10 Of The Best Movies For Your Next Girls' Night In

10 Of The Best Movies For Your Next Girls' Night In

Get your movie snacks ready and your tissues out!

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Finding a way to relax varies for everyone. Whether it be exercise, reading, or writing in a journal, there are endless ways to help reduce stress. No matter how much we enjoy a night out on the town or a bite to eat at the best restaurant in the city on Saturday nights, there are some days when we genuinely need rest for the sake of our bodies and our minds. Getting the utmost rest has developed into a Friday night tradition for my girlfriends, as every Friday night is a peaceful movie night for us. It has been the norm to crowd into my sister's room and pick out a flick on Netflix or Hulu to keep us occupied for the evening. Whether you aim to plan a girls' night-in for yourself or your friends, these movies will make it a successful night!

1. "A Cinderella Story"

A classic favorite of mine, "A Cinderella Story" is the key to any girl's heart. Hilary Duff perfectly articulates the role of Sam Montgomery, a teenage girl stuck between her evil stepmom and dreadful stepsisters. As she navigates the college decision process, high school mean girls, and a potential romance with Austin Ames — also known as Chad Michael Murray — she discovers her own identity and values along the way.

2. "13 Going On 30"

"13 Going On 30," featuring Jennifer Garner as the protagonist, focuses on life and love as Jenna Rink, who finds herself struggling to find out who she is when transformed into a 30-year-old woman. She determinedly attempts to rewrite the past through a reunion with an old friend, one whom she had left behind when she shouldn't have.

3. "Mamma Mia!"

Well-known for its incredible soundtrack, "Mamma Mia!" is one of the greatest movie sing-alongs to watch for a girl's night. The plot follows Sophie, the bride-to-be, as she plans to discover who her true father is on a secluded island in Greece. "Mamma Mia!" is filled with laughter, romance, and celebration that warms the heart.

4. The "High School Musical" movies

The plot of "High School Musical" has been every girl's dream since 2006. The movie series produced the catchiest songs that blasted through our stereos in elementary school. As Troy and Gabriella break the status quo and band their friends together as one, it makes for an unforgettable high school experience as they become East High's best couple. Plus, who wouldn't want to be serenaded by Troy Bolton on their balcony at midnight?

5. "Clueless"

"Clueless," a 90s movie known for its quotes, is an absolute must-see. Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hill's high school social ladder and has everything she could ask for: an expensive house, a high-end car, and her own credit card. Because she values her social successes, Cher gets herself into trouble after giving the new girl in school, Tai, a makeover, and she watches as Tai's popularity sails past her own.

6. "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"

This romantic comedy follows two journalists interested in the idea of romance. Andie, a magazine writer, attempts to date a man and drive him crazy enough that he will want to break up with her in only 10 days. On the other hand, Ben, an advertising executive, intends to make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days as well. Once they meet, they strike each other as the perfect candidates for their test, but do not know one another's plans.

7. "The Devil Wears Prada"

Based on Lauren Weisberger's 2003 novel, "The Devil Wears Prada" is set in New York City as Meryl Streep plays the intimidating role of Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway magazine. Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, is an aspiring journalist who lands a job as Priestly's assistant, which launches her into the world of fashion and design. Andy works for Runway for one year in the hopes of landing a job as a reporter for a different company but learns a lot about herself and her boss along the way.

8. "Legally Blonde"

Reese Witherspoon plays the comedic sorority girl, Elle Woods, in this comedy film. After her boyfriend, Warner, breaks up with her over a romantic dinner rather than proposing as she expected, Elle feels crushed. Warner claims he needs a relationship with a more serious woman, hence his reason for attending Harvard Law school. Determined to win him back, Elle enrolls in Harvard as well but finds herself wanting more than a boyfriend after she develops a liking for law.

9. "10 Things I Hate About You"

Heath Ledger wins the hearts of every female who watches this comedy. "10 Things I Hate About You" features two sisters, Bianca and Kat Stratford, who are under the strict guidance of their father and his rules on dating. When Cameron, the new boy at school, falls head over heels for Bianca, he attempts to get Patrick, high school bad boy, to ask out Kat in order to get around their father's rules.

10.  "She's the Man"

Viola Johnson, played by Amanda Bynes, is in search for vengeance after her high school cuts the women's soccer team. She decides to pose as her soccer-playing twin brother, Sebastian, and attend the new boarding school he is enrolled in while off in London. Things take a turn when Viola falls for her roommate, Duke (played by Channing Tatum), while Duke's crush falls for who she thinks is Sebastian. However, Sebastian has no idea that Viola decided to take his place on campus.

These 10 movies provide the perfect outlet to a girl's night-in filled with laughter, hope, and maybe even a few tears. I highly recommend using this list next time you decide to host a movie night with your friends. Head to your nearest laptop screen or TV and hit play!

