11 More Life Changing Movies

11 More Life Changing Movies

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a list of what I called "11 Life Changing Movies," because like anybody else, I feel that my taste in everything is superior to everyone else's, especially when it comes to movies. And because my taste in movies is so incredible, I'm back with another list of 11 movies guaranteed to change your outlook on life. And if they don't, it's probably because you're the kind of person who can quote "Dude, Where's My Car" from start to finish.

11. Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

Easily one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. Elvis and JFK team up to stop the mummy that's sucking out their friends' souls in a retirement home in east Texas.

Trust me, I know, but it's a great movie.

Why you should watch it: At worst, the protagonists are insane senior citizens roaming around East Texas fighting a figment of their imagination. At best, it's Elvis and JFK, alive and kicking, bringing down an ancient villain. Either way, it's a surprisingly poignant film about two old and neglected men becoming friends in the face of adversity.


10. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Imagine Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence hate each other. Now imagine they've hated each other for over three decades. Now imagine someone casting them in a movie together as sisters who have had a rivalry for twice that long. That is the twisted, multi-layered magic behind this film which stars Bette Davis as "Baby Jane" Hudson and Joan Crawford as her crippled sister Blanche.


Long story short, Jane was famous and successful while Blanche wasn't, then Blanche was famous and successful while Jane wasn't, now they're old and they hate each other, Jane slowly goes insane, bam, classic horror movie/legendary sibling rivalry.

Why you should watch it: While time has definitely stripped this movie of its original horror, there is still a strong element of suspense, and Davis' downward spiral into insanity is mesmerizing. That, and it's incredible to see two Academy Award-winning legends breathe life into an otherwise cheesy script. The fact that these two hated one another for nearly all of their lives adds a new dimension of realism to the movie.


9. Carmen Jones (1954)

A lot of movies are often described as the pinnacle of excellence in black films. "A Raisin In the Sun", "Cabin In the Sky", "Porgy & Bess", all are amazing and all are well worth watching, but none of them hold a candle to the musical "Carmen Jones". In it, Carmen (Dorothy Dandridge) leads young soldier Joe (Harry Belafonte) astray. He sacrifices his fiancé, his promising future, and eventually his freedom, all for Carmen.

Why you should watch it: It's an obvious cautionary tale but every character is so nuanced, and every actor is so amazing at every aspect of performing in the film.


8. The Turning Point (1977)

Another movie about showbiz rivals, but without the murder and psychopathic rage. In "The Turning Point", ballerina DeeDee (Shirley MacLaine) leaves her dance company after getting pregnant, leaving Emma (Anne Bancroft) to take the spotlight. Years later, their mutual jealousy boils over while they both deal with changes in their own lives.

Why you should watch it: Worried about getting old? Watch this movie. Growing distant from your family? Watch this movie. Jealous of where your friends are in life right now? Watch this movie. This movie may be about two bitter, middle-aged women but it will speak to any and every college student on so many levels.


7. A Place In the Sun (1951)

George Eastman (Monty Clift) begins working in his uncle's factory. While there, he meets and starts an affair with Alice (Shelley Winters), a poor and naive young factory worker. He accidentally gets her pregnant, and while he's leading her along, he starts a serious relationship with Angela Vickers (Liz Taylor), a girl from a local wealthy family. Eventually, George does what he feels he needs to do to ensure his happiness. No spoilers, but someone dies.


I wonder who it is.

Why you should watch it: It's very easy to be an opportunist, but money and prestige can never rarely take the place of true, grounded relationships. It's also a sharp criticism of America and the capitalist system, pointing a finger at the man who would rather commit murder to further himself and his career than own up to his responsibilities and accept his fate.


6. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

Any movie with the tagline "people are the ultimate spectacle" has to be grim, but this goes above and beyond. It follows a series of contestants in a dance competition which lasts several weeks in Los Angeles in 1932. The hours are long, the cash prize is minimal, and to spice up the event, the contest promoters force the contestants to do various publicity stunts. People die. C'est la vie.

