The Top 4 Improvisations on the Big Screen

Great movies compel us to shout at the screen, cry our hearts out, and applaud the actions of our fictitious heroes. We also listen with rapt attention when a character has something worth saying, while we roar with laughter at the characters’ strange quirks which tend to pop up at the worst of times.

As a matter of fact, a character’s depth and authenticity is one of the strongest elements that captivate our attention. It is for this reason that plenty of actors spend plenty of time getting to know their characters before a single frame has been shot. Moreover, once the camera starts rolling, actors stay in character for as long as necessary. This commitment by some actors pays off: it’s what stirs us in the first place. In addition, although most of a character’s dialogue and action are scripted, an actor’s devotion to his craft allows him to improvise several scenes that are true to the character while improving on the original script. Some improvised scenes are so good that they go on to be a part of pop culture. Here are four of the most powerful improvised scenes:

Movie Improvisation Serene #1:  Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men
In the scene where Tom Cruise is examining Jack Nicholson’s character in court, demanding to know what happened the night Pvt. Santiago died, Cruise asks for the truth to which Nicholson yells, “ YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” The original line was supposed to read: “you already have the truth,” except it didn’t impress Jack Nicholson. So, he decided to change it. Truth be told, the change was brilliant as the new line was far more in tune with Nicholson’s character and showed the extent of his character’s arrogance and ego. It also doesn’t hurt that the line became a classic.

Movie Improvisation Serene #2:  Jack Nicholson in “The Shining
Towards the end of the movie, as Nicholson’s character is chasing his family with an axe, his wife, played by Shelly Duvall, and son lock themselves in a bathroom. Undeterred, Nicholson decides to break down the bathroom door with his axe, while Duvall, cowering in a corner, screams her lungs out. Halfway through demolishing the door, Nicholson sticks his head out and says, “HERE’S JOHNNY!” The line was improvised, yet it became a classic for its ability to be both a comic reference to a game show and a terrifying statement given the context.

Movie Improvisation Serene #3: Harrsion Ford in “Raiders of The Lost Ark
Most improvised scenes are born from an actor’s commitment to the role, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Originally scripted as a sword fight between Harrison Ford and some baddie, the scene was supposed to be action packed. However, Ford got sick during shooting, which made it difficult for him to perform the necessary stunts. As a result, he decided to change things a bit, giving us a far more memorable scene: as the villain brandishes his sword, Ford looks at him exasperatingly before he produces a revolver and shoots him. That’s it! No fancy choreography and no adrenaline pumping action were necessary, and the scene was better for it.

Movie Improvisation Serene #4: Leonardo Dicaprio in “Django Unchained
When Leonardo Dicaprio realizes that he’s being swindled by Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx he goes into a tirade about how Foxx and Waltz have an ultimatum: they can either pay 12,000 dollars to buy Kerry Washington’s character, or they can just watch her die right then and there. Although the dialogue was scripted, Dicaprio’s bleeding hand wasn’t. In the beginning of the scene, Dicaprio cuts his hand upon slamming it onto the table. Nevertheless, Dicaprio was so engrossed in his character that he didn’t stop acting and incorporated his bleeding hand into the scene, making for a very unsettling yet terrific 3 minutes. Even the cast and crew all applauded his performance the second the director yelled “cut”.

The above list is in no way exhaustive; there are plenty more improvised scenes worthy of mention. Yet, these are my top 4. To my mind, they stand out from the rest.



Gotta Love Thanksgiving Movies with the Family

Thanksgiving is a time for family and to be thankful for everything that you have. It would be nice to get into your pajamas and plop yourselves on the couch after all the cooking you have done that morning and all the eating you have done that afternoon. There are many reasons why you should make watching Thanksgiving movies with your family a tradition in your household. It is a great time to relax, you get to spend some quality time with your loved ones, and everyone can get involved.
Cooking and eating can be exhausting especially after doing all the dishes from that day. Watching movies is very relaxing because all you are doing is sitting down and looking at your television screen. It would be beneficial to record the movies beforehand if you are watching movies on your television so you do not have to watch commercials. Watching movies is also not a stressful activity. You could be worried about lots of things that may be coming up. By watching movies, you can forget about all those things and have a great time.
Another reason to watch movies with the family is you get to spend time with your loved ones. These are the people you probably have not seen in a while. You also may be in a family where your children are all grown up and will be having families of their own someday. This is a great bonding experience to have before your lives start changing for the better.
It is also a great way to have everyone get involved. Everyone can take turns choosing a movie that your whole family will like. You guys can laugh it up with a comedy or snuggle with your partner if you are watching a romantic movie. You could get in on the action if you are watching an action movie or scream during a scary movie.
The whole point of watching Thanksgiving movies with your family is to have a chance to spend time together before everyone goes their separate ways. It is a way to include everyone so no one will feel left out, and it is a great way to relax with your loved ones and have a great time. You could do this on Thanksgiving day or you can make a weekend out of it. Whatever you want to do; it is important to have your family by your side sharing the entertainment with you.

