What Makes A Good Movie

53Art is reflection of our society and life and movies are often regarded as modern expressions of art. They make us laugh and cry and we often love to quote them, they edify us enlighten us.

Every year numerous movies are made in the entertainment industries but all are not liked: some top the charts while others are kicked out of the box office. Some become the hot topic of discussion for the critics while others just escapes their notice, in short some get a thumps up while others a thumps down.

But how many of these, which get a positive feedback, are actually good movies? Well it is not that simple to answer, as it seems. The topic is very much subjective. What seems good to some may not be the same for the others. What appears enjoyable to a few others might be enjoyable for others. Then what exactly is a good movie? To generalize it, we can say that those movies, which are liked by the mass and not by some class category of people, could be considered as a good movie. But what are the traits that are needed for a movie to qualify as a good one. First of all a movie should provide good entertainment. They are of course others:

Touch our feelings: A movie should touch our heart and make us talk or think about it instead of just becoming a time pass. It should have the capacity to teach and inspire us and provoke us emotionally.

Educative: It should be able to let us know about something new. Nowadays movies are considered to be one of the most effective educational tools used to teach or educate people regarding certain issues. In short a good movie should have some educative value for the masses.

Mirror of the society: A good movie must also provide some elements of encouragement and inspire people towards successfully overcoming barriers. Movies are regarded as the mirror of life. Every story of a movie is more or less inspired by our life, by what happens around us.

But this is not all; there are some other factors also which contribute in making a movie, to be considered as good. Following are the points:

The Plot: This is the most important part of the movie. Without a good plot a movie fails to attract and retain the viewers in the theaters. Even if they were drawn to it initially for some reasons, people would loose interest sooner than later.

The Characters: The second most significant factor of any good movie is the characters of the story. Without them there would be no story and no plot. Characters should be such, that the audience likes them. Be it a positive character or negative one. They should have some qualities to which the people can relate.

Actors: We need good actors to make a good movie. Actors, who can justify the characters and make them, come alive in front of the audience. They must be able to portray the characters well so that people say that the characters are made keeping them in mind. They should blend themselves into the characters.

Script: Without dialogues movies look dead. Script is the life of movies so they should be very strong and appealing. They can even make people come and see the movie repeatedly.

Last but not the least, visual display of a movie with beautiful scenes and sceneries can also influence and draw people to the theaters.

Top 5 Movies for 2007

52Your heart is pumping, adrenaline flowing and you’ve got butterflies in the pit of your stomach. Although it’s pouring, you came prepared… umbrella and all. The doors open and you rush in with all of your friends following behind. Since you saw the very first commercial, you’ve anxiously awaited this moment…

2007 was the most anticipated year for movie releases with such movies like: Live Free or Die Hard, Knocked up,
Fantastic Four, Bourne Ultimatum, National Treasure and more. The five I’m about to talk about were the biggest box office hits and although the majority of them were sequels, these movies had the biggest gross for an opening weekend since the release of “Titanic” back in 1998.

According to critiques, these five movies were the best of 2007 because not only did they bring in the big bucks, the target audience for each movie had such a broad age range, but were the best family movies of 2007 also. Believe it or not those aren’t the only reasons these movies did so great at theatres, the market was and is still ripe. These fantastic five leave us wanting more; they leave us asking what’s next?

Even though Transformers wasn’t a sequel (Yet) the movie stood alone unbelievably well at the theatre, why you ask? Think about it, these alien robots have been around for over sixty years. What made Transformers so widely revered was the awesome debut of the new Chevy Camaro known as “Bumble Bee” in the movie, there’s no question why the movie was such a hit; I personally can’t wait for the second, which is said to be released around June of 2008.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Worlds End, had us all one the edge of our seats throughout the entire movie, but especially at the end when Orlando Bloom showed some skin. Young girls couldn’t take their eyes of him, but of course he’s not the only hunk young girls are keeping their eyes on; even my four year old says she’s going to marry this next big hero.

You guessed it, Peter Parker or Spiderman as we all know and love him. With three new villains and shocking knock down drag out at the end, Spiderman fans definitely didn’t leave theatres mopping. Even the villains are exciting and as you’ll see in the movie, Peter finally gets the truth about what happened to dear old Uncle Ben. But Mary Jane is left playing the jealous girlfriend as Spidey shares “Their” kiss.

