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www.hth.co m采用百度引擎3(Baidu 1)“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (55%, season 5, episode 6) feature low-key weddings. In fact, the latter is the lowest-scoring GoT episode, largely due, it seems, to Ramsay Bolton s deplorable acts after his wedding to Sansa Stark.Tip: Big weddings are more popular with critics. Keep the slaughter and violence broad and relatively impersonal.The Longer the Episode, the Higher the Tomatometer Average(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)Only 12 episodes in the series have running times of 60 minutes or more, but they have a very Fresh 95% average. That’s slightly higher than the 94.1% average of the shorter episodes that don’t cross the one-hour mark. Four of the six GoT season 8 episodes have running times of more than an hour — and they’re all a super-sized 78 minutes or more. Only two previous episodes (season 7’s “Beyond the Wall” and “The Dragon and the Wolf”) have gone beyond the 75-minute mark, and the results are an 85.5% average Tomatometer score — which is almost Rotten by GoT standards. The rest of the episodes average 95%.Fortunately, four of season 8 s six episodes will be longer than 60 minutes.The Writer With the Highest Average Might Surprise You(Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO)Showrunners Weiss and Benioff wrote 46 of the 67 episodes together, and have a 94.8% Tomatometer average. The writers who contributed to the other 21 episodes include Bryan Cogman (10 episodes), George R.R. Martin himself (four episodes), Vanessa Taylor (three episodes), Dave Hill (three episodes), and Jane Espenson (one episode, written alongside Weiss and Benioff). While Espenson’s single episode earned a 100%, the others average around the same: Taylor at 95%, Hill at 94.3%, Martin at 95%, and Cogman at 93.8%. (It s worth noting that without the season 5 outlier “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” however, Cogman’s average for his remaining nine episodes would be the second-highest at 97.4% after Espenson s single entry.)Taylor went on to write the screenplay for the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, and Espenson became the co-executive producer on Once Upon a Time. Martin, of course, continues to frustrate rabid fans demanding his next book. He s also collaborating on the show s prequel series, starring Naomi Watts, Miranda Richardson, Jamie Campbell Bower, and more.Related: Everything We Know About HBO s Game of Thrones Prequel”With Directors, the First Is the Best(Photo by HBO)Only one of the 19 directors who have tackled GoT episodes so far has averaged 100% — that’s Tim Van Patten, who helmed the first two installments of the first season. The veteran TV director (The Sopranos, The Wire, Black Mirror, and plenty more prestige series) was brought in to reshoot the disastrous pilot episode that was a deemed a “MASSIVE PROBLEM.” Van Patten helped pull off the “biggest rescue in Hollywood history” by smoothing many of the rough edges and successfully introducing the characters and world to the audience. Under his supervision “Winter Is Coming” and “The Kingsroad” laid a perfect foundation for the show to grow.The other top directors include Alex Graves (six episodes, 98.8%), Daniel Minahan (five episodes, 97.2%), David Nutter (six episodes, 96.5%), David Petrarca (two episodes, 96%), and Miguel Sapochnik (four episodes, 96%). Director Alan Taylor, who has directed the most Game of Thrones episodes, shares the distinction of having directed four episodes with 100% Tomatometer scores, along with Graves. (Taylor s Beyond the Wall, while still high at 82%, brought down his average to 94.4% — which is like complaining that your New York City penthouse apartment on Central Park sucks because its floor-to-ceiling windows only wrap around three sides of the building.)Nutter, Sapochnik, and Benioff and Weiss are directing the final six episodes of season 8. With four 100% episodes between them, they should certainly be able to find a way for GoT to go out on top with a 95% or above finale.Tyrion Lannister Drinks, Knows Things, and Plays an Integral Part in the 100% Tomatometer Rated EpisodesTyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) is the go-to guy for 100% episodes because he’s appeared in 21 of the 22 perfect episodes and played a major part in the sections mentioned above. He was heavily featured in director Tim Van Patten’s two 100% episodes and in each of the fourth episodes with 100% scores. He also played an integral part in the two 100% Tomatometer episodes written by George R.R. Martin that feature battles ( Blackwater ) and very expensive weddings ( The Lion and the Rose ). What makes Tyrion the MVP are his appearances in Blackwater and Battle of the Bastards. They are highest-rated episodes that take place in only one or two locations (a very good thing). Basically, you want Tyrion appearing in any episode for any reason.Nudity, Major Deaths, Pie, Direwolves and CameosAfter sorting through all the GoT episodes, we learned there are several side elements that make positive Tomatometer contributions to the series. The episodes featuring pie consumption (99.1%), famous musician cameos (97.1%), Stark or Lannister death at a wedding (100%), or a direwolf being killed onscreen (99% Summer in The Door and Grey Wind in The Rains of Castamere ) have great Tomatometer averages. However, we did learn that certain favorite GoT elements or characters don’t move the Tomatometer needle; for instance, episodes featuring main or recurring characters getting naked (93.7%) or being killed (94.4%) don’t have the best Tomatometer averages comparatively.Appearances of the Night King also trend lower at 93.4%. Only two episodes have a 100% score, revealing that it s actually best to feature him during a battle episode ( Hardhome ) or a wedding episode ( The Lion and the Rose ).How to Build a Perfect 100% Fresh Game of Thrones EpisodeBased on the statistics and observations above, we’ve come up with an equation that adds up to a perfect Game of Thrones episode:Make it 61-62 minutes long + air it as the fourth episode + hire Tim Van Patten to direct it + include a major battle or fight in which the heroes suffer major losses + tack on a very expensive wedding + make sure George R.R. Martin writes the script + include Tyrion Lannister + limit the story to one or two locations + kill a direwolf + eat a pie = 100% Fresh Tomatometer score.Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. on HBO.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

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鹿早早是KS知名的LOL手游主播,在全网也拥有一定知名度。在游戏方面,鹿早早也是一位技术型玩家,她擅长玩射手,更是国服第一金克丝。虽然鹿早早在国服榜单的排名还有很大提升空间,但她一直在努力中。 游戏已经上线,不得不说,游戏刚一上线就得到了众多玩家的认可,很多玩家进入游戏页面的第一反应就是真实,枪械弹药高度打磨细节、作战场面光线优良,丰富的人物表情处理等等,这些都让千万玩家们十分的满意。更不用说,作为一款手游,使命召唤简直是在以端游的态度打造,打斗场面十分流畅,操作简单精炼,适合新手玩家快熟掌握游戏技巧。同时对于弹药射击的打击感实现高度还原,如此高品质的制作简直就是手游爱好者的福音。

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The American Film Institute (AFI) has just announced its official selections of the top 10 movies and TV shows for 2018. Among the film honorees are some recognizable titles with a lot of awards buzz, like The Irishman, 1917, and Marriage Story with genre favorites Knives Out and Jokerjoining their ranks. On the TV side, favorites like Game of Thrones, Veep and The Crown are joined by acclaimed newcomers, Chernobyl and Watchmen. In addition to the 20 honorees, AFI also recognized Parasite and Fleabag with AFI Special Awards, designated for a work of excellence outside the Institute’s criteria for American film and television. Read below for the full list of AFI winners.Top 10 Movieswww.hth.co m但是lol端游玩家总需要一个新的放松游戏,曾经这个游戏被王者荣耀取代,照目前的情况来看,还是会有很大一部分联盟玩家留在手游的,但是毕竟王者荣耀占有了太大市场,时间的沉淀,玩家的时间回忆,充值以及其他任何游戏无法比拟的社交属性,所以不会对王者荣耀造成甚至半点冲击。

