Category: Movies

5 Best Movies Starring Rappers

There is a lot of soul that goes behind rap, and that emotion can actually translate well to the big screen. Though some rappers have been used as actors because of their star power, some have proven to be great actors who can carry a movie. Today, we’ll look at the five best movies that starred A-list rappers (in no particular order).

For this list, we wanted to use rappers who were still in the prime of their music careers when they decided to hop into acting. We tried to exclude any films that used a rapper who had been years removed from their last album release. Also, some of the films that just missed the cut include “Four Brothers”, “House Party”, “New Jack City”, “Juice”, and “ATL”.


Many consider “Friday” to be a stoner comedy cult hit while others believe it’s one of the best comedy films of the 1990s. There was plenty of acting experience on the set of “Friday” thanks to the likes of Chris Tucker and Nia Long, but the top billing went to Ice Cube just a couple of years removed from his days with NWA.

In the movie, Ice Cube plays the role of Craig Jones, who had just lost his job and spends most of his time with his friend Smokey. The two get into a lot of hijinx in their Compton neighborhood, and Ice Cube himself wrote the film alongside fellow rapper DJ Pooh. “Friday” only cost $3.5 million to make, but pulled in over $27 million at the box office plus plenty of VHS rentals and sales.

Boyz N The Hood

“Friday” isn’t the only classic 1990s film starring Ice Cube, but his other major foray came a few years earlier in his career and had a much more serious tone. Starring alongside Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, and Larry Fishburne, Ice Cube was one of the mains tars of “Boyz N The Hood”. This film also featured South Central Los Angeles as a backdrop, and it became a critically acclaimed smash hit.

With a $6.5 million budget, “Boys N The Hood” took home $57.5 million in ticket sales, giving many of those in middle America a glimpse of what gang life in Los Angeles was like. The coming-of-age film was nominated for a slew of awards, including a pair of Oscars for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The soundtrack wasn’t too bad, either, going number one on the R&B charts.

8 Mile

There have been only a handful of cameo appearances as an actor for Detroit-based rapper Eminem, and only one film in which he starred. The movie, of course, is “8 Mile”, which is loosely based on the life of Eminem back when he was simply Marshall Mathers. In “8 Mile”, his stage name is B-Rabbit, but you certainly get the feeling that much of “8 Mile” was based on truth.

The film also stars Brittany Murphy, Mekhi Phifer, and Kim Basinger, all of whom were already accomplished actors. Still, Eminem wasn’t outperformed and looked comfortable in the role, leading to “8 Mile” being a massive blockbuster. The movie made more than $240 million at the box office and Eminem won an MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance to go along with his Oscar for Best Original Song.

Set It Off

Fresh off of a several-year stretch where she was the most well-known female rapper in the world, Queen Latifah took to acting and had her best performance in 1996 with “Set It Off”. Queen Latifah stars alongside Jada Pinkett, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise in a heist film that, like the first two movies on our list, takes place in Los Angeles.

While it might not have been as critically acclaimed as “Boyz N The Hood”, “Set It Off” did get met with overall positive reviews and earned an impressive $41.6 million at the box office. Queen Latifah earned an NAACP Image Award nomination for her performance, setting the stage for her acting career.

Above the Rim

During his illustrious yet brief music career, Tupac Shakur also had a knack for acting. This was showcased in multiple films, including 1994’s sports drama “Above the Rim”. Centered around basketball and penned by “New Jack City” writer Barry Michael Cooper, Shakur stars as Birdie, the younger brother of Leon’s character Shep.

“Above the Rim” didn’t have a ton of box office success with just $16.2 million at the box office, but it was another showcase of Tupac’s acting talents. Even critics who gave it a poor rating couldn’t help but note how Shakur never seemed out of his element in the movie.

5 Best Movies for Escape Room Fans

Escape rooms have become such a common part of mainstream media these days that it should come as no surprise that there have been several television shows and movies that have included them. Then, there are entire films that are based around the premise of an escape room, though the consequences are typically much direr than they are in real life.

Most of the films that pertain to escape rooms are recent, but there are also a few that date back to the 1990s. Let’s take a look at five of the best films that have at least some element of having an escape room, how they fared at the box office, and why they’re worth your time if you’re an escape room fan.