 



Ways A Movie Can Become A Timeless Classic

There are millions of movies for people to watch, but there are only select few that become classics over the years. The following discusses some of the ways that a movie enters into the “timeless classic” realm in the movie world.

Considers a Topic That Has Never Been Discussed Before
One of the most common ways that a movie becomes a classic is by touching on a subject matter that has never been examined in movies before. There may be a lot of movies on marriages or parenting, but there had to be single movie that started the trend. The same can be said for any other topic. There has to be a starting point, and the filmmakers that are brave enough to move into a certain direction with new subject matters will often develop movies that become timeless classics.

Captures the Social Climate of a Certain Era
There are movies that may not be groundbreaking in terms of subject matter, but these movies may capture the social climate of a certain climate in a spectacular way. The movies that capture these times are bound to stand out for audiences. Parents will often show their children these movies that cover a certain time period. When these kids grow up they may show this movie to their children. It becomes what is considered a timeless classic now because it is a movie that has the tenacity to span generations.

Becomes a Reference for Certain Topic
Everyone has a favorite movie about a certain topic. There are some films that’ll explore certain topics in great detail. These movies may become the cornerstone of conversations on specific topics like intimacy, sports, marriages, parenting or racism. In other words, it becomes impossible to have a conservation about a certain movie topic without mentioning these movies. When this happens, tit;s going to catch a strong buzz even it hasn’t received stellar critical reviews. There are times when filmmakers explore subject matters in a way that may get mixed reviews, but the way that they handle the subject matter may be extremely accurate. It may be the type of movie that invokes feelings and urges people to have conversations on the movie. Anytime that movies generate emotion and stir crowds to talk about them as a reference point for a certain topic, it has the potential to become a classic.

Touches on Universal Themes
Certain movies will be able to move into the classic realm because it covers a universal theme that appeals to everyone. There are movies that only speak to a certain crowd. There are movies that are designed to appeal to certain cultures or people that have certain beliefs. These movies may only reach particular groups, but there are other movies that have universal themes. It doesn’t matter what your race or beliefs may be. These movies touch on aspects of human life in a way that all people can comprehend. Movies like this are deemed timeless classics because this is such a rare thing to capture through a movie.

Praise by Critics
Finally, movies become timeless classics because these films are praised by critics. When critics give good reviews these movies will automatically generate a lot of buzz. A film that received outstanding reviews 50 years ago may still pique the interest of people that are looking for quality movies today.

Movies come in many different flavors. The standouts are the ones that present topics in new and exciting ways. The movies that give people an unforgettable entertainment experience are the ones that become the timeless classics.



Hollywood Believes Kids Are More Mature

In less than a week, Finding Dory will be released on Blu-Ray, and it grossed a great deal of money. However, one curious thing to take away from its success is the fact that it was rated PG. This seems to be something that is happening often with Hollywood films that are aimed at children. One of the popular train of thoughts is that they want to add in some inside jokes for the parents as well. In the past, parents used to dread seeing a children’s movie or taking their kids to the movies. They would often be caught sleeping.

Now, it seems more and more, adults are enjoying the children’s movies just as much as the kids if not more. A lot of that has to do with the PG rating. It is still friendly for kids and a kid’s movie at the end of the day, but it is becoming increasingly rare to see an outright G-rated movie for kids. Another train of thought is that the children of today are a lot smarter and mature. A lot of them have iPads and smartphones at a very age. They’re learning things at a quicker rate and processing information.

Because of this, Hollywood doesn’t want to dumb down their material. They believe that would be an insult to children. This is a winning formula so far as parents have not been upset, protesting, or in an uproar. The films are always making a lot of money as well. It is truly a win-win situation for everyone involved in the process of transitioning movies from G to PG in regards to kid’s movies. It is a good thing. They can learn a lot of important messages about acceptance, life, and everything that comes with it.

