American Pie (Movie Review)

Nominated for zero Academy Awards, American Pie is a lewd, crude teenage comedy that’s probably the funniest movie of 1999. In the tradition of Animal House, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, and other such comedies, the film makes its mark as one of the better written screenplays in the genre. The clever one-liners and memorable scenes are so abundant that few seconds of the film lack one or the other. If you can’t laugh at American Pie, then you’ve got serious problems. Along with Office Space and There’s Something About Mary, it’s one of the best comedies of its time…

Jason Biggs plays the role of Jim Levenstein a normal high school student in American suburbia. Together with his friends Chris ‘Oz’ Ostreicher (Chris Klein), Kevin Myers (Thomas Ian Nicholas), and Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas), he makes a pact to lose his virginity by prom night. Seeing that it’s senior year, the task calls for immediate attention, and the four friends find that it’s not as easy as they had originally planned.

Kevin’s task seems to be the easiest as he is involved with long-time girlfriend Vicky Lathum (Tara Reid). Meanwhile, Chris joins the chorus (discovering he has an unknown talent off the lacrosse field) where he falls for Heather (Mena Suvari) who initially wants nothing to do with him. Finch relies on self-perpetuated rumors to make his personal stock rise, while Jim comes close to doing the deed with the beautiful foreign exchange student Nadia (Shannon Elizabeth). When Nadia is sent home, Jim’s hopes rest on band camp survivor Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan). As prom night closes in, each must determine his own fate, while wondering what the final outcome was for his friend…

In American Pie, Eugene Levy steals the show as Jim’s father. His monotone, straight-forward attempts to be hip and to befriend his son are gut-busting in nature. His feeble attempts to explain sex and his encounter with Jim and the pie in the kitchen are some of the funniest scenes in the movie. That’s saying a lot, because American Pie is a hilarious movie with lots of buzz words like “M.I.L.F.” and quirky characters like Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott). That said, only a certain age demographic will find American Pie to be among their film favorites.

Scenes such as the Internet cam with Jim and Nadia will be forever famous, and the movie lacks any sort of a slowdown. From beginning to end, the laughs are truly non-stop. Following its release, American Pie became an instant cult classic, influencing its target generation and pioneering the depths of the young adult vocabulary. Because of its utterly hilarious scenes and prominent role in the teenage comedy genre, American Pie ranks as a definite must-see movie…

How to Write, Direct and Film Award Winning Home Movies

Ever since I bought my first camcorder, I haven’t been able to resist the temptation to create my own video productions. Sometimes I even star in them. I admit I’m quite a ham and since the apple never falls far from the tree, my two children are as well.

And so began what has become a collection of home produced videos and DVD’s. Whether they were based on my kids ideas or my own, I can tell you with all honesty we had a blast making them and laugh our behinds off watching and re-watching them. Now that they are grown, it’s become a tradition of sorts to re-watch our favorites. It my hope that this article will help you to avoid the mistakes we’ve made and learn what works so that you too can immortalize your families creativity and joy and have a tangible lasting memory for generations to come.

Lights!

Before you start, you must decide what your video will be about. This is sometimes best done by one person as too many hands at this stage may spoil your production. I’ve found that younger children (ages 7 and below) do better re-enacting well known children’s stories or fairy tale. Some ideas that we’ve used in our productions are:

The Three Bears

Little Red Riding Hood

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Jack and Jill

The Three Little Pigs

I’ve found stories that have more parts to play can be more fun as it allows everyone to get in on the action. If you have only a few players, then it allows them to show case their talents by playing more than one part, ala Mike Myers style as in the Austin Powers series.

I have never found it necessary to purchase any props or costumes for our video’s as our motto is “Make do with what you have”. Necessity is the mother of invention and we’ve come up with some hilarious costumes from using items around the house.

