Top 45 Greatest Road Trip Films

  1. The Blues Brothers – 1980
  2. Dumb and Dumber – 1994
  3. It Happened One Night – 1934
  4. Midnight Run – 1988
  5. Little Miss Sunshine – 2006
  6. Easy Rider – 1969
  7. Almost Famous – 2000
  8. Uncle Frank – 2020
  9. The Motorcycle Diaries – 2004
  10. National Lampoon’s Vacation – 1983
  11. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure – 1985
  12. Rain Man – 1988
  13. Smokey and the Bandit – 1977
  14. Stranger Than Paradise – 1984
  15. Y tu mama tambien – 2001
  16. The Straight Story – 1999
  17. Planes, Trains & Automobiles – 1987
  18. Thelma & Louise – 1991
  19. Duel – 1971
  20. Inside Llewyn Davis – 2013
  21. Joy Ride – 2001
  22. Logan – 2017
  23. My Own Private Idaho – 1991
  24. Stagecoach – 1939
  25. The Hitch-Hiker – 1953
  26. True Romance – 1993
  27. Vagabond – 1985
  28. Zombieland – 2009
  29. Wild Strawberries – 1957
  30. Sullivan’s Travels – 1941
  31. The Muppet Movie – 1979
  32. The Daytrippers – 1997
  33. Sideways – 2004
  34. O Brother, Where Art Thou? – 2000
  35. Bonnie and Clyde – 1967
  36. Five Easy Pieces – 1970
  37. The Sure Thing – 1985
  38. Smoke Signals – 1998
  39. Nebraska – 2013
  40. Queen & Slim – 2019
  41. Green Book – 2018
  42. The Fundamentals of Caring – 2016
  43. Grandma – 2015
  44. Captain Fantastic – 2016
  45. The Darjeerling Limited – 2007

Classic of the Week: Funny Face (1957)

Funny Face is a 1957 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Stanley Donen and written by Gershe with songs written by George and Ira Gershwin. Although having the same title as 1927 musical by the Gershwin brothers, and also featuring Fred Astaire, the plot is completely different and only four of the original songs from the stage production are included in the film. Along with Astaire, the movie also stars Audrey Hepburn and Kay Thompson.

Maggie Prescott, a fashion magazine publisher and editor for Quality magazine, is looking for the next big craze. She wants a new look that will be both “beautiful” and “intellectual.” She and top fashion photographer Dick Avery want models that can “think as well as they look.” The two put their heads together and come up with the idea to use a Greenwich Village bookshop as the background.

They find the shop they want, “Embryo Concepts,” which is being run by the timid store assistant and wannabe philosopher, Jo Stockton. Jo thinks the fashion world is an utter joke. Maggie decides to use Jo but after the first picture, she is locked outside the shop to keep her from interrupting Maggie’s session. The crew leaves the store in complete disarray and Dick stays behind to help clean up.

Back at the offices of Quality magazine, Dick sees something in Jo’s face that is fresh and new and would be perfect for the newest campaign. They send for Jo, pretending they want to buy some books from her store. On arrival, they make her over and try to cut her hair. She is livid and hides in Dick’s darkroom where is working. When Dick talks about going to Paris, Jo becomes interested in the chance to see the philosopher teacher Professor Flostre and is coaxed into modelling for the magazine. Photo-shoot, after photo-shoot, Jo starts to fall in love with Dick. He eventually falls in love with her too.

It is hard to believe that this film was a disappointment at the box office, because it is cute, fun, clever, humorous, romantic and heartwarming. The are romantic songs like “How Long Has This Been Going On?” and “He Loves You and She Loves You” and fun numbers like, “Funny Face” and “Clap Yo’ Hands.” The choreography by Eugene Loring is random, creative and fun, which of course both Hepburn and Astaire dance perfectly. The costumes designed by Edith Head and Hubert de Givenchy are absolutely gorgeous and probably some of the most exquisite costumes in cinematic history, worn by one of the most beautiful women in film history. Every single article clothing is tailored perfectly for Audrey’s thin frame and she wears the pieces with such poise and elegance.

This film does focus a lot on Jo (Hepburn) as a model and they should’ve gave equal time to her modelling life and outside life, but they didn’t. Very little of this movie focuses outside the fashion life of Jo and the magazine. It has a lot of scenes where it shows Jo posing for Dick’s camera, so not a whole lot of acting is done by Hepburn, but she still does a wonderful job in her role. Fred Astaire is outstanding as photographer Dick Avery, although in real life he was 58 years old and Audrey was 28. It is said in the movie that Jo is young, but they never say how young, no ages are actually mentioned, not sure if ages are mentioned in the stage production or not. But you can tell Dick is much older than Jo, just by looking at the characters.

