Tarantino Delivers His 9th Film

When it comes to the cinematic universe, its Quentin Tarantino’s world and we all are just experiencing it. No one has created his own world so parallel to our own without ever crossing over the way he has. He has managed to expand that world from pre-civil wartime right down to today.

A few years back Tarantino announced that after his 10 directed feature he was going to stop directing films. Note that I said directing, not completely quit Hollywood altogether. This weekend saw the release of what is considered his 9th feature film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. So if all holds true that means movie fans and cinephiles has just one film left that will be pure Quentin Tarantino.

With a cinematic universe like Tarantino’s the one thing I’ve found interesting and even unique is how he has never seemed to cross from his world into our reality for the most part. Never has a major plotline or set of characters that exist in our world, followed the same path or taken a foothold in his world in the same way. He is truly an original from concept to completion and it is something that we are never going to see the likes of again.

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is no different and fans of the director should expect no different. That is not to say that he hasn’t changed things or attempted to tell the story he sees in his head differently than he has before. He has always tried new things and presented things in ways like he never has before.

When it was announced his next film would take place in Los Angeles in 1969 and involve the famous murder of Sharon Tate at the hands of the Manson family, speculation began to swirl. It wasn’t long until he began to tamp down the speculation that this is NOT a film about the Manson killings rather that is one major event that plays a big part in telling the story that he wants to tell.

The late 1960s were an especially volatile time in America. 1968 saw two of the most upsetting assassinations in the history of our country with Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy both being stricken down just a few months apart. Then as the decade comes to a close, some of the decade and thee centuries most defining events would happen. Woodstock would forever symbolize love and peace, the lunar landing (if you believe that moon landing happened) flexed some of the biggest Cold War muscle and the terror inflicted by Charles Manson and his followers also known as his family let everyone know that the human embodiment of evil was still alive and well.

It is in the Hollywood hills of 1969 that Tarantino has chosen to tell his next story. The ever innocent and beautiful Sharon Tate and her new husband Roman Polanski have just bought the house next door to former western TV star Rick Dalton who finds himself on the back end of a career he has no idea how to revive and has accepted the fact that he is relegated to taking guest roles on current hit shows has the bad guy to just keep his name somewhat alive.

Always at his side is his close friend and former stunt double Cliff Booth. Booth hasn’t found stunt work in quite some time and is now Dalton’s driver (due to Dalton’s many alcohol-fueled mishaps and loss of license) and general handyman.

It is within the telling of this story where Tarantino differs a little from his normal ways. All. The trademarks of classic Quentin are still there mind you. The sharp dialogue the pacing and the overall continuity that he is well. Known and loved for. The main difference I noticed is that it is difficult to see the path the film and its characters are walking down. With all that said it still keeps you engaged and interested and invested in what is going on with them.

By the time the credits begin to roll you are left satisfied in the way, fans are used to being left at the end of a Tarantino film.

Once Upon A Time marks the first time that Brad Pitt (Booth) and Leonardo Di Caprio have appeared together on the silver screen and their chemistry and ability do not disappoint. Margot Robbie makes her Tarantino debut as the immortal Sharon Tate and despite the limited dialogue for her, she is about as perfectly cast as they come.

This, however, is not the traditional Tarantino movie in a sense but when the film has had time to settle in after the initial viewing and one can dwell on it more it becomes another great masterpiece that he can proudly hang his hat on. This film is a great piece in the collection of films that will make up Tarantino’s legacy.

Movies For Insomniacs

I have a theory that every true cinephile deals with deep bouts of insomnia and anxiety. We look to enter other worlds and other lives when anxiety and the trials of life keep us up at night. All cinephiles have movies that we go to when those bouts of insomnia and anxiety take over. There are some perfect movies for insomniacs.

In a two-part series, I will break down my ten favorite movies I go to when unable to sleep or when I’m battling severe anxiety. Maybe these films will find their way into your insomnia rotation. In no particular order, here are my first five movies.

Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation makes my list for a multitude of reasons. One of which is very obvious, the main characters themselves are insomniacs due to jet lag halfway across the world. When this movie came out, it struck me in a way that I could not stop watching it, day and night. I was enthralled with the story, the performances and the humanity of it. By the time it was released on video I was working security overnights and I happened to have a portable DVD player and Lost In Translation was in regular rotation during my movie watching marathons. To this day, this movie feels best when I watch it at an awkward hour like 2 am or 7:30 am. With all that said it’s a modern classic no matter what hour you watch it.