Outline your story. I’ve always started my production with a skeleton script as we have more fun when we ad-lib. It is much more spontaneous and usually much funnier than anything you can script. But in order for you the director to be able to make sense of your story you must have a clear beginning, middle and end. A sample story might look like this:

Part 1: We meet the three bears as they sit down to porridge. Papa says its too hot, mama agrees and baby cries when he/she burns his tongue. Mama suggests a walk in the woods. Papa and baby agree and they leave.

Part 2: Goldilocks enters and tries all three ( “too hot, too cold, just right”) Eats all of baby bears porridge and then moves to their chairs (“too hard, too soft, just right”) and breaks baby chair. Then goes to the bedrooms: ( Too hard, too soft just right and falls asleep)

Part 3 The bears return. Papa notices someones been eating his porridge. Momma notices. Baby wails because he/she has none.

They go to sit. Papa thinks someones been sitting in his chair. Momma agrees. Baby’s upset to find his broken.

They go to bed, again, papa and mama suspect, but baby finds Goldilocks sleeping in his bed and wakes her up. Gold sees the bear and screams and runs out of the house.

As the director, it’s your job to review with everyone what they are supposed to do, but you can let them speak with their own words. If a small child is lost for words, you can certainly tell them what to say, but an older child will probably prefer to figure it out him/herself.

It is vital to remember the reasons you have chosen to make a video: For fun, laughter and joy. No one is allowed to take it too seriously to the point where arguments or fights take over. Create a mission statement up front so that everyone involved remembers your reasons for undertaking this project.

CAMERA!

Preparation pays. Once you and your cast have decided what you’re story is, you must now become the casting director. Keep in mind that sometimes the obvious choice is not always best, especially for a funny video. Make a man into a woman or a child and let a child play an adult and it can be hilarious!

Next figure out where you’ll film each part, and make a note of that next to each in your outline. This is where you can get really creative and let your imagination run wild! Remember that your viewer will only see only what the camera can pick up, so you can manipulate your surroundings to get your desired result. Once, when we made a spoof of the Blair Witch project, we needed to film a night time scene (where the heroine is shining a flashlight on her face and crying) and it was full day light out. We chose a dark spot in the garage, and inside of our little baby tent, filmed a very realistic night tent scene.

Costumes and makeup are pretty easy. I’ve never felt the need to dress in bear costumes when we’ve done the three bears. We just dressed the way we thought a mama papa and and baby bear might dress. Certainly an apron and cap for mama would work, but if you don’t have them, she can dress like a modern day mama too. It’s always great to have wigs and such available, but in the absence of them, scarves and hats do the trick just as well. You can pick up just about anything you’d need at a thrift store if you wanted, but again, I’m not a believer that having the right outfit is all that important.

When you’re turning a boy into a girl or vice versa make up is important. For the guys, a hefty dose of blush on and lipstick do the trick while a girl will need a painted on mustache. You can do this with eye brow pencil or mascara. Anything dark that will show up for the camera. You’ll want to apply it a little heavier for the camera than you would for real life. I’ve also used eyebrow pencil to blacken some teeth to look like a toothless person on camera. You have to dry the tooth well and then color it in with black eyebrow pencil. I’ve used burned corks to draw on beards and that works well too.

We used a female lubricant called “Astro-Glide” as artificial tears when we filmed the spoof on the Blair witch project. The actress said it tasted gross but it looked so realistic on film!

ACTION!

Finally, you’re ready to shoot. As director, it’s your job to make certain everyone knows what they are supposed to do and say. I always like to make sure little ones know and I’ll ask just before we start filming. It gives them a chance to ask questions and if you ask them to repeat back to you what they are supposed to say and do, you’ll see what might need correction. You also need to review with the actors hand signals for ending the scene. I always like the slash to the neck signal but you can use whatever you want, as long as all or your actors know what that is. It’s also important for all the players to know what signals the end of a scene. It could be a word or a phrase or an action. (ie an actor gets up an leaves)

I find it easier to film my stories in sequence, but if that is not possible you can always edit it later. You also want to be sure whoever is filming knows what they are doing. I once let my son be the camera man when he was about ten years old and we got great footage of the ceiling and everyone’s feet. We kept it because we laugh really hard when we watch it, but for a good quality video you want either a teenager or an adult doing the filming. I always found it good to film and direct. Ultimately, you have the most control because if you don’t like what is going on, you can stop the film and rewind and re-film the entire scene.

