10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

January 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

10 Flicks Movie Lists

I’m a proud movie nerd.

We’ve covered that so it shouldn’t surprise anyone who reads this blog that I follow box office numbers closely.  The only place I go for box office information online is Box Office Mojo.

Recently, I was checking the all time domestic numbers and decided to see if I could narrow the top 100 down to 10.  Can you?

Click here to see the Top 100

So here are my 10 favorite box office moneymakers.

Honourable Mention: Avatar, 300, The Sixth Sense, Saving Private Ryan

Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 4

#4 – $460,998,007

I adore the original trilogy and enjoyed the prequels but A New Hope will always be my favorite. (Followed closely by Empire Strikes Back.)

XTRA | If I Could Only Recommend ONE Science Fiction Film



#9 – $403,706,375

It may not be my favorite superhero movie of all time but it certainly paved the way for some of the most entertaining movies in history.

“Go web go!”

Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Lord Of The Rings

#12 – $377,027,325

It’s tough to pick one movie when all three are in the top 100.  I look at the series and see one giant incredible movie but I had to pick one so ROTK was the winner.

XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings


Transformers Optimus Prime

#22 – $319,246,193

Even though I absolutely hated the sequel, the original is one of the most entertaining popcorn movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen.  It had giant fighting robots and some of the best and most complex visual effects ever created.

XTRA | Transformers 3?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

Independence Day

Independence Day Area 51 Attack

#30 – $306,169,268

Will Smith is my favorite actor.  I’m one of the reasons his movies always make 100 million+ in theaters.  Independence Day will always be one of the greats.  ID4 is a perfect example of a huge box office blockbuster.  Big stars, big FX and big thrills.

XTRA | Wouldn’t it be awesome if Independence Day 2 was about…



#70 – $227,966,634

I talk about Signs a lot on this site. I even thought about leaving it off this list to avoid ‘Signs fatigue’.  However, I simply couldn’t bring myself to leave my all time favorite movie off the list.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded Trinity

#41 – $281,576,461

It’s ambitious, it’s explosive, it’s cool and it’s confusing.  It was once the record holder for most anticipated movie until it was toppled by The Dark Knight years later.

XTRA | What THE MATRIX screenplay taught me


Twister Helen Hunt Tornado

#61 – $241,721,524

Twister may surprise some people but I’ve always loved this movie.  When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of tornado warnings.  This eventually ignited an interest in weather and this movie came along right in the middle of that childhood obsession.  Twister is a fun movie. Plain and Simple.

Jurassic Park


#15 – $357,067,947

To this day, I’m still fascinated by how well the effects stand up compared to today’s standards.  Such a fun movie.

The Dark Knight


#3 – $533,345,358

My second favorite movie ever.  I’ve never been so excited to see a movie in my entire life and to have the film deliver on all the hype was amazing.

Try narrowing down your own list of 10 box office favorites.  It’s not that easy.

Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If They Made A BASE WARS Movie?

March 25, 2011 at 8:30 am

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If They Made A Base Wars Movie? | Movie Blog


Stop reading now if you aren’t entertained by giant robots kicking the crap out of each other…  You can stay if you hated Transformers 2 because everybody hated that movie.

This year, we will be treated to not one but TWO giant robot movies.  Transformers Dark of the Moon and Real Steel.  Even though I thought Transformers Revenge of the Fallen was a complete disaster, the third installment is still one of my most anticipated movie of the summer.  There are other movies that are close but I happen to love Michael Bay action movies and his new film looks like a blast.

XTRA: Check out my summer movie rankings.

Some people may not like the Transformers franchise (or Michael Bay) at all but I love big summer movies like this.  You would think I’d be a little more excited about Real Steel but I’m not completely sold yet.

So many boxing movies are among the most successful sports films ever made.  2010 gave us yet another Academy Award winning boxing film in The Fighter.  Something tells me Real Steel won’t be winning any Oscars but it could still be entertaining.

Boxing may be the most decorated sport on the big screen but if there is a second place it’s baseball.  Let’s get some robots on a diamond shall we?

Remember Base Wars for NES?

Base Wars is an old school baseball game where you play with a team of supercharged Cyborgs with guns.  In this baseball game, you aren’t out if you’re tagged.  You fight for the base and it was a blast.

My favorite baseball game growing up was Baseball Simulator 1000 but Base Wars is a close second.  How can you resist beating the hell out of your friends just to be safe a second?  Even pitching a ball right down the middle only to curve it at the last second was sweet.

Having complete control over the ball like that got annoying so we instituted a rule that one pitch per at bat had to be down the middle. You just never knew which one.  Failing to comply with this rule meant you had to lose the next battle.  Tough cost as your robots took damage throughout the game.

