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Miranda’s 5 Feel Better Films

Have you ever had those days where you’re in the worst funk but you have no idea why? Or the days that just about everything goes wrong? Expect you don’t know what to do to cheer yourself up? I have had many of those days and I’ve discovered the certain soundtracks/artists and films that help put a smile on my face or just help me out of that funk. I decided it would be fun to create a post of the 5 films that I love to put on whenever I’m ~down in the dumps~ Perhaps you’ll find that some of these films can help your bad day become better!

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1) The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Yes, this movie is absolutely absurd, ridiculous, idiotic, random, nonsensical, etc. But that’s just why I love it, especially on these sort of days. It’s impossible to think about anything else going on in real life because you’re wondering just what the heck is even going on. You’ll find yourself laughing, perhaps even more so if you have the Midnight Experience option on and read the call-backs. Plus it’s impossible not to like these songs; seriously, just admit it now. We’ve all sang along to at least one song or have a favorite (mine being “Over at the Frankenstein Place”). So the soundtrack is also a great fix as well. I don’t care what anyone says; it’s the perfect medicine for a crappy day.

*Oh, and Tim Curry. That’s all.

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2) Some Like it Hot

Yeah, you get Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in drag, Marilyn Monroe, and a Billy Wilder script and direction, you’ve got a fabulously and ridiculously funny film. Before I watched this movie, I expected it to be overrated because so many people loved it (think Breakfast at Tiffany’s). Expect I forgot that just about any Billy Wilder film is flawless. This one is no exception. After I watched it, it quickly became one of my favorite films. I’ve watched it so many times that unfortunately I’ve picked up on almost all the jokes :'( But nonetheless it’s great for these sort of days because Wilder’s jokes never get old. This is one of the films I recommend to newbies to Old Hollywood films because it’s still hysterical. So if you haven’t seen it, then it might be best to save this film for one of those days :)

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3) Harvey

It’s impossible to not be charmed by Jimmy Stewart’s Elwood P. Dowd and, of course, his best friend Harvey, the six foot, three and one half inch tall invisible rabbit. For me, Stewart plays his character so beautifully that you’re captivated by Elwood and that could be enough. But his sister is deeply concerned about Elwood and wants to put him in an institution. The film is unlike anything else and has the power to make you forget reality and focus into the world of Elwood and Harvey. And the question is: is Harvey real?

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4) Nights of Cabiria

If you know me, you know that right after Annie Hall my favorite film is Nights of Cabiria. Part of the reason is because of Cabiria. Giulietta Masina gave one of the greatest performances of all film history in that role. She brings her to life; there is no fake, Hollywood setup. Instead, she takes the neo-realist era approach and makes Cabiria one of the most genuine and real characters of cinema. Cabiria has been wounded in the past but still manages to keep going through. She puts on a tough facade so she doesn’t get hurt but she is still very naïve. It is impossible to not like Cabiria. While at the beginning of the film you might think her rude or ungrateful, as the film gradually unfolds you see why the way she is and you begin to understand. And if you have no feelings towards the end then I don’t know what to say. But anyways, Cabiria is stubborn, spunky, determined, her own and I absolutely love her. And that’s why I watch Cabiria. She’s like a best friend to me, and I mean, who doesn’t need his or her best friend on a bad day.

lionel barrymore, james stewart, jean arthur & edward arnold - you can't take it with you 1938

5) You Can’t Take It With You

This was one of the first Old Hollywood films I watched and I loved it to pieces. I laughed throughout the entire time, I shipped Jean and Jimmy, I wanted to be a part of Jean’s family; the whole deal. And I just realized that it was a Capra film, but that shouldn’t surprise me. I love it for these days because it gives me hope and sends the message to do what you love to do and what you want to do. Have fun. Don’t be quick to judge others. Make time for your family. And most importantly, be yourself. Take advantage of the options given to you and live your life the way you want to live it, not how others say you should. I don’t think it can be more optimistic than that :)

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10 America Movies to watch on July 4th

Happy 4th of July from Moviefellas! Here are ten great movies about America to watch between barbeque and fireworks and shedding a tear to the tune of Proud To Be An American.

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein in ‘All the President’s Men’ (1976)

All The President’s Men
Three cheers for exposing political corruption!

Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump unknowingly wanders into some of the biggest events in 20th century American history.

Born On the Fourth of July
It has ‘Fourth of July’ in the title. Also, Tom Cruise stars as Ron Kovic, a gung-ho marine whose view on war quickly changes when he experiences it and is left paralyzed and scarred.

Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis received basically every award available for his portrayal of the 16th President in Steven Spielberg’s historical drama about the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment.

National Treasure
Nic Cage is going to steal the Declaration of Independence.

Jimmy Stewart and Claude Rains in Frank Capra's 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington' (1939)

Jimmy Stewart and Claude Rains in Frank Capra’s ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ (1939)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
An idealistic young Jimmy Stewart goes to Washington and learns a few things about the reality of politics.

American Beauty
The Burnhams are living the American Dream! Only not really. Look closer and everything is not as it appears to be.

Flags Of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood’s counterpart to Letters from Iwo Jima is based on the book Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley, which tells the story of the famous flag-raising photo taken by Joe Rosenthal atop Mount Suribachi during the horrifying Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Flags of Our Fathers examines war and heroism through the stories of the men pictured in the photograph.

Frost/Nixon
The story behind the historic Nixon interviews in 1977, conducted by British journalist David Frost.

HBO’s John Adams Mini-series
An incredibly well-made series about John Adams’ role in the founding of the United States, starring Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney as John and Abigail Adams. Just set aside like eight and a half hours to watch it.

*BONUS* The West Wing
Not a movie, but if you feel like watching a television show about politics in the White House, your best bet is to stay inside and watch ten episodes of The West Wing.


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10 Crazy Good Film Scores

The right soundtrack can really make a movie/make you cry/make your heart explode. Here are ten soundtracks (in no particular order) that blow me away:

The Hours Philip Glass
My favorite tracks: “Dead Things”, “The Hours”, “Why Does Someone Have to Die”

The Thin Red Line Hans Zimmer
My favorite tracks: “Journey to the Line”, “Light”, “Silence”

There Will Be Blood Jonny Greenwood
My favorite tracks: “Open Spaces”, “HW/Hope of New Fields”, “Prospectors Quartet”

Atonement Dario Marianelli
My favorite tracks: “Briony”, “Elegy for Dunkirk”, “The Cottage on the Beach”

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Ennio Morricone
My favorite tracks: “L’Estasi Dell’oro (The Ecstasy Of Gold)”, “Il Triello”

The Godfather (trilogy) Nino Rota
My favorite tracks: “The Godfather – Waltz”, “Love Theme from the Godfather”, “Kay”, “The Godfather Part II End Titles”

Out Of Africa John Barry
My favorite tracks: “I Had a Farm in Africa (Main Title)”, “End Title”

The Master Jonny Greenwood
My favorite tracks: “Overtones”, “Application 45 Version 1”, “The Sweetness of Freddie”

The Lord of the Rings (trilogy) Howard Shore
My favorite tracks: “Concerning Hobbits”, “The Ring Goes South”, “Lothlorien”, “The Breaking of the Fellowship”, “Samwise the Brave”, “The Return of the King”, “The Grey Havens”

The Last Temptation of Christ Peter Gabriel
My favorite tracks: “The Feeling Begins”, “With This Love”, “Passion”, “It Is Accomplished”

Check out this mix I made on 8tracks with selections from all of these fine scores!


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12 Movies About Moms

Happy Mother’s Day from Moviefellas! Here are twelve movies to watch with your mom on this special day, some of them warm and fuzzy and some… not as much.

1. The Kids Are Alright-two moms!

2. Terms of Endearment-Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, what else can I say?

3. Steel Magnolias-Why isn’t Sally Field my mom

4. Psycho-“A boy’s best friend is his mother.”

5. Forrest Gump-Why isn’t Sally Field my mom, Pt. 2

6. Mommie Dearest-NO WIRE HANGERS EVER

7. Mrs. Miniver-Greer Garson as the best WWII mother

8. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore-An early Martin Scorsese gem about a hardworking single mother, played by Ellen Burstyn

9. Mamma Mia!-singing and dancing mother-daughter goodness. STREEP.

10. The GraduateAnd here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson…

11. Cat On a Hot Tin Roof-feat. Big Momma and that awful Mae with her brood of brats

12. Gilmore Girls-Okay, not a movie, but on the real, you can’t go wrong with this sincere, pop-culture-referencing mother-daughter TV show.


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Top 5 Terrence Malick Films

By Erin (mortimerbrewster)

Funny story about my personal Top 5 Malick Films: there are only five Terrence Malick films that I can review. But I decided I would put them in order of my personal preference, because I have much love for the enigmatic, seldom-seen director.