Adventureland

Greg Mattola’s highly underrated coming of age film was the first time we got to see the great on-screen chemistry between Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. One thing that is very difficult to do in cinema is capture nostalgia. Woody Allen has been a master of it when it comes to the 1940’s and 1950’s. Mattola did a masterful job capturing the 1980’s over a summer working a run-down theme park in Pittsburgh. Adventureland has a killer soundtrack and gives off that great comfort feeling you look for when in a bad mental state or in a state where you need to get comfortable when you can’t seem to fall asleep.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is one of the most mind-bending yet endearing and truthful romance films of the last 30 years or more. With a unique concept yet not one that hasn’t gone through the mind of anyone coming off a break-up, I wish I could forget you. It’s a unique storytelling style, and original narration makes it a perfect movie for an insomniac. It is as much of an experience as it is a movie. You can read my whole write up on the film here.

Fight Club

Another mark of a good movie to watch in the middle of the night is one whose majority takes place at night. With not only a dark subject it primarily takes place when the sun is set. Another mind-bending type movie, which is precisely the state of mind of the insomniac, Fight Club feeds off this and takes you on a ride and eventually knocks you out. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were at the top of their game when they teamed up for this ultimate guy movie classic.

Magnolia

I am a firm believer that ANY Paul Thomas Anderson film could fit here, but for some reason, Magnolia sticks out to me here. It may just be because I first saw it late at night on cable after it had come out and before I knew the genius he was. It could also be the pacing that his movies tend to have. There are moments of uncomfortable silence that match the uncomfortableness of insomnia or anxiety. It contains one of my favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman performances. His screen time with Jason Robards is an acting class amongst itself.

Be prepared for another list of late night movies for insomniacs.

All The Money In The World Review

It is almost impossible for people to fathom how rich some people in the world, past, and present are. America is littered with these titans of business who made their way from nothing to more money than they could spend over the course of ten lifetimes. People like Commodore Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford right down to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs in our time. We often hear how people like Gates and Jobs were generous with charity and how they desire for their kids to make their way in life. People trying to extract money from people of this worth is all too common, but sometimes it can be horrific. All The Money In The World shows the harrowing side of that wealth.

In 1973 in Rome Jean Paul Getty, who was One of America’s only billionaires at the time, had his sixteen-year-old grandson kidnapped and held for a ransom price of seventeen million dollars. Jean Paul Getty III was not particularly close with his grandfather or his dad who never learned how to live up to the Getty name. Paul as he was called, lived with his mother in Rome after his parents split and lived on the opposite financial spectrum than his name would suggest. When the ransom was demanded, many people expected the most senior Getty to shell out the money and put the whole thing to rest. J. Paul did no such thing and had no intention of negotiating that price at all.

Ridley Scott has put forth his second film of the year, the first being Alien: Covenant and now All The Money In The World which has generated so much buzz as of late because of the quick, massive overhaul the film went through just days before its scheduled release. Cast initially and filmed in the role of J. Paul Getty was an almost unrecognizable Kevin Spacey, but after numerous reports of severe sexual misconduct, Ridley Scott strand into action to save his movie and sever any connection to Kevin Spacey and his controversy.

With just over a month before its release, Scott recast the role of Getty with Christopher Plummer, who was initially considered for the role. With stars Michelle Williams and Mark Whalberg agreeing to reshoot all the needed scenes for no pay the crew headed back to Italy and in 10 days had a whole new set of films to be edited into the movie. All of this was an undertaking, unlike anything I have ever heard about before. After all, that was said and done, and the film was released, my first reaction was, “I can’t picture anyone else having played Getty and played him that well.”

The final product has no signs that anything had been altered or that anything had been rushed along. Aside from a superb performance by Plummer (who in the matter of a month, filmed a movie and received a golden globe nomination for it.) Michelle Williams turns in one dominant performance as Abigail Getty, the former daughter in law of the oil magnate. Williams desperation and determination in her performance is undeniable which is why she has received her fifth Golden Globe nomination and most likely her fifth Oscar nomination. Those were numbers I almost had to look at twice. Williams has quietly become one of the most talented actresses in the business today, and every bit of that is on display in this role. She gives her best performance since she played the iconic Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn.