This is truly a wonderful film filled with love, fashion, music and dance in two of the most breathtaking cities on earth, New York City, New York and Paris, France. Why this film received mixed reviews is beyond me, as find this to be a masterpiece of cinematic art. A few scenes are slow and yes it does spend much of the time on her photo-shoots and fashion shows, but it is still a fantastic movie. Lovely, heartwarming and fun-filled until the end. 11+ 4/5

Classic of the Week: Broadcast News (1987)

Broadcast News is a 1987 American romantic-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. It stars William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter. The film follows the story of a television news reporter who has emotional breakdowns every day, a picky yet genius reporter and their charming but significantly inexperienced rival.

This film is does a great job at showing how the daily life of a TV news station. It doesn’t shy away from showing the good and not so good of being in the TV news world. It does it so deeply, letting learn all about different the professions, but it also has many other elements too. It has drama, humor and romance. Although this is considered a romantic comedy as well as drama, it isn’t super mushy gushy like so many romantic films. The different elements are all executed with the right amount of each genre.

This movie shows how life throws curve-balls sometimes and that sometimes life can be great. Although the story is about a news station, they don’t focus too much on the reporting, because they reveal not just their working world, but the main characters life outside the studio, how they live, their love lives, etc. Jane is portrayed as a spunky and socially awkward, yet assertive in her work type character, a female warrior type that was rarely seen in movies and still rarely seen today.

This film is serious at time but not too serious serious like other movies about TV news stations (Network). It has drama and depth as well as charm and humor, though much of the latter. All of the acting fantastic. This isn’t the most exciting movie, but it’s far from boring. Each character is unique and they are intertwined in some ways until the end.

The ending may or may not turn out the way you want it too, but is the beauty of film making, to leave it up to viewers to have their own opinions. You’ll laugh, cry, cheer and get angry, because this movie bring out all emotions and does it so brilliantly, not many films today can do that. The casting is perfect, the cinematography is excellent, as well the story. This is motion picture has many different things going on, which may confuse some viewers.

This is a story of not just a news station, not just the reporters lives, but of working life, love and friendship. The characters may get mad at each other but they always have each other’s backs. You also really feel like you are there at the station in those scenes. Some critics may say this film has a bit of a sitcom feel to it, but they are wrong in my opinion.

The character of Tom Grunick (Hurt) can be a tad stiff and self absorbed with being successful. Jane Craig and her breakdowns from stress do get a bit old and make you want to tell her to get a therapist. But that doesn’t make them bad characters, just a a bit annoying, but it doesn’t make the film less enjoyable. With it’s drama, it’s small percentage of humor and romance, it is one that can enjoyed over and over.

This film is so smartly written and directed, that so many news related films haven’t come close to the brilliance of this one. A truly fantastic movie with different stories that make it truly one of a kind. 18+ 4/5

Top Fictional Bookworms in Books, Film and Television

  1. Tyrion Lannister – A Song of Fire and Ice
  2. Liesel Meminger – The Book Thief
  3. Cath Avery – Fangirl
  4. Scout Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Rory Gilmore – Gilmore Girls
  6. Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice
  7. Matilda Wormwood – Matilda
  8. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
  9. Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit
  10. Caelena Sarothien – Throne of Glass
  11. Belle – Beauty and the Beast
  12. Kathleen Kelly – You’ve Got Mail
  13. Tasha Jefferson – Orange is the New Black
  14. Kat Stratford – 10 Things I Hate About You
  15. Suzy Bishop – Moonrise Kingdom
  16. Will Thacker – Notting Hill
  17. Lucas Scott – One Tree Hill
  18. Rapunzel – Tangled
  19. Anne Shirley – Anne of Green Gables
  20. Daria Morgendorffer – Daria
  21. Jess Mariano – Gilmore Girls
  22. Jo March – Little Women
  23. Sara Crewe – A Little Princess
  24. Lisa Simpson – The Simpsons
  25. Willow Rosenberg – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  26. Despereaux – The Tale of Despereaux
  27. Laura Ingalls – Little House on the Prairie
  28. Cosima Niehaus – Orphan Black
  29. Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey
  30. John Boy Walton – The Waltons
  31. Ellery Queen – Detective Stories
  32. Francie Noland – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  33. Frasier Crane – Cheers, Frasier
  34. Klaus Baudelaire – A Series of Unfortunate Events
  35. Alex Dunphy – Modern Family
  36. Rupert Giles – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  37. James “Sawyer” Ford – Lost
  38. Diane Chambers – Cheers
  39. Margot Tenenbaum – The Royal Tenenbaums
  40. Don Draper – Mad Men
  41. Ashley Wilkes – Gone With the Wind
  42. Hazel Grace Lancaster – The Fault in Our Stars
  43. Rachel Green – Friends
  44. Elio Perlman – Call Me By Your Name, Find Me
  45. Spencer Reid – Criminal Minds

