Home Alone’s five best booby traps

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Home Alone is nothing if not one of the most classic Christmas movies out there. With the movie celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, chances are that you’re going to take some time out of your Christmas celebrations to sit down and watch it with your family.

Whether this is a yearly tradition or you just want to see how the movie holds up, it’s a great choice. The booby traps are one of the most enduring elements of this movie; here are the five craziest booby traps scattered around the McCallister household.

5. Tarantula
This might not technically be a booby trap that Kevin sets up in advance, but it’s still something that he uses to thwart the so-called “wet bandits.” The tarantula is actually a pet that his brother has in the home. When Marv, one of the bandits, believes that he’s cornered Kevin and is getting ready to attack him, Kevin pulls out his secret weapon: this pet tarantula, which he drops onto Marv’s face. It gives him just enough of an advantage to get away from Marv, as Marv freaks out over the tarantula.

4. Icy Steps
Near the beginning of the burglars’ attempts to enter the home, Kevin takes advantage of the cold Chicago winters to help him try to keep the burglars out. He spreads water over the front steps and the basement steps of the home. Due to the cold temperatures outside, the concrete freezes over very quickly, causing the burglars to slip and fall as they attempt to get to the home.

3. Red-Hot Doorknob
Even with the generalised protection of the icy steps, the burglars still manage to make their way toward the home. Harry, one of the burglars, decides to make the bold choice of attempting to enter the home through the front door. However, Kevin knew that it was likely that Harry would be doing this. To try and remove his ability to enter through the front door, Kevin takes an electric barbecue lighter to the doorknob, causing it to glow red-hot. When Harry tries to open the door, it just burns his skin.

2. Paint Cans
As Marv and Harry try to go up the stairs to continue to pursue Kevin, he’s able to knock them back at least a little bit. He pushes paint cans off the top railing of the home, causing these cans to knock into the men’s faces. One of the reasons this is such a crazy booby trap is because in real life, it would probably be so dangerous that it would even have the possibility to kill the burglars. The weight of the cans combined with their significant pendulum movement means that the impact would be extremely significant and potentially even deadly.

1. Chicken Suit
At one point, Harry tries to enter the home through the back door rather than the front door. However, he runs into a Rube Goldberg-style trap that causes him to look like a giant chicken. He walks into plastic wrap that Kevin has covered in strong caulking glue, then triggers a fan to blow feathers all over him. This take on the classic tarred-and-feathered idea is something that isn’t as dangerous as the original, but still results in an equally ridiculous end vision.

As you can see, Home Alone has a variety of crazy booby traps that hold up even today. People love watching Home Alone every year, whether due to a longstanding tradition or just because it’s a fun movie to watch. Next time you and your family watch Home Alone, try to decide which of the booby traps is your favourite.

The true cost of movie-making

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Among many frequent questions, most film-related FAQs revolve around “how to make a movie” and “how expensive is it to make one?”. And yet, there’s no definite answer to either conundrum.

It’s like asking the average cost for making a meal, which depends on many factors, like who’s making the meal, where the meal is being made, what type of meal you’re making, etc. And so is the case with a movie.

The movie industry is a huge machine and its box office has made a revenue record of $42.5 billion last year. However, this huge amount doesn’t apply to every movie; neither do they all are money makers. To tell the truth, many movies often end up being a flop. Thousands of movies are made each year, but only a few expensive ones become feature films.

On the other hand, if you’re curiously searching to know how to make a movie, you can start with a low budget too. Though, the average expense to produce a good movie is around $100 million ($65million for production and $35 million often requires for marketing and distribution). Still, there are some blockbuster movies, like Napoleon Dynamite, Paranormal Activity, and Super-Size Me, that cost below half a million.

 Big Movie Budgets

The mega movies you see now often have a mega-budget. James Cameron’s Avatar is a prime example of a mega movie with a massive budget of over $236 million. And so, this high cost paid off quite well for them as the movie grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. But there are many other movies too that were not really mega-budget. In fact, they were well below the average movie budget. For instance, The Return of the King made around a billion-dollar globally, while it cost just above $100 million. The same is the case for Shrek 2, which costs even less ($70 million) but made nearly $900 million globally.

Another example of a high-budget movie is the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The feature film holds the record of being the most expensive film with a massive budget of $378.5 million while grossing over a billion-dollar worldwide.

But not every high budget movie is a hit movie. There are tons of examples of expensive movies that couldn’t justify their expense. The Adventures of Pluto Nash is one of them. This film had a budget of nearly $100 million, but could only manage to generate $7 million in return. Another example of such a movie is How Do You Know. This film cost over $120 million, while its return was just over $50 million.

So, whether a movie is a hit or flop, it all comes to the question: “How to make a movie and why does it cost so much?”

Expensive magic potions in making a movie

While making a movie, you must break down the cost into the following categories:

  • Script: The script is a blueprint of the movie. Like any physical construction, if the template fails, the building will collapse sooner or later. The script is highly important in making a movie hit or flop. And so, it eats up around 5% of the budget.
  • Licensing and salaries: This includes the salaries of the director, the producer, the famous stars, and the whole crew.
  • Production costs: The production costs can take 25% of your total budget easily. This major chunk is behind the whole production and ongoing salaries of the team needed to produce the movie.
  • Special effects and music composing: Depending on the movie genre, special effects can take a huge chunk of the budget. Plus, music must be composed according to the scene and should be performed well.
  • Marketing: The most important part of how to make a movie as well as an expensive magic potion that it requires is its marketing. With all the huge investments of more than a hundred million dollars, you don’t want it to go unheard. Thus, either almost 35% of the budget goes to marketing, or an additional budget is assigned to market your new movie.

Expense relation with movie genre

By analyzing the data provided by IMDb and Statista, some genres cost more on average while others cost less. On average, the most expensive genre of movies is adventure films having a budget of around $76 million. Other costly genres consist of sci-fi, animation and fantasy movies, having an average budget of around $60 million. On the other hand, genres such as music-based, horror, and romantic have a very median budget of less than $10 million.

Wrapping up

Despite such a huge amount of investments and greater risk for losses, the movies are coming. There’s a reason though. One hit can make fortunes while a loss can be depressing too. Plus, the average price for buying a movie ticket in the US is shooting up to around $9.11. Still, we all line-up for it, enjoying the movie with popcorn and drinks. So if you know how to make a movie and know how to add all these expensive magic potions (probably by winning a multi-million lottery), you can make a good career too.

