Watching Movies In HD Brings Your Family Together

With the busy modern life that many people live, it is getting harder and harder for folks to come together as a family to enjoy some old fashioned family time. Between homework and soccer games in distant cities, there are very few opportunities for folks to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Fortunately, many families are looking to counteract that trend by starting a family movie night. All you will have to do is figure out which night of the week that you will want to be gathering together, and make sure that nobody schedules any conflicts for that night. Then, you and your family can gather around the television set and watch some of your favorite movies in HD. Doing this will be one step that your family can take in order to enjoy family time.

The first thing that you will want to do in order to plan a weekly family movie night is to clear everyone’s schedule for the night in question for the first month. Starting something new usually takes a lot of concentration in order to be able to make it stick. If you are able to get everything off of the schedule then it will be more likely that your family will actually stick to the plans that you are making. If everyone knows ahead of time that they will be watching a movie in high definition, then they will be more likely to make the effort to have family movie night stick.

A good tool for being able to pick movies out for family movie night is satellite tv. With satellite you will be able to have a wide selection of movies to choose from. With the selection and flexibility that satellite provides you will be able to have a more successful family movie night. For example, should you find yourselves having a good conversation around the dinner table you can extend your talk and pause the movie. Were you to only have a basic network television you would not be able to do that. Instead of being a slave to the clock, satellite allows your family to control the time.

After watching the movie you may want to start a family movie journal where everyone is able to write a little bit about what they thought of the movie that they just watched. Many family members may appreciate to write a little bit about what they liked and did not like in order to be able to look back on the journal years later with fond memories. Whether horror movies, comedies or sports movies, having a movie journal will be a great way for you and your family to connect with the past.

If you are serious about starting and sticking with a family movie night, then the first step that you should take is making sure that you have satellite tv. Once you have that installed you will find that starting and enjoying family movie night will be a breeze.

My Favorite Top 10 Movie Comedy Scenes

Now this is definitely a tough one. I really don’t even know why I am attempting this at all but I think it needs to be done. There have been so many amazingly, funny scenes and I think I would be remiss if I at least didn’t try to mention the ones that made me laugh the hardest during my lifetime. I would also like to add that just because I may love a scene in a movie, doesn’t preclude that I would put the movie itself in my Top 10 list of all time. So, I will just mention some of the many scenes that I have loved and then try to put them in my order of preference. Wish me luck!!

The Marx Brothers have had so many scenes that have cracked me up over the years and still do till this day. The famous stateroom scene from Monkey Business which took place on a ship was a visual delight. They were stowaways on the ship so they couldn’t let the people in charge know they were there. They had repairmen, maids, food service and everyone else you could think of in the room at the same time. By the end of the scene there had to be at least 20 or more people all squeezed into that tiny room and it was one of the classic scenes in any comedy movie. Then you had the contract scene in A Night At The Opera that was brilliantly written and delivered by Groucho and Chico. “You can’t fool me, there ain’t no sanity clause”. A Day At The Races had a few of my favorite Marx Brothers scenes in it. The race itself at the end, the examination of Margaret Dumont’s character by Doctor Hackenbush and the boys and the phone scene with Groucho driving Mr. Whitmore crazy by using misdirection.

In the movie Bruce Almighty there is a scene in which Jim Carrey is making Steve Carell, who got the job as anchorman that he wanted, screw up during the news. He uses his new found powers to make him babble for what seemed about 5 minutes. When I saw that scene in the movies I laughed so hard that I literally fell out of my seat. I was dying.

In the movie It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World there were an endless amount of terrific scenes but the one that killed me the most was the scene in which Jonathan Winters destroys the gas station. The reason being, the two attendants had tied him up with duct tape because Phil Silvers had convinced them that he was crazy and it would be for their own protection. The truth was he wanted Winter’s character out of the way while he went for the money that everyone was searching for in the movie. One of the best comedies of all time. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and buy it or rent it and then watch it. You will laugh your fool head off. I know that I did and still do every time I see it. Plus the cast of comedy stars in the movie were a list of who’s who in the comedy business. If you weren’t in the movie back then, then you weren’t considered relevant in the comedy world.

 

My favorite scene in the movie There’s Something About Mary was the scene with the dog and Matt Dillon. He accidentally killed the dog and tries to bring him back to life by using the lamp electric chord and jump starting him. That was hysterical and I laughed until I hurt at that one. The movie was very funny and had many, many funny scenes. I still cringe every time I watch the scene where Ben gets his genitalia stuck in his zipper…OUCH!! A great Ben Stiller vehicle that I thought was also unique.

The dinner scene in the remake of The Nutty Professor with Eddie Murphy was sidesplitting. He played 4 different characters in that scene and the result was superb. A truly great acting feat and fantastic makeup for the characters. If you didn’t know in advance that they were all Eddie, you never would have suspected it. “Hercules, Hercules, Hercules!”

