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7 Ultimate Feel-Good Movies That’ll Make You Smile

by Kaylen Summers

After a busy can week, we all are looking for ways to lift our spirits- and sometimes the best way to do it is just relax and stream a good movie. But, the problem with finding feel-good movies is that not all popular movies can bring back your lost joy.

Feel-good movies are those special, lightweight movies that carry an uplifting, thoughtful message that will definitely leave a smile on your face when the credits roll. With that being said, we have selected for you some awe-inspiring feel-good movies that can surely cheer you up.

Check out these binge-worthy movies and let us know which one you liked the most.

The Karate Kid (1984)

⌛2h 6min⭐8.2/10

Some of you might have already seen this one. But, it is still worthy to be on the list for being the hugely popular classic underdog tale. Daniel LaRusso is hassled by the school bullies. Luckily, it is in his apartment building that martial arts master: Kesuke Miyagi lives. He agrees to train Daniel and teaches him more than just self-defense. With newfound confidence and wisdom, will Daniel be able to face off against his tormentors?

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

⌛ 2h 15m ⭐8.6/10

There’s no classic Christmas movie like It’s a Wonderful Life. Premiered in 1946, the movies have without a doubt stood the test of time. Guardian angel Clarence Odbody walks George Bailey through an alternate reality George was never born. Holiday movies may come and go, but this is a heartwarming movie that will always stay close to you.

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

⌛104 min ⭐ 7.3/10

An indie-pop by Noah Baumbach follows the crumbling marriage of a couple and how it affects their two sons. Both parents are writers but are perceived differently by their children. Inspired by the father, Walt is quiet a talent at school but takes weird decisions of giving up his love life, because his father apparently is not a big fan of monogamy. The mother, on the other hand, has fallen out of love with Bernard and finds a romantic interest in another man.

The Big Sick (2017)

⌛2 hours ⭐ 7.6/10

This one is a Prime Video exclusive. Pakistan-born Kumail Nanjiani and graduate student Emily Gardner fall in love. However, with two different cultures, bad things are bound to happen. Emily contracts a mysterious illness.  This forces Kumail to face her parents, his family’s expectations, and his actual feelings.

Forrest Gump (1994)

⌛2h 22min ⭐ 8.8/10

When it comes to all inspiring movies, Tom Hanks has a lot to tell. Here is another flick from the master actor. Teh tale is about a man with a low IQ who accomplished great things in his life. He has been present during significant historic events than anyone had imagined he could do. However, even after all he has achieved, his one true love avoids him.

Cast Away (2000)

⌛2h 23min ⭐7.8/10

If you think that all is worse in your life, wait till you meet Chuck. He is a top international manager for FedEx and is in love with Kelly, a Ph.D. student. As they are heading towards marriage, Chuck’s plane to Malaysia ditches at sea during a terrible storm. He’s the only survivor who washes up on a tiny island with nothing. Now, he needs to find a way to get back to the mainland.

Love & Other Drugs (2010)

⌛1h 52m ⭐6.7/10

Maggie is a lovable free spirit. She who won’t let anyone or anything tie her down. But finally, she meets her match in Jamie. He is relentless and charming and works in the cutthroat world of pharmaceutical sales. The relationship between these two takes them both by surprise. They find themselves under the spell of the superior drug: love.

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5 Reasons Why ‘Boyz N The Hood’ Is Still Relevant

by Kaylen Summers

After almost 18 years since its release, Boyz N The Hood is still considered one of the classic films. The movie revealed to the world a side of Los Angeles that no one outside the area knew. Telling the tale of the streets of South Central, Los Angeles, and Compton, this cult classic is about one of America’s most notorious ghettos.

Directed by a debuting African-American filmmaker, John Singleton’s movie had stars like rapper Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Morris Chestnut. At the time, a movie with such ‘no-so-famous’ colored actors seems not quite like the recipe for blockbuster success. However, Boyz N The Hood proved the skeptics wrong and went on to become a huge success.

