Action Films: 5 Great War Films to Watch

There’s something about action movies that gets our heart pumping. We cannot ignore the exhilarating feeling of excitement we get every time we see some of them, whether on TV or at the movies. At the height of the action genre are war films. For reasons we can’t explain, a lot of us just love great action movies, especially when theme is about war.

With that said, we came up with a list of the Top 5 most popular war movies:

Movie #5: Braveheart

This movie is based on true events in Medieval England. Besides the deep historical roots and based on a book of poems, there are friendships and love. Mel Gibson plays the main character, Sir William Wallace, who falls in love with and marries, his childhood friend. But this is a war movie and things don’t end in a fanciful happy ever after. His wife is killed, and of course, this sets off a huge sequence of events with the premise of him fighting for and leading Scotland’s freedom against England. This movie has a great ending, but it’s not an expected one – the hero dies! Sad.

Movie #4: The Patriot

Rooted in history, this movie embodies the idea behind the word “patriot” during the American Revolutionary War. It has everything contained in a nice neat package – war, love, family, death and some very valuable lessons about fighting for what’s right and just. However, one of the better things about this film is its accuracy. From the clothes to some of the background characters and battles, almost everything else around the main fictional story line was historically correct. Love plays a huge part in this movie, as it’s a father and son relationship as the main focus. When his first son is shot dead, it begins to stir up his emotions for revenge and to fight for freedom. Then later on in the movie, his second and oldest son (played by Heath Ledger) is killed in battle. This lights a new fire for his father (played by Mel Gibson) to really take the battle up a notch and the cause his son so passionately fought against, continuing the battle and to help finish the war, all the while avenging both his sons’ deaths.

Movie #3: Saving Private Ryan

Another award winning action war movie. Set in Europe during the Normandy Invasion, this movie truly shows the horrors of war. It has a very realistic, heart pounding opening that shows the effects of war and what it’s really like. In fact, that’s exactly what lead to this films popularity! The idea here is “save and protect”, as a small band of soldiers, led by Captain John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks) are dispatched to find the last living child of a mother, who has lost her three other children in war. The man survives and goes on to live a good long life, so this one at least has a happy ending!

Movie #2: Platoon 

As part of a trilogy, this movie is all about the hardships of war and the loyalty of good friends to have your back. Filmed on an island in the Phillipines, this movie comes from the producer’s real life experience during the war and growing up in Vietnam. Anyone else noticing a theme here? When the fighters start treating death casually, that’s when it’s time to worry. No love story here, but great friendships can be found along with a couple of enraged, crazy men who will stop at nothing to hide a few secrets! Charlie Sheen plays the main character, who is so tired of seeing death everywhere and fighting the war that he just wants to go home.

Movie #1: Glory

This movie was based upon half war/action and half dramatic screenplay. Based on letters long ago written by Civil War Captain Robert Shaw (played by Matthew Broderick), this movie shows ties to slavery, racism and friendship. While leading the first all-black infantry, the captain comes across many hardships, making him understand the former slaves and their cause better. Shaw stands with his men, shredding his own paycheck because of unfair government treatment and standing up for his men at the base to be given their normal supplies. When the men finally get a chance to enter battle, things don’t go quite as planned. Eventually Shaw is killed during a battle that would later be the reason the military started allowing black men to enroll.

While all these films are quite exciting, the most common theme seen is that they’re all historically based in facts, centered on real life events and people. It must be the commonality between these films that gives them a great rating. Loyalty, friendship, bravery – the embodiment of war movies. This is what makes them so thrilling, suspenseful and great to watch!



Over-Paying Stars On A Tight Budget

Often times, movie producers extend their budget, and actors and actresses are over-paid for a movie that already has a tight budget to begin with. They apparently get the cost of production accurate, but the amount that the actors and actresses are requesting to star in the film puts things well over budget. You can be sure that a star was over-paid when the revenue and the budget don’t add up. For example, the estimated budget could be $80 million, but the film only brought in $57 million. the stars make the most money from a film and sometimes bring in the least amount of money.