As if those movies didn’t already have fans in high hopes, the friendly ogre and company made going to see “Shrek the Third” a wonderful family outing. Kids and adults watched as Shrek overcame his fear of becoming a daddy and his short lived reign as king unfold with plenty of laughter and excitement. On Shrek’s journey to find a replacement king for Far Far Away, we all watched in awe as the new character, Arthur embarked upon a magical and thrilling ride to outsmart Prince Charming.

You didn’t think I was done yet, did you? No there’s one last movie that made big news in headlines and at the box office. Recently with the news of one said headmaster being gay and the release of the seventh and last book in the series, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, made a loud magical ride into theatres this summer. Oh and what a ride it was as new characters and creatures were introduced. But that’s not all, not even close. Harry is nearly expelled from Hogwarts for using magic outside of Hogwarts and Dumbledore becomes a fugitive, while Harry’s left teaching students secretly how to defend themselves against the Dark Lord. The ending though, that’s the high point of the movie as Harry learns of a prophecy. I only wonder what that mom who was trying so fervently to get the Harry Potter books removed from school libraries has to say now.

Looking to the future, more sequels are in the line to stampede into theatres, but as we wait for those, remember the ride isn’t over just yet. Faithful fans are still trying to collect the DVD’s to add to the sets of these precious movies and just when you think the movie craze is over, don’t fool yourself… it’s just beginning.

Top 10 Doris Day Movies

51Born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1922, Doris Day aspired to be a professional dancer but a car accident forced her to reassess her career as she spent part of her teenage years in a wheel chair recovering. Taking to singing on radio instead it wasn’t until 1948 that Doris made her first movie as Miss Georgia Garrett in “It’s Magic” (originally known as “Romance on the High Seas”). And so her movie career began which would span 20 years and 39 movies before she left the big screen and went to the small screen with her TV show “The Doris Day Show” which ran from 1968 – 1973.

Often regarded as the “eternal virgin” thanks mainly to a series of movies where the subject of sex was taboo, Day was in fact a very accomplished actress capable of delivering comedy, romance as well as heavy drama and of course was able to sing and dance as well. A seriously well rounded star who was top box-office star for 1963 and is often regarded as the ‘all-time’ top female box office star.

During her career she starred opposite some of Hollywood’s major stars such as Gordon MacRae, David Niven, Clark Gable, Kirk Douglas, James Stewart, Gig Young, Howard Keel, James Garner, Jack Lemmon and of course Rock Husdon whose trio of movies that they made together are some of her most popular.

Whilst it’s fair to say that some of Doris Day’s movies were remarkably similar with a recurring theme of being either a career minded young woman or duped by a man they worked well and made for some marvelous movies made memorable usually by at least one musical scene showcasing Day’s wonderful singing voice.

From out of her 39 movies it is actually quite difficult to narrow it down to just 10 but here is my personal choice for the “Top 10 Doris Day Movies”.

#10 Teacher’s Pet (1958)

The first movie to see what would become a very familiar storyline as Doris Day plays a career minded woman duped by a man pretending to be someone else. Here we watch Doris Day play Erica Stone a lecturer in journalism who ends up being duped by James Gannon (Clark Gable) a bit city newspaper editor who initially wants to give Stone a piece of his mind but ends up falling for her. The trouble is he pretends to be someone else when they meet and you know it will cause problem when his true identity is revealed.

Although “Teacher’s Pet” would be the first of these romantic-comedies which featured very similar storylines it was noticeable for the fact that Doris Day played things straight, whilst still delivering that charming and lovable performance which would fill many of these romantic comedies. Instead we had Clark Gable delivering the comedy as James Gannon with a wonderful array of face pulling with makes “Teacher’s Pet” a hugely enjoyable movie.

#9 Young Man With a Horn (1950)

In all fairness “Young Man With a Horn” or “Young Man of Music” as it is also known is not really a Doris Day movie rather than a Kirk Douglas movie with Doris Day in a supporting role. But the story of Rick Martin (Kirk Douglas) who learns to play the trumpet from legendary musician Art Hazzard and goes on to become a troubled star musician is a brilliant movie full of drama, emotion and music as well as a little comedy.

It is a brilliant performance from Kirk Douglas in the lead role but Doris Day is equally as good even in the lesser role of songstress Jo Jordan who ends up becoming a close friend to Rick. Although she only gets to sing 4 songs in the movie each one is beautiful done and in between each of these songs Day shows what a talented actress she is, so natural in every scene.

