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Best New Year’s Day Movies to Watch on Your Home Theater

Eight great ways to start the new year.

After the noise and excitement from your New Year’s Eve celebration quiets down, it’s a great time to kick back and watch a film or two in your home theater. Here are eight selections with an Auld Lang Syne twist, perfect for curling up with a warm blanket and enjoying on your big-screen TV and extra speakers.

Forrest Gump

This multiple Academy Award® winner is a great-looking and great-sounding film that will have you smiling broadly from start to finish. In one sequence, Gump (played by Tom Hanks) spends the 1972 holiday season and New Year’s Day with his lieutenant Dan Taylor, whom he saved during the Vietnam War. They later run a shrimp boat together and create the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, after which they invest in Apple® Computer and become millionaires … and those are just a couple of the plot twists and turns in this powerfully moving film. Check out the trailer here.

Trading Places

In this 1983 comedy, Eddie Murphy is a homeless street hustler and Dan Akroyd is an upper-class commodities broker who are unwittingly involved in an elaborate experiment that entwines their lives. One particularly hilarious scene takes place onboard a Philadelphia-bound train on New Year’s Eve. It involves a gorilla — and that’s all I’ll say about it for now. Check out the trailer here.

Ghostbusters II

There’s nothing like having the likes of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver and Harold Ramis entertain you with some ghostly high-decibel adventure. When slime rises from the streets of New York City on New Year’s Eve and chaos ensues, the Ghostbusters intervene. They even get the Statue of Liberty into the action and drive it through the streets of the city! Check out the trailer here.

Dick Tracy

Based upon the comic strip sleuth of the same name, this visually stunning film is set in the 1930s and features a slew of colorful mobsters, kidnappings, card games and investigations, with a star-studded cast that includes Warren Beatty (as Tracy), Madonna, Dick Van Dyke, Dustin Hoffman, Mandy Patinkin, Paul Sorvino and James Caan. In one memorable New Year’s Eve scene, Tracy faces gun battles and action galore after interrogating the bizarre criminal called Mumbles (Hoffman). Check out the trailer here.

The Godfather Part II

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, this sprawling 1974 classic covers a span of more than half a century. Interestingly, the film was both a sequel and prequel to the original Godfather. In 1997, the American Film Institute ranked it as the 32nd greatest film in American film history. (The Godfather ranked 3rd.) New Year’s Eve celebrations feature prominently during the mesmerizing scene where Michael Corleone (Pacino) finds out that his brother Fredo (John Cazale) betrayed him. Check out the trailer here.

New Year’s Eve

This 2011 romantic comedy takes place — you guessed it— on New Year’s Eve, with a series of intertwining stories and an all-star cast that includes Halle Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ludacris and Zac Efron. Directed by Garry Marshall, it’s a feel-good film with a driving New York City energy that will leave you hungry for more popcorn. Check out the trailer here.

The Poseidon Adventure

This 1972 multiple award-winner is considered by many to be the mother of all disaster films. It takes place on an aged luxury liner on her final voyage from New York City to Athens before being sent to the scrapyard. As the ship’s band rehearses for a New Year’s Day celebration, the captain gets word that an undersea earthquake has triggered a tsunami. The vessel is hit by the wave and capsizes, leading to a saga of survival … and the need for more oxygen. Check out the trailer here.

The Horn Blows at Midnight

This black-and-white 1945 chestnut features Jack Benny as the character Athanael, who plays third trumpet in a late-night radio show orchestra. One night, as the announcer drones on, he falls asleep and dreams he is a junior grade angel and trumpeter in the orchestra of Heaven, with the mission of destroying an over-indulging Earth by blowing his trumpet at exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve. With a doomsday plot like that, it may not sound like a comedy, but it’s actually hilarious! Check out the trailer here.

 

Full-length versions of all the movies listed here are available on YouTube and Amazon Prime except “The Horn Blows At Midnight,” which is available for streaming on DIRECTV.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Tozzoli
Rich Tozzoli is a Grammy-nominated producer/mixer/composer based in the New York area. His credits include work with artists such as Ace Frehley, Hall & Oates, Omar Hakim and Al DiMeola. Rich's music has appeared in over a thousand TV series in 36 countries, and he has written for such shows as Live PD, Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, Duck Dynasty and NBC Olympics. Tozzoli has also authored numerous articles on audio production and technology as well as a book on surround sound mixing.

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