Are Timothee Chalamet & Lucas Hedges the new, De Niro & Pacino? That remains to be seen…

timotheeandlucas                           Over the years when a new upstart artist such as a singer, athlete, or actor comes along that is taking the world by storm the inevitable comparisons come with it. For example, in the case of M. Night Shyamalan, when he broke out with The Sixth Sense and then Unbreakable, people automatically started comparing him to two of the great directors of the last century. Alfred Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg were linked to Shyamalan. He was a suspense director who had a way with story and characters, qualities with which the aforementioned greats were associated. Now two young actors have come along that have garnered fame and acclaim. Timothee Chalamet and Lucas Hedges are two young men that people are talking about. Do they deserve the comparisons to De Niro and Pacino,though? That is the question that remains to be seen.

Obviously De Niro and Pacino have had great careers over the past 40 or 50 years, so it’s hard to make comparisons. So for the sake of argument I will only compare these two young actors to De Niro and Pacino for the length of time they have been in the limelight.

Let’s start with Chalamet. In his young career, he has been nominated for one Academy Award for his role as Elio Perlman in Call Me by Your Name in 2017. That was a breakout year for Chalamet. He also had smaller roles in Lady Bird and Hostiles. 2018 has been a good follow up or sophomore year if you will. With roles in Hot Summer Nights, in which he portrayed a drug dealer in Cape Cod, and Beautiful Boy, in which he portrayed a young man who was addicted to drugs. 2014 and 2015 were two years were Chalamet had smaller parts in Interstellar, Love the Coopers and Men, Women and Children. These first few year have been promising, but the upside is through the roof for Chalamet. Another possible Oscar nomination in his future with the Golden Globe and SAG nods he got for Beautiful Boy this year. He also stars in a remake of Little Women in 2019.

 

Now let’s talk about Lucas Hedges. Hedges came out of the blocks fast with his Academy Award nomination for portraying the son of a grieving father in Manchester by the Sea in 2016. In 2017, he had smaller roles in Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. However 2018 is the breakout year for Hedges, with roles in three critically acclaimed films. Jonah Hill’s directorial debut mid90’s, Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, and his father’s Ben Is Back. Small roles in a couple Wes Anderson films, Dan In Real Life,  Zero Theorem, and Kill the Messenger in 2012 through 2014 help give his career credibility. All of these roles are distinctly different, but show Hedges range as an actor. Lucas is hoping to earn another Oscar nomination with his Golden Globe nominated turn in Boy Erased. Just like Chalamet, Hedges has as upside that is through the roof.

Now let’s compare Robert De Niro’s career the first three years or so. In 1973, he had roles in Mean Streets, directed by Martin Scorsese, and Bang the Drum Slowly, in which he portrayed a baseball catcher with cancer. The former would be the beginning of a beautiful collaboration between Scorsese and De Niro. In 1974, he would portray the younger version of Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II for Francis Ford Coppola. De Niro would win his first of two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor. In 1974, he would star in what is arguably one of his greatest roles to date: Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

Pacino started out a little bit before Deniro so the years don’t add up like they do for Chalamet and Hedges. Pacino started out with the role of his lifetime in 1972, when he portrayed Michael Corleone in The Godfather, and again in 1974 in the Godfather Part II. He also starred as a heroin addict in Panic in Needle Park in 1971. Garnering and Academy Award nomination for The Godfather was just the first of many accolades he would receive. In 1973 he would get his first lead Academy Award nomination for portraying Frank Serpico in Serpico.

 

Chalamet and Hedges have garnered some acclaim and Academy Award nominations for Call Me By Your Name and Manchester By the Sea. Both are having good years this year. Building on this year is the key to growing as actors and in the public eye as celebrities. De Niro and Pacino acted in films that have garnered awards and fame for them both during the early 1970’s. The Godfather films and Taxi Driver are among my favorite films of all time and I’m not the only one that feels this way. Many years have given us time to appreciate these films and filmmakers who made them. Chalamet and Hedges haven’t had that time or years to show their worth yet. I’m sure they both will, though. Until then, De Niro and Pacino will remain in a league of their own. Right now, you can’t compare the careers of Chalamet and Hedges to that of De Niro and Pacino.