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Version 3.84.22022-01-22

7.28.4 4月喜迎This week s Ketchup brings you more headlines from the world of film development news, covering such titles as Blacula, The Rose, The Toxic Avenger, and the Marvin Gaye biopic.This WEEK S TOP STORYCOLIN FARRELL AND RACHEL WEISZ TO REUNITE IN TODD SOLONDZ S LOVE CHILD(Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)Director Yorgos Lanthimos gave us a strange take on romantic relationships in The Lobster (Certified Fresh at 87%), starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, and their next project together seems like it might be thematically similar. The project was announced this week during the Cannes (virtual) market, with Farrell and Weisz attached to star in Love Child, a dark comedy from director Todd Solondz (Happiness, Wiener Dog, Welcome to the Dollhouse), who describes it as my first movie with a plot and my first movie taking place in Texas. That plot is described as a dark and hilarious twist on the classic Oedipus story, with a precocious kid who schemes to rid himself of his brutish dad so he can have his mom all to himself. But things go awry when a handsome stranger appears. Weisz will presumably play the Mom, but it s unclear whether Colin Farrell will play the dad or the handsome stranger (or, since this is a Solondz movie, maybe he ll play both?).Other Top Headlines1. CYNTHIA ERIVO TO REMAKE BETTE MIDLER S THE ROSE (Photo by Eli Winston/Everett Collection)Hollywood has been trying to make a proper Janis Joplin biopic since the 1970s (and the legal struggles were such that 30 Rock spoofed it the Jackie Jormp-Jomp episode). In 1979, one such Joplin project was fictionalized and retitled as The Rose (Fresh at 78%) instead of The Pearl, with Bette Midler starring as a beloved singer struggling with substance addiction. Cynthia Erivo is now set to star in a remake of The Rose for Searchlight Pictures, although there is currently no director or writer. Erivo began her career on Broadway before expanding to film in movies like Widows, Bad Times at the El Royale, and as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. It s worth noting that she has won an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony Award (all for The Color Purple), which means that she s only an Academy Award win away from earning EGOT status. Cynthia Erivo is currently starring as Aretha Franklin in National Geographic s Genius: Aretha (not to be confused with Jennifer Hudson s upcoming Respect), and she will also co-star as the Blue Fairy in Pinocchio on Disney+ in 2022.2. KRISTEN WIIG TO STAR IN STEPFORD WIVES-ESQUE THRILLER THE HUSBANDS (Photo by Wilson Webb/20th Century Fox)We ll never really be able to know how much better some films that were released during the COVID-19 pandemic might have done at the box office otherwise. One of those films, which opted for a streaming release in February, was the vacation comedy Barb Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Certified Fresh at 79%), starring Kristen Wiig and her Bridesmaids (Certified Fresh at 90%) screenwriting partner Annie Mumolo. MGM is now partnering with Brad Pitt s Plan B production company on an adaptation of the novel The Husbands by author Chandler Baker, who will also adapt the screenplay from her own novel., and Wiig is signed on to star. Described as a Stepford Wives-esque thriller, The Husbands centers on an overworked mother who, while house-hunting in a nice suburban neighborhood, meets a group of high-powered women with enviably supportive husbands (and presuming the comparison to The Stepford Wives is accurate, you can probably guess where The Husbands goes from there).3. PAUL GIAMATTI TO REUNITE WITH SIDEWAYS DIRECTOR ALEXANDER PAYNE IN THE HOLDOVERS(Photo by Jeff Neumann/©Showtime)In 2004, director Alexander Payne had just directed three films (Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt), but his fourth, Sideways, a seemingly unambitious buddy comedy about two wine enthusiasts, ended up being something of an arthouse blockbuster, earning over 0 million, five Academy Award nominations, and an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The stars of Sideways were Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti, and now, Giamatti is set to reunite with Payne on another indie-flavored comedy called The Holdovers. Giamatti will play a universally disliked teacher at a prep school during Christmas, 1970, as he has to watch over the holdovers, who are students unable to go home. Filming of The Holdovers is scheduled to start in early 2022 on location in New England.4. DR. DRE PRODUCING MARVIN GAYE BIOPIC WHAT S GOING ON (Photo by Everett Collection)Musical biopics are all the rage, particularly with the box office success, critical and audience acclaim, and awards attention of several recent films; the most recent Oscars ceremony alone recognized Ma Rainey s Black Bottom (Certified Fresh at 98%), The United States vs Billie Holliday, and (partly) One Night in Miami (Certified Fresh at 98%). So it shouldn t surprise anyone particularly readers of this column that new ones are announced with great regularity, and the big new project his week involves 1960s and 1970s soul and R B star Marvin Gaye, whose story will be told in What s Going On, which takes its title from one of Gaye s most famous songs (and albums). What s Going On will be produced by Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine, and Andrew Lazar, and directed by Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, Dead Presidents, The Book of Eli). The budget of What s Going On will reportedly be the biggest ever for an African American music biopic, north of million, and it s expected to be released sometime in 2023. In related news, the long-in-development disco-era Spinning Gold, about Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart (to be played by his son) is finally moving forward, with a supporting cast that includes Wiz Khalifa as George Clinton, Tayla Parx as Donna Summer, and Ledisi as Gladys Knight. Lastly, another musical biopic starting to cast up is I Wanna Dance with Somebody, starring Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston, with Moses Ingram (of the upcoming Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi) as Houston s longtime friend and assistant Robyn Crawford.5. EWAN MCGREGOR TO CLIMB EVEREST IN GEORGE MALLORY BIOPIC (Photo by Neil Davidson/IFC Films courtesy Everett Collection)Sometimes movies with similar premises or settings are released within a few years of each other. The 2015 action thriller Everest (Fresh at 73%), for example, was set on Mount Everest, but it was not about any of the famously historical attempts to first climb the mountain. That will be the premise of another movie called Everest, in which Ewan McGregor will star as English mountaineer George Mallory, along with Mark Strong as Arthur Hinks and Sam Heughan as George Finch. Jeffrey Archer s novel Paths of Glory (not to be confused with the Stanley Kubrick film) is described