Soul (2020)

Soul is a 2020 American computer animated fantasy comedy drama film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Kemp Powers. The film stars the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alicia Braga, Richard Ayoade, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove and Angela Bassett. The movie follows the story of middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner, who tries to reconnect his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his start as a jazz musician.

This is definitely one of Disney’s darkest and deepest films. The main themes of this movie are death, afterlife, finding purpose and the meaning of life. These themes were executed well, though far from perfect. Too much time is spent in the “Great Beyond” and “Great Before” (AKA Heaven) with the soul creatures, a lot of mature themes, is quite slow much of the time and just really depressing until the end. I like the message of finding purpose, but the rest are heartbreaking and almost sacrilegious.

The animation is phenomenal, as well as the soundtrack that both Jamie Foxx and Trent Reznor composed. I found myself both bored, a bit offended and appalled at times and not really entertained by this film at all. Being a Disney and Pixar fan I was hoping to really like this movie like majority of critics and viewers, but I really didn’t. The story seemed push religion, philosophy and psychology, to the brink at times to offensiveness. With an all-star cast and production companies, you’d expect an outstanding motion picture, though like I said I didn’t care much this one.

I’m all for a black lead character, but this film seemed to do like so many films and do black against white, like when 22 (voiced by Tina Fey), an unborn white girl switches body with Joe (Jamie Foxx), it just feels really uncomfortable and a tad racist by some of the remarks made the two lead characters. There’s lots of adult humor, talk about death, souls and the meaning of life and finding your spark. Young children will not understand this movie at all. Just the fact Joe is killed within the first 10 minutes, is not the message you want to send to kids. Yes, kids do need to learn about death and all, but not like this.

You can do a film about death and the meaning of life, without it being so dark and not going quite so deep into these subjects. Even a family movie can use these themes and not confuse and/or frighten children. I’m sorry but Disney took this one too far. The best scenes to me aren’t in the “Great Beyond,” which the most of the movie’s setting, but when Joe’s playing music. I’m just dumbfounded that this story ever got green lit. Yes, Disney has a percentage of darkness in all it’s films, but it’s usually not for the majority of the movies’ runtime.

I wish the movie had focused more Joe’s own life rather than his adventures with 22. More about his childhood, education and things like that would’ve made it more fascinating. Overall, this film had me scratching my head as how this ever got made and why people love it so much. A movie that is pretty blasphemous and heavy-hitting and very sad. I guess you can call this Disney’s “Anti-Disney” film. Whether you believe in afterlife and heaven or not, it’s blatantly obvious what they were going for here. I’m all for pushing the boundaries and a little controversy, but don’t sell it for kids.

Overall, the animation is spectacular, so is the soundtrack, but I really didn’t enjoy this film much at all, it was lacking far too much and kept me scratching my head. While I normally cry at Disney movies, this one didn’t do that to me, like it did the others I watched it with. Conservative Christians may or may not like this movie. At the same time for older children, it will give grown-ups an opportunity to talk about God, Death, help them find their “spark.” Younger viewers will be bored and confused, as this movie is very complex in the themes and there are two different settings.

Do I hate this film? No. But do I like it? A little bit. Maybe Pixar’s next film will be more exciting and not offensive. Nice try guys, but you struck out on this one. 10+ 2.5/5

The Sound of Metal (2019)

The Sound of Metal is a 2019 American drama film directed by Darius Marder and stars Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci and Lauren Ridloff. The story follows Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer of the duo Backgammon who loses his hearing. He and his girlfriend Lou live in an RV and tour around the U.S. performing.

When Ruben (Ahmed) starts to lose his hearing, he goes to a pharmacy trying to get a diagnosis. The pharmacist refers him to a doctor, who concludes that Ruben has lost most of his hearing and the rest will be lost fast. Even though cochlear implants may help him, their costly price is not covered by insurance. The doctor recommends that Ruben keep away from loud noises permanently and go for further testing, but he continues to perform regardless.