 

Dan Skip Allen

 

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Green Book Review

MV5BMjMyNzExNzQ5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM2MjIxNjM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,631,1000_AL_              Peter Farrelly isn’t usually known for more serious subject matter but, Green Book mixes some comedic moments and said serious subject matter. He has directed with his brother such films as Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary & Shallow Hal etc. These films are a lighter fair. There’s some comedic moments involving Viggo Mortensen’s character Tony Lip/Villalonga and Don Shirley Mahershala Ali’s character. They both come from different walks of life. Tony comes from a tough Italian neighborhood full of gangsters. Don Shirley lives in seclusion at the top of the Carnegie Hall. He dresses in his robes and sits on his throne. This leads to some very funny scenes. One in particular involving Kentucky Fried Chicken. Part of which you can see in the trailer. 

Viggo is coming off of an Academy Award nomination a couple years ago for Best Actor for  Captain Fantastic and Mahershala Ali is coming off of an Academy Award win for Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight. So these guys are a hot commodity in Hollywood. The chance they could team up for this two-hander is a good thing. Tony Lip is a family man who works at the Copacabana a famous nightclub in New York City and Shirley is a rather famous concert pianist. On some down time from the Copa Tony picks up a part time job as a chauffeur and muscle for Don Shirley. He’s embarking on a tour of the deep South. He needs Tony for his driving skills and protection.

 

Driving through the state’s and towns of the Midwest and South provides the characters time to acquaint themselves with each other. Of course they are vastly different people in every sense of the word. The title of the film Green Book comes into play as they have to schedule accommodations and leisure time. They both end up in different locations sometimes. This is the book that tells you where African Americans can eat and sleep in the south and still be safe. Another aspect of the deep South is curfews. Neither one of our main characters knew about this little detail of their travel itinerary. This provides for an interesting dynamic between Tony and Don Shirley.

In the end what this film is really about is a friendship between the two unlikely traveling companions. How there differences strengthen their friendship by the end of the film. Farrelly really does a great job of capturing this in the the film. This makes for two great performances from both the leading actors. They are both worthy of Academy Award nominations. Also a strong script by Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie could be up for Best Original Screenplay. When you’re looking for a movie to see this holiday season look no further then Green Book. It’s the film everyone should see and it’s the film I can’t talk about enough. It’s such a warm family film even though it deals with some touchy subjects such as race, religion & sexual orientation. It handles these subjects very carefully with kid gloves. This is a beautiful film for people of all ages, races and sexes. I hope everybody loves Green Book as much as I did.

 

5 Stars

Dan Skip Allen

Most Popular Film Category Put on Hold

Due to peer pressure the academy has decided to put the most popular Oscar category on hold until  further notice. I believe that more films should be nominated due to the fact that there are so many films coming out in theaters every year. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 films come out every year now. That’s way up from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s or 50’s many years ago. We need to figure out a way to reward all the great films that come out every year and not bury so many great films. The awards aren’t enough anymore to just say well 10 nominees and one winner or five nominees and one winner we need to have different categories so we can show that there are more than just art house and indie films that are great. Just because a movie cost 150 or 200 million doesn’t mean it’s not a great film those film should be  rewarded for some of the things that are different than art house and indie films. Such as special effects and spectacle. As far as Black Panther goes I believe it’s not the best MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film this year. I believe that honor goes to Avengers: Infinity War. There is so much going on in Infinity War so many characters and so many storylines for that film to look and have such an emotional impact it’s definitely the best MCU film of the year. Is the post credit scene in Ant-Man and the WASP great film? No that’s not a whole film. Black Panther I feel like is more like Captain America: Winter Soldier than it is its own movie. I understand the diversity in the black cast and the whole idea of having and all black  film and whatnot I just don’t think it’s one of the best films of the year I mean they’re easily 15 or 20 films in my opinion that are better than Black Panther. Other films like Black K Klansman come to mind that are trying to do something similar as Black Panther and they do it a better way in my opinion. So does the film I’m Sorry to Bother You and Eighth Grade and Leave No Trace and First reformed. I mean there is so many even Incredibles 2 does the superhero genre better than Black Panther in my opinion.

