Favorite Movies of All Time Part 7 40-31

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

We are getting up there now. Here come some beloved classics and hidden gems.

40: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Jack Nicholson delivers a performance for the ages as Randle P Murphy, who is living in a mental institution with other colorful characters. The abuse some of the patients take at the hands of nurse Nurse Ratched is painful to watch. One of the best movies ever made.
Rating: 4 Stars, this is a magical experience.

39: A Touch of Evil, Orson Welles was a master filmmaker, and this movie was a perfect example of that. Top-notch performances and great plot twists elevate this movie to another level. Wells’s ability to craft a twisting story with innovation is legendary. Watch this movie, you’ll love it.
Rating: 4 Stars, a must-see cinematic experience.

38: A Nightmare on Elm Street, not the best horror movie I’ve seen, but it’s one of my favorites. Robert Englund steals every scene as the maniacal Freddy Kruger. Wes Craven gives us kids to root for, not kids who we don’t care about. Imaginative special effects and perfect direction make this a classic.
Rating: 4 Stars, one of the best horror movies ever.

37: The Fugitive, the legendary Harrison Ford. He is so underrated. This movie shows why. Ford’s ability to play every person is perfect. We root for him to clear his name and fear for him when he’s in danger. The script is tight, the action scenes are thrilling, and the performances are perfect. A classic that still holds up.
Rating: 4 Stars, a thrill-ride that never gets hold.

36: Roma, Netflix made the best picture of 2018 with this stunner. You know you have a winner when the characters live a boring life, but you’re still fascinated. Each character is fully developed, the story is intriguing, and the directing is stunning. The gorgeous cinematography and glorious music are icing on the cake.
Rating: 4 Stars, you have to see this movie! It’s that good.

35: Wait Until Dark, one of the most influential thrillers of all time. Alan Arkin laid the groundwork for action villains with his performance as Harry Roat Jr. Audrey Hepburn in her last Oscar-nominated performance is priceless. Some may complain about the slow pace but have patience. The last 15 minutes are a rocket.
Rating: 4 Stars, a nail-biting thriller with great acting.

34: A Fantastic Woman, the best movie made about someone being trans. Daniela Vega is electrifying as Marina, who faces prejudice from her lover’s family. The subject is handled with subtle care. Beautiful directing and cinematography give it an otherworldly feel. This is how you do a movie about trans people.
Rating: 4 Stars, a touching masterpiece that will make you think.

33: What About Bob, Bill Murray is a gem. He has comedic gold for timing. What About Bob could’ve been a disaster in the wrong hands, but Murray saves the day. The ending divided people, but I loved it. This is how you do a good comedy.
Rating: 4 Stars, one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.

32: Wall-E, my favorite Disney movie ever made. Nothing comes close. What a magical movie with an adorable robot as the lead, and his adorable love interest Eva. Gorgeous animation, adorable characters, great storytelling, and a timely message make Wall-E a classic.
Rating: 4 Stars, the best movie Disney has ever done.

31: X-Men Days of Future Past, the second-best X-Men movie. The story is engaging, the performances are great, and the action scenes are mind-blowing. Hugh Jackman plays Wolverine to perfection. This is one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen.
Grade: 4 Stars, this is a must-see for comic book fans and non-comic book fans alike.

Photo Courtesy of: http://lifefascinations.blogspot.com/2010/11/movies-series-pt1.html

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Is Silence of the Lamb Transphobic?

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

Buffalo Bill is often used to mock transgender people. He wants to wear women’s skin, and the famous scene of him tucking his penis causes some to think he is transgender. This is a very big mischaracterization of the character according to director Johnathan Demme. From an article published by Slate, the interview was done by Film Comment,

“He described the killer as “someone who is so completely, completely horrified by who he is that his desperation to become someone completely other is manifested in his ill-guided attempts at transvestism, and behavior and mannerisms that can be interpreted as gay.” To be fair, Demme is correct—in the movie, Hannibal Lecter posits that Gumb apes queer and trans people because they’re the most outré, far-off identities he can imagine—the ultimate escape.”

The problem comes from the context. Anyone who listened to Hannibal will know he said that Buffalo Bill wasn’t transgender, but some missed the analogy it seems. Transphobes use Buffalo Bill as an example of how trans people are mentally disturbed. Is it the movie’s fault? No. Buffalo Bill wants to transform into another person, not another gender.