For example, Ben Affleck is paid $10.00 for every $1 that’s made. Affleck made a considerable amount of money for his films. We know and love Ben’s handsome demeanor which’s enough to make most of his fans run to the box office.

Acting can be a hard job and it takes a lot of experience. In fact, actors and actresses are forced to take on the role that they’re playing. It’s not all fun and games having to be in a costume (for horror movies) or keep your voice steady for a voice-over in a cartoon. Therefore, they demand to be paid considerably more than they’re worth. It involves them continuously being someone else. While most make only minimum wage, high profile stars are demanding more money.

Actors and actresses are known to be greedy. They demand a lot of money for an acting role because they have to maintain their lifestyle. A lavish home can cost them millions of dollars and this is what they require in pay for acting. They deliver a good film and will almost certainly demand what they feel they’re worth. This results in them being overpaid.

In fact, to do a sequel, some actors may require twice as much, but the film may not bring in as much money as anticipated. It’s basically a gamble by the producers but one they sometimes have to take. Again, being wealthy is a lifestyle that requires them to maintain their wealth, by requesting a considerable amount of money to act/appear in a movie.



Some Actors Just Make Perfect Sense For a Movie

There are a lot of different factors that go into making a great movie. Selecting the right producer, director, setting, and story are all vital parts to the puzzle. One of the most understated yet vital pieces is selecting the proper casting. Making the correct picks for who plays which role can make or break a movie.

An example of an actor who made perfect sense for a movie was Mickey Rourke being cast for the lead in The Wrestler. Similar to the story line and the character’s arc in the movie, Mickey Rourke was an aspiring boxer whose injuries altered his acting career. Also, Rourke and the character showed a lack of impulse control at various junctures in their lives that impacted their decision making.

Here’s another example of an actor who was selected for a role that made perfect sense was Michael Cera’s role in the movie Juno. The character in the movie was an awkward teen who found himself in a tough situation and who had to stumble his way through things. Cera has type cast himself as this archetype and he fit perfectly into this role.

These are just two of many examples of a time when an actor was selected and it made perfect sense for the movie. Conversely, there are several instances where an actor who doesn’t fit the movie is selected and it tanks the movie. I’ve the feeling that many of these roles serve as a cash machine for the actors who only want to collect a pay check, and serve as a Hail Mary attempt to stimulate some buzz by the director/management of the film.

Over, it’s a fine balance and the most adept casting agents and the most selective actors have mastered it. Selecting the perfect cast for the movie is of vital importance and can make or break a movie before it even gets off the ground.

As movie lovers, we will anxiously await the films that captured the perfect balance and we will strongly criticize the ones that miss the mark. As we take our seats in the theater, we just hope that this ticket we bought will be worth it.



Top 3 Brad Pitt Movies of All Time

Brad Pitt delivers a handsome face, versatility, and an onscreen performance that continues to be a crowd- pleaser. The majority of his movies receive popular ratings, but there are three of them that stick out as being his best work over his career. We enjoyed ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and the ‘Assassination of Jesse James’, as they’re definitely worthy of being in this top 3 list, but the following have been documented as some of Brad’s best work.

Pitt Movie #3: Fight Club

Pitt first gained attention with his physique in the movie Fight Club. He plays a mundane soap salesman that meets a depressed guy and decides to introduce him to the “club.” However, the club consists of fighting other men in a secret organization. Things take a turn when, Tyler (Brad Pitt) starts to notice a fellow support group member and decides that he has had enough. Unfortunately, he has a lot invested and his new recruit is intrigued with his new popularity.

Pitt Movie #2: Snatch

This movie was released in 2000 and has a variety of minority and European cast members that’s very popular among his fans. Snatch is about a jewel theft and a conflict with a boxing coach. Ironically, in this movie we get to appreciate Pitt’s muscular physique and boxing skills. After fight club, Brad Pitt was able to utilize his acting skills in the fight club fanbase again. He didn’t disappoint his fans and this movie remains one of the most popular ones that Brad has delivered.