Terrence Malick is one of my favorite directors because of the quiet beauty of his films. Visually, they are stunning. Emotionally, they always draw some kind of reaction from me. With pensive, philosophic voiceovers and the inevitable scenes of tall, waving grasses, Malick’s films reflect the beauty of things on a broader, universal scale and always manage to make me feel calm and at peace.

5. The Tree of Life (2011)

“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by.”

I have The Tree of Life to thank for my love for Jessica Chastain (the sweetest, most beautiful actress) who stars alongside Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in this slow but entrancing film. The Tree of Life follows a relatively average family in Texas through tragedy and internal conflict, as the eldest son Jack grows up and experiences life. As an adult, Jack (Sean Penn) questions life and faith.

The film features some mind-bogglingly beautiful images, and there are even some dinosaurs that make a brief appearance. That might sound like a joke, but it’s not. Dinosaurs.

It’s been over a year since I watched this film, but I still haven’t fully sorted out my feelings about it. The images that The Tree of Life presents are what struck me the most, and lingered with me weeks afterwards. I was a bit bewildered by this film, but affected nonetheless; The Tree of Life is a beautiful, fluid painting of all life that moves like gentle-flowing water across the screen.

4. The New World (2005)

“What else is life but being near you?”

The New World gives us a glimpse of a swampy but intensely beautiful, untouched Virginia–‘The New World’–in 1607 at the time of the founding of Jamestown. The film is a retelling of the Pocahontas story, actually a lot like the Disney animated movie that we have probably all seen. Terrence Malick’s story follows Pocahontas (Q’orianka Kilcher) as the world around her changes with the arrival of the Europeans in North America, and shows her love for Captain John Smith (Colin Farrell) and eventual marriage to John Rolfe (Christian Bale).

The New World and The Tree of Life could easily switch places in this list, because there are things I like and don’t like about both. The New World is a pretty underrated film that I like mostly because of Colin Farrell, if we’re being real here. The alternate title could be Colin Farrell Wandering Through Tall Grass.

3. Badlands (1973)

“Little did I realize that what began in the alleys and back ways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana.”

Malick’s first feature film is faster-paced than his others, but still distinctively Malick. Based on a true story, Badlands is the Bonnie and Clyde-esque tale of smooth-talking former garbage collector Kit (Martin Sheen) and his young, naive girlfriend Holy (Sissy Spacek), who narrates their killing spree across states and sprawling stretches of the badlands. Kit is charming, sociopathic, and, as an inexperienced Holly reflects, “He was handsomer than anybody I’d ever met. He looked just like James Dean.” Soon Holly becomes caught up in Kit’s web of reckless killing as the two turn their backs on the rules governing society.

2. Days of Heaven (1978)

“Nobody’s perfect. There was never a perfect person around. You just have half-angel and half-devil in you.”

Days of Heaven is an astoundingly striking film–so much so that you almost forget about the story when you get lost in the sweeping imagery. A chronicle of love and jealousy, Days of Heaven follows lovers Bill and Abby (Richard Gere and Brooke Adams) and Abby’s younger sister Linda’s flight from Chicago to a Texas farm. There, the couple poses as brother and sister and work for a quiet farmer (Sam Shepard) who falls in love with Abby. When it is discovered that the farmer is dying, Bill encourages Abby to marry him in order to secure a fortune. However, things do not go as planned, leading to a swell of jealousy and rage that eventually become too great.

Days of Heaven is not only one of my favorite Malick films, but one of my favorite films in general. The imagery of golden fields of wheat, swarms of locusts, and a solitary, picturesque house combine to make a wonderful film.

1. The Thin Red Line (1998)

“Love. Where does it come from? Who lit this flame in us? No war can put it out, conquer it. I was a prisoner. You set me free.”

The Thin Red Line is an incredibly powerful war film that carries a quiet intensity and entrancing reflective quality that contrasts with scenes illustrating the carnage of war in a manner more beautiful than I have ever seen. Mixed voiceovers of the film’s many stars mingle with images of life, death, and destruction as a group of soldiers fights for an insurmountable ridge on Guadalcanal during World War II. Terrence Malick again skillfully highlights the beauty of landscapes and the small details in nature and in life, creating a stark juxtaposition with the destruction brought to that landscape over the course of the film.

I will cry over this movie forever. The soft, thoughtful narration woven quietly throughout combined with a chillingly magnificent score by Hans Zimmer make The Thin Red Line.