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If They Made A Base Wars Movie? | Movie Blog

Could they make a Base Wars movie? I think it would be very similar to Real Steel so you would have to avoid that.  I like the idea of making a Base Wars movie set in a world that’s become too technologically obsessed and forgotten the purity of things like Baseball.

My Base Wars movie would mix The Sandlot and Field of Dreams together and have the whole thing revolve around our history as a species.

Movies like this tend to assume that people stopped watching humans play in favor of huge Gladiator Robots.  I think Major League Baseball would remain.  It has to!

Here is how I would do it.

MLB struggles in the ratings so they decide to add Base Wars to the seventh inning stretch of each game.  I would have the film center on a family with three generations.  A grandfather who played a few pro seasons, his son who is currently a major league manager and former player and his son who is a gifted engineer.

The movie would be about our emotional attachment to the game AND about the evolution of our planet’s technology.  Also there would be HUGE robot battles and a ton of baseball.

I just wouldn’t want the movie to be set in the future where baseball is dead.  That’s not a movie I want to see.  There would be nothing but bitter old men rejecting the game.  I think the integration of robots is enough while still preserving what makes the game of baseball great.  Of course, there still needs to be some high stakes and conflicts but I haven’t developed the entire story yet.

Will we ever see a Base Wars movie?  Probably not but if this video is any evidence, we may see the real thing someday.

I’d name the robots after famous movies. Johnny 5, Optimus, HAL etc…

PS: How have we not had a remake of Base Wars yet?!  Get on it people!

All Time Best: Movie Character You Want To Be Friends With

October 21, 2010 at 8:57 am

All Time Best: Movie Character You Would Want To Be Friends With

This was a fun post to write.

Among my friends, it was a pretty good debate as to who the champion might be.

Would Billy Madison still be fun once he graduated from teacher’s college?

Could it be Frodo? Or is Sam a better friend overall.

Chewbacca?  A co-worker of mine summed up the Star Wars alum well:

“He’s got your back.”

All Time Best: Movie Character You Want To Be Friends With

How bad ass would it be if your best friend was Optimus Prime?  Can you imagine piling into a vehicle on your way to the bars and he yells

“Roll out!”

All Time Best: Movie Character You Would Want To Be Friends With


Perhaps, the winner is Frank the Tank.

“I can see Blue…  He looks glorious!”

All Time Best: Movie Character You Want To Be Friends With

At the same time, arguments can be made for Vince Vaughn’s Bernard as well.

While we’re on the topic…  How about Wedding Crashers?

What about Stifler?  Would he get annoying over time? Is E.L from Road Trip a better pick or is that just Stifler again?

On an obscure note, I’ve always been a fan of Jesse from Garden State.  Who wouldn’t want a friend who’s filthy rich thanks to silent velcrow and bombs around mansions in golf carts.

Would you rather be friends with Marty Mcfly or Doc Brown?  Marty would stay up later but what if the flux capacitor breaks down?

“Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

All Time Best: Movie Character You Would Want To Be Friends With

Terminator? Dutch?

Slater from Dazed and Confused?

Anyone from The Hangover?  Mike Tyson as Mike Tyson from The Hangover?

What about Red from The Shawshank Redemption?

In the end, arguments can be made for all of these characters and thousands of others I probably overlooked.

Still, I’m pretty happy about my pick.

It’s hard to argue that a fantastic friend to have would be:

Van Wilder

All Time Best: Movie Character You Would Want To Be Friends With

Van Wilder (who also drives a golf cart… ) would have been a blast to hang out with in college.

True, having Chewy around would be a fantastic conversation starter but I’m basing my opinion on someone from earth for the purposes of this post.


I think I’ve changed my mind…

Just looking at that Chewy pic of him pitching makes him the real winner here.  How could you not want him as a friend?

Here it is again:

All Time Best: Movie Character You Want To Be Friends With


What’s your pick?

10 Flicks: If I Could Only Own 10 Movies

October 19, 2010 at 7:30 am

10 Flicks: If I Could Only Own 10 Movies

I love collecting movies.

I take great pride in my growing collection of DVD’s.

The other day, I was looking over my modest collection of Blu Ray discs and got to thinking about which ones I would upgrade first.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about it either.  Remember VHS tapes?

This edition of 10 Flicks is kind of based on that idea.  What if I had to restart?

Here are the top 10 movies I’d own if I could only have 10.

My initial fear was that this list would simply become my top 10 favorite movies but you have to put some thought into these lists!

If you could only own 10 would you really want the same types of films?  You have to think long term.

So this list factors in special features and documentaries as well as the film itself.  (Also, series & box sets count as one.  Yes, I’m aware that may or may not be cheating.  I don’t feel bad.)