#8 It Happened to Jane (1959)

In the same year that Doris Day would make her first movie with Rock Hudson she also made another romantic comedy, this time with Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacs. In “It Happened to Jane” Doris plays Jane Osgood a career minded mother who breeds and sells lobsters who finds herself taking on the might of Harry Foster Malone (Ernie Kovacs) the owner of a train line which cost her a lot of money in dead lobsters. With the help of her best friend, lawyer George Denham (Jack Lemmon) she battles Malone in anyway she can but despite her troubles things may turn out alright in more sense than one.

With the exception of “Teacher’s Pet” prior to “It Happened to Jane” the majority of Doris Day’s romantic movies had largely been largely musicals. But here we had Day showing her ability in a more straight forward romantic comedy with barely a musical scene in sight, except for one heavily manufactured one featuring “Be Prepared”. What makes this movie feature in my “Top 10 Doris Day Movies” is the combination of Doris Day and Jack Lemmon who between them light up the screen with a perfect amount of comedy.

#7 The Thrill of It All (1963)

“The Thrill of It All” would be the first of Doris Day and James Garner’s 2 movies together and see once more Doris Day taking on a familiar role of a house wife and mother. During a dinner party Beverly Boyer (Doris Day), wife of obstetrician Gerald (James Garner), regales the hosts with a tale about how she used ‘Happy Soap’ to wash her children’s hair, as it happens her hosts are the owners of ‘Happy Soap’. Before she knows it Beverly is the new face of ‘Happy Soap’ making adverts, appearing on bill boards and being wined and dined at big socials. All of which ends up annoying Gerald who barely sees his wife causing a rift in their happy marriage.

Although their second movie together, “Move Over, Darling” would end up a bigger box-office success I prefer “The Thrill of It All” out of Doris Day and James Garner’s 2 movies together. It’s for the most rather routine with Doris Day playing that beautiful and slightly kooky house wife to James Garner’s tall dark and handsome husband but it’s full of memorable, funny scenes. The fake posing for the billboard and the swimming pool full of suds are two of just many innocently amusing moments in a movie full of them.

#6 On Moonlight Bay (1951)

In her 20 year movie career and despite making several movies which used the same sort of storyline Doris Day only made one sequel which was “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”. The predecessor to it was the beautifully titled “On Moonlight Bay” which saw Day take on the role of Marjie Winfield a tomboy who falls for Bill Sherman (Gordon MacRae). The trouble is that Bill has some unorthodox views on relationships and marriage and also on a few other things which end up annoying Marjie’s father George.

Although “On Moonlight Bay” has a storyline, in fact it has a few storylines it is very much a musical with numerous musical moments featuring either the wonderful Doris Day or the equally wonderful Gordon MacRae and often together. But it is the way everything comes together to make a thoroughly pleasant and charming movie, completely innocent and a lot of fun.

#5 The Pajama Game (1957)

This would be the last of Doris Day’s movies which were firstly musical and drama second but it is surprisingly good fun. Set in the Sleeptite Pajama Factory Doris plays Babe Williams a union rep who finds herself coming up against new superintendent Sid Sorokin (John Raitt) who falls head over heels for her, except business and pleasure start to make things rather messy especially as Babe’s fellow workers want a rise.

“The Pajama Game” has it roots as a Broadway musical and what makes the screen version work is that it feels like you are watching a stage musical. With many of the Broadway cast reprising their roles for the movie and with a vibrant styling which really brings it to life it is a very entertaining movie. And of course it features Doris Day at her feisty best as she plays up against John Raitt whilst delivering plenty of cheerful musical numbers.

#4 Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

During her career Doris Day performed in a few movies which were based or inspired by real people, in “Love Me or Leave Me” she stars as Ruth Etting in a fictionalized account of the jazz singer’s life. Having been spotted by Chicago hood Marty Snyder (James Cagney) Ruth goes from a wannabee singer to a major star, but with Snyder controlling her life the public image Ruth presented was vastly different to her unhappy private one.

What makes Doris Day’s performance in “Love Me or Leave Me” so brilliant comes in hindsight of information that Doris Day revealed in her autobiography. Day herself suffered an unhappy marriage to Martin Melcher who basically controlled her life and much of which almost mirrors what you watch in “Love Me or Leave Me”. As such there is a real sense of pain and emotion in many of the scenes in the movie where Snyder inflicts his rage and control over Ruth. Plus of course being a movie about a singer means we get plenty of brilliant musical moments including renditions of “Ten Cents a Dance” and “I’ll Never Stop Loving You”.