Even after all these years, this Oscar-nominated film still feels precious for us. Why we absolutely love this classic?! Here are 5 reasons for you:

1. Ice Cube’s Casting

There is no doubt that the actors of Boyz N The Hood has some of their most brilliant performances. However, if it wasn’t for Ice Cube’s remarkable acting, the movie might have become a little less memorable. With that being said, it was not the same when Ice Cube was the first cast for the movie. The rapper gave a ‘bad audition’. But Singleton took a chance and the rest is history.

2. Eat, Sleep, and Sh*t

Boyz N The Hood is filled with so many iconic moments. But, none will be as memorable as the classic phrase, “All you do is eat, sleep, and sh*t”. The famous dialogue from Mrs.Baker still remains a favorite pop culture reference for many.

3. Liquor Store Conspiracy Theory

“Why is it that there is a gun shop on almost every corner in this community?”. This is this question that Furious Styles asks the old man. It kick-started the very famous liquor store conspiracy theory. Styles’ answer to the question is pure gold: “For the same reason that there is a liquor store on almost every corner in the black community. Why? They want us to kill ourselves.”

4. Reality Check

Boyz N The Hood is notable for not being afraid to show us the realities of being a Black living in the hood. Ricky’s death scene in the alley is still heartbreaking. Ironically, the movie’s depiction is still valid today.

5. Cultural Importance

Boyz N The Hood stands tall as it represents the importance and power of creativity. The movie was literally made against all the Hollywood landscape. It is one of the reasons why this work of art resonates even today.  In 2002, ‘Boyz N the Hood became part of the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress’. It is a program established in 1989 to preserve films deemed important for future generations. 

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‘Stagecoach’ is on Amazon Prime. But is worth watching?!

by Kaylen Summers

American Cinema and its development owe a lot to the Westerns. Ultra stylized gun fights, morally muddy protagonist and lots of bloody violence- nothing is more nothing more wholesome, subversive, and iconic than a good western movie. However, for movie-history enthusiasts, the equation will not be complete without directors like John Ford and actors like John Wayne. Pioneers in their own ways, these people gave us some of the most memorable Westerns of all time- with Stagecoach still occupying a powerful and significant position in film history. But what makes this cult classic worth seeing after all these years?!. Let’s have some whiskey shots and find out.

Academy Awards

Released in the same year as Gone with the WindThe Wizard of OzMr. Smith Goes to WashingtonWuthering Heights, and Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach still managed to score seven Oscar nominations among the heavy competition. It got nominated for best picture, director, editing, art direction, and cinematography. It even bagged the prize for supporting actor (Thomas Mitchell) and music direction.

First Modern Western

Though Westerns were exceedingly popular in the early days of cinema, by the 1930s it fell out of favor. Nobody took them seriously and they ended up us low-budget B-movies. However, John Ford revived the lost status of the genre with Stagecoach. The movie brought realism and new storytelling methods to the genre and was a huge hit. For that, it is considered the first “modern” Western.

Influenced Later Movies

Stagecoach not only revitalized the Western but also became one of the most iconic and influencing movies of all time- for not just Westerns, but other genres as well. An example of this is the one scene in which the stuntman, Yakima Canutt, drops from a horse onto the ground and is dragged under the stagecoach. This scene can be seen imitated in later movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Maverick.

An Ensemble Film

Breaking away from the conventional Western movie plot, Stagecoach is an ensemble movie. It has a storyline with clear-cut main characters. The structure movie is much similar to the modern disaster movie. If you replace the threat of an alien invasion or a massive earthquake with the threat of an Indian attack, then you will get the formula for an ensemble movie like Stagecoach.

Officially Got Remade Twice

There are not many movies that get a remake. However, Stagecoach got officially remade twice. In 1966, a version of the movie was made with Ann-Margret as the prostitute, Red Buttons as the booze salesman, Bing Crosby as the doctor, and Alex Cord as Ringo. Later in 1986, a made-for-TV version was released with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings.

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Gone With The Wind’

by Kaylen Summers

Gone With The Wind is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Set against the American Civil War, the movie talks about the romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, who smuggled arms, food, equipment, and luxuries during the war.

