The Ultimate Film List . . . and Personal Favorties: Part I

Things are  a little hectic for me right now, but that’s what’ it’s like to work in entertainment business.

So in the mean time I’ve cooked up a list of my favorite films and must-see movies that you may have seen or some that maybe you never got around to yet. Regardless, here are some great films broken up by genre that includes some good options and by far is not a complete best list, as there are just too many great films  to name . . . and also this list may be somewhat bias to my personal taste, but your welcome to chip in and comment and maybe I’ll post your faves on a later date. Till then here are my favorites and must see movies for your summer enjoyment.

It’s the best way to stay out of the heat!

MY FAVORITES( list in no particular order.)

  1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy                             
  2. Jurassic Park
  3.  His Girl Friday
  4. Singing in the Rain
  5. The Dark Knight
  6. Pirates of the Caribbean
  7. The Fugitive
  8. Star Wars
  9. L.A. Confidential
  10. Django Unchained
  11. Beauty and the Beast


  1. To Kill a Mockingbird           
  2. The Ten Commandments
  3. My Fair Lady
  4. Gone with the Wind
  5. Vertigo
  6. The Wizard of Oz
  7. Some Like it Hot
  8. The Birds
  9. Sunset Blvd.


  1. The Lion King
  2. Frozen
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Spirited Away
  5. The Last Guardians
  6. Howl’s Moving Castle                              
  7. Coraline                                    
  8. Toy Story
  9. Shrek
  10. Ice Age
  11. Corpse Bride
  12. Brave
  13. Rise of the Guardians


  1. Blazing Saddles
  2. MASH
  3. Caddyshack
  4. Tropic Thunder
  5. Office Space
  6. Hot Fuzz
  7. Rush Hour
  8. Meet the Fockers
  9. Lethal Weapon
  10. 21 Jump Street


  1. Carrie                                                               
  2. Night on Elm Street
  3. The Shining
  4. The Omen
  5. Saw
  6. Chucky
  7. The Exorcist
  8. The Conjuring
  9. The Ring


  1. Pretty Woman
  2. Love Actually
  3. Pride and Prejudice
  4. Shakespeare in Love
  5. The Notebook
  6. Bridget Jones Dairy
  7. Sleepless in Seattle
  8. When Harry Met Sally
  9. My Best Friend’s Wedding


  1. Edward Scsissorhands
  2. Alien
  3. Harry Potter Series
  4. Minority Report
  5. E.T.
  6. The Matrix
  7. Men in Black
  8. Rise of of Planet of the Apes
  9. Indiana Jones Series
  10. Gremlins
  11. The Never Ending Story
  12. The Abyss



  1. Mission: Impossible
  2. Kill Bill
  3. Skyfall
  4. Terminator
  5. Die Hard
  6. Pacific Rim
  7. District 9
  8. Jaws
  9. Desperado
  10. Wanted
  11. Twister
  12. Gone in 60 Seconds
  13. Fast & The Furious
  14. Bad Boys



  1. Sin City
  2. Batman(Nolan series)
  3. X-Men/X-Men First Class/X-Days of Future Past
  4. The Amazing Spiderman/Spiderman
  5. The Avengers
  6. Thor
  7. Man of Steel
  8. Captain America
  9. Iron Man
  10. 300
  11. Kick- Ass


  1. Gladiator
  2. The Departed
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. Hustle & Flow
  5.  Fight Club
  6. Elizabeth
  7. Forrest Gump
  8.  The Godfather
  9. Crash
  10. 12 Years of Slave
  11. Shawshank Redemption
  12. The Green Mile
  13. A Beautiful Mind
  14. The Silence of the Lambs
  15. Erin Brockvich
  16. The Help



  1. Chicago
  2. Les Misreables
  3. Phantom of the Opera
  4. Frozen
  5. Grease
  6. Drumline
  7. Save the Last Dance
  8. 8-Mile
  9. The Sound of Music
  10. Mary Poppins
  11. Happy Feet
  12. Sister Act











The Evolution of Disney II: Brave

The New Disney Animation

The new era of Disney 3-D Animation where girls are fearless, carefree, and fun, yet real is the new direction of the family company. Mainly moving away from the typical princess character to bolder heroines like Merida in Brave and Anna in Frozen — which I briefly discussed last time in our series. All began back in 2010 with Tangled, a few years before the smart and ballsy Brave ever appeared.

188560_1_b23_10bpub_pub16_170_R1_CMYK.jpg_rgbBrave was a departure of sorts for Disney and Pixar primarily based on the director’s and writer’s children. The plot follows princess Merida’s protest to accept her traditional role and be a lady, preferring to shoot bow and arrows and frolic in the Scottish hillside.  So she devises a plan that seems simple: use a witch to change her fate, but changing her fate is not as simple as it seems.

The film originally called The Bear and The Bow at one point is unique from previous Pixar films as it features the first female protagonist.

Overall it is a great story with excellent character development and artwork, some of which I have included below. While it never ceases to amaze me how much detail Pixar or Disney puts into their films and this carries over into everything they do, even the merchandise and parks.

Art of Brave


brave concept art

Concept Art




Concept Pixar

Here are also a few sketches from pre-production.

BRAVE-Concept-Art-Fergus-and-Triplets-150x150 BRAVE-Concept-Art-Fergus-Facial-Expressions-150x150 Brave-Angus-Concept-Art-150x150 brave2 1000px-Matt_ElinorMeridaHair_01

Also this film is great to look at for VFX and 3-D techniques that achieve accurate realism. My favorite is Merida’s hair.








