Into the Wild (2007) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

Check out my guest post on T9M’s IMBD Top 250 Challenge:

Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Melissa of Snap Crackle Watch!. Thanks for the review, Melissa! 🙂 Now let’s see what she thought of Into The Wild, IMDB rank 161 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews.

Into the Wild (2007)

Directed by Sean Penn

Written by Sean Penn

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Into the Wild (2007), written and directed by Sean Penn, adapted from the book by the same name by Jon Krakauer is a perspective into the life of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch). The young man who went into the wilderness of Alaska in search of himself and to shed his city life and roots.

Many people who live privileged lives, ones that are untouched by grief, poverty, never know the reality of struggling day by day. I believe that what McCandless sought was that feeling and that experience of the unknown. When a young person grows up stressed and under pressure by daily life, they don’t know how they will make it another day. All they know is that they have to and one day there may be a better day for them. But growing up he never really had to face any of those moments.

It was only till he got older that he would see that his family was nothing near perfect and that the challenges he put on himself would prove to be a dangerous route. This is one of those stories that touches the viewer to the bone, it’s emotional, exciting and makes you wonder what kind of person what put themselves through this journey.

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Abandoning a trust fund, his car, and any material possessions other than those he could carry on his back, McCandless sets out on a passage to reach the Stampede Trail in Alaska. He doesn’t contact his parents, Walt (William Hurt) and Billie MCandless (Marcia Gay Harden), nor does he even contact his sister Carine (Jena Malone) who he was close with growing up. We only see his family in flashbacks, as the movie hints at his past, we see that his parents did not live that idyllic life that maybe he thought existed, but instead had a lot of deep secrets that the family kept hidden.

Throughout his journey, McCandless meets various people on the road. They teach him lessons about life and about forging relationships. Through them he begins to see that there are so many different varied people out there in the world. With traveling hippies Jan (Catherine Keener) and Rainey (Brian H. Dierker) he learns about marriage and what it takes to keep that spirit alive. He works with Wayne (Vince Vaughn) for a while, who he observes as a friendly farmer who gives him a chance to work and earn some money.

Later on he meets Ron Franz (Hal Holbrook) the two enter into an endearing relationship, he teaches him how to do leatherwork and ends up giving him his old camping supplies. It was as if the older man could see himself maybe in McCandless or maybe he enjoyed hearing his idealistic visions about his upcoming adventure. Regardless, he touched everyone he met as much as he appreciated them.

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Once McCandless enters into the wilderness, he finds an old school bus that he sets up camp in, it becomes his home in the end. We see his adventures take off, running through the woods and streams, and even killing a moose. It’s as if he envisioned himself as a romanticized version of Jack London himself, getting into adventures and journaling them as an idealistic writer. Everything changes for him in Alaska and his life is turned upside down. The choices he made carry them with him till the end and we see them play out in front of us.

Penn captures the essence of adventure and defeat in this film. It is obvious that he put his heart and soul into the film, as it took two years to make. The soundtrack by Eddie Veder goes perfectly with the sentiments of the film and makes you feel that foreboding loneliness with each scene.

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Hirsch was amazing and deserved every accolade for his portrayal of McCandless. This definitely solidified him as a great actor; he carried the entire movie on his back.

I absolutely loved this movie, I enjoy movies that make me think about life and allow me to be introspective. McCandless isn’t shown as a martyr, which I think is important, instead he was simply a young man who wanted to have his own adventures and make something of his life on his own terms, nothing more than that. Overall great film, it is one I could re-watch and probably still garner some nugget of wisdom from each time.

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}}Melissa

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Question Of The Month: Who Is The Best Game Of Thrones Character?

For Luke’s question of the month, he asked who is our fave Game of Thrones character? I mean I know it sounds like a really easy question, but it was really hard to choose. Do you pick a character who isn’t on the show anymore or a current one, a mean one or a loveable one? That was a hard question overall. I really wanted to go with Oberyn because he is one of my faves, but I went with someone else instead. I picked Theon/Reek because he is a pretty complex and different character. Check it out on Luke’s blog.