as inspiring Everest. Director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) will direct Everest from a screenplay by Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air) when filming starts in the UK and Italy in January, 2022.6. ICE CUBE TO SAY OH HELL NO TO HIS MOM DATING JACK BLACK (Photo by Scott Garfield/©Columbia Pictures, Deana Newcomb/©Millennium Entertainment)Sometimes, we pretty much give you the entire story in the headline, and there it is. Jack Black is now in negotiations with Sony Pictures to star in the quickly-coming-together comedy Oh Hell No, starring Ice Cube and to be directed by Kitao Sakurai, who is fresh off the release of his COVID-delayed comedy Bad Trip (Certified Fresh at 76%). Ice Cube will play a man who becomes very upset when he discovers that his mom is dating Jack Black s character. Sony Pictures has scheduled Oh Hell No for release on June 17, 2022, which currently puts it up against Pixar and Disney s Lightyear origin story for their Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear, to be voiced by Chris Evans.7. SIX DEGREES OF THE TOXIC AVENGER: KEVIN BACON CAST AS THE REBOOT S VILLAIN (Photo by RCF/Everett Collection)Producer Lloyd Kaufman s ultra-low-budget production company Troma Entertainment has given us such schlocky titles as Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D., Tromeo Juliet, The Class of Nuke Em High (and its four sequels), and most infamously, The Toxic Avenger (and its three sequels). Big-time Hollywood production company Legendary Entertainment gives us super-expensive movies like Christopher Nolan s Batman trilogy, the Jurassic World franchise, and recently, Godzilla vs Kong. Surely, there is no project that could ever connect the two, right? That notion went out the window when Legendary decided to reboot Troma s The Toxic Avenger, with Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage taking over as the toxic waste-powered superhero. We also now know that the slick villain of The Toxic Avenger will be played by Kevin Bacon. Elijah Wood also signed onto the film this week, as did prolific character actor Jonny Coyne, joining a growing ensemble that  includes Jacob Tremblay (as Toxie s son), Taylour Paige, Julia Davis, and Sarah Niles.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, released on May 19, 1999, is now 20 years old. And once older Star Wars fans get over that shock, the old arguments about the movie begin anew. After two decades, it is still a divisive film among Star Wars fans – but then, what topic isn’t a point of debate among the fanbase? Things have subtly shifted as a generation of kids who never knew a Star Wars galaxy without Episode I grew up to champion some of its merits. It also has writer/director George Lucas singing its praises 20 years after its release, as recently as last month s Star Wars Celebration Chicago. In a video message to fans, he praised the movie s groundbreaking visual effects and referred to is as “one of my favorite movies.”Now, to an older Star Wars fan, that statement might sound absurd. The Phantom Menace is a bad movie in its own right. Currently, it s a rotten 55% on the Tomatometer thanks to a bunch of new reviews that came in following a 2012 conversion to 3D, but even before that, it was squeaking by in the low 60s. Despite its technical achievements, it told an obscure story with thinly drawn characters. And so many political discussions.But we’re not here to re-litigate the quality of the film. Instead, we want to examine Lucas’s fondness for it. While there’s certainly a paternal love he must have for all the films he personally directed – even Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones – the film must have an extra-special place in heart for one key reason: The Phantom Menace is the purest Star Wars film ever made. That may also sound absurd, but join us on a trip back to the mid-1970s to learn how it most closely resembles Lucas s original idea for a film he first called The Star Wars. It Began With The Star Wars In the beginning, Lucas was a frustrated experimental filmmaker. More aligned with the avant-garde cinema emerging from France and the envelope-pushing films of contemporaries like Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius, the last thing Lucas wanted to do was make crowd-pleasers. According to Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, Lucas thought it would be too easy. He proved himself right by making the extremely crowd-pleasing American Graffiti for Universal. In the wake of that success, he decided to roll the dice on making a science-fiction film like the Flash Gordon serials he enjoyed as a child. But when the rights to Flash Gordon proved to be unavailable, he simply fashioned his own space opera in a script called “The Star Wars.”(Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection)The plot of what is now known as the rough draft of The Star Wars told the tale of Annikin Starkiller, the son of an exiled Jedi Bendu warrior. After his family is discovered hiding on the fourth moon of Utapau and his brother is killed by the villainous Knights of the Sith, Annikin and his father Kane return to their home world of Aquilae. There, they aid Princess Leia in evading capture by forces from the New Empire, which wants to control the planet s unique cloning technology. At the same time, Annikin becomes the Padawaan apprentice of the great Jedi Bendu warrior Luke Skywalker when Kane reveals he is mostly made of machine parts and cannot train his son properly. Soon, Annikin, Leia, and Luke – along with two droids – set off on a mission to find aid in the friendly Ophuchi system.Their path takes them from the Aquilae royal seat to a seedy spaceport (with a very familiar cantina) to a perilous meteor belt to the planet Yavin, where Skywalker teaches hairy giants called Wookees to fly disused snub fighters. In Skywalker’s mind, the gambit is the only way to defeat the Empire’s new space fortress in orbit above Aquilae, where Leia ends up as a prisoner. Annikin mounts his own rescue mission and finally comes face-to-face with a deadly Knight of the Sith named Valorum. The Sith Knight is swayed by Annikin and the pair save Leia from the quickly crumbling space station. With the crisis averted, Leia becomes Queen of Aquilae and appoints Annikin as Lord Protector of the planet.(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)The ideas all sound familiar – particularly the ones lifted from Hidden Fortress. The names are certainly recognizable from the six Star Wars films Lucas developed. And in subsequent interviews – including one conducted by Leonard Maltin for the final VHS release of Star Wars in its original form – Lucas would say he took a look at the script and saw it was just too big for what he could realize on a 1970s budget. His solution was to cut the script into thirds and redevelop the first act into something more practical. Although, even a cursory glance at “The Star Wars” plot reveals he imported the destruction of the space station to his first film. It was the right impulse, as it is a crowd-pleasing ending.But even as Star Wars developed into the phenomenon it became, Lucas never really let “The Star Wars” go.To Naboo And Back AgainLike “The Star Wars,” The Phantom Menace cuts a strange circuitous route around the galaxy. It begins with two Jedi Knights, roughly analogous to Luke Skywalker and Annikin Starkiller, on a mission to prevent war between the peace-loving planet of Naboo and the Trade Federation. When their peace talks fail, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) decides to bring the Queen of Naboo (Natalie Portman) to the galactic capital in an attempt to get the central government to intervene. When that fails, she decides to return to Naboo and mount a defense of her planet. An orbiting control ship with a resemblance to the space station described in The Star Wars is destroyed by an unlikely starfighter pilot.