Sometimes it does take two to make a thing go right. Our picks for the top ten buddy films of all time are all chosen as archetypes of what to do–and in some cases what not to do–when your friend needs some back up.
The complicated history in the Middle East has provided Hollywood with a backdrop for some of the most gripping movies to hit the silver screen. Our list of the tensest movies about the region will have you hanging on the edge of your seat.
Want an excuse to laugh, cry, swoon and eat chocolate? Then go ahead and indulge with these guilty pleasure movies. The women on our list will make you feel things–all of them good.
In honor of the upcoming season 2 premiere of RECTIFY — the story of a man set free from jail after twenty years — we’re bringing you our Top 10 Movies Set Behind Bars. There are a few surprises on this list, including a vintage screwball comedy, a lot of eggs, Sigourney Weaver with no hair, an anti-James Bond film, and no Shawshank Redemption! Or maybe just a little Shawshank Redemption. You’ll have to read and find out for yourself, and vote for your favorite in the poll below. …And by the way, if you’re intrigued by these films, you might just be intrigued by RECTIFY (season 2 premiere June 19 at 9pm) — which is brought to you by the same geniuses behind Breaking Bad.
1. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
“What we’ve got here… is a failure to communicate. Some men, you just can’t reach.” When a quote takes on a life of its own outside of a movie, that’s when you know that you’re dealing with a stone-cold classic. And speaking of which… no man can eat fifty eggs. Or can he? Cool Hand Luke isn’t just the defining prison movie; it’s also a classic of 1960s cinema. Watch Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman) struggle with the intense hardships of life on the chain-gang. Can he escape? Can he survive? Can one man actually eat fifty eggs? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you don’t know Cool Hand; so run, don’t walk, to see this film, you wild, beautiful thing, you. …You crazy handful of nothin’.
2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
“Destroy a bridge or destroy yourself” — that’s the dilemma posed by The Bridge on the River Kwai. The movie features Alec Guinness, William Holden, and director David Lean — and really, what more do you need to know? Lean’s film follows the lives of soldiers in a WWII prisoner-of-war camp, as they are forced by their captors to build a bridge in the middle of the Thai jungle. …To build or not to build? Guinness fights to finish the bridge — believing that doing so will give his men a sense of hope in the middle of a deadly jungle. (On the minus-side, finishing the bridge will also aid the enemy in a time of war.) Meanwhile, Holden struggles just as fiercely to tear the bridge down. Who is right and who is wrong? Big questions, a big, big bridge, and a big, big explosion — it’s all in here.
Geoff Blain, the often snappily dressed paralegal on Loredana, Esq., weighs in on his ten favorite courtroom dramas. Of the movies cited, he adds, “The first four represent my childish, romanticized vision of the law while the latter six helped to temper my rosy vista with more realistic and somber grays.”
Summer may not officially end until later in September, but come on: Labor Day has passed, and summer is over. It’s time to put away summer spectacles and let cool breezes and chillier moods wash over you. You can get away with less ebullient movies in the fall than you can in the summer; this goes for Sundance Channel, too — just check out this month’s lineup. It’s hard to get too bummed out by a well-told story or a stylishly made film (then again: DANCER IN THE DARK), but these are 10 seriously messed-up stories. In ascending order of potential to disturb you…
Chances are, you or someone you care about has struggled to find work lately. There’s no question that it’s a tough market. That’s why you need to give yourself every advantage — what can you do (and what should you avoid) when you go in for an interview? Strive’s lead job-trainer Rob Smith and his staff share insights on how you — just like the down-and-out unemployed citizens featured in the Sundance Channel series GET TO WORK — can make the right impression and land a job.
There’s nothing like a loud, snarling film to bring out your deviant inner fist pump. Ever since Bill Haley hit the big screen urging kids to rock around the clock, we’ve been relying on movies as vicarious views into rebellious rock, meaningless sex and recreational drug use. (And perhaps a few of us have even tried one or two of those ourselves…)
Photo credit: GET TO WORK
Everyone loves an underdog, right? They’re the people who manage to make something out of nothing by transforming themselves — and the world along the way. From tenth-century Japanese courtesans to twentieth-century chess sensations, it’s the underdogs and their uncompromising internal will that we remember in the history books, not the people who gave up or left the work to someone else.