Originally posted on Oracle of Film:

If there is one thing Game of Thrones does better than any other show out there, is give us such a large cast, that we find you rarely have the same favourite character as the person next to you. With House, everyone’s favourite character is House. With Arrow, everyone’s favourite character is Arrow. However, with Game of Thrones, people cannot even decide who is the person in the right. Who should be the rightful heir to the throne? Is it the royal family, the Targaryens, kicked out of the throne, due to some nasty ancestors, but finally back on the straight and narrow, thanks to the awesome Daenarys? Should the Lannisters keep the throne, especially with the genuinely kind Tommen sitting on it? Or maybe the cruel, yet surprisingly honest Stannis, deserves to re-take the throne for his brother? Todya, let’s swipe the moral implications from the table and just talk about who is the coolest, most awesome and… well… best Game of Thrones character. Spoilers have been redacted from the answers, so feel free to read this if you haven’t watched the show. Also, if anyone’s answers have been rewritten slightly to accomodate my no spoiler rule, I apologise.

 

}Melissa

Scarface (1983) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

Check out my guest post on T9M’s IMBD Top 250 Challenge:

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Melissa of Snap Crackle Watch!. Thanks for the review, Melissa! 🙂 Now let’s see what she has to say about Scarface, IMDB rank 130 out of 250.

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.

Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews.

Top 11 Reasons Scarface Is Still A Badass Movie

I watched Brian DePalma’s 1983 classic hit, Scarface for T9M’s IMBD Challenge weeks ago. I have been racking my brain about what I could talk about or say that hasn’t already been said a million times about this movie. I am sure almost every single person in the world out there has at least heard of it, seen a scene or two or at least knows the most infamous lines. Needless to say, putting words to paper has been proving difficult.  I decided to take a different turn and let’s just say this, Scarface is a great movie; I love it to death and could watch it over and over again. Some might hate it, but I am fan.

I figured I’d compile something telling you why this movie 31 years later is still freaking awesome and fun to watch. Here are my 10 top reasons why Scarface is still a bad ass movie.

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1. Tony Montana is one sick, crazy, bad ass gangster: Enough said, but really before there was a Tony Soprano or Robert Deniro type bad asses in films, there was Tony Montana. He was twisted and crazy and hell bent on success. I find it hard to even think about another character as bad as him. The way he dressed, his swagger, he was just an all around kick ass dude. If you told me that he hung out with the “most interesting guy in the world” I would totally believe it.

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2. Al Pacino. This movie would not be what it is had Pacino held back. To say that he pushed the envelope is putting it nicely; he went all out, acting grandiose, narcissistic and overly confident to the point that he could make people believe he was “someone’ when he was as he puts it “a nobody.” This movie sealed Pacino as one of the great actors of our generation and without him, the character of Scarface would never have become as iconic as it is that it is today.

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3. The film depicts events that really happened. The crisis that was going on in Cuba at the time was a tumultuous time in history and Miami in the early 80’s was a hot bed for cocaine usage. Combine that with the fact that Cuban refugees did not have much to their name in terms of money, this helped to create a group of people who were willing to do anything and everything for some cash flow. The distribution and selling of drugs offered refugees an opportunity to make money and something of themselves. The movie has been criticized for being too violent and too overt, but say what you will this time in history fueled events that were aptly depicted in the film, bloodshed and all.

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4. It’s written by Oliver Stone. It is evident that Stone was growing his penchant for movies involving drugs, sex and violence. At the time Stone himself was battling cocaine addiction and I am sure this only helped in making the movie seem more realistic. The thirst for that white gold was evident throughout the entire film. He indefinitely put his stamp on the film, he melded politics with current events of the 80’s and was able to tell a story that truly unveiled the psychosis of someone intent on pursing and staying in power. Stone said “Luxury corrupts far more ruthlessly than war,” and this underlying story is what makes it such a good film.

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5. Michelle Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock. She was sexy, blond and cool, almost reminiscent of Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction. With an iconic bob and bombshell body, she wore those silky 80’s dresses with sass and sophistication. I always loved that she didn’t let Tony boss her around and she was a woman who spoke her mind.

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6. The movie is not subtle. As I mentioned before when this movie first came out it was criticized for being too violent. People walked out of the theater, especially during that chainsaw scene. I am sure if this movie came out today, no one would bat an eye, but had DePalma not pushed the envelope the way he did, it may not have the place in history it does now. I believe that the violence shown helped to elevate this film’s cult status and I am sure inspired other directors as well, maybe even Stone.