Escape Room

Of course, escape room fans would have to check out a film that’s called “Escape Room”, but you have to be careful about which one you’re getting. There are some that are not-so-great, and that includes the 2018 film that was released exclusively on Redbox. The superior “Escape Room” movie was released the following year and stars Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, and Deborah Ann Woll.

When the film was in development, it was known as “The Maze”, but changed to “Escape Room” before being released and even warranted a sequel called “Tournament of Champions”. In this movie, six participants must get through a series of escape rooms after thinking that they’ve won a competition by solving a puzzle cube. Chaos ensues and it makes for an amazing watching experience. “Escape Room” cost just $9 million to make but ended up grossing over $155 million at the box office.


You can essentially close your eyes and throw a dart at a board that has all of the “Saw” movies listed if you want a film with an escape room premise. For now, though, we’ll stick with suggesting the original “Saw” movie starring Cary Elwes. Tobin Bell plays Jigsaw, the killer who places his victims into nearly impossible (and deadly) escape rooms to teach them a lesson if they survive.

The film had a lot of twists and turns at the end, which we won’t spoil if you haven’t seen it. “Saw” was one of the biggest surprise hits in cinematic history, grossing well over $100 million despite having just a $1 million budget. Within a year, a second “Saw” was released, launching an all-new horror franchise.


There aren’t too many big British movies these days, but one of the best psychological thrillers with an escape room element is “Exam”, which was released in 2009. Directed by Stuart Hazeldine, “Exam” stars Adar Beck, Gemma Chan, and Nathalie Cox. The film centers around a group of eight people who think they are taking an employment assessment, but find out that the paper is blank.

It becomes an escape room of sorts as they have to figure out the question asked on the assessment if they want to leave with their lives. There’s a massive twist (that we won’t spoil), and it’s certain to leave you on the edge of your seat. “Exam” wasn’t a hit at the box office, making less than $400,000 on a $600,000 budget. Still, it developed a cult following in the years after.


Released in 1997, “Cube” came many years before anyone knew what an escape room was. This Canadian film was independently released and only had a budget of $350,000 but ended up making nearly $9 million at the box office. Many also felt that this movie was a precursor to the “Saw” series, especially as it has horror elements.

There are thousands of puzzles within the cube, and the main cast has to try their best to figure each one out to save their lives. Vincenzo Natali directed the original “Cube”, which has been remade in Japan and has had several talks about an American remake. Still, the original holds up just fine for escape room fans.

No Escape (Follow Me)

Also known by its alternate title “Follow Me”, “No Escape was released in 2020 under director Will Wernick. Keegan Allen, Holland Roden, and Denzel Whitaker star in this horror film that takes an internet influencer, his girlfriend, and his friends, and puts them into a deadly escape room in Russia that they thought was harmless.

Things aren’t all that they seem, though, as Allen’s character (Cole Turner) goes for a wild ride in front of a live stream audience of millions. While the film didn’t receive great reviews, it was still considered a cult hit and made a few million worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic on a small budget.

5 Timeless Classics From 50s Hollywood

Some say that the Golden Age of Hollywood was the best and that the 1950s marked the “Fall of the Studio System.” Life Magazine even called the 1950s the “horrible decade” at the time, which seems silly now that we look back at the era. There were many timeless classics that were released between 1950 and 1959, many of which we still quote to this day. Here are five timeless classics from 1950s Hollywood that, if you haven’t seen, you’ll be sure to love.


Jimmy Stewart was perhaps the biggest name in Hollywood during this era and he starred in many classic films that are still heralded to this day. Among his best work was “Vertigo”, one of his team-ups with director Alfred Hitchcock. The two collaborated on four films together, and most critics are split on whether it was “Vertigo” or “Rear Window” that ended up being the best of the best.

“Vertigo” does have a lot of memorable moments and follows the story of Stewart’s character John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson, a police officer who develops a fear of heights after seeing one of his fellow officers fall off of a building. The story taps into the psyche of fear and is played beautifully by Stewart with an ending that won’t soon be forgotten thanks to actress Kim Novak.

Singin’ in the Rain

Musicals are still popular today, but back in the 1950s, they were all the rage. Out of the many musicals from the era, the one that has withstood the test of time more than any other is “Singin’ in the Rain” starring the legendary Gene Kelly. The rest of the cast is amazing, as well, including Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor.