The Lord of the Rings

Read More

Featured Post: Why Special Features Inspire Filmmakers

Star Wars


Good Will Hunting

The Shawshank Redemption

Read More

A Beautiful Mind


The Matrix Trilogy

Read More

Featured Post: What The Matrix Screenplay Taught Me

The Dark Knight

Read More

A Few Good Men

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The Bottom 3: 2009′s Worst Movies

December 16, 2009 at 3:17 am

2009's Worst MoviesWhat I love about movies is how everyone has an opinion.  You don’t have to be an expert to love or hate certain movies.  As a filmmaker, I’ve made it a point to be aware of this.  I’ll never make a movie that everyone will like.  I focus on writing movies that I like and making the best movies I can.  You have to be mindful of the audience you’re after though.  The biggest flops are the films that cater to a specific audience who are ultimately disappointed.

I would never push Playing Through towards a hardcore action fan.  I know it’s best suited for fans of drama with a small interest in golf.  My point is, consumers tend to hate movies that promise something and fail to deliver.  Which brings me to 2009’s Bottom 3:

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers 2 Devastator

What could have been...

A perfect example of empty promises.  I was obsessed with the first Transformers.  I find giant fighting robots entertaining. What I loved about the first film besides the battles was how small the story was given the size of the Transformers mythology.  The effects made the movie entertaining but following Sam as he discovers the world of Transformers is what made that movie memorable.  The sequel promised more of the same.  However, it delivered a story that was just too big for it’s own good.  I was disappointed.

Too many robots! Why not get rid of the offensive twins and give Ironhide and Wratchet something more to do?  Who was that ancient robot besides convenient exposition?  What’s the point of The Fallen?  He sucked as the ‘main’ villain.  He showed up late and died too quickly.

I think it would have been truly bad ass to have all the autobots defending that pyramid from Devastator.  Think of how awesome that sequence might have been.  In the end, the story wasn’t the greatest and there were so many characters I didn’t care about.

Positive: The forest battle.
Negative: Too many robots.  Not enough story.

Dragonball: Evolution

Don't be fooled... This part wasn't exciting at all.

Don't be fooled... This part wasn't exciting at all.

Let me explain.  I went into Blockbuster video a few weeks ago and scanned their previously viewed section.  Buy 2 get 1 free.  I had 5 DVD’s in my hand and needed a 6th.  Dragonball was my dark horse pick.  Who knows right?  So many people hated that movie but there must have been a reason why they made it?  Maybe I’m the audience they were looking for…

I was wrong. I was better off without the free movie.

It’s probably one of the worst movies of all time.  I didn’t like Transformers 2 but it still had it’s moments.  You could still rent that movie and sit through it relatively pain free.  This is not the case with Dragonball: Evolution.  I wasn’t a giant fan of the cartoon but I was expecting a movie with epic fights in huge open fields.  The old cartoon had fights that would last 5 or 6 episodes.  In the movie, Goku fights highschool bullies that are pretty much black belts for no good reason.  This is an example of not knowing the audience.  I think they were trying to make the film appeal to everyone and instead it appealed to no one and alienated the core fans.

So much is wrong with this movie. No good fights.  No twists.  No laughs.  No danger.  No suspense.  Who cares?

Positive: When he turns into the monkey.  That was a decent twist I suppose.  I’m sure hardcore fans saw it coming though.  Actually they probably already left the theater or burned the disc.
Negative: Discs don’t burn do they?

X-Men origins: Wolverine

Looks cool yet isn't.

Looks cool yet isn't.

One of my favorite movies of 2009 earned it’s place in my heart because of how much fun I had in the theater.  (Check back soon for more on my favorites of the year.)  Wolverine is not that movie.  I actually laughed in disbelief at certain points.  They couldn’t possibly sell this as a Wolverine movie right?  I feel like someone wrote a fantastic movie and we were destined for an awesome flick.  Then the studio heads got a hold of it and said:

“Add 9 more mutants”

“Won’t that complicat—“

“Just do it!”

The writers went back to work and jammed in a whole bunch of useless characters and plot points without explaining anything.

Maybe they thought it strengthened the story.  Or maybe they wrote a story full of holes and needed a quick fix.  I think they just wanted to sell toys.  Take Gambit for example.  Remove him from the movie and you lose nothing.  He’s an awesome character and they wasted a golden opportunity.  This whole movie is one big wasted opportunity.

Oh and also, don’t get me started on Wolverine’s memory loss.  Are you kidding me?  That whole scene belongs on the blooper reel not the final act.  I was so mad after I saw this movie.

I really wanted to love it.  I’m definitely part of their target demographic right?  I honestly thought Dragonball would have taken the top spot this year until I started thinking about Wolverine again.  It’s the worst movie I saw in 2009.

Positive: Deadpool was pretty cool.
Negative: No he wasn’t.

Honourable Mention: Drag Me To Hell…  I was so excited to see this movie.  Maybe something is wrong with me but I didn’t like it at all.