Pitt Movie #1: Inglorious Basterds

Brad Pitt played along side some of the best actors in this film Inglorious Basterds, but still stood out with his accent, Apache blood, and the leader of the nefarious Basterds. The fans knew with Quentin Tarantino directing the fans would have a story line that would leave viewers glued to their seats. The movie is split into five parts and a based on conflicts from the World War II era. Pitt plays Aldo Raine, a colorful Tennessee native heritage in the Apache tribe. His acting gives us another side of him as he displays remarkable Southern roots. This movie has been rated one of Pitt’s top performances.

We’ll continue to enjoy Brad Pitt on the big screen and wait anxiously for his next release. He has won a Golden Globe and Actors Guild award over his lifetime and we know we can expect more from him, delivering a star studded role on the big screen.



How Popular Would Chris Farley Be Today?

When Chris Farely suddenly died in 1997, there was still so much the young actor had yet to achieve. Had this not happened, just how popular would he be today? Farley had a comedic style which appealed to the ordinary average person, blue collar, not what you’d consider an over achiever. People could relate to him and found his style of humor not only entertaining but also relatable.

His characters were and still are imitated by many, myself included, sometimes that humor’is lost on those who aren’t familiar with his style of comedy but by and large most immediately recognize it.

As a fan of Chris Farley, I believe he’d be far more popular today than he was at the time of his death simply because he would have had another generation of followers who like I related to his characters, found humor in his comedy and appreciated that in his own roundabout way the underdog seemed to always prevail.

His ability to transform himself into a variety of characters, which all had similar chords appealed to me greatly. I’m certain to those folks who’ve only seen his work in reruns and never got to really see his true genius in action should take note of this. His brand of comedy and his style and delivery was entertaining on so many levels. He didn’t have to rely on vulgarity or profanity to get you to laugh which I found enlightening then and welcome now which sadly is more the exception rather than the rule in today’s comedians. Farley could make you laugh then as he would no doubt be able to do today without having to resort to that style of comedy.

He became someone who if you were flipping through the channels and found one of his movies playing you’d watch if for no other reason than because he was in it. I find myself doing that today and my kids who range from seven to thirteen have come to enjoy his movies as well. They’re like many others the next generation of Chris Farley fans who sadly won’t get to see any new works from him, although they really enjoy the movies we watch featuring him.

So, how popular would he be today? Sadly, we won’t ever know the answer to that question, although I personally would like to think he’d still be one to set a standard which other comedians would try hard to achieve.



Ghostbusters is Back…Sort Of

Ghostbusters will premiere with Bill Murray and a large cast of women on July 15, 2016. At first reluctant to participate in the film Murray decided to make an on screen appearance. It will be the 30th anniversary of this classic comedy. Dan Aykroyd and Sigourney Weaver will make a cameo appearance.

Murray suggested that the proton pack in the movie be handed to actresses. He listed his favorite actresses for the movie Melissa McCarthy, Emma Stone, Kristen Wiig, and Linda Cardellini. The producers cast McCarthy and Wigg and Kate McKinnon from Saturday Night Live and Leslie Jones. Another actress Chris Hemsworth was cast as the receptionist.

With the passing of Harold Ramis last year, Sony had to change the script. Harold was supposed to make a cameo appearance in the movie. He wrote the first two films with Dan Acroyd. The producers eliminated a baton passing scene the actor was scheduled to appear in.

Director Paul Feig and screenwriter Katie Dippold wanted to write the film without any of the original cast appearing in the movie. They wanted to recreate the movie and put it on a different path. This movie will have a team of women ghost busters taking up the fight to save the world.

The new Ghost Busters movie is already promoting the uniforms, proton packs, and cars. The car is called Ecto-1. The focus now is to keep the film between a homage and reboot with a new plot and characters. There is many similarities between the original props and newly designed ones.

