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10/13/21 4:06am
10/13/2021 4:06 AM |

Las Vegas is one of the top 10 most visited cities in America with roughly 50 million tourists expected to visit Sin City before the end of 2022. Known as the gambling capital of the United States, Vegas is the #1 destination on the itinerary for many gambling enthusiasts. However, they’re not the only ones dreaming of a Vegas trip.

Even though there are more than 100 gambling venues in the city, Las Vegas has so much more to offer than just gambling. A trip to Vegas is an adventure of a lifetime that can include all sorts of activities other than gambling. For instance, you can attend a Katy Perry concert at Resorts World, watch David Copperfield perform his magic tricks at MGM Grand, or see the amazing fountain show at The Bellagio.

If all this hasn’t made you fall in love with Vegas, maybe you should take a closer look at what this city has to offer. Our advice is to give a watch to some Vegas-themed movies that will show you what kind of adventures await you in Sin City.

So, which films should you check out? Below are our top 5 picks – these movies will make you want to go to Vegas (or at least visit your local casino).

The Hangover

The Hangover tells a tale of what can happen when a group of friends gets dead drunk at a bachelor party in Las Vegas.

Mike Tyson’s tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet, and a missing groom  – the protagonists wake up after a drunken night to a room full of unanswered questions. Finding the groom and getting him to the wedding on time — and in one piece — is what the bunch tries to do throughout the movie, embarking on all kinds of adventures (and misadventures) along the way.

Molly’s Game

Let’s jump from the comedy genre to a more serious genre here. Molly’s Game is an action-packed drama based on real events. The protagonist – Molly Bloom – is a real person whose story of a high-stakes underground poker business was made into a moving picture.

Although Las Vegas isn’t the main setting of the film, Molly’s Game does feature scenes filmed in Sin City. Still, the main reason why we included this movie in our list is that it gives you an insight into what might be going on in the world of high rollers.

If you go to Vegas to gamble with big sums of cash, you might end up playing against elite athletes and Hollywood A-listers, but also possibly against real mobsters.

Casino

The clue is in the name – Martin Scorsese’s 1995 masterpiece puts the casino business in the center of the story. Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone are just some of the Hollywood legends featured in the movie that deals with the mafia’s involvement in the raise of the gambling empire in Vegas.

As you’d expect from a Scorsese movie, Casino is packed with drama and violence. Still, the movie also gives you a glimpse of the luxury and glamour that marked 1970s Vegas.

Rounders

Okay, this movie isn’t taking place in Vegas rather it is set in New York. However, Sin City does play an important role in the story – moving to Vegas to play in the world Series of Poker is Matt Damon’s character’s lifelong dream.

Does he make this dream come true in the end? Spoiler alert – he does! But on the road to achieving his ambition, he must take down a Russian mobster in a game of high-stakes poker.

The reason why Rounders is a must-watch is the deep dive it takes into the world of poker, revealing table lingo and bluffing tactics to the audience. The proof of this film’s influence is that a number of professional players cite it as their inspiration to get involved with poker – Dutch Boyd, Gavin Griffin, Vanessa Rousso, and many others.

21

As its name suggests, 21 is based on blackjack, a card game in which the goal is to get as close to 21 points as possible. The movie is based on a true story of six MIT students who travel to Vegas to make millions by counting cards.

Although counting cards isn’t illegal in Nevada, casinos do have the right to stop card-counters from playing. The only problem is that spotting card-counters isn’t easy, as you will see once you watch this movie.

Honorable Mention – Louis Theroux: Gambling in Las Vegas

The top 5 must-watch casino movies are all works of fiction, even though some of them are based on real events. If you’d like to see a film that shows Vegas’ casino industry “as is” our advice is to watch Louis Theroux’s BBC documentary called Gambling in Las Vegas.

Preparing for Your Las Vegas Adventure

After doing your homework and watching the top casino movies, you’re ready for your Vegas adventure, right? Well, not quite.

Going to Las Vegas almost certainly means gambling some money on casino games. To ensure you don’t gamble away too much, you need to prepare yourself first. With preparation, becoming an expert in casino games could even result in big winnings in Vegas.

So, how do you prepare for a gambling adventure in Vegas? By playing online casino games at home. Practice makes perfect, meaning that the more you play, the better you will become. The trouble is that playing online casino games requires money. There is, however, a solution to save yourself some cash.

The solution is to take advantage of no deposit bonuses offered by some online casinos. In layman’s terms, these bonuses give you a chance to play slots, blackjack, poker, or any other game without having to pay any of your money.  