#3 By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953)

As already mentioned “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” is the equally beautifully titled sequel to “On Moonlight Bay” and follows a very similar storyline with Marjie Winfield still having relationship issues with Bill who having agreed to marry her before heading off to war returns not quite ready to walk down the aisle. And that’s not the only problem as other member’s of the Winfield household are having a few issues.

To many “By the Light of the Silvery Moon” is inferior to “on Moonlight Bay” and basically just rehashes the whole storyline, which in all fairness it does. But to me it has a lot more charm especially with the wintry setting and memorable ending on the frozen pond with a wonderful family sing-a-long. It also helps that Day is at her cutest best as Marjie easy on the eyes and easy to fall in love with.

#2 Pillow Talk (1959)

It may come as a surprise to some but Doris Day and Rock Hudson only made 3 movie together, although it often feels like more because Day made several similar movies all of with quite similar handsome stars. Their first movie together was “Pillow Talk” with saw Day playing Jan Morrow who shares a party phone line with Brad Allen (Rock Hudson) much to her annoyance as he hogs the line with calls to and from various women. But when Allen finds himself in the company of Morrow he has a bit of fun pretending to be an out of town Texan called Rex Stetson, except what started as a bit of fun turns into more when they genuinely fall for each other.

As already mentioned Doris Day made several similar movies and here again we see her being duped by a man pretending to be someone else. It is the best version of this type of storyline thanks to the amazing chemistry between Doris Day and Rock Hudson making it extremely funny and quite romantic, which in an ironic way is quite funny thanks to certain revelations about both of the stars. And despite the concept of Day being duped by another man had already been done it is the one most people remember with Day delivering her kooky, face pulling comedy to the max whilst Hudson charms his way through every scene.

#1 Calamity Jane (1953)

And finally my number 1 Doris Day movie in my list of “Top 10 Doris Day Movies” and it has to be the award winning “Calamity Jane”. In “Calamity Jane” Doris Day stars as Jane a feisty Indian tracker in the town of Deadwood who likes to boast a little too much. When the owner of the local saloon is desperate to get someone to perform, Jane boasts she can bring back acclaimed stage performer Adelaid Adams from Chicago to perform on their small stage. But having headed off to Chicago Jane mistakes Adelaid’s maid Kate for the big star and returns with her instead. Well it all comes out that Jane didn’t bring back Adelaid but her and Kate become friends leaving to a bit of unexpected rivalry in the romantic department.

From the opening scene with the lively “The Deadwood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away)” right through to the credits “Calamity Jane” is an out and out classic musical full of big musical song and dance numbers which makes the storyline almost unimportant despite not being that bad. But why “Calamity Jane” is my number 1 movie is because it showcases everyone of Doris Day’s wonderful talents from dancing, singing, comedy as well as a touch of drama and alongside solid performances from Howard Keel, Allyn Ann McLerie and Philip Carey there is not a single dull moment in it’s entire length.

The Best Boxing Movies – Ever!

50If you are a big boxing fan, as well as watching fights on a Friday night and getting the pay-per-view championship boxing matches, you will also be getting yourself along to the theater, to line up with everyone to catch the latest boxing movies. Its been quite a few years since a fantastic boxing film has come along, and since it’s been sometime since we’ve witnessed a really good boxing film that made us root for an underdog or a boxing hero let’s look back at some great boxing films of the past.

Rocky
1976 was the year we saw young Rocky Balboa, who came from downtown Philadelphia, with ambitions of improving his life, and changing it for the better, and set his sights on fighting the current heavy weight champ – Apollo Creed, the match was already set up for Apollo Creed to win due to a publicity stunt. Playing “Rocky” was Sylvester Stallone, Apollo Creed was played by Carl Weathers, Talia Shire was Adrianne, Burgess Meredith played “Mickey” and Burt Young played “Paulie”, Rocky is the tale of a real underdog that rises up from a low situation to triumph,the movie was directed by the Oscar winner, John G. Avildsen.