The plot is very different and may help with the success of the movie. Wiig and McCarthy play authors that have written a book about real ghosts. Wiig gets a teaching job at Columbia University but when her book resurfaces she is laughed out of teaching. She unites with McCarthy and two other women when ghosts invade Manhattan and this new team must save the world.

The producers are constantly improving the script. Dan Ackroyd says this new movie will be a big box office success. The team has dynamic characters with plenty of friction. The film will stand on its own as a new brand of Ghost Busters.



Chemistry Among Actors and Producers

For the success of the movie and the thrill of shooting a scene, energy among the characters are vital. Well, this chemistry is actually supposed to be the overlap between the character and their actual selves, and put away their differences. Actors should go beyond what’s expected of them (creatively out of the ordinary) and make the scene alive. All this should be determined during auditions, where the performers are asked to have a random conversation out of script, mix matching scenes and roles to get to the talent and so that skill to be most visible. It is at this point where the characters get to find how most flexible they are.

Professionally speaking, you can get to see that some actors would fake the chemistry and make a terrific scene. I wouldn’t disagree more to this as long as the expected results have been achieved.

An actor should have an objective for a particular scene, and answer the questions “what’s my role for this scene”, “How do I engage my colleagues into a particular scene” and “What do I believe in as a character”. The complexity of a scene and the script in general, would require the actors to have chemistry from character to character, as well with their directors.

The writers and producers depend on the chemistry and limits of a single character to develop a scene and make the film take a dynamic turn all depending on how they interact and are able to display an emotional moment realistically. Well it’s said that “Actors bring the words to life”.

In short, a performer should find an emotion of some kind that’ll make the scene more realistic. This can arise from an attraction of some kind or dislike that’ll create a spark for a duel. An actor’s dedication to the film’s plot and prioritizing the script helps in faking chemistry where it’s not existent. For example, the film co-stars of “Romeo and Juliet”, Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes, couldn’t stand each other.

In the end, you want to view acting as a partnership or teamwork between the cast and their management, where everyone plays a role in achieving perfection. The chemistry is a vital aspect that makes the characters spectacular and the film a success. Even if the characters cannot stand each other, they’re still able to pull off an exceptional scene by being on the same page.



Top 3 Comedian Actors for the Last 10 Years

If laughter’s the best medicine, then are comedians doctors? No, they aren’t. But when you’ve to pick who the funniest actors are today, these three people instantly come to mind for the last 10 years.

Comedian Actor #3: Seth Rogen
Who would’ve known that Canadians could be funny? Seth Rogen broke out with the hilarious movie Knocked Up. He has been making great movies ever sense. Pineapple Express in 2008 is a wonderfully unique “stoner movie” that Rogen actually co-wrote himself. He then went on to co-write, co-direct and co-star in The Interview, a movie so good that North Korea hacked Sony to try and stop from being shown. Rogen showed that he is not just a funny actor, but a good actor when he stared in 50/50, a movie about a man dying from cancer. Seth Rogen has been showing off how hilarious he is for years and that’s why he is our third funniest actor for the last 10 years.

Comedian Actor #2:  Steve Carell
If you watched all nine seasons of The Office, then I won’t have to tell you anymore about how funny Steve Carell is. His first big movies were Anchorman and 40 Year Old Virgin. Anchorman is one of the funniest movies of all time and is quotable from the first to the last line. (Fun note: Seth Rogen was in both of these movies.) Steve showed his raunchier side in these movies, but also showed his family friendly humor in the following movies Despicable Me, Horton Hears a Who, Get Smart, and Evan Almighty. It’s impressive that he can be just as funny when he’s making jokes about getting his chest waxed, or when he’s making a cartoon.