What makes a great sports movie?

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From Rocky to Moneyball, sports movies are one of Hollywood’s most cherished genres and can often be a hit with both awards bodies and mass audiences alike. By its very nature, sport is often dramatic and unpredictable, populated by charismatic characters and fantastic arcs.

The enduring popularity of the sports movie genre is perhaps best illustrated by the online film bible, the IMDb, which currently lists a total of 4,385 titles under the sports banner – with the top 10 box-offices hits under that genre on IMDb making $1.9 billion collectively.

With so many sports movies out there, what ingredients are needed to separate out true box office titans from also-ran pretenders? Our friends at Betway have put together this fantastic infographic to help illustrate the attributes needed to rise to the top of the sports movie ladder.

The above was taken from Betway.

Boxing beats the competition

Boxing is the undefeated champ when it comes to sports movie goldust. Boxing films account for 20 per cent of the list, while movies about all combat sports – boxing, MMA, wrestling and karate – make up 14 of the 50. What’s more, of the three movies in the top 50 to have won Best Picture at the Oscars, meanwhile, two are about boxing – Rocky and Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.

You only have to think of the other boxing films that could have had a shot at Best Picture – Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, The Fighter and Creed spring instantly to mind – and this quickly reveals itself as a strong, populist field.

If you build it, they will come

Hollywood loves a happy ending and this couldn’t be truer that in sports movies. Very few people care about the football team that lost in the first round of the cup. But underdogs that won it? There’s the secret formula. Of the 31 sports movies in the list that are based on real-life events, 24 have a happy ending.

Will we see another boxing film (happy ending preferred) win the coveted Best Picture Oscar in the next decade? As far as sports movies are concerned, it has a better chance than many.

Four facts you may not know about Casino

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Every casino regular has probably seen Martin Scorsese’s 1995 classic Casino, starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. However, only true fans of both casinos and cinema know the following facts about the movie and its production.

Casino is based on a true story that took place in Las Vegas, the capital of American gambling. Unlike today, when you can enjoy casino games at leading sites like Bet2you, this movie takes us back to the classic era of gambling, the mob, and Las Vegas in all its glory (when casinos still had a hint of mystery about them).

1. De Niro’s Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein is based on a real-life figure
Here’s one little Casino movie fact that only true fans know: the real guy the movie is based on is not Sam Rothstein. His name was Frank Rosenthal, also known as ‘Lefty’ in the casino circuit. Surprisingly, Frank was not interested in having his life made into a movie. That is until he found out that Scorsese would direct, and De Niro would star in it. It turns out that Frank was a huge fan of both De Niro and Scorsese.

2. Casino was shot in a real casino
To make Casino as true to life as possible, Scorsese wanted to film in a real-life casino. The only problem was that a casino that size never closes. Therefore, the crew had to work outside of peak hours and only take up a corner of the casino. Another thing that makes it so realistic is that instead of hiring actors, they used real dealers and pit bosses whenever they could. Throughout the filming of the movie, people were enjoying the games on the other side of the casino floor.

3. Legal ramifications
Studios are always nervous about making movies that concern the mafia. In this case, Universal Studios’ lawyers were the ones who suggested calling Frank Rosenthal by the alias Sam Rothstein and using the nickname ‘Ace’ instead of ‘Lefty’.

You’ll also notice they never mention Chicago as being the headquarters of the Las Vegas Mob. Rather, they used “back home”. Additionally, saying the movie was “adapted from a true story” rather than “based on a true story” gave them much more freedom creatively. However, Scorsese himself confirmed that most of the movie is based on facts.

4. Frank Rosenthal died without seeing the final cut of the movie
Rosenthal admitted that he only saw the rough cut of the movie once. According to the screenwriter Pileggi, his response was positive. However, later on in an interview, Frank stated that the film “lacked many details” of who he was. And that certain aspects of the movie made him seem silly and inarticulate. This was all Frank said about the film, but sadly, we will never know if he really liked or disliked the final cut of the movie.

From the silver screen to the slot machine

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If you’re the type of person that loves getting paid for watching movies, then movie-themed slot games are your way out. Although, people prefer different genres of movies, It is difficult to come across anyone who doesn’t like movies altogether.

Movie-themed online slots give you the opportunity to relieve your movies by actively participating in it and getting paid for your participation. The popularity of the movie-themed slots has increased exponentially in the last few years and many online casinos have taken advantage of the trend. Game providers now use soundtracks, improved scenes and the characters from your movies to develop a gaming sensation that only the movie itself can give.

You can find movie-themed online slots in all parts of the world whether in online casinos, land-based casinos or virtual casinos. Many of these slots are always action-packed just like the movie, you will come across, comedy, romance, thrills and almost all movie niche known to man. Experience your favourite movie-themed slots at Royal Bet Casino. Here is a list of the best movie-themed online slots.

The Dark Knight
This is a five-reel slot game from the stables of world best game providers, IGT and Microgaming. Each game made by these developers is similar to the other, only that the Microgaming version is played online while the IGT version is played at land-based casinos only. The Dark Knight features 14 paying symbols and a total of 243 winning combos. The symbols of the game include characters like Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent, both from the movie. There are also symbols of the king, queen, ace and many more. The Batman symbol is the highest paying symbol. The game also has the free spin feature and the progressive jackpot feature.

Scarface
Scarface is a movie-themed slot developed by Netent. This game is a five-reel slot with 20 pay lines. The Scarface game is based on a gangster movie. It incorporates all the beautiful scenes and cool sounds of the movie as well as all the characters of the movie. The character symbols of this game add to its thrills. Characters like Tony Montana, Elvira, Manny and Chi-Chi are the symbols with the winning combinations. This slot game features free spins, wilds, the skill stop feature and the autoplay function.

Rocky
Rocky is a five-reel game developed by Playtech. It is a 25 pay line slot featuring the Rocky Balboa and several strong opponents fighting in the ring. Who will come out top? The slot has a fine blend of the movies graphics, sound and characters. You will find characters of Rocky, Adrian, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago and Apollo Creed in the game. This game has several other low-value symbols, scatters and wilds. All these symbols activate free spins and multipliers. Enjoy the bonus credits and the knockout bonus rounds that this game has got to offer.