Rocky 2 was the sequel to “Rocky”, where rocky fights against Apollo Creed for the second time, in what is named “the rematch of the century” In the 3rd Rocky film,(Rocky 3) rocky is pitted up against Clubber Lang and loses the match. Wanting to win back his lost title as champ and gain respect and admiration again, rocky starts training with his past foe “Apollo Creed” played by Carl Weathers. Hot on the heels of that was Rocky 1V, where rocky is set up against “Ivan Drago” played by Dolph Lundgren. In 1990 the fifth rocky was brought out and in 2006 the final Rocky film was brought out “Rocky Balboa”

Cinderella Man (2005)
This film was set during the Northern American great depression, and is set in the time period of the 1930s. Starring Russell Crowe, “Cinderella man” is a story about a man who loses everything, after being in the position of success due to his boxing abilities, and the character “James Braddock” becomes trapped in failure and poverty. The only thing he still has remaining is his family, his wife and kids, his kids being his 3 biggest fans. Rennee Zellweger plays his wife “Mae Braddock” who sticks with her husband regardless of the fact they cannot afford the necessities such as heating and other daily basic needs. Braddocks former boxing coach “Joe Gould” shows up and offers him another opportunity to give boxing another go, and Braddock becomes an icon of hope to the ordinary average people who feel ruined and devastated in there country.

Ali
This biographical film, as the name points out, is about Mohamed Ali the famous boxing icon, known throughout the world. Set between the years 1964 and 1974, scenes of Ali winning the heavy weight title against Sonny Liston are seen. Also featured in the film are Ali’s conversion to Islam, his views that are against the war in Vietnam, the time when he is expelled from boxing, his fight against Joe Frazer, when he makes his return to boxing, and then the legendary “rumble in the jungle” a match where Ali is pitted against George Foreman that took place on October 30, 1974.

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
This film scooped up 4 Academy awards, one for best picture, Hilary Swank picked up best actress, best supporting actor went to (Morgan Freeman) and best director was picked up by Clint Eastwood. The story focuses on a working class 31 year old waitress, “Maggie Fitzgerald) played by Hilary Swank, who lives in and was raised by a very poor family that is highly dysfunctional, and Maggie hopes to rise out of her lowly state by becoming a professional boxer. Through a bit of persuasion she wins over boxer trainer,Frankie Dunn, and convinces him to manage and train her. Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, a character played by Morgan Freeman, is an ex partner of Dunns, starts to see that Maggie holds a lot of possibilities. Applying herself with a lot of dedication and discipline, Maggie starts turning into one of the greatest female boxes in her class.

Other famous boxing films are,When We Were Kings and Requiem for a Heavyweight, Diggstown, City for conquest, and The Hurricane (starring Denzel Washington).

10 Hollywood Remakes in Bollywood

49Introduction

The earlier films in the Bollywood had stories in the Indian context. Those films had the rustic appeal. Many such films are still remembered by old and new alike. Later, the filmmaking in the Hindi movie industry underwent a paradigm shift. Impressed by the work of foreign filmmakers, many directors in the Bollywood resorted to film remakes. Some of them became super-duper hits while some others bombed at the Box Office. People were able to link with some of these movies. On the other hand, the worst performed films could not be identified in Indian conditions. This is what makes the remakes a risky affair. Another issue that crops up is copyright violation.

Hollywood Remakes

The Hollywood remake in other languages is a risky affair as some may not sync well in the Indian context. While this is the case, there have been some reports of copyrights dispute in some cases. Hence, the filmmakers who don’t want to do extra work to cook up new stories need to take precaution about these things before venturing into the making of such films. Some of these remake flicks have high-budget animation stuff to appeal to the audience while others have eye-popping action sequences. These features glue the youngsters to the seat. In this article, we would be looking at the Bollywood remakes of Hollywood films that have appealed to the Indian audience.

1. Chamatkar: Made in the year 1992, this film was the remake of Blackbeard’s Ghost 1968.
2. Tezaab: This movie was the remake of the English movie Streets of Fire in 1984.
3. Agneepath: This 1990 film was a remake of the 1983 Hollywood film 1983.
4. Ghajani: It was the remake of another Hollywood film Memento.
5. Ek Ladka Ek Ladki: This 1992 flick was the remake of 1987 Hollywood film Overboard.

6. Baazigar: Made in 1991, this film was remake of the 1983 Hollywood movie A Kiss Before Dying.
7. Khal-Naaikaa: This 1993 movie was a remake of 1992 Hollywood film ‘The Hand that Rocks the Cradle’.
8. Yeh Dillagi: This 1994 Hindi film is a remake of Hollywood movie Sabrina made in 1954.
9. Main Khiladi Tu Anari: Made in 1994, the movie was a remake of Hollywood flick The Hard Way released in 1991.
10. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar: This blockbuster movie came in 1992. As expected, this flick was the remake of the Hollywood film Breaking Away released in 1979.