(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)While all Star Wars films feature a certain amount of planet-hopping, the loop back to Naboo to resolve the plot is unique to The Phantom Menace, even as it echoes the structure of The Star Wars. And while we re noting similarities in plot and structure, both that script and The Phantom Menace also feature a Jedi and the representative of a benevolent monarchy crossing the stars and failing to find aid in a supposedly sympathetic star system. The revival of these ideas cannot be an accident.The script and the film also share a scope not seen in the Original Trilogy. Those films featured two key locales with an occasional third sketched out. “The Star Wars” and The Phantom Menace feature multiple worlds rendered with astonishing specificity. As we know from DVD special features, realizing these worlds on the scale Lucas always envisioned for The Star Wars was a key ambition in developing The Phantom Menace. And when you compare the startling grandeur of Coruscant and Naboo to the scrappier vision of Mos Eisley spaceport, the Moon of Yavin IV – and even the Death Star in Star Wars – it is easy to see why he was always a little disappointed in that film even as it changed the world. The Phantom Menace represents the galaxy as he saw it while writing alone at his typewriter all those years ago.The Flash Gordon InfluenceUnlike the final forms of the Star Wars Original Trilogy, “The Star Wars” and The Phantom Menace share an obvious love of the Flash Gordon film serials. Both envision worlds of people wearing capes and fine robes. But since the Flash Gordon films were made on the cheap, those serials only suggested a world of lavish production design to future filmmakers like Lucas. Also, the wooden acting, hard-to-parse names, and political maneuverings among all the action scenes are elements The Star Wars and The Phantom Menace share with Flash Gordon.(Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection)While Hidden Fortress gave him a plot to emulate, Flash Gordon served as the visual starting place for Lucas while writing “The Star Wars. The sparser landscape of Utapau recalls the California deserts used in those serials, while Aquilae (and later Naboo) could easily be seen as another vision of Ming the Merciless s opulent throneworld. As “The Star Wars” became Star Wars, Lucas s universe became more rundown and utilitarian. It was an aesthetic he ultimately came to admire and promote, but his wish to realize the worlds his child-mind envisioned while watching Flash Gordon never waned. When it finally became feasible to do so, he employed an army of artists to make those places as awe-inspiring as his imagination viewed the Kingdoms of Mongo.This is also why there is a certain artificiality to them. While the worlds of Star Wars are credible and relatable, Naboo and the descriptions of Aquilae ultimately lack a certain reality. It s an unfortunate inheritance from the plywood sets and backdrop paintings of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. But when one can accept that aspect of the aesthetic, there is beauty to appreciate.Han Solo: The Original Jar-Jar BinksThe realization of fantastic environments was not the only technical limitation hobbling Lucas’s plans for “The Star Wars.” Roughly 30 pages into the script, Skywalker goes to a cantina at the Gordon space port where he meets up with one an old friends: Han Solo. But the character is nothing like the charismatic rogue we know today. In the script, he is described as a reptile-like Ureallian with green skin, no nose, gills, and large eyes. The creature clearly has more in common with the reviled Gungan Jar-Jar Binks than the Corellian ace who flew the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.(Photo by Ralph Nelson, Jr./TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)Because of his interest in pushing cinema forward, an interest that went back to the first time he picked up a camera, Lucas couldn’t help but set up incredible challenges for himself in writing “The Star Wars.” Han was meant to be a featured character, but the creature as described in the script would require another 20 years worth of special effects advancements to be even remotely feasible. In subsequent drafts, Han would split into two characters and change considerably. The Solo character became human and inherited some traits from Annikin – who was himself on a journey to becoming the Luke Skywalker we know today – while Lucas’s desire to feature an alien as part of ensemble would see the Wookee Chewbacca promoted from a relative guest-starring spot late in The Star Wars to Han s co-pilot.Nonetheless, he never stopped trying to make his original vision for Han Solo a reality. While filming Star Wars, he shot a now-infamous scene featuring gangster Jabba the Hutt. Though performed by actor Declan Mulholland on set, his intention was always to paint over the performance with a stop-motion creature. This proved unfeasible and the scene was scrapped until the 1997 Special Edition of the film. On The Empire Strikes Back, he took a different direction in creating a key alien character by hiring Muppet stalwart Frank Oz to help devise and perform Jedi Master Yoda. In Return of the Jedi, Lucas re-imagined Jabba as a large-scale Muppet. But even beyond these featured characters, every alien in the Mos Eisley Cantina, the Ugnaughts of Cloud City, and even Jedi s Ewoks represented attempts to create realistic yet alien characters he could seamlessly integrate into his cast.(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection) It could be argued the only reason The Phantom Menace exists is because computer technology advanced enough for Lucas to finally realize the scaly alien he wrote about in “The Star Wars” 20 years previous. To be sure, the Han of “The Star Wars” and Jar-Jar are also galaxies apart. The former was a gruff pilot more like Zeb from Star Wars Rebels – in fact, Zeb s design was inspired by early concepts for the alien Han – than the awkward comic relief of The Phantom Menace. Nonetheless, they both derive from the same place. And 20 years after he debuted to the derision of the fans, Lucas still notes Jar-Jar as one of the film’s hallmark achievements. For him, it was an early Star Wars wish fulfilled.The Master And The Apprentice“The Star Wars” never gets too in-depth about the Jedi Bendu – they resemble the wandering samurai of the Akira Kurosawa pictures Lucas came to love in film school. Instead of an all-binding Force, the script s vague religion refers to a more ambiguous “Force of Others” with both the Jedi and the Sith described as accomplished fighters lacking entirely for special abilities. Nonetheless, the relationship between Skywalker and Annikin more closely resembles the Master and Apprentice roles of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) in The Phantom Menace than the ultimate relationship between Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness) and Luke (Mark Hamill) in Star Wars. That is to say a direct mentoring relationship.