Bridesmaids
Which better slot game can come out from the stables of Microgaming and IGT than Bridesmaid? This game is a five-reel game with 30 pay lines. It features six beautiful characters from the movie. Match Becca, Rita and Megan to get up to 300 coins, match Annie and Helen to get up to 450 coins and find Lillian to get up to 750 coins. The bonus features of this game are more than what can be imagined. Hit three scatter cupcakes to get up to 200x your total bet. The bonus feature of this game includes the wheel bonus, the magic moments, the cupcake bonus and so on. Enjoy the wild and scatters that give you so much free spins.

The enduring popularity of TV crime dramas

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TV crime shows have become some of the most popular shows in the world over recent years. Their popularity has resulted in the production of so many crime shows that it’s difficult to choose which one to watch next.

For television fans, there are many gripping crime shows from cop shows to true crime documentaries and crime dramas. In the UK, there have been many crime shows that have received positive reviews from fans and critics, such as Broadchurch, Line of Duty, Luther, and Vera etc.

Whether you are interested in watching a crime show about robberies, murder, or missing people, there are many available to watch on Netflix, Sky, BBC iPlayer, and elsewhere.

The Netflix true crime category has many most talked about shows for people to watch including Jerry Epstein: Filthy Rich, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, and Making a Murderer. From cops and serial killers to gangsters and heists, why do audiences love to watch a good crime show?

Why do audiences find crime dramas so interesting?

  • Audiences can learn about famous historical cases – There are a lot of crime drama series that are based on true events, such as When They See Us and American Crime Story (The People vs. O.J. Simpson / The Assassination of Gianni Versace) that teach audiences about past real-life cases. Audiences can learn about high-profile true stories of trials, victims, defendants, and miscarriages of justice.
  • They include a creative long-form type of storytelling – More crime TV shows have adopted long-form storytelling techniques. These techniques have made it easy for audiences to become addicted to the shows as they are looking to see what happens next. The build-up of suspense from one episode to another has resulted in a comprehensive and solid fan base for the genre.
  • Crime dramas are very informative – People love TV crime shows because they provide endless amounts of information. With every show and episode, there is something new that viewers get to learn. This has helped keep the audience continuously interested and has attracted a broad audience as well.
  • There’s always an interesting mystery or plot twist – Many crime dramas feature huge plot twists and unexpected revelations as the story goes on. Anyone who has a passion for solving mysteries will love to watch a crime show to find out exactly ‘whodunnit’.

Some great TV crime shows to check out

Frankie Drake Mysteries
This crime TV show, set in the 1920s, follows the character of Frankie Davis, a female private detective operating in Toronto. Frankie Drake Mysteries follows Frankie and her partner Trudy as they solve cases that the police refuse to take on as well as cases that clients cannot take to the authorities. The show is very popular because it is one of the few in Hollywood produced and co-written by women. It is also very popular because of its unique plot and quality of direction and production.

Narcos
Set in Colombia, Narcos is an American crime drama that is based on the true-life story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire from producing and distributing cocaine. The show follows the interactions of Escobar with other drug lords and details his rise and fall and the involvement of the DEA in the shutdown of the growth of the Cali Cartel. The show has become really popular and has even inspired its own Narcos video slot game.

Agatha Raisin
Agatha Raisin is the perfect detective series for people who enjoy a combination of humour and crime investigation. Based on a series of novels written by M.C. Beaton, it follows the life of a titular fictional detective who has moved to the Cotswolds, where she hopes to live a quiet and slow life. The detective discovers her talent for solving mysteries after successfully investigating and solving a single crime. Agatha is a quirky alternative TV show detective known for her unique sense of fashion while doing her job.

Trapped
Also known as Ófærð, Trapped is an Icelandic mystery drama series first broadcasted in Iceland in 2015. The BBC was just one of the worldwide broadcasters that screened the show the following year. This is an Icelandic murder mystery series. The show uses it’s out of the way location to increase the tension within the show hence making it one of the best crime drama shows. It follows the life and work of Andri, a detective who is extremely focused on his work, so much so that it’s taken a toll on his family. With two seasons aired so far, there is a lot of drama, twists, and turns that appear in each making it a gripping show for crime show fans to watch.

Full house! The best bingo scenes in film and TV

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Although bingo was initially a popular game in retirement villages and community centres, it is gradually becoming the favourite of young men and women in the online bingo game community.

Because of its growing popularity among young people, many online gaming platforms have included bingo games on their list. For those passionate about playing online bingo, explore the list found on BingoSites.

Some bingo games are even based on TV shows and movies. Bingo games have also made appearances in some movies over the years. Five of the best bingo game scenes from movies and TV can be found below.

Hotel Transylvania
This is a computer-animated comedy that was produced in 2012. Hotel Transylvania features skulls as the balls in its bingo scene. In the comedy, a caller shouted “N-27” while a monster shouted “Bingo” in response.

As soon as the monster uttered that word, a gremlin seated beside her consumes her paper. In response, the monster turns to the gremlin and questions the rationale behind that action. The hilarious scene from the comedy increased bingo’s popularity among the younger generations.

Inglourious Basterds
In 2009, Quentin Tarantino released Inglorious Basterds. The movie is woven around a group of Nazi hunters. The movie features some discussions centred on bingo, although it doesn’t actually feature a scene where the game is played. Towards the tail end of the movie, American Lieutenant Aldo Raine, acted by Brad Pitt, and Colonel Hans Landa, acted by Christoph Waltz, negotiate Landa’s capitulation.

Landa gave Waltz a career breakthrough, thanks partly to how he uses some bingo-related words freely in the movie. He once asks Raine the right usage of the word “Bingo”, while Raine replies that he should say it casually. “You just say Bingo”, replies Pitt.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
In 2013, Jackass came up with this movie with a different storyline, a deviation from its trademark compilation of stunts.

In the movie, the saucy grandpa, Irving Zisman, was played by Johnny Knoxville. In one of the scenes, Irving visits a bingo hall. In a trademark Jackass film, he misbehaves in the bingo hall, eliciting a horror reaction from other bingo players in the hall.

Rampage
Rampage was released in 2009, a cult action film about a 23-year-old Bill Williamson. While staying with his parents, he went on a killing spree with two semiautomatics, two submachine guns, and two knives to commit murder. In one of the scenes, he enters a bingo hall unnoticed, harasses the counter attendant while buying a sandwich.  However, the bingo players are oblivious of his presence as they are engrossed in their game. He doesn’t hurt them, fortunately.