In Monty Python’s, The Holy Grail, the sword fight scene with the Black Knight and Sir Arthur at the bridge (None Shall Pass) was definitely funny. He slowly cuts off the limbs one by one of the Black Knight but it doesn’t seem to faze him at all. Instead he challenges him even more and keeps egging Sir Arthur on. “It’s just a flesh wound. Come back here and I’ll bite your kneecap off”.

The country club party scene in Caddyshack was funny, especially if you were a Rodney Dangerfield fan. He had so many funny one liners and wouldn’t stop taunting Ted Knight’s character. That movie gave Rodney a whole second career and a new generation of fans. “Hey, who stepped on a duck?”

In Jerry Lewis’s movie The Big Mouth, there is a scene in which Charlie Callas is in a phone booth talking with his boss and he sees Jerry Lewis’ character, whom he though he killed, run by him and he snaps during the call. His facial expressions were so rubbery and the sounds effects that came out of his mouth were so uniquely funny. No one else would ever be able to do that with such ease.

 

Peter Sellers was a brilliant comedic actor and I simply loved his Inspector Clouseau character as the bumbling detective that always seemed to land on his feet and solve the case. The scene in Return Of the Pink Panther where he disguises himself as a dentist so that he can spy on Inspector Dreyfus at the castle is hysterical. He administers laughing gas to Herbert Lom’s character and they both get into a laughing fit as Clouseau tries to pull his bad tooth. As a viewer, it is really contagious to watch without laughing out loud yourself. Plus his disguise is melting during the scene. Funny, funny, funny.

My favorite comedy movie of all time was Mel Brook’s The Producers and the scene I loved the most in it was during the Broadway play of ‘Springtime for Hitler’. Kenneth Mars’ character of the playwright German soldier, Franz, gets really upset that everyone is laughing at a play he wrote as a tribute for Hitler. He goes up on stage and starts to tell everyone to stop laughing. As he starts you hear someone clunk him on the head from behind the curtain and you hear a loud clang because he was still wearing his helmet. That doesn’t stop him. He carries on with his proclamation. “What is this baby. The Fuhrer never said baby. The Fuhrer was kind. The Fuhrer was nice and gentle. Many times the Fuhrer would say to me, Franz…OW!” he collapses and they drag him away from under the curtain. The delayed reaction of being hit on the head and him saying Ow is funny as hell. I love that movie so much and Mr. Brooks won an Oscar for Best Screenplay for that one.

Woody Allen has had so many masterpiece comedies during his illustrious career but one of my favorite scenes was in one of his earliest endeavors, Sleeper. His character had been frozen cryogenically for many years and is thawed out sometime in the future but he is still not acclimated to the new environment yet and is still kind of out of it, so to speak. He is in a wheelchair and is rolling around the lab with a funny face on that is priceless to watch and rolling over people’s feet and banging into things. Also the scene in the same movie where he disguises himself as a robot and at a party the people are feeling this orb, which gets you high, and he is handing it around for them and getting high himself. That is terrific.

A somewhat recent movie, Borat, had a scene that I laughed at very hard when I saw it. The scene when he is fighting and wrestling, while naked, with this man, and they end up in the conference center of the hotel where a convention is being held. Oh my God, that was so hysterical to see. Watching the people at the convention’s faces as the fight ensued was so great. Very funny movie and very different than any other comedy before it. Another unique comedy movie.

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor were so great together and had great chemistry. In the movie Stir Crazy, all the scenes in the prison were very funny. The warden is trying to break them and puts them in awful situations to try and persuade Wilder to ride for him at the rodeo competition between his prison and his friend’s prison. When he puts them in a tiny cell with a giant mass murderer, I laughed until I cried watching their reaction to their predicament.

In Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, the scene in the castle where Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolfman are all chasing them from room to room was one of my favorite funny scenes when I was a kid. To watch the monsters that used to scare us all as kids, act in a comedy with the funny comedy team, was so great and thrilling at the same time. I could only imagine the blast they must have had making that movie.

I can’t really write all of my honorable mentions here because it would be too hard without going into detail on each one so I will just give you my Top list the best I can and you can think about yours.

So, after much deliberation here is the best I could do:

My Favorite Top 10 Comedy Movie Scenes

1. The gas station scene from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

2. The dog reviving scene from There’s Something About Mary

3. The babbling broadcast scene from Bruce Almighty

4. The phone booth scene from The Big Mouth

5. The laughing gas scene from Return Of The Pink Panther

6. The wrestling scene from Borat

7. The examination scene from A Day At The Races

8. The play scene from The Producers

9. The black knight scene from The Holy Grail

10. The dinner scene from The Nutty Professor

I hope one of your favorites was on my list. Believe me, that was really hard to do because there have been so many funny scenes and I am sure that I am forgetting a lot of them but I tried to put the ones up that made me laugh the hardest over the years. Good luck trying to narrow your favorites down to a Top 10 and as always, thanks for reading from, THE COMEDY TORNADO!!

