All You Need is Love… and a Good Movie.

love-romantic-gift-presentAhhhh love. It’s beautiful. It’s life affirming. It’s… a soul crushing, tortorous process by which many of us will ultimately die- alone and broken.
Okay, perhaps that is a tiny bit over the top, but it’s safe to say that while some people are more of the hearts and flowers type, some have simply become so jaded, or have been so hurt by love, that they have forgotten all of the beauty and magic that love provides. Love is the emotion that has spawned a million songs, books, movies and cliche’s. Without love some would argue, we are less capable of experiencing the highs and lows of life. Without love in our hearts, our successes and victories don’t seem quite as sweet, and our failures seem to hurt a little more and last a little longer. So yes, there are those who scoff at the notion of love, at the idea of soulmates or “the one”, of love in all things, unconditional love, or a love that lasts a lifetime. For those who are open to it though, love is there. It takes many forms, and arrives in many packages, but it is all around us all of the time. And since Valentine’s Day is this weekend, and the stores are filled with boxes of chocolates, and the shelves are lined with cards and gifts, our thoughts are on love this week.

Love exists perhaps at its best in movies, in sonnet and in song. Stories of love that make you laugh or make you cry. Words of love guaranteed to melt even the iciest hearts. After reading a lot, thinking a lot, scouring the internet, and talking to the loveliest love lovers that I know, we came up with a list. We’re good at lists. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here are some of the best movies about love that we could assemble. Now we know best lists are subjective, and the pool to choose from is vast, so if we missed your favorite, tell us in the comments. Some people like a tearjerker, some an uplifting story of how love conquers all. These lists have a little of each, and span every era, but trust us, they are all about love. So whether you plan to curl up with the one you love, or alone with Netflix, we’ve got you covered. And trust us on this too, if it is written by or in any way involves Nicholas Sparks, pack your tissues… what is it with that guy?
Now get out there and spread a little love…. and we won’t even be mad if you take our list and use it to spread the love around. As a matter of fact, we’d love it!

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The Loviest Love Movies
On the Waterfront (1954)
Casablanca (1942)
It Happened One Night (1934)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Annie Hall (1977)
Singing in the Rain (1952)
An American in Paris (1951)
Before Sunrise (1995)
Before Sunset (2004)
The Princess Bride (1987)
Say Anything… (1989)
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Beauty and the Beast (2012)
Moonstruck (1987)
When Harry Met Sally (1989)
Love Actually (2003)
Love Story (1970)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
Big Fish (2003)
A Walk to Remember (2002)
Legends of the Fall (1994)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) -don’t shoot the messenger!
The Notebook (2004)
The Proposal (2009)
The Vow (2012)
The Wedding Singer (1998)
50 First Dates (2004)
Never Been Kissed (1999)
Serendipity (2001)
Harold and Maude (1971)
Beauty & the Beast (*)
A Fault in our Stars (2014)
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Romeo & Juliet (*)
And despite garnering several votes, on principal I banned both Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey from the list. Sorry man.
*multiple versions

Go forth and love!

Sunday Spotlight…Recent Grads Host Local Premiere of Short Film

Today, we’re talking with Lou Farina, a recent high school graduate from MaST Community Charter School. He recently made a short film with some other recent graduates. Check it out!

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You recently made a short film, correct? Who did you make the movie with?
“Yes, I recently made a film called “Ben”. The people who were involved were my friends: Patrick Miller, Quinn McGarrigle, Emily and Sherri.”

What’s it about?
“”Ben” is about a troubled young man who loses his mind after his parents die, and how his mental health deteriorated from that point on. He starts to kill everyone around him, in classic horror cinema fashion. One warning: the movie is rated R. The characters are a bit off the wall and curse a little bit. There isn’t really anything too graphic, just fake punches and fake blood.”

How long is the film?
“A very random length. 41 minutes.”

What inspired you to make this movie?
“Well, this movie wasn’t really my idea. It’s been in the works since 2011. Patrick and Quinn have been working on the script since then, but never made it. Quinn reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to help, and I just said yes. I love film and video so it was a no brainer for me.”

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Have you always been interested in film making?
“It’s something I always wanted to do since I was a little kid, but I was always to scared to try. I spent the first 3 years of high school not really doing anything. It was really not a good point in my life. In my senior year, I finally decided to try something that I always wanted to do, and it just happened to be my life’s passion.”

What changed to make you go forward?
“I was sick of not doing anything productive with my time. I realized that I was gonna regret not trying, somewhere down the line, and I didn’t want that to happen. One day I just stopped worrying about what people would think or say about it and just started making videos.”

That’s a great thing to decide on so young. Do you mind sharing your age with us?
“Thank you! Not at all, I’m 18.”