(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)Clearly, this notion remained in Lucas’s mind through the invention of both the prequel-era Jedi Order and the Sith in the mid-1990s. In both disciplines, the bond between teacher and student was key.While it is unclear if the Lucas who wrote “The Star Wars” was thinking of a continuing story, the Lucas preparing Star Wars in 1976 planned for Obi-Wan to continue mentoring Luke in a subsequent film. But just before Guinness accepted the role, Lucas wrote a new scene in which Obi-Wan died, recalling Kane Starkiller s sacrifice in “The Star Wars.” Going into production, Lucas remained uncertain about the character s fate – it would become a point of contention between the actor and the director throughout filming.But in ultimately altering his plans for Obi-Wan, the intended teacher/student relationship from “The Star Wars” would not be seen until Qui-Gon warned a much younger Obi-Wan to be mindful of the living Force in one of their earliest moments together in The Phantom Menace. With its arrival, the strong bond between a Jedi Master and their Padawan became a key element in Star Wars storytelling. Lucas and Star Wars: The Clone Wars executive producer Dave Filoni would go one step further with this idea by introducing Anakin Skywalker’s Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, and making their relationship a major focus of the show.(Photo by © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection)The Phantom Menace would also turn this essential idea on its head by revealing there are only two Sith Lords at any given time: a master and an apprentice. A definite innovation as the evildoers in “The Star Wars” – a Darth Vader more like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’s Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) than the masked character voiced by James Earl Jones, a scheming council of bureaucrats,  and a narcissistic Emperor named Cos Dashit – are some of the least developed ideas in the entire script. But the Sith, as realized in The Phantom Menace, still derives from a concept first expressed with Skywalker and Annikin.The Phantom Menace will never be the movie a lot of Star Wars fans want it to be. In fact, no version of Episode I could ever live up to the hype and speculation accrued over the 16-year break between it and Return of the Jedi. But it is the purest form of the story George Lucas was always trying to tell: a Flash Gordon–inspired epic of space knights trying to defend a benevolent monarch from an encroaching tyranny. Perhaps in trying to recreate that story within the established Star Wars framework hobbled it. Or, perhaps, the story was always just too idiosyncratic with its various influences and technical challenges to work in the way the more spartan Star Wars did for viewers across the years. And yet, Lucas managed to finally realize that original creative spark with as few compromises as possible. Whether you think the end result is good or bad, Fresh or Rotten, there is something to admire in that pursuit as well.Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was released in theaters May 19, 1999Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

ith The Avengers.The Gatewatch is an alliance of the mightiest worthy planeswalkers, who jump to different planes and defend those in most need against physical, supernatural, and cosmic threats. Like The Avengers, the Gatewatch frequently clash in personality and method, as their members range from an illusionist to a pyromaniac, a necromancer, and a man cat. The most recent Magic set, May s War of the Spark, brings the Gatewatch and hundreds more planeswalkers onto the battlefield in a climatic showdown with elder dragon Nicol Bolas, who has been a recurring villain since 2008. Fittingly, the MCU launched that same year with Iron Man, while Thanos has been built up since the end of 2012 s The Avengers. The Russo brothers knack for weaving multiple storylines and assembling powerful characters together in meaningful and surprising ways, all into a cohesive whole, is an absolute boon for this franchise.The Russos have stated that Netflix s Magic series will be an original story, so it might not even involve the Gatewatch at all. And we re more interested in where the series will be visiting, as the multiverse is set up to hold an infinite number of planes. This Netflix team might have completely unique worlds in store for viewers. But with Magic: The Gathering s past decades of art and lore, those are mountains (and islands and plains and swamps and forests) of material yearning to seen and heard on-screen for the first time.What Are Some Planes The Series Could Visit?(Photo by Wizards of the Coast)There are well over 60 known planes in the Magic multiverse, with the majority of the card game action taking place in about a quarter of those. Here s just a few suggestions of where this series may go.Ravnica: Set in a metropolis of ornate European architecture that covers an entire planet, where magic entwines directly with Game of Thrones-style politics and civic life. A popular location with Magic designers, who have set the last three sets here, including War of the Spark.Dominaria: The original plane, whose flora and fauna most resembles our own. Seen in the first 10 years of the game, and re-visited last year for Magic s 25th anniversary in the self-titled Dominaria set. Joe and Anthony Russo are OG ( We have been huge fans and players of Magic: The Gathering for as long as it has been around, they said in a statement), so they might just kick things off here as a tribute to their origins.Kaladesh: The handsomest place in the multiverse, a sky-conquering world of sun-bright steampunk and intricate metalwork and gold filigree. Kaladesh also has a Middle Eastern and South Asian flavor, something in the zeitgeist right now if the popular success of Aladdin is to go by. The show s animators would have their work cut out for them, though.Innistrad: A Gothic tale come to dreadful life, where humans fend off vampires, werewolves, and zombies not to mention an invasion of Lovecraftian monstrosities called the Eldrazi. Netflix s press release mentions that the series will cross the genres of suspenseful thriller, horror, and drama. Innistrad nets you all three.Why Now Is The Time To Make A Series(Photo by Wizards of the Coast)Despite being around for 26 years, Magic: The Gathering is the biggest it s ever been. The multiverse and the Gatewatch were later inventions of this franchise, which has opened up storytelling possibilities and kept players engaged beyond collectible cardboard. Magic: The Gathering Arena, the competitive video game version fans have been desiring for years, is a hit with streamers and poised to take Magic into the eSports Thunderdome in a big way. The amount of new interest in putting a Magic series in front of Netflix s 139 million subscribers is going to hit like a force of nature.Who s Working On It? When s It Airing?The Russos have tapped Henry Gilroy (Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick, Agent Carter) as lead writers and co-executive producers. A premiere date for Netflix s Magic: The Gathering has yet to be announced.Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.