Despite not making as much money as you might think, “Singin’ in the Rain” became a classic over the years thanks to television airings and eventually VHS releases. Many started to memorize the words from the soundtrack, including the titular song as well as “Good Morning”, “Make ‘Em Laugh” and “Moses Supposes”. Almost everyone in real life, too, has had their own little parody of ‘Singin’ in the Rain” when the weather allows it.

12 Angry Men

“12 Angry Men” was originally written for television, but the story ended up being so good that Henry Fonda and Reginald Rose adapted it to the big screen, too. Fonda also stars in the film where a jury is trying to decide the fate of a teenage boy who was charged with murder. If you enjoy intense dramas where the scene doesn’t change, then “12 Angry Men” is the one for you. There are a lot of memorable lines and moments with amazing pacing throughout.

Fonda’s character is the only one at the beginning who votes ‘not guilty’ in the jury and spends almost the entire film convincing everyone else to vote alongside him. Eventually, everyone starts to see things his way as there is a lot of reasonable doubt surrounding the crime. The movie brilliantly captures tha ability of one calm person being able to hold back an entire group of people with a mob mentality.

Sunset Boulevard

Billy Wilder’s 1950 film “Sunset Boulevard” is one of those films that Hollywood loves because it gives a good glimpse into the inner workings of the film industry. What most people will remember about “Sunset Boulevard” is the performance of Gloria Swanson, who plays former silent-film actress Norma Desmond.

Norma is trying to make her return to the big screen after vocals have been introduced to films, and won’t accept that her 15 minutes of fame have expired. She tries to get in touch with famous director Cecil B. DeMille, which helps to create the intensely famous final line from Norma, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Like musicals, war films were extremely popular during the 1950s, and “The Bridge on the River Kwai” may have been the best of the bunch. Directed by David Lean, this film stars A-lister William Holden alongside Jack Hawkins and Alec Guinness. Guinness, of course, would go on to play Obi-Wan Kenobi in the original “Star Wars” films.

The three men play prisoners of World War II in the early 1940s and the film shows the helplessness that one can feel during that time. “The Bridge on the River Kwai” was a massive hit when it was first released, costing nearly $3 million to make while pulling in well over $30 million in box office sales. For context, that would be a $30 million budget and $325 million revenue in modern times.

5 Best Movies About War

There are all types of movie genres out there, but one of the hardest to get right is war. Set pieces are often intricate and expensive, which is why Hollywood tends not to make too many of them compared to earlier years when boots-on-the-ground warfare was much more common. That doesn’t mean that there haven’t been some fantastic war films recently, though. Let’s take a look through Hollywood history to find the five best movies about war, some of which came out more recently than you may have expected. 

Saving Private Ryan

By the time the late 1990s came around, many thought that the “war epic” genre was dead in the water. At that point, it had been over a decade since a very successful one had been released, but Steven Spielberg made sure that when he entered into a film about combat that he was going to do it right. The end result was a $70 million epic starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, and many other A-list stars called “Saving Private Ryan”.

The movie was intense right from the very beginning, which showed the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. Critics and audiences could feel the horrors of war while watching “Saving Private Ryan” and it ended up being one of the most successful films of the 1990s, pulling in close to a half-billion in ticket sales. “Saving Private Ryan” won five Oscars, including Best Directing and Best Cinematography.


Many consider Steven Spielberg to be the greatest director of his generation, and many feel the same way about Christopher Nolan in the newer era of cinema. Nolan has directed incredible films which include “Interstellar”, “The Dark Knight”, and “Inception”, while his first entry into the war genre was phenomenal with “Dunkirk” in 2017. The film was shot beautifully and put people into the action of World War I.

As a result, “Dunkirk” won Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. “Dunkirk” has a massive cast that includes familiar names such as Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy, and Tom Hardy. Making well over a half-billion at the box office, “Dunkirk” proved to be yet another success for Nolan’s prestigious career, and it has been hailed as the “Saving Private Ryan” of the new millennium.

Apocalypse Now

In 1899, a novella named “Heart of Darkness” was created by Joseph Conrad, which is what “Apocalypse Now” was based on. This time around, though, the film revolved around the Vietnam War. 1979’s “Apocalypse Now” was directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who at that point had been known for his work on the first two “Godfather” films.