So how and where did this movie get made? Did you need funding, etc?
“Well, we planned out everything by each scene of the movie. It was mainly centered around the director’s (Patrick) house. For the other locations, we basically just went around northeast Philadelphia and tried to do a scene wherever we could. We didn’t plan enough, which made things very hard. This whole film was a huge learning experience. We needed some funding, mainly for food and props. We basically just put our money together when we could. I already had a DSLR (camera), so we used the audio equipment from my high school.”

Will people be able to see this movie?
“Yes, we are going to be screening it in August. Then it will be on YouTube. It (the premiere) will be at 1526 Packer Avenue. It’s at a restaurant/bar that is going to be closed and only open for the movie premiere. It’s on August 27th at 8:00 PM. There will be more entertainment on that night, including standup, “Ben”, “Ben” bloopers, a Q&A and another movie that we recently finished.”

A preview of where the premiere will be shown.
A preview of where the premiere will be shown.

Wow! Another movie? That’s exciting! Care to share any details about that or is it a surprise for the premiere?
“It is supposed to be a surprise. I can share a couple of things though. It is made a lot better than “Ben”. We learned from every single mistake we made, and improved on it. “Ben” was Pat and my first project, so it was riddled with bumps in the road.”

What’s next for you?
“Well, I recently started a video/photography production company. We make corporate, music, event and documentary videos. I will also continue making films, but as a hobby.”

No hopes or dreams to pursue a movie making career?
“No, I don’t want to go into as a career path. Pat and I are just going to make them for fun, and put them into film festivals and have screenings.”

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Interesting. What if some famous Hollywood director really loves one of your films and asks you to do something? Would that change anything?
“If a famous director reached out to me I would be blown away. That would definitely change something. I think I’d reconsider.”

Where can people learn more about your movies, premier and production company?
“This my production company’s Facebook page and website: https://www.facebook.com/revolutionaryproductionsinc http://www.revolutionaryproductionsinc.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbucnJC1mSAtMP9C9gsFw2g
For all of my films you can see them here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNn6OXe4OlwLhlor8__PAvg”

What would you tell the powers that be when they say that arts in schools aren’t critical?
“I would tell them that the arts in schools are just as important as anything else that is taught. Students need to be encouraged to express themselves creatively. Art has impacted my life in so many ways, and I would have no career path, hobby or productive life without it. It is one of the things that has made me happy, and I believe that art can do that for anybody.”

We couldn’t agree more!

At the Movies…Poll Results

1. Where is your favorite place to see a movie?
45% said at home
33% said in a theater
11% said drive in theater
11% chose “other”
Comments from those that chose “other”
“its about how i saw movies when i was a little boy”

Please help us understand why you selected your answer

“movies were made for the big screen. iMax is OK, but 3D is way overrated.”

“Best snacks. Big ass TV”

“Too bad there are not more Drive-in theaters”

“People annoy me when they talk or look at their phones. If I do go to the theater, it’s only after the movie has been playing for a few weeks to weed out the crowd. I also tend to pick a theater that busses don’t stop near to avoid people that aren’t from the area.”

“More comfortable.” (We assume this was a comment on movies at home.)

2. What is your favorite genre of film?
50% said comedy
25% chose “other”
12.5% said romantic comedy
12.5% said science fiction
Comments from those that chose “other”:
2 commented “action”

Please help us understand why you selected this answer:
“The Marvel movies are awesome. Movies can be made to express a point of view or to open our eyes to a cause that needs attention, but when I really think of what I am looking for most of the time with a movie, it’s to escape and action movies give that to me.”

“Because I’m a nerd on the inside”

3. What is your favorite movie of all time?
“Godfather”

“The Empire Strikes Back”

“One Flew over the cuckoos nest”

“Hunt for Red October”

“Texas chainsaw massacre”

“Sound of Music”

4. What is the most memorable movie line of all time, to you?
“Rocky V. Motivational speech of Rocky to his son. “Nothing hits harder than life….” That whole scene. Rocky has the best motivational lines.”

“may The Force be with you…. (and also with you… :)”

“as you wish”

“Adriaaaaaaannnnnnnn”

“Boats and hoes”

“If you build it, he will come.”

Shake Your Moneymaker: Top 30 Highest Grossing Movies at the Box Office.

The saying goes that there’s no accounting for taste. So begins the daunting task of the filmmaker. What one may think is brilliant cinema, another may think is pure nonsense. And so the filmmaker follows what they are taught, about editing and production and capturing a story. Then they can only hope that people will be receptive.

Some people enjoy the sentimentality of a good love story. While others are moved by the twists and turns of a dramatic thriller. Movies can be very subjective. What’s a huge smash in 1995 might well be a box office bust in 2015. Here are the top 30 highest worldwide grossing films of all time, with their year of release and worldwide box office gross. It should be noted that these have not been adjusted for inflation and that by most accounts, given those adjustments, 1939’s Gone With the Wind, would actually garner the top spot.