As far as trying to get diversity in the acting and directing and cinematography categories.  Some of these categories I feel like you know you can compare film and movies in a way to baseball. Where  Major League Baseball wanted to get more more black Americans people to play the game of baseball. There losing people  so what did they do they started academies in places like Cuba and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic and Venezuela so they could become great prospects and baseball players in the future. This is what we need to do we’re not getting minority actors and actresses and people like this to do this kind of work cuz it’s not easy being a filmmaker in an actor in a cinematographer and a writer and so forth.  These jobs aren’t easy so I understand how having the Academy is having problems getting minorities to do this stuff is a difficult thing but force-feeding us minority films because you put a bunch of people into the academy so that’s going to change the type of films that get nominated I don’t think that’s the right way to go. We need to get the best people doing the this work you know people like Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins as far as directors go they worked hard to get where they came up through the system made smaller movies.The same thing works  for Spike Lee he has worked his way up over the decades to become one of the great filmmakers there is. There was a time he didn’t just start out becoming a great filmmaker deserving Oscar nominations yet did he make a really good film In Do the Right Thing sure. And then what did he do? He started out doing Nike commercials. and stuff like that. so the actors and the directors need to hone their craft to get to the point where they’re successful. For instance Amandla Stenberg she worked her way up through doing the Hunger Games then she did Everything,Everything then she did The Darkest Minds this summer which wasn’t the best movie and now she’s got the Hate You Give so little by little by little she has been doing the work and so she’s going to eventually get rewarded. For that you just can’t throw these people into Oscar consideration when they haven’t had a body of work that deserves it or performance that deserves it. I think that films such as Crazy Rich Asians are interesting and entertaining films but they’re not Oscar contenders the films that are coming out in the fall like First Man, Boy Erased, Old Man, and the Gun, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Front Runner and Roma and so many other films like these are the kinds of films that deserve to be looked at if they turn out to be bad films then you forget them. Then put them to the wasteside but we’ve already got 15 or 20 and that to me is what should be celebrated not diversity in Asians Latinos and African-Americans and film in cinematography and directing. The Brits and Aussie do it right. They have their children learn acting and filmmaking at a young age. It’s part of there school curriculum. So that’s why they are far ahead of other countries in learning to be actors, actresses and filmmakers.

For example we have three great directors from Mexico Alejandro, Gonzalez iInarritu Alfonso Curon and Guillermo del Toro. These guys work their way up they did small films they all had different paths to getting to where they are today but they’re all oscar-winning directors and they did it by working hard coming up through the system and they didn’t ask for anything they they went out and they did the work and then eventually they were rewarded for doing the work Curon for Gravity, Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman and the Revenant. I mean these are all great films so once they build up their reputation then they were considered great filmmakers and the opportunities are out there but you have to go do the work and you have work hard at it and then you’ll eventually get rewarded. A lot of these categories I think people have to remember that when it comes to the Oscars you shouldn’t just be able to give all these Awards away to people just because they’re Asian or Black or Latino.

 

By Dan Skip Allen

Is 2016 the resurgence of the horror movie genre?

Either late 2015 or early 2016 I was told by some unnamed person or podcast or blog that the year 2016 was gonna be the resurgence of the horror movie genre. In recent years we have been blessed with a bunch of Paranormal Activity films, a couple Insidious films, remakes of Halloween and Poltergeist, The Conjuring and its sequel Annabelle and Ouija just to name a few. Will 2016 be that resurgence that I was told it is? The question still remains. I will break down the good and the bad of the horror movie genre so far this year.

In January we got The Forrest and The Boy. When her twin sister disappears in Japan, a young American named Sara (Natalie Dormer) becomes determined to find out what happened to her. Sara’s investigation leads her to the legendary Aokigahara Forest, located at the base of Mount Fuji. Accompanied by expatriate Aiden, she enters the mysterious wilderness after being warned to “stay on the path.” Her investigation plunges her into a dark world where the angry and tormented souls of the dead prey on those who dare to explore the forest.

A young American named Greta (Lauren Cohan) takes a job as a nanny for an 8-year-old boy in a remote English village. To her surprise, Greta learns that the child of her new employers is a life-size doll. They care for the doll as if it was human, which helps the couple to cope with the death of their own son 20 years earlier. When Greta violates a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring her worst fears to life, leading her to believe that the doll is alive.

In February we Got Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and 10 Cloverfield Lane the sequel to Cloverfield. In the 19th century, a mysterious plague turns the English countryside into a war zone. No one is safe as the dead come back to life to terrorize the land. Fate leads Elizabeth Bennet (Lily James), a master of martial arts and weaponry, to join forces with Mr. Darcy (Sam Riley), a handsome but arrogant gentleman. Elizabeth can’t stand Darcy, but respects his skills as a zombie killer. Casting aside their personal differences, they unite on the blood-soaked battlefield to save their country.