However, there is more to this story than just romance. Themes like war, courage, cowardice, perfidy, loyalty, wealth, poverty, the pretty, the unpretty, evil and good have all played their equal share in making this movie one of the most memorable movies of Hollywood movie history.

Curious to know more about the movie. Here six fascinating things that you never knew about this cult classic.

1. The Academy Awards.

Gone with the wind is know for setting many firsts when it comes to Academy Awards. The movie made Hattie McDaniel the first African-American to be nominated for, and win, an Academy Award. It is the longest-running of all motion pictures to win the prestigious award for Best Picture. The movie is also the first color film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

2. Facing The Music

Max Steiner had to compose the music for the movie in only three months. This was really a challenge for him as 1939 was the busiest year of his career. However, the music director made it possible by sometimes working for 20 hours straight. He even took Benzedrine pills to stay awake.

3. The Cast Hated It!

Thought the movie is considered as an all-time hit, most of the cast members hated their characters.  Clark Gable was forced to take his role by making arrangements to divorce his current wife and marry Carole Lombard. Rand Brooks’ character as Scarlett’s first husband Charles Hamilton felt wimpy for him. Butterfly McQueen didn’t like the negative stereotype of her character. Leslie Howard believed that he was too old for the role of Ashley Wilkes.

4. The burning of the Atlanta Depot

The burning of the Atlanta Depot was the first shot to be flamed. In order to film it right, they actually burned many old sets including the ones from The Garden of Allah (1936) and the “Great Wall” set from King Kong (1933). The fire cost the studios over $25,000 and a total of 113 minutes of footage was shot from it.

5. Racism

A lot of racist issues surrounded the movie, even after it was made. One was them was Hattie McDaniel being criticized by some African-Americans for playing in a supposedly racist film. To this, she responded that she would “rather make seven hundred dollars a week playing a maid than seven dollars being one”.

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8 Cult Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen Before

by Kaylen Summers

Tired of CGI-filled roller-coaster rides?! We hear you loud and clear. Movies these days have turned into nothing but studios trying to make a profit in any way possible. However, there was a time when movies were more about film-making and storytelling.

These cult classics constitute a cornerstone in the long history of cinema. Unfortunately, not all of these movies are well known. There are many hidden gems that people have forgotten over the years. Here is the list of such cult movies that you probably haven’t seen before.

Metropolis (1927)

4.15 | 2h 33min | Drama, Science Fiction

Morden day CGI will stand back when they see what this movie has achieved. Taking place in a futuristic city where the working class and the city planners live divided, the movie tells the love story between the son of the city’s mastermind and a working-class prophet. Check out this movie for some cool vintage practical effects.

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

3.25 | 1h 31min | Drama, Science Fiction, Comedy

Post-apocalyptic tales never get old! This one is set in post-apocalyptic America. Vic is an 18-year old boy with a telepathic dog, Blood. They are scavengers in the desert-like wasteland left behind by World War IV. The survivors must battle for food, shelter, and sexual companionship. Follow Vic and Blood out on their scanty existence, striving for food and fighting ruthless gangs.

Red River (1948)

3.9 | 2h 13min | Western, Action

There is nothing like a good black and white western! Headstrong Thomas Dunson starts a thriving Texas cattle ranch. His helpers are his trusty trail hand, Groot, and an orphan Dunson took under his wing, Matthew Garth. The Civil war has left them broke and they are off to Missouri to sell the cattle at a better price. But, the cranky older man and his stubborn young partner begin to have disagreements on the exhausting journey.

Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (1991)

3.55 | 1h 32min | Comedy, Action, Thriller

Want some kick-ass martial art fights? Then this one is for you. Hardman Ricky is confined in a futuristic prison.  If he wants to survive the corrupt, sadistic system, ultra-violence is the only way. He must undergo multiple tortures before facing the feared ‘gang of four’, and finally the governor. The movie has one of the goriest climaxes ever seen.

