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Martial Art Movies

Martial Art MoviesWesterners have long been fascinated by martial arts. There’s something about the dedication, the secrecy, and the sage advice of an old sensei that really makes for a great movie. And the samurai swords, throwing stars, and high-flying kicks make for a stunning visual display.

Hollywood has blended the Eastern martial arts tradition with its own flashy style to create an entirelyMartial Art Movies new creation. Martial art movies exploded in popularity when Bruce Lee hit the big screen. After arriving in America at the fresh age of 18 with only $100 in his pocket, Lee proceeded to take the American public by storm. His martial arts prowess sent people to the theaters in droves and inspired the opening of countless dojos in North America and worldwide. Lee continues to be the preeminent martial art movies icon, even after his untimely death in 1973.

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The martial arts genre has continued to grow and evolve since its inception in Hollywood. There are strong parallels between it and the Western film. Usually martial art movies feature a hero who must do more than just battle with an external villain. The hero must also master an inner struggle or conflict to prevail in the end.

Martial Art MoviesJust like with action and science fiction movies, martial arts movies have benefitted enormously from rapidly advancing technology. Stunts that used to require wires or a vivid audience’s imagination can now be created just with a computer with the right software. Feats like soaring through the air with a sword in hand, or even running across water, appear regularly in recent martial art films.

You shouldn’t be discouraged from martial art movies just because you aren’t the biggest action movie fan. Although there is always some “action” in these movies, it varies in degree depending on the film. Some films in the genre make it the primary focus while others tend to focus more on character development and even love stories. A few of the best are listed below:

There really is something for everyone with martial art movies. From the amazing athleticism of the martial artists to the complicated characters, foreign lands, and even romance, this genre does not leave its viewer a wanting of entertainment.
Martial Art Movies

Best Western Films

Best Western FilmsThere’s no doubt about it: a lot of film fans hold Hollywood westerns in a special place in their hearts. Whether it’s a mano a mano standoff in a deserted frontier town, a daring train robbery, or the simplicity of a cattle drive, the best western films deliver an unforgettable, iconic American experience.

The best western films enjoy one of the most popular followings of all the different genres of cult classic movies. One of the reason these films are so great is they don’t rely so heavily on advanced moviemaking technology and computer generated images like some of the other, more generic action movies out there today. Even modern westerns like True Grit and 3:10 to Yuma pay homage to the simpler days of western films… they’re remakes! A great western film will grip you with the depth of its characters and the furious pace of its plot, and will tantalize your imagination with the possibilities of the open range. Who cares if it’s in black or white?

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Best Western Films

Western films typically focus on frontier life in the Old American West. Their settings are new towns and endless plains. As American pioneers moved west, they had to be tougher than the harsh, unforgiving environment that surrounded them. Western films reflect these people’s tough as nails attitude, resourcefulness, and entrepreneurial spirit.

And we can’t forget the outlaws and card sharks, the train robbers and scoundrels, that moved west along with the others!  Further, there is almost always encounters with Native Americans along the way. The best western films feature a hero who is not only pitted against an external enemy, but against himself or some other demon from his past.

Western films were popular during the silent film era, but they fell out of favor during the 1920s and 1930s until John Wayne burst onto the Hollywood Scene. The famous actor started a trend; the western quickly returned to prominence as one of the most popular genres and became a grand Hollywood tradition. Here’s a list of some of the best western films to get you started:

If you haven’t watched many westerns films yet, you should give them a try. No other film genre truly captures the unique experience of American frontier life.

Best Western Films

Indie Movies

Indie MoviesIf you’re like me, your mom probably told you to never judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that’s what most filmgoers do. Movies lacking recognizable actors or directing talent, without the benefit of an enormous budget and advertising campaign, are often swept aside at the box office. It’s a shame. Some of the most compelling films I’ve ever seen were Independent (or “Indie”) films.

Indie movies have become catchall termsIndie Movies for movies that are produced without the backing of one of the major film studios in Hollywood.  They don’t enjoy the “buzz” of a film that has an actor like George Clooney or Julia Roberts, nor do they have the budgets for the awesome computer generated special effects and epic scope of the blockbusters. Indie movies have been around as long as film has existed. Despite their financial and marketing disadvantages, they continue to be created at a rapid pace.

Because Indie films start with zero exposure and a shoestring budget, they have to make up for this with a tight plot and compelling characters. There is no room for error; the stars must align for an independent production to get the level of publicity needed to make it to a mainstream audience.