There is no reason why you can’t follow the action from room to room indoors, or through the woods and meadows outdoors. We’ve done both. In the Three bears we followed Goldilocks from kitchen to den to bedrooms. In the Blair Witch we followed our actors through the woods and actually used only a small section of woods by walking in a circle, but the audience doesn’t know this.

Your crew might bug you to see the video after each segment, but I would make them wait. Make a big bowl of popcorn and have a formal ‘premier’ of your video, including friends and family who haven’t been a part of it. Then sit back and watch the look of pride come over your children s face when they see themselves on film. It is truly priceless!

EDITING

After you view it once you’ll see what needs to be taken out or improved on. As I said, I’m no perfectionist, but I have on occasion seen the need to go back and do another take on a scene or two.

I’ve also taken to making a title page which is usually hand drawn on a piece of paper along with the credits and film that.

We’ve also been having a “cast call” at the end of the video so everyone who had a part in it can take a bow and ham it up.

Good luck with your first production and may the Schwartz be with you!

Tips For Finding the Best Adult Halloween Costume

Finding the perfect adult Halloween costume is very important. After all, there’s no telling how many parties you’re going to be invited to, how many costume contests you may be entered in, or just how much fun you’re going to have. Not only will you want a costume that looks great but you’re also going to want one that no one else has!

The best way to find adult Halloween costumes that are perfect for you are to look for ones that fit your personality and jive with the things that you like best. Shopping for the latest fashions and trends is OK to do but you’ve got to keep in mind that you may not be the only person dressed in this costume. It’s possible that you might run into someone who’s dressed as the same character or wearing a similar outfit, or worse yet – the same exact costume. Unfortunately that’s just as bad as being dressed identically. So instead, really think deep and you’re sure to find the best costume for your needs.

You Can Alter Your Costume

There’s nothing wrong with wanting one of this year’s newest styles or greatest creations. There are loads of incredible new adult Halloween costumes for both men and women. What you can do to be a little bit different is to take those great buys and tweak them slightly to make them your own.

For instance, let’s say a great vampire movie just came out and the latest adult Halloween costume choice is a vampire with all black clothing. You could take that same costume, but you could change the color of the clothing. Or you could combine two costume choices so that you are a vampire with pointy ears and a skeleton like nose, or perhaps add a classic vampire cape to a modern costume, or anything else you can think of.

The point is that you can take a great costume and customize it to make it your own creation. You don’t have to do a lot – just be creative and add your own personal touch. Add some knock out accessories, change the colors a little bit, add a unique wig, and make it your own.

It’s Got to be Comfortable and Durable

While finding the perfect style adult Halloween costume is important, you also want to make sure you won’t mind wearing all night long. You’re going to be spending a lot of time walking, partying, and dancing throughout the night. Remember that if you’re going to be hopping between several parties and staying out all night, you’re going to want something that’s suitable to wear for the forecast temperature and that will also look just as fabulous at the end of the night as it did at the beginning.

Beware of loose fitting fabrics that will need to be adjusted throughout the evening. Also be aware of the really thick costumes that can get too hot because those costumes are probably going to come off half-way through the night. Even worse, you might really have your heart set on a skimpy outfit, like a Gladiator outfit or a Harem outfit, but if it gets cool through the night, you may end up covering your outfit with a coat or jacket.

It’s important to put some thought into your adult Halloween costume before adding it to your shopping cart. Be sure that it fits your personality and your individual style. It’s also important that it’s comfortable to wear throughout the long evening.