Why you should watch it: To humble yourself. This movie is two hours of bleak existentialism, and the fact that it's set in a dance contest makes it all the more disturbing.


5. The Bad Seed (1956)

Rhoda Penmark is an adorable little 8-year-old girl with blonde pigtails and perfect manners.

She's also a serial killer.

It's a well-made movie with strong performances by every actor, and it straddles the border of (unintentionally) hilarious and horrifying.

Why you should watch it: Spank your kids or they'll murder their classmates with tap shoes. A little discipline never hurt anybody.


4. Mr. Skeffington (1944)

Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis) is the most beautiful women in town, and every man wants her goodies. To save her brother from jail, she marries his boss, Mr. Skeffington. He worships her but she doesn't love him and only stays with him for his money and the sake of their daughter, Fanny Jr (God bless any child named Fanny Jr.). They eventually split up, Fanny catches diphtheria, and loses her looks and will to live. Then her husband comes back from Europe, it turns out he went blind, and they live happily ever after.

Why you should watch it: Bette Davis. And Bette Davis. Also, it offers a great message: if you're ugly, just marry a blind person. Then you can lie like hell about how "attractive" you are.

Or something about vanity and hubris, idk, I'm not God, don't ask me about morals.


3. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)

It's like Zac Efron's "Seventeen Again" if it didn't suck. Peggy Sue Bodell faints at her 25th high school reunion and wakes up in 1960. She does high school completely differently but eventually realizes that she was happy with the life she chose. Doesn't every time travel movie work that way?

Why you should watch it: It's the third best non-musical movie about high school behind "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Election", and this one has Nicolas Cage back when he was a good actor. It makes getting old seem like less of a living hell, it's inspiring, and will speak to anybody doubtful about the paths they've chosen.


2. The War of the Roses (1989)

This is how Smart Cars are made

Two young, attractive college students meet. They fall in love. They get rich. They get married. They fall out of love. They start doing everything they can to make each other miserable. Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.

Why you should watch it: It has one of my favorite closing scenes of any movie ever. Life doesn't always have happy endings, and I firmly believe that movies shouldn't always have them, either. The close of the story is dark and hilariously tragic, a fitting end to an amazing black comedy. And, if you've seen "Peggy Sue", you get to see her be vicious.


1. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

A murderer posing as a preacher chases two children with $10,000 across the Depression-era countryside. He's slick, he's deadly, he's pure evil, and he wants that money. He fools everyone with his smooth talking and hymns except Rachel Cooper, an angel with a shotgun who takes in and cares for orphaned and abandoned children and who is one of the best fictional characters that isn't from the Harry Potter series.

The movie, despite the intricate plot, is a simple exploration and presentation of good versus evil. It's a beautiful (literally and figuratively) story told through absolutes: the absolute evil of Reverend Powell juxtaposed with the absolute goodness of Rachel Cooper.

Why you should watch it: This movie is an unbelievable masterpiece from start to finish. The cinematography is amazing even after 60 years with still-modern camera angles and exaggerated shadows (very German expressionist for all y'all film students. See? I can get technical), and Robert Mitchum (Reverend Powell) is one of the greatest actors of all time. It's a suspenseful (and surprisingly scary) movie with a very satisfying ending. I cannot recommend this movie enough.


Movies are important to me. If you make a good one, and I mean a truly amazing film, time can't touch it. These movies may be old, and they may not be as exciting as "Transformers 17: Can You People Even Tell the Robots Apart Anymore?" but if you watch them with an open mind, a critical eye, and a decent attention span, you'll be rewarded with unparalleled art.

Now I'm going to watch "The Night of the Hunter" again. It's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: http://thelastdrivein.com/2015/01/17/quote-of-the-day-night-of-the-hunter-1955/

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.
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When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...

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"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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