"The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything. The better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”
A wise (not so) old meme recently question if we’ve tried unplugging 2020, waiting 10 seconds and plugging it back in.
Clever, but as we know—there are no do-overs in this life. We're living with a new reality, so leaning on a little common sense, patience, compassion and understanding is our only hope.
With all major sporting cancelled postponed for the immediate future—as well as logic dictating that we all do our best to avoid the outside world, all playing a small part in slowing the spread of the virus down—William Murray is taking the make-lemonade-out-of-lemons approach as best we can.
Forced relaxation and unexpected close quarters will either make or break a household—while pop culture has proven that a little bit of Murray magic can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered.
Below, in honor of this eerie Friday the 13th—the first part in a two-part Top 13 list Murray-fueled classics with a COVID-19 logic behind the choices and order—setting up a low-key weekend of Netflix-and-Bill:
Honorable Mention: “Scrooged” — We realize most of you aren’t ready to revisit a festive Christmas mood, and probably watched the Richard Donner-produced holiday classic a few months back—but during a time when we’ve devolved to stockpiling Charmin and SmartWater, maybe a little bit of perspective through seeing the self-absorbed Frank Cross brought to his knees is a good thing.
From suggesting stapling mini-antlers onto a mouse's head, to doing a 180º and clamoring for that Christmas feeling to be a year-round thing—Scrooged serves as a reminder that we can go from our worst to our best, if we’re willing to face our demons, get scared straight and want to flip the script.
Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime and YouTube—as well as for free with a Hulu subscription.
#13 — “Zombieland” — This one almost didn’t make the list, as it hit too close to home with that whole end-of-times theme, made even worse by—spoiler alert—a world without Bill Murray.
Despite only showing up in a cameo, The Murricane went into vintage scene stealing-mode when playing himself during a zombie apocalypse. Using some Hollywood make-up trickery, Bill dressed like a zombie in effort to go undetected while playing some golf in the Pacific Palisades.
Bonus points for an accidental death scene during a time-killing viewing of Ghostbusters—there’s still enough Murray magic on display in this zombie-comedy for it to make the list.
Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime and Vudu—as well as with as for free with a fuboTV subscription.
#12 — “St. Vincent” — Bill in a dramatic role, with a healthy dose of redemption for Vincent MacKenna in the final act—this comedy-drama has that little bit of feel-good we could all use right now.
Also, in a better-him-than-me type situation—watching the doldrum life of a retired, grumpy, war vet who smokes and gambles his days away; “St. Vincent” has a way of making our personal problems seem a bit smaller and more manageable.
Saints are flawed, just as all human beings are flawed—but those defects don’t have to define us.
It’s also impossible to not enjoy watching Vincent’s cold, grinch-like heart eventually melting by way of a persistent, good-natured kid that refuses to give up on him.
Available for purchase on iTunes and AmazonPrime—as well as for free with as with a Vudu or Tubi subscription.
#11 — “Meatballs” — Tripper Harrison is the motivational camp counselor we could all use right about now.
Not only did Tripp take an outcast camper—the mild-mannered Rudy—under his wing, he also delivered an inspiration-yet-authentic speech to the misfits and oddballs of North Star, knowing what they were walking into against the entitled and elitist kids from Camp Mohawk.
“Even if God in heaven above comes down and points His hand at our side of the field … even if every man, woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win … it just wouldn’t matter, because all the really good looking girls would still go out with a guy from Mohawk cause they’ve got all the money. It just doesn’t matter if we win or lose.”
While a pandemic is nothing to turn one’s nose up at, in regards to all the other small stuff we’re sweating in this process—it just doesn’t matter … it just doesn’t matter … it just doesn’t matter.
Available for purchase on iTunes and AmazonPrime—as well as for free on YouTube, or with a Vudu or Tubi subscription.
#10 — “Kingpin” — "Sometimes a bowler just has to face the music … and that bowler is you, Roy”—those fateful words of “Big Ern” McCracken, derived to wunderkind Roy Munson before hanging him out to dry after a scam gone awry.
While few were truly rooting for Bill in this villainous role, he was still an entertaining antihero in this Farrely Brothers classic, full of one-liners.
While the thought of sticking any digits in a filthy bowling ball is a bit much—with hand sanitizer and wipes at such a premium—a fitting final act with everyone getting what they deserve.
Keep those Tanqueray and TABs coming as we’ve got a long, self-imposed quarantine ahead.
Available with Netflix subscription and for free on Tubi and Crackle—as well as for purchase on Amazon Prime or YouTube.
#9 — “Stripes” — If we could all have a laid-back attitude and approach like the iconic John Winger— the quick-witted cab driver who lost his job, apartment, car and girlfriend over the span of an average Louisville afternoon.
With no time or desire to sulk, Winger joined the army—and did what any average friend would do; convinced his best buddy to join him in a bad decision, that in Hollywood fashion, ended triumphantly.
May we all channel our inner-John Winger and live these coming weeks (or months) like a hundred-dollar shine on a three-dollar pair of boots.
Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime or YouTube—as well as for free with a fuboTV subscription.
#8 — “Rushmore” — Herman Blume the handful of misfits at Rushmore Academy to take dead aim on the rich kids and to take them down.
Unfortunately we are all set to deal with some entitled individuals during this trying time; but remember, those with a financial advantage who can buy anything—they still can’t buy back bone.
Toss in the never-say-die Max Fischer, an unorthodox love triangle and a final act performance that was safety goggles-worthy—this is Wes Anderson in peak form, with Bill playing the perfect mid-life crisis-having, happiness-seeking, in-repair schlub.
Available for purchase on iTunes, AmazonPrime or YouTube—as well as for free on-demand with a Cinemax subscription.