After surviving a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker with two men. Howard (John Goodman) tells her that a massive chemical attack has rendered the air unbreathable, and their only hope of survival is to remain inside. Despite the comforts of home, Howard’s controlling and menacing nature makes Michelle want to escape. After taking matters into her own hands, the young woman finally discovers the truth about the outside world.

In March we got The Other Side of the Door and Hush. Maria (Sarah Wayne Callies) becomes consumed with guilt after losing her son Oliver (Logan Creran) in a tragic accident. She learns about a remote Hindu temple where visitors can communicate with the dead to say goodbye for the last time. The grieving mother disobeys a dire warning to never open the ancient door that serves as a mysterious portal. Her failure to follow the rules causes Oliver’s restless spirit to return home and haunt the rest of his family (Jeremy Sisto, Sofia Rosinsky). 

Hush is a 2016 American psychological horror thriller film directed by Mike Flanagan from a screenplay by Flanagan and Kate Siegel. The film stars John Gallagher Jr., Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan and Siegel.

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In May we got The Green Room and The Darkness. Members (Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat) of a punk-rock band and a tough young woman (Imogen Poots) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse.

Peter Taylor (Kevin Bacon), his wife Bronny and their two children return to Los Angeles after a fun-filled vacation to the Grand Canyon. Strange events soon start to plague the family, including young son Michael’s increasingly erratic behavior. The Taylors learn that Michael brought back some mysterious rocks that he discovered inside a cave. Unfortunately, something followed them home as the clan now find themselves in a battle with a supernatural force that preys on their worst fears.

In June we got two new horror films, The Shallows and The Neon Demon, and the sequel to The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2. Still reeling from the loss of her mother, medical student Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) travels to a secluded beach for some much-needed solace. Despite the danger of surfing alone, Nancy decides to soak up the sun and hit the waves. Suddenly, a great white shark attacks, forcing her to swim to a giant rock for safety. Left injured and stranded 200 yards from shore, the frightened young woman must fight for her life as the deadly predator circles her in its feeding ground.

Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Los Angeles just after her 16th birthday to launch a career as a model. The head of her agency tells the innocent teen that she has the qualities to become a top star. Jesse soon faces the wrath of ruthless vixens who despise her fresh-faced beauty. On top of that, she must contend with a seedy motel manager and a creepy photographer. As Jesse starts to take the fashion world by storm, her personality changes in ways that could help her against her cutthroat rivals. 

In 1977, paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren come out of a self-imposed sabbatical to travel to Enfield, a borough in north London. There, they meet Peggy Hodgson, an overwhelmed single mother of four who tells the couple that something evil is in her home. Ed and Lorraine believe her story when the youngest daughter starts to show signs of demonic possession. As the Warrens try to help the besieged girl, they become the next targets of the malicious spirit.

And in July were getting The Purge: Election Year and Lights Out. As a young girl, Sen. Charlie Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members. As a presidential candidate, Roan is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all. When her opponents hatch a deadly scheme, the senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., just as the latest Purge gets underway. Now, it’s up to Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), her head of security, to keep her alive during the next 12 hours of mayhem.

When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought that her childhood fears were behind her. As a young girl growing up, she was never really sure of what was real when the lights went out at night. Now, her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that jeopardized her safety and sanity. Holding a mysterious attachment to their mother (Maria Bello), the supernatural entity has returned with a vengeance to torment the entire family.

Of these thirteen films I would give my recommendation to four of them 10 Cloverfield Lane,The Shallows,The Neon Demon and The Conjuring 2. Seven of them I would not recommend, The Forest,The Boy, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, The Other Side of the Door, Hush, The Green Room and The Darkness, and two of them I have not seen yet. I will being seeing The Purge: Election Year and Lights Out in the next week or so. By far the best horror film I have seen this year is the Conjuring 2. It has a lot of mystery to it. Especially involving how Lorraine Warren played by Vera Farmiga gets to the bottom of the identity of the demon haunting the Hodgson family. The whole saving of Ed Warren played by Patrick Wilson was very suspenseful as well. I didn’t like the first Conjuring at all.

I believe liking four of eleven films is not a good average. The Conjuring 2 will be in my Top Ten of the Year so far list. So that’s a good thing. The Purge: Election Year isn’t getting great reviews but, Lights Out is getting great reviews. That’s another good thing. Their are a lot of other horror movies coming out the rest of the year. 31 the latest from Rob Zombie, Rings a sequel to The Ring, Don’t Breathe a home invasion film. The Woods about a group of hikers lost in the woods and once again sequels of Underworld, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Resident Evil. Are these films gonna make this a great year for the horror genre? Or are they gonna drag down year year even further then it has already been. Who know? By my total this is once again a bad year for the horror movie genre. Hopefully it gets better as the years goes on. I’m crossing my fingers Lights Out is as good as the reviews its been getting.

