Category Archives: Movies

Top 10 Low Budget Movies That Were Huge Hits

Hollywood is well known for lavish projects where costs are hardly an impediment. This however does not hold true for all successful films. There are some low budget movies whose success, positive audience feedback and critical acclaim, resonate till date. Here’s a list of Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits. In spite of going really low on the element of financial expenditure, they all made a grand fortune upon release.
 

Rocky


 

 
Directed by John. G. Avildsen and scripted by Sylvester Stallone, Rocky received a great response from the audience. Starring the fetching and young Stallone, the movie was a light film made within 28 days on a low budget of only $950,000. The movie’s release, in return, fetched mammoth amounts adding up to $225 million. Apart from the financial gains, the movie even won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
 

The Full Monty


 

 
This British comedy with a simple story of six unemployed men who try to make a difference in their lives by forming a striptease act proved to be quite surprise hit at the box office. The movie was made on a budget of $3.5 million, but thanks to its hilarious plot and storyline, the movie generated gross revenue of over $250 million. The Full Monty received critical acclaim, after its release and was the highest grossing film in the United Kingdom, until the grandiose Titanic was released.
 

Saw


 

 
Directed by James Wan, this $1.2 million low budget horror film was made based on the story of two men who are trapped in a bathroom and then given separate instructions via tape recorders to help them escape. The mind numbing horror and gut wrenching details in the movie received a positive reaction from the audience, allowing Saw to garner returns of over $103 million. The movie then became a franchise with seven equally thrilling parts, which were a hit with the audience too.
 

Paranormal Activity


 

 
Created on a budget of a measly $11,000, this movie created a wave of curiosity with its highly unusual yet gripping plot. The movie was originally created as an independent feature and played at film festival screenings in 2007 and a couple of years later, in 2009, the movie was officially released by Paramount Pictures. Paranormal Activity depicts eerie experiences of a young couple, Katie and Micah, who move into a home in the suburbs. Katie claims to be haunted by the presence of an evil spirit in the house, and to further investigate the disturbing occurrences, Micah and Katie carefully set video cameras all over their home. The happenings that follow are grippingly spooky. The movie is worth every second of viewing and rightfully earned over a whopping $193 million worldwide.
 

Napoleon Dynamite


 

 
Jared Hess had created a short film Peluca that was later adapted into a full-length film called Napoleon Dynamite. The protagonist and title role of Napoleon Dynamite was played by actor Jon Heder, who received a meager sum of $1,000 for his exceptional role in the movie. Later, it is said he renegotiated and was given a profit percentage of the movie. The movie was not just made on a restricted budget of $400,000, but was also filmed in a rather cost-friendly location – producer Jeremy Coon’s apartment! It created a new fondness towards the nerd kind and many movies adopted this leitmotif in their making. Napoleon Dynamite grossed $46,140,956 at the worldwide box office.
 

Mad Max


 

 
This larger than life action film was director George Miller’s debut adventure in filmmaking. The actors risked life and limb with the stunts they had to perform in the action sequences and it is said that Miller could only afford one actual leather suit for the movie, the one worn by Mel Gibson and the rest of the gangsters were costumed in pleather or imitation leather. The movie’s budget was tightly set at $400,000, but the profits it made added up to $100 million. Mad Max even entered the Guinness Book of World records for the film with the highest profit-to-cost percentage.
 

The Purge


 

 
In Purge, writer and director James DeMonaco created the perfect plot for a crime thriller horror film. The budget invested in the making of the movie, which hit theaters in 2013, was a meager $3 million. But the reviews and audiences’ response boosted its revenue to a stupendous $89.3 million! With a story that revolves around the high crime rate in America and the government legally sanctioning criminal activities for 12 whole hours, the terror that strikes thereafter is portrayed in a horrifying real manner in the movie. The enthralling dreadfulness of the plot gripped the attention of the audience and not in a pleasant way either!
 

Once


 

 
Once is the love story of two musicians, a street guitarist and a pianist, who fall in love and create a perfect blend of tunes together. The actors, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, are real musicians and have no prior experience in acting. But the work created by them in the movie is astounding and produced in just $150,000, this one created waves among viewers and critics alike. The movie raked in whopping returns of $20,710,513 and also received an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
 

The Blair Witch Project


 

 
The Blair Witch Project is a transfixing horror story of three student filmmakers who mysteriously disappeared in Maryland while on a trip to film a documentary. Their video footage was recovered after a year and the recording is not just eerie but absolutely bloodcurdling! Written and directed by Daniel Myrick, the movie was made on a budget of $60,000. But the massively positive reviews earned the movie its $248 million revenue.
 

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels


 

 
This 1998 British crime comedy gained critical acclaim due to its outstanding hilarious plot. The film is also said to have emerged as the project that made director Guy Ritchie internationally famous. Scripted and directed by Ritchie, the movie tells the story of a heist to rob a smalltime gang. The heist turns comic when the number of gangs, interested in making some easy money by robbing each other, increases. The budget used in the making of the film was $1.35 million, but the revenue it generated worldwide was a phenomenal $28.35 million.
 
All the movies on this list have gone all out to prove the fact that not every successful movie needs to be created with a monstrous budget, a monumental location or a cast of legendary actors. These Top 10 Low Budget Movies that were Huge Hits were appreciated by viewers and critics alike due to their originality and creativity and the fact that they were epics created with a relatively shoestring budget!

 
 

Top 10 War Movies

Most of us enjoy a wide genre of movies that include romance, action, thriller, horror and the all-time favorite, comedy. Some of us however are fascinated by excitement, bloodshed, passion and huge doses of adrenaline, a combination that is usually found on grim battlefields. Here’s bringing you a list of the Top 10 War Movies that are recognized by audiences across the globe as being the best, thanks to their action sequences, cinematography, storyline, direction and cast.
 