The harrowing true story of the highly publicized kidnapping and the unbelievable ransom negotiation that went on with the worlds richest man makes for a beautiful film thanks to consummate professionals like Ridley Scott, Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer. The performances have us feeling frustrated for Abigail and yet furious at the eldest Getty for being, for lack of a better word, cheap. Christopher Plummer has the incredible ability to make us feel as though his family is the only thing that matters to him as well as feeling that he has a stone cold heart and cares purely for money and nothing else.

Field Of Dreams Transcends The Game It Honors

Everyone who loves baseball has several reasons why they like it. Some call it the perfect game, others call it the thinking man’s athletic sport. Still, others love the fanfare that comes with going to a game. There is one thing for sure, every fan has a baseball hero, and no sport loves it’s heroes the way the game of baseball does. They honor and remember all of its greats like no other profession and entertainment does. They are near mythic heroes, and the stories are like that of old Greek gods. Field Of Dreams pays homage to all of that.

One movie took all these loves of heroes and the love people had of their heroes and did it better than any tribute any book or story could do. Field Of Dreams is just that, a tip of the hat to baseball’s heroes and those that remember and love those heroes. It’s not as much a baseball movie as it is a love of what baseball has brought to people and how it has affected people.

Field Of Dreams is much more than a baseball movie; it’s a nostalgia movie. It uses baseball as it’s vehicle to show a man’s never forgotten the love of his father and how he vowed to love his family as much as his father loved him only he’s going to show it much more than his father did.

Kevin Costner has been criticized in the past for making too many baseball movies and playing it safe in that regard, but his first two baseball movies were nothing short of pure gems as far as movies go. We did not include Field Of Dreams on our top five baseball movie list because it seems to be about so much more than baseball. A man’s search to understand his father and his father’s love for a game, baseball is the medium the storyteller uses many fathers and sons can appreciate that.

It helps to pull the intended emotions of the storyteller and made every man who saw the movie or read the book immediately want to hug his father and play catch with them just one more time.

Field Of Dreams is a movie that will forever be seen by young men and their fathers that will translate through the line of time. It will always also make grown men cry forever, and that’s what it should do. There is no shame in that and maybe it being a sports movie is what makes that OK, but sports or not it’s a love story between a father and son and with one game of catch all the unsaid things they wanted to say to each other is finally said and accepted.

The Whirlwind Career Of Robert Downey Jr.

The life and career of Robert Downey Jr. are more of a roller coaster than any movie he’s ever made. His well documented legal and addiction troubles nearly derailed an acting career that was skyrocketing complete with an Oscar nomination, a season on SNL and being the lead alongside superstars like Mel Gibson all by the time he was 27.

His descent into a life of addiction and prison time almost became more well known than any movie he had ever made. Four films are the most pivotal movies in his life and career all for very different reasons. I’m going to break them down in chronological order and why they are so important in the life and career of Robert Downey Jr.

The Career Of Robert Downey Jr.

Before I lay out the list, there are a few films I should mention first that were also essential films for Downey but not as game-changing. The film Air America was one of the first where he was indeed a marquee star. It was a buddy comedy with Mel Gibson who was hitting his peak of fame.

The second film was Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas. This movie was one of the first where everyone thought he was starting to turn the corner. His performance was highly praised, but he was still a few years away from sobriety and the fact that he wasn’t sober overshadowed his performance.

Third and fourth came back to back with Tropic Thunder which earned him his second academy award nomination and he was the all the talk of the awards that night even though he didn’t come home with a statue. He was now famously five years sober and clearly at the top of his acting talents and showing how great he was.

The fourth was Sherlock Holmes which earned him the golden globe and provided the opportunity for his peers to celebrate him and his new life and serious commitment to his career. It was an emotional yet very deserved moment.

1. Less Than Zero (1987)

Less Than Zero was the first time he was billed with Jr. attached to his name and the beginning of some of the legendary party stories for RDJ. this is where the career of Robert Downey Jr. REALLY began He has been quoted as saying this was the first time his drug and alcohol use spilled over into the production and not just during his downtime. Director Marek Kanievska told him and his co-star Andrew McCarthy (who battled his own addiction problems) to go out and party to get into character. This direction probably wasn’t the reason his abuses took such a foothold but more than likely they sped things up. The film was panned by critics and even the author of the source material book of the same name. It has since gained more appreciation in the 30 years since its release, but its foreshadowing can’t be ignored.