Halloween Movies Frighten and Delight Viewers

As Halloween draws near, many movie lovers turn to their favorite spooky films to get into the spirit of the season. The best Halloween movies bring with them the sense of brisk temperatures, falling leaves and moonlit nights-along with a healthy dose of fear. A film is the perfect way to celebrate the weeks leading up to Halloween, either alone or with friends and family.

For viewers who love to be scared, there are numerous Halloween-themed movies. Perhaps the most well known-and most terrifying-is the appropriately titled “Halloween.” The original “Halloween” movie, which was released in 1978, tells the story of a psychotic killer who terrorizes a group of teenage girls. Starring a young Jamie Lee Curtis, the film is full of suspense and tense silences that are designed to spook viewers. In “Halloween,” Tony Moran plays the killer Michael Myers, a deranged young man who has escaped from a mental institution 15 years after murdering his sister. On Halloween night, he comes back to his hometown and begins to kill unsuspecting teenagers. In a terrifying final sequence, Jamie Lee Curtis’ character, Laurie, fights for her life while Michael pursues her relentlessly. The movie ends with a frightening twist that will leave viewers feeling unsettled for hours after.

“Halloween” is widely regarded as the first movie in the modern slasher tradition. It was made on a tight shooting schedule with a small budget and uses considerably less violence and blood than the movies it inspired. The horror in “Halloween” is less visual and more cerebral, with scenes that are designed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The film inspired an entire “Halloween” franchise. A healthy dose of horror can be found in the seven sequels to the original “Halloween”: “Halloween II,” “Halloween III: Season of the Witch,” “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers,” “Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers,” “Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers,” “Halloween H20: 20 Years Later” and “Halloween: Resurrection.” In 2007, filmmakers remade the first “Halloween” using the original title. A sequel to the remake, “Halloween II,” was release in 2009. The original film is still regarded by most viewers as one of the best Halloween movies ever made.

There are plenty of movies for families with children who want to celebrate Halloween in a less terrifying manner. One of the most charming is “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The animated film follows the Peanuts characters as they enjoy Halloween festivities. Linus is preoccupied with the Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown has trouble trick-or-treating. The movie is sweet, short and appropriate for all audiences.

Another animated film that is equally delightful for children and adults is “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” This Tim Burton movie is made in the director’s unique style, with dark, gloomy scenes and creative characters. The story follows Jack Skellington and the residents of Halloween Town as they attempt to blend Christmas and Halloween-with mixed results. The movie is visually stunning and contains enough adult-appropriate humor to entertain viewers of all ages.

For adults or families with older children, the 1993 movie “Hocus Pocus” is certain to set the Halloween mood. The story opens in ancient Salem, where three witches are cursed with a temporary death, and fast-forwards to present day. When a teenager, Max, accidentally awakens the witches on Halloween night, he must find a way to defeat them and save the town. The movie is filled with high-energy action sequences, spooky evening scenes, an abundance of Halloween costumes and a healthy dose of magic. Older audience members will enjoy watching Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler as the three witches.

Families will also enjoy the movie “Casper,” which was released in 1995. The film stars Bill Pullman, teenage heartthrob Devon Sawa and a young Christina Ricci. “Casper” puts a whimsical spin on the idea of a haunted house and is more endearing than scary. The plot follows a father and daughter as they move into an ancient mansion, only to discover that it already has four inhabitants-ghosts with big personalities. As the father and daughter deal with their new roommates, they grow closer and develop a better relationship. With several entertaining haunting scenes and no shortage of romance, “Casper” is an ideal pick for a family night in.

When it comes to Halloween movies, most options are either delightful or terrifying. Viewers who are looking to celebrate the darker aspects of the season will find satisfaction in Halloween-themed horror movies, while less adventurous viewers will be happier with family-friendly films. From blood and gore to friendly ghosts, Halloween movies are sure to bring out the spirit of the season.

How To Find An Active Adult Living Community That Suits You

Typically, people who move into an active adult living community need to be 55 years or older. Today, this might seem like an incredibly young age to move into a retirement community simply because most people are still working at that age. Even retirement benefits start kicking in after their mid-sixties for most people. However, health issues, social requirements and other factors are forcing more and more people to relocate to active adult living communities quite early on.