Full Metal Jacket

Directed, produced and written by the invincible Stanley Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket is an excellent war movie that depicts the ironic lives of the drill sergeants as they withstand the severities of war training. Based on the Vietnam War, this 1987 film is considered a landmark movie in the war-action genre. Having received critical acclaim, this work of art was even nominated for an Academy Award. One of the main highlights of the movie is the critical acclaim actor R. Lee Erney received for his outstanding performance as Hartman. Erney scripted most of the dialogues on the spot, making the movie a true original. Full Metal Jacket is one of the best creations by Stanley Kubrick and a must-watch for several reasons!
 
Black Hawk Down

Winner of two Oscars, Black Hawk Down is a British-American war movie, directed by Ridley Scott. The film is adapted from a book written by Mark Bowden and portrays the hardships undertaken by a group of U.S. Army Rangers who are deployed to Mogadishu in order to seize a militia loyal, Mohamed Aidid. This 2001 movie made it big at the Awards and in the minds of the audience, evident in the $172 million that the movie made.
 
Behind Enemy Lines

Directed by John Moore, this movie is all about action in the worst place a soldier can find himself, behind enemy lines. A navy officer is shot down and lands in Bosnia and movie depicts the perils and threats he faces as he tries to make his way back, along with some hard-core proof of the Bosnian War genocide he accidentally stumbles upon. With an excellent star cast, comprising of Owen Wilson and Gene Hackman, the movie is one of the most gripping war movies ever made. This film was the directorial debut for Moore and created a great first impression indeed!
 
Saving Private Ryan

You place Tom Hanks in the leading role in a war movie and you already have yourself a winner! Saving Private Ryan has Tom Hanks delivering one of the most substantial works of his career. The movie earned a whopping $481.8 million and was also nominated for 11 Academy Awards of which it won six, including Best Director and  Best Cinematography.
 
The Bridge on the River Kwai

Directed by David Lean, this 1957 war movie is based on the Second World War. Filmed in Sri Lanka, the movie is a fictional account about the building of a bridge over the River Kwai to assist the war efforts of Japan. The movie gained its fame for its action sequences and excellent star cast that included the talented Academy Award winner, William Holden. The depiction of the hard times prisoners of war had to face helped the movie take home seven glorious Academy Awards including the one for Best Picture.
 
Good Morning Vietnam

This Robin Williams starrer is an excellent war movie with a tinge of comedy. Good Morning Vietnam was released in 1987, and paints the life of a radio jockey on the Armed Forces Radio Service. His wit and humor soon gain him great popularity among the troops. However, the superiors are not of the same opinion. Owing to his excellent performance in the movie, Williams was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
 
The Hurt Locker

This movie is a renowned one, thanks to the originality created by Director Kathryn Bigelow. This 2008 war genre movie circles around members of a bomb-disposal unit in Baghdad. The perils of the bomb-squad members, as they go through each experience of de-activating the bombs, keep the audience on pins and needles at every moment. The scenes are so emotional and intensely gripping that viewers actually end up holding their own breath until each bomb is safely defused. Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, the movie was quite the success. It was even nominated for a number of Academy Awards and proudly bagged the Oscars for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.
 
Inglourious Basterds

Directors Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth come together to create this magnificent war movie based on the German occupancy of France. With an excellent cast that includes brilliant actors Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz and Michael Fassbender, the movie created a rage among its audience. This film was a prominent one owing to its commercial success and earning over $321 million. The portrayal of different characters comes across amazingly well in the movie, making every scene a winner.
 
Pearl Harbor

This 2001 war film that captures the epic incident of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie was directed by Michael Bay and the cast included Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Kate Beckinsale and Cuba Gooding Jr. The story spins around two friends, Rafe and Danny who play their part in World War II as pilots. When Rafe is away at war and doesn’t return for a while, his girlfriend finds solace in Danny and the two get close. There is one final reunion of the three protagonists in Hawaii, prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. The vivid cinematography of the battle sequences as well as the romantic angle interwoven in the storyline made this one quite different from any other. Pearl Harbor was a box office hit and earned a glorious $450 million.
 
Zero Dark Thirty

Following Hurt Locker, Directed Kathryn Bigelow created a second war movie that turned out even better than the first! Rightfully tagged ‘The Greatest Manhunt in History’, Zero Dark Thirty revolves around the manhunt of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, post the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Osama was found in Pakistan and was raided and killed on 2 May 2011 after a manhunt that went on for a decade. The details and intricacies of the investigations that led to the raid are illustrated in the movie. The movie was nominated for five Academy Awards and four Golden Globe Awards, of which it bagged one award at each. The movie also received wide critical acclaim.
 
For those who are fascinated by war and action movies depicting the battlefield and all that goes down in it, every movie that made this list Top 10 War Movies are a must-watch!

 
 

Top 10 Best Movie Sequels

All original movies tend to set a standard that a majority of sequels find impossible to surpass. However, on rare occasions, a sequel comes by that manages to not only live up to the standards set by the original, but even surpass it! We have to tip our hats to these that go miles ahead of their forerunners to win the hearts of an even larger audience. This list of Top 10 Best Movie Sequels is in honor of those enterprising projects that stand as a compliment to their originals.
 

The Godfather: Part II


The 1972 American crime film, The Godfather, was regarded as one of the greatest movies ever created in the history of Hollywood. The original movie, starring Marlon Brando, depicted the life in an Italian mafia family. Also starring Al Pacino, as the don’s youngest son, this movie created a rage among viewers. Then came The Godfather: Part II in 1974 and this one turned out to be an even more enthralling sequence to the first part. It literally stole the title of ‘the greatest crime film’ from its predecessor! All owing to Al Pacino’s entrancing expertise in acting, this movie depicted the true emotional turmoil of the character, enticing its audience.
 