“Apocalypse Now” was chock-full of memorable lines and scenes to go along with a long list of A-list stars. This included Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper, and even Harrison Ford. It cost just over $30 million to make “Apocalypse Now”, and it would gross well into the six-figures, making it a hit. Surprisingly, the only Academy Awards won by “Apocalypse Now” were for Best Sound and Best Cinematography.

The Hurt Locker

While it wasn’t as big of a hit at the box office as some of the films before it on the list, “The Hurt Locker” was a critic’s favorite when released in 2008, showing the more modern intensity of combat as we know it. Kathryn Bigelow would win Best Director at the Academy Awards thanks to “The Hurt Locker”, and the film went on later that night to win Best Picture.

“The Hurt Locker” is jam-packed with familiar names, especially if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Evangeline Lilly (Wasp), and Guy Pearce (Killian) all make appearances in the MCU and “The Hurt Locker”. Other notable stars from the film include David Morse, Brian Geraghty, and Ralph Fiennes.

Das Boot

Out of the films on the list, some might think that “Das Boot” would be the oldest, but it actually came out two years after “Apocalypse Now”. “Das Boot” was directed by Wolfgang Petersen, who went on to direct films including “The NeverEnding Story”, “Air Force One”, and “The Perfect Storm”. Some feel this was still Petersen’s best work, though, as it really tapped into the psyche of those in a submarine during the war.

“Das Boot” follows the story of the German submarine U-96 and its crew, with an ending that we don’t want to ruin, so simply watch for yourself and admire the great storytelling. “Das Boot” was a big success at the box office and received several Academy Award nominations including Best Director and Best Cinematography. 

5 Reasons Why DVDs Are Still Great in the Digital Age

There have been many ways in which to watch movies and television shows over the years. We started back with getting original prints of a film and using a projector to watch on a wall or large screen and eventually worked our way up to the current digital age. Now, even video game consoles are able to stream all of the media we consume through endless apps for streaming services.

We’re not too far removed from the days when the DVD was king, though. Even though digital has taken over for the most part, the DVD market is still very much alive. In fact, there are some people that haven’t made the jump to digital because the DVD is still a fantastic product. If you’re in this group or wondering why so many are, here are five reasons why DVDs are still great in the digital age.

No Internet Needed

First and foremost, to stream any movie or TV show, you need to have a stable internet connection throughout the entire stream if you haven’t downloaded it. Even then, you may live in an area where downloading a video can take ages and could possibly become corrupted. You also have to have storage room for all of your digital media and it can fill up quickly.

With DVDs, you don’t have to worry about that at all. Even if you’re using one of those video game consoles where you have to be online to play, you can still use a DVD while the internet is out or unstable. This makes a portable DVD player perfect for something like camping when your phone won’t connect to the internet to watch YouTube videos.


If you want a movie with better audio quality that’s better than a streaming service, watch it on DVD. If you want the best quality, watch it on Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray discs and players have Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD, making sure that you hear everything at the highest quality. Then, of course, there’s the video quality.

Unless your disc is really scratched up, your Blu-Ray player is going to have the best possible quality outside of a movie theater itself. Streaming services are often buffering and upload speeds can hiccup and make things blurry. Nobody has ever complained about a blurry screen with a Blu-Ray film.


There are plenty of people out there who like to collect physical media, but it seems to be a dying art with the advent of streaming services for television and digital copies of video games. Those of us who are still collecting pine for the physical release of everything because of the aesthetic factor.

A solid chunk of the population will look at someone who collects DVDs or other physical forms of media as living in the past but don’t scoff at people who collect movie posters. It’s essentially the same thing, and people love to collect as a hobby. DVDs are no exception, especially with some of the covers being works of art.


Let’s say that you’re an avid collector and you’ve run out of room for your newest purchase. Because of that, there might be a DVD that you don’t particularly care for and want to get rid of. Instead of simply uninstalling it from a hard drive, you can sell it to someone to recoup at least some of the money.

In the cases of rarer DVDs, you can end up making money overall. DVDs that are still in their original shrink wrap are quite valuable to other collectors depending on what movie it is. “The Cremaster Cycle” is the rarest and most valuable DVD set, coming in at six figures since only 20 copies were made.

