The Five - Michael B. Jordan Movies

the five.png

The Five – Michael B. Jordan Movies


Welcome to another edition of Phoenix Film Festival’s The Five. On today’s slate is the top five Michael B. Jordan movies. For this list we looked at the top films featuring Jordan over any medium. That includes straight to DVD releases, feature film releases, and made for TV releases. There were a good amount of movies to choose from but a few of them did not make our list, here are some of them: The Awkward Moment (2014), Red Tails (2012), and Fahrenheit 451 (2018).



Jordan - Justice League.png

5. Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox (2014)


Our list begins with an animated feature that went straight to DVD for its release. This movie is a marvel as far as Superhero storytelling goes, along with a strong cast of dynamic characters. Jordan shines as Cyborg as he handles this voice over role with a conviction. It is the only voice over movie on this list but it is well-deserved.  His role wasn’t a major one but it was integral to plot so it makes the list.


Jordan - Chronicle.png

4. Chronicle (2012)


This box office surprise is next on our list at four. The plot is about three teens discovering they have superpowers, but their lives soon start spinning out of control. This is a very underrated film to say the least. If you need a different change of pace from the superhero movies of today you should make time to watch this flick. This movie was one of the first films to put Jordan in the Hollywood spotlight. His charming performance as Steve really showed some individuals in Hollywood that Jordan has big screen potential.


Jordan - Fruitvale.png

3 Fruitvale Station (2013)


This retelling of a true story really put Jordan on the map. This film was written and directed by first time filmmaker Ryan Coogler and it was about the last day of an Oakland native Oscar Grant. This was Jordan’s first lead in a movie and he did not disappoint. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Oscar Grant. The performance felt so real and relatable, it isn’t hard to see why. It might have been the start of the next best actor/director combo with himself and Ryan Coogler.


Jordan - Creed.png

2. Creed I & Creed II (2015) (2018)


Coming in at number two is the Creed franchise. The first movie cemented Micheal’s status as a certified “A” lister.  He went under a huge physical transformation for his role, and he also performed all of his fight scenes because he did not have a body double. His emotionally driven performances in these movies perfect display Jordan immense range and dedication to the character. The second move did more of the same, it also showed us that the Coogler/Jordan combo is a real showstopper.  


Jordan - Black Panther.png

1. Black Panther (2018)


At the top spot on our list is the cultural phenomenon that is Black Panther. Jordan performance was nothing short of spectacular as he played an adversary (N’jadaka/Eric “KIllmonger” Stevens) to Chadwick Boseman’s T’challa/Black Panther. He was grounded, charismatic and made the audience actual care for a villain. There was an incredible scene with Jordan and Boseman’s Black Panther and Killmonger said “bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage.” The movie has received worldwide praise and is the benchmark for the beginning of Jordan’s prime of his career.      

The Five - Arizona Movies

the five.png

The Five - Arizona Movies

Written by: Brionna Raum

Compiled by: Brionna Raum & Cameron Galvin

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to go to Hollywood to make a successful film. (Okay, maybe that's not really a popular belief anymore. Roll with us). There have been many successful films made right here in Arizona, where nearly 365 days of sunshine provide for great shooting conditions, and our beautiful desert landscape lends iconic settings. On today’s edition of THE FIVE, we have compiled for you the top five films made and set Arizona. Enjoy a bit of filmmaking history in Arizona, as well as a star studded list of films!

az everything must go.jpg

5. Everything Must Go (2010)

Starting off our list we have chosen Dan Rush’s Everything Must Go, starring Will Ferrell. This film was shot in Phoenix and Scottsdale, making use of the unique suburban scapes of the valley. The story follows Ferrell’s character Nick, who is fired from his job following incidents related to his alcoholism. His wife leaves him and locks him out of their house, causing him to put his life back together starting with selling everything he has on his porch. This film is an honest story of the journey through addiction, and it’s Arizona setting is a great plus.

az raising arizona.jpg

4. Raising Arizona (1987)

This hilarious Coen Brothers film has earned a spot on our list, not least because it has “Arizona” in the title. Starring Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter, Raising Arizona is a crime comedy film about an ex-con and an ex-police officer who get married and want to have a baby but are unable to, so naturally, they kidnap one. The Arizona setting is great for this movie and the lawless wild-west themes of its fast-paced crime.

az bus stop.jpg

3. Bus Stop (1956)

In what has been called her best-ever performance, Marilyn Monroe stars alongside Don Murray in Joshua Logan’s film Bus Stop. Set in Arizona and shot in Arizona and Idaho, this film is the earliest made Arizona film on our list. Monroe was nominated for the Golden Globes Best Actress for her performance in this film, and was involved with the production of the film as head of Marilyn Monroe Productions. The film was also nominated for the Golden Globes Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical).

az little miss sunshine.jpg

2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Director couple Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris shot Little Miss Sunshine over the course of 30 days in Arizona and Southern California. While technically set in Albuquerque, the fact that it was shot within the scenic backdrop of Arizona combined with its excellent craft as a film has earned it a place on our top five today. Little Miss Sunshine follows the road trip of a dysfunctional yet endearing family on the way to California for the youngest family member to compete in a beauty pageant. This film was met with exceptional critical acclaim, not to mention that it spawned an iconic internet meme (pictured above).

az jerry maguire.jpg

1. Jerry Maguire (1996)

Earning our number one spot today for Arizona films is Cameron Crowe’s film Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise. Jerry Maguire is a story of a sports agent who comes to a disturbing conclusion about his career. This film was shot in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tempe, but certainly the most Arizona thing about it is its use of the Arizona Cardinals as a major plot point. If you love Tom Cruise, football, and Arizona, this is a great movie for you. If you don’t love all those things….we don’t know what to tell you.   