What a year 2020 has been! After the severity of the COVID-19 coronavirus became evident, countries around the world effectively went into lockdown some more strictly than others and most of us quickly had to adjust to the so-called new normal. As we sat at home, trying to self-soothe by any means available, a handful of heroes and in some cases, anti-heroes emerged, helping us to take our minds off of things, bringing us some much-needed positive vibes, and giving us a taste of the entertainment we were asked to live without. Of course, we aren t out of the woods just yet, but after more than half a year spent under stay-at-home orders, here are the 12 (online) conversation-starters, powerful performances, and iconic pop culture moments that ruled Quarantine.Joe Exotic and Tiger King(Photo by Netflix)If there was any doubt that the idea of water cooler conversation would still exist in an era of widespread lockdowns, Tiger King removed it almost immediately. Premiering on Netflix on March 20, just as swaths of the U.S. received stay-at-home orders, the docuseries about a larger-than-life animal caretaker and his personal holy war against an industry competitor became the first must-see binge of the quarantine. At the center of it all was Joe Exotic, the proprietor of the G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma, and Carole Baskin, the CEO of Florida s Big Cat Rescue and a self-purported animal rights activist who took issue with Exotic s business practices. But as with any compelling real-life story, Tiger King was full of unbelievable twists and turns, ranging from Exotic s bizarre love life to his run for President of the United States and not one but two murder conspiracies. While much of the country struggled to adapt to the new normal, Tiger King helped take our minds off the crisis with a bit of deliciously scandalous entertainment.John Krasinski and Some Good News(Photo by Some Good News)Just as the severity of the pandemic began to dawn on everyone and stay-at-home orders were being issued everywhere, a likable actor-director used his considerable influence to spread some positive vibes. On March 29, when most people were just beginning to settle into their quarantine routines, The Office and Jack Ryan star John Krasinski surprised everyone with the first installment of a newscast/talk show he decided to call Some Good News on YouTube. Running for just eight episodes, SGN featured Krasinski sharing the most uplifting, inspirational, feelgood stories from around the world, talking to celebrities, and usually doing something a little special for lucky fans. This included a Zoom reunion of the Hamilton cast, a virtual prom with performances from Billie Eilish, the Jonas brothers, and Chance the Rapper, and a high school graduation celebration with keynote speakers like Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Jon Stewart. Now, Krasinski did catch some flak for eventually selling the show to CBS, but it took a lot of work to put the show on, and it s understandable that he would want to go back to making kickass movies and TV shows. In the meantime, the eight episodes of SGN that we did get helped us all to remember how much good is still in the world, even if everything is a little off balance right now, and for that much-needed dose of optimism, we salute Mr. Krasinski.Everyone in Schitt s Creek(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)For a long time, Schitt s Creek was that underground comedy you recommended to everyone as the best show ever if you were a fan. Most of the time, the people you recommended it to would come back to you and say, It totally is! The series, originally broadcast on Canada s CBC and the cable channel Pop TV, gained even more exposure when its first three seasons were made available to stream on Netflix, and by the time it began airing its sixth and final season earlier this year, it was a bona fide cult sensation. As it happened, the show s series finale premiered smack dab in the middle of quarantine, on April 7, and despite its fervent fanbase, it seemed destined to go down as one of the all-time underappreciated sitcoms. Then came the Emmys in September. As if to say, Yes, Schitt s Creek fans, you were always right!, the series made history by sweeping all seven of the comedy categories, including the four for acting Lead Actor for Eugene Levy, Lead Actress for Catherine O Hara, Supporting Actor for Dan Levy, and Supporting Actress for Annie Murphy. If you ve never watched the show, all six seasons are now on Netflix, so get cracking. You ve probably got the time.Michael Jordan and The Last Dance(Photo by ©ESPN/Netflix)One of the things many of us missed the most, at least in the early days of the lockdown, was live sports. After all of the major leagues shut down operations, folks even resorted to watching reruns of old broadcasts or, after the country had cleared some hurdles, baseball in Japan. In the midst of all this, ESPN saw an opportunity to give fans an addictive dose of sports nostalgia in the form of The Last Dance, an extensive look at the career of Michael Jordan and specifically the 1997-1998 season of the NBA s Chicago Bulls, which would go on to win their second three-peat of championships in eight years. Originally planned for release in June, the 10-part docuseries was fast-tracked to premiere almost two months earlier on April 19, and it became an instant hit, thanks to its compelling narrative, never-before-seen footage, and surprisingly candid new interviews with Jordan himself. It brought millions of fans  and meme-makers  together in a shared piece of sports history and gave us a bit of real-life drama and pulse-pounding action to look forward to every week.Jonathan MajorsRyan FujitaniJonathan Majors breakout role came in 2019 s indie darling The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a small, powerful drama that went criminally underseen. Luckily for Majors, he had a few more things on his docket that were set to premiere this year he just didn t know at the time that they would be released in the middle of a pandemic. The first was Spike Lee s Da 5 Bloods, a harrowing adventure-drama in which Majors played the pivotal role of David, the son of Delroy Lindo s central character Paul. Majors held his own against Lindo and a cast of heavyweights that included Clarke Peters and Isiah Whitlock Jr., and the film remains high on the list of Oscar hopefuls. Then, in August, the highly anticipated HBO series Lovecraft Country premiered, placing Majors at the center of an inventive horror series with a sociopolitical edge or is it the other way around and earning the up-and-coming actor all kinds of praise from critics. To top off the summer, he also landed himself a gig in the MCU, signing on to play the villain in the next Ant-Man and the Wasp movie.Lin-Manuel Miranda and HamiltonLin-Manuel Miranda s Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop musical about the life of one of America s founding fathers has been the must-see Broadway hit for several years now, and scoring a ticket to the show has become something of a status marker. Even if you lived in New York or one of the cities on its tour schedule, there was only a slim chance you d be able to see the show, either because tickets were scarce or because they were maddeningly expensive. Then Disney decided to share the magic of Hamilton with the world, planning a theatrical release of a filmed version of the musical in 2021. Of