05/25/21 1:37am
05/25/2021 1:37 AM |

It’s not easy to explain the kind of pleasure that all horse racing enthusiasts can find in films about this topic. You can imagine that it’s something like living inside that film’s world, more or less like feeling to be the film’s hero riding a powerful horse for miles and miles. Adventure and challenge are the two main keywords that can give you a clue about the feeling for horse racing films.

Why Are Arabs The World’s Biggest Horse Film Fans?

Usually, horse racing films revolve around a dramatic plot that makes the public even more passionate about the film’s story and horse racing as a sport. Now, it’s interesting to notice that Arab people stand out in the world for being some of the biggest horse racing film enthusiasts of all time. There’s a historical reason: horses have been living “hand in hand” with Arabs since the first human settlements in the Middle East (before the era of Islamic invasions in this region). Horses and camels were the only possible means for to reach several cities in the Middle East for merchants and vendors. Those who owned a horse had a fortune in their hands.

Arab people used to breed the best horses to use them as not only means of transportation but also to sell them, which started a flourishing market around these animals. Moreover, Arabs began to use horses for their racing events. Now, it’s simple to understand where the Arab people’s passion for horses comes from!

The 5 Best Horse Racing Films Of All Time

In particular, these best five horse racing films represent a true milestone in the story of cinema in the Middle East. Each film offers a specific perspective of horse racing and the relationship between the horse and the rider. Let’s add that each film comes packed with a captivating atmosphere and a fascinating story set. Let’s get closer to some of the world’s best titles:

  1. A scene of "Grand Prix" Grand Prix
    “Grand Prix” is one of those films that can engage the audience from the first to the last second. It’s a masterpiece of its genre, released in 2010, set in an epic horse racing plot where the protagonist has to fight to reach the race’s finish line. It all comes wrapped with a romantic love story between horse races and stunning moments during the races. The riders are often subjected to injuries as accidents daily happen when riding a horse on a circuit. The film’s story continues until the worst accident can destroy the protagonists’ dreams and makes their project’s future collapse forever. The film tells about their depression and frustration highlighting their force of will to return to their previous life.
  2. Secretariat
    This film generated a total “sold out” in the USA when released in 2010. The film’s story depicts one of America’s best horses, Secretariat. The adventure starts with Secretariat’s early days when he lived at his breeder’s farm. Penny Chenery has to return to her native place after her mom’s death, who had stables for horseracing. She finds herself in a difficult situation as she has never worked as a horse breeder, but despite her little or nothing experience, Penny decides to try her best. If someone would have told her she was going to start an epic adventure with Secretary becoming America’s icon, she wouldn’t have believed at all! But life is unpredictable: Secretariat became the Nation’s first Triple Crowner winner for 25 years.
  3. Ride Like A Girl
    Here is a film released in 2019 and based on a true story. Michelle Payne becomes the first woman to ride and win the Melbourne Cup. The fact happened in 2015: Michelle Payne reached the winning line at Flemington on Prince Of Penzance. The particular point of this film is that Michelle’s brother, Stevie Payne, starred as himself. “Riding Like A Girl” earned a positive audience response as soon as it was released in worldwide cinemas.
  4. Come On George!
    For nostalgic film lovers, “Come On George!” is for sure one of the best titles to consider. It’s a typical comedy focusing on George Formby‘s skills as a horse rider. George has to ride his horse in a race where he falls off endless times. But this is where the film becomes stunning: George can cross the winning line of the race! Despite his non-genius riding, George got a huge success. Before being a horse rider, he was a rider in his early days. Suddenly, George becomes the UK’s most-paid rider and entertainer of all time!
  5. Michelle Payne and her horse The Derby Stallion
    One of the most viewed films of 2005 is “The Derby Stallion”, a horse racing-inspired work that shows all the beauty of horse competitions on the racetrack. The film makes the audience enjoy every single minute from the beginning to the end. It also shows all the pains and suffering that the riders have to go through during the race. The film tells a 15-year-old rider’s story, Patrick McArdle, who doesn’t want to play baseball as his father would like him to do. Patrick is going through hard pressure from his family until he meets a former horse trainer who introduces him to the horse racing world. Patrick discovers the beauty of horse riding as he literally falls in love with everything related to horses. But Patrick still has to face a couple of wealthy riders who don’t accept him in the race, and, last but not least, his trainer gets injured and dies. Patrick wants to participate in the race for him, too. Patrick can win by riding his trainer’s horse. It’s a touching story that will move you.

Horse racing films are exceptionally engaging as they show a world, the one of horses and riding training, that is mostly unknown to most people. That’s why we warmly suggest you all pick a film of this genre and watch it!