The Dark Knight


One doesn’t really have to elaborate on this movie other than how Heath Ledger’s outstanding performance as The Joker left viewers rapt with awe throughout the film. Batman definitely got its viewers votes for like, but Chris Nolan’s creation of The Joker, with his spine-chilling appearance and reeking with psychological sadism, actually extended the movie its eminence. This sequel was beefed up with some surreal action sequences and definitely can’t be left out from this list of Top 10 Best Movie Sequels.
 

Spider Man 2


This superhero spun a tackier web with the release of Spider Man 2. The plot of the movie is what won it its importance. The villain in the film, Dr. Octopus, with his metal appendage, created the perfect opponent for Spider Man. Tormented with dilemmas, Spidey has to fight through a number of personal issues, ranging from the changing attitude of his best friend Harry Osborn to the engagement of his girlfriend Mary Jane to another man. And as if all this was less work, Spider Man also has to battle Dr. Octopus who blames Spidey for the accidental death of his wife and wants to avenge her death.
 

X2: X-Men United


Director Bryan Singer took a plunge with the sequel X2: X-Men United, to the original X-Men, and emerged a hero. The original movie focused on the introduction of mutants and their conflict with another group of mutants, headed by the villainous Magneto. The sequel still held the essence of the existence and survival of these mutants, but the plot thickens with the story of the bladed super hero – Wolverine’s past, and the way he copes with his emotions. The other attraction of the movie was the wide range of mutants with their varied superpowers.
 

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers


The Lord of The Rings trilogy is one of its kinds! One cannot appreciate just one part of the trilogy, as each part is as fascinating and enthralling as the other. However, the second installment of the film, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers takes the cake. Owing to its unique storyline that almost makes it a standalone film, this sequel surpasses the first part by leaps and bounds. Elijah Wood’s performance was excellent in the movie, but the star of the film was the mysterious and enigmatic character, Gollum.
 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan


The 1982 sci-fi film was a success not just for its storyline, but also for other aspects of the movie that greatly contributed to the box office hit. Even though the movie was a typical Star Trek story, with an endless journey through space and an encounter with an adversary, this sequel was tweaked a little. It weaves its way around the interstellar battle between Admiral Kirk and his enemy Khan Noonien Singh, who was held in exile for over 15 years and then escapes to avenge his banishment. The movie ends on an emotional note with the death of Captain Spock.
 

Toy Story 2


Pixar animations have outshined their own excellence in Toy Story, with the sequel Toy Story 2. Toy Story 2 is not just a sequel to the original Toy Story, but is a different episode in itself. Depicting the emotions and true friendship between toys, the movie is a favorite among viewers of all ages. The story focuses on the abduction of Woody, the cowboy, and the heroic escapades of the other toys to bring Woody back. The main feature of this movie is the intricate detailing of existing and newly introduced animated characters.
 

Aliens


This 1986 film is a sequel to the 1979 sci-fi movie Alien. The tagline of the movie, ‘This Time It’s War!’ holds true to itself, as the movie features some bizarre action scenes between the protagonist Sigourney Weaver and the terrifying aliens. Director James Cameron is habituated to exceeding his own limits and he has done it again with Aliens!
 

Back To The Future: Part 2


The original movie was an amazing one, as it introduced the aspect of time-travel with an actual time travel machine- a scientifically modified car! For director Robert Zemeckis to outdo his original with Back To The Future: Part 2 must have been quite a challenge, owing to the fact that the prequel was a super hit. The characters, Marty McFly and Dr. Brown, time-travel to the future year 2015, in order to stop a menace. In the process, they even change history!
 

Superman 2


Torn between the love of his life, Lois Lane and his responsibility as a superhero, Superman must make a decision, and fast. The sequel, Superman 2, was a total hit among the audience. The actor Christopher Reeves, won the hearts of millions with his striking personality as Superman and his innocent nerdy appearance as Clark Kent. This sequel was an extension worthy of applause but it was indeed the unique, although typical, story line of a planet in peril being saved by a superhero that got the movie its reputation.
 
The sequels mentioned above duly and rightfully deserve applause, even though they were created after their originals. This list of Top 10 Best Movie Sequels indicates how Hollywood directors don’t just learn from their novel creations but also use them to craft even better feature creations!

 

James Bond 007 Facts You’ve Never Heard Before

It’s been over half a century since the first James Bond 007 movie hit theaters and captivated the audience with a perfect mix of passion, crime, action and romance and since then, several movies featuring the English spy have awed us.
 
Now, everyone knows that the hot spy likes his martinis shaken, not stirred but there is a lot more to know about James Bond than just his drinks! Here are a few facts even the suave spy may not have checked out before.
 
During his entire career, James Bond has been shot at 4,662 times. One can only imagine the number of holes the spy’s body may have had to hypothetically endure!
 
Liam Neeson is famous for his action stunts and is often featured on his movie posters with a gun in his hands. It was hence quite a shocker when the star turned down the role of Bond. Even more surprising was his reason – he said he was not interested in action movies! Liam Neeson was not the only other actor offered the role of James Bond. Veteran actors Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were offered the role too. But both of them were of the opinion that the role of James Bond must only be played by a British actor and hence they turned down the offer.
 


 
For years, the oldest actress to play the Bond girl was Honor Blackman who was 39 when she played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. Well, Monica Belucci is ready to change all that in Spectre. She’s 50 and is the oldest on the block. Calling her old would of course be entirely untrue. One look at her will tell you how easily she can give any other Bond girl a run for her money!
 

 
While we see Bond girls changing in every movie, Maud Adams was the only one to play a Bond girl in two – The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy – and even starred as an extra in A View to A Kill.
 

 
The famous Sean Connery sported a toupee in all the James Bond movies that he appeared in. The actor had actually started losing his hair at the young age of 21 and hence had the need to use hairpieces.
 