Earlier it was mentioned that the parents are happy too, and that is important. If they’re unhappy about having to see a G movie that might not really interest in them in the least, they might be more likely to wait and rent it at Redbox. Hollywood wants people that’re going to go out and see it on the big screen, buy it when it comes out, and love it. That’s part of the plan and part of the process for success. They don’t want it to simply be filler and something they watch once and forget about it.

In my view, this is a good trend and something that is here to stay. While I’m not going to lecture anyone on how to raise their kids and what they should or should not watch, sometimes kids can handle a lot more than they are given credit for when it comes to movies. It also creates questions and a conversation after the movie is over. The kids are curious and that is another good thing. They learn to be more tolerate of others and understand the differences others have while still be entertained and laughing at the same time.



The Differences Between The Golden Globes And The Oscars

With awards season quickly approaching, many eager Hollywood fans can hardly wait to see if their favorite films and stars of the year will rack up numerous awards. By far, the two most popular awards given out during awards season are the Academy Awards (famously known as the Oscars) and the Golden Globes, boasting 34 million and 18 million viewers respectively in 2016.

Ceremonies for both awards have been a yearly staple of film culture for several decades, with the first Academy Awards ceremony taking place in 1929, and the first Golden Globes ceremony taking place in 1944. During awards season, the Golden Globes always takes place before the Academy Awards.

Despite the prestigious nature of these two awards, as well as the incredible amount of media attention given to both shows each year, few movie fans know how these two awards shows differ from each other. As it turns out, however, besides both being awards shows revolving around the entertainment industry, the Oscars and the Golden Globes have very little in common.

One major and obvious difference between the two ceremonies is that while the Academy Awards ceremony recognizes achievements exclusively in the film format, the Golden Globes honors excellence in both film and television. Therefore, with 25 categories currently, the Golden Globes presents a greater number of awards annually than the Academy Awards, which gives out 12.

Perhaps the most significant difference, however, is the voting system, which most greatly impacts how the winners are chosen. The Academy Awards is held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a collection of 6,000 American film industry professionals, including roughly 20% actors. This enormous diversity in those who may vote each year allows for awards that are given out based more on merit as well as respect from peers within the film industry itself.

Meanwhile, recipients of the Golden Globes are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which contains only 93 members. This organization has a stronger interest in international publicity and advertising, and therefore this ceremony has a reputation of awarding a more diverse selection of recipients.

The atmospheres at the two award ceremonies is also notably very different. The Golden Globes ceremony has much more of a party environment than the Academy Awards, with nominees seated at large dinner tables and given alcohol. The ceremony is comparably laid back. Meanwhile, nominees at the Academy Awards are seated in theater rows and not given alcohol, and the overall tone of the ceremony is much more serious.

While both ceremonies share many of the same titles and talent that are nominated, the two awards are, in fact, incredibly different from each other. While the Academy Awards has earned a reputation for being far more prestigious over the years, the Golden Globes has its own unique merits that make the award just as coveted. It’s undoubtedly an honor to receive either award, and as a viewer, both ceremonies give us equal excitement while we watch in anticipation to see if our favorite stars and films of the year take home the win.



Adding More Attention To The Movie Credits

Moviegoers may have noticed a strange trend in the world of cinema lately: extended sequences starting in the opening credits and stopping in the ending credits.

In the past, many comedic movies used to throw in outtakes from the movie to give audiences something to giggle at while they walked out. Just about every Jackie Chan movie uses this idea, but newer movies are actually putting plot-points in the end credits.

For example, many comic book movies will have a “stinger” at the end of the credits of each of their movie, teasing another movie. Why’s this a new trend and what does it mean for modern movies? Is this something that’s good for fans of cinema or is it just filler that has little meaning?

Teasers In Credits Excite Fans

After the end of “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” fans stayed around through the end credits because they expected something fun or funny to happen. They got their wish, and that silly little moment of dancing ended up being the most talked about aspect of the movie.

In other movies, such as the last of the original “X-Men” trilogy, fans cheered when Magneto appeared to move a metal pawn and when it was teased that Xavier would be back, despite his rather dramatic death.

Why do fans like teasers like this? Probably because it gives them an insight into what might happen in other movies. Although the sequel to that “X-Men” movie never got made, fans talked excitedly about mutants getting their powers back and Xavier somehow being a psychic ghost. It was the biggest news of a movie that many fans didn’t like.