Forever Yours

There are going to be times when old episodes of TV shows are removed from reruns and streaming services because they were a product of their era. This includes some content that would be considered sensitive or offensive today. There may also be instances like the “Pokemon” episode which could cause seizures.

When you get the DVD collection, you don’t have to worry about losing an entire episode of a show or a whole movie. There’s also the case of streaming services losing the rights to certain movies and TV shows. This has caused fans of shows like “The Office” to simply buy the DVD box set since the streaming rights have bounced around so much.

5 Straight-to-DVD Movies That Ended Up Being Classics

For the most part, people assume that movies that never get a release in theaters are of poor quality. After all, you’d never expect a blockbuster movie or a film that’s nominated for Oscars to be released directly to DVD. Still, there are plenty of movies that never got a full theatrical release that has ended up being beloved by those that were willing to take a chance on something with a smaller budget.

There have been countless movies that have been released straight to DVD, and while most of them are indeed as bad as you might think, there are some gems. Let’s take a look at some of those films and pick out the five best that you can pick up for cheap. You’re guaranteed to enjoy these movies that were once almost impossible to find in video stores in the pre-streaming era.

The Interview 

The first straight-to-DVD film on the list was never intended to be that way, but there were a lot of outside circumstances that prevented it from being released in theaters. “The Interview” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, detailing the story of best friends and media members making their way to North Korea to film an interview with Kim Jong-un (played by Randall Park). The film was met with pretty solid reviews from fans, but released on DVD before it came to theaters.

The North Korean government caught wind of the movie and threatened to attack the United States if it were to be released in theaters. Kim Jong-un even said that “The Interview” was considered to be an act of war, taking things much too far. Eventually, writer Dan Sterling said that he didn’t want anybody to get hurt because of his comedy film, and it took a while before it was released on DVD and digital, several months after the theatrical release was canceled.

The Boondock Saints

These days, we all know Norman Reedus from his time on “The Walking Dead”, but his career got started in earnest with the 1999 film “The Boondock Saints”. The film, which was directed by Troy Duffy, certainly wasn’t lacking star power. Outside of Reedus, the cast included Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Connolly, and the great Willem Dafoe who received top billing.

The story details two Irish-American brothers who see a lot of gun-related action throughout the city of Boston, and we don’t want to give too many spoilers. The film was created on a $6 million budget and was only shown in five theaters upon its release. Thankfully for the film’s creators, Blockbuster was still around at the time and marketed the film successfully, leading to a lot of rentals and making the movie profitable.

Tremors II: Aftershocks

Another movie that went straight to DVD is the first sequel to the classic Tremors franchise. “Tremors II: Aftershocks” follows main character Earl Bassett, from the first Tremors film, as he’s offered a generous sum of money to rid a Mexican oilfield of the oversized worm-like creatures people have dubbed “graboids”. 

Unlike the first film, Earl finds himself a love interest, geologist Dr. Kate Reilly. Together they fight back against the creatures that take them by surprise when they begin morphing into more dangerous predators, walking and using thermal imaging to spot their victims. Like the first film, the sequel has been named one of the best straight-to-DVD films of all time. 

An Extremely Goofy Movie 

Released in 2000 by Walt Disney Home Video, “An Extremely Goofy Movie” is a certified classic straight-to-DVD film that fills every 90s kid with feelings of sweet nostalgia. The film follows the loveable Disney character and father, Goofy, as he and his young adult son Max somehow end up attending college together and clashing socially. 

Through setbacks and butting heads with one another, Goofy and Max reconcile and find their bond is stronger. The fantastic visuals, exciting plot, hilarity that ensues, and awesome soundtrack make this an animated masterpiece to remember. 

Run Ronnie Run

Fans of the HBO comedy sketch series “Mr. Show” should certainly watch the straight-to-DVD film “Run Ronnie Run”. Released in 2003, the film had actually been finished nearly two years before then, but couldn’t find a wide release in theaters. “Run Ronnie Run” is a spin-off of the “Mr. Show” series, so of course it stars a lot of the familiar faces that include David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Ben Stiller, and Jack Black.

