The Best Movies 2010 Witnessed

The year 2010 showcased many great movies at the box office and there was competition amongst filmmakers aplenty. From the start of the year, there were good movies flowing. Some of the movies in 2010 created history while some still go on to amuse the audience even without its popularity. All genres impressed a lot and a couple of animated movies took the limelight and held the centre stage. This is a rare phenomenon where animated movies thrash all records. The movies “Toy Story 3” and “How To Train Your Dragon” reached top 3.

“Inception” topped all charts and is rated a solid 9 out of 10. It is an action cum fantasy movie and blows our minds out. Fiction reaches far out in the audience and people like to have zesty action sequences. The very controversial “The Social Network” comes next. It is said to be the real story of “Facebook” maker, Mark Zuckerberg. It turned out to be a breath taker and kept the audience to its seats.

Another famed movie was “Shutter Island” which comes under the horror genre. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in it and along with “Inception” his year had a perfect record. “Tangled” and “Kick-Ass” were the next to follow in the top ten list, being the best comedies of the year. The best part was, even though the former was a children’s movie, the adults loved it too. Number 8 was held by the seventh installment of the very famous Harry Potter Series. The movie is to have another part and this is the first part of the seventh book titled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

A special entry into the top ten was made by a fantasy, action cum comedy movie named “Scott Pilgrim Vs The World”. This was the surprise package. Last but not the least, a surprise thriller “Town” made it to the top-ten list. A spooky film, which makes a person believe the things happening in it to be true. Thus, 2010 turned out to a great year for films.

Vampire Diaries: More Than Just a Fantasy

For movie enthusiasts, the Twilight series is one of the most popular fantasy movies in recent times with its introduction of romance between a vampire and a human. It’s not exactly an original concept but the author added some extra features like how vampires sparkle and also the concept of a love triangle with a werewolf. Just like in movies, TV shows have its fair share of popular fantasy shows such as True Blood, The Walking Dead and Smallville. One TV show that aims to be another memorable show is the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries”.

Vampire Diaries follows the story of a girl, Elena, torn between her romance for two vampires who happens to be brothers. Looking at that plot alone, people may judge it as a copycat of other several vampire stories. While it may not be that original in terms of its concept, the show makes up for it in their storylines and subplots. It doesn’t exactly focus on the trivial facts about vampires but on the relationship of every character, especially the main character, who finds out she is a descendant of another vampire and whose life has changed when the people around her has been affected by the presence of the vampires. Elena, played by Nina Dobrev, finds herself in the company of Stefan and Damon who tries to capture her heart. But the decision is not easy to make for her as she has fallen in love with both of them. The other characters in the show have also captured the interest of the viewers with their own storylines which are in some way connected to each other in the greater side of things. One of Elena’s best friends, Bonnie is a witch who grew up under the care of her grandma and another one of her friend is Caroline who was turned by a vampire and fell in love with a werewolf, Tyler, who happens to be one of their friends. We have seen these characters grow throughout the show’s run especially when Bonnie strives to have more power as a witch and finds out about her mother is alive all these years. We also see Caroline’s maturity as she makes her transition from a human to a vampire. We see how she struggled with helping her boyfriend turn to a werewolf and try to keep their relationship even if vampires and werewolves were not supposed to be together. Elena also has her own set of problems especially in dealing with her parent’s death and the added responsibility of taking care of her brother whom she only has left after their guardian passed away.

One of the major reasons why this show continues to keep viewers watching is that it incorporates real life problems and situations into the show. Most people like to watch drama and this show has plenty of it. There’s romance, betrayal, action and a hint of humor to mix it up a bit. While this show might have vampires and other supernatural beings as the main cast of the show, it is something that humans have enjoyed in their TV viewing.

How To Find The Best Date Night Movies For Your First Date

First dates can be awful or wonderful depending on how you play your cards. Time-tested and couple-approved dates range from grabbing a beer or coffee to going dancing or even taking a stroll through the park. Perhaps one of the most popular first dates however, is catching a great flick at the cinema. While going to see a movie is easy enough, deciding on what movie to take your special someone to is a whole other matter. Here is a guide on how to find the best date night movies for your first date.

