecessor won three previous times.

Things begin to go awry when one of his roommates at the convention, Dean Zeigler, lets him know about a petition that is being passed around to strip his company of the awards.

Played masterfully by John C. Reilly, the loud-mouthed, booze-swilling Zeigler turns out to be an honorable guy and helps Lippe solve his problems.   

‘Win Win’

“Win Win” follows Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti), a small town attorney and high school wrestling coach, as he finds himself in the midst of money troubles.

With few cases on his docket, he makes the decision to help out a wealthy elderly client who wants to stay in his own house even though the courts do not want him to.

Secretly, Mike puts the man in a home while signing up to be his legal guardian to get the $1,500 a month commission for Mike’s own family.

When the elderly man’s grandson shows up, Mike decides to keep the kid.

The “Win Win” is that the kid is an all-star wrestler who puts Mike’s team on track to be a player in the state’s wrestling circuit.

While this film is more of a dramatic comedy, it’s a solid movie all around.

‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’

This film is about a high school kid, known only as Craig (Keir Gilcrist from “United States of Tara”), as he decides to commit himself to a psych ward in New York City for depression.

When he gets there, he immediately regrets his decision.

He is shown the ropes by Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), a fellow patient, and he goes through his week of observation only to make friends and fall in love with a pretty girl in his unit.

The story is, well, like the title suggests. It reminds me of the pressures of high school, as well as what I see my students go through on a daily basis.

It’s a great, lighthearted film.

‘The Art of Getting By’

Also set in New York, this movie follows the life of George (Freddy Highmore), a sharp and talented artist who has a penchant for refusing to follow the rules of his high school.

As George’s family begins to fall apart, he falls in love with Sally (Emma Roberts) and the two start off as friends but begin to develop into something more.

When an artist comes to lecture at their high school and takes George under his wing, Sally eventually falls in love with George’s so-called mentor.

You may remember Freddy Highmore from Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Both he and Roberts are very talented young actors.


This moving story, based on the life of writer Will Riner, follows 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as he discovers he has a rare form of back cancer.

Adam’s doctor gives him a 50/50 chance of surviving the disease.

While this is a serious drama, there is much comedic relief in the form of Adam’s friend Kyle, who goes through his friend’s treatments and pains with him.

Seth Rogen, who is actually a good friend of Riner’s and helped the author in a similar manner, plays Kyle.

This film tugs at my heart strings because it reminds me of what my mother must have gone through when she realized she had colon cancer.

While it is quite serious, Rogen’s antics make it genuinely funny.