Helps Create Anticipation For So-So Movies

Teasers also entice fans to come to movies they might be unsure of, such as teasers for “Batman Vs. Superman” or “Suicide Squad.” Although both of those movies were ultimately very disappointing to many people, the teasers for both still inspired confidence and caused many people to go to them anyway. This leads us to the most important point…

Late Credit Moments Are Great For Filmmakers

Little teasers in film credits are great business because they invite movie fans to come out and check out movies, sometimes just for the teaser. For example, a fan of an upcoming movie may buy tickets for a movie they don’t care about in order to see that teaser.

However, it also helps fans see movies they may not have otherwise. For example, the fan in the example above might end up really enjoying the movie they went to just for the teaser. While this is still good for the industry, it also helps expand his options.

So Is This A Good Thing?

Basically, yes. It gives fans more bang-for-their-bucks and helps studios finance more movies. It’s essentially a win-win for everybody.



Based On “How Much Of” A True Story

Any movie buff should understand the different ways in which “true stories” are integrated into Hollywood movies. Sometimes, movies that claim to be “Based On A True Story” are fairly accurate to their source. Other times, they diverge so much from their inspiration that it’s not even close.

Not Actually Based On Anything

Sometimes, the phrase “Based On A True Story” means absolutely nothing. The most obvious example of this was in “Fargo.” The classic Coen Brothers film began with the infamous “Based On A True Story” phrase. However, it wasn’t. The idea was completely fictional and the brothers threw it on the front of their movie as a bit of a joke.

Unfortunately, this led to treasure hunters searching Minnesota for the money that is missing at the end of the movie. Many of them ended up dying due to exposure. Though these people might be honorary winners of the “Darwin Awards,” it just shows how powerful this phrase is in movies.

Somewhat Based On A Few True Stories

Many movies are based on multiple stories and have been condensed into one. For example, the horror movie “Wolf Creek” is said to be based on a true story. However, it appears that several of its plot points came from a few different murder cases. Movies like this often say they were “Inspired By True Events” to indicate that they aren’t precisely true.

Another example of this tactic is in the horror movie “The Strangers,” in which a family’s house is broken into by strangers as they slowly taunt and kill them. The director has admitted that the “inspiring true events” were the Manson Murders and unrelated murders in a cabin, neither of which were anything like the movie.

A Few Details Are Changed

So far, we’ve looked only at movies that had a very vague strain of truth to them. However, there are some movies that are closer to reality. Much of “The Revenant” is based on reality: in fact, what the man went through in real life is actually tougher than what happened on screen. There was also no “villain” who betrayed him, killed his son, and left him behind. These were all dramatic additions.



Englund and Zombie Should Make a Horror Movie Together

The horror world continues to lose legends at a rapid pace. Wes Craven, creator of many masterpieces, passed away. Others have exited the horror field completely, like John Carpenter, who has received more praise for his rock albums and tours than he has for any movie he’s released since 1995.

However, there are two talented and legendary horror icons who have been a absent lately: Robert Englund and Rob Zombie. These two have starred in and directed some of the best horror movies of all time. Bringing them together for a collaboration is an idea made in heaven.

Robert Englund Is A Legend

Most people likely know Robert Englund as a horror icon for “A Nightmare On Elm Street.” His portrayal of Freddy Krueger is iconic, and this role alone makes him worth remembering.

However, Englund has also made a name for himself in a variety of other movies, including “Strangeland,” “Wishmaster,” “Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer,” the infamous (and weird) “Eaten Alive,” sci-fi classics “Galaxy Of Terror” and “V,” “Zombieland,” “The Mangler,” and too many others to count.

From the freaky “Freddy Krueger” to the backwoods weirdo of “Buck” in “Eaten Alive,” and even the Phantom of the Opera, Englund has shown repeatedly that he isn’t just a b-list weirdo. He has real acting chops and really digs into a role.

Rob Zombie Is A Visual Genius

Say what you will about his remake of “Halloween,” (it has many detractors, but also quite a few fans), but Zombie knows how to create a visually stunning and frightening horror world.

His best movie, “Devil’s Rejects,” crafted a truly scummy and awful world, in which everyone is rotten and nobody can be trusted. Though his dialogue can be a little bit juvenile and the acting a bit “off,” Zombie knows how to bring real scares.

Imagine a movie where Zombie could create a really creepy backwoods world, in which Englund played a psycho who was collecting the heads of backpackers in order to hold a seance to bring Satan back to Earth.

If Zombie tamed his tendency to write scripts that’re too profane and took the time to set up an atmosphere and amazing scares, a movie like that could be a huge hit.

Could They Bring Back Elm Street?

