Movies That Everyone Should See: “Jurassic Park”

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For some unexplained reason, most children are fascinated by dinosaurs at some point. I’d be willing to wager that if we were to poll the citizens of the country under 7 years old, paleontologist would be the top answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Perhaps it’s the fact that dinosaurs stir the imagination. Maybe it’s the fact that now we would consider them monsters, but once, they were the dominant species on earth. Whatever the reason, dinosaurs have always held a special place in our hearts, due in part to the fact that so many of us were passionate about them when we were young.

With apologies to any movie which featured dinosaurs previously – In 1993 Steven Spielberg brought them to life on the big screen for the first time.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Edward Scissorhands”

In light of the most recent effort from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and the fact that today is Mother’s Day and the movie features a sweet Mother looking after a misunderstood son who’s always getting into trouble through absolutely no fault of his own (LOL!!!), my choice for this week’s MTESS column was an easy one.

1990′s nouveau classic, “Edward Scissorhands”.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “12 Angry Men”

Juror #8: I just want to talk.

Juror #7: Well, what’s there to talk about? Eleven men in here think he’s guilty. No one had to think about it twice except you.

Juror #10: I want to ask you something: do you believe his story?

Juror #8: I don’t know whether I believe it or not – maybe I don’t.

Juror #7: So how come you vote not guilty?

Juror #8: Well, there were eleven votes for guilty. It’s not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “The Shawshank Redemption”

“I will grant any student filmmaker the right to make a movie out of any short story I have written (not the novels, that would be ridiculous), so long as the film rights are still mine to assign. I ask them to sign a paper promising that no resulting film will be exhibited commercially without approval, and that they send me a videotape of the finished work. For this one-time right I ask a dollar.”

- Stephen King

In 1980, Stephen King made one of the first of his “Dollar Deals” with a 20-year-old filmmaker named Frank Darabont. The resulting short film, “The Woman in the Room”, impressed King so much that the two began a correspondence with each other, becoming friends in the process.

In 1987, Darabont optioned the rights to another of King’s short works, the novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”. Not for a dollar this time, but at a favorable price, in consideration of his relationship with King.

The resulting film would eventually become one of the most cherished movies of all time.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Up”

In 2008 Pixar Animation Studios released “WALL•E”, an animated movie that defied genre expectations. The film opens with a long chapter where the lead character is by himself, and throughout the movie, he and his romantic partner have limited verbal communication. It was a bold play, but done so well that audiences and critics responded overwhelmingly. “WALL•E” was an enormous success financially, scored 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and won the Oscar for best animated film. It is now one of the highest rated animated films in IMDb’s top 250.

But the main thing was that it was so unique, it was a such an original effort… more than Pixar’s prior exceptional offerings, even.

So when “Up” was released the next year, the question on everybody’s mnd was, “Could Pixar do it again?”

The answer?

Yes. Yes they could.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “The French Connection”

In 1971, Director William Friedkin brought to the screen one of the grittiest, most intense crime thrillers ever - based on the true story of how two New York City police detectives made one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

“The French Connection”

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “To Kill a Mockingbird”

For some reason, I felt the need to shift the “Movies That Everyone Should See” series decidedly back into the “classic” territory with this installment. Coupled with the fact that it would have been Gregory Peck’s birthday last week, I wound up with an easy choice.

This week’s Movie That Everyone Should See is one of the greatest films of all time, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Stand By Me”

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When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry, no I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me, yeah

Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

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