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Indie MoviesOften, indie movies are directors’ early attempts to break into the film industry. They take risks and they are not yet tied to Hollywood convention. This risk-tasking and artistic expression, usually done through character-driven narratives, produce a stunning variety of results. It is interesting to witness this entrepreneurial filmmaking spirit in an environment that is so filled with convention and cliche.

There are some film festivals out there, like the Sundance Film Festival, that have brought an increased amount of exposure to independent filmmaking. Yet still, you have to search pretty hard sometimes to find the gems that don’t catch the judges’ or fans’ attention.

The best indie movies won’t wow you with their exotic locales or special effects. But they will captivate you with their characters, and take you on a psychological journey that is thought-provoking and often unexpected. Here are a few ofIndie Movies my absolute favorites:

Check out these fantastic films and witness film as it was meant to be- an art form of expression, not some sort two hour event where the director makes sure to hit every point on mainstream Hollywood’s conventions before the final credits roll.

Home Theater Ideas

Home Theater IdeasThere’s just something really cool about going to see a movie at the theaters.  Finding the best seats in the house.  Savoring some buttery popcorn.  Then the lights go down before the movie sweeps you into another world.  If only there was a way to recreate that experience in your living room…

Now there is!  Technology has made it possible for us to create your very own home theater.  With a modest initial investment, you can relive the movie theater experience, without the crowd, without cell phones going off every 5 minutes, crying babies, or other annoying distractions.  You don’t need grand home theater ideas to come up with a nice set up.  A great thing about making your own theater is the possibilities are truly scalable.

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Home Theater IdeasYou can start with some very simple equipment and work your way up from there.  To create a theater-like “feel” you probably need (at the bare minimum) a projector and a decent sound system to complement it.  Some of my buddies mounted a projector on a wall in their apartment and hooked it up to a nice set of speakers.  Instead of using a pull-down projector (they couldn’t afford one), they just projected the image onto a blank white wall.  It wasn’t perfect, but it still gave them the chance to watch movies, television, and play video games on an enormous screen with some rocking audio.

After you get the basic equipment , it’s up to you whether and how far you want to upgrade your new theater.  There are tons of options out there, from fancy projector screens to reclining theater chairs that make the chairs at the theaters seem about as comfortable as a church pew.  Some people really go all out and make it into a full-blown hobby while others are happy with just a basic setup.  If you like watching cult classic movies, I strongly suggest looking into some home theater ideas.  Making your living room feel like the local megaplex is a lot more affordable than you might think!

Home Theater Ideas

Eccentric Cinema

Eccentric Cinema Tired of all the Hollywood conventions?  I don’t blame you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a movie that seemed interesting and unconventional about halfway through, only to falter towards the end back into all of the worn out cliches.  The good news is not all films fit the common mold – you just have to know where to look for the interesting ones.

Some of the more popular cult classic movies fall into the category of what I call “eccentric cinema.”  This is a category, not a genre, because films of all different types refuse to follow the Hollywood norm.  There are tons of ways filmmakers go against the grain, whether it’s a unique lighting style, disjointed plots, or even allegorical tales with enough layers to make your head spin.

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Some filmmakers consider themselves artists before they consider themselvesEccentric Cinema craftsmen.  For that reason, artistic directors have pushed the envelope through eccentric cinema for as long as it has existed as a medium of entertainment.

Unfortunately, these types of movies are hard to come by in “mainstream” movie theaters.  If you have any arthouse theaters in your area, they are good bets to find some weird films to satisfy your appetite for something a little different.  And there’s always the option to check out some eccentric cinema online.

Eccentric  movies are often independently-produced.  Many of these low budget experiments are foreign films.  This is cool because foreign films will boraden your perspective to a global level, and inspire you to travel and explore new places.  Additionally, foreign directors are less tied down by traditional Hollywood conventions.  Here are some of my favorite movies to get you get you off the beaten path:

Have fun exploring these often underexposed films.  It’s cool to go into a movie and have no idea of what to expect.

Classic Comedy Movies

Classic Comedy MoviesThere’s nothing better to take your mind off a terrible day than a lighthearted comedy movie. These films will make you laugh, not only because of the ridiculous situations their characters put themselves in to, but also because there is always a grain of truth in the humor.

Some of my favorite films are ones that make me laugh but also make me think. Classic comedy movies prove that you can still create a thought-provoking experience and send the audience home with their sides hurting from so much laughter.

Comedy movies are great for all occasions, whether you’re spending an evening in with the family or just hanging out with your friends. A bonus: these tend to make great choices for a first date as well! Going to see a funny movie with your date takes the pressure off to always have something to talk about, eases the tension when you can share some laughter, and gives you a great topic to talk about at dinner or wherever else you decide to take the evening next.