Silent Running (1972)

3.35 | 1h 29min | Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction

It’s time for some nerdy sci-fi stuff. Earth in the distant future is barren of all flora and fauna. The only existing ecosystems are in large pods attached to spacecraft. The officials are trying to eject the pods into space and destroy it so that the spacecraft can be reused for commercial purposes.  While most of the crew onboard the craft celebrate going home, botanist Freeman Lowell decides to take matters into his own hands and save nature.

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

4 | 1h 16min | Drama, Western 

Gil Carter and Art Croft reach a small Nevada town. The town is troubled by cattle thieves and thus, Carter and Croft decide to join a posse out to get the criminals. Finally, when they closed in the group of fugitives, they were to decide on a course of action that will affect numerous lives.

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

3.6| 2h 11min | Science Fiction, Thriller

All of the residents of Piedmont, New Mexico, are found dead. Many are suspecting that it is after the return of a space satellite back to Earth. Now it is up to a group of eminent scientists to assemble a secure laboratory and find out why two people from Piedmont – an old alcoholic and a six-month-old baby – survived. Will they be able to stop the already mutated alien lifeform?

The Omega Man (1971)

3.25 | 1h 38min | Action, Science Fiction, Thriller, Drama

You won’t see this kinda movie-goodness in any of the modern tentpoles. Robert Neville is the only survivor of an apocalyptic war waged with biological weapons. His secret is an experimental vaccine. The plague caused by the war has killed everyone except for a few hundred deformed, nocturnal people. They had become sensitive to light and homicidally psychotic. Now, Robert has to survive them too.

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‘Big Fish’ is on Netflix. Here is why you should be watching it

by Kaylen Summers

From Edward Scissorhands to Beetlejuice, Tim Burton has given us some of the most memorable cinema moments. Over the last decade, the master of the macabre has undisputedly created some of the most entertaining movies of all time. However, none will ever be a truly great, emotionally engaging one like the 2003 movie Big Fish.

Why?! We had the same doubts. So we did some investigations of our own and fight out why this movie is a must-watch flick.

1. Not That Spooky

Tim Burton is known for making spooky movies. However, Big Fish is American Gothic rather than pantomime gothic. It is faded, rural Americana and its dark forests and carnival scenes are washed out in an earthy retro tint rather than hallucinogenic and stylized. Though who has seen many of his previous work will easily understand that this one is genuine and fresh.

2. Emotionally Powerful

Rather than being a movie for you to cry out, Big Fish is about a son trying to reconcile his father’s tall tales. These stories were once a source of embarrassment and friction between him and his father. The film’s plot itself is set in a way for us to connect with more emotionally than we know. We too, as a kid, used to look up to our fathers as larger-than-life, legendary figures. This emotion is easily resonated with the movie. The relationship between father and son is explored in Big Fish with great insight and conviction.

3. No Usual Cartoonish Rubbish

Well, you know how absurd these movies can be. In movies like Big Fish, it’s normal to see ordinary people dressed up in the most bizarre, cartoonish way possible. (We are talking about you, Johnny Depp!) However, this flick stands apart by giving some logical space for reality. This nothing over the top. Johnny Depp‘s lip-pursing standoffishness or sideways-glance incomprehension is never once seen. Instead, the movie only provides what is necessary.

4. Return To The Roots

It is obvious that Tim Burton is returning to his roots now. From the suburban angst and unease that characterized Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice, the director has taken much more subtle movies. This transition is heavily evident in Big Fish.

The movie is filled with fantasy flashbacks and led by the charm-bomb Ewan McGregor. More than the spooky stuff, it’s about fun. There is everything from stopping a town from upsetting a giant, catching the titular uncatchable fish and joining a circus, learning one thing each month about the girl he has fallen in love with. This movie certainly will have something to leave in your hearts even after you are done watching it.

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Here Is why ‘Poetic Justice’ is a cult classic.

by Kaylen Summers

Released in 1993, Poetic Justice was a massive hit. The movie debuted No. 1 at the box office during its opening weekend and grossed over $27 million domestically. It made nearly double its actual production budget of $14 million.

Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur played the lead roles. The movie was a follow-up to director John Singleton’s 1991 Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film Boyz n the Hood.

It has been more than 25 years since this movie got released. However, there are many things that make this movie a cult classic. Let us examine these unique elements.

Here are 4 reasons why Poetic Justice is a cult classic:

The Road Trip

Road trips are known for bringing people together and tearing people apart. Justice, Lucky, Chicago and Iesha’s experience in Poetic Justice is also very much the same. The journey takes the four characters through a range of emotions and moments. These experiences helped them alter their lives forever and changing their outlook on life. They discovered new things about themselves. From shooting water pistols at the rest stop to rough arguments, Poetic Justice had everything from the good, bad and ugly of the co-ed road trip. The idea of mixing work with a little bit of pleasure is romanticized to its full charm in this movie.

Poetic Moments

Poetic Justice is mostly what its title promises. There are literally many poetic moments in the movie. Jackson’s character is always reciting poems throughout. One of the most notable one among this is “Alone” and “Phenomenal Woman” by famed poet Maya Angelou. (She also make an appearance in the film). These poems serve as the backdrop to some of the film’s most moving moments, giving the movie some added character and substance. This also helped introduce a generation to the greatness of Angelou.

Battle of The Sexes

A major repeating theme in Poetic Justice is its viewpoints about relations between men and women. These viewpoints are explored from both sides. The infamous salon scene where Lucky first encounters Justice and her man-eating boss Jessie, and his intense arguments with Justice during their trek to Oakland are few examples of the many instances in Poetic Justice that tackle the conflicts between men and women. The movie also points out that this battle of the sexes is one of the reasons for the disconnect that occurs within the black community.

Tupac’s Performance

Tupac Shakur had already proved to audiences that he is a wonderful actor with his performance as Bishop in the 1991 film Juice. Unfortunately, though, he was typecast into roles like thugs or criminals. So Lucky was his ticket out the stereotyping and his brilliant performance as the character proved it right. The character is a law-abiding mailman and caring father. Tupac’s performance is a solid testament to his range as an actor.

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6 reasons why ‘Casablanca’ remains a unique classic film

by Emily Keen

The greatest love story ever made will forever hold a special place in the hearts of cinema lovers. Casablanca is one unique classic that continues to retain its reputation as an iconic film. For obvious reasons of incredible performances and a magnificent screenplay, the film went on to win three academy awards since release. Although, not the biggest hit during the initial phase of release, Michael Curtiz’s highly acclaimed Hollywood classic is more than just a love story. This monumental thriller is also a journey through the setup of the Second World War and its consequences on normal lives.

For those uninitiated, here are six reasons why Casablanca hails as a unique classic film

  1. Rick Blaine

To start with, the variations in character experienced by the Rick Blaine (played by Humphrey Bogart) are rather unconventional. Like most Hollywood heroes, the man cuts a dash. And more importantly, he is the one leading the story through various arcs. But we do not see the world through his point of view. The audience is in fact left to judge the morality of the character through the lens of various other characters. His employees and clientele see him as someone who you cannot easily walk up to for a conversation. He is cold and arrogant. There are times when Blaine comes off quite negative. When the police arrest Signor Ugarte, he says “I stick my neck out for nobody”.

His best friend Renault views the man in stark contrast. He thinks of him as an emotional and compassionate being. And that the cold Rick is nothing but a consequence of a failed love story. These traits are obvious in the character on multiple occasions. For instance when he helps a Bulgarian couple flee to America. The conclusion, in fact, is the greatest testimony to his altruism.

  1. Elsa

Elsa is a strong feminine character, torn between her love for Rick and the respect she has for her husband, Victor. Stuck at crossroads from where it’s either love or responsibilities Ilsa Ingrid finely portrays a heroine who is in no way trying to do anything heroic. She is just a simple woman making her loveless marriage work as a courtesy to her good-natured husband. In doing so, she won’t hesitate to even point a gun at Rick whom she loves so deeply.