Dan Skip Allen

 

 

 

 

 

Why Using Kang the Conqueror as the villain in Phase 4 of The Marvel Cinematic Universe means reboot!

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Kang the Conqueror is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. In 2009, Kang was ranked as IGN’s 65th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has just made a new update to there slate of films. I believe though that after Phase 3 is up that Marvel will reboot the entire cinematic Universe. What better way to do that then to use a time travel villain like Kang the Conqueror. Marvel has extended it Phase 3 film into the year 2020. With dates on May 1st,July 10th and November 6th. One of these films will be the last film in Phase 3 and the last of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also could be the beginning of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well. What a better way to end the MCU then an all out brawl with Thanos. The Time Gem could come into play here. That’s how everything gets rebooted.

With the recent news that Bryan Cranston has expressed interest in playing a Marvel bad guy a really evil bad guy. It came to me that maybe he could play Kang The Conqueror in a late Phase 3 film or an early Phase 4 film. Using the time element that Thanos has in the Infinity Gems could create an alternate reality and bam you have a new Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kang has been one of the Avengers big bad guys over the years. This would fit the bill imo if you were Bryan Cranston. He would be the new big bad guy in the MCU and Marvel could reboot and all is happy.

Marvel has pushed back its Phase 3 films so they can plan something big for 2020. This would be a perfect way to end Phase 3 and start Phase 4 or End Phase 3 all together. Whatever happens we have a long way to go before anything is settled. I myself look for ward to what Marvel/Disney have in store for all of us fans. I think Bryan Cranston and Kang would both fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point Only Time will tell.

Dan Skip Allen

Why should the Oscar add nominees to the acting categories?

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I’m a big fan of the Oscars or also called The Academy Awards as they are commonly known. This award ceremony celebrates the best in cinema through each calendar year. The ceremony is usually held around late February or early March the next year. The Academy Awards usually have 5 nominees in each of the 24 categories. This awards ceremony is up to its 87th year in existence. Many of the awards in the show have been given out ever since the beginning. The number of nominees have been the same as well. During that time the number of film that have came out during a given year more then tripled. In 2009 the nominees of the Best Picture category were raised from five to ten nominees. This was largely in turn because quite a few people were upset that The Dark Knight, the second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, didn’t get nominated for Best Picture the year before. Heath Ledger would win the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his riveting portrayal of the sadistic,psychotic arch nemesis of Batman,The Joker.

I’m just gonna use the last two years as an example of why I believe that the acting nominees in the Best Acting categories should be raised to six or more nominees. Last year the nominees in the Best acting category were Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper for American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton for Birdman and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne won the award. I believe two of these nominees shouldn’t have been nominated. They are Bradley Cooper for American Sniper and Steve Carell for Foxcatcher. In my opinion David Oyelowo should have been nominated for his portrayal of Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma. Steve Carell was more of a supporting role as John Dupont in Foxcatcher. He didn’t need to be in the Best Actor category. Last year there could have been up to eight nominees in my opinion. Ralph Fiennes definitely should have been nominated for his role in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

This year we have already had at least three or four actors who probably deserve a Best Actor nominee. Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass, Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian, Joeseph Gordon-Levitt as Phillipe Petit in The Walk and Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs. A fifth nominee could easy be chosen from from any of the performances coming out in the next three months or from Jake Gyllenhaal from South Paw or Tobey Maguire from Pawn Sacrifice. If you do the math before the end of the year there are easily five more legitimate performances that could or should be nominated. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant, Bryan Cranston for Trumbo, Tom Hanks for Bridge of Spies or Tom Hardy for Legend.

Just using the last two years is enough to see that there are just  to many films and to many actors who deserve nominations. These awards have been around for to long and as time goes bye things change and the Academy Awards should be able to change with the times. If they can add five nominees to the Best Picture category then they should def add one of more nominee to the Best Actor or another acting category. If one category has a lot of great performances that year then make that category more that year and other categories less that particular year.

Dan Skip Allen

Here are my Top 10 Robert Zemeckis Films

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Robert Lee Zemeckis is an American filmmaker and screenwriter. Zemeckis is credited as one of the greatest “visual storytellers” in filmmaking and is a pioneer of visual effects. His latest film is the Walk Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Phillipe Patit.