Lou (Cooke) wants him to stop performing for his well-being, but he wants to keep going. She is also concerned about him being completely sober. as he is a recovering drug addict. They call his sponsor, Hector, who finds him a shelter for deaf recovering addicts in a rural location, run by a man named Joe, a former alcoholic who lost his hearing in the Vietnam War. Ruben doesn’t want to want to stay, because they will not let Lou live there with him and he only wants the implants. But Lou, concerned about his health, leaves and coaxes Ruben to stay at the shelter.

This is an inspirational film, not just for anyone with hearing loss, but anyone with any sort of disability. It proves that sometimes life sucks, but you have to make the best of it and do what you have to do. It also proves that sometimes you have to let something or someone go in order to better yourself. Ruben starts out selfishly not caring about his well-being, only about performing and making money, until he gets a slap in the face that that isn’t going to work until he works on himself, stopping drugs, going to the shelter and getting the implants.

There isn’t tons of dialog in this film, much of it is in sign language with subtitles, which is neat. The movie is very slow, at times to the point of being boring. The acting is superb and the story is great, but the film itself could have been more engaging. A movie doesn’t need lots of dialog or any at all to be captivating, just needs more exciting scenes and more locations. The majority of this movie’s location is at the deaf shelter and deaf school Ruben volunteers at, which is okay, but needed more action, less sitting around just learning sign language and how to read lips.

After seeing the trailer for this film and all the rave reviews, I was expecting a spectacular film and I didn’t get that. I got a wonderful story that was executed boringly. For a budget of over $5 million, this one seemed more like a low budget independent documentary. It was lagging in the excitement and engagement categories. To me, this didn’t deserve Best Picture or Best Director nominations, there were far better films in 2019, 2020, that did deserve them and weren’t nominated.

If you have an inspirational story, you have to carry it out right, make it worth the viewer’s time and not bore them to tears. I found myself between crying from both certain emotional scenes and being bored. This is not a movie that I can see myself watching over and over again. It isn’t one that I wouldn’t not recommend, as people have different opinions, but I’ve seen movies with inspiring story-lines that actual reeled me in, unlike this one, that I kept wondering if it was ever going to end and when it finally did, it was disappointing. Not a sad ending, but it leaves you hanging, wanting more. The whole, “That’s it?,” ending, which works sometimes, but not with this movie. Effective plot, but a bit of a bore of a film. 18+ 3/5

Classic of the Week: Girl Shy (1924)

Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston and directed by Fred C. Newmeyer. In 2020 the film entered the public domain. The film is a bout a shy young man who is unable to talk to women, who sets out to publish a book, finding true love in the process.

This film is filled with laugh out loud moments, romance and slapstick humor. Harold writes a book called “The Secret of Making Love,” though he is terribly shy and awkward with ladies. He thinks that if the book gets published, it will bring him good money and a wife, but to his misfortune, he still stutters. He does end up finding love, but the road there isn’t an easy one.

Harold Meadows (Lloyd) is a tailor’s apprentice for his Uncle in Little Bend, California. He is so shy around females and can hardly talk around them. To stop his stuttering, his uncle blows a whistle. Despite this Harold writes a book about the secrets to making love, describing how to pursue different types of women, like “the flapper” and “the vampire.” He takes a train to a publisher in Los Angeles. He meets Mary Buckingham (Ralston), a rich young lady when she happens to board the same train after car breaks down and helps rescue and hide her Pomeranian that isn’t allowed on the train. Throughout the film, he both wins and loses her love, while trying to become a writer.

Though this is a romantic comedy film, it isn’t like many rom-coms that either super cutesy or super cheesy, it is the perfect balance of romance, comedy, slapstick humor and heartwarming moments. it makes you laugh out loud and smile. Harold is one of the original comedy guys and he is fantastic in this movie. This is a film that inspires you to not give on your dreams and that there is love for everyone. This is one that can always put a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.

There is a scene where the lead the character, (comically) spanks a woman, there is also violence (slapstick), sexual innuendos, kissing, car chases and bootleggers and in one particular scene, wine is consumed. So this isn’t a movie for young viewers, but older ones may enjoy it more. This is an adventurous, romantic and humorous story rolled into one wonderful film. One of Harold Lloyd’s best films, definitely in the top five. Not just one of the greatest silent films, but films of all time. One that can be over and over without getting old.