(All images copyright of Disney & Pixar)

The Real Stars of Transformers: Age of Extinction

Like us, there’s more to them than meets the eye,” states Optimus Prime in the original Transformers and it still holds true today, several years later and millions of dollars into the franchise the Transformers have returned for another ride. And over the years with each installment the actors and story lines have changed and even the design, but one thing has remained the same — that there is no show without the Transformers, who have always been the real stars of the films and like it or not are here to stay or at least one can hope so anyway. Meanwhile Michael Bay has managed yet again to get another story out of the franchise, which from the trailers are quite impressive.

Although none of this would be possible without the alien bots who steal the scenes every time. So just in time for the release of  Transformers: Age of Extinction here’s a breakdown and behind the scenes look at the real stars — the Transformers.  Plus check out this link for more


AUTOBOTS * Disclaimer:  some character accuracy may be slightly off as collected from multiple sources.

OPTIMUS PRIME:  the bot in charge. You don’t mess with the Prime. This is a custom-built truck design from Western Star, that you can now ride in thanks to Uber for a limited time. Has 2 truck versions in the new film.

BUMBLEBEE: You already know: in case you don’t I’m the yellow vintage 1967 Camaro SS

Chevrolet Camaro 2014

DRIFT:  the new kid on the block sporting the blue; former decepticon.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse


HOUND: Military style. From Oshkosh Defense.


RATCHET: same ole same. Medical officer; H2 Hummer.

BRAINS: he’s back! Still an Autobot.


CROSSHAIRS: new bot, the green sexy machine; paratrooper.

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray





GALVATRON: main leader and villain, reborn Megatron. 

Freight liner Argosy


STINGER: Spy and a sabotage.

Pagani Huayra


LOCKDOWN: the bounty hunter, not really a decepticon; 700 horsepower @ 8,250 rpm from the 6.5L V12. Aventador LP 700-4 




GRIMLOCK: dinobot leader and Prime’s sidekick; T-REX.

STRAFE: assault infantry

SLUG: triceratops

SCORN: demolition specialist.




Also Michael Bay has a cool link for updates on his films.   Photos copyright of Paramount via various sources.

The Great Gatsby’s Enchantment









Have you ever wondered what 1920s New York City might have been like with bustling cars, spurring new industries, American moguls, and fashionable day – players partying the night away on the edges of the city — if so The Great Gatsby might be the answer you crave.

Set in the spring of 1922 in New York City and Long Island, The Great Gatsby follows Nick Carraway’s pursuit of the American Dream and his encounter with a mysterious neighbor named Gatsby, whose ambition eventually leads to tragedy.

The Great Gatsby, originally written by author F. Scott Fitzgerald,  has received an impressive makeover in this modern film adaptation by production designer and costume designer Catherine Martin, who creates a mesmerizing look into the world of Gatsby, filled with color, pizzazz, and refined taste; illuminating the elusive wonder of men, time, and place. The design recalls to mind other visually stunning and dreamy films like American Beauty, Pleasantville, Moulin Rouge, Big Fish, and Dick Tracy.

The designer uses bold and pastel color palettes, in favor of standard sepia or black and white depictions of the Jazz Age to realize the true vibrancy and energy of the period.

Additionally, The Great Gatsby was filmed entirely in Australia and built from the ground up, 42 sets were designed on location or on nearby sound stages, and each was created with a contrasting unique flair to represent the diverse array of characters in the film.


















The main centerpiece of it all–Gatsby’s mansion was envisioned as an “adult Disneyland” castle with all the trimmings. Inspired by numerous sources, including art deco, a Miami hotel, and original New York architecture like the Oheka Castle and Beacon Towers, it’s the grandest undertaking and re-imaging of all the sets created; every room has a life of its own, filled with opulence where no detail is overlooked, from the staircases to the furnishings. Gatsby’s ambitious home is modeled specifically on St. Patrick’s in Australia. While on the contrasting end the Buchanan’s house is based on the Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island.

Although both mansions are quite amazing, Maguire’s character cottage house offers a sweet, quaint, and charming appeal that is irresistible and the New York City apartment briefly shown is bursting with fun patterns.

But it is the spectacular visual effects used to compliment the production design of The Great Gatsby; all of which were designed by Animal Logic, who spent 18 months helping to bring Director Baz Luhrmann’s vision to life, that really raises the bar.

Meanwhile, words can only capture so much and this grand design can only truly be appreciated by the pictures, so I’ll let them do the talking.








Overall The Great Gatsby has a visionary style that is captivating, dream worthy, and a visual masterpiece that enhances every frame and one I hope you take the time to enjoy.


The Great Gatsby – Animal Logic


(All Images copyrighted and courtesy of Warner Bros.)




Last time, the Evolution of Disney: Part I focused on the upcoming film Maleficent and the costume design. This week I will focus on the makeup design and look that inspired Maleficent before it hits theaters Friday.

The look from both versions is really quite similar and they did an excellent job of translating it into a live-action film.


In like fashion to the costume design, Angelina Jolie contributed to the finished look of the character Maleficent, bringing a strong sense of what the character should look like and represent. The look is based off of her vision in collaboration with special effects artist Rick Baker, her makeup artist Toni G, and special effects artist Arjen Tuiten and was inspired by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way.

The creature elements required three hours to apply and about an hour to remove each day. Along with quite a few prosthetics that were applied on Jolie’s cheeks and nose, in addition to goat-like contact lenses which were specifically created and hand painted to match her eyes and add a little sparkle. There are even some false molars, ears, and crazy nail art to create the look of the villain. While her hair was mostly braided or in a bun to support the horns.

Overall the makeup department was going for a subtle makeup look with a few enhancements to Jolie’s already beautiful features, which can now be replicated with MAC’s new Maleficent collection inspired by the film. The lipsticks she wears in the film are the exact same colors in the collection’s palette and are meant to be compatible with all complexions.