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Classic comedy movies have appeared frequently throughout Hollywood history. In fact, many regard this genre as the oldest genre in all of moviemaking. There are many different types of comedy movies, including dark humor, situational comedy, romantic comedies, and physical or slapstick comedies. Physical and slapstick, popularized by Charlie Chaplin and the Three Stooges, are two of the oldest branches because they do not require dialog to convey their message and get their audiences laughing.Classic Comedy Movies

Another interesting type of comedy is the comedy of manners, which pokes fun at the behavior and expectations of certain social classes, usually in the context of a love affair or some other type of family scandal. The roots to the comedy of manners can be traced back all the way to William Shakespeare, whose work has inspired countless Hollywood renditions.

There are still good comedies out there, but it seems you have to search harder and harder to find them. It’s been a while since I came out of the theater with my side aching from laughing so hard.

When I’m in the mood for something fun and I’m not happy with the current features, I turn to classic comedy movies to entertain me and help me see the light in things.

The list above mentions some of my absolute favorites and provides a sample of the different types of comedy… check them out and become fast friends with the belly laugh!

Classic Comedy Movies

Best Film Noir

Best Film NoirPrivate eyes and smoke-filled rooms. Tons of hard alcohol. Fedoras and overcoats. Femme fatales and a protagonist with a cynical worldview.

Mix these all together and what do you have? Film noir, French for “black film”, is a distinctive term used to describe the popular Hollywood crime dramas produced in the 1940s to 1950s. Film noir combines a black and white visual style with the hardboiled crime fiction that spawned during America’s Great Depression. It is a fan favorite of both casual movie fans and cult classic movies aficionados alike. People are drawn to these films because of the sexy stars, complicated storylines filled with plot twists, and the danger that the movies represent. Urban life is dangerous… and no one can be trusted.

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A new film noir fan might be surprised at just how much attentionBest Film Noir they will have to pay when they are watching these movies.  It’s something to keep in mind when you start making your way through some of the best film noir that’s out there.  It used to frustrate me sometimes when I would miss a crucial point in a plot just because I wasn’t paying attention during some dialog from earlier.  You have to train yourself to really pay attention because you’re probably used to contemporary movies, which tend to be heavier on action and less focused on dialog.  The good news is that even if you don’t understand the plot the first time through, film noir is fascinating enough to make you watch the same movies over and over again!

Here’s a list of the some of the best film noir over the years:

These ten noir films listed above should be more than enough to get you started into the fascinating world of film noir.  Soon enough you’ll be well acquainted with the genre’s most prominent characters  and the sexy femme fatales… just don’t take up their smoking habits.As a side note, the genesis of film noir had a lot to do with some of the detective literature of the time.  Raymond Chandler’s novels are some of the most well-loved, and deservedly so.  For those that still like to read the book AND watch the movie adaptation, you can’t go wrong checking him out!

Best Film Noir

List of Classic Movies

List of Classic MoviesListmaking is a dangerous endeavor.  People will always point out items that should or shouldn’t be included, or start bickering about some sort of inequity in the rankings.  But a list can be a useful tool to help you figure out where to get started watching cult classic movies.  The order here isn’t meant to imply any rankings and by no means is this list comprehensive.  Hopefully you can use it to help explore your tastes and figure out what you really like.  I’ve included some information about particular cult genres below as well.  Happy watching!

50 of My Favorite Cult Classic Movies

  1. The Texas Chainsaw MassacreList of Classic Movies
  2. Hard Boiled
  3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  4. Dazed & Confused
  5. Slacker
  6. Eraserhead
  7. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  8. This is Spinal Tap
  9. Blade Runner
  10. Akira
  11. Clerks
  12. The Big Lebowski
  13. Friday
  14. Easy Rider
  15. Pink Floyd: The Wall
  16. Johnny Guitar
  17. The Blues BrothersList of Classic Movies
  18. Apocalypse Now
  19. A Clockwork Orange
  20. Harold and Maude
  21. The Naked Gun
  22. The Evil Dead
  23. Miller’s Crossing
  24. Blood Simple
  25. Pulp Fiction
  26. The Silence of the Lambs
  27. Repo Man
  28. Requiem for a Dream
  29. Mad Max
  30. The Kingdom
  31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  32. Showgirls
  33. Rushmore
  34. The Royal Tenenbaums
  35. Dr. No
  36. Kiss Me Deadly
  37. NosferatuList of Classic Movies
  38. M
  39. Breakfast At Tiffany’s
  40. Rebel Without a Cause
  41. Deliverance
  42. The Manchurian Candidate
  43. Jaws
  44. The Exorcist
  45. Airplane!
  46. Ghostbusters
  47. The Breakfast Club
  48. The Goonies
  49. Big Trouble in Little China
  50. Sixteen Candles


Classics By Genre


Cheap Movie Posters

Cheap Movie PostersSome of the coolest things about cult classic movies are the movie posters that advertise them when they’re released at the theater.  Movie posters have become a collectible item, especially for the older films.  If you have the money to get a hold of some original Hollywood memorabilia, more power to you!  But for those of you on a tighter budget, there’s another option: cheap movie posters!