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7. The cinematography by John A. Alonzo. What Alonzo was able to create from an aesthetic viewpoint helps to make this an even more remarkable film. The color scheme of dark played against the bright colors of Miami created a film that paired visually perfect for the story that was playing out on the screen. What turned out in the end was a movie that looked like pop art at its finest.

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8. The epitome of the American dream. The story of Tony Montana is proof that anything is possible in America. Only in the US, can a refugee who just stepped foot in America, with no money in his pockets, end up as one of the richest men. Tony had no usable skills, but what he had was the confidence to succeed. He worked his way from just a hired hand to the mob, all the way to becoming the main boss. But what is really at work in this film is showing the dark side of the dream.

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9. The love story between Manny and Gina. There are not a lot of sweet moments in the film. Briefly we see Elvira and Tony fall in love, but maybe they just loved each other because they were high on coke. Tony’s BFF Manny though does fall head over heels for Gina, Tony’s little sister. That moment after Manny married Gina, he was so happy and in love. He was so ecstatic that he lost sight of reality and told Tony the truth. The corrupt love story is sad and endearing, but one that only furthered depicted the depths of Tony’s madness.

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10. The dialogue. This movie has some of the most iconic lines in it; the most famous would definitely have to be “Say hello to my little friend.” Many of the lines in the movie have even inspired many songs out there, especially in the rap genre, just listen to Notorious B.I.G’s the “Ten Crack Commandments,” and you will hear all of Tony’s drug dealing tips. The infamous line of “First you get the money, then you get the power” has also been used by too many rappers to even list. In Bruno Mars’ new song, Uptown Funk, the first line references Scarface, “That ice cold, Michelle Pfeiffer, that white gold.” The fact that a few movie lines has spawned a generation of songs and phrases, only further enforces how bad ass this movie still is today.

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11. The Pace. The pace of the film is almost as iconic as the movie itself. It is frenetic, fast moving and it never slows down from the very beginning to the end. This makes it such a fun and entertaining movie to watch, you almost feel as if you are on this wild ride with Tony, at points you want to get off, but he won’t let you. By the time you are done, you are exasperated from the craziness, yet you want more.

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}}Melissa

Shitfest 2015: Jupiter Ascending

Eric just posted my first Shitfest entry. YES! Thanks Eric, you truly are a #baller. Reblogging it here in case you guys want to check it out.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was super bored and I put my name in for a bunch of stupid contests from my local newspaper. To my surprise I won two tickets to see Jupiter Ascending. So last time I did this contest thing, I won tickets for Kill the Messenger. Bueller, Bueller, anyone seen that effing movie? Nope, because it was a piece of crap.

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Knowing that I thought to myself, maybe I shouldn’t go see this movie, then I saw some more trailers and really thought wow, Melissa, you should not go see this crap movie. But being the nice person that I am, I invited one of my best gf’s to see it and she said, yes I will drop everything to see it! As much as I love her I thought dammit, now I have to go.

So we stocked up on candy and goldfish and I carried 2 sodas and a water in my purse and got in line an hour before the movie started.

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OMG, the people in that line were NUTTY to say the least. Apparently, there are a bunch of people out there, all weird as hell who thrive on these free movie contests. These three really odd, eccentric women started talking about hating pretty much anything mainstream out there and how they refuse to pay for HBO or Starz or anything like that. Mind you I am in the middle of them, my arm hurts from lugging all the smuggled sodas. Then my friend finally shows up and we are just stuck there listening to these people bitch about everything. At this point, I am over it I want to go home, but screw it my best buddy is here and we will make a night out of it.

We finally get in and the place is packed. It’s like a giant party of weirdos  and rejected Comic-Con people in there. But we are good we got our snacks and 10 dollar popcorn that I gave in and bought because it just smelled too good.

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Then my friend said that the whole theater smelled like a roller rink. Remember those? My young friends out there (Zoe, Natasha, Anna) probably don’t remember, but those places smelled like old socks and BO. I really wish she had not said that because that’s all I could focus on.

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The movie starts after a million previews as usual, and we cannot see the movie, it looks all fuzzy. I thought everyone was about to riot in there, people started going crazy. The movie is in 3-D and they forgot to give us glasses. So then they turn the lights back on, pass out glasses to every single person in the theater. Oh god! They turn the movie back on and we have to watch the previews again. At this point, this movie better be Oscar worthy, because it is a Monday and it is just too early in the week to deal with this crap.