1. Use clues to figure out what they like

You are more likely to select a movie they will enjoy if you pick up on context clues during conversations. Maybe your date has told you some of their favorite authors or books and you can deduce from that information that they may enjoy mystery and dramas. Another way is to ask key questions regarding their personality. Do they enjoy going on adventures themselves? Are they afraid of the dark? What are their thoughts on spiritual matters and superstitions or monsters? You can begin to understand what a person may find exciting and thus what types of movies they enjoy.

2. Take a look at their DVD collection

If you get a chance to see your date’s place before you pick them up, take a look at their shelves and see what kinds of movies they have purchased. If they have already collected comic book or fantasy movies, see what new release is playing that will match the genre. You can also secretly ask a friend or roommate if they happen to be around!

3. Use online review sites

Many websites online can give you quick summaries, cast member lists, and current reviews of the most recent movies. If you still do not know what type of movie to select, read some critic’s reviews and select a widely critically acclaimed movie. Even if you are unsure if the style or genre matches, you know you are selecting a movie that many people- including some of the smartest movie reviewers- have enjoyed.

4. Dinner and a movie in one

Nowadays there are cinemas that offer food, beverages, and deserts during the showing of the films. Even if you choose a dud of a movie, which you can avoid by selecting a highly rated film, you are both sure to enjoy yourselves with delicious food, craft beers, and high quality service.

Use these strategies to select the best movie the next time you plan on going on your first date.

Best 2010 Movies To Watch – Download and Enter The World Of Thrill, Romance and Sensation

Every one of us wishes to spend our leisure time in a way that we don’t get bored. Watching a good movie is no doubt a great time pass, and therefore most of the people love to watch movies of their favorite artists during their free time. Sometimes, we go for DVD rentals, and other times; we also like to download and watch movies from internet. Here we bring for you the introduction to few good movies that are a great option to be enjoyed all the time.

Creation: Released on 21st Jan 2010, and directed by Jon Amiel; the movie starred Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. This movie is a beautiful love story of a couple, where the wife is very religious, whereas the husband “Charles Darwin” has an inclination towards the theory of evolution. A really great movie takes the concepts of evolution with it and would specially be of interest for those people who are creationists.

Edge of Darkness: Released on 29th Jan 2010, this movie of Mel Gibson directed by Martin Campbell; is a thriller movie, where the evidence of a girl’s death (who is the daughter of a homicide detective) is tried to be cleared by an agent. The detective puts his efforts to reveal the secret by making in depth investigations. The film is quite inspiring, and for sure you won’t be able to take your eyes away from the screen till end.

Dear John: Released on 05th Feb 2010, Directed by Lasse Hallstrom and casting Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Henry Thomas, Scott Porter, Richard Jenkins; the movie is based on a drama book written by Nicholas Sparks, and moves around the love story of a young soldier. Watch the movie to enjoy a good mix of romance, thrill and war. It’s among few inspiring good movies to watch.

Shutter Island: Released on 19th Feb 2010, the movie is directed by Martin Scorsese; the movie’s cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow. It has the best combination of action and thrill to be seen with simply superb acting. Shutter Island 1 and Shutter Island 2 both have hit the market well; and were appreciated by all the viewers.

Frozen: Released on 5th Feb 2010, and directed by Adam Green; this is a horror/ thriller movie, that casts Shawn Ashmore, Emma Bell and Keven Zegers. The story is of three snow boarders, when the accidentally get stuck on a chair lift. They strive together and make different attempts to escape out of the frozen death. The film is a great mix of horror, thrill and effort that just takes away the breath till end.

Alice in the Wonderland: Released on 5th March 2010, the famous fantasy movie was directed by Tim Burton. The 3D special effects used in the movie are simply awesome, and the movie presents great and thrilling arrival of Alice in Wonderland. It is no doubt a favorite for the kids, as well the people who have an inclination towards watching fantasy and adventure at its best. Walk off to one of the best shops in town for popular dvd rentals in order to enjoy the original print.

The Best 10 Movies About Magic of All Time

So here we go, the best 10 movies about ‘magic’ of ‘all time’. That’s a tall order and will of course become a list that will be challenged by many.

What I have tried to do is collate a list of movies that feature films which have magical themes or very obvious magical references in them. Of course the rash of Harry Potter films, the excellent Lord of the Rings trilogy and even Star Wars could be included. However, from a desire to expand the list of magician inspired or magically themed movies I have left these out as being ‘too obvious’.

