Monthly Archives: September 2017

Movies at Home Getting More for Less

Certainly enjoying movies at a theater is a unique experience. From the towering screens to the Dolby Digital DTS sound systems, the wow factor of a theater can’t be matched. However, due to convenience and affordability, enjoying movies at home whether on a PC or a big screen plasma display is the more typical scenario for the majority of movie fans. The options for obtaining and viewing movies at home have certainly expanded in the past decade with the introduction of online movie rental and movie download services in addition to the more traditional offerings provided by local video stores as well as live and pay-per-view television.

For film fans on a budget, enjoying more movie viewing per dollar justifies a quick look at some of the options.

Hands down, enjoying movies on live television, whether cable, broadcast, or satellite TV, is the most economical option. The selection viewers have to choose from is significantly limited by the programming schedule but there is no cost beyond the typical monthly fee for any premium packages. Another cost free method of enjoying movies is as simple as a visit to the local library. Public libraries loan out not only books and CDs but movies on VHS and DVD as well. Although the selection is somewhat limited, the price is right.

Coming in second, online movie rental has the potential to provide more movie entertainment for the dollar than other paid services. As an example, Netflix offers numerous plans but their most popular plan allows users to have up to 3 movies out at a given time for $17.99 per month. If a typical user views only 6 movies in a given month this would average out to $2.99 per movie. The price per movie could potentially be less for those who view more movies throughout the month; for instance the price per movie would drop to $1.99 if 9 movies were watched throughout the month. Making the value of online movie rental services even greater is the huge selection offered; in the case of Netflix, users can select from over 75,000 titles.

Movie download services and renting at the local video store are probably equivalent in pricing. Movielink rental pricing for instance starts at $1.99 and goes upward to $4.99 while many video stores have rentals from $2 to $5. The selection of movies is currently somewhat greater at local video stores; perhaps 10,000 to 15,000 titles to choose from versus fewer than 10,000 with most legal movie download services. However, the future may hold a different picture as online movie download services are providing larger libraries over time as they acquire more films.

A bit more expensive are the pay-per-view movies made available by most cable and satellite TV providers. With costs averaging around $3.99 to $4.99 their pricing is reasonable but can become significantly more costly than other services if more than one or two movies are viewed over the course of a month. In addition, the pay-per-view offerings are often restricted to one or two dozen movies at any given time based on the programming schedule for a given month.

Luckily whether considering movie downloads, online movie rental services, use of the local video store, or pay-per-view, movie fans are able to enjoy the services risk free. Movie download services, video stores, and pay-per-view are charged on a per movie basis with no ongoing commitment to purchase more movies. Likewise, although online movie rental programs charge a monthly fee, services such as Netflix require no commitment to continue the program and no cancellation fees to discontinue.

From live television and pay-per-view to movie downloads, online movie rental, and video stores, movie lovers should be able to discover a movie service that offers the films they love at a price they can afford. Which option best meets their budget will depend on the number of films they tend to view per month and how wide of a selection they need to find the entertainment they want.

Top 10 Horror Movies

If you are a horror movie fan you already know how intense an experience these types of films can be. There are some horror movies that combine humor with the storyline as a way of letting the audience catch their breath. Other “scary movies” maintain the fright factor throughout the film. Which movies you like depends on your own personal tastes but here is a list of the top 10 horror movies of all time in no particular order. These are big screen events that every horror aficionado should see at least once.

1. The Blob

Who can forget this cool movie that dates back to the 1950s. This horror movie starred Steve McQueen as a young tough with a heart of gold who battled the fierce outer space blob of goo that was devouring everyone in its path. The remake of this horror classic was not nearly as good as the original version which became a drive in staple for a number of years. This was a movie that was created when people were less jaded and although the special effects are indeed laughable by today’s standards at the time when this movie was released the audience let their imaginations provide them with the best scenes.

2. Jaws

This Steven Spielberg production still is one of the cinema greats and definitely deserves to be listed among the top 10 horror movies of all time. Who cares if no one really got to see a great deal of the marauding shark demon, this was another big screen flick that catered to imaginary fears and shocked audiences around the world with surprisingly little onscreen carnage being shown.