Better Call Saul
Although Better Call Saul is not a film but a TV show, the 2015 series features an unforgettable bingo scene. In the scene, the principal character provides his potential clients with the numbers at a bingo game. He snaps at a stage and begins to rant about his life. However, that’s the turning point in his life. What happens next: Saul later becomes one of TV’s most popular characters – in a twist of fate.

The rising popularity of Netflix during lockdown

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When it was founded in 1997, Netflix first started as a DVD rental-by-mail service. But it is now one of the largest media streaming services worldwide. After realising the potential of video streaming technology in 2007, the company decided to shift to the video-on-demand subscription model.

Since then, the revenue and number of subscribers is always on the rise. For instance, it has already made $5.76 billion in the first quarter of 2020. When it comes to the subscribers, the number currently stands at over 180 million subscribers globally, and another 16 million new subscribers joined within the first three months of 2020. If you would like to know more interesting facts about Netflix, then here are some great facts and statistics for you to discover.

Netflix started with only 1,000 titles
Netflix invented a streaming service named ‘Watch Now’ in January 2007 with only 1,000 titles. The reason for the small selection was as a result of stiff rivalry from the DVD rental services. At the time, Netflix introduced a new streaming service where users could watch their favourite films from their PCs instead of waiting for DVD deliveries.

The idea may seem like an ordinary invention today, but it was an exceptional invention back then. As Netflix has developed over the years, it has added more and more titles to its library including some great films like The King’s Speech, which is one of the essential films for film students to watch.

Some Netflix users still rely on DVD rentals
Currently, Netflix subscribers stand at 182.86 million. Out of this number, 61.04 million are US subscribers, while the rest comes from the other parts of the world. Although Netflix used to be a DVD -by-mail company, there are still 2.7 million subscribers in the US that use that service.

The limited selection of streaming titles on the online platform is perhaps the main reason why some subscribers still opt for Netflix DVDs. Currently, Netflix’s streaming platform has less than 6,000 film titles, while the DVD users get over 100,000 titles. The DVD rental service is estimated to last up to 2025.

Over 50% of US adults accesses Netflix
According to a research study in 2017, around 54% of adult users in the US have access to Netflix. It is an incredible rise since only 28% of adults in the US accessed Netflix in 2011.

Most subscribers use Netflix due to its original shows
Most subscribers who use Netflix say that they use the platform primarily due to the original programs it offers. These are the programs that you cannot come across on any other platform. Besides the originality, the users say that they love the fact that Netflix does not include ads that interrupt you while watching the films. People are exposed to millions of ads on the internet, and that’s the reason they love watching ad-free shows.

Netflix users spend around one billion hours per week watching content
You read that right! The daily streaming and watching add up to one billion hours of watching weekly. It may feel like a lot of time, primarily due to the incorporation of the word ‘billion’. However, if you divide the hours with the number of subscribers, you’ll realise that every subscriber spends only about 6.7 hours weekly on the platform.

On Netflix there are many films and TV shows that viewers can tune into, many titles starring cream of the crop Academy-Award winning actors. But what are the chances of actually winning an Oscar? According to this quiz the odds are 1 in 11,500.

Netflix awarded $40 million to Chris Rock to create two comedy specials
Over the past few years Netflix has paid comedians large amounts of money for comedy specials. Amy Schumer, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ricky Gervais are just some comedians that have signed massive deals with the platform.

In 2016, Chris Rock signed a deal with Netflix worth $40 million for two specials. Irrespective of the rivals such as Hulu, YouTube and Disney+, Netflix does not seem to stop working with the best individuals and teams in the industry anytime soon.

From Elm Street to The Evil Dead: cinema’s scariest basements

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Basements are a staple in horror movies. They’re a great way to signal to the audience that something creepy is about to happen, and they’ve been used to incredible effect in horror movies since the beginning.

If you’re looking for a great horror movie to watch, here are ten highly-rated horror movies and TV shows with scary basements.

10. A Quiet Place
This movie offered a compelling look into the world of a brand new monster – one that hunts based on noise. The family in the movie tries to hide their newborn baby in a soundproof cellar, but when the cellar floods, they’re forced into action far before they thought they would.

9. A Nightmare on Elm Street
By pitting the “real world” and the “dream world” against each other, A Nightmare on Elm Street manages to create a truly terrifying universe. The Nightmare Factory, which is what Freddy calls his dream world boiler room, is where he carries out torture and murder.

8. The Evil Dead
In this cult classic movie, the Deadites live in a fruit cellar under the door, underneath a cabin in the woods. The truly spooky twist to this story is the fact that the cabin in the movie has actually burned down since filming.

7. Get Out
This dark comedy-horror-satire movie gained plenty of critical praise for its deft hand regarding all of these styles. In one truly unforgettable scene, the main character undergoes hypnosis in a home’s basement, causing him to go to the Sunken Place.

6. Misery
Misery proved that you don’t need dozens of sets, gallons of blood, and a cast of a dozen people to make a chilling movie. Most of it revolves around only two individuals. The damp, rat-infested cellar is part of what the main character uses to keep her captive from calling for help.

5. The Exorcist
When The Exorcist was released, many people believed it signalled a moral change in cinematic history. Its terror was so great that one woman was rumoured to have had a miscarriage while watching it, though that’s almost certainly just an urban legend. Still, the basement doesn’t play into it much; 12-year-old Regan finds an Ouija board in the basement and uses it to communicate with a demon.

4. Psycho
Psycho also holds an important piece of cinematic history. It was the first movie to ever show a toilet flushing, albeit one with only a piece of paper in it, and the move was still regarded as extremely edgy. The main character goes into the fruit cellar at one point, only to discover Norman Bates’ mother’s mummified corpse.

3. Parasite
More than just a horror movie, Parasite is also a commentary on class issues. Though these class issues centre on South Korea, they still ring true for many viewers in other countries. The main family’s basement apartment, or banjiha, is the backdrop for some truly awful behaviour.

2. The Silence of the Lambs
Of all the movies on this list, this one might have the most horrifying basement moments. Buffalo Bill kidnaps women, then puts them in a dry well in his basement to starve them. Once he kills them, he skins them to create a skin dress.

1. Stranger Things
The highest-rated piece of media on this list is Stranger Things, a critically acclaimed Netflix series about a rural town that starts experiencing supernatural happenings. In the story, one character calls another from a basement regularly.