Is your favorite on the list? Any you’re shocked to see? Any you thought would appear but do not?

1 2009 Avatar $2,783,918,982
2 1997 Titanic $2,207,615,668
3 2012 The Avengers $1,519,479,547
4 2015 Jurassic World $1,513,620,315
5 2015 Furious 7 $1,511,032,910
6 2015 The Avengers: Age of Ultron $1,393,498,418
7 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II $1,341,511,219
8 2013 Frozen $1,274,234,980
9 2013 Iron Man 3 $1,215,392,272
10 2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $1,141,408,667
11 2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1,123,790,543
12 2012 Skyfall $1,110,526,981
13 2014 Transformers: Age of Extinction $1,104,039,076
14 2012 The Dark Knight Rises $1,084,439,099
15 2010 Toy Story 3 $1,069,818,229
16 2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $1,066,215,812
17 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $1,045,663,875
18 1993 Jurassic Park $1,038,812,584
19 1999 Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace $1,027,044,677
20 2010 Alice in Wonderland $1,025,491,110
21 2012 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $1,017,003,568
22 2008 The Dark Knight $1,002,891,358
23 1994 The Lion King $987,480,140
24 2013 Despicable Me 2 $974,758,842
25 2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone $974,755,371
26 2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $963,420,425
27 2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $960,366,855
28 2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I $959,301,070
29 2014 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $955,119,788
30 2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $942,943,935

At the Movies…A True Fan of Film

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When did your love of movies begin?
“I’ve been a fan of movies as far back as I can remember. My father was a huge fan of movies as well, which is why I got hooked. When I was a kid, we went to the movies all the time. Sometimes 2 to 3 times a week.”

What type of movies are your favorite to see?
“That’s a tough one because I really love all types of movies. However, if I truly have to pick one genre, I choose Sci-fi/Fantasy then horror.”

What do you love most about those types of movies?
“What I love most about movies is that while you’re watching it, and even long after it’s over, you can imagine yourself as part of it. Maybe as one of the characters or just as yourself being there in that story, time, world or situation. That is why I especially like the Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies. They can take you to all kinds of unimaginable places and/or allow you to do extraordinary things. Have adventures & meet people you may not ordinarily meet. With horror movies, I just love the scare factor. Although I love gory/graphic horror too. Given the choice, I prefer a straight up, scare the crap out of you movie over blood and guts. If I can get a blend of both, that’s great too. What I like best, no matter what genre of film I’m watching, I like to be able to identify with the characters. A good movie should pull you in completely from beginning to end and stay with you long after it’s over.”

His love of movies is evidenced in his home.
His love of movies is evidenced in his home.

You’ve actually gone to conventions because of your love of movies/horror, correct?
“Yes. My first one was around 1995 I believe. I started going again almost 10 years ago. I try to go at least once a year now. We started bringing my daughter about 3 years ago. We all love horror n Sci-fi. I’ve met some really cool stars from the movies.”

So many movies seem to get recycled nowadays. Do you think people have run out of original ideas?
“For the most part, yes. However, with all the movies that have been made over the past 100+ years it’s difficult to make something original. Even when Hollywood tries to make something original, it’s often either compared to or accused of copying another movie. Remakes are ok as long as they’re done right. You gotta add something to it. Not just recycle the same exact thing.”

What would you say, is the best movie of all time? And while you’re at it, the best actor/actress of all time?
“Wow, that’s really tough. There’s so many movies & actors/actresses to choose from. Well, the one I’m going to go with is E.T. I love that movie. I saw it at least 10 times, just in the theater alone. At the Leo Mall actually. Now, I may say a different movie if you were to ask me again in the future, because there’s so many, but this is definitely tops on my list. Actors and actresses are tough too. I’d say Robert DeNiro and Jack Nicholson. Mainly for the cool factor. I would also say Johnny Depp. I believe he’s a very good and versatile actor. He’s made a lot of really good movies. Sorry I couldn’t narrow it down more. It’s just there’s so many choices. It’s a little easier to narrow it down by genre.”

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It is tough to choose. Wrapping up, what are your final thoughts about the art and importance of movies?
“There was this one time at band camp… I guess I would just like to say that I love watching movies. It’s a great form of entertainment. It has helped shape my personality and who I am. I reference movie lines all the time in my life. As do most other people. It’s a common interest we all share. They help create shared memories with friends and family in so many ways, on so many levels. Many things we use today and will use tomorrow are ideas formed from movies of the past, if you stop and think about it. Movies have helped form our society in so many ways, it’s crazy. I’m a movie geek and proud of it. Asta la vista baby…”

At the Movies…A Poll

Movies & Summertime. Our Picks for This Season’s Best Outdoor Movie Screenings.