2. Chaplin (1992)

RDJ blew the doors off his portrayal of the legendary screen icon and gave Downey his first Oscar nomination, and it was well earned. Despite all his faults, he was able to transform himself completely. It would also turn out to be one of the last films for a long time that wouldn’t be plagued by his demons. Most critics and fans looked at Chaplin as the movie that showed what RDJ could have been.

3. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

2003 is the year Downey got sober and finally stayed sober for which he credits his current wife and her support for him. Downey came to realize he couldn’t go anywhere other than prison or the grave and he has famously said that he is allergic to drugs and alcohol, he always breaks out into handcuffs. It would still be two years before he would make an impact and headline a major motion picture and prove to people he was more committed to his career than to ruin it. The buddy picture that was written and directed by the writer of the massive hit Lethal Weapon had RDJ star alongside Val Kilmer and proved to be a highly underrated movie and showed Downey’s comedic brilliance.

4. Iron Man (2008)

The superhero resurgence and current domination can be traced to one film, Iron Man. The juggernaut of Marvel Comics becoming kings of the box office is where it is because RDJ WAS Tony Stark. Every embodiment of that character is deep inside him, and he OWNED it. He had been sober for five years and was still busting his butt to prove to be people his commitment to acting. He became the biggest star in the world with this movie and solidified himself as 100 percent back in the game.

It is wonderful to know that there is a whole generation of movie fans that will only know him at this point in his career. It is forever in his contracts that he has to provide insurance for the films in the case he was, and his salary is held until the film is complete. He will always have to fight his demons and in a sense will always be paying for his past but thankfully all movie fans he convinced us all that he is back. I am just glad the the life and career of Robert Downey Jr. is as of yet unfinished with much more to come.

Top 5 Robert De Niro Films Of The 1970’s

There is no doubt that Robert De Niro is one of the most talented, fearless and ferocious actors of the last forty plus years. It is with this in mind that has lead me to my most recent top 5 list, or should I say lists. I have decided to break down Robert De Niro’s career, decade by decade with a top 5 list for every decade he has been relevant in the business.

This top 5 list will begin with the decade in which De Niro blazed on the scene and quickly became one of the most respected actors, the 1970’s. De Niro’s work was fairly limited in the 70’s but not at all to be forgotten as some of his most moving and unforgettable films would be made in the 70’s. Without any more build up, here are Robert De Niro’s best films of the 1970’s.

5. Bang The Drum Slowly

De Niro plays a baseball player with a fatal illness who forms a strong bond with one pitcher on the team. This was the first film in which people really took notice of De Niro and his acting ability. Based on a New York baseball team, it would be a fellow New Yorker that would cement him and begin his legacy.

4. Mean Streets

This would prove to be one of the most pivotal films in Robert De Niro’s career. It aligned him with a young visionary director named Martin Scorsese. The marriage of Scorsese and De Niro would prove to be one of the most prolific in Hollywood history. This pairing will appear many more times as these lists are written. Mean Streets is a raw, real look at life and crime in early 70’s New York City.

3. Taxi Driver

The second film made with Scorsese is the second film on the list. Playing Travis Bickle was a total master performance. Robert De Niro is absolutely terrifying and intense as the outcast cab driver who has crazy intentions and lives an odd life. Set in New York City it again portrays a scene in New York at the time it was filmed that people were not used to seeing and becoming afraid of.

2. The Godfather II

Playing one of the most iconic characters in film history, Vito Corleone, Robert De Niro would take home his first Academy Award. As a young Vito, his role would be spoken almost exclusively in Italian, which De Niro learned just for the role. This is the first and only time, two actors won Oscars for playing the same role. The Godfather II would go on to make De Niro a household name and star.

1. The Deer Hunter

The character of Michael and the film The Deer Hunter are quite possibly the most emotional in film history. Robert DeNiro is nothing shy of brilliant and fortunate to be surrounded by maybe the best performance by an ensemble cast ever. With memorable scenes like the Russian roulette scene and when Michael visits Steven in the hospital, he quite possibly became the greatest actor of his time. De Niro was never so emotional talking about a film as he was when he received his AFI life achievement award and spoke about his scene with John Savage when he visited him in the hospital, De Niro broke down in tears. That was enough to place this film at the top of all the movies he made in the 1970’s.

Saturday Night Fever Captured The Disco Era With Perfect Accuracy

Every decade seems to have a movie that captures perfectly the feeling and times of that era. The music, the clothes, the voice. A movie like Saturday Night Fever captured a time and place unlike many other movies do.