It’s all about living in style and aging comfortably!

Interestingly, you might see that most active adult living communities are centrally located in places like Florida and Washington. One of the reasons for this is the great climate, of course. Plenty of sunshine is something that most seniors enjoy and thrive in. Another reason is comfort.

Most reputed active adult living communities have resort-style amenities like golf courses, heated swimming pools, clubhouses, fitness and activity centers, in addition to well built homes. Land and facilities like these in the middle of the city is an attractive option for people who have worked hard throughout their younger years and look forward to a comfortable retirement. There’s no doubt about it – it’s living and aging in style and many folks have the financial muscle to enjoy just that.

Surveys and research have shown that entertainment and recreation are the main thrusts of a good active adult living community, after comfort. Thus, designing options are evolving all the time. Reputed active adult living communities offer their residents a number of housing options, ranging from town homes to duplexes, villas and so on. In addition to these, some even have separate guest houses, conference rooms and ball rooms.

Some of the features you might consider when choosing an active adult community include:

1. Low maintenance both inside and outside the house. Most adult living communities understand that ambience is a key factor when it comes to choosing the right place to live. So, for example, many of them make it a point to maintain tress, shrubs and gardens to give residents the kind of environment they desire.

2. Lots of varied types of activities. You could find water sports, aerobics, yoga, pilates, dancing, craft work, movie nights, wine tasting – the list is long and quite fulfilling. Large communities even plan long outdoor vacations and cruises. Just because you’re ageing, there’s no reason to bid adieu to all the things you enjoy in life!

3. Great social milieu. In a large active adult living community, residents are surrounded by people like themselves. Thus, the social aspect provided by the community is another big reason to move into an adult living community.

4. Great location has its perks. Many places like Orlando and Washington have their innate advantages. These areas have great weather all year round. They also have many outdoor incentives, like parks, lakes and so on. People like to be in a happening place. Also, many people who are in the 55-60 age brackets like to keep themselves busy with jobs that are easy to handle.

5. Lots of reasons for visitors to visit. Just because you are living in an adult retirement community, you cannot cut yourself off from the rest of your family. If the community is spacious and has great amenities, there’s all the more reason for grandkids to visit grandpa and grandma!

Adult Halloween Costumes Should Be Unique and Affordable

Okay, so now you accept absitively to dress up like a kid and you are 34…..or more. What’s up with this? For a minute try to anticipate aback to if you’re absolutely were a kid. What was one of your admired holidays? Mine was Halloween. I admired the abstraction of accepting the capacity afraid out of me and in about-face alarming added kids…..and hopefully a few adults. I absolutely admired the candy. It was an bacchanal of amoroso and amber captivated up with alarming images. What was even added fun was the actuality that you could beard yourself. On this one night you could be anybody you capital to be as continued as your parents could either accomplish or buy your costume. Sometimes a bed area with the affectation and a flashlight fabricated a abundant ghost. If you were advantageous maybe your mom could sew something absolutely chic that the added kids didn’t have. It was just abundant fun bathrobe up and accepting out accepting your allotment of the goodies. Then something abhorrent happened, we grew up. Halloween was no best vampires, witches and goblins and bags of candy. It was added acceptable spent on a date or maybe traveling to a affair but in any case it just wasn’t as abundant fun.

Now fast advanced accomplished the boyish and boyish years and anticipate about demography your own boyish or nephew or boyish accessory out for a trick-or-treat session. The old adventure alternate with a blitz and you admired that you too could abrasion a apparel and get a bag abounding of bonbon and prizes. Well assumption what? You can! All you accept to do now is go online and seek for your admired costume, cine character, ghoul or vampire, or actual figure. Is Spiderman your fancy? What about Wolverine or Captain Jack sparrow? Maybe you’re analytic for a funny costume. Maybe you put on a few pounds aback top school, would a additional sized apparel help? Anything is accessible in our adventure to not accord up the joy of adolescence just because somebody said that we were adults. So grab your abrasion get on lath and alpha cerebration about who you will be this Halloween.

