There is a dark cloud looming over this weekend, and it's called The Swine Flu! Vice President Biden caused quite a panic yesterday when he told the nation he was keeping his family and friends away from enclosed spaces such as subways, airplanes, buses, malls, and the local Wal*Mart. If you don't want to catch this dreaded pig virus, you must wash your hands while counting from A to Z. You must stay away from strangers. And you must avoid the local Cineplex at all costs (because that is the number one breeding ground for icky porcine germs).

This means a lot of you would-be ticket buyers are going to be stuck at home, guzzling antibiotics and trying to duct tape your windows shut this weekend. When the dust has settled, and you finally have the living room walled off in bubble wrap, that most dread villian is bound to strike. And her name is: Weekend Boredom! One alternative to fighting off this self-imposed containment would be downloading Wolverine and then mailing twelve bucks directly to 20th Century Fox in a plain white envelope. Or, you could celebrate this scary pandemic by indulging in our Swine Flu movie marathon. Get yourself a blanket, download these films, and smile as the human race is pushed further into oblivion:

Piglet's Big MoviePiglet's Big Movie! In this stinging tribute to everyone's favorite little porker, Piglet realizes he's about as wanted as the Swine Flu! When distressing problems begin to crop up around the 100-Acre Woods, no one has time for our beloved stuttering mess. A keen problem solver, the sweater-wearing hog proves himself to be way more effective than anyone could have ever imagined. He skips from one problem to the next, fixing all leaky holes and boarding up the horde of deadly bees that have gotten loose. Sadly, no one notices his hard work and determination. Before long, poor Piglet wanders away, never to be seen again. Throughout the film, Piglet gives himself over to every complication that comes his way. No one ever recognizes his contributions, and others, such as Pooh and Tigger, take credit for Piglet's superhero-like ways of solving most any problem. It's a cute, yet painfully accurate portrayal of misunderstood youth and the pig aesthetic.

The CraziesThe Crazies! George A. Romero's seminal 1973-cult masterpiece looks at the side effects and public hysteria caused by the accidental release of a military biological weapon upon the inhabitants of a small American town. The film follows both the efforts of local civilians to stay alive during the disaster, as well the course taken by our political leaders. Despite efforts to contain the dreaded virus, townsfolk begin to lose their mind. They go crazy, start killing people, and then fall over dead. It's quite the conundrum, and the disease is bound to spread throughout the rest of the United Stated. The eventual outcome leads to various uppity-ups in Washington okaying the complete decimation of Evans City, Pennsylvania by way of nuclear bombardment. Despite their best efforts, the military is unable to stop the spread of the Trixie Virus, and it presumable consumes the country.

Babe: Pig in the CityBabe: Pig in the City! America's most beloved talking pig leaves the comforts of his modest farm home to attack and ravage an amalgamated fictional city known as Metropolis. When the Hoggett's estate is forced into foreclosure, Esme and her prize winning porcine head off to compete in a fair. Suspected of being terrorists, the aged, unsightly woman and Babe are detained at the airport. They must later take refuge in a dilapidated hotel. There, Babe infects a group of wayward animals with his winning personality. He wins their loyalty and respect when he defeats the local bully (a disgustingly cute bull terrier) by nearly hanging the dog off a bridge. He is worshipped like a god, but the animals loose faith in his effectiveness when they are captured by the local police and shipped out of the city. Babe, ever the persistent pig, eventually saves them and returns them to the good life.

OutbreakOutbreak! This fun and exciting thriller looks at the social effects caused by a sudden outbreak of a fictional Ebola-like virus called Motaba. The events that happen in the town of Cedar Creek, California closely mirror the dilemma faced by the citizens of Evans City in The Crazies. The movie goes to great lengths in imagining what the military would do to contain the spread of a deadly virus such as this. The Motaba virus is found swimming around inside an African monkey, and its existence (like the original bout of The Swine Flu) is kept secret from the public at large. When the white fronted Capuchin arrives in Cedar Creek as a newly purchased pet, it spits in the face of new owner Jimbo, and before to long, all Hell breaks loose. Like they did with the Trixie virus, the government decides to bomb it out of existence. Hmm. Do you think this is what they will do with the pig virus? It's been the only means of dealing with it in two different movies, now.