 
Daniel Craig is one of the most privileged James Bonds. Not only did he have some of the hottest women starring with him but also during his tenure as the Bond spy, Daniel Craig was allowed to take any Aston Martin from the Aston Martin Lagonda Limited factory, and this special offer is valid for life!
 
via guim

via guim


 
In 22 films, James Bond has killed 352 people. Violent? Well, one among them was particularly so. Pierce Brosnan was the most dangerous Bond, as he alone killed 47 people in Golden Eye.
 
via imcdb

via imcdb


 
Brosnan proved to be a destructive Bond as far as cars went too. Tomorrow Never Dies saw 15 BMW 750s being wrecked!
 

 
The first James Bond though was actually an American! Barry nelson was the first to play the spy in a televised adaptation of the movie we later came to know as Casino Royale.
 
 
Pierce Brosnan had to sign a special contract while he was signed up with the Bond movie franchise and the contract has a special clause – Pierce Brosnan was not allowed to wear a tuxedo in any other film that was not a James Bond film.
 

 
While taking special martial arts training lessons for one of the Bond films, actor Sean Connery angered the instructor. The instructor was none other than the veteran action star Steven Seagal and Seagal actually broke Connery’s wrist in anger!
 

 
President John F. Kennedy was a huge fan of the James Bond movies. He even watched an early print of the Bond movie From Russia with Love at the White House. This one happened to be his last film as he died the next day.
 

 
The fandom the franchise enjoys is such that avid fans keep a close watch on the every detail related to the sophisticated spy and these interesting facts are sure to add to their list!

Featured image via showbizmonkeys

 
 

Top 10 Movies based on True Crime

The lives of men have always found stimulation in true stories and legends and movies are no different. And when you think of movies, what could be more intriguing than stories based on true crime! This list of must-see Top 10 Movies based on True Crimes tell you of stories that have been so influential that they have even found their ways on to the big screen.
 
Monster
 

 
Charlize Theron’s outstanding performance won her seventeen awards for her portrayal of Aileen Wuornos, a Florida prostitute who turned into a serial killer. The beautiful actress had to undergo some truly hideous cosmetic changes, including a weight gain of 30 pounds and false teeth, in order to resemble the terrifying Aileen. Charlize plays the role impeccably, making viewers want to sympathize with the character, and simultaneously be terrified. The story ends tragically with the execution of Aileen, after being tried for the murders she committed.
 
Catch Me If You Can

 
This 2002 film is based on a true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., who was a skilled con artist and who managed to con millions of dollars’ worth of checks before his 18th birthday. He did so skillfully by posing as a doctor, a legal prosecutor and a Pan Am co-pilot. Leonardo DiCaprio, who with his impeccable talent in acting, portrayed the role of this master-of-deception and brought before the audiences a perfect image of the actual Frank Abagnale Jr.
 
Donnie Brasco
 

 
This 1997 American crime drama film was directed by Mike Newell. This is a true story about an FBI undercover agent, Joseph Pistone, played by Johnny Depp, who infiltrated one of the major Mafia families in New York and started identifying with the mafia life more than the regular one he was living. Initially, it was an undercover mission, but slowly and gradually, as Pistone started to identify with the mafia, he developed a relationship of friendship with the mob hit man. The movie depicts Pistone’s mental ordeal of making a decision that will end the life of his newfound friend.
 
Alpha Dog

 
This true story of Jesse James Hollywood was made into a feature film in 2006. Starring Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone and Bruce Willis, this story depicts the life of a young drug dealer who was one of the youngest men to be on the FBI’s most wanted list. He was only 20 years old when he was caught by the police. The movie ends with a text on the screen that informs the audience that the young drug dealer is currently in California awaiting trial and will face a death penalty if proven guilty.  
 
The French Connection

 
In the 1960s, the Turkey-France-United States drug-trafficking scheme exploded, causing a New York City police detective to be fixated on capturing the French heroin smuggler. This incident was created into a feature film, starring Gene Hackman as the police detective. Directed by the talented William Friedkin, this movie won awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Adapted Screenplay.  The movie has been voted to have one of the best car-chase scenes in the history of films. The film ends on a vague note and doesn’t quite tell the audience who is killed in the end.
 
Goodfellas

 
The talented Martin Scorsese created a feature film based on a true event highlighting the rise and fall of the Lucchese crime family. The story is spun around a young man who works his way up the hierarchy in a mob, but eventually faces a downfall due to his drug addiction and uncalled-for actions.
 
In Cold Blood

 
This true story of the brutal murder of the Clutter family is made into a novel and a film adaptation. The 1967 film portrays how two ex-convicts break into the home of a rich Kansas family, hoping to find a lot of wealth, but instead find nothing. Infuriated by the whole ordeal, they murder the entire family in a heartless manner and flee. They are later caught by the police, found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The illustration of the killers’ last moments and the execution is presented at the end of the movie.
 
The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street is based on a true event, portraying the life of Jordan Belfort, who started his own brokerage firm by the name of ‘Stratton Oakmont’ and who along with his team of brokers, made a huge fortune by deceiving investors. Jordon’s character is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The story started in 1987 when Jordan Belfort started his career at a Wall Street brokerage firm. Jordan was, as most fraudulent criminals, arrested by the FBI and his entire wealth and empire was seized. To his fortune, he was only sentenced to imprisonment for 36 months, following which he was released in the early 2000s. He now makes a living by hosting seminars and conducting training sessions on improving sales techniques.
 
Zodiac

This 2007 American thriller movie is based on one of Northern California’s unsolved crimes. The movie depicts the ‘Zodiac Killings’ and the terror that grips the city of San Francisco as a serial killer stalks its citizens. The Zodiac killer continues to kill victims and send cryptic messages in an attempt to taunt the authorities. While a couple of investigators and reporters become obsessed with finding this serial killer, the killings continue. The movie doesn’t have the solution of the case in the end and only revolves around the work of the investigations.
 