Here’s a thought: pair Zombie with Englund for a new Elm Street movie. The original remake was disappointing to fans of the original, due to its toned-down violence and lack of Englund. With the true Freddy cackling behind the claw, and Zombie creating a gory tone, it could be a masterpiece.

However, Zombie would’ve to avoid tampering excessively in the story, the way he did with “Halloween,” as this would very likely alienate many hardcore fans.



Making The Audience Believe In An Emotional Movie Scene

Making the audience believe in an emotional movie scene is definitely not as easy as it looks. Some actors and actresses are good at it and others are well…pretty awful at it. But one thing’s for sure, the audience will always know. Anyone can imitate someone and try and act upset or scared. But how does the actor or actress make the dialogue come alive to convince the audience? The goal of the person acting is to take that character from the page and turn it into a living, feeling person with a past, present and future who the audience totally believes is a real person. You would think it wouldn’t be that hard but to truly make it believable, isn’t an easy task. They need to be trained and seasoned to really pull it off.

So how does all this magic happen? It can be quite involved and it begins with asking a lot of questions. There are a series of questions based on Stanislavski’s acting techniques that brings everything together for the actor or actress. The first question would be, “Who am I?” If you start thinking about yourself you think about your family, where you grew up, what the house was like, what the backyard looked like, your childhood friends, your first boyfriend/girlfriend, your first job, what you like and dislike, etc. So the main objective would be to learn and know the character as well as yourself. The place to start would be the script. There’ll be info about the character there, but then it’s time to do some research.

When did the story take place? Find out the history, the town. Was it a poor, rich or middle class neighborhood? The next question is, “Where am I?” Is the scene in a room, or outside? Is it cold or hot? Has the character been there before? Is the room your room or someone else’s room? The answers to these questions are very important, because each answer could influence how they’ll perform. Some of the other questions would be, “When is it?”, “Where have I just come from?”, “What do I want?” etc. All these questions need to be researched and thought out thoroughly to really bring to life a character the audience can truly believe.

Some actors and actresses use method acting which involves them tapping into their past to different experiences. This can be good and bad. It’s great if the experience is something they have dealt with in a positive way. But if it’s an unresolved issue or something that has been pushed down and not dealt with, it could be problem for the actor.

As you can see, to create and totally become a character to where the person in a film is completely and emotionally connected, it takes a lot of hard work, research, training, technique and good direction. It also requires someone who can tap into their inner self, which is something not everyone can do and the key is to make sure the audience never sees any of it.



A Spin-Off To A Spin-Off

Spin-offs are often among the most popular shows on television. However, they’re just as often laughed about and ridiculed to complete failure. What makes a spin-off popular and what makes others fail?

What Makes A Spin-Off Successful?

A good spin-off series should focus on a lovable character from the original series that everyone recognizes. It should then use a similar style of humor that attracts the same audience, but which creates its own identity.

Think of “Daria” from the late-90s MTV era. Originally a character on “Beavis And Butt Head,” “Daria” appealed to the same audience by focusing on an interesting character and using a similar sarcastic sense of humor to appeal to her original fans.

Another successful spin-off, “The Facts Of Life,” used the character of Mrs. G from “Different Strokes” to create a family-oriented comedy that could occasionally be serious. It also focused on a cast of likable characters that impacted society in a heavy way during the 80s.

When Are Spin-Offs A Failure?

There are multiple reasons that a spin-off fails. Take a look at “Joani Loves Chachi” for an example of a show that really over estimated the appeal of two characters. Most “Happy Days” fans didn’t care much for these two, and the show bombed.

“Joey” is another infamous failure that focused on the limited antics of “Friends” character Joey to support a whole series. It bombed and bombed quickly.

Sometimes, shows wait too long to do a spin-off. “The Brady Brides” was a decade-too-late spin-off that tried to take the cheesy humor that made “The Brady Bunch” popular and make it more adult. The results were a disaster.

Another common mistake is to twist the premise of the original show in directions that don’t really make a whole lot of sense.

Two of the most infamous of these was “The Golden Palace,” a spin-off of “The Golden Girls” and “Baywatch: Nights,” a “Baywatch” spin-off.

The first pulled three of the original four cast into a strange “running a hotel” plot that ruined the chemistry of the original show. The second was a bizarre crime drama that tried to make the featherweight “Baywatch” more serious. It was awful.

The world of spin-offs is sometimes very unpredictable. Shows that seem like a sure thing may fail, while weird long-shots actually succeed. The biggest lesson to take away from this is that success comes by simply creating a great show, one that appeals to a large number of people.