For reasons of brevity I have also not included fully animated movies in this list, so the likes of Fantasia, Sword in the Stone and even The Illusionist (Sylvian Chomet’s 2010 film) are not considered.

I’ve also ignored television series, such as The Magician (Bill Bixby trained by Mark Wilson), Jonathan Creek, the quirky 1970’s TV series Ace of Wands as well as specific Colombo, Midsummer Murders, One Foot in the Grave episodes that were based around magic and magicians.

So this brings us to a quick round-up of some of the best of the magician-in-the-movies films I am aware of. Starting with those just outside the Top Ten – not because of any lack of quality, just because they are a little peripheral to the main list.

Passport to Pimlico (1949) directed by Henry Cornelius and featuring great performances from Stanley Holloway and Margaret Rutherford. This great Ealing comedy contains a sequence on the tube train where magician of the day The Great Masoni, drops his case allowing his doves to escape adding to the surreal nature of the comic moment.

Dead of Night (1945) directed by Alberto Cavancanti is a superb Ealing portmanteau horror movie which contained a series of stories about a dream told by a guest arriving at remote farmhouse. The film is said to have influenced cosmologists Hoyle, Gold and Bondi to develop the ‘steady state theory’. They were inspired by the circular nature of the films narrative. However the movie contains a story about a ventriloquist and a less than charming dummy. Ventriloquism is related to the magical arts, hence its inclusion here. The story is the forerunner of one that is actually in the list, Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins.

Thirty Nine Steps (1939) directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The original and perhaps greatest version of this film the climax of which is takes place as in a theatre where a ‘memory man’ is performing. The Memory Act can be considered as a subset of the magical art of Mentalism. The great magician Harry Lorraine is world famous not only for his ‘magic’ act but also for his contribution to the training and development of the human memory.

The Raven (1963) directed by Roger Corman sees the great Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff as medieval magicians involved a magical duel. This fun, camp and colourful movie loosely based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem The Raven, is not the greatest example of the Corman-Price collection, but is great fun.

Night of the Demon (1957) Jaques Tourneur. This great movie is an adaptation of M R James’ story “Casting the Runes”. Starring Dana Andrews as a sceptical psychologist ‘cursed’ by the Faustian looking magician and ‘cult’ leader Julian Karswell (Nial MacGinnis). In one sequence Karswell dressed as Dr Bobo performs magic at a children’s party. The conversation which then ensues between the psychologist and the magician holds within it a host of performance frames and ideas for budding bizarrists out there!. Tourneur apparently never wanted the audience to ‘see’ the demon. I many ways I wish he had had his way. The film would be even creepier and scarier if the terror was left to the imagination – again bizarre magicians take note!

The Magician (1958) directed by Ingmar Bergman. The only reason that film is outside the top ten is because of the possibility of being considered as being ‘pretentious’ if it is placed where I think it belongs – in the top 5 at least! Max von Sydow plays a travelling magician and ‘magnetic-healer’ (harkening back to the days of Mesmer) caught up in a tale about prejudice, honesty, the class system and….. well the whole thing is multilayered. Sydow is brilliant, he rarely speaks, and Bergman’s visuals are great. The film has been called a ‘thinking mans horror movie/. It is creepy surreal and brilliantly acted and directed.

The Great Buck Howard (2008) directed by Sean McGinly is built around John Malkovich’s character who is in turn based upon the mentalist Kreskin.

Next (2007) directed by Lee Tamahori sees Nicholas Cage as a man who can see a few minutes into the future and disguises his gift by working as a lounge magician. Cage is seen as another kind of ‘magician’ in the fantasy movie The Sorcerers Apprentice (2010 directed by Jon Turtletaub) which makes direct references to the Disney Sorcerers Apprentice in Fantasia.

Magic Man (2010) directed by Roscoe Lever stars Billy Zane who plays Darius, the Magic Man of the title. Billed as a thriller, this movie hasn’t received the best of reviews. As I’ve not seen it yet I can’t comment – but maybe a future review of this list may see it included.

So onto the Top Ten

10. Excelsior Prince of Magicians 1901 directed by Georges Melies. This pioneer of film making was a magician before turning his hand to cine-magic. He produced many short films of which this is only one, but many of which featured movie versions of stage tricks that magicians would love to be able to actually do. He was one of the first film makers to feature stop frame, time lapse and multiple exposures. He also hand painted many of the black and white films he shot. A true innovator.

