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I’m not recommending all of these. I simply put these together so you can have some fun this Friday the 13th.

Bad Luck – I’ve never seen it. (Great way to start the list, eh?)

The Butterfly Effect – A chain-reaction/time-travel/childhood-trauma flick that’s nothing more than a time capsule for the early 21st century. The once-engrossing premise is laughable all these years later. (You’d think someone behind that movie, if not the audience itself, would have had insight into its future place in cinema. Recently, I was leery of its quality as I pressed play.)

Coen Brothers’ earlier films on luck – Blood Simple; Raising Arizona; Miller’s Crossing; Barton Fink; The Hudsucker Proxy; Fargo; The Big Lebowski; O Brother, Where Art Thou?… Actually, I think all of their films have a running theme of luck.

Dragged Across Concrete – So many people in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dumb and Dumber – Or, duh, they’re lucky.

Friday the 13th Part 2 – I originally caught this on TV without a guide. I had no clue as to what I was watching because there is a significant difference from the original movie and the rest of the movies in this series. It’s the only one worth watching, due to the aspect in which I’m vaguely referring.

Final Destination – Another time-capsule movie. Maybe make a drinking game out of it. Drink every time Fate steps in (or doesn’t step in).

Get Out – The more times I watch this movie, the worse the 3rd act becomes. This should have been a milestone classic, not a milestone satire. (For example, Scream could be placed higher on the horror classic list if they would have intertwined realism with the frightening farces of the horror genre.)

Gone Girl – On second thought, I don’t know that any single aspect in this film has to do with luck. The films about choices and outcomes.

Horror movies where people are in the wrong house at the right time (that is, for us to watch them deal with their misery) – The Amityville Horror, Insidious, Poltergeist, Paranormal Activity, The Shining, Sinister, and so on. [Note: Stop pretending like Purge is a good movie. It’s an interesting, but mostly idiotic, premise. Like Inception.]

Interstellar – The best part of an otherwise overrated movie with interesting quantum physics theories is its take on Murphy’s Law. Not sure if there’s an actual idiom origin of the Law, but it’s a less hopeless thought about space and time and daily activities. [Is Christopher Nolan as bad as M. Night Shyamalan but cloaked in spellbinding musical scores? Shyamalan has for sure benefited from James Newton Howard’s credit sequence scores – the best parts of his movies.]

Kill List – Yep.

Newlyweeds – First film by Director Shaka King (Judas and the Black Messiah). Amari Cheatom pulls off the rare balancing act between dramatic acting and comic timing. A couple of awkward moments (relatives similar to Tyler Perry’s Madea as opposed to Redd Foxx’s realistic performance as Fred Sanford), but overall original and offers previews of King’s ability to control early Scorsese-like (early Jean-Luc Godard-like) vibes.

Pure Luck – I’d call this a relaxing comedy. Think of a gritty midnight-theater flick you’d see at a drive-in but replace “gritty” with “goofy” and “drive-in” with “living room filled with afternoon sunlight shining through your open windows.”

Pulp Fiction – You choose who’s lucky and who isn’t. (For first time viewers, maybe make bets at which characters will come out okay – first, defining what “okay” is.)

U-Turn – One of director Oliver Stone’s better films. It’s almost a lost film – hard to find streaming and has been left behind as a pricey DVD from a 1998 distribution. Even Stone came close to forgetting about it immediately after completing it. I read in a Q & A piece that came out just before the movie’s release where he said his next project would be something more independent but then corrected himself, remembering he’d just finishing shooting U-Turn which he considered less mainstream.

Also, we people sometimes make our own luck by being creatively conniving – American Made, Bernie, The Informant, Owning Mahowny, Shattered Glass, and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Good luck.

Dan Jones

Author Dan Jones

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