Who doesn’t love a good movie? A nail-biting drama? A tear-jerker love story? Perhaps a riotous comedy? Movies might just be America’s other great pastime. Our love affair with movies goes all the way back to the turn of the century when silent movies with film stars like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton gave people something that they never imagined before. Making movies as a form of pure entertainment eventually evolved to an art form, and eventually a cultural phenomenon.

movie1The first movie with sound and synchronized dialogue, 1927’s The Jazz Singer starring Al Jolson, told the musical story of a famous jazz singer who began as a young Jewish boy who defies the traditions of his cantor father and devout Jewish family. Since the days of Al Jolson, and the first days of the “talkies”, our movie passion has seen a steady incline. Though peaks and valleys in popularity have been a natural occurrence through the years, movies have continued to permeate every aspect of our culture. We take our kids to the movies to entertain them. We take our love interests there on first dates. The movies are often one of the first places we are allowed to go independently, without our parents or some other chaperone. We have elaborate parties and office pools that revolve around movie award’s programs. And we, as a society, are obsessed with movie stars and the celebrity lifestyle. So it’s easy to see how we can devote a whole week to movies, moviegoers, and our love of things that are movie related.

Perhaps though, you don’t think of movie going as a summer activity? If you think heading out to catch the latest action flick or the newest scary story to hit the big screen is more of a rainy day or cold weather activity, think again. There’s nothing like a beautiful starry summer night. So, what could be better than enjoying the latest blockbuster or an old family favorite under the summer sky with a comfy blanket, a cool beverage, and a friend… or a few. If you’ve never heard of events like Screenings Under the Stars, then you will definitely want to read on and check out our top selections for summer screenings in and around the Philly area! There’s something for everyone, from family films to more eclectic selections.
And if you’re familiar with other summer outdoor movie events, please feel free to share them with us here or on our Facebook page.
One frequent outdoor movie goer and One Unified reader had this to say, “It’s great because it’s something fun you domovie 2 with your whole family. It gets the kids outside and off of the electronics, and almost all of the events that we go to are totally free. Some even have complimentary beverages and snacks.” And another offered this, “It’s a good place to take a date. It’s a relaxed atmosphere, outside under the stars, and it’s free so if you’re too busy talking to watch, you don’t lose out. Plus, it saves the cash that you can use for dinner or drinks afterwards.”

Many events do have food and beverages available for purchase on site. Be prepared with your own beverages and food or check each events website prior to going for information on any available selections. Don’t forget to bring a blanket or lawn chair to all events.

Screenings Under The Stars. Summer Movie Series at Penn’s Landing.
When: Every Thursday in July and August at dusk.
Where: On the big screen at The Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.
Cost: Free
July 23: Back to the Future
July 30: Home
August 6: Annie
August 13: Lego Movie
August 20: Cinderella
August 27: Guardians of the Galaxy

Fringe Arts Outdoor Movie Series 
When: Every Wednesday beginning at 8:30 until August 26th.
Where: Fringe Arts (Beer Garden) Columbus Blvd (At Race street).
Cost: Free
July 22: Pulp Fiction
July 29: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samaurai
August 5: The Big Lebowski
August 12: Jaws
August 19: The Birds
August 26: Dirty Dancing

The Awesome Fest’s Movie Screening in the Park
When: Friday nights at 9 until August 14.
Where: Liberty Lands Park 926 N. American St. (Northern Liberties)
Cost: Free
July 17: Catch Me Daddy
July 24: Body
July 31: Uncle Kent
August 7: Sun Choke
August 14: Dethgasm

Franklin Square Saturday Night at the Movies (Kids movie screenings)
When: 3 Saturday nights this summer. 7-11 p.m.
Where: Franklin Square
Cost: Movie is Free. Carousel and mini golf available for additional cost.
•July’s movie had already taken place at less time.
August 15: Dolphin Tale
September 5: Ghostbusters

The Clark Park Movie Series
When: Friday nights from August 21st through September 18th at dusk.
Where: Clark Park 4398 Chester Ave. University City
Cost: Free
August 21: The Incredibles
August 28: Casablanca
September 4: Little Shop of Horrors
September 11: Selma
September 18: Best In Show *Pets welcome for the pet parade preceding the movie*

Collingswood Summer Movie Nights
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer long at dusk.
Where: Knight Park, Browning Rd. and Collings Ave.
Cost: Free
Tuesday Nights:
July 21: Big Hero 6
July 28: The Lego Movie
Thursday Nights:
July 23: Hachi
July 30: Field of Dreams
August 6: Shrek the Third
August 13: Into the Woods
August 20: Planes: Fire & Rescue
August 27: E.T.

Asbury Park Movie Nights
When: Jul 30- Aug 27 at dusk
Where: Asbury Park Boardwalk (Langosta Lounge)
Cost: Free
July 30: Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
August 6: The Simpsons Movie
August 13: Better Off Dead
August 20: Jaws
August 27: The Muppet Movie (original)