The movie could’ve done a better job of distinguishing how Buffalo Bill was not transgender. This caused Ted Levine to get unnecessary heat. The actor who played Buffalo Bill hated the backlash. Screenhub interviewed with Ted Levine and they said,

” Realizing that the LGBT community had nothing to do with his character, Levine set out to search for a new angle by which to play him, insisting on not playing the character as gay. Rather, he tried to play the character as someone who despised homosexuals and transgender people to mask his insecurities.”

Jonathan Demme and Ted Levine claim they weren’t stereotyping gays or trans people, does that make it true? No, but there’s no evidence of them being homophobic or transphobic. It’s not wise to make accusations without proof. Until there is evidence, Buffalo Bill isn’t transgender.

Trans people have been represented horribly in pop culture. Look at Ace Ventura Pet Detective. That’s a blatant example of transphobia. It’s not the director or the actor’s fault if some misinterpret the character. This won’t stop some from using him, but if we educate people that Buffalo Bill isn’t trans, trolls will stop using him. Without evidence, the Silence of the Lambs is not transphobic.

Links to articles: https://slate.com/human-interest/2017/04/director-jonathan-demme-faced-down-silence-of-the-lambs-gay-backlash.html

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.newsweek.com/silence-lambs-newsweek-review-jonathan-demmes-terrifying-thriller-590489

Why is CGI Getting Worse In Movies?

By Shawn Tackett and Michelle Lynn Tackett

T2 and Jurassic Park set the bar for CGI. Then the Matrix and Avatar raised special effects for the 21st century. Special effects have gotten better with photo-realistic images and worlds that look real. People couldn’t wait to see what new effects Hollywood would do next.

Something happened along the way. CGI has gotten worse. Black Panther, IT chapter 2, and Avengers Endgame are examples of big-budget movies with B grade effects. How did we go from James Cameron breaking new ground with Avatar, to IT chapter 2 looking like it was made for a buck twenty-five? Let’s find out.

Time
Movies are on a tight release schedule. It’s difficult to get all the effects done on time. The problem could be solved if the studios would delay the movie. They won’t do that. They know the investors will be upset if they don’t meet their deadlines. However, they will upset them if the movie flops because of the effects. It’s better to delay the movie so it can deliver.

Lack of understanding
A lot of effect artists don’t understand what makes CGI look great. You can have detailed models, but if the image doesn’t fit with the lighting, backgrounds, and textures, it will look off. Look at Endgame. Some of the effects looked phony because the images didn’t fit with the look of the movie. Paying attention to details can make a difference between good effects or bad.

Too fluid
Look at American Werewolf in Paris. The werewolf transformation looked phony. Whereas, the original American Werewolf in London transformation looked amazing. John Landis made the ware wolf transformation look painful. We were taken through the process of David turning into a werewolf. Sometimes less is more. The effect doesn’t have to be smooth to work.

How to fix the problem
Give artists more time. Teach them what makes effects work. James Cameron is taking four years to make the Avatar sequels. That’s dedication and a commitment to quality. He delayed them to get it right. With big-budget movies, there’s no excuse why effects can’t look professional. Black Panther and IT Chapter 2 are reaching parody levels. With all the resources and money Hollywood has, there’s no excuse. One bad effect? OK. Throughout the whole movie? That’s inexcusable.

Photo Courtesy of: https://variety.com/2018/artisans/production/vfx-summer-box-office-1202824543/

100 Favorite Movies of All Time Part 6 50-41

I took time off so I could really try to pick the right picks on my list. This is where the movies that I treasure are and it is so hard to pick one over the other. I will try my best, so let’s get started.

50: The Secret World of Arrietty, a problem I have with so many big movies now is how cynical they are. Here is a wonderful anime that is the antithesis of that. What a wonderful, charming, sweet and heartfelt movie without any cynicism whatsoever. This is a wonderful children’s fable with adorable characters. The animation takes it to another level.

Rating: 4 Stars. This puts big Hollywood blockbusters to shame when it comes to sweetness and real emotion.

49: While You Were Sleeping, I know, this movie isn’t original and it is very glossy, but I love the charm and lack of cynicism. Sandra Bullock is positively adorable and shines like a star. She really makes you want to see Lucy succeed. Goofy? Yes, but charming and good natured as well. I have seen this movie over twenty times. Any time I need a lift, I put this movie on and I feel a lot better.

Rating: 4 Stars. I miss old fashioned charmers like this. Nothing original, but made with such loving detail and acted to perfection. This is a classic charmer.