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The 9 Eras Of Disney Animation

The evolution of Disney animation over the years
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As a kid I always loved movies, and no movies did it quite for me like Disney movies did. Whether they were old or new, there was something about Disney movies that just spoke to me. The music the characters, the stories-- they all helped to shape some of my fondest childhood memories and are responsible for many of my interests and beliefs today. But what I always found most interesting is the history behind these films, how the time they came out influenced their themes and meanings. So today I’ll be exploring just that-- the nine eras of Disney animations.

1923-1928: The Silent Era and the Origins of Disney

The history of Disney begins with the Silent Era. In 1923, Walt Disney, working for Laugh-O-Gram studios out of Kansas City, Missouri, created a short film called Alice’s Wonderland, which would serve as the first of the Alice Comedies. After the company declared bankruptcy, Walt moved to Hollywood, where he and his brother Roy formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. They worked out a deal with Winkler Productions to produce the Alice Comedies and eventually, in 1926, moved their company to Hyperion Street, where it was renamed Walt Disney Studios. After the decline of the Alice Comedies, Walt created his first ever original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and produced 26 short comedies starring the character before a falling out with Charles Mintz, who had by 1928 taken over Winkler Productions. Legally, Oswald belonged to Mintz and his company, so he took the character and four of Disney’s animators and started a new animation company, Snappy Comedies.

1928-1937: Pre-Golden Age and Mickey Mouse

The Pre-Golden Age saw Walt recovering from the loss of Oswald and also set the stage for Disney as we know it today. In 1928, Walt, in collaboration with Ub Iwerks, created a new character that he originally named Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife didn’t like the name, so he renamed him Mickey (I think we can all agree this name is much better). Mickey made his first appearance in 1928 in a test screening of the short film called Plane Crazy. However, the film failed to pick up a distributor, so Walt went back to the drawing board and created Steamboat Willie, which was released in 1928. The film was an immediate success due to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and established Mickey as the mascot of Disney. After this, a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons were released. This series also saw the introduction of many Disney staple characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. Donald Duck, another iconic Disney character, first appeared in Disney’s Silly Symphonies, a series of animated short films that were popular for their innovative use of Technicolor. With this, Walt had successfully bounced back from the hardships of the Silent Era and set the stage for the Golden Age of Disney.

1937-1942: The Golden Age

The Golden Age of Disney began in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was the first full-length feature film to use traditional animation and was an immediate commercial success, establishing Disney as one of the leaders of animated filmmaking. Other films that were released during this time include Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Although all of these films would go on to become considered classics, at the time of their release only Snow White and Dumbo were commercially successful. What made this time considered the Golden Age wasn’t the commercial success of these films though, but rather the trends they created in terms of Disney filmmaking. Snow White was the first of the fairytale-based movies that Disney is known for and established the “Disney Princesses,” Pinocchio started the concept of taking well-known literature and turning it into a child-friendly film and Bambi explored the possibilities of making a movie through the eyes of a non-human character. Other Disney staples such as exaggerated villains, the use of music and prominent, comedic sidekicks were first introduced during this time as well. Another key characteristic of the films of this time was the inclusion of many dark scenes, which were usually sandwiched between upbeat and light scenes in order to create a mood shift. A similar, toned down version of this techniques would also be used in later films.

1943-1949: The Wartime Era

With the U.S.’s entry into World War II, Disney Studios faced lower budgets and a smaller team of animators as it entered the Wartime Era. Also known as the Package Era, the films of this time included Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad. What made these films distinct from the Golden Age films is that instead of telling a single, continuous story, these films consisted of multiple short films within each. These films are largely ignored and widely unpopular, with fans criticizing them due to their lack of consistency and tone in each short. The Wartime Era also Disney Studios producing wartime propaganda, which included anti-Nazi commercials and flyers encouraging Americans to support the war.

1950-1967: The Silver Age and the Death of Walt Disney

Disney’s Silver Age, also known as the Restoration Age saw the return of many of the trends set forth by the Golden Age of Disney. Films released during this time include Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. What made these films distinct from its predecessors was the use of more ornate backgrounds and softer colors. Furthermore, the Silver Age also saw the use of lighter themes balanced with more complex characters, creating many of the well-known characters that are still considered fan-favorites today. The Jungle Book was the last film that Walt himself worked on before his death in 1966, and the movie’s release marked the end of the Silver Age

1970-1988: The Dark Age and the Decline of Disney

Hope you guys have a flashlight ‘cos we’re about to enter a dark place, or rather a dark age (see what I did there?). The Dark Age of Disney, also known as the Bronze Age, saw Disney Studios struggle to find their footing without Walt there to hold the reins. This was a time of trial-and-error in which the animators shied away from traditional storytelling tropes seen in the Golden and Silver Ages and instead shifted toward darker and more secular stories. Films released during this time include The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver and Company. With the exception of The Great Mouse Detective, which was both critically and commercially successful, most of these films only received little success, with The Black Cauldron being a box office flop. These films lacked Walt’s imagination and were criticized for only being intended to bring in money. The greatest criticism of these films was their departure from traditional animation and their use xerography. This saved both time and money, allowing animators to directly print their drawings onto cells. However, this process did have its limits and initially only black lines were possible using this method. As a result, films during this era are known as “Scratchy Films” because of the heavy black lines in their animation. While these films weren’t initially successful upon release, many have gone on to become cult classics. Also, the Disney Dark Age helped set the foundation for the pinnacle of Disney animation