Comedian Actor #1: Will Ferrell
Who else could be the funniest man over the last 10 years? Everything he acts in turns into pure comedy gold. He has starred in numerous comedies such as the one we just mentioned AnchormanOld SchoolStep Brothers, and The Other Guys. The list goes on and on. He has found himself repeatedly in some of the funniest movies of all-time. Even his real life is funny. He helped found FunnyorDie.com and recently played in 5 Major League Baseball Spring Training games including him coaching with giant signs saying “Don’t Steal” and “swing as hard as you can.” He got his start on Saturday Night Live, where he made some of the most memorable skits on the show including Cowbell and Celebrity Jeopardy. His portrayal of Ron Burgundy is the best character to happen in movies in the last 10 years. I could continue to rave about how funny he is, but if you just watch a few of his movies then you already know.

So, there you have it. These actors have really set the tone for what comedy and acting should be on the big screen and on TV.



What It Takes to Make It on Broadway

Athletes dream of the Olympics. Chefs strive for a Michelin Star. For stage actors, there is no greater glory than making it on Broadway. For performers, it’s all about going where few have gone before, and being worthy of being there. Taking the stage on Broadway means you have what it takes, and it takes a lot.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people dream of making it to Broadway and performing on the same stages as theatrical legends. While many have aspirations, far fewer have the talent, and the hard work that Broadway demands is even scarcer. There aren’t any shortcuts to the top. Instead, each step up is earned through years of practice and patience. To go big, you must begin small.

School drama clubs, community theater, and holiday productions are where Broadway stars are born. It’s these first interactions with the dramatic arts that spark the interest and provide the basis on which to grow. It’s passion that starts the climb, but it’s hard work that finishes it. To be successful, one must learn the basics. Stage movement, blocking, and projecting are key elements that must be perfected in order to advance in theater. The work also comes with voice lessons, memorization, and improvisation in case of a forgotten line or missed cue. All of these things must be mastered while still developing a unique identity that can be recognized among a sea of hopeful actors.

They say it takes 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert at it, and stage performance is no exception. There’s no greater teacher than experience, and that’s exactly what it takes to even get a shot at Broadway. For those that do make it, the work only increases.

Broadway actors and actresses are the highest representatives of the culture, and their performances are what inspires new generations to pursue their dreams. The magic isn’t the songs, it’s in the 8 shows a week for 6 months straight. It’s those who can bring words to life, and do so with learned reverence. It’s the fraction that the world sees and the dedication that it doesn’t.



What Criteria Does a Critic Use When Reviewing a Movie?

Have you recently seen a movie that you loved but the critics gave it a horrible rating? What about the movies that the critics raved about, but you found it to be a complete snooze fest? Critics often seem to disagree with what an audience finds entertaining, and the reason may be because of what they look at when reviewing a movie.

 

First, a paid critic takes into account all of the staff even beyond the actors. They’re looking at who directed the movie, who wrote the screenplay, if it’s an original story or if it was an adaptation from something else, etc. Many times for the home viewer, we may make the general assumption that if we’ve liked other movies from the same director then we’ll like the newest movie as well. A critic takes this into account, but doesn’t make any assumptions at this point.

 

Also, critics are often told what movies to critique. They may need to write a review in a genre that they don’t particularly care about. We, however, chose to see that particular movie for one reason or another, so we may be biased toward giving it a better review than the critic would give the same movie.

 

There really isn’t anything new when it comes to movies. For this reason, critics really seem drawn to movies that push boundaries. If the movie has original dialogue, unique camera angles or lighting, or anything else that isn’t the usual cliché, the critics may be more likely to give the movie a higher rating. We as the audience, though, don’t care about those things if the plot isn’t intriguing or if it’s too confusing. Now, it is one thing for a movie to make us think, but it’s another when the movie ends and we’re left wondering why we wasted money on it.

 

While critics do try to keep the audience in mind when reviewing a film, there are still going to be differences between what the critics love and we as the audience love. Don’t get me wrong, there are movies that both critics and audiences enjoy. This doesn’t happen all the time, though, so it is really useful to read both critic and audience reviews when deciding to see a movie.