3. Friday the 13th

This modern day horror movie is still reeling in viewers and attracting new fans. Although an entire series of Friday the 13th films have been produced it is still the original that people remember best. Jason and that hockey mask are indelibly etched into the minds of all who have seen this “creeped out” thriller.

4. House on Haunted Hill

Is another early movie that still managed to latch onto those fears of the unknown and shock millions of frantic fans. This was a film that specialized in creating horror scenes that were more emotional than visual.

5. The Exorcist

During the 70s few films attracted the fervent publicity that this one did. When it was first released people stood in extraordinarily long lines for their chance to be part of the audience. Linda Blair shot to stardom as the young girl possessed by a demon and that scene showing her head spinning round like a top can still create chills for anyone who rents this movie. The fact that several people associated with this horror movie were injured or killed even led to conjecture that there was an “Exorcist” curse. Of course this type of gossip only made the movie more popular among the millions of horror fans around the world. The Catholic Church even had a few choice words to say against this film, but nothing was able to defeat this horror movie at the box office in its heyday.

6. Jeepers Creepers

This is a movie that was created along the lines of Friday the 13th. You have two young people who are drawn into an underworld of murder, horror and nightmarish fears as well as a hulking, maniacal killer who is set on wreaking carnage and destruction on anyone in his path. This movie formula has been the basis for a number of great horror movies and Jeepers Creepers found box office gold among an audience consisting mostly of teens and young adults.

7. Candyman

This was a 1992 release based on a story written by horror master Clive Barker. You have to love a horror movie that captures the supernatural effects of pure horror and blends them with those “oh, so believable” urban legends. By the time this movie is ending everyone in the audience is convinced that there is a “Candyman” lurking somewhere in their neighborhood.

8. The Sixth Sense

Paranormal activity has always been a staple for many horror flicks but this movie elevates extra sensory perceptions to a brand new level. The young boy who is the central character can really see and speak to departed souls. For him this is a traumatic fact because some of these lingering spirits are truly “horrific” to look at since most of them have suffered a violent death. The twist for this movie is that the psychologist who is helping the young “medium” deal with his fears is also one of these departed spirits but the kind hearted psychologist does not yet realize that he has died. This movie qualifies as a “tearjerker” as well as being one of the best horror movies of all times.

9. The Blair Witch Project

This horror movie was released in 1999 and it was created with a shoestring budget. It became a runaway hit even though there was very little to see in the way of true horror or special effects. This was a psychologically powerful movie that catered to people’s superstitious beliefs and it raked in millions at the box office. College students, a New England town, witches and a video camera are the main components of this film. The plot is a bit disoriented and it is difficult to keep track of what is taking place on screen but the fear factor for this movie flew off the chart. Even today you have people who are convinced that this really was a project undertaken by a few intrepid college students who became victims of the curse of the Blair Witch.

10. Night of the Living Dead

This is another 60’s black and white horror film that continues to be popular with audiences. The story begins in a graveyard where zombie-like creatures are walking about. These are dead people who have come back to life and are out to literally devour any humans they find. A small group of individuals hide in a house and attempt to fend off these monsters. The living dead are not easy to kill and resourcefulness is the key to survival. This is one of those horror movies that lets the audience use their imagination which is one of the reasons that it has become such a classic favorite.

There are many other great horror movies for people to watch and enjoy. Some of the newer movies are using explosive special effects and makeup to create intense scenes but true horror buffs realize that what you don’t see can often be even more terrifying than what is recorded on camera. The best horror movies captivate your imagination early in the movie and allow you to become part of the action. Thanks to new technology it is easy for horror fans to choose to watch either older films or new releases. This means you have the best of both “fright filled” worlds at your fingertips.

Top Five Methods To Find Good Movies

Movies are wonderful pastime. Movies are enjoyed by people around the world. There are thousands of movies made each year, and millions of movie fans. It’s easy to find a movie that you haven’t seen already, but it’s hard to find a good movie that you’d want to watch. Fortunately, there are several ways to find movies that you might enjoy watching. Below is a list of several ways to find new movies to watch.