course, the pandemic changed all of that, and much to the joy of everyone confined to their sofas, Disney chose to move the release up more than a year and plop Hamilton directly on Disney+ for no extra charge. Finally, those of us who had only heard our more fortunate friends gloat about seeing the production were able to watch Hamilton for ourselves and see if it lived up to the hype. Disney+ saw a massive increase in downloads the weekend it was released, and fans of live theater got a little taste of it at home a win-win all around.Beyoncé and Black Is King(Photo by Disney+)Look, Beyoncé is Beyoncé, and it s virtually guaranteed that anything she does is going to be interesting, to say the least. Of course, it helps when the thing she does happens to be incredible, and that s exactly what she gave us in Black Is King. Like 2016 s Lemonade, Black Is King is a musical film, a series of stunning visuals and choreography set to the music of an accompanying album in this case, the album was The Lion King: The Gift, a compilation featuring several artists produced and curated by Beyoncé as a companion to the Disney film. Critics and audiences alike swooned over Black Is King, struck by the imagery and the music, and dubbed it yet another masterpiece from Queen Bey. Not only did she provide a big-budget surrogate concert experience for fans to enjoy in their living rooms, she also managed to convey a vivid message of Black empowerment during a time when the world needed it the most.Zendaya(Photo by HBO)Quarantine provided the perfect time for people to catch up on shows they had heard about from their friends, or had been putting off watching until they had more time, and with the Fall TV season fast approaching, one of those shows was HBO s Euphoria. The series stars Zendaya as a high school student who struggles with mental illness and drug addiction, and it earned both glowing reviews from critics and widespread audience approval. Zendaya wasn t kicking back during lockdown: In June, she actually shot a film – in compliance with strict COVID-19 safety protocols – for two weeks, written and directed by Euphoria creator Sam Levison and co-starring John David Washington. Malcom Marie was the first post-pandemic film to complete production and by all accounts it s very good. (At least, good enough to Netflix to fork out million for it.) Then, in September, during a unique presentation of this year s Emmy awards, Zendaya made history when she became the youngest person ever to win the Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series, proving that she s versatile enough to deliver powerful performances in stark dramas and have fun in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.Drive-In Theaters(Photo by Bloomberg/Getty Images)Put your hand up if you went to the drive-in theater for the first time in, like, forever this year? You weren’t alone. From mid-March, America’s 305 drive-in theaters saw business tick up in some cases by 90-plus percent as movie lovers sought out big screen thrills while socially distancing in the safety of their cars. The drive-in became such a 2020 phenom that pop-up drive-ins began to emerge, many in stadiums and carparks; several distributors held ritzy movie premieres in drive-ins, too, including for Antebellum. While the ’50s faves mainly played golden oldies, some new flicks benefited from their newfound popularity, in particular indie horror breakouts like Relic and The Wretched, which topped the box office a record five weeks in a row off the back of drive-in buzz, a record it shares with Black Panther and Titanic.Sitcom and Movie Reunions(Photo by Community YouTube)If you never heard of Zoom before, say, March of this year, you definitely heard the remote meeting software mentioned everywhere once the stay-at-home orders were in place. And while most of us have our share of embarrassing Zoom stories to share, one of the great things we got out of it was a surge of interest in cast reunions for some of our most beloved movies and TV shows. There were literally dozens of them, whether they came in the form of Josh Gad hosting chats with the casts of Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, and The Lord of the Rings or Instagram meet-ups between the casts of Scandal and Twin Peaks or full-on table reads by the stars of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Orphan Black, and Community. Some shows, like NBC s 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, even brought their casts back to film brand new quarantine-themed episodes. With so much of Hollywood production stalled at the moment, a lot of entertainment has focused on the hits of the past, and we got to bathe in a whole lot of nostalgia.Streaming Services(Photo by HBO Max)This one is admittedly pretty obvious, but as most of us were stuck at home, we spent a lot more time watching TV than we normally would, and yes, that allowed us to catch up on some of the stuff we d been putting off watching. Lucky for us, though, all of the existing streaming services and a couple of new ones did their damnedest to keep us entertained with lots of new content. HBO Max officially launched in May, offering a giant library of content from the premium cable network and its parent studio, Warner Bros., plus new titles like the Seth Rogen film An American Pickle, the Ridley Scott sci-fi series Raised By Wolves, and the true-crime docuseries I ll Be Gone in the Dark. Hulu gave us new series like Solar Opposites and High Fidelity, as well as the Certified Fresh, quarantine-appropriate comedy Palm Springs. Disney+ sent Onward to streaming early and took a chance on making Mulan a premium VOD purchase, but it also gave us Beyonce s Black Is King and Lin-Manuel Miranda s Hamilton. Then, of course, there s streaming giant Netflix, which basically piled on series after series, from guilty-pleasure reality shows (Tiger King, Love Is Blind, Selling Sunset, Emily In Paris) to high-concept fantasy shows (Cursed, Warrior Nun, the second season of The Umbrella Academy). And this doesn t even include all the stuff we got from Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, and Peacock, among others. Suffice it to say, if you were bored with TV these past six months, you just weren t looking very hard for the good stuff.Shudder(Photo by AMC Networks)While we re spreading the love around the various streamers, we did want to give a shoutout to one in particular which seemed to really come into its own over the year: the horror- and genre-focused Shudder, which is owned by AMC Networks. Launched in 2015, the service has been rolling out a steady supply of Shudder Originals for years, but delivered some of its best and scariest yet during the pandemic, which was good news for horror fans who d been through their Netflix/Hulu/Prime/Max supplies and were looking for new places to get their fill of guts and ghouls. This year, Shudder gave us Mexican socio-political thriller La Llorona, indigenous-focused zombie flick Blood Quantum, creepy anthology The Mortuary Collection, and Host, shot during the pandemic and focusing on a group of friends holding a seance over Zoom. The latter is the best-reviewed horror movie of 2020. The service also began expanding its library, where you ll find the likes of the original Halloween, Re-Animator, and The Changeling, and entered the southern hemisphere, launching in Australia and New Zealand in August.On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.