On to the movie, Jupiter Ascending is the worst movie of 2015. It is only February, but I am sure it is the worst.

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The movie is about a girl named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), her Russian father named her that because he liked planets. The father is killed and I couldn’t tell you why these Russian people came in and shot him, and now the mother is left to raise her alone.

Her mother and her clean toilets for a living. Out in space there a bunch of people fighting for mother Earth. Those are the two sides of the stories, Jupiter who is on Earth and the people in space who want to utilize Earth for nefarious things.

This pretty dude Titus, his sister Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) and brother Balem (Eddie Redmayne) are all part of the Abrasax family. That pretty guy hires Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) to find the special person on Earth who is actually the mother of those space people re-incarnated. Uh huh sure, still with me. I am sure you guys can guess who it is.

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Caine is actually a half-man, half dog person and Jupiter tells him she really likes dogs, so yeah it’s a match made in heaven. He takes her to see Stinger (Sean Bean), he used to be a fighter in space and now he lives on Earth with his daughter, in a place filled with bees. The bees are attracted to Jupiter because it turns out she is really Queen Abrasax. When Caine and Stinger see this, they realize they need to save her because her space children actually want to kill her and take her throne.

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Turns out Balem, since he is the oldest should actually get throne next, but his brothers and sisters want it too.  Balem is a bad guy, I mean they all are, but he has a bunch of dragons slash dinosaur minions doing his dirty work. So when he sees Jupiter, who he believes is his mother, he wants to kill her because apparently a million years ago she tried to kill him. HUH? What the hell was going on, I still really don’t know. In fact, towards the end I was falling asleep and ready go to home and the 3-D glasses were giving me a headache.

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From there I don’t know what the hell happened. The whole movie was action sequences that were superfluous and pointless and nothing really made sense or tied together. The only thing I enjoyed was seeing this pretty, pretty man.

I know the Waschoiski duo who did the Matrix films did this, so you would think it would be halfway decent, but it just didn’t work. I think they were trying to hard to be cool like Guardians of the Galaxy. The graphics and 3-D component of the film were really well done though, so I will give them that kudos.

Everything in this movie reminded me of something else… in space.

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Family Guy’s Meg in space

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The logo on the barrels in Breaking Bad in space

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Ned Stark in Space

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The girl from Belle in space

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Stephen Hawking in space

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A girl who has hair like Lana Waschoiski in space

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Wannabe Queen Amidala in space

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When we were walking out we did get these Game of Thrones poster. That is now sitting on a box in my spare room and will be there probably for the next year because I have no idea what to do with it. Whatever you do, don’t waste your money or time on this weird movie.

 

Resolutions 2015: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Check out the movie I watched for Cara’s resolutions blogathon. I put off watching O Brother, Where Art Thou? for way too long and so glad I finally saw it.

Originally posted on Silver Screen Serenade:

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Well I started off this year’s Resolutions series on Monday with sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, so there’s one off the list for me! Now it’s time to see what some of you beautiful people chose! Today’s participant? The wonderful Miss Melissa from Snap Crackle Watch! Have you guys been to see Melissa’s site? She not only has a whole bunch of great movie and TV write-ups, but I have often proclaimed her the queen of gifs and pics because she finds the BEST STUFF. Always makes me gig

gle. 🙂 Anyway, let’s she what Melissa decided to check off her movie list!

}}Melissa

Genre Grandeur – Love Actually (2003) – Snap Crackle Watch

This is my first time participating in Rob’s Genre Grandeur series woo hoo! Here is my entry for the holiday movies theme.

Originally posted on Movierob:

Love Actually
Written and Directed by Richard Curtis

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This month Rob’s Genre Grandeaur series takes on holiday movies. I chose one that I love turning on during the holidays, it helps get me in the spirit and it is one of those films that is perfect to have playing in the background as I wrap presents. Now imagine that moment, Christmas movie playing in the background, beautiful tree all lit up, lights all over the house, stockings hung up, now do you feel the cheesiness oozing out of that moment? If so, then that is exactly how you will feel after watching Love Actually.