48: Prisoners, probably the best thriller I’ve ever seen. Prisoners stars the one of a kind Hugh Jackmanas a father (Keller Dover), whose child is kidnapped. The story sounds cliche on the surface, but it’s the execution that makes this a masterwork. This is a deep, dark journey, it is not for the faint of heart. One of the many times Jackman should’ve won an Oscar, but for some reason, he didn’t. The ending will send chills up your spine and the tension is palpable. A real must see.

Rating: 4 Stars, you owe it to yourself to see this masterwork of film making.

47: Halloween, the Carpenter masterpiece that never ages. Much better than the 2018 version. Jamie Lee Curtis is at the top of her game in this movie. The directing is taunt, the writing is not the best, but the scares are phenomenal! Take notes Hollywood, this is how you do a horror movie. The movie that put independent movies on the map.

Rating: 4 Stars, still a classic that holds up well.

46: Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones movie is still the best. I love Harrison Ford in this movie. It is such a classic when it comes to action scenes, comedy and special effects. One of the better Spielberg movies.

Rating: 4 Stars, an all-time classic that you need to watch.

45: Spirited Away, simply one of the best animated movies ever. Miyazaki is at his best creating a wondrous world filled with imaginative creatures and gorgeous images. The story of a strong willed girl trying to find her parents will touch your heart. Once again, a movie lack of cynicism that chooses to have warmth and sincerity to give us characters we can care about. A once in a lifetime movie experience.

Rating: 4 Stars, just see it. You’ll thank me later.

44: The Last Detail, one of the best Jack Nicholson performances and movies. He takes a young man to prison, but befriends him along the way. What a raw, emotional and funny movie with an honest look at what life is like for people in the military.

Rating: 4 Stars, what a masterwork of film making and heart.

43: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, what a charming slice of life story that centers around a young woman who can travel back in time. The time travel idea is used brilliantly and the characters are likeable and flawed. The animation is gorgeous with bright colors and stunning visuals. Movies like this show why I love anime so much. The gentle stories you can tell with stunning visuals and great facial expressions.

Rating: 4 Stars, a wonderful, quiet and gentle movie that you don’t see much in Hollywood anymore. See this movie, it’s a must watch.

42: Breakfast At Tiffany’s, I know, Micky Rooney, but that aside. This is one of the best romantic comedies of all time. Pure charm, elegant film making and great characters make this an unforgettable movie experience.

Rating: 4 Stars, sweet and funny to a tee.

41: Heat, I will make this short and sweet. Al Pachino and Robert DeNiro have a scene together. Is there anything else I need to say about this movie? It is a sparkling crime thriller, with lots of great action and incredible family drama.

Rating: 4 stars, a must see.

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.bergamoartefiera.com/stream-your-favorite-movies-online-free/

Weekly Sales Charts

Aladdin went no1 this week on the home video sales. Borlderlands 3 was no1 on most of the charts on VGCartz, Post Malone was no1 on the Billboard 200 and Stephen King’s new book, the Institute was no1 on the NYT best sellers list. The links will be below if you want to read all of them.

Link: https://www.mediaplaynews.com/research/top-20-sellers-for-week-ended-9-14-19/

Link: http://www.vgchartz.com/

Link: https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/

Photo Courtesy of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangnam_Style

Who Are the Best Actors Working Today? My Top 10 Actors Today

Here is my criteria, range, believably, power, consistency, charisma, emotion and longevity. This is a lot of my favorite actors, but who are the best.

10: Angelina Jolie, you want to talk about range? She has it in spades! From action heroes as Lara Croft, to a troubled young girl in Girl Interrupted. Angelina can play a wide variety of roles doing it with piazzas.

Best performance: Girl Interrupted.

9: Leonardo DiCaprio, a veteran who proved the naysayers wrong. Leo has been in huge blockbusters to art house favorites. Leo is going to have one heck of a long career. He can play so many roles. He isn’t the best at comedy, so that hurts his range a bit, but he can nail it when it comes to drama.

Best Performance: The Revenant 

8: Daniel Day Lewis, the Oscar darling. He has put on some great performances, but some that weren’t so good. His range was also a bit limiting. His Lincoln wasn’t as good as the academy made it out to be. Still, he had one heck of a career with some great performances.

Best performance: There Will Be Blood

7: Kate Winslet, her recent roles haven’t been up to her older roles, but when she was at her peek, Kate was arguably the best actor working. She has depth and range that few have. Let’s hope she gets back on the right track.