Movie posters are a great way for film fans to show off their movie tastes.  Not only doCheap Movie Posters movie posters offer you the chance to express your personality to anyone who might be visiting your home… they make for pretty cool decorations as well.  The common stereotype that comes to mind is a tiny dorm room, littered with lofted beds and cheap movie posters covering up all the holes in the walls.

Cheap Movie PostersThe common belief is after you graduate, you throw your posters out and “grow up.”  But it doesn’t have to be like that!  I really enjoyed the various posters that I kept up in my dorm rooms, apartments, etc.  Just because I’m a little older now doesn’t mean I have to quit displaying my love for cult classic movies for the world to see.

One day I was looking into maybe getting some new posters and I was very pleased when I discovered that you really do have a lot of choices should you decide to get some new ones.  Cheap movie posters come in different shapes and sizes, of course.  But the features I found most interesting are the various textures that are available.  You can even get reprints, international versions, and collectable posters to suit your aesthetic taste.

Many of my personal favorite movie posters are those from classic science fiction and martial arts genres.  But if that’s not your thing, it’s hard to beat a good old black and white poster of your favorite film noir film.  And there’s always the iconic Casablanca poster… maybe the most popular romance movie of all time.

If you don’t have the money for expensive artwork or decor in your home, good old cheap movie posters can really add a lot.  They give your place a character all of its own, and for an extraordinary inexpensive price!  With a little planning you can match color schemes or come up with an awesome design scheme. Once you have a little more income, you can frame your favorites and really create a timeless look.

Cheap Movie Posters

Classic Horror Movies

Classic Horror MoviesIt’s pouring outside. The wind whips at the ancient house, sending hail and wayward tree limbs crashing into the windows. You’re upstairs, squeezed in the closet somewhere between all the hangars and the old winter jackets. You hear something downstairs that sends your heart nearly racing out of your chest. Yes, it was the front door creaking open. The sound is faint but unmistakable. Heavy footfalls echo in the foyer, circling the bottom floor. You press your ear against the closet door. The footsteps have stopped, and the only sounds you can hear are the storm outside and the cuckoo clock ticking in the living area. You sigh… maybe you were just imagining things. You reach your trembling hand to open the closet and freeze. Someone is coming up the stairs…

If this type of scenario intrigues you, you’ve come to the right place: welcome to theClassic Horror Movies world of classic horror movies! Horror movies, along with westerns and martial arts movies, are one of the most popular genres and appeal to a wide variety of film fans. Maybe there’s something dark within each and every one of us that relates to these movies. Maybe it’s a morbid curiosity that drives us to watch as we ask ourselves, what would I do if I was in that situation? Or maybe it’s just the pure adrenaline rush.

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Classic horror movies demonstrate just how powerful an emotional response a film can create when all of its components – the lighting, the sound, the background music, the cinematography – blend together to fill the audience with anticipation and dread. Unlike most of the scary movies that are currently released, many of the classic horror movies relied on more than just blood and gore to scare an audience.

Some of the best scary movies were true psychological thrillers, films that got into your head with their terrifying characters and kept you up late at night just thinking… wondering.  These are definitely my favorite kinds of classic horror movies, but there a few more blood-soaked ones that make the cut as well.

Horror movies, like science fiction movies, often incorporate surreal elements into their plots.  It’s not uncommon for them to feature unsavory characters like ghosts, zombies, vampires, demons, and werewolves.  But invoking the supernatural is not necessary. Lately, it seems that horror movie directors have relied a lot on the simple things that make up a good horror film… a group of young characters with little common sense, an abandoned house for a weekend, and a deranged killer.

These things have become so cliched that some directors parody the genre inClassic Horror Movies their newest movies, tipping a hat to the conventions while still trying to come up with something that is unique.  Here is a list of some of my favorites to get you started:

I tried to mention a few classic horror movies from different time periods and different styles (some are slashers, and some more psychological).  Have fun and remember… always keep your closet door closed.

Classic Horror Movies

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