12/20/20 5:52am
12/20/2020 5:52 AM |
Scrooged Christmas Classic

There are many fantastic Christmas themed films to pick from, and each year a new film is released in the hopes of becoming one of the Christmas classics we will want to see again the following year. With so many wonderful films to choose from, it’s easy to overlook the old standbys. There are several fantastic Holiday classics that deserve to be watched again this winter so whether you’re searching for a heartwarming story or a laugh-out-loud comedy, this list is for you!

Let’s take a look at some of the best Christmas movies from 1969 to 2017;

Palestinian Christmas (2017)

The film “Palestinian Christmas”, directed by Shadi Qutob and starring Eman Esfandi, Anna Clare Hicks, and Paul Grubb, is a must-see on Arabic Christmas movie lists and also one of our personal favorites. The film is a Christmas comedy that depicts the story of two Christian families who were neighbors in Palestine until one day they chose to move to California with no other ambitions but to seek a brighter future. Suddenly, they find themselves in Los Angeles, where they must withstand Hollywood culture and American Christmas traditions while also surviving their neighbors from back home. The film is rated 8.3/10 on IMDb and on Rotten Tomatoes it has a rating of 91%.

Elf (2003)

Elf is about Buddy (Will Ferrell), who was raised in the North Pole by Santa’s elves. He heads to New York City to find his father, played by James Caan who thinks Christmas is just an excuse for children to ask for more toys.

However, he soon realizes that Christmas is actually about spending quality time with family and friends.  He later tries to save Christmas for his son even though he does not believe in Santa Claus. Elf is rated 7.6 on IMDb and has a christmas rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Polar Express (2004)

The story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to the North Pole and learns the true meaning of christmas. The film is an adaptation of the book by Chris Van Allsburg. The film is rated 7.1/10 on IMDb and 74% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This Christmas themed movie is pretty similar to “A Christmas Story” only less serious and good for children/tweens. It has some funny parts but mostly it’s family friendly so parents can watch it with their kids without having to worry too much about language or adult content.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas is a 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton. The story follows Jack Skellington, a being from ‘Halloween Town’ who accidentally lands in Christmas Town and decides to take over the christmas preparations, but he only manages to become depressed and confused as christmas doesn’t go as his plan. This movie is great for adults that are into animation, but the film is also suitable for families with young children. It’s rated 7.9/10 on IMDb and 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

home alone movie

Home Alone (1990)

No Christmas without the filme “Home Alone”. It tells the story of a young boy, Kevin, who is accidently left behind when his family leaves for France and has to defend himself against 2 burglars. The movie became a Christmas classic and it received positive reviews from critics on both IMDb(7.9/10) and Rotten Tomatoes 88%.

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard from 1988 is the first movie in a serie of five and the only one with a Christmas theme. It’s an action movie with Bruce Willis as the lead actor, and Alan Rickman as a villain. It’s a typical christmas-time scenario where all is peaceful and quiet, there’s christmas music playing, people shopping for christmas presents etc.. And then along comes the villain who could care less about christmas, he just wants to do his business. And this is where christmas themed movies get interesting because the main character has to figure out how to beat the man who’s got him cornered, with no experience in fighting christmas villains whatsoever! The fim is rated 8.6/10 on IMDb and 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged is a Christmas themed film with Bill Murray as the lead actor, where he plays Frank Cross an arrogant TV executive who plans Christmas specials every year. He’s also planning to put on “A Christmas Carol” with a modern twist to it, but his boss won’t sign the deal unless he gets an A-list Christmas star to play Christopher Cross. The film is rated  7.4/10 on IMDb and 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s christmas time again (1976)

This film is about an orphaned girl who spends christmas with her aunt and uncle, they really don’t want her there and would rather open their presents early. It’s christmas time again is rated 7.1 on IMDb and has a christmas rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Christmas story (1974)

This Christmas themed movie is about a man who is down on his luck struggles to see the magic of Christmas. The christmas story from 1974 is rated 8.2 on IMDb and has a Christmas rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1969)

This movie debuted in theaters in November of 1969 and is generally considered first Christmas themed movie ever produced. Despite it’s age, it still has a very good rating on IMDb & Rotten Tomatoes (8/10). It tells the story of how Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas after he gets depressed with everything surrounding Christmas; from his peers making fun of him for celebrating Christmas to the commercialization of Christmas which gets him very depressed. Eventually his friend takes him to the woods where he shoots off his own Tannenbaum, which is seen as a Christmas tree by Linus. All around the Christmas tree are lit up lanterns, which according to Linus symbolize what Christmas really should be about The story has good messages for kids but also teaches older viewers that Christmas can’t always be peachy & it may take you some time to realize the true meaning yourself. Currently A Charlie Brown Christmas is only available on Apple TV.