Conclusion
These TV shows and movies are all different amounts of terrifying, which means they’ll work best for different people. Whether you’re interested in a drama, a dark comedy, or a slasher film, you can find one that will knock your socks off. Next time you want to watch something a little spooky, check one of the movies on this list off your must-watch list.

Is gaming defeating Hollywood?

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For over a century, Hollywood has seen itself as the king of entertainment, riding out challenges from both television and home video. However, after years of waiting in the wings, the gaming industry is now starting to blur the lines between cinema and video games.

Tentpole releases now have budgets rivalling – if not eclipsing – the biggest franchises Hollywood has to offer, and A-list actors like Samuel L. Jackson, Willem Dafoe and Norman Reedus have all lent their voices and, in some cases, likenesses to video game characters. The recent release of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding starred not only The Walking Dead’s Reedus but can also count Mads Mikkelsen, Léa Seydoux, Margaret Qualley and director Guillermo del Torro amongst its cast members.

Games have also now become storytelling platforms in their own right. Gone are the days of Pong or Frogger – modern video games have the type of expansive storylines and epic world-building that would once be associated with a George Lucas or a Steven Spielberg. Our friends at Betway have created a handy infographic that tells you all you need to know about some of the highest-grossing video games of all time.

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Eight essential films for film students

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Writing and cinematography have a lot in common. At the end of the day, they both have the same objective, and that is to tell a story. Essays on books have always been a staple in most educational institutes.

However, with time, teachers slowly realise the potential of films to narrate excellent stories as well. For this reason, college teachers are assigning more and more students essays about movies. But though there are numerous good movies to write papers on, picking one that is both impactful and provides adequate material for an essay at the same time might be difficult.

Although an essay about movies seems like a simple task on the surface, it is anything but. You have to analyse the entire film and pick up on things that are very subtly incorporated into it. If an essay about movies is simply not something you’re good at, you can always look for a free essay writer program to help you with your assignment.

This kind of free essay writing program from Edubirdie will give you an option to do my essay or write my essay for free. Essay writer free programs are an excellent way to maintain your grades if writing doesn’t come naturally to you. But if you want to explore movies to write an essay on, then we’ve made a list of some classic, all-time favourite movies that will give you plenty of material to write about.

A Beautiful Mind
Based on the life of the award-winning mathematician Dr. John Nash, A Beautiful Mind tells the story of love, resilience, friendship, and perseverance. The movie is thought-provoking and inspiring, and the best part is that it is based on true events. Although a little long, and the movie is worth every minute. Although the plot is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, A Beautiful Mind does not skimp out on portraying relationships and their complexities to the fullest.

Forrest Gump
A sweet and heart-touching movie that will have you grabbing tissues all throughout its length. Forrest Gump is indeed a visual masterpiece and tackles a large range of issues through the eyes of a simple-minded man. The movie is deceptively simple, and one does not realise all the subtle nuances in emotions that it evokes till the very end.

Schindler’s List
Like all great movies, Schindler’s List is careful about revealing its plot until the very end. What makes the story of Oskar Schindler so fascinating is he was not a saint. However, Oskar’s espionage activities on behalf of Germany, while regrettable to enemies of Germany, later put him in a position to save many lives. While there will always be those who question the motives of others, those who have examined Schindler’s efforts find him heroic. Oskar Schindler was a great man who saved the lives of more than 1,000 Jews during the Holocaust. The imperfections in his character and the nuances in the historical record only make his story more remarkable.

The King’s Speech
Following his rushed and unexpected ascension to the throne, King George VI must learn to overcome his debilitating stammer to become an exemplary leader. With his country on the brink of war, King George VI must work tirelessly to overcome his speech impediment and unite his people. The film depicts new insights into the history of the royal family and the unexpected challenges they faced.

Pride and Prejudice
Based on Jane Austen’s classic novel of the same name, Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful story about ego, love, feminism, and class differences. Set in the early nineteenth century, The movie follows the life of a headstrong young girl, her family, and a particular young gentleman who happens to be the current talk of the town. Both the book and the film are an excellent portrayal of real emotions, romanticism, and honesty, giving viewers much to write about.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Another classic movie that is based on a famous novel of the same name. Robert Mulligan’s depiction of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird is one of the few films that does the book justice. A story about idealism, innocence, and the terrible racism that plagued America during the 1930s. The movie provides great insight into the deep conflict within society regarding racism during the Jim Crow era.

The Kite Runner
If you want to write about something that truly takes you out of your comfort zone, then this movie might just be it for you. Based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner carefully depicts the stark difference between pre-war, and war-torn Afghanistan. A story about sacrifice, love, war, family, and friendship. The Kite Runner is not an easy movie to watch. However, it is indeed an eye-opener.

Fight Club
The last movie on our list is an inspiring tale about overcoming mental health issues and finding new meaning in life. The movie revolves around a disillusioned main character who finds no real joy in his mundane life and joins various support groups in an attempt to overcome his own issues. That is until he meets a person who is his polar opposite and starts a fight club that eventually evolves into something much bigger than what both of them have initially envisioned. The story is about hope, survival, and perseverance and can be an excellent basis for an essay about movies.

Like books, films are an excellent way to tell stories as well. Over the years, there have been numerous thought-provoking, deep, and impactful films that leave a large impression on the audience. College teachers recognise the ability of films to provide new perspectives to the audience and are, therefore, pushing for more essays about various films. If you’re unsure about which movie to write about for your assignment, go through our list of some of the best, classic moves that provide plenty of material to write about.

Three games inspired by Oscar winners

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Once the Oscar season is here, there is always a level of excitement that comes up. You will start seeing the old classics on your TV in preparation for the new ones to win the awards, and the best films are always in the cinemas around that time, making everybody feel the glamorous vibe of Hollywood.

To take you down memory lane and make you feel some Oscar nostalgia, we compiled the best slot games that were inspired by movies that have Oscar titles or the ones that got Oscar nominations. If you’re itching for the Oscar season to come back around, these games are available to play at some of the freshest casinos the internet has to offer. In total, there are three of these games that we feel are outstanding in this regard, and they have been reviewed below as the top three slot games inspired by Oscar-winning movies.

Psycho
This stands as one of the creepiest films ever made, and it is one of the best from Alfred Hitchcock. It gained nomination into four different categories at the 33rd Academy Awards, and they include the Best Supporting Actress and the Best Director. However, NetxGen has succeeded in creating an amazing slot game after this.