Dog Day Afternoon

 
Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 film based on the event of an inexperienced criminal who robs a bank to pay for his lover’s surgery. The robbery evolves into a hostage situation and the media have a field day with the whole event. The actual event upon which the movie was made, involves two robbers who face a similar fate.
 
These Top 10 Movies based on True Crime are a must-watch as they spill the story of criminals and mafias in the world of money, drugs, murder and more – all the elements that make for an intriguing storyline.

 
 

Short Film Showcase- Shadows

You know how in a movie that goes on for around a hundred minutes or more, it’s only a couple of sequences lasting only a few minutes that actually keep you on the edge of your seat? Well, Shadows is made up of those few minutes. You don’t have to sit through 90 odd minutes in order to watch the most interesting part! It is indeed difficult to pull off a short, maybe that’s why only the gutsiest filmmakers do it. In the case of Shadows: Director Colin Berry, Writer Eric Walker, Producer Kyle Sevier and lone actor Corey Sevier all come together to give effect to a tight, interesting plot that makes the audience’s hair stand on end.
 
SHADOWS-5
 
The storyline is simple. It’s based on a simple looking guy in a simple shirt and tie, simply getting the s**t scared out of him. Well, that’s where the simplicity of it all ends. Shadows then moves on into territory that is quite difficult to fathom and capture. One that holds both horror and science fiction.
 
Shadows-1
 
The creature in the dark could very well have been a ghost. Except that it does something inexplicable to the Glen- The protagonist. Showing him images and taking his mind to bright blue places.
 
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Ghosts don’t do that you know, they simply whack the hell out of you and ask you to get out of there! The sci-fi angle in Shadows is gripping and makes you think twice about all that went down. It makes you think about what could possibly happen next! That’s part of the magic that makes a good short and Shadows accomplishes that element just fine.
 
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The film is well paced and doesn’t rush you into things. It takes its own sweet time to get into the groove and even then, keeps the element of horror and surprise alive by allowing you to catch your breath at the right times. The sound in the background is great and the visual effects are surprisingly convincing for a piece that has been made on a micro budget! – A lesson for the biggies perhaps?
 
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So what does Shadows leave you with? One thing’s for sure – the next time you have to wait back at the office late in the night to wrap up some work, you will end up taking it home instead!
 
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Oh, and did I tell you the bad thing about shorts? They leave you wanting more. That’s what Shadows does to you. And when you know you can’t get any right now, you simply go back and watch it again. Or ask the makers to make some more. So, here we are, asking the Shadows team for just that – more! Stop by their FaceBook page and tell them what you think.

 
 

Spectre: Falls Drastically Short, Even By Action Thriller Standards

The days when the very mention of a 007 movie captivated the audience are long gone. Now, unless a film is brilliant in every way, the audience wouldn’t waste a penny to watch it, far less spend time in spreading a good word about it.
 

So that way, Spectre didn’t really enjoy the usual launch pad that 007 films of yore enjoyed, which meant it had to have a certain amount of standalone brilliance to shine through in the crowd of works that the film industry brings.
 
Unfortunately, the film fails to do this on several fronts. And when one considers the fact that this was a James Bond 007 movie, this fact turns out to be even more of a disappointment. When it’s a 007 movie, the audience’s expectations automatically rise to a certain level. Well, the biggest regret in case of Spectre is that it doesn’t even meet the expectations of a normal film-going audience that expects a well-rounded action thriller.
 

Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and directed by Sam Mendes, Spectre hit theaters on October 26th in the UK earlier this year and opened to the US audience a few days later on November 6th, although the reviews of the shows in the UK pretty much told the world that this one was a rare 007 disaster.
 
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For starters, considering that the budget for the film was somewhere to the tune of around $250 million, there was talk of whether or not the film would even manage to break even. So you can imagine how disastrous the opening was. Eventually, the film did manage to scrape through to this point in spite of initial fears and until November 11th, had raked in $310 million, certainly not a number that would term it a success, but certainly enough to save it from the tag of a financial disaster. Of course, the box office performance certainly doesn’t warrant Spectre an acquittal on other fronts.
 
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The 148-minute long ordeal was Daniel Craig’s last outing as the suave spy James Bond and the super-spy’s 24th, and it seems like Craig was among the few who truly dedicated their soul to the film, irrespective of it turning out to be a writing catastrophe, among other things. It was indeed a surprise to see the audience welcome the film with largely negative reviews, especially since the experts of the industry had termed the film a success through earlier screenings. We are sure Craig must have been among those to see the film take off on a high with most professional critics providing it the thrust, only to see the audience shoot it down. Of course, there were a fair number of negative reviews to sit up and take notice but the miserable show with the audience proved that the numbers were greatly divided on this one.
 

Of course, the film certainly wasn’t an entirely drab affair – the $310 million in the coffers so far will tell you that. The film is surely an enjoyable affair too – you certainly wouldn’t walk out of the theater in the middle of the screening. Yet, it does indeed fall short of what we expect from a 007 film. Some reviewers have openly proclaimed that this was the worst James Bond movie in three decades, while others have said it doesn’t even stand tall against other mediocre action films that hit the audience on occasion.
 
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Firstly, the fact that this was a James Bond film hit it the hardest. Come on, we all know how the weight of expectations can weigh something down no matter how grand it is and to an extent, the fate that Spectre has met is a result of this paradox. Then again, the film has relied too heavily on past elements and doesn’t have anything fresh to offer in several departments, something that happens to occur in franchise stories. So here is Bond taking off on a solo mission yet again, defying the rules that made him the man he is, and frankly, this plot is one that has been explored too often.
 
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Although the sequences of the film live up to the standards set by the average action thriller, the boredom with which most of the characters participate in these sequences is almost depressing in some cases. The plot keeps too many elements under wraps and in the end, nothing really comes together in a dramatic climax. When compared to the awesome opening sequence that is shot in a single swoop of extraordinary talent and impeccable planning, the rest of the movie sure pales in comparison.
 