Comedy Screenwriting Number 2 – Comic Journey

Writing is a craft, and undoubtedly it’s the most complicated craft in the world. That’s why I put so much emphasis on specific, practical techniques. Big esoteric words and inspirational slogans may sound good, but they don’t get the story on the page.

Blockbusters Are Story

Summer is the time for big blockbuster movies. What most people don’t realize is that blockbusters don’t come from stars or special effects. They come from story. Smash hit movies use a number of unique story techniques that audiences love. Many of them have been around for hundreds, even thousands, of years. You just have to know what they are, and how to apply them in a screenplay.

A technique I teach in my 22 Step Story Structure Class has to do with writing comedy, one of the most popular of all genres, and the foundation of a number of summer blockbusters.

The Comedy Problem

Comedy poses a unique problem for anyone wanting to write a blockbuster. A true blockbuster is one with worldwide appeal. The studio has to be able to sell it outside the United States. Action stories and myth stories travel very well, because they are two genres based on a universal language. But comedy is notoriously stuck in its home of origin. What is funny in the US may not be funny in Germany, Italy and Japan.

Advantages of the Comic Journey

The solution is a technique known as the Comic Journey. Comic Journey gives you a number of advantages when trying to sell a comedy to the worldwide market. First, it lets you create the comedy out of the structure, not the dialogue. That’s because it’s using the storytelling strategy known as irony. Irony says that life is filled with failing to reach our goal or reaching a different goal than we intended. That goal is the spine of the story.

Why is this so valuable? Because dialogue is specific; structure is universal. Structure travels; dialogue stays at home.

A second advantage of the Comic Journey is that it gives you the benefits of the journey – such as story movement, heroic action, and character change – and adds the benefits of the comedy – such as irony and laughter. This is a very powerful and popular combination.

A third advantage of the Comic Journey is that it’s an excellent way to make social commentary, since your hero encounters many different people from many strata of society on the route. That tends to give your comedy a stronger theme, which is always a good idea, and lets you people your story with a wealth of fun, quirky characters.

Keys to the Comic Journey

So how do you set up a comic journey? Begin by focusing on your hero. You have probably heard how important it is for comedy to come from character. In the Comic Journey, one of the ways you do that is to create a pompous person who encounters a harsh reality or a normal person who encounters pompous or insane people. Notice either way you get a comic contrast that allows you to drop the characters, to deflate them, throughout the script. This is crucial. Many movie comedies die after the first twenty minutes because the essential comic contrast disappears.

Next, give the hero a goal that forces him/her to travel. This is the spine of the story and is the line on which you hang all your comic encounters. Because the Comic Journey is inherently episodic, it’s also a good idea to give this goal some urgency. The more intense the hero’s desire line, the more comic encounters you can hang on the line without the line collapsing.

Bring the Family

One of the best tricks for a great Comic Journey is to come up with a reason for the hero to take the family along for the ride. Again the episodic nature of the journey is your biggest problem. In the Comic Journey story, this quality comes from the succession of opponents your hero encounters along the way. Every time your hero meets and overcomes an opponent, that’s a mini-story. Hence the episodic feel.

But if you bring the family along for the ride, the hero has an ongoing opposition that never goes away. You get a through line to the journey as well as characters other than the hero that the audience can get to know and invest in.

The next trick is to figure out a logical sequence for the parade of people the hero encounters. This is another way you overcome the episodic feel of the story and it is the primary way you build your satirical theme. For example, the characters may become progressively more dangerous, more pompous, more high class, or more powerful.

Above all, when writing the Comic Journey, make sure the hero’s encounters create comedy, not just conflict. Laughs only happen when an inflated person is punctured. Structurally, there are only two ways for that to happen. A pompous person keeps running up against a harsh reality or a sane person keeps meeting and exposing a bunch of pompous or phony people. In every encounter, someone must be deflated or you are wasting the scene.

If you want some models to study before writing your Comic Journey, you have many to choose from. Some of the most famous are Don Quixote, Huck Finn, Gulliver’s Travels, Little Big Man, The Blues Brothers, Crocodile Dundee, Thelma and Louise (a buddy Comic Journey that ends tragically), the National Lampoon Vacation movies, Rain Man, Scent of A Woman, Babe, and Flirting With Disaster.

The Comic Journey is just one of hundreds of story techniques that you can use to be successful. The most important thing is to realize that success comes from mastering the craft. It takes a lot of work and a lot of study, but the rewards are tremendous.