The film never really got the attention it deserved as Odenkirk (now of “Better Call Saul” fame) said that New Line Cinema and director Troy Miller for tampering too much with the final cut. Eventually, the film received positive reviews and became a cult classic many years later.

5 Rarest DVDs For Collectors to Find

Because of the rise in digital technology and streaming services, there haven’t been too many people clamoring for DVDs in recent memory. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of collectible discs or box sets, though. Some movies, anthologies, and season sets were incredibly hard to find when they were first released and can be even harder to find now.

The DVD hasn’t exactly gone the way of the Dodo like the VHS tape, either. You can still play a DVD on most computers, almost all video game consoles, and DVD players are insanely cheap these days. For DVD buffs that are still looking to add to their collection, these are the five crown jewels that you’ll want to search high and low for.

Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box

Hellraiser is the beloved horror franchise created and directed by Liverpool native Clive Barker, based on his 1986 book “The Hellbound Heart”. The film’s plot follows the thrilling events that unfold after a puzzle box summons the otherworldly “Cenobites”, with the infamous “Pinhead” acting as their leader. 

The highly sought-after “Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box” box set was released in 2016 and holds four discs, Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth, and The Clive Barker Legacy. As well as a 400-page book, first drafts for the character drawings, a poster, and more spooky goodies. The box set can sell for over $400. 

The History of Beavis and Butthead 

The History of Beavis and Butthead is the box set for the legendary animated show. It features 32 episodes spanning all 7 seasons of the goofy show. It was set to release in 2002, but creator Mike Judge decided he wasn’t happy with the selection of episodes chosen for the box set. 

Though some copies still managed to hit the store shelves and they quickly became highly sought-after collector’s item. Today, the box set can sell for anywhere from $150-$200. 

Kung Fury  

One of the more rare DVDs of the bunch is the kickstarter Blu-ray for the goofy martial arts comedy, Kung Fury. The film was written, directed by, and stars David Sandberg. The film’s budget was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2014, blowing past their $200,000 goal, reaching $630,019. 

The limited budget meant the film only runs 31 minutes, though it didn’t hold back the film from becoming a hilarious classic. The rare and kickstarter exclusive Blu-ray for Kung Fury can sell for anywhere between $800-$1000. 

The Killer 

Part of the Criterion Collection, John Woo’s 1989 film “The Killer” can cost you nearly $300 for a copy of this out-of-production DVD. It stars one of Hong Kong’s most loved and successful actors, Chow Yun- fat, who plays an assassin named Ah Jong who blinds a young singer, Jennie, played by actress Sally Yeh. Jong decides to take on one last mission to pay for Jennie’s vision-saving surgery. 

The Killer didn’t gain the adoration of moviegoers in Hong Kong, although it has been named one of the best action movies by viewers in the western part of the world and is a hidden gem sought after by DVD collectors. 

The Minnesota Twins 1991 World Series Collector’s Edition

Ranging anywhere from $250 to $500 a pop, The Minnesota Twins 1991 World Series Collector’s Edition features all seven intense games played by the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves during the 88th edition of the World Series. Nine innings in game seven weren’t enough to determine a winner. 

Heading into the 10th inning, the game was knotted at 0-0, and Gene Larkin hit a walk-off single to win it for Minnesota. Oddly enough both teams ended their previous season in last place. Both teams finishing the 1991 season above all the rest is one of the unique factors that made this win so special and makes this collector’s item such a prized possession. 

5 Pet Peeves of DVD Collectors

No matter what it is that you’re collecting, there’s always going to be something about it that rubs you the wrong way. Comic book and sports card collectors will pick out the smallest imperfection they see and devalue an item to almost nothing, casual car collectors tend to dislike those who have a larger collection since they exude an air of superiority, and some coin collectors only care about misprints.

Then, there are those who collect movies, or DVDs, to be specific. Since DVDs can still be played easily on a seemingly endless range of devices, there isn’t a shortage of those who collect. Still, collectors have some things that are minor nuisances that they’ve revealed to the public over the years. Here are the five biggest pet peeves of DVD collectors.

Box Set Shapes

When you’re collecting an entire television series, you usually buy the box set one season at a time. In most cases, each season of the series will have a box with the same design and shape as the others. Then, there are the rare shows in which they switch it up every season and it can look like a mess on your shelves even though all of the boxes are for the same shows.