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At the end of it all, Spectre is momentarily brilliant with flashes of dazzling brightness that truly lift it up to the levels of its predecessors. Sadly, the moments are far too few. If only the entire movie was wrapped in this cloak. It would have been a perfect goodbye for Daniel Craig, and yet another gem for James Bond fans to lust after.

 
 

Top 10 Best Van Damme Films

Jean-Claude Van Damme is a name that has the perfect image of all brawn and brain attached to it. Van Damme has earned his name among some of the top action heroes in Hollywood. Jean-Claude Van Damme’s name was originally Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg and the actor had not always aimed at getting into movies.
 
Guided by his father, Van Damme started martial arts training at the age of 11, and while participating in numerous matches and championships, he found himself winning most of them most of them.
 
However, in 1980 Jean-Claude suffered an injury to his nose in one of the matches and was unable to continue as a martial arts fighter. This led him to take up alternate jobs that included carpet laying, pizza delivery, a limo driver and with the help of Chuck Norris was also a bouncer at a club in Los Angeles. To his good luck he later met a Cannon Pictures producer who helped him star in his debut film.
 
While his journey into the world of films may have been a shaky one, his career was just as confident and stable as one of his revolving kicks! Jean-Claude Van Damme has some great movies to his credit and here, we have listed some of them for you.
 

Bloodsport


 

 
The film Bloodsport is the one started off Jean-Claude’s career in action films and in this one, Van Damme played the role of a U.S. Army Captain. Fans would definitely recall the complete split done by Van Damme, among some of the extreme martial arts stunts and as the name goes, the movie included a lot of martial art stunts, brutal kicks and punches and a lot of bloodshed.
 

Kickboxer


 

 
This one had Van Damme show off some of the most extreme martial arts stunts he had learned. The story revolves around Van Damme travelling to Thailand to avenge his brothers beating in a fight with the martial arts champion Tong Po. The final fight in the movie is worth every minute and both fighters display some of the most unbelievable martial arts stunts. Even today, viewers find themselves biting their fingernails even at the thought of the dangerous in this fight.
 

Double Impact


 

 
Van Damme fans go crazy watching the martial arts champion in action so imagine getting the opportunity to see two Van Dammes in a single flick. Twice the action! Twice the heat! Every fans dream come true! In Double Impact, Van Damme plays the role of twins who get separated and meet after 25 years. They unite to fight the bad guys. While one of his characters had the usual cropped hair and rugged look, the other flaunted a slick look with his hair gelled back but both Van Damme characters with the tightly toned muscles were indeed a treat for martial arts fans and flailing hearts.
 

Hard Target

 

 
Directed by the creator of Face Off and Mission Impossible II, this movie was John Woo’s American directorial debut. Van Damme plays the role of a merchant seaman who rescues a young lady from some thugs. Later he goes on to help the damsel-in-distress avenge her father’s death.
 

Sudden Death


 

 
Sudden Death is a movie based on the story of a normal man’s fight against terrorists. With the amazing martial arts stunts performed by Van Damme, the movie was no doubt one of the greatest films the actor has starred in.
 

Universal Soldier


 

 
Van Damme fans love to see their idol perform in some bloodshed and hardcore action and with this movie, Van Damme gives them just that! Van Damme’s acting always sets him apart from other well-known action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal and in this project, Van Damme plays the role of dead soldier who has been brought back to life as part of a secret Army project. He played opposite the famous Dolph Lundgren. The picture earned decent revenue of over $36 million.
 

Timecop


 

 
Timecop is one of Van Damme’s sci-fi action films, similar to Universal Soldier in terms of its genre. Released in 1994, this movie is about a man who travels in time over a decade to stop the evil works of a politician. This is, till date, the highest grossing film starring Van Damme. While the film generated revenue of over $100 million, even critics state that this movie is one of Van Damme’s best works as far as his acting prowess is concerned.
 

Lionheart


 

 
Van Damme fans are well aware and quite used to the kind of movie plots he acts in. This film again is one that includes revenge, fight tournaments, bloodshed, murder and survival. None the less, this is one of Van Damme’s essential performances. In this movie, Van Damme starred along with Michel Qissi, who also starred as Tong Po in Kickboxer.
 

Cyborg


 

 
Cyborg was the first of director Albert Pyun’s trilogy and was again one of Van Damme’s few sci-fi movies. The plot of the movie is set in the post-apocalyptic future and Van Damme plays the role of a mercenary. Ironically, the film was made on a small budget with spare costumes from another movie that hadn’t been used! However, the movie gained importance owing to the excellent martial arts stunts by Van Damme. There were a number of blood-filled scenes that had to be edited from the movie considering the fact that it required an R-rating to be released.
 

The Expendables 2


 

 
The Expendables 2 was released in 2012. The original movie, The Expendables, to which this is a sequel, was released the previous year. However, due to Van Damme’s busy schedule, he was unable to be a part of that movie in 2011. Starring alongside some of the most celebrated action heroes of all time, this movie is definitely one of Van Damme’s best. However, it is said that Van Damme stayed away from the rest of the cast that included Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jet Li, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris so that he could focus on his character. Van Damme sure takes his acting very seriously!
 
Now that you’ve caught a glimpse of Jean Claude Van Damme’s best works, you can get back to your martial arts practice sessions!
 

Jupiter Ascending: This One Failed To Take Off

When a movie is based on a plot that plays across galaxies, you need more than just a great landing and stunning visuals to pull it off and convince the audience of its authenticity. Unfortunately, Jupiter Ascending fails on this front, thus pushing into the background the brilliance of some of its elements.
 