The 70’s was a time of party and excess. The Vietnam war came to a close, and a new genre of music rose to dizzying heights for the first time since Rock ‘N’ Roll busted through in the 50’s. So if one movie truly captured this and those who consider this time, “their generation,” what would it be? A more dramatic way to answer would be with a specific beat, but this is not an interactive blog yet, and there is no podcast, however.
Saturday Night Fever captured post-high school life without college in working-class America. The film would make a household name out of John Travolta and at the same time make him a more prominent film star than anything else could have done.

Saturday Night Fever was based on a short story out of the New Yorker magazine about a Brooklyn youth who works at a blue collar job whose life revolves around blowing off steam every Saturday night at the local discotheque where he and his friends are the real kings and most popular.

Travolta brought Tony Manero to life with what may still be his best performance on screen, with all due respect to Pulp Fiction. Manero was the leader of a group of friends who, when they enter the 2001disco are known as “the faces.” Tony is hands down the ruler of the dance floor and the taste of every woman in the club. Events unfold that lead Tony to ponder his choices in associates and lifestyle. He begins to look to the future for a life that gives him any sense of fulfillment like he feels when he’s dancing.

With a soundtrack that still may be considered at the top of the heap after all these years, Saturday Night Fever created and revived a small culture of disco lovers and made disco the most significant and hottest trend in the world. Disco lifestyle became everything that represented cool. Studio 54 would not have existed without Saturday Night Fever. It was the exact definition of a phenomenon. The polyester clothes, the perfect hair, the dance moves, everything was just so and couldn’t be replicated without it feeling cliche.

The 1970’s is a time I have only experienced through movies and television and stories of those that lived it. From all I’ve gathered and learned, Saturday Night Fever was what everyone remembers and thinks of when the 70’s are referenced. There were other cultures and fads like the rock music with bands like Skynyrd and Zeppelin and so on. But no other film captured such a period and lifestyle like Saturday Night Fever. It was a real time capsule if a movie ever made one. It was post-Vietnam life and showed how the youth was much rougher around the edges and let middle America experience how the youth was living. There was nothing sugar coated in Fever, and no subject was taboo, from drugs to suicide to rape. It was a glimpse into the youth that not everyone wanted to see.

No doubt when you hear a disco song on the radio be it K.C. and the Sunshine Band or whether it is Barry Gibb’s signature falsetto voice, images flash in your head from large afro hairstyles to bell bottoms to Tony Manero’s iconic white suit. Regardless there is no question Saturday Night Fever screams 70’s and will always be associated with the decade

Top 10 Cult Comedies

When creating a top 10 cult comedies list there is a lot to consider about cult comedies. The identifying of a cult film is a unique thing in the film industry. Cult films are not unique to any one genre and cannot be determined upon immediate release. It takes time and a sense of how an audience reacts to the film. There is no set of guidelines as to what makes a film a cult classic or just a cult film in general. A cult film can be highly critically acclaimed and yet it can be some of the worst movies ever released. They can be quite accessible and also extremely rare and even not available for viewing except rarely on minor television stations and strange hours. It seems to be that the only common thread amongst cult films is that viewers either absolutely revere the movie in high esteem or don’t understand it and therefore do not enjoy it.

With all this in mind, while looking through a book of the 500 best cult films, I discovered that cult films or films that are sometimes labeled as cult films will always get film enthusiast talking and debating. It is with these thoughts and “guidelines” of sorts that we decided to create the list below and a few more to come of different fields of film and the ones that are considered cult films and how we rank them as best movies, not necessarily most popular of cult films.

To begin this series of lists, we will strictly focus on cult comedies and will rank the best this genre produced in the area of cult films. This list is likely to be highly debatable, and we welcome all thoughts good and bad. One thing is sure of cult films we have noticed everyone has at least one they love.

10. Slap Shot


Director George Roy Hill is often credited with creating one of the most memorable and most enjoyed acting duos ever when he cast Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid. He brought them together again in the Oscar-winning movie, The Sting. Four years after The Sting Hill would team up with Newman again, this time without Redford. The result was not only the greatest hockey movie ever but one of the greatest sports movies ever.

Newman plays Reggie Dunlop, an aging player/coach on a failing team in a town that is about to go under with it. Dunlop begins turning the team, and it’s attendance around with some unusual players and style that not only translates to wins on the ice but quite a few teeth as well.