Best Performance: Revolutionary Road

6: Johnny Depp, I know some might think this is low for him, but his current work hasn’t been as good. He excels at weird performances, but falls flat when playing a relatable character. His personal life has taken a toll on his work, so he may fall further in future lists.

Best Performance: Edward Scissorhands.

5: Frances McDormand, she is still putting on great performances and showing what kind of roles women can play. Versatile and powerful. That is how you describe Frances. She portrays strong women who have deep flaws and quirky flaws. She makes it seem natural, which is the best complement an actor can get.

Best performance: Fargo.

4: Christian Bale, like him or not, he is one heck of a talented actor. From American Psycho to Vice, Bale can tear through a part with ample intensity. Bale could’ve done better as Batman, but he has been one of the more consistent actors of the 21st century.

Best Performance: American Psycho

3: Nicole Kidman, class, elegance and charm to spare. Kidman is a legend in the making. She is the new Katherine Hepburn, yes you can quote me saying that. She can play a struggling housewife, a cold hearted nun, a mother who has lost her mind, etc,. all with ease. Kidman is a rarity and a national treasure.

Best Performance: Killing of a Sacred Deer

2: Amy Adams, easily the best actress working today. Adams has range, talent, charm, personality and intensity. Adams is so cute, but she can also be cold and intense. She can change at the drop of a hat, and we believe it.

Best Performance: American Hustle

1: Hugh Jackman, he can sing, dance and act like no other entertainer before him. Jackman is this generation’s Jack Nicholson. He can play any role. He can do musicals, family movies, play a father loosing his mind and play a super hero in the blink of an eye. Why on earth this man has never won the Oscar is beyond me. He has no equal when it comes to range and pure talent.

Best Performance: Logan

Photo Courtesy of: https://pagesix.com/2019/05/02/nicole-kidman-hugh-jackman-helped-with-tom-cruise-divorce/

Sales Charts Weekly

Here we go, charts for movies, music, video games and books.

Young Thug is no1 on the Billboard 200. Marvel’s Avengers is no1 on the home video sales again. Mario Maker 2 seems to be no1 mostly on worldwide video game charts according to VGChartz and Where the Crawdads Sing is no1 on the NYT best selling books. For the rest of the lists, check out the links below.

Links: http://www.vgchartz.com/

Link: https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200

Link: https://www.mediaplaynews.com/research/top-20-sellers-for-week-ended-8-24-19/

Link: https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.featurepics.com/online/Sales-Chart-610291.aspx

Weekly Charts

Alita Battle Angel was no1 again on home video. Fire Emblem 3 Houses was still the global video game sales champ NF was no1 on Billboard and Where the Crawldad Sings is no1 on the NYT best sellers. Enioy the rest of the charts.

Links: https://www.mediaplaynews.com/research/top-20-sellers-for-week-ended-8-3-19/

https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200

https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers

http://www.vgchartz.com/article/439902/switzerland-weekly-week-31-2019/

Photo courtesy of: https://www.featurepics.com/online/Sales-Chart-610291.aspx

Weekly Charts

Here are the charts for home video, video games, music and books.

Alita Battle Angel was no1 with Hellboy being no2. Ed Sheeran was no1 on the Billboard 200 albums. Fire Emblem 3 Houses debuted no1 on most VGChartz this week. One Good Deed is the no1 book on the NYT best sellers list.

Links: https://www.mediaplaynews.com/research/top-20-sellers-for-week-ended-7-27-19/

https://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200

http://www.vgchartz.com/

https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-illustration-positive-business-sales-chart-arrow-width-red-background-image44158674

Disney Dominated the Summer Is It Time To Worry?

No movie from any studio besides Disney and Marvel (even Spider-Man is Marvel, not Sony), didn’t do as expected. Toy Story 4, Lion King, Alladin, Endgame and Spiderman have dominated multiplexes this year. Movies like Godzilla, Detective Pikachu and the Secret Life of Pets 2 didn’t do as well as they were supposed to. Disney has a monopoly on multiplexes and it really isn’t good for competition or the movie industry. All Disney had to do is throw a movie out and people will see it, regardless if it is good or not. Disney is turning into a monopoly now and it should worry people.

Hopefully this will change in the coming years, but with the Avatar sequels, more Marvel movies, live action remakes and Star Wars movies, I highly doubt it.

Photo courtesy of: http://misplacedinthemidwest-osiris.blogspot.com/2010/02/evil-corporations-dark-side-of-disney.html?m=1