9. The Grim Game 1919 directed by Irvin Wilat. Not the greatest of movies to watch, but from a magician’s point of view a must. It featured Harry Houdini in the title role showcasing his feats of escapology. Houdini, not only a great magician but a great entrepreneur embraced early cinema but to be quite honest he made little lasting contribution to cinematic art. In some ways, perhaps, Melies earlier ‘trick photography’ lessened some of the dramatic impact Houdini’s live performances will have had.

8. Lord of Illusions (1995) directed by Clive Barker and based on his novel of the same name. This film is notable for its magical references. Not only does the ‘evil’ lead character Nix have supernatural powers, but his disciples have them. One of his disciples, Swann, after Nix’s early demise (prior to his later resurrection) uses his magical powers to become a popular illusionist. The staged magic sequences are well done, there is a cameo appearance by the great Billy McCombe and the Magic Castle is represented as a place of secrets. The basic concept that ‘magic is a dangerous reality’ is a great theme for the Bizarre Magicians out there.

7. Cast a Deadly Spell (1991) directed by Martin Cambell, sees Detective, Harry Philip Lovecraft (played by Fred Ward) living in a 1940’s Los Angeles where magic is common place. He is recruited by a rich man to find a lost book – yeap, you’ve got it… The Necronomicon! It’s really a Bogart-esque film-noire with a magical flavour, of course by definition then there are magicians. It’s witty, fun and full of Lovecraftian references. Unfortunately at the time of writing it, unlike its less sharp sequel (Witch Hunt) is not available for purchase on DVD.

Witch Hunt (1994) directed Paul Schrader. A sequel to Cast a Deadly Spell in which detective, H. Phillip Lovecraft played by Dennis Hopper combats the evils and corruption of a magic wielding senator. As a sequel not shoddy, but perhaps not quite as fun as the first movie.

6. The Great Kandinski (1995) directed by Terry Windsor. This ‘made for TV’ movie must be included in this list, not only for its charm and humour, but for its sensitivities. Richard Harris (whose work is admirable) plays a retired escapologist living in a nursing home. The story revolves around Kandiski’s desire to ‘chase one more secret’ and do one ‘final show’. The escape featured is Houdini’s Water Torture cell, which is a testament to the iconic nature of that one illusion.

5. Nightmare Alley (1947) directed by Edmund Goulding. An impressive movie and perhaps one of the all time greatest examples of film noire. Tyrone Power plays a ‘psychic con man’ Stanton Carlyle whose trail of deceit and self deceit take from rags to riches to rags. Of course the magicians out there will immediately see a link to a performer who used to go out under the name Rinaldo, but was better known professionally and now to mentalists’ world wide as Stanton Carlisle. (1928 – 1990). Stanton insisted, despite many good natured challenges, that that was his real name and was not influenced by the Goulding film.

4. House of Games (1978) directed by David Mamet. OK not really a magic film, but features a performance of one of my all time magic heroes, Ricky Jay. Ricky is one of a group of con-men in this Hitchcockesque thriller. Mamet, as always does a great job in capturing mood and the movie explores human motivations and behaviours. Ricky Jay is of course no stranger to the big screen, with roles in the Bond Movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, Magnolia, Buck Howard, The Prestige and many more. This, I believe however was his first venture onto the ‘big screen’

3. Houdini (1953) directed by George Marshall with Tony Curtis in as Houdini. This movie does have a lot to answer for in that it creates some of the longer lasting myths about the life of the genuinely ‘mythic’ Houdini. His death on stage as a result of performing the ‘water torture cell’ is not fact, but the movie certainly hints at it. The ‘brush with death’ in a frozen river; the first performance of the ‘straight jacket’ at a Magicians Society dinner almost surely never happened – but the romance and innocence of the moment saves it. The magical advisor on this movie was Dunninger.

I suppose it is worth mentioning in passing that in 1998 there was a TV movie about Houdini (directed by Pen Denshem) and an earlier attempt at a biopic remake in 1976 with Paul Michael Glaser in the title role (directed for television by Melvile Shavelson). The movie Death Defying Acts (2007) directed by Gillian Armstrong focuses on Houdini’s documented interest in mediums and psychics and he is really the vehicle through which another story can be told.