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The Walk: As a boy, Philippe Petit dreams of performing daring feats for dazzled crowds. As an adult (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), his life’s ambition comes true when he becomes a high-wire artist who stares death in the face with every step. Under the guidance of mentor Papa Rudy, the daredevil devises a plan to walk on a tightrope attached to the north and south towers of the World Trade Center. With help from his team and against all odds, Petit attempts the seemingly impossible stunt on Aug. 7, 1974.

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#10:Death Becomes Her;When a novelist loses her man to a movie star and former friend, she winds up in a psychiatric hospital. Years later, she returns home to confront the now-married couple, looking radiant. Her ex-husband’s new wife wants to know her secret, and discovers that she has been taking a mysterious drug which grants eternal life to the person who drinks it. The actress follows suit, but discovers that immortality has a price.

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#9:What Lies Beneath: It had been a year since Dr. Norman Spencer (Harrison Ford) betrayed his beautiful wife Claire (Michelle Pfeiffer). But with Claire oblivious to the truth, Norman’s life and marriage seem so perfect that when Claire tells him of hearing mysterious voices and seeing a young woman’s image in their home, he dismisses her terror as delusion. Claire moves closer to the truth and it becomes clear that this apparition will not be dismissed, and has come back for Dr. Spencer and his beautiful wife.

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#8:The Polar Express: Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”; “Cast Away”) reunite for “Polar Express,” an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

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#7:Romancing the Stone:A dowdy romantic-adventure writer is hurled into a real-life adventure in the Colombian jungle in order to save her sister, who will be killed if a treasure map is not delivered to her captors. She is helped out by a brash mercenary, and together they search for the priceless gem located in the map.

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#6:In this Zemeckis-directed adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message originating from the Vega star system. Once first contact with an extraterrestrial intelligence is proven, Arroway contends with restrictive National Security Advisor Kitz (James Woods) and religious fanatics bent on containing the implications of such an event. An incredible message is found hidden in the signal, but will Arroway be the one to answer its call?

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#5:Who Framed Roger Rabbit:Down-on-his-luck private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) gets hired by cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) to investigate an adultery scandal involving Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner), the sultry wife of Maroon’s biggest star, Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer). But when Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), Jessica’s alleged paramour and the owner of Toontown, is found murdered, the villainous Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) vows to catch and destroy Roger.

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#4:Flight:Commercial airline pilot Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) has a problem with drugs and alcohol, though so far he’s managed to complete his flights safely. His luck runs out when a disastrous mechanical malfunction sends his plane hurtling toward the ground. Whip pulls off a miraculous crash-landing that results in only six lives lost. Shaken to the core, Whip vows to get sober — but when the crash investigation exposes his addiction, he finds himself in an even worse situation.

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#3:Castaway:Obsessively punctual FedEx executive Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is en route to an assignment in Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a storm. The sole survivor of the flight, Chuck washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help fail, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson. Will Chuck ever return to civilization and reunite with his loved ones?

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#2:Back to the Future Trilogy:In this 1980s sci-fi classic, small-town California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is thrown back into the ’50s when an experiment by his eccentric scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) goes awry. Traveling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty encounters young versions of his parents (Crispin Glover, Lea Thompson), and must make sure that they fall in love or he’ll cease to exist. Even more dauntingly, Marty has to return to his own time and save the life of Doc Brown.

In this zany sequel, time-traveling duo Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) return from saving Marty’s future son from disaster, only to discover their own time transformed. In this nightmarish version of Hill Valley, Marty’s father has been murdered and Biff Tannen, Marty’s nemesis, has profited. After uncovering the secret to Biff’s success — a sports almanac from the future — Marty and the Doc embark on a quest to repair the space-time continuum.

In this final chapter, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) obtains a 70-year-old message from the time-traveling Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd), in which he informs Marty that he has retired to a small town in the Old West. Marty then finds out that the Doc was murdered shortly after sending the letter. In order to save his friend, Marty will have to travel back in time, disentangle a lovestruck Doc from a local schoolmarm, and repair the DeLorean — all while avoiding a posse of gunslingers.

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#1:Forrest Gump:Slow-witted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) has never thought of himself as disadvantaged, and thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field), he leads anything but a restricted life. Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. But one person Forrest cares about most may be the most difficult to save — his childhood love, the sweet but troubled Jenny (Robin Wright).

Dan Skip Allen