Movies That Everyone Should See: “Casino Royale”

In 2002, Eon Productions released the 20th Bond film in the series, “Die Another Day”.

Though it was critically panned (57% on Rotten Tomatoes) and generally reviled by hardcore fans, it was still a huge hit. The combination of Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry provided an enormous box office draw. Without taking inflation into account, it was the highest grossing Bond film ever released. It earned $432 million worldwide, and was the sixth highest grossing film of 2002.

The producers were faced with a difficult decision. Brosnan, though still wildly popular, had fulfilled his contract and was about to turn 50. The series had also begun to lose credibility during Brosnan’s run, with the quality of the movies gradually devolving until they were cartoonish action films.

They made the difficult decision to recast the role of James Bond, replacing Brosnan with the relatively unknown Daniel Craig. They also decided to create a more grounded movie… to return 007 to more believable territory.

The result? A movie that not only overtook “Die Another Day” as the series’ box office champion, but one that many fans list as the greatest film in the franchise’s proud history.

“Casino Royale”.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Halloween”

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There are very few movies in history that you can look at and point to and say… There. That one started it. With the “it” being an entire genre (or sub genre) of film. A bona fide lineage of films that follow in its footsteps.

“Halloween” is one such movie.

There are 293 films on IMDb with the keyword “Slasher Flick”. Of those, only 12 were released prior to “Halloween”, of those only six were American movies. Of those six, the highest user rating is “The Gore Gore Girls” at 5.2.

You can be assured that none of those films launched the slasher movie craze that dominated horror through the 80s and most of the 90s.

No, that honor belongs to “Halloween”.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Dr. No”

Fifty years ago this year, in October of 1962, James Bond first appeared onscreen in “Dr. No”

We take it for granted now. 007 has become an pop culture cornerstone. A Bond movie is as close to a sure thing to be a big success as there is in the movie business. But there was a time when movie audiences had never heard of James Bond. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time when a James Bond movie was not a surefire huge grossing film. When, in spite of shining prospects, a misstep could have cut short an entire franchise.

Thankfully, the first movie they made was the brilliant “Dr. No”. A tone setting film that established the world of James Bond in almost every way. Its success would propel the Bond series to become one of the longest running, most successful movie franchises of all time.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Airplane!”

Male announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
Female announcer: The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone.
Male announcer: The red zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the white zone.
Female announcer: No, the white zone is for loading of passengers and there is no stopping in a RED zone.
Male announcer: The red zone has always been for loading and unloading of passengers. There’s never stopping in a white zone.
Female announcer: Don’t you tell me which zone is for loading, and which zone is for stopping!
Male announcer: Listen Betty, don’t start up with your white zone shit again.
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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Titanic”

Titanic Disaster.

Sunk After Collision With an Iceberg.

Loss of Life.

Wireless Calls for Aid.

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The White Star Liner Titanic (46,382 tons) which left Southhampton on Wednesday on her maiden voyage to New York, came into collision with an iceberg at a point about 41.45 North and 30.14 West off the North American coast at 10.23 p.m. on Sunday night (American time). The vessel was badly damaged and wireless messages were sent out for help. A number of other liners in the neighborhood hastened to her assistance, she sank yesterday morning as will be seen from the following message received as we are going to press:-

NEW YORK, April 15, 9.45 p.m.

The following despatch has been received here from Cape Race:-

“The steamer Olympic reports that the steamer Carpathia reached the Titanic’s position at daybreak, but found boats and wreckage only. She reported that the Titanic foundered. About 2.20 a.m. in lat. 41 deg__16 min., long. 30 deg, 14 min.”

The message adds:-“All the Titanic’s boats are accounted for. About 673 souls have been saved of the crew and passengers. The latter are nearly all women and children. The Leyland liner California is remaining and searching the vicinity of the disaster. The Carpathia is returning to New York with the survivors!” Reuter.

“The Times”
London, England
April 16, 1912

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”


“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the very first feature-length animated film, and is deservedly hailed today as a classic of animation. A beloved fairy tale… the ultimate example of a “Classic Disney” movie.

At the time of its production, however, it was an incredibly bold risk. The very notion that audiences would respond to a full, movie length cartoon was considered laughable. Atop of which, the considerable expense of producing such a feature spiraled far beyond initial estimates. “Snow White” turned into a daring business venture that gambled the very future of Walt Disney Studios.

But what was derided in the press at the time as “Disney’s Folly” would turn out to be a cornerstone not only for Walt Disney Studios, but also for animated films, as well.

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Raging Bull”

So, for the second time, [the Pharisees]
Summoned the man who had been blind and said: 
“Speak the truth before God.
We know this fellow is a sinner.” 
“Whether or not he is a sinner, I do not know,” 
The man replied.
“All I know is this:
Once I was blind and now I can see.”

- John IX, 24-26
The New English Bible
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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Top Gun”

With the passing of Tony Scott last week, I knew that I wanted to feature one of his films as this week’s MTESS.

There were a number of choices… as I studied his filmography, I was surprised at just how many really good movies he had left us.

But there really was only one choice to feature first. It’s the movie that the media deemed his biggest, often mentioning it in the headlines last week right alongside his name. It’s a quintessential “Tom Cruise movie”, and a shining example of the slick, entertaining action movies that were so in vogue in the 1980s. A movie that has earned a permanent name for itself in pop culture.

“Top Gun”

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “The Graduate”

Benjamin: Oh my God!
Mrs. Robinson: Pardon?
Benjamin: Oh no, Mrs. Robinson. Oh no.
Mrs. Robinson: What’s wrong?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you didn’t… I mean, you didn’t expect…
Mrs. Robinson: What?
Benjamin: I mean, you didn’t really think I’d do something like that.
Mrs. Robinson: Like what?
Benjamin: What do you think?
Mrs. Robinson: Well, I don’t know.
Benjamin: For god’s sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You… put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.
Mrs. Robinson: So?
Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.
Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh?
Benjamin: Aren’t you?

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