Aaah… the great American outdoors. It can sure be beautiful, but beware: The further afield you get, the harder it is to find help. Help with what, you may ask? Just ask the boys from DELIVERANCE, currently playing on the Sundance Channel: deviant lunatic hicks, o’course!
Photo Credit: Film Affinity
American exceptionalism? Phooey! Countries across the pond have better food, more civilized healthcare and way sexier films (what a buzzkill a Puritanical national origin can be). And we here at Sundance Channel aren’t afraid to embrace our frisky foreign friends: Check out our lineup anytime, and chances are you’ll find a cool film with subtitles, bisexuality and equal opportunity nudity. Inspired by some of our recent indie imports, we’ve compiled a top 10 list of the sexiest foreign films. They’re not all necessarily erotic, with lots of skin. Nor are they all uplifting, life-affirming tales of carnal romance with happy endings. After all, we’re talking about European endeavors here. But they do focus on issues of sexuality and sensuality in artful ways — and that’s sexy.
Photo credit: Sundance Channel
What does it take to land a job — and keep it? The new Sundance Channel series GET TO WORK examines following down-and-out unemployed citizens as they try to pick their lives back up, find work and unlock their potential. But in this environment, almost anyone can relate to this struggle. To help in this process, Assistant Director of Career Services at Strive Katherine Strickle shares 10 critical skills to make you indispensable.
Photo credit: Screened
We hate to admit it, but life is tough. To persevere, rise above and truly succeed, a very simple choice must be made every day: Am I going to do what it takes to take care of myself and those around me, or am I not? It may feel like that decision gets harder and harder in light of new challenges that present themselves day after day, but the choice always remains our own. The brand new Sundance Channel series GET TO WORK examines this process, following down-and-out unemployed citizens as they try to pick their lives back up, find work and unlock their forgotten potential.
Photo credit: Listal
It’s mid-August and Hot Summer Nights is in full swing on Sundance Channel. Some of the upcoming movies featured in this “steamy” series focus on sexual extremes: There’s sex addiction in John Waters’ outrageous comedy A DIRTY SHAME and also in the autobiographical tale I AM A SEX ADDICT; AUTOEROTIC follows the sexual obsessions of four Chicago couples; the compelling (but unfortunately named) documentary SEX MAGIC: MANIFESTING MAYA follows the polyamorous life of a sex guru; and INDIE SEX: EXTREMES looks at independent cinema that pushed the boundaries of sexual content in film.
Photo Credit: Listal
The tangled love triangle is such a cinematic trope that we could probably put together a list for every year (or a list of Top 10 love triangles with bad ’80s haircuts… or Top 10 love triangles starring Reese Witherspoon…). We decided to limit this list to love-triangle films we actually enjoyed (and not in a guilty-pleasure kind of way) — which is why you won’t find the Bella-Edward-Jacob affair here, despite the ubiquity of “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” merchandise. Same goes for PEARL HARBOR (2001), which attempted to make the love triangle a heroic response to war; or WILD THINGS (1995), which accessorized the love triangle with hot tubs and champagne (and was really more of a lust triangle, anyway); or INDECENT PROPOSAL (1993), which theorized the love triangle as a financial and real estate decision; or MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING (1997), which was a terrible movie despite championing off-key karaoke.
Regardless of the season, it’s always important to make time for family. And with family comes some of the most awkward, amusing, cringe-worthy or downright creepy moments on film. This selection, including the much-loved SIDEWAYS, covers some of the best and most guffaw-inducing moments imaginable, from a talk about the birds and the bees to lying to mom to something perhaps even a bit weirder…
Photo Credit: Everyday Should Be Saturday
Funny sex scenes — at least, those that are meant to make you laugh — are often our favorite kind. Ironically, they tend to portray much more realistic onscreen sex than their serious, sultry counterparts. In funny sex scenes, you get weirdness, kink, awkwardness, jealousy, fantasy — oh yeah, and condoms. For some reason, the only time you see latex onscreen is when the sex is supposed to be funny. Here are ten of our favorite funny sex scenes — though not all of them were initially intended to be funny (we’re looking at you, Clive Owen). By the way, if you’re wondering where AMERICAN PIE and PORKY’S are: We took the liberty of limiting this list to scenes that made us laugh. And we’re not — nor have we ever been — 14-year-old boys.