1989-199: The Disney Renaissance and Birth of the Millennials

If you’re a millennial like me, then most of your favorite Disney moments and films likely come from the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance saw a return to the musical fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Golden and Silver Age while at the same time expanding on many of the themes and techniques introduced in the Bronze Age. Films released during this time include The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. These films were also the first films that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on, both of whom are key elements to Disney’s musical success. The films during this time also had many important themes that would influence the current views of millennials; Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taught us not to judge people by their appearances; Mulan and Hercules taught us the importance of making sacrifices; and Aladdin taught us that there’s nothing wrong with being ourselves and that the circumstances of our birth don’t have to dictate who we grow up to be.

2000-2009: Post-Renaissance Era

Also known as the Second Dark Age, the Post-Renaissance Era was unique in that whereas previous eras were marked with having a common theme about them, this era was defined as a time in which Disney tried their hands at new methods in storytelling, similar to the Bronze Age. Films from this time include Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt. These films explored new storytelling elements marketed towards kids and more mature themes marketed towards the kids that had grown up during the Disney Renaissance that were now teenagers and young adults. While Lilo and Stitch was a commercial success, spawning several sequels and a T.V. show, most of the other films released during this time only received moderate success. This was in part due to the fact that they also had to contend with huge movie franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Despite not doing as well as their predecessors, the films released during the Second Dark Age are well known for their innovation. Dinosaur was the first Disney film that used CGI animation, which would become a popular element of this era’s successor.

2010-present: Marvel, Star Wars, and the Second Disney Renaissance

Just as a Renaissance followed the first Disney Dark Age, a Second Disney Renaissance followed this Second Dark Age. Also known as the Revival Era, this era marked a return to the fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Gold and Silver Ages as well as the first Disney Renaissance. During this time, Disney bought the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning they no longer had to worry about trying to market their films toward older audiences since the MCU and Star Wars did that for them. Films released during this time include Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Like the first Disney Renaissance, the Second Disney Renaissance built off several things introduced by its predecessor. Tangled, for example, used the CGI techniques first used by Dinosaur. Most of the films of this era have been met with great popularity, with Frozen being the highest grossing animated film of all time and Big Hero 6 being the highest audience-rated film of this time period.

And there you have it, the nine eras of Disney animations. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the history of Disney and its growth through the years. I personally loved writing this article and look forward to writing more like this one.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Leisure

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'Avengers Endgame' Has Left A Hole In My Heart

21 movies, 3000 minutes, lots of tears shed, so what happens now?

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I have been waiting since 2008 for this finale, and it did not disappoint, considering I've seen it three times now. If you haven't seen "Avengers Endgame" yet, here is your warning for spoilers.

SPOILERS BELOW!


Marvel Studios' Avengers: Endgame - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

We watched as almost everyone came back for a happy ending, yet we had to lose our Iron Man. The movie was full of fun tactics and a tad bit more cussing than usual, but overall gave us the satisfaction that was promised.

We were able to see Thor at his lowest, given he has lost a lot: all his family members, half his city, and he couldn't defeat Thanos. I am glad we were able to see "Thicc Thor," it gave us a chance to see how Thor is not this mighty god all the time, but a being who has his low moments as well.

We saw Iron Man and his chance to finally have a happy ending, even though it ended. I'm glad that we got to see Tony say, "I love you 3000" to his little girl and even get to have that talk with his father. Although I appreciate the Spider-Man and Iron Man reconnect, I feel it was only in the movie to satisfy those who have seen "Avengers Infinity War." I think at his time of death, Spider-Man shouldn't have been there but Mrs. Potts should've. The scene felt rushed and uneventful and I feel they should've given him a tad bit longer.

I do have to say I loved the girls protecting Spider-Man, while it was minimal I do appreciate the #GRLPWR that was demonstrated in the film. When all the girls came together to protect him, I was on the edge of my seat and felt my palms sweating. I can say, though, they probably should've had more of those moments.

I felt exceptionally sad when we lost our beloved Black Widow. I do say that it gave her a lot of character though. It gave her the chance to finally have a family and to fight for something she cared about. Most people will dismiss her death, but we should remember she was the one who never gave up.

I'm not sure what I will do now since this phase is ending, but I plan to spend a tad bit more time creating theories and rewatching influential scenes. Marvel has taught me a lot about family, love, character, and overall being a better person.

Now that "Avengers Endgame" is out, we can prepare for "Spider-Man: Far From Home" Buy your tickets now and enjoy the last of Phase 3 of MCU.


SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME - Official Trailer www.youtube.com

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