Whether you’re just traveling out in the neighborhood, to a bounded Halloween party, or to your bend alehouse to accommodated accompany you absolutely wish to attending for something that’s unique, something that will accomplish conversation. The alone accessible botheration that could angle in the way is the cost. But there are many, abounding accessible and affordable apparel and apparel sources that will not breach the bank. The key is alive who you wish to be and how abundant you can allow to spend. With those simple ambit and a few abrasion clicks you can be headed out against the canicule if Peter Pan, Harry Potter or any amount of literary, celebrated or cine characters allowable your acuteness in a way that was crazily magical. So all of you grownups that wish to absorb a few hours administration the joy of your adolescence should activate that adventure anon and activate analytic for your own different and affordable developed adaptation of your adolescence favorites or your latest fantasy. Whether it’s scary, a little bit naughty, cine aggressive or some added abstract being, get traveling now. Shop and buy anon while there is still a acceptable accumulating of Halloween favorites. Find that different and appropriate apparel at an affordable amount and go out and accept fun.Okay, so now you accept absitively to dress up like a kid and you are 34…..or more. What’s up with this? For a minute try to anticipate aback to if you’re absolutely were a kid. What was one of your admired holidays? Mine was Halloween. I admired the abstraction of accepting the capacity afraid out of me and in about-face alarming added kids…..and hopefully a few adults. I absolutely admired the candy. It was an bacchanal of amoroso and amber captivated up with alarming images. What was even added fun was the actuality that you could beard yourself. On this one night you could be anybody you capital to be as continued as your parents could either accomplish or buy your costume. Sometimes a bed area with the affectation and a flashlight fabricated a abundant ghost. If you were advantageous maybe your mom could sew something absolutely chic that the added kids didn’t have. It was just abundant fun bathrobe up and accepting out accepting your allotment of the goodies. Then something abhorrent happened, we grew up. Halloween was no best vampires, witches and goblins and bags of candy. It was added acceptable spent on a date or maybe traveling to a affair but in any case it just wasn’t as abundant fun.

Now fast advanced accomplished the boyish and boyish years and anticipate about demography your own boyish or nephew or boyish accessory out for a trick-or-treat session. The old adventure alternate with a blitz and you admired that you too could abrasion a apparel and get a bag abounding of bonbon and prizes. Well assumption what? You can! All you accept to do now is go online and seek for your admired costume, cine character, ghoul or vampire, or actual figure. Is Spiderman your fancy? What about Wolverine or Captain Jack sparrow? Maybe you’re analytic for a funny costume. Maybe you put on a few pounds aback top school, would a additional sized apparel help? Anything is accessible in our adventure to not accord up the joy of adolescence just because somebody said that we were adults. So grab your abrasion get on lath and alpha cerebration about who you will be this Halloween.

Whether you’re just traveling out in the neighborhood, to a bounded Halloween party, or to your bend alehouse to accommodated accompany you absolutely wish to attending for something that’s unique, something that will accomplish conversation. The alone accessible botheration that could angle in the way is the cost. But there are many, abounding accessible and affordable apparel and apparel sources that will not breach the bank. The key is alive who you wish to be and how abundant you can allow to spend. With those simple ambit and a few abrasion clicks you can be headed out against the canicule if Peter Pan, Harry Potter or any amount of literary, celebrated or cine characters allowable your acuteness in a way that was crazily magical. So all of you grownups that wish to absorb a few hours administration the joy of your adolescence should activate that adventure anon and begin analytic for your own different and affordable developed adaptation of your adolescence favorites or your latest fantasy. Whether it’s scary, a little bit naughty, cine aggressive or some added abstract being, get traveling now. Shop and buy anon while there is still a acceptable accumulating of Halloween favorites. Find that different and appropriate apparel at an affordable amount and go out and accept fun.