With Newman displaying his extremely underrated comedic skills, Slap Shot delivers memorable scenes and lines that will leave you in tears with laughter. So why is it a cult comedy classic? There are a few reasons one of which is the fact that it’s about hockey. Hockey is the least popular of the major sports; therefore, some people don’t get the humor.

9. Pink Flamingos


It’s not a coincidence that some directors, writers, and producers, make several cult films. Their styles tend to find a tiny niche audience, but their fans can be the most loyal in cinema. King of all these is John Waters. Waters has long since been revered as the ultimate cult filmmaker.

Pink Flamingos is the film that made Waters the director he is while using his muse, the original famous drag queen, Divine. In Pink Flamingos, Divine declares herself the filthiest person alive. Divine escapes to the suburbs while the those wanting to take her spot as the most disgusting person active, go on a criminal warpath that includes dealing heroin to school children.

One of the darkest comedies of all time and genuinely bizarre plot lines make Pink Flamingos to strangest and possibly the vilest film on our list. One thing is sure, John Waters fan’s swear by what could be called the original cult comedy.

8. Heathers

Despite being a cult comedy and one not as many people have seen as should see it, Heathers made a star out of Winona Ryder. With a common theme in a cult, comedy is that they tend to be on the dark to even black side. Heathers is no different. The story of a girl who wants to be part of the popular clique until she meets a fellow outcast in Christian Slater, who was at the peak of his teen idol days. The two team up and eventually end up killing off the popular students.

With several wannabe films to follow over the years like Jawbreaker and Mean Girls, Heathers proves to be the original, and some say the anti-Hughes teen movie. It doesn’t wrap up neatly at the end or bring everyone together. It is a dark slant on high school cruelty and life, but it’s not something every outcast hasn’t wanted to do to at least one classmate.

7. Clerks

Clerks is the ultimate low budget comedy. Shot in black and white with great dialogue that genuinely has an authentic feel as to what most friends talk like in language and pace. While it’s a movie with flaws, it made Kevin Smith an indie film icon. Smith has since seemed to fall from that status, but Clerks remains the feather in his cap.

The story of a convenience store clerk and his best friend it follows there night at the store one night with different conversations and different visitors including the infamous characters, Jay and Silent Bob. It has become a calling card film for several generation Xer’s. It is a movie with dialogue that will offend some and others will feel like they are watching themselves.

6. Bottle Rocket

Three tremendous careers were launched with Bottle Rocket. Wes Anderson made his debut as the director, and it’s two lead actors Luke and Owen Wilson made a near perfect film. Wes Anderson laid down the blueprint for the style of all his future movies and won over critics widely while many audiences didn’t get the film (a definition of a cult film). It has its loyal following.

The story of a man whose dreams are to be revered by the criminal underworld and enlists his friend to help him become a master criminal. A series of events make him out to be nothing more than a bumbling small-time crook.

With his signature dialogue and subtleness, Wes Anderson crafted one of the best debut features of the last 35 years. Luke and Owen Wilson played off each other correctly to give the film the dynamic it needed.

5. Little Shop Of Horrors (1960)

Roger Corman is indisputably the king of all B movies, and Little Shop is arguably his most famous or at least most notorious film. Probably most known for having a remarkably fresh-faced Jack Nicholson in 1960 make a small appearance.

The story of a flower shop worker who breads a deadly combination of plants that desire the taste of human flesh. A series of terror and comedy events take place as attacking plants begin to be unstoppable.

It’s more well known for the 1986 remake starring Rick Moranis which is a bit of a cult film itself. We chose the original based on Corman as director and the fact that without the original there is no remake.

4 Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Atomic Bomb)

Once again we come across a director who defines cult film with his entire library of movies. Stanley Kubrick may be the most important and also a critical favorite among not only cult films and filmmakers but among directors in general.

One of the best satiric movies ever made, Kubrick’s biting humor alongside the best performance in Peter Sellers brilliant comedic career. It has all the elements of not just a cult comedy but a cult classic. With great one liners and an insane plot lines. Taking a huge risk to release it during the time in American history when it was just part of what made Kubrick a maverick in the filmmaking community. A film that has stood the test of time and can prove to be relevant at any time in the future.

This film could be talked about for ages and hours, but one thing remains, that is it is a comedic and film classic that is a flat-out brilliant movie.