The Five - Romantic Comedies

The Five - Romantic Comedies


Written by: Kyley Warren

 Compiled by: Amy Cable and Kyley Warren


Welcome to the Phoenix Film Festival’s daily, ‘Top 5.’ Romantic comedies are often a tricky concept to bring to life. Filmmakers are forced to walk a fine line between forbidden love stories and comedic plots, without necessarily fitting into the cliché mold of what a modern “rom-com” might typically look like. The ever-changing genre is demanding of original ideas and films that fall into this category face a seemingly shorter lifespan than other cinematic favorites. Despite this, there are still a select few that manage to capture the audience’s hearts and offer a glimpse into a much more fun, and much less complicated, world of dating. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it only seemed fitting that we reminisce on some of the best romantic comedies of all time. These pictures depict lovable (and sometimes, very unlovable) characters as they navigate the charming, comedic and oftentimes, downright embarrassing realities of romance.


While there are dozens of beloved romantic comedies that did not make our list, there are a handful that we believe still deserve honorable mentions. These films were: “10 Things I Hate About You, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” “Love Actually” and “The Big Sick.” Now, onto the good stuff. Here are our picks for the top five, greatest rom-coms of all time.



5. Hitch (2005)

This picture centers around dating doctor, Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith), who prides himself on his knack for setting people up for success in relationships. He even goes as far as to claim that he can match people with their soulmates in only three dates. His smooth-talking, woman-wooing capabilities are halted when he meets Sara (Eva Mendes), a columnist with a motive to expose Hitch and his dating services as a scam. In classic rom-com film fashion, the two wind up falling in love. “Hitch” is a modern example of the idea that you can’t always control who you fall in love with. Will Smith and Eva Mendes’ playful on-screen relationship only helps to build the character’s undeniable chemistry.



4. Some Like It Hot (1959)

After witnessing the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, two musicians - Jerry (Jack Lemmon) and Joe (Tony Curtis) - flee the scene and find themselves hiding from the Mob. In an attempt to avoid recognition, the pair begins cross-dressing so that they can blend into an all-female band. Their situation only becomes more complicated when one is suddenly pursued by a millionaire (Joe E. Brown), while the other finds himself falling in love with the band’s singer (Marilyn Monroe), but unable to reveal his true identity. “Some Like It Hot” is arguably one of the greatest comedies of all time. Not only was this film considered daring and original at the time of its release, but it has also managed to stand the test of time, making even today’s young audiences laugh at the bizarre and hilarious antics of the picture’s unforgettable protagonists.



3. 50 First Dates (2004)

“50 First Dates” centralizes the idea that great love really is complicated. Henry (Adam Sandler), a veteran playboy, attempts to romance a local woman, Lucy (Drew Barrymore), who he meets at a breakfast diner. Though he sets his sights on wooing her, his plan is complicated when he discovers that she suffers from short-term memory loss and she wakes up every morning forgetful of what transpired the day before. Though Henry falls deeper in love with her, he is forced to make Lucy fall in love with him again each day. This picture offers a beautiful, complicated and truly comedic glimpse into the lengths that people are willing to go for love.



2. Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

This movie is centered around Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger), a 30-something year old woman whose borderline-problematic lifestyle - which revolves around reckless dating, drinking and smoking - gets to be too out of control for even her to handle. After coming to terms with the rambunctious and uncontrollable nature of her life, Bridget consciously decides to begin keeping a diary for an entire year. Within the journal, she swears to be completely honest. What unfolds from there is a refreshing glimpse into Bridget’s dating world as detailed by her, which involves everything from a forbidden affair with her boss (Hugh Grant) to an unexplainable chemistry with a disagreeable acquaintance (Colin Firth). Bridget Jones’s Diary depicts the challenges of dating past the age of 30 in a refreshing and modern way.



1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

When we heard the term, ‘rom-com,’ it was almost impossible to not immediately think of, “When Harry Met Sally.” The film begins with Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) - recent college graduates - meeting as two strangers as they share a car ride from Chicago to New York City. Though their initial interactions are arguably hostile, even the audience is aware that their relationship is far from over. As the film progresses, Harry and Sally’s friendship also begins to blossom. The pair practically coined the modern denial of a romantic relationship with their repeated excusal of: “We’re just friends,” throughout the picture. Finally, at the film’s end, after Harry admits his love for Sally on New Year’s Eve, their strong comradery eventually evolves into a full-fledged romance that had audiences everywhere reciting, “We’ll have what she’s having.”

The Five - Scores

the five.png

The Five - Scores

Written by Okechi Apakama

Compiled by Okechi Apakama, Jose Castaneda and Kyley Warren

Welcome to another edition of Phoenix Film Festival’s The Five. This day we dove right into the top movie scores. These films were placed based on how well they were composed and how iconic the movie was. There was not an emphasis on listing these films iconically but their impact was definitely taken into consideration. We also tried to move away from animated movies on this list because those were films that could make up another list entirely. In preparation for the Oscars this list should get you into the right vibe for that special day. Without further ado here is a list of the few movies scores that didn’t make the cut; Titanic (1997) composed by James Horner, Jaws (1975) composed by John Willaims, The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966) composed by Ennio Morricone, Psycho (1960) composed by Bernard Herrmann, and a special recognition to Hans Zimmer and his bevy of  music scores.


Score - Jurassic Park.png

5. Jurassic