  1. Unconventional narrative

The story is presented to us in a disorderly fashion. For those times this was a rather unconventional method of storytelling. The film begins with a shot of Rick’s café and a narrator explaining the background events. The delightful moments of Elsa and Rick’s life are stacked in between the messy present. Moreover, the ending does not resolve any of the chaos, be it the war or Rick’s love life. The War persists and so does the pain of our protagonist’s heart. The film is also a reminder that justice and freedom come with a price.

  1. Separate plotlines

The story perfectly blends in two different plotlines. The first is the love triangle between Rick, Elsa, and her husband. It is the nobility of Elsa’s husband that adds complexity to the narrative. The second plotline is the war and its consequences on the lives of people staying in Casablanca. More importantly, the film has some powerful underlying beliefs and political messages.

  1. The mysterious town of Casablanca

There is always a mystery surrounding the town of Casablanca. The movie is based in a Moroccan setting but there is hardly any reference to Moroccan way of life. It is simply chaotic and reeks of uncertainty. There is a line where a German commander warns Elsa – “human life is cheap in Casablanca”. And people in and around view the city as a prison from which they desire to escape. However unsafe, the town does has some fantasy attached to it. It is the brilliant vision of the makers that fuels our attraction towards mystery and makes us fall for the idea of a risky life.

  1. The Remarkable Conclusion

The climax of this poignant tale of love will break your heart but in a very positive way. It defies the usual traditions of happy endings or the death of a significant character. But ardent movie fans would not have it any other way. For that is what sets the film apart from others in the league. Besides Rick Blaine’s heartfelt decision at the end is what makes him not just one of the greatest known lovers but also a very noble character.

Over the period of its release, Casablanca went on to win three Oscars – Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director. The music is still enchanting to the ears. Can you even listen to ‘As Time Goes By’ and not think of the film? There is nothing and absolutely nothing mediocre about this epic tale of romance. Be it the story, the music or even humor. The film shall forever remain a unique classic film in the history of cinema.

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Why is ‘It Happened One Night’ a Classic Worth Watching?

by Kaylen Summers

It was on Feb. 22, 1934, Frank Capra’s classic road trip film It Happened One Night got released into theaters. The movie was an instant hit and won 5 awards at the 7th Academy Awards, which included the best actor for Clark Gable and actress for Claudette Colbert.

Though the iconic movie is running for more than a good two hours, its excellence is that there is not even one dull moment in it. During the post-production, some of it was left on the editing floor, but it is too good throughout that the audiences won’t mind having some extra footage kept in. The main reason for this is that It Happened One Night has a charming, coherent and believable plot. The characters are also lovely and human that you will instantly connect with them and events they go through.

The movie belongs to an offshoot genre of comedy known as screwball comedy. In many ways similar to the romantic comedy, this sub-genre slowly vanished in the 30s itself. However, It Happened One Night still remains as one of the best screwball comedies and also as an iconic cult classic. It has everything from being a comedy with a kick, drama with a punch, and the acting and direction served at a new high.

The lead roles are played by Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. Gable plays the role of a newspaperman who helps Colbert escape from her father. The two embark on a hitchhike from Miami to New York. And eventually, they fall for each other.

Both Gable and Colbert are seemingly effortless in their acting. It felt as if they were joyfully being utterly natural and devastatingly human throughout the picture. Adding this with the perfect lines did nothing but sparkle. It is as if the makers of the movie made extra sure that not even one single dull line of dialogue was there in the whole thing, and there isn’t a character who is not lively. More than its everlasting charm, this gave the film all its life and personality.

Other characters in the movie include Walter Connolly who looks splendid as Miss Colbert’s father. Roscoe Karns also amuses the audiences as a traveling salesman. Alan Hale’s smaller role is also worthy to be mentioned.
But the icing on the cake was from none other than the director of this classic flick- Frank Capra. Along with Joseph Walker’s cinematography, the two created a marvel on the screen.

Whether you are a fan of comedies or not this one is worth seeing. It’s got superb acting, riotous comedy, big names, and perfect direction. So what are you waiting for?! Go watch the movie and let us know how much you enjoyed the movie, in the comments below.