1) Newspaper film reviews – This is an old approach to finding which movies to watch. And yet it still works! Well, not always, The challenge is for you to find a movie critic that has a taste in movies that is similar to your tastes. This takes time and effort on your part. You might find a good critic right away, but it generally takes time. The critics are only people, and they make mistakes too. The strategy is for you to read a critic’s reviews and judge how well their opinion matches with yours. After a while, you’ll get a good sense of which critic agrees most with your tastes. Once you find a critic that you like, stay with them! It’s hard to find a good one.

2) RankAMovie.com – RankAMovie is a web site that allows anyone to add movies and rank movies in various categories. We all know the classic categories: best horror, best comedy, best drama, etc. Well, this web site helps you find recommendations for the best movie to watch at 2 o’clock in the morning when you don’t feel like sleeping. It’s a good way to find a recommendation for a good Baseball movie. Simply view a category that interests you, and read the description of any movies that you have not already seen. Once you do see a film, go back and rate it with a happy or sad face, to help tell others whether it’s a good film to watch.

3) Netflix – The netflix web site has revolutionized the modern day approach to renting movies. You can browse their vast stocks of movies, and add movies to you queue. As you watch movies and return them, they’ll mail you the next movie in your queue. Your account type determines how many movies you can have rented at any one time. You can rent a movie and then rate it on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. The web site has a tool that will acknowledge which movies you have enjoyed in the past, and it tries to match your interests with other movie fans. Based on other people’s ratings of movies, you’ll get recommendations of what you can watch next.

4) Fan sites – This is not necessarily a way to find new movies to watch, but can help you find other movies fans with similar tasts to yours. Of course, you’ll need to be a fan of some actor or type of movie first. Let’s say you love horror movies, then you could find a horro fan site and read the site for recommendations. Sometimes the fan site will help you find good movies. But, sometimes these sites are not so helpful.

5) Friends -Yes, your friends are a great way to find new movies to watch. Simply ask them during lunch for a recommendation. You could send them a quick email to ask for recommendations. Better yet, pick up the phone and ask them for recommendations. And, of course, ask how they are and say hello. They’ll thank you for calling.

Your free time is limited. Use these various methods to find good movies. Don’t waste your free time with bad movies. And remember to visit these web sites or contact friends to help others find good movies to watch!

Best Movies For a Hangover

There are many strategies to surviving a hangover: find and devour satisfying food, remain horizontal for the majority of the day, avoid bright light, to name a few. Among the most fulfilling things you can do to counteract a killer hangover is watch a movie. Wrapped up in your coziest digs, warm in bed, watching a movie can be one of the best hangover cures out there.

A great way to pass the time and escape the horrors of your current reality, we highly suggest this hangover recovery activity no matter the degree of your suffering. It is important, however, to choose wisely when it comes to film selection. What may be your favorite sober movie could set a disastrous downward spiral into motion, sending you deeper into the inevitable depression that comes along with being hungover. Fear not! We’re here to help you in the selection process.

Movies to Avoid When Hungover

Before we get to the best in post-hammered cinema, let’s talk about what to avoid when choosing a hangover flick. Do not, under any circumstances, watch a movie that contains any of the following plots:

– Party Movies – usually a hilarious way to live vicariously through someone else’s drunk adventure, watching movies that include party scenes are a surefire way to turn your stomach. One look at Jonah Hill’s laundry-blue tinted mouth full-o-beer in Superbad will almost definitely send you over the edge.

– Complicated Movies – twists and turns can be the most exciting and interesting parts of a movie when you’re feeling good. When hungover, avoid any movie that makes you think harder than “ginger ale or gatorade?”. You’ve already been nursing the aspirin bottle all morning. If you choose to challenge yourself to figure out what the hell is really in the box at the end of Seven, you’re running the risk of legitimate brain explosion. The simpler the better.

– War Movies – often times hard enough to watch on your best day, war movies are straight up brutal when you’re hungover. Not only are the characters out there serving their country, being all “America’s finest”, which can make you feel like more of a loser, but the gore factor is dangerous territory. The only blood you’re going to want to see on a caveday is the delicious cooked kind dripping from your medium-rare cheeseburger.

