Another Thanksgiving is upon us, which means we'll gather around tables with friends and family and be asked to share what we're thankful for. Here at ScreenCrush, we think now is a good time to reflect on the wonderful bounty that has been delivered to us from the benevolent creators of film and television throughout 2014. This year has given us much to be grateful for, and so now we say thanks as we prepare to stuff our faces and fall into meat and pie comas (and ready ourselves for that 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' trailer).
For Thanksgiving I have two traditions: eating to the point of explosion, and watching movies where people eat to the point of explosion. I once felt alone in my voyeuristic inclination to annually supplement my family meal with a screening of ‘Stand By Me’ or ‘Willy Wonka.’ But why should I suffer this pain alone? This Thanksgiving I invite you to join me on a gastronomical journey, as I recount the best movie moments that feature: (1) people delighting in the visceral pleasures of transcendent culinary experience, and/or (2) stuffing their maws like the filthy mammals we human beings truly are.
We’re thinking a lot today about Mike Nichols, the great film and theater director who passed away yesterday at the age of 83. If you’re new to Nichols’ work, or you’re a longtime fan looking to revisit some old favorites, here are a few of his best films that you can rent or stream right now. Just follow the links below to watch some classic movies.
Animated films have long plundered classic fairy tales to build their modern stories (at least four of the Disney Princesses alone are pulled from Brothers Grimm tales), but Hans Christian Andersen’s rise to posthumous family-friendly prominence didn’t come into play until the late eighties, when Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ (which turns twenty-five this week) first swam on to our cinematic shores. The introduction of Ariel also effectively ended a Princess drought – there had not been a new Princess-centric film since 1959, but after Ariel splashed on to the scene, the House of Mouse started churning out a new one with startlingly regularity (four in the nineties alone) – but its real legacy is introducing Andersen to the younger set by way of mainstream animated outings.
High quality run-acting doesn’t get a lot of official recognition. There is no Academy Award — nor even a Golden Globe. The best I can offer from my static spot in the living room is a flattering list. It goes as follows.
Even lauded talents star in terrible films, but sometimes—as is the case with these ten thespians—they happen to star in the worst of the bunch during the exact same calendar year that they turned in those Oscar-worthy works. Oops.
Johnny Depp has worn many hats . Not in the artistic sense -- though he's also written and directed a film, and produced a handful of others, and has even been known to sing on command. No, we mean in the literal sense. The man has literally worn many dumb hats. His fondness for hats (on-screen, at least) can be traced as far back as '21 Jump Street,' and ever since then he's been insistent on making headwear some sort of affectation or statement or "his thing." It's not an exaggeration, either. Just when you think you've found a film in which Johnny Depp does not wear a hat ... boom, he sneaks one in on you. Here, we've collected and ranked Johnny Depp's dumb hats from his on-screen appearances, ranked in order from least dumb to the absolute dumbest. (To include the many dumb hats he wears off-screen would be too exhaustive.)
'Dracula Untold' is hitting theaters this weekend*, and truth be, uh, told, it doesn't look that great. But it could be worse -- a whole lot worse. Cinema has a rich history with blood-suckers, and thanks to the over-saturation in the genre, it's quite rare to see a great vampire film. For every good one, there's at least 10 not-so-good vampire flicks. Honestly, it was hard to choose just 10 because there are some real stinkers out there. As a disclaimer, we kept 'Twilight' out of this because it was just a little too obvious. We all know it's awful, we don't need to beat a dead sparkle-horse. *Does Dracula's story really need to be told again? Yeah, dude, we get it.
Fans of action movies often gauge a flick by the hero. People all have their favorites — Stallone, Schwarzenneger, Willis, the list goes on. But an action film star is only as good as his or her antagonist. Without an awesome villain to fight, the hero never gets the chance to escape from dangerous traps or foil nefarious plots. So we thought it was time to recognize a few of the best villains who appeared on the silver screen. And since the art of the action movie was perfected in the 1980s, we’re digging through our old VHS tapes to find the best of the best movie villains.
Although many director’s cuts are a mixed bag (there’s a reason editors and directors are rarely the same person on a film), some versions prove the director really knew what he was doing and the studio would have done better to ignore the test screenings, market data and time constraints. Here are 10 director’s cuts that top the original releases.