If you’re looking for a classic to watch, a movie for date night or just something to cheer you up, this is undoubtedly a perfect choice, or just for any time. Very entertaining, yet has it’s sweet scenes This may be a lesser known silent film, but it is one that should be on everyone’s “must watch” list. Nothing too silly or cheesy, it is lovely, funny and clever from start to finish. 10+ 4.5/5

40 Best Films for Foodies

  1. Big Night – 1996
  2. Eat Drink Man Woman – 1994
  3. The Platform – 2019
  4. Sideways – 2004
  5. The Trip – 2010
  6. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory – 1971
  7. Uncorked – 2020
  8. Tampopo – 1985
  9. Ratatouille – 2007
  10. Like Water for Chocolate – 1992
  11. Chef – 2014
  12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi – 2011
  13. Waitress – 2007
  14. Romantics Anonymous – 2010
  15. I am Love – 2009
  16. Julie & Julia – 2009
  17. Spinning Plates – 2012
  18. Babette’s Feast – 1987
  19. Tangerines – 2013
  20. The Help – 2011
  21. Tortilla Soup – 2001
  22. Today’s Special – 2009
  23. Mostly Martha – 2001
  24. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – 1967
  25. Final Recipe – 2013
  26. Super Size Me – 2004
  27. Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken – 2017
  28. Fed Up – 2014
  29. Food Inc. – 2004
  30. Hungry for Change -2012
  31. Vegucated – 2011
  32. King Corn – 2007
  33. Food Matters – 2008
  34. The Baker’s Wife – 1938
  35. Delicatessen – 1991
  36. Eating Raoul – 1982
  37. Mystic Pizza – 1988
  38. The God of Cookery – 1996
  39. Chocolat – 2000
  40. The Lunchbox – 2013

Classic of the Week: Jaws (1975)

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg based on Peter Benchley’s 1975 novel of the same name. It stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Murray Hamilton and Lorraine Gary. It follows the story of a man eating great white shark attacking beachgoers at a summer resort town, coaxing police chief Martin Brody (Scheider) to hunt it down with the help of a marine biologist (Dreyfuss) and a professional shark hunter (Shaw). Murray Hamilton plays the mayor and Lorraine Gary plays Martin’s wife.

This film has the feel of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, which Spielberg was going for. For the time period of this film’s release it was considered revolutionary in film-making and many still regard it as that, although some viewers have or do point out the “fakenes” of the effects particularly of the shark. Yes, at times, you can tell the shark is fake and a few times that the attacks are fake as well. But the film was still ahead of it’s time and still just as scary today as it was then.

This film is beyond shocking and nail-biting no matter how many times you watch it. It is also extremely gory, so not good for children under the age of ten. The intensity of this movie makes it both exciting and frightening. Despite what some call “fake” about this film, it is still very well done and makes you not want to get in the ocean, not to surf, swim, or go out on a boat, so don’t watch this before going to the beach or on a cruise.

Roy Scheider is outstanding as police chief Martin Brody, although the character could’ve drank, smoked and cursed less, especially around his kids. Murray Hamilton is equally great as the mayor of Amity Island, so is Richard Dreyfuss as Martin Hooper the marine biologist. Robert Shaw does a fine job as Quint the shark hunter and Lorraine Gary is good, not great as Ellen Brody.

Somehow a fake giant shark killing beachgoers fell into place, because this film brings an astonishingly effective shock factor and is legendary for that. It is so brilliantly executed that it deserves it own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is one that any film lover must see to believe. There is not one bad moment, not one boring scene. It sends you on a terrifying ride throughout, sends your heart racing the moment you hear the famous music, that has become synonymous with sharks. It is one of Spielberg’s finest films. A true masterpiece, so don’t let the nit-picky critical reviews turn you off of watching this.

This like I said is not for young kids, it is violent to the max, lots of smoking and drinking and quite a bit of cursing. Also, if you don’t like lots of gore, this may not be for you. 13+ 4.5/5

Phil Moore: Hollywood’s Black Pioneer, and Marilyn’s Musical Mentor — The Marilyn Report

Phil Moore (shown above with Marilyn in 1951) was the first salaried black musician to work at a major Hollywood studio. He became Marilyn’s vocal coach in 1948, and photographer J.R. Eyerman first captured his work with the then little-known starlet that November, in a series uncovered by the LIFE archive in 2011. Alongside Fred […]

Phil Moore: Hollywood’s Black Pioneer, and Marilyn’s Musical Mentor — The Marilyn Report