It is a 25 pay-lines and five reels slot, and it comes with great features. There is a Large Red Wild symbol that can give you up to 20x multiplication of your wins when it completes the combination. There is also a ‘Stabbing Hand’ feature that delivers more wilds on the reels. The place that houses Bate’s mother stands as the scatter symbol, and when you land up to three of this, you will be eligible for 20 free spins. When you land a wild while this round is on, you will enjoy a 40x multiplier.

Platoon
This anti-war epic movie got seven Oscar nominations and went home with four awards. Some of the awards it went home with are the Best Director and the Best Picture prizes. The slot game modelled after this is named PlanetWin365, and it will take you back to what happened during the Vietnam War. It is a dark slot coming from the stable of iSOFTbet and will test your courage and endurance. Here, dog tags, tanks, helicopters, and other war effects are the characters. It comes with five reels and 30 pay-lines and there are big payouts from the characters. When five Charlie Sheen’s characters are landed in a row, an amazing 1,000 coins are won. When you land up to three of the Helicopter Scatters, you activate the free spins round. This starts with 12 free spins and increases with the number of scatters landed. All winnings made while enjoying the free spins come with 5x and 15x multipliers.

Gladiator
This stands as one of the most outstanding films made in the last century. This comes as a historical drama from Ridley Scott, which has Russell Crowe as one of the characters. Here, the movie lovers are taken back to the Roman Empire of the old. At the 73rd academy awards, the movie got five Oscar awards including the Best Actor and Best Picture prizes. After that Playtech, took it upon them to come up with a matching slot, and so, gladiator slot was born. It comes with 25 pay-lines and could be played on coral. While Crowe is not featured in the game, there is Joaquin Phoenix on the reels and his emperor symbols will give you the 5,000 coin jackpot when you land 5 of it on the reels.

The slot has clips from the movie that everybody will like, and there are two bonus features, including the Gladiator Bonus which gives you up to 45 times your stake when it is triggered by the Helmet Symbol and you pick the right helmet. There is also a Colosseum Free Spins round that you trigger by landing up to three of the Colosseum Symbols. Here, you pick stones, and your wild symbols, extra scatter, multiplier and free spins may be hidden under the stones. This also has a progressive jackpot that can hand you huge wins.

Hollywood’s holy box office trinity

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Hollywood certainly knows how to churn out a blockbuster or three. There are now nearly 50 movies that have generated over a billion dollars in revenue, and the vast majority of them were released in the last decade.

Even though there are still some box office bombs (Cats, for instance) that underperform and fail to break even, most movies released these go on to make a profit – some of the biggest ones can make several times their production budget. The three biggest movies of all time in terms of total gross are Titanic, Avatar and Avengers: Endgame.

Avengers: Endgame
With a worldwide gross of $2,797,800,564, Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing movie in the world. It was released in April 2019 and was the 22nd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series. It’s the fourth in the Avengers sub-series, following on from The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Avengers: Infinity War (2018), to which Avengers: Endgame is more of a direct sequel. The movie broke many box office records thanks to its massive amount of takings. It’s also listed as one of the most expensive movies ever made thanks to its hefty production budget of an estimated $356 million.

Not only was the film a commercial success, but it also went down very well with both critics and fans alike. It won a lot of praise for its action sequences and visual effects, as well as the directing and acting. What particularly pleased people was how the movie served as a sort of conclusion to the entire 22-film series, tying up a number of story arcs that had been established in different films and giving definitive endings to characters’ storylines.

So how come Avengers: Endgame ended up becoming the most financially successful movie of all time? The main reason why this film was so successful is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has effectively been building up to it over many years and many movies. Each in every movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series has been a success at the box office. Since the first in the series, Iron Man, came out in 2008, the series has gone from strength to strength, gaining fans, winning over audiences and getting more and more people involved in the stories of the superheroes.

In terms of box office gross, the four biggest movies in the series are the four Avengers offerings. Each one of these has generated at least $1.4 billion worldwide. Avengers: Endgame effectively has three billion-dollar sequels, so it should come as no surprise that the movie did so well at the box office, especially since anticipation was high (the previous instalment, Avengers: Infinity War, ends on a massive cliffhanger), and there was a huge amount of buzz about it. Once the movie was released, people went to see it in droves. Not only did they want to find out what happened after the previous movie, but they also wanted to see how this latest instalment would wrap things up for many beloved characters. While the film got off to a very good start at the box office – it broke Avengers: Infinity War’s entire gross in just 11 days – word of mouth and excellent reviews kept the momentum going until it became the world’s highest-grossing movie.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has had a massive influence on pop culture. There’s a whole load of themed merchandise available, not to mention theme park rides based on popular characters, spin-off TV shows and even online casino games based on certain instalments in the series. If you’re interested in playing free mobile slots themed after Marvel movies and characters, the site JackMobileCasinos.com lists the top mobile casinos, many of which have free Marvel slots available to play.

Avatar
Before Avengers: Infinity War becomes the biggest movie of all time, Avatar was. The sci-fi movie from James Cameron was released in 2009 and managed to hold the record for around nine-and-a-half years. Following its release, it went on to generate an unprecedented $2,790,439,000 at the worldwide box office.

What’s remarkable about Avatar is that it was a completely new IP (intellectual property). The movie wasn’t based on any sort of story or franchise that was familiar to viewers – it was entirely new. Very few movies are entirely original – most are adaptations of books, sequels/spin-offs of previous movies or remakes. For a movie launching a brand new IP with no previous content existing to do so well at the box office was unheard of.

So how come Avatar ended up becoming the biggest movie in the world for nearly a decade? The main reason was that it was made using an innovative 3D technology like nothing that had ever been seen before. Around the time the movie was released, 3D technology had been experimented with in movies, but Avatar took things to a whole new level. It promised viewers an immersive visual experience that no other movie had ever offered. Viewers would get to see the alien moon of Pandora in breathtaking, visually stunning 3D graphics that made them feel as if they were right there. The film was available at many cinemas in 2D, though it’s been reported that as many as 90% of the tickets sold were for 3D screenings.

Titanic
Released in 1997, Titanic is another record-breaking movie directed by James Cameron. While Avatar enjoyed a reign of nearly a decade as the world’s highest-grossing movie, Titanic held that record for nearly 12 years after generating $2,194,439,542 at the worldwide box office. Based on the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, the movie is based on real-life events, though it’s fictionalised in some respects.