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(Photo by New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures, Dimension Films courtesy Everett Collection)In the month of November 2003, the world was treated to three instant Christmas classics in Elf, Love Actually, and Bad Santa, and in the 15 years since, we ve never again reached that level of holiday film perfection. What did these three movies do that made them into Christmas legends and marked 2003 as a Christmas movie season to remember? We looked into it and came up with some answers.1. They Turned Christmas on Its Head and Started Some Trends(Photo by Dimension Films courtesy Everett Collection)At a time when holiday movies were skewing younger, simpler, and more outlandish, these three films went against the trend of saccharine, family-centric entertainment and told compelling stories with complex characters in non-traditional situations. Bad Santa took the iconic character of Santa Claus (and the slightly less iconic character of the Mall Santa), and transformed him into a hard-drinking, sex-addicted criminal with seedy friends and morals looser than his big red suit. Miracle on 34th Street this is not. With a strict R rating, this was not a movie for kids, but Bad Santa was never about appealing to families, and by playing into its raunchiness, it created a whole new style of holiday film.Since then, this grown-up Christmas trope has been channeled in recent movies like Office Christmas Party, A Very Harold Kumar 3D Christmas, and The Night Before, but none have mastered it quite like Bad Santa.In a similar vein, what Bad Santa did for grit, Love Actually did for romance. By crafting an ensemble romantic comedy around a holiday, Love Actually shockingly created a whole subgenre, with recent films New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day all trying to recapture what Love Actually created.Love Actually also brought about a surge in Christmas romantic comedies that is still felt to this day. Films like A Christmas Prince, The Princess Switch, and whatever other movie came out on Netflix while you were reading this can thank Love Actually for turning the Christmas season into the season of love.At the same time, Elf may appear like a simple holiday movie for children, but its humor and irreverent take on the holiday season is more than suitable for all ages. It may borrow from many classic holiday film tropes, but it is first and foremost a comedy. It’s heartwarming and festive, but also so clever and genuinely hilarious that it transcends typical holiday family fare and becomes something every adult not just parents of young children can enjoy watching.2. They Launched the Careers of Some Huge Stars(Photo by New Line Cinema)A large part of what makes Bad Santa, Love Actually, and Elf so great is the acting; could anyone else have pulled off Papa Elf, or danced as charmingly as Hugh Grant, or grumbled and belched his way through Bad Santa as convincingly as Billy Bob Thornton? But beyond their established stars, each film managed to find some Christmas magic in relatively unknown actors who would go on to bigger and better things.Thornton had already been nominated for three Oscars (and won one, for the screenplay of Sling Blade) when he starred in Bad Santa, but one of his co-stars would go on to become a thrice-nominated Oscar darling as well. Playing the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it role of prostitute Opal, Octavia Spencer’s few lines didn’t lead to instant recognition, but they did show off the acting chops that would lead to turns in The Help, Hidden Figures, and The Shape of Water, all three of which earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations from the Academy, and the first of which resulted in a win.Love Actually also served as an inflection point for some of its actors, with established movie stars, up-and-comers, and others waiting to break through. Nowhere is this breakthrough more apparent than in the love triangle between Juliet, Peter, and Mark or as we now know them, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Andrew Lincoln.(Photo by Universal Pictures)In 2003, Keira Knightley was in the midst of a moment. Fresh off Bend It Like Beckham and the first installment in billion-dollar Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Knightley came to the 2003 holiday season on a wave of fame and carried her success both into Love Actually and beyond. Her scene partners haven’t fallen far behind, though.Playing the lovestruck Mark, Lincoln may not resemble the post-apocalyptic sheriff from The Walking Dead that would turn him into a worldwide celebrity, and few might have predicted that the young actor playing Juliet’s husband, a then relatively unknown Chiwetel Ejiofor, would go on to receive an Oscar nomination for his lead role in the Best Picture-winning 12 Years A Slave.As for Elf, you might think that it was obviously going to be a hit with comedy legend Will Ferrell and the adorkable Zooey Deschanel as its leads, but it was an adventurous pairing at the time. Ferrell had just finished a legacy-making run on Saturday Night Live, and he had appeared in small roles in just over a dozen films, but it was still unknown whether he could lead a movie. The success of Elf led Ferrell to a career in comedy blockbusters like Anchorman, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, Daddy’s Home, and many more. As for Deschanel, she would go on to star in romantic comedies like 500 Days of Summer, Yes Man, and the hit sitcom New Girl. Not bad for a lowly mall elf.3. They’re Still Fan Favorites, and We Can Prove It(Photo by New Line Cinema)Despite coming out 15 years ago, these three movies are already holiday staples, and there is actual evidence to back that up.A year ago, FandangoNOW users were asked to vote for the best Christmas movie of the 21st century unsurprisingly, Elf  was the fan favorite, followed by The Polar Express, Love Actually in the third spot, and Bad Santa finishing fifth. More recently, FandangoNOW also asked its millennial users to rank which movies they plan on streaming this holiday season, and this time Elf slipped to second-most popular, while Love Actually came in eighth and Bad Santa finished in the 15th spot. A similar study of Roku users searches from the 2017 holiday season shows Elf as the most searched-for Christmas movie, and Love Actually as the ninth most sought after.Plus, even the Tomatometer agrees! In Rotten Tomatoes’ recent list of The 50 Best Christmas Movies of All Time, Elf, Love Actually, and Bad Santa all made the cut.4. They Were All Box Office Hits(Photo by Universal Pictures)You’d think there’s only room for so many Christmas movies in one month, but that wasn’t the case in 2003. Despite all three films being released within three weeks of each other, Elf, Love Actually, and Bad Santa were surprise hits. In fact, Elf and Love Actually both raked in more than 0 million dollars worldwide. And they opened on the same weekend!Elf opened at #2 in the box office with a very healthy million in its first weekend, and it didn’t leave the Top 10 until after the new year. Over the course of its run, it made more than 0 million in the U.S. and nearly million abroad.Love Actually was also a Top 10 film in America for five consecutive weeks, but it did most of its heavy lifting overseas. The British production held the top spot in the U.K. box office for its first four weeks in release and spent four more weeks as a Top 5 film there, earning more than million during its British run.Even the R-rated Bad Santa made more than million over its run, which, coupled with a production budget of only million, was more than enough to convince a studio to take a chance on Bad Santa 2 but let’s not talk about that.In total, these three holiday classics made over 0,000,000 worldwide during one holiday season. So, what was it that made these three films so financially successful, popular, and impactful?Elf, Love Actually, and Bad Santa each appealed to an audience that hadn’t been totally captured in a holiday film. Whether it was the romance of Love Actually, the humor and heart of Elf, or the raunchiness of Bad Santa, each offered a unique perspective on the holiday and created a following that is now arguably stronger than ever.Also, these are simply three elfin’ good movies.Elf and Love Actually were released on November 7, 2003. Bad Santa was released on November 26, 2003.

www.hth.co m (Photo by Warner Bros./Fox/Rogue/courtesy Everett Collection)20 Best Movies To Watch HighIf you want to watch something funny, mind-blowing or mind-bending to pair with the altered state you find yourself in, look no further than our 20 best movies to watch while high. Consider comedies that commit to their insane internal zaniness, like Step Brothers, Airplane!, and Monty Python. There are movies that dazzle with their visuals (The Fall, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Spirited Away), with others also kicking the audio component into overdrive (Pink Floyd The Wall, Tron Legacy). Let science-fiction become the theater of the mind, as Inception, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Matrix knock your perspectives around. And some movies like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, and Shaun of the Dead will lock you to your couch based on pure elan and style. After that, we sorted the movies by Tomatometer, from lowest to highest.Get ready for some unforgettable experiences with the 20 best movies to watch while high! (And don t forget to check out the 25 essential stoner movies.)

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