Starring Channing Tatum as Caine and Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones with Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton, Sean Bean and Douglas Booth among others acting as their supporting cast, the Wachowski duo of Andy and Lana are the directors as well as those responsible for the screenplay of Jupiter Ascending. The Wachowskis are well known for the stretches of imagination their screenplays can delve into and this has always been a strength that fans as well as critics have admired in the team. This time around though, the foundation necessary for the story to take root in the minds of the audience is surprisingly absent and although the concept of Planet Earth being merely a bolt in the universal machinery does come across, the depth of it all simply fails to reach us.
 
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The fight between good and evil exists throughout the movie except that we don’t quite grasp what each one wishes to do next. Yes, we understand the larger scheme of the power struggle but what actually goes down in the movie is hardly sewn together in the narrative. No, it isn’t only about the Wachowski brilliance that is missing here. It is about the absolute absence of any sane link between the beautiful graphics and the incoherent ramblings in the storyline.
 
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“Your Earth is a very small part of a very large industry”, goes one line in the movie, and the biggest disappointment lays in the fact that the narrative in this one never gets strong enough to convince us of this. Good movies lure us into the plot and make us believe that what’s happening is indeed real. Great movies make us forget everything else. Movies like Jupiter Ascending simply make us believe that we should have read the reviews before actually spending money on the tickets!
 
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The only saviors are the beautiful cinematography and eye-catching sequences that run throughout the movie. Some of the sequences on Earth too are beautifully shot while there is no dearth of extravagance in handling the ones that depict the scenes outside our planet. The movie deserves full marks for its visuals but sadly, indulging in great moviemaking isn’t only about the visuals. If only Andy and Lana Wachowski had given Jupiter Ascending the narrative it deserves, this one would have blown every other out of the waters. As far as movies set in space and those with alternate existential theories go, this one truly had potential.
 
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Sadly, this aim remains unfulfilled and Jupiter Ascending remains a visual treat that does little to rein in any of the other senses, and therein lays its misery and failure.

 
 

Enemy: Intelligent and Gripping

The psychological thriller film, Enemy was released in 2013 and earned numerous awards for its excellent direction and the actors’ performances. Of course, Director Denis Villeneuve deserves all credit for the creation of the film and the excellent performance he manages to get out of his actors.
 

A French-Canadian writer and film maker, Villeneuve is celebrated for having won three Genie Awards for Best Director. The first was in 2001 for his film Maelstrom, while his second and third awards were for Polytechnique and Incendies in 2010 and 2011, respectively. All these films also won the award for Best Picture.
 
His latest directorial venture was the film Enemy. Enemy was created and directed between the making of Villeneuve’s two other excellent films, Oscar nominated Incendies and Academy Award winner Prisoners.
 

Released at the Toronto International Film Festival, in 2013, the movie has received positive responses from audiences and critics, and even though the plot may be confusing and bewildering, the story unfolds in an eerily well-designed manner. Adapted from the novel The Double, written by José Saramago, the movie has bagged five Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Director, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Picture. The 2014 Toronto Film Critics Association Awards nominated Enemy as the Best Canadian Film of the Year.
 
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Villeneuve has always had a penchant for excellence. His creation of this double-themed film is one of the best creations in the history of film-making. While filming Enemy, Villeneuve definitely did his homework and has even managed to surpass his previous works in several ways. The story is gripping and every aspect has been carefully designed. At first, one may be totally at sea, thanks to the various intricacies of the storyline. But if the film is carefully analyzed, you will see what a beautiful director Villeneuve is and will surely agree on him having rightfully received all those awards.
 
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Enemy is a mesmerizing story about a history professor, Adam Bell, who leads a simple yet complicated life with his girlfriend Mary. He happens to come across an actor named Anthony Claire, who looks exactly like him. The story does not flow in a smooth manner as most movies do. So there is no transitional element that truly gels one scene to another. In spite of this, each scene is carefully placed in its rightful position. This position may not be chronological and therefore, each occurrence must be looked at separately. If one fails to grasp this nuance, confusion is bound to reign!
 

While Villeneuve gets his audience to believe that the two identical characters in the movie, Adam and Anthony, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, are two different people; they are actually the same. This can be easily understood when they discuss their identical features right down to a scar on the chest. The truth is that Adam is actually experiencing the condition known as Multiple Personality Disorder, a favorite topic in the film fraternity. And in the movie, it is the main protagonist’s girlfriend who realizes this when she notices the sudden change in his behavior.
 
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The film is so enthralling that you wouldn’t lose your focus for even a moment, for fear that you may miss out on something important. That’s the flair Villeneuve uses in his films to get his audiences’ undivided attention.
 
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In the film’s poster and well as in the film, Villeneuve uses the image of a spider now and then. Its significance is unknown as there is nothing explained about the spider anytime during the movie. This metaphorical use of spiders in the film gets audiences to react, think and analyze the film differently.
 
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Some believe that the spider signifies Adam’s mental conflict with the thought of commitment to his girlfriend. In some spider species the males are known to sacrifice themselves during copulation, while some female spiders kill the male spiders even before mating has occurred. Adam’s relationship with his girlfriend Mary is strenuous and could be compared to that of the spiders’.
 
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This mind thrilling film grossed a colossal $3.4 million worldwide. With music by film score composers Daniel Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans, the film’s soundtrack is as extraordinary as the film itself, giving this project a well-rounded finish that is certainly worth a watch!

 
 

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night – A Review

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a brilliant debut work by writer and director Ana Lily Amirpour, telling us how even the minimally experienced can turn out to be brilliant.
 

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and made waves there as well as with future audiences, and rightfully so. Amirpour drew influence from a short film written and directed by her under the same title and that short even went on to win the award for the Best Short Film at the Noor Iranian Film Festival in 2012.
 
The story that A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night revolves around a young woman, played by Sheila Vand. Simply called ‘The Girl’ in the movie, the character is a twisted one, a lonely vampire lurking in the dark, hunting and preying on men who display a lack of respect toward women. Set in an imaginary Iranian town that goes by the name Bad City, the film unfolds in a slow and leisurely manner.
 