One of the most glaring examples of this is “The Simpsons”. The popular animated series started out with the same design for the first five seasons, featuring the family pictured on a couch within a television screen. Then, for the popular sixth season, the box was designed to emulate Homer Simpson’s head, making it larger and rounded at the top, sticking out like a sore thumb.

Spine Wrapping

To every company that has distributed DVDs, the entire collector’s community wants you to know that when you put shrink wrap over a DVD case, the overlap where it’s opened should be where the DVD case itself opens. There are too many instances in which the shrink wrap ends and begins on the spine of the DVD, and it leaves a sticky residue and ruins the aesthetic.

Those who collect DVDs have been complaining about this since the very first DVD was released, and no company has seemed to take notice despite the outcry. Even stores with used DVDs place the price tags on the spine, which also leaves an annoying residue that ruins the look, and it needs to stop.

Reviews on the Box

Collectors love a good clean cover, and in the same way in which people feel about movie posters, they feel about DVD boxes. Think of some of the best movie posters that you’ve ever seen. Not many of them have a line from a movie critic front and center, and the same applies to DVD covers. The movie has already been purchased, there’s no need for a critic’s quote.

Also, the review scores on the covers have to go. Owners don’t care if the movie is ‘certified fresh’ on Rotten Tomatoes. It just makes the case look tacky and too busy.  

An example of a good DVD cover is “Ghostbusters”. When it was released in disc format, it had the instantly recognizable slime in the background and the Ghostbusters logo dead center. The title of the film was large enough, and the only other text on the cover was reserved for the stars and the director. It’s clean, you know what it is from far away, and it’s appealing.


Your DVD disc is already well protected within the case, so there’s really no need for additional protection outside of wanting to stand out. There have been countless DVD cases that have come with a sleeve on the outside of the box. You then have to slip it out, and it can be hard to do it without damaging the sleeve.

Sure, it looks nice on a shelf, but it’s more of an inconvenience than anything. We’ve all had one of these DVDs where we slowly poke out the case from the top and hope to not damage the outside. It’s a lot of work just to get your movie into the player.

Multiple Discs in One Case

If there is going to be more than one DVD as part of a collection, then they should be in separate cases. Sure, there is less plastic involved when you’re using one case, but it makes for an awkward DVD experience.

You’ll know if there is more than one DVD in a case by the way it makes that strange rattling whenever you pick it up. The insert that holds the extra disc can often come unhinged and do more harm than good. To sum it up, a trilogy (looking at you “Spider-Man”) should be in three cases.

Which Streaming Services Are The Best For Movies?

Movie lovers should be delighted to learn of the many excellent streaming choices for those who love watching films. Here are the top-ranking systems for film buffs to consider as the best movie streaming services.

The Best Streaming Services for Free Movies

Tubi has over 20,000 films and television shows in its library. The Tubi service is free because it is advertiser-supported. The ad breaks on Tubi are short. They run for about one to two minutes and happen every 15 minutes. There is no paid service to get rid of the ads; however, you can block them using an ad skipper/blocker extension if you watch Tubi using the Chrome browser.

Another free service to consider is Peacock. Peacock has dozens of free movies. You can watch over 10,000 hours for free or upgrade to the paid premium service for $4.99 monthly.

There are free movies on YouTube. These are older films, not current releases. If you want to watch YouTube moves without the ads, you can use a YouTube ad blocker extension with your web browser.

The Best Streaming Service for Family Movies is Disney+

Disney+ is a service that has all the movies that children and families love to watch.

This streaming service includes over 500 titles, including all the Disney animated movies, such as 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Frozen, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarfs and so many more.

It includes the Pixar animation movies such as Toy Story films, Monster Inc., Ratatouille, Up, and more. There are live-action movies such as Aladdin, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hannah Montana, The Muppets and others.

There are Disney Originals like High School Musical, Boy Meets World, Girl Meets World, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and more. The film catalog includes all the Marvel movies, such as Avengers, Iron Man, etc. It also has all the Star Wars movies and plenty of documentary films from National Geographic too.

If a dad or mom needs to do housework while watching their young children, Disney+ will keep the kids engaged. Disney+ offers wholesome family films that the youngest ones want to watch repeatedly.