– Movies with a Homeles Protagonist – Do not, we repeat, DO NOT, make the mistake of choosing one of these Debbie Downers when hungover. Chances are, you already feel shitty enough. You’re struggling. Press play on Basketball Diaries you’re pretty much asking for a meltdown.

We have determined the worst possible movie to watch when down-for-the-count: The Wrestler. Talk about a “feel awful” movie experience. Mickey Rourke’s character is so broken, so busted, drunk, high, down and out, viewing this when hungover will surely make you feel 100 times worse than you already do. Not to be a spoiler (let’s be honest, you’ve had a few years to catch up at this point, folks), but things don’t even remotely work out well in the end. Let’s be honest. The Wrestler is a great movie… to kill yourself to.

Hangover Movie Criteria

Alright. Now that you’re schooled in what not to watch when hungover, let’s talk about what we’re here to highlight – the best movies to watch when hungover. Qualifications for foolproof, good-time hungover movie enjoyment include:

– Movies You’ve Seen Before –  a hangover is no time to try something new. You must rely on what you know to support you through this tumultuous time. Your go-to movies can build confidence, making you feel smart and comfortable in their familiarity. Sure, you’ve seen Karate Kid 6000 times. 6001 is most definitely the charm when you’re hungover.

– Comedies – the most lighthearted, hilarious flicks you can find will surely comfort you on a caveday. Laughter is medicine. As you purge the poor choices of last night, go ahead and laugh away your sorrows with a good old fashioned funny movie.

– Animated Movies –  How can you go wrong here? You can’t. Kids’ movies are made to make you feel good, and they’re never going to push you over the edge in terms of being too sad or scary. Often times fantastical, kids’ movies are a great way to escape into another world for a couple of hours. You’re also most likely not making a huge time commitment with these films, so take advantage of your attention span mirroring that of a 5 year old and indulge in something silly and sweet.

Recommended Hangover Movies

Based on this criteria, we present to you, “The Four Horsemen of Hangover Movies”.

1.The Hangover – what a gift to hungover-kind. Hilarious at every turn, The Hangover reassures you that no matter how terrible you’re feeling in this hungover moment, it’s not nearly as bad as these guys have it. You can relate to their perils, yet feel proud that even though you left your cell phone in the cab on the way home, you still have all your teeth and the closest tiger is still safe at the zoo. Despite being sort of a movie about drinking, there are essentially no drinking scenes in the entire movie, so your gag reflex can relax.

2.Iron Man –  this flick touches upon many of our good-choice criteria. Derived from a comic book, you can tap into your childhood while marveling (yup, we said it) at the coolest modern day special effects. The fast paced action will keep you occupied while the over the top nature of the plot, gadgets, and fight scenes won’t possibly make you feel like you’re inadequate; no one’s as smart as Tony Stark.

3.Monsters, Inc.  –  though probably not something you watched as a kid yourself, this movie is an amazing way to nestle into the comforts of childhood cinema. It’s stunning to watch, as is the trend with Pixar’s masterful films. It’s hilarious yet touching, super cute and completely imaginary, so you can truly escape real life for a bit. Relax and enjoy (and maybe check your closet real quick on your way back to the bed, just to be safe).

4.Big Trouble in Little China –  martial arts movies have been proven to have a profound effect on the biochemistry of the human brain when undergoing alcohol processing. The cheesy action combined with unprecedented dorkiness is both entertaining and confidence-building. We conducted a double-blind case study testing this theory. A control group was compared to subjects who had watched various martial arts movies during their hangover process. The results were profound. The most potent movie for hangover assistance turned out to be Big Trouble in Little China, the aka the “Godfather of Garbage”.

In conclusion, when you’re feeling like the sober world is crashing down around you, a movie can be a great way to check out and feel safe. By following our do’s and don’ts you’re sure to have a pleasurable viewing experience. Prep something tasty, prop up a few extra pillows and let yourself be immersed in a blissful, semi-comatose viewing state of being.