So how did Titanic ended up becoming the world’s biggest movie and enjoyed a twelve-year run in the record books? Its status as both a disaster movie and a romance attracted a wide range of cinema-goers, as did its special effects, which were very advanced for the time. There’s also the fact that its two leads, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, were box office magnets – their performances in the movie were highly praised by many critics.

What’s particularly noteworthy about Titanic’s box office run is that it was the highest-grossing film in the US for a record-breaking fifteen consecutive weeks. Normally, a movie’s best week is its first week. For Titanic, however, its best week was actually its eighth, thanks to things like word of mouth, repeat viewings and a string of positive reviews praising the movie.

In today’s world where streaming is the preferred way of watching movies for many, there will always be demand for seeing new releases at the cinema. This is evidenced by the fact that many movies generate huge returns that smash all sorts of records. If you haven’t seen any of the movies on this list, go and watch them because they’re strongly recommended. Titanic and Avatar are standalone movies, so they can be watched at any time. However, before you watch Avengers: Endgame you should watch the previous 21 instalments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so you know exactly what’s going on – quite the marathon viewing session indeed.

Oscars 2020: Five Oscar locks on the night

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The 2020 Academy Awards ceremony is almost here and the tension is rising. The nominees are excited to learn their fate and some categories will certainly see fierce competition. And yet, there are a couple in which the Oscar winner seems certain.

To that end, here are five of the most likely Oscar winners at the 2020 Academy Awards. If you feel inspired, you can bet on the Oscars at these top-rated betting sites.

Joaquin Phoenix, Best Actor in a Leading Role for Joker
Todd Phillips’ take on the most iconic villain ever created by DC Comics has earned 11 Academy Award nominations. Few can argue that one of the most deserved among them is for Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor in Leading Role. The Hollywood veteran is killing it by creating a disturbing character with a dark background and an even darker future. “Joker” is so good exactly because of Phoenix and his sublime performance. Adam Driver probably thought he could win an Oscar for his exceptional work in “Marriage Story”, but the chances are slim. By the looks of it, no one can touch Joaquin Phoenix this year.

Best Cinematography for 1917
Sam Mendes has created a true masterpiece with his war drama “1917” and the cinematography of the movie is something else. Roger Deakins is the one who should take the most credit and a short look at his CV shows movies like “Blade Runner 2049”, “No Country for Old Men”, “Fargo” and many more. Deakins was nominated for the very same award more than 15 times and somehow won it only once so far. It looks like his second Oscar is on the way, as no other movie can compete with “1917” this year.

Sam Mendes, Best Director for 1917
Since we mentioned “1917” and Sam Mendes, it’s time to talk about the Best Director category. While the Oscar is not as certain as the previous one, Mendes is the overwhelming favourite. His competition looks impressive on paper. The likes of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Phillips, and Bong Joon Ho are all hoping to get the award, but the epic magnitude of “1917” and Mendes’ role of assembling such a massive production can’t be ignored by the Academy.

Laura Dern, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Marriage Story
Next in line is Laura Dern for her role in “Marriage Story”.  The family drama about humanity and the emotions we all go through in the toughest times of our lives earned a lot of praise that would have been impossible without Dern’s strong presence. Her portrayal of the lawyer Nora Fanshaw adds several extra layers to the movie and while Margot Robbie has a strong case for her depiction of Kayla Pospisil in “Bombshell”, the Oscar will most likely go to Dern.

Brad Pitt, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for OUATIH
There’s no way someone’s stealing the Oscar for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role from Brad Pitt. His role as the stuntman Cliff Booth in Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is nothing short of sensational. The director’s take on the Charles Manson story simply couldn’t work without Pitt’s character who’s funny, brave, mysterious, and a little odd at times. He’s behind all the best scenes in the film and it’s hard to see how the Academy could ignore Pitt.

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony take place on 9 February 2020 at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

De Niro, DiCaprio board Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon

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Martin Scorsese’s Netflix epic The Irishman received a total of ten Academy Award nominations including Best Director, Best Supporting Actor for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture. We’ll have to wait and see how many statuettes Scorsese’s latest masterpiece will win on 9 February. However, the hype machine has already started on the director’s next project – Killers of the Flower Moon.

There had been prior speculation that two of Scorsese’s favourite actors – Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro – were already on board, and that is was not a new casino movie (as confirmed by DiCaprio at the recent SAG Awards). Both actors have given some of their best performances under Scorsese in multiple films. We have seen DiCaprio and De Niro in This Boy’s Life and Marvin’s Room, but Killers of the Flower Moon would be the first film where the actors share the screen together in a project directed by Scorsese.

Killers of the Flower Moon is based on the US journalist David Grann’s non-fiction book of the same title which was released in 2017. According to its Wikipedia page, the book “investigates a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s – after big oil deposits were discovered beneath their land”. The book also tells the story of the birth of the FBI. Shooting is said to begin in a few months and Eric Roth (A Star Is Born, Forrest Gump) will be a screenwriter.

There were rumours after The Irishman wrapped that Scorsese would cast DiCaprio in a film adaption of the non-fiction book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, starring the actor as serial killer H.H Holmes, before the project was handed over to Hulu as a mini-series produced by Paramount. Another Variety report also claimed a few years ago that DiCaprio would play U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in a movie directed by Scorsese. However, as of now, Killers of the Flower Moon is the only upcoming Marty project featuring the actor.

Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon will be handled by Paramount Pictures. De Niro has yet to be officially confirmed that he is part of the film – but we trust Leo.

Pain & Gain: Hollywood’s ‘biggest’ stars

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Since the inception of action cinema, there have been actors who focused on getting ripped before they could play various roles in action movies. Undeniably, they have become legends and famous in many social circles.

Many of these actors have been a significant motivation for fitness enthusiasts who want to become like these stars. You’re probably wondering who these actors are. So, we will take you through the most famous who have dominated the entertainment industry, especially in Hollywood.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Even kids know him as one of the strongest men in the world. He became famous after acting in The Terminator and Commando movies in the 1980s. He was featured in many more movies in the 1990s through today. His love of workouts and commitment to a supportive diet has enabled him to remain ripped all these years.

Sylvester Stallone
He believes that life is about how hard you can get hit and still keep moving. Even in his senior years, he is still ripped. After the Rambo series, people got to know this actor as someone who loves to exercise. To date, Sylvester Stallone has not dropped an inch of muscle, and his latest movie, Rambo: Last Blood, can confirm this.