Charlotte's WebCharlotte's Web! E.B. White's acclaimed children's novel gets the live action adaptation treatment with this hilarious Dakota Fanning charmer. In it, Farm pig Wilbur strikes up a relationship with a barn spider named Charlotte, and she eventually saves him from the slaughter house by writing the poor doomed hog's praises in her webbing. Wilbur's first death sentence comes for being the runt of the litter. He eventually wins over the heart of the farmer's eight-year-old daughter, and moves into the house as a pet. Always the rambunctious porker, the young pig is eventually sold off to an uncle where he is placed outside. Growing lonelier by the day, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a spider, and together, they execute a plan to keep poor Wilbur from becoming Christmas dinner. Later, when Charlotte dies, Wilbur takes care of her little spider babies. It's a weird anology for getting along in this life, and it's been pleasing kids of every age since 1952.

BlindnessBlindness! This scary little ditty is based on Jose Saramago's thrilling 1995 novel of the same name. The film looks at a society suffering from an epidemic of blindness. Called the "White Sickness", it afflicts nearly every member in an unnamed American city. Of course, as with Outbreak and The Crazies, the virus brings a societal breakdown that tears at the fabric of our very culture. The keen narrative follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters as they are stricken with this acute disease. We watch as the "White Sickness" causes mass hysteria and widespread panic. The city starts to unravel, and the government is brought in to contain the contagion. Unable to make much of a dent in curbing the virus' spread, society falls apart, and all law and order is demolished. Here, the military doesn't bomb the epidemic away. And for the first time, a "disease" movie ends on a note of hope, as some of the citizens begin to regain their sight. Whop-doo!

Private PartsPrivate Parts! Is he the king of all media? Or is he a pig? Find out for yourself in this hilarious, heartwarming look at America's most beloved shock jock of all time Howard Stern. The film follows our hero from his humble beginnings, to the moment he began to dominate free radio. Based on his 1993 autobiography, our hero rises above the muck of everyday life to become something larger than his own aspirations. Directing by Betty Thomas with a delightful eye for the absurd, we live through Howard's childhood, his college days, and his time spent as a disc jockey in New York. It's not the rude, crude expose that most people were expecting at the time of its release. Instead, it is a heartfelt, emotional journey that captures the inane humor that has made this man one of the greatest DJs of our generation. Maybe you think you know him. But won't really know the heart that lurks underneath this swine until you'll you've experienced this truly great biopic. Plus, Paul Giamatti plays a character affectionately known as Pig Vomit! What better way to celebrate this bold Swine Flu weekend?

PigsPigs [35th Anniversary Edition] In this shocking wildlife horror cult oddity, Toni Lawrence plays Lynn Webster, an escapee from a mental hospital who takes refuge in a local farm inhabited by Mr. Zambrini and his pack of flesh-eating pigs. When Lynn starts killing people who remind her of her abusive father, Zambrini feeds the remains to his sadistic sows. However, law enforcement starts to catch up with the two of them. Sadly, the pigs have already tasted blood. And their hunger cannot be contained by the police alone. It's a harrowing, ugly little shocker that will have you looking at Piglet, Babe, and Wilbur in a whole new light. You might think pigs are harmless little creatures that root around in mud and make the most of their time by shitting on themselves. That all they do is torment the Jews. But after watching this horrifying expose on the appetite of your average barnyard pig, you will have second thoughts about adopting one into your own life.

Wag the DogWag the Dog! What's really going on with The Swine Flu? We don't know for sure at this point, but this 1997 comedy won't do anything to ease your mind about the situation our nation, as well as the rest of the globe, currently faces. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro, this sneering political drama follows the plight of a Washington D.C. spin-doctor as he tries to distract the American public from a U.S. presidential sex scandal by hiring a Hollywood producer to construct a fake war in Albania. It might be the scariest movie ever made about American politics. It's saving grace? It's also extremely funny. So grab a bowl of disinfected popcorn, sit back, and relax. We might only be here for a limited amount of time. Enjoy it while you can!

Enjoy your Swine Flu weekend! Eat food! Drink Antibiotics! Whoop-doo!

Cinemark Movie Club
B. Alan Orange