3. This Is Spinal Tap

Creating a new style of filmmaking with the faux documentary, Rob Reiner managed to fool audiences into thinking Spinal Tap was a real band.

The story of a filmmaker following around the “legendary” heavy metal group, Spinal Tap to find they have fallen into oblivion. Expertly written by Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Rob Reiner, Spinal Tap has indeed fallen into the annals of legendary films with some of the most memorable scenes in comedy period.

When it comes to Spinal Tap, every fan has a favorite scene, and every moviegoer knows that you always “turn it up to 11”.

2. Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror is recognized as the cult film that first had a rabid following of hardcore fans. Dressing up as characters and acting out scenes at the now legendary, late night screenings. It’s a mixture of sci-fi, horror, musical and comedy it may be the strangest film on the list, and people really either worship this movie or would just as soon never be reminded of it again.

The story is that of a straight-laced young couple who comes across a castle in the middle of a rainstorm after the breakdown in their car. There they discover a most unusual group of people lead by a transvestite played by Tim Curry.

The only way to view the film and attempt to understand it is to attend a midnight viewing and see the obsession that has overtaken its fans. Only there can people begin to understand Rocky Horror and cult film in general.

1. The Big Lebowski

For every one Rocky Horror obsessed fan, you can find five who live by The Big Lebowski. The Coen brothers follow up to their breakout Fargo, Lebowski brought them right back to their roots of offbeat comedy. With absolutely perfect performances from Jeff Bridges and John Goodman, Lebowski has a plethora of quotable lines.

The story is one of mistaken identity that drags an easy-going stoner into a world of kidnapping and extortion. Assisted by his best friend Walter, The Dude embarks on a series of misadventures stressing him out beyond his comfort zone.

Lebowski has as loyal a following as any film or political party you will find. To understand peoples love of the movie you only need attend Lebowski Fest. A traveling festival that is a three-night event where actors from the film show up to greet fans and watch the film on opening night and the highlight is the costume bowling night complete with oat sodas and white Russians.

Lebowski’s a near perfect script that people either love or loath and fans of the Coen brothers consider their crown jewel.

That’s our list let the debating begin. Marc it Dude!

James Gandolfini’s Film Career Remembered

It has been just over five years when on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, the entertainment and acting world lost a true giant when James Gandolfini succumbed to a massive heart attack and fell asleep in death. Gandolfini will forever be remembered as Tony Soprano on one of the greatest television shows of all time, and his character may be one of the best as well. The role of Tony Soprano was superbly written and thought out. Despite his remarkable role of Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini films were to ones to be remembered as well.

While being remembered as Tony Soprano is an extraordinary legacy to have, it is also a little bit sad that some people will never know what a terrific actor Gandolfini was. Tony Soprano is a crucial example of how great he was but only looking at his other work shows how good he was as Tony. I’ve decided to take a look at some of my favorite Gandolfini roles and some of his most diverse.

5. The Mexican 2001 (Winston Baldry)

Winston is a hitman, and that is close to the Soprano character, but Winston has a twist, he’s gay. He not only is gay, but he also has a conscience and doubts about his way of life. He brought a humanity to the character that was desperately needed. It was the character that stood out and made the movie better than it was.

4. Welcome To The Rileys 2010 (Doug Riley)

Doug Riley is stuck in a 30-year marriage with a wife who has never gotten over the loss of their 15-year-old daughter, and while Doug has become numb to his life as well, he begins to show signs of breaking out. On a business trip to New Orleans, he unexpectedly gets hooked up with a 16-year-old prostitute and starts to help change her life. This character is so complicated on the inside while being bland on the outside and near emotionless. He does a beautiful job letting his inner self-come through a little bit at a time.

3. Zero Dark Thirty 2012 (C.I.A. Director)

James Gandolfini in Columbia Pictures’ gripping new thriller directed by Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY.

There isn’t much more opposite of the head of a mafia crime family than the head of the C.I.A. Therefore when he played the Director in the award-winning film about the ten-year hunt for Osama Bin Laden his brief time on film had to make an impact. The few words he spoke resonated and gave credibility to different characters and where they stood and what empowered them. Usually, when a more prominent name actor is cast in a smaller role, it is because the expertise is needed despite the size of the part. His skill was just what that character and film needed and got.