Everyone has a favorite Beatles song. And if there’s a Beatles song for everyone, why can’t there be a Coen brothers movie for everyone? After the shocking brilliance of their debut BLOOD SIMPLE., Joel and Ethan Coen followed up with RAISING ARIZONA, proving that they could make comedy just as well as crime drama and violence that actually has a point (most of the time). Since then, they’ve done just about everything in between.
So which Coen Brother’s movie are you?
Photo credit: Wahlander (Flickr)
Sneaking things into a movie is as American as having a fireworks show on top of a monster truck with Springsteen playing from an eight-track on July 4th in a really old film about freedom. That probably has something to do with the bizarre micro-economy of movie theaters, a place where soda and popcorn are very precious and priced accordingly, and 99-cent candy costs 8 bucks.
After all the (well-deserved) awards and praise, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD is still a film about the end of the world. Hushpuppy is racing to find a way to save her father and the Bathtub from the impending Aurochs, floods and events that could destroy everything she knows. That’s one way to look at it — but we’ve recently been treating all the possible global catastrophes with an air of “meh.” So here are a few ways to better appreciate the end of days on film, especially if you think killer robots and giant planets are blasé.
There’s nothing we love more than a woman who is willing to take a chance and do something frigging unbelievable. The following list examines women in history who’ve had gigantic lady-balls big enough to spar with even the toughest of men — and win. They’ve done everything from rule nations to fly planes to question authority at the risk of losing their lives. These women have faced adversity greater than some of us may ever know, but they’ve always come out on top and they continue to inspire. And if Aung San Suu Kyi or Indira Gandhi are any sort of example, maybe one day we’ll actually see our first female American president. Or maybe we’ll have to keep fighting for that one until that mythical glass ceiling shatters into a million tiny pieces. Feeling moved by these daring women? You’ll be just as amazed watching four new daring women in history on PUSH GIRLS, where disabilities stop no woman.
It’s July, which means we are all hot, tired and pretty much superheroed out. We’ve weathered the explosive onslaught of THE AVENGERS and now (another) AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and still have a certain DARK KNIGHT to go. All this hoopla gets us thinking: Are graphic novels and comic books responsible for classic fanboy superheroes, and nothing more? Of course not! This rich literary (yes, literary) genre has inspired a wealth of other cinematic material, from dystopian yarns to biting black comedies, some of which you may not have even guessed had comic connection.
Making movies costs lots and lots of money. Dependency is the name of the game in the studio system and the cliché of the executive producer coming to set and scaring everybody straight is surely based on actual events. ‘Indies’ used to be the alternative to that system, but that movement is now so big, such an institution in its own right, that ‘Independent’ may no longer be the most accurate nomenclature. ‘Indie’ is one of the haziest terms in the film industry; in the era of Steven Soderbergh’s watershed indie hit SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE, things were more cut and dry, you were either in or outside of the studio system.
In honor of the birth of our nation, we’re collecting the top 10 classic birthday-suit scenes from American movies with American themes. The fact that only a minority of them are healthy depictions of sex reflects our puritanical country’s fucked-up relationship with the topic. Feel free to light a sparkler and disrobe in patriotic solidarity — maybe you can make American sex a little more positive.
Sex scandals are as American as (sticking your wiener in an) apple pie — or should we say your Anthony Weiner? The really unforgettable scandals leave us with a particular phrase or image burned into our brains. We could be a hundred years old and senile and we will still be able to recall Lorena Bobbitt tossing her husband’s penis out the car window; Clarence Thomas asking Anita Hill about a pubic hair on a coke can; and an astronaut driving hundreds of miles in a diaper to confront the lover who spurned her. Here are our nominations for the top ten sex scandals in this nation’s glorious history, organized by the categories in which these events most often seem to occur. God bless (or should we say God save) America!