The film is directed and written by Richard Curtis, who also made the romantic comedies, Four Weddings and A Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill. This film falls perfectly in with his other ones; it’s as if the moment when Bridget Jones realized she always loved Marc Darcy, the guy who wears the corny Christmas sweater, was made into a movie.

Love Actually features many different characters that are all going through different phases of love in their life. Each story is interwoven on top of another and all the characters seem to connect in one way. The movie opens with aging rocker Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) who is recording a Christmas song and he can’t seem to get it right and he admits openly that he hates his new song. Being a famous person, he has come to realize has left him all alone.

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Daniel (Liam Neeson) is a recently widowed father left to take care of his son Sam (Thomas Sangster). He is friends with Karen (Emma Thompson) who is married to Harry (Alan Rickman). He has an assistant Sarah (Laura Linney) who is hopelessly in love with her co-worker (Karl Rodrigo Santoro). Another one of his co-workers has a thing for him and throws herself at him every opportunity she gets. Emma’s brother is the Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) who is secretly in love with Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), the woman who brings him tea and the office assistant. She bumbles and gets flustered at his presence and he secretly has a huge crush on her.

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Juliet (Keira Knightly) and Peter (Chiwetal Ejiofor) just got married and his best friend Mark (Andrew Lincoln) is secretly in love with her. The whole time she thought he didn’t like her, but he has been secretly pining for her. Yes, that is our beloved Rick Grimes looking all fresh faced, sweet and adorable.

One of the waiters at the wedding is a young guy who believes that if he moves to the US, then he will get lucky in love because all American chicks dig dudes with accents. This guy makes getting laid in England seem almost hopeless and I hope that is not the case for all our UK dudes out there.

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These main stories all intersect one another. Every story or vignette is also interspersed with Christmas or love songs, from Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” to “All You Need Is Love.” There is not a moment that goes by that a song is playing in the background, this only adds to make the movie more heartfelt and cheesy.

The film centers on many of the characters showing big acts of love, from first kisses in front of millions of people a la the Prime Minister to guys revealing giant note cards that say, “To me you are perfect” for the gal they admire the most. The film counts down the weeks till Christmas, slowly revealing various moments of love throughout the week.

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One of my favorite scenes is when Daniel and his little boy are watching Titanic, that momentous scene where Jack and Rose embrace on the ship playing in the background; he tells his son that there isn’t just one person for you out there. Not only was he giving him advice, in a sense it was a note to himself that he too could find love again.

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The movie has its downsides, some of the scenes feel superfluous and corny, but what can you truly expect from a Christmas movie. In order to show us so many of these characters and their stories, it’s hard to figure out what was the main narrative of the entire film. There were many other characters, Martin Freeman as the sex scene actor and Colin Firth as the writer, I did not even mention because they were pretty much pointless.  It’s almost as if the director wanted to show us so much and ran out of time. Had he cut out a few of the stories, it may have been a little more cohesive.

Love Actually was never considered an Oscar worthy film, nor did it garner any accolades, but it has stood the test of time and every year it is played during Christmas because it is a sweet story that doesn’t cut to deep and is fun to watch at the surface level. The running theme of finding and keeping love is something people can always relate to and never gets old. Tender moments are balanced out with funny scenes like the Prime Minister dancing around his house to “Jump for My Love.” Regardless for all its’ silliness it is a worthy movie to watch over the holidays and put you in the Christmas spirit.

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}}Melissa

Question of the Month at Oracle of the Film: Best Character of 2014

Another month is here and Luke has brought us a difficult question to ponder, who is the best character of 2014? I mean trying to pick an answer for that one seemed pretty hard especially from a group of movie lovers. I have to say that I am really jealous of Eric’s response! Luke also has an upcoming drunk quiz video and that should be the highlight of everyone’s holidays, so keep your eyes peeled for that one. Oh what a wonderful gift he will give us all. Cheers Luke!

Originally posted on Oracle of Film:

Who is the best character of 2014? It is a question that has been bandied around for decades (well, since 2014… halfway through 201… at the start of the month), and finally, maybe, we might just have some answers for you. Like all of the major challenges in my life, I ran running and screaming for the WordPress family to do my homework for me and got them to write you some answers. Hell, one of them might even be coherent. So, without further ado, let’s investigate the answers.

}}Melissa