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‘The Wizard of Oz’ Is The Most Influential Film of All Time. Here Is The Reason

by Kaylen Summers

A recent study has found that The Wizard of Oz is the most influential film of all time. The study conducted at the University of Turin selected MGM’s 1939 musical ‘masterpiece’ from more than 47,000 films.

Based on L.Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s novel ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, the movie was MGM’s biggest production at the time ($3 million). However, the movie turned out to be a failure at the box office initially. It was only with several re-releases that the studio was able to make a healthy financial return from it.

How did such a movie end up as the most influential movie of all time?! We also want to find out the answer to that. There are several factors and a variety of combinations that make up the anatomy of a cult film. We will be taking a close look at these elements in The Wizard of Oz.

1. Breaking the Rules

 

In order for any art to gain cultural significance, it needs to break the existing rules and produce something better. In the case of cinema, this happens more often, but only a few will pass the test of time to become cult classics. When MGM decided to make The Wizard of Oz, they knew that they were breaking or rather bending some contemporary self-imposed ‘unwritten rules’ of the industry.

The production was more of a gamble since it followed the failure of 1933’s Paramount production of Alice in Wonderland.  However, what made MGM stand out is the skillful use of Technicolor. And for that, the movie is still considered as an extremely bold and worthy ‘rule twister’.

2. The ‘Better-Than-Life’ Feeling

Cinema has always shaped our reality. It constantly makes us believe that there is something better than life out there. This feeling of leaving the reality behind can be seen even in the most cynical cult movies. When MGM was producing The Wizard of Oz, they made sure that this ‘better-than-life’ sentiment is provoked in the audience.

The makers of the movie deliberately used sepia tones at the beginning of the film and the end, to represent reality. However, in the ‘surreal world’ they used technicolor (which was a new technology at the time).

As a result, we also fell in love with Dorothy Gale’s fantasy world.

3. Missing Subplots

Loose ends are mostly considered as lazy writing. But in cult movies, they add an extra charm. The idea that the characters ‘live on’ outside of the finished story itself keeps these movies open for new speculations and theories.

The abrupt ending of The Wizard of Oz presents the audience with one such loose ending. Initially, it was planned as Hunk/The Scarecrow (Roy Bolger) leaving for an agricultural college and he would eventually marry Dorothy upon his return. However, this was changed to the ‘Kansas family’ assembling around Dorothy’s bed. Though this change happened as a result of the studio shortening the movie’s runtime, it gave the movie its cult appeal.

4. So Bad, It’s Good.

Wait! Are we talking about bad production or the morality of the content?! Unfortunately, The Wizard of Oz has both. Though the movie was made with the biggest budget of that time, it did had many production flaws. The rough ending of the movie is merely the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the film, there are scenes that end a little too abruptly. The Wicked Witch’s instructions to the flying monkeys are cut short almost mid-sentence. This is one of many clunky and disjointed edits in the movie.

As for the moral side, we all know how the ‘romance’ between Dorothy and Hunk/the Scarecrow got diminished.

What do you think about The Wizard of Oz? Does it deserve to be the most influential film of all time? Let us know in the comments below.

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Why ‘The Shining’ is the scariest (and best) horror movie ever made?

by Kaylen Summers

Hollywood horror classics will not be complete with the genre-defying movie The Shinning from the maestro Stanley Kubrick. It may be a cinematic adaptation of the beloved novel by Stephen King, but the movie has dexterously scraped away most of the supernatural horrors from its source material. Yet, it still remains as the most creepy, unnerving, deeply engaging horror movie to have come out from the genre.

But, how did this movie- without the typical horror genre elements- managed to remain the finest brilliantly-crafted horror movie of all time. Yes! It is directed by Stanley Kubrick and that explains a lot. But, we are still going to take a deep dive into this cult-classic and see what hidden gems are in-store for us.