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The plot further becomes interesting through the introduction of a young handsome lad, a role played by Arash Marandi, whose hard-earned ’57 convertible ride is taken away by Saeed’s (Dominic Rains) procurer, as collateral for the drugs sold to Arash’s father Hossein (Marshall Manesh), an aged drug addict. Arash is later entangled into a play of mistaken identity following death and bloodshed. As the plot unfolds, Saeed and Hossein are killed by ‘The Girl’ for their disrespectful treatment of women. Arash recovers his car and later meets the lonely vampire, while he is ironically dressed as the Dracula.
 
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Amirpour utilizes expressions and gestures more than dialogues and weighs importance in bringing out the message through non verbal means. In almost all scenes of the film, Amirpour gets her audience to concentrate on her characters intensely. The film is mostly a series of tableaux and this lends it a different hue.
 
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A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night gives off the perfect amount of eeriness, suspense and emotion and Amirpour uses ancient as well as modern elements in her film well. The film’s black and white cinematography is the perfect touch to Amirpour’s concept of a town stalked by a revengeful vampire. The Iranian-American writer and director envelopes the perfect blend of novelty and conventional elements in her debut direction.
 
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This movie is the multi-production film made by Elijah Wood, Reza Sixo Safai, Ben Conrad, Daniel Noah, Josh Waller, Daniel Grove, Alexei Tylevich, Nicholas Moceri and Patrick Grove, and while Amirpour has included a talented cast to play each character, the movie can easily be termed a successful debut.
 
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Having played out well with her first shot at a feature film, Amirpour is all set with her next feature film, The Bad Batch, starring Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey and Diego Luna. Going by her undoubtedly successful debut film, the brilliant cast of The Bad Batch is likely to have great expectations of this blossoming director.
 

And since we all know how the talented only get better in the film world, so here’s hoping that Ana Lily Amirpour repeats the success of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night with her new venture too.

 
 

These Films Surely Deserved A Sequel!

No matter what genre, Hollywood is celebrated for its indisputable ability to create some of the best sequels in the history of cinema. While some movies were best in the original, some others exceeded all expectations in their sequels.
 
And then there are these few brilliant standalone movies that never had sequels. Now, even though these original movies have been much appreciated, one can’t help but wonder as to why there weren’t sequels created.
 
Forrest Gump
 


 

This epic romantic comedy movie was viewed and loved by numerous movie aficionados all over the world. Even with the success of the movie, much to the disappointment of its fans there wasn’t a sequel released. The movie was based on a novel by Winston Groom who released a sequel novel in 1995 titled Gump and Co. Director Robert Zemeckis however, did not go with making a movie sequel. Many viewers would not be of the same opinion but it is said that the creators of Forrest Gump did not find the sequel plot relevant.
 
Armageddon
 

 
The 1998 sci-fi film Armageddon is one of the most well received movies at the box office. Having earned revenue of over 553 million, this movie had great prospects to go all out with a sequel. Lately, director Michael Bay is drowned in the making of the Transformers franchise. But we strongly believe that given the opportunity, Armageddon would’ve made an amazing sequel maybe with the storyline of another world ending meteor threat that truly creates havoc this time.
 
The Sixth Sense
 

 
This supernatural thriller scripted and directed by M. Night Shyamalan and released in 1999 gripped its viewers with its spellbinding plot and talented cast. The movie was even nominated for 6 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Due to the huge success of this movie, there were rumors about a sequel; however, this was soon doused and the movie was left at its original.
 
Unbreakable
 

 
Another one of M. Night Shyamalan’s epic drama films, Unbreakable is a movie about a superhero that survives any calamity and escapes without a scratch. Surprisingly, there was no sequel created to this film. The movie had great potential for a sequel but Shyamalan may not have been of the same opinion as some of his other films didn’t meet its audience with the same enthusiasm as expected.
 
Inception
 

 
Moviegoers doubted the success of Inception as it didn’t really seem likely to hit the box office big time, being a risky jump at something totally original and stimulating. However, once released, the movie scooped unbelievable revenue trailing a great opportunity for a sequel.
 
Mamma Mia!
 

 
The 2008 musical romantic film is based on the songs sung by the celebrated pop group of 70’s, ABBA. While the plot of the movie may not have been the best in this genre, movie fans gorged on the movie solely for the songs, the music and the talented cast. There was great potential for director Phyllida Lloyd to fashion a sequel, considering the numerous songs by ABBA that could be incorporated into the next movie. But Lloyd decided to make and stop Mamma Mia! at its original.
 
Hancock
 

 
Actor Will Smith created waves with his image as the King of the Box Office. That is one of the reasons that made Hancock a hit amongst its viewers. Hancock being a movie about a man who was originally a bummed out alcoholic and was then transformed into a superhero that saves the day, is a plot that was enjoyed by many. This action drama movie laid the foundation for a great sequel, but surprisingly, this is nowhere on the cards.
 
Titanic
 

 
With the enormous success of the Titanic, it is rather surprising that James Cameron didn’t go in with the idea for a sequel. It is agreed that the sinking of the great ship on its maiden voyage would spell the end of the movie; however, the idea of a sequel that showed the survival and existence of Rose would make for a great sequel. Hence, it is astonishing that after earning such gargantuan revenue the makers had not jumped at the thought of a sequel.
 
Easy A
 

 
Emma Stone at her best in this comedy drama film Easy A! The plot involves a teenager who goes with a rumor and ends up being the center of attraction at her high school. She is then inspired by the novel The Scarlett Letter and changes the way people look at her. With an interesting plot, the movie would’ve made for a great sequel. But guess the director thought otherwise.
 
True Lies
 

 
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been appreciated by his fans all through his Terminator movie franchise. His work in True Lies alongside Jamie Lee Curtis too gained equal response. Hence, it would be a great idea to make a sequel of the movie. But the director thought the movie was best left at its original.

 
 

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