Christmas movies are a great way to get into the holiday spirit, and to keep it a bit longer. They provide entertainment and cheer, and can help to create a festive atmosphere. So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend Christmas this year, be sure to watch one, or all, of these classic movies – You won’t regret it!

07/15/15 10:01am
07/15/2015 10:01 AM |

Trainwreck
Directed by Judd Apatow
Opens July 17

Much of today’s big- and small-screen comedy exists in a landscape staffed, designed, or at the very least branded by Judd Apatow, but the canny director-producer perhaps makes his biggest impact now through the talent he has encouraged, most notably Lena Dunham in Girls and Amy Schumer in Trainwreck, but dating back to casting unconventional leads (Steve Carell in 40-Year-Old Virgin, Seth Rogen in Knocked Up) or the prescient lineup of underdog TV touchstone Freaks & Geeks. That may also amount to a strategy that preserves his viability when his movies fail to connect (This Is 40, Funny People), but Trainwreck, written by its star, powers into theaters with a formidable head of steam thanks to Schumer’s success and enduring viability as a subject for magazine features—which makes her self-casting as a staff writer for a misogynistic lad mag another installment in the comic’s running satire on the culture and the industry.

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07/15/15 9:55am

photo Courtesy of Sundance Selects

Phoenix
Directed by Christian Petzold
Opens July 24

One of the major themes in the work of German director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Yella) is personal repression, and subsequent awareness, of the disturbing historical past. Addressing regeneration through intense suffering with more than just its title, Phoenix marks not only an apotheosis of Petzold’s career-long examination of memory in relation to national cataclysm, but also a critique of the mind-easing revisionism offered by mainstream depictions of genocidal oppression, whether serious (Schindler’s List) or facetious (Django Unchained).

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07/15/15 9:48am

photo courtesy of Cinema Guild

Horse Money
Directed by Pedro Costa
Opens July 24 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center
following “The Films of Pedro Costa,” July 17–23

The first time Pedro Costa brought his camera to Portugal’s Fontainhas district, a now-defunct impoverished neighborhood on the outskirts of Lisbon, he brought a crew with him; the result was Ossos (1997), in which Clotilde (Vanda Duarte) and her lover struggle to deal with their unwanted baby. For In Vanda’s Room (2000), the breakthrough film in which Fontainhas residents (most notably Vanda Duarte) play fictionalized versions of themselves as documentary footage depicts the demolition of their neighborhood, Costa first immersed himself in the community, shooting over 150 hours of footage as a one-man crew. Colossal Youth (2006) took a similar approach and introduced viewers to Ventura, a Cape Verdean immigrant who carries with him the story of an entire generation.

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07/15/15 8:00am

photo courtesy of IFC Films

The Stanford Prison Experiment
Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
Opens July 17

This harrowing dramatization of the infamous titular incident is hardly the first film to take it as its subject. But previous inspirees, from 2001’s Das Experiment to its straight-to-DVD American remake, The Experiment, have been “based on” Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s questionable research into power dynamics, resembling it rather than re-creating it; whether for provocation or titillation, those depictions moved past mere sadism into manslaughter, their filmmakers not realizing that such hyperbole wasn’t necessary; as The Stanford Prison Experiment so efficiently demonstrates, the real story is horrible enough without embellishment.

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07/15/15 7:48am

Courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Mr. Holmes
Directed by Bill Condon
Opens July 17

About halfway through Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes, the aging detective (Ian McKellen) visits a cinema and sees for the first time how his adventures have been adapted for the screen. As he watches the cheap melodrama unfold he scoffs at the quality of the storytelling, and one can’t help wondering how this incarnation of Sherlock would react to Robert Downey Jr.’s action-packed escapades or Benedict Cumberbatch’s near-robotic sleuthing—these two actors having redefined the iconic character for the 21st century. In comparison with slicker recent screen versions, Mr. Holmes initially comes off as laughably staid and old-fashioned, and something more suited to a Sunday evening TV slot than the big screen, but there is a depth and wisdom to be found behind the film’s doddery façade for the patient viewer.

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07/15/15 7:36am

Photo Courtesy of The Film Arcade

Unexpected
Directed by Kris Swanberg
Opens July 24 at Village East Cinemas

The image of a pretty young woman sitting on a toilet is an indie film cliché. In Kris Swanberg’s Unexpected, such a scene comes early: our protagonist, Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders) takes a pregnancy test which turns out to be positive, providing the foundation of the story. Samantha is a teacher at an inner-city Chicago high school on the brink of closure, and she quickly learns that one of her best students, Jasmine (Gail Bean), is also pregnant. Both decide to keep their babies and an unlikely bond is formed.

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