The Best Streaming Service for Original Content is Netflix

Netflix has 5,000 films in its U.S. library and over 15,000 titles worldwide. Netflix’s original-content films are not available elsewhere. PCMag gives Netflix the number-one ranking for its original movies.

The Best Streaming Service for Classic Films is The Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection is the best offering of classic films from around the world. Film titles are available for individual purchase or viewing on their streaming system.

There are more than 1,500 movies in the film library. You will find films by the French director Lean-Luc Godard, Italy’s Federico Fellini, America’s Sidney Lumet, Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, and Britain’s Alfred Hitchcock. You will also find movies by many other famous, classic-film directors who have made film history with iconic movies.

The Best Streaming Service for Independent Films is Sundance Now

The Sundance film festival, founded by Robert Redford, presents the best independently-produced films every year. Sundance Now offers these independent movies from around the globe. Many are award-winning. The film library focuses more on curated quality than quantity. It has about 150 titles. The Sundance Now system offers a seven-day free trial, which makes it easy to see some of the films before subscribing to the paid service.

5 Highest Grossing Japanese Films

When it comes to films that end up making hundreds of millions at the box office, most of us immediately think of Hollywood. Of course, there are other countries that make plenty of blockbuster films, but Japan tends to be overlooked. Despite being one of the most advanced countries while also having a strong penchant for entertainment, Japan doesn’t enter many films into the all-time list of the world’s highest-grossing films.

That doesn’t mean that Japan hasn’t had its fair share of hit films financially, though. There’s a certain art form that Japan is known for, and when it gets put onto the big screen, it can end up being a huge success. Once you look at the list of the five highest-grossing Japanese films of all time, you’ll be able to tell what that art form is.

1. Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train

Demon Slayer the Movie: Magen Train is the highest-grossing Japanese film of all time thus far, earning ¥64,773,752,500 ($506.5 million US), with a budget of $16 million US. The 2020 animated film was directed by Haruo Sotozaki and acts as a sequel to the popular anime series’ first television season. 

Demon Slayer the Movie follows the Mugen Train arc of the Demon Slayer series and earned the title of the highest-earning mature animated film of all time. The film received the title of Animation of the Year after its release at the Japan Academy Film Prize and surpassed all expectations at the worldwide box office.

2. Spirited Away  

Spirited Away is the second highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥50,616,883,000 ($395.8 million US), with a budget of $19.2 million US. The 2001 fan-favorite animated film was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. 

The fantasy film follows a young girl, Chihiro Ogino, who discovers a mystical world, the world of Kano. She tries to find a way to help her parents who were turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba. Spirited Away went on the win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the only film of its kind to do so. 

3. Your Name

Your Name is the third highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥48,609,088,500 ($380.1 million US), with a budget of $5.8 million US. The 2016 animated fantasy film was written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The heartwarming plot is enough to make anyone well up with emotion. 

The film follows two teenagers, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, who find themselves switching bodies. They’re separated by time and space, living in separate timelines in different parts of Japan. The film takes you on a romantic, heartfelt journey. Earning it a slew of awards, like Best Animated Film at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards. 

4. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is the fourth highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥21,702,084 ($169.7 million US), with a budget of ¥2.1 billion ($23.5 million US). The film is another animated entry from Studio Gibhli and was both written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. At the time of its release in 1997, Princess Mononoke broke just about every box office record that Japan had to offer. 

Following the story of the Ashitaka, Princess Mononoke was critically acclaimed and centered around the theme of environment. Princess Mononoke won the Picture of the Year title at the 21st Japanese Academy Awards, and became a hit overseas for Studio Ghibli.

5. Howl’s Moving Castle 

Howl’s Moving Castle is the fifth highest-grossing Japanese film of all time, earning ¥23.2 billion ($236 million US), with a budget of ¥2.4 billion ($24 million US). The top five finishes with yet another animated entry from Studio Ghibli and director Hayao Miyazaki. The film has a strong anti-war sentiment and follows the United States’ invasion of Iraq in 2003.

There was critical acclaim surrounding Howl’s Moving Castle when it was released in late 2004, and it was nominated for awards worldwide, including the 78th Academy Awards. Though it would end up losing out on Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, Howl’s Moving Castle is still considered one of the finest animated films to come from Japan.