Jack Nicholson At His Best

Well, this one is actually obvious. The Shining will never be this spooky and eerie without Jack Nicholson’s brilliant performance. We don’t need some masked, machete-wielding serial killer to bring in the scares. It only took Nicholson’s depiction of Jack Torrance and his slow descent into madness. His facial expressions and line delivery are enough to create monster scares than any amount of makeup or costume design ever could. But let’s not forget the other cast of The Shining who gave terrific performances as well, including Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, and even Danny Lloyd.

Fictional Horrors To Explore Real Horrors

There are two ways in which the horror movie genre generates fear in the minds of audiences. One is by the use of fictional elements like werewolves, zombies, black magic or so. The other is by using real devices like death, violence, torture, etc. However, in The Shining, Kubrick skillfully uses the fictional horrors- like the supernatural ghostly presence in the Overlook Hotel, to explore the underlying real-life horrors of abuse and murder. Perhaps, it is this engaging conflict between these two that makes this movie so bone-chilling.

No Cheap Scares

The most wonderful thing to learn from this Kubrik masterpiece is that every scene in the movie needs to be there. There are no out-of-place cliched scenes. Not even a second of the long two and a half hours is wasted with some gruesome horror movie element. Horror classics like Halloween and Rosemary’s Baby maybe some of the best flicks from the genre. But unlike them, The Shining has no fat under its bones. One of the reasons for this might be because the movie was trimmed down in editing to make it more marketable. Whatever the case may be, it ended up as a streamlined horror masterpiece and the genre’s finest.

It’s Wide Open To Interpretations

For any filmmaker who is attempting to make a movie from the genre, The Shining serves as a perfect inspiration in every sense. A major reason for this is that it is open to interpretation. However, no matter how much interpretation that we find in this movie, it will still be open for more. For almost 40 years since it was released, The Shining has gone through infinite deconstructions and countless essays and books than any other movie.

This Shakespearean element of deciphering meanings has kept us at the edge each time we watch the movie. We still can’t ease into it. We still can’t find out the real meaning or end to this incredible cinematic experience. And that makes it a timeless work of art.

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Disney is Plotting the Second Round of Hocus Pocus

by Emily Keen

A sequel of the cult favorite Halloween classic Hocus Pocus is apparently making movements. A report from ‘Collider’ confirmed that Jen D’Angelo is on board and working on the script. The sequel is exclusively aimed for streaming on Disney’s web streaming service, Disney +.

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The report also claims that the writer has been asked to work the script to get back the original characters. The 1993 classic starred Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy in the role of the three lead witches. There are rumors that the three actresses might make a return in the sequel. If they will reprise their roles or pass the legacy to a new generation of actors, is still a fact that remains unclear. Given the fact that the Witches are obsessed with restoring their youth, we may not be wrong to assume that the Sanderson sisters could be portrayed by three young faces.

The original PG-rated film was written by Mick Harris. The plot follows as a young boy, Max unintentionally resurrects the Sanderson sisters (the witches) from the dead inviting trouble for his little sister. The film progresses as Max along with his love interest Allison makes a run from the witches trying to save his sister and all the children in the city. The film was helmed by Kenny Ortega.

Many of the original cast has expressed interest in making a return in the sequel, including the actresses who played the witches and also Doug Jones who played the deadman, Billy Butcherson. Considering the cultural impact of the characters, Disney could very well grant them the wish.

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The film then did not land as a box office success initially, but over the years went on to become one of the most-watched Halloween movies. Despite the film lacking commercial success, Disney has kept its fad piqued with recurring streaming on All Hallows Eve. It’s consistent airing on Disney’s networks probably aided the film’s growth as a classic loved by a huge faction of audience.

As for D’Angelo, she has served as a writer-producer for CBS’ Happy Together and Fox’s sitcom LA to Vegas.  She also holds the credits as the associate producer of Netflix’s Game Over, Man!  She also made a consistent appearance on Facebook series Loosely exactly Nicole, as Veronica.

Disney + launches on November 12 it plans to add a whole lot of fan-favorite freights to the platter in addition to lots of reboots and spin-offs. Stay tuned to Spotflik for more updates on movies.

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