2. All The Kings Men 2006 (Tiny Duffy)

When I said that being C.I.A. Director was as opposite as you could get, I meant it, but playing a crooked southern politician in 1950’s Louisiana is just about as different. Tiny Duffy is a corrupt man working with significant politicians to help swing an election but when it doesn’t go their way he is forced to join the man trying to bring them down, and he has all but become his lap dog. With a pretty decent southern accent, he could play the character with the confidence of Tony Soprano until it was needed for him to be brought down to the low level and he filled those shoes just as well.

1. Cinema Verite 2011 (Craig Gilbert)

Gandolfini returned to HBO for this film which did well at the Golden Globes and various festivals. Craig Gilbert was a real-life person who was a television producer who is credited with creating what is now known as reality TV. He had the idea to follow a seemingly average family, and when the cameras come, the normal goes away. He struggles with the morality of what he is doing and trying to keep his feelings for the wife and mother of the family, in check.

Gandolfini will be much missed, and it is safe to assume now that a Sopranos movie is not going to happen. So as we reflect on his career and the things he did, remember these words from The Sopranos theme song: “ She said, you’re one in a million. You got to learn to shine.” Shine he did.

Jeff Bridges Top 5 Underrated Movies

Without a doubt, in the last 10-15 years, one of the most reliable stars has been Jeff Bridges. In the last 6-7 years, he’s enjoyed the height of his career without question. After winning his first Academy Award for Crazy Heart, he followed up with another nomination the next year for his remake of True Grit. He would do a Tron sequel and several other movies where he was the leading man, unlike he had ever been.

This has got me to thinking. The years leading up to his massive boom in success what were some of his indeed under-appreciated films. I went back as far as 1988, when he was a name but not the legend his now. He comes from Hollywood Royalty, so it only makes sense that with the direction his career has gone he has become royalty himself. I was eight years old in 1988, and it’s the first film I remember seeing this larger than life actor. We will touch on that film later, though it is the oldest in my list of underrated Jeff Bridges movies.

5. K-Pax (2001)

When Dr. Mark Powell (Bridges) first meets Prot, he feels he just dealing with another mentally disturbed man who needs his help. Prot (Kevin Spacey) soon starts to have the doctor doubting his advice and question his knowledge. Bridges plays a character unafraid of challenging himself and his world. The heart that Bridges gives to the character is not unfamiliar. He has a knack for doing that.

4. The Vanashing (1993)

The Vanishing may seem a little similar to another film on this list in the doubt it plants in the viewer’s mind, but it nonetheless is a top-notch thriller, and some even classify it as a horror film. One thing is for sure it is an intense ride. Barney Cousins is the boyfriend of a woman who gets abducted, and he never gives up the search for her no matter the opposition he runs into. Terrifying enough is that the abductor is watching his quest the whole time. Bridges plays the role perfectly. I believe this is because he is relatable and plays an Everyman so well.

3. Tucker (1988)

This has got to be the film I first remember seeing Jeff Bridges. I was a mere eight years old and became fascinated with the Tucker automobile and what he had invented. With no internet to do research, this film was all I had. Jeff Bridges wasn’t an actor to me at that point he was Preston Tucker. You could feel Tucker’s passion for his car and innovations come through Bridges performance. Sadly it was such an underrated film and not seen by many.

2. Arlington Road (1999)

These next two films I genuinely believe, in my heart, that no one could have played these parts and would have conveyed exactly the feelings they should. Michael Faraday is a widowed man with a 9-year-old son. He is a professor of terrorist acts at a Washington University who lost his FBI agent wife in an unexpected raid. He soon begins to suspect his new neighbors of suspicious activity. His paranoia almost takes over the shattered life he is attempting to live until he has proof that his suspicions are real. Jeff Bridges runs the gamut of emotions and thoughts through the whole movie that you hang on every move he makes

1. White Squall (1996)

The role of Captain Sheldon was nothing short of challenging. He played a hard disciplinarian, teacher, and captain in 1960. When he takes aboard eight teenage male students with various shortcomings, they discover hardship, camaraderie, and brotherhood. Various events test the limits of all their loyalty. Captain Sheldon never abandons the boys and his responsibility, even in the face of the worst storm he’s witnessed and the loss of much of the crew including his wife. He still strives to teach the boys in his actions far after the tragedy. No one could play this role and emit the feelings and emotion of Captain Sheldon and his crew and life and his loss. It was a top-notch performance and film that never got it’s just due.