2. Magic (1978) directed by Richard Attenborough and staring Anthony Hopkins. In the film Hopkins’ character starts out as a magician, but sees success as a ventriloquist. The movie charts the fall into insanity as the relationship Hopkins has with his dummy ‘Fats’. It’s a classic movie with some of the creepier overtones being softened by, what some claim to be, slower sequences of sentimentality.

1. The Illusionist (2006) directed by Neil Burger and staring Ed Norton. The pace and the feel of this film is wonderful. It is a love story with some great performances from a superb cast. The magical advice came from Ricky Jay and Michael Webber. Norton as Eisenhiem is the ideal stage magician. The cinematography is brilliant, the plot nicely involved and with, perhaps a few surprises.

1. The Prestige (2006) directed by Christopher Nolan. Whilst The Illusionist is sumptuous and engaging and at its core ‘hopeful’ and ‘romantic’, The Prestige is darker and deals with revenge, envy and competitiveness. Great performances from Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the feuding magicians each with a ‘secret’ and a narrative that is non-linear make the film engaging and well worth the little effort you need to keep up with the tangled web of intrigue. The ‘prestige’, the finale of the film, contains revelations that may surprise. Intelligent scripting brings the emotional tension to life and the rich magical references (Chung Ling Soo, The Bullet Catch, The Water Torture) make this film a must for magicians. Ricky Jay appears as an established stage performer and Michael Caine is great as the illusion builder – although I would never ask him to build me a vanishing bird cage!

I really can’t separate these two films in terms of quality of acting, direction and story so they share first place billing with the less serious….

Magicians (2007) actually deserves a Gold Star in this list. Directed by Andrew O Connor and with script written in collaboration with David Britland, Andy Nyman and Anthony Owen and others this is a magical tour de force. Opting for a comic look at the world of the conjuror, Magicians, sees Mitchell and Webb rattle through some great one-liners; pay homage to some key magicians and have a real knock at some of the oddness that is part and parcel of the magic scene. The great Pat Page makes an appearance, and most of the magic ‘stalls’ at the magic convention hosting the competition at the centre of the films plot were provided by well known magic dealers.

Coraline Movie Merchandise From the Neil Gaiman Film Adaptation

A whole new batch of fans have been introduced to the work of Neil Gaiman through the movie adaptation of his Coraline novel. The film has proven to be a big hit with children and adults as well as long-time fans of the original Coraline book, and now the hunt is on for official Coraline movie merchandise. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for Coraline fans around the world!

The main character of Coraline Jones herself is available online and in shops as a collection of three poseable action figures. Sure to enchant any fan of the brilliant animated film, Coraline has been made available in three costumes from the movie, including her pyjamas, her overcoat and her everyday outfit. The figures are bendy and poseable and come with a display stand to help Coraline stand upright in any pose you want to put her in! These ideal examples of Coraline movie merchandise come made with an array of different facial expressions to choose from, so you are able to pick your favourite outfit and facial expression as you begin your Coraline merchandise collection.

Need more Coraline movie merchandise? A trio of Coraline figure triple packs have also been released. Each one includes three miniature collectibles based on characters from the movie adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s original Coraline story. Created by Reel Toys and NECA, these superb mini figures are beautifully painted and sculpted, perfectly recreating the nature of the characters they are taken from.

Each of these three triple packs of mini Coraline figures contain a different version of Coraline Jones with the sarcastic cat. Other faces from the film consist of the Other Mother, Mr Bobinsky, the trio of Ghost Children and Wybie. While these mini figures aren’t articulated, they are great items for fans of the film to enjoy and display.

However, there are also some marvellous Coraline posters on the market for fans who want to decorate your walls with cool pictures from the Coraline film itself. Two designs that are available are the teaser image and the Ghost Children poster. The posters perfectly capture the feel and ambience of Coraline and its amazing animation.

For more printed Coraline stuff, there’s also a movie version of the original story by Neil Gaiman, featuring art from the movie version. Another great title is the Coraline Movie Visual Companion, which covers the huge task of assembling the film into the finished product. Then there’s the Coraline video game and the movie soundtrack CD to the movie too! There really is something for every fan of this fantastic animated fantasy movie. Love Coraline? Seek out the Coraline movie merchandise for yourself!