Chris Hemsworth
After the first Thor film, Hemsworth became a big hit. The fact that he was the only one who could lift the mighty hammer made him look even more ripped. According to sources, he has to take supplements and exercise harder than planned to fit into the costume. If you want to be like Hemsworth, you probably need to visit the 120 kgs website for some legit steroids, but you should consume them with caution to avoid any negative health effects.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Even in his days as a wrestler, The Rock was ripped. However, he has since gained more muscle now that he acts in movies and TV shows. You’ve probably already seen San Andreas, Rampage and/or the Fast & Furious series and admired his tattooed and muscular body. This is a result of hard training. The actor has a fitness line with numerous followers on Instagram.

Vin Diesel
After the xXx movies, Diesel became a major Hollywood star. He is equally ripped just like the other actors we have mentioned here. He has released numerous videos and photos where he is working out tirelessly. His social media pages have many followers who are interested in getting ripped just like him.

Hugh Jackman
He is indeed extremely muscular, and he does not shy away from showing it in his movies like Logan and The Wolverine. Jackman shows off his best physique when ejecting blades from his hands and when attacking in general. Again, he is very popular, and many people are curious to know how he manages to maintain such a body.

Dolph Lundgren
Lundgren has a big body structure, and he is incredibly ripped. His acting skills also add humour in all the movies he has been in. Just like the other popular actors who are ripped, many fitness enthusiasts follow him on social media to learn his workout skills.
If you are looking forward to a ripped body, these are some of the actors you can follow. You will not regret it. There is a lot you can learn from them particularly in lifting, running, diet and managing your time well to succeed in fitness.

Artificial Intelligence at the movies

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Twentieth and twenty-first-century fiction has had a fascination with AI, and that fascination, of course, extends to movies. There are all sorts of AI programs in movies. With this ranking of AI in cinema, you can learn a little more about movie AI with typical adult intelligence.

Maria – Metropolis
Metropolis was released in 1927, and that’s one of the reasons that it’s so interesting even to this day. As a robotic replica of another individual, Maria’s robotic double has the ability to process language, navigate itself, and even overthrow a whole city.

MU-TH-UR 6000 – Alien
As an artificial intelligence mainframe, MU-TH-UR 6000, often referred to as “Mother,” was able to operate the main ship’s background systems with no human interaction necessary. Still, it’s less a character and more a database.

Replicants – Blade Runner
Replicants are an important part of the Blade Runner films – they’re stronger, smarter, and faster than humans, and have false human-like memories. That means in most circumstances, they behave just like their flesh-and-blood adult counterparts.

KITT – Knight Rider
Ironically, KITT was developed after the executives had a difficult time getting “good actors” to play physical parts in Knight Rider. The car became a permanent fixture, sporting self-driving capabilities and an adult personality, complete with a fragile ego.

Bishop – Alien
As viewers learn when it demonstrates its high-stakes knife trick, Bishop is able to move at near lightning speed with incredible accuracy. But although it can physically perform at levels above an ordinary human, it only learns human behaviours.

Evil Bill and Ted – Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey
This movie may be a comedy, but the evil Bill and Ted robots are no joke. In fact, they actually murder the real Bill and Ted. But these evil doppelgangers eventually prove to be no match for the good Bill and Ted’s robotic bodyguards.

Agents – The Matrix
The agents in The Matrix are comprised of software in a human’s body. Although this allows them to do incredible feats like rewriting aspects of the world in which humans live, they still work at a similar level as other adults.

Bender – Futurama
Sure, Bender’s comic relief, but he’s also an essential part of the world that Futurama builds for its viewers. He can disassemble body parts and has multiple processors. Still, he functions as basically another adult in the Futurama party.

Spider Robots – Minority Report
In Minority Report, PreCrime uses arachnid-like robots to find people with audio, visual, and thermal scans, and then to identify them with eye scans. But despite this advanced location technology, they’re still marginally controlled by humans behind the scenes.

Connecticut Housewives – The Stepford Wives
Based on a 1970 novel about men recreating their wives as docile androids, the housewives in The Stepford Wives aren’t really good or evil. But they are intentionally made to be as similar to a typical human as possible.

TARS – Interstellar
One of the most interesting interactions in Interstellar is when the TARS makes one too many jokes about enslaving the humans inside itself, after which a crew member asks it to tone down its humour. That’s very reflective of how many viewers feel about real-life AI.

Ava – Ex Machina
Ava looks very obviously mechanic, but part of the story’s theme centres around how good she is at behaving like a human. Though she has immensely strong mechanical capacities, she’s ultimately a very human-like character.

AI is always growing and changing, both in real life and in movies and television. These adult-like AI systems offer both an interesting character choice and a peek into the world of real AI.

Where have all the great Christmas films gone?

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While the likes of Paul Feig’s Last Christmas and the 2018 reboot of Dr Seuss’s The Grinch may have performed well at the UK box office, critics largely turned their noses up at both (the latter has a score of just 59% on Rotten Tomatoes). So where have all the great Christmas films gone?

One answer could be the big streaming platforms. Netflix, in particular, has launched seven Christmas films in November and December of this year. Features like The Knight Before Christmas and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby would be unlikely to garner much in the way of cinema support, but their starry casts and glossy marketing – and free-to-watch appeal for subscribers – will likely translate into solid viewing figures over the Christmas period.

Film critic Nicholas Barber says those films are an example of a wider strategy for streaming services. “What [Netflix] do is pump it out,” Barber says. “They’re behind some really great films, but essentially they’re about quantity over quality. That’s not just about Christmas films, that’s everything. They put out this massive number of films, which has never been done before. They’ve got so much money and it’s all about just getting tons and tons of content out there.”

Courtesy of Betway Sports, here’s a rundown of the biggest Christmas movies of all time.

As you can see, with a collective $1.45 billion taken between them, Home Alone’s Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and The Grinch are the undisputed commercial kings of Christmas movies, with standalone films such as the oft-lampooned Love Actually, Elf and The Santa Claus perennially rolled out back into cinemas and onto TV channels come December-time.

So what is likely to be the big Christmas hit of 2019? Next week, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Tom Hooper’s Cats will duke it out for festive bragging rights, with Greta Gerwig’s Little Women waiting in the wings. The final chapter in the latest trilogy, and carrying in tow a budget of approximately $300 million, The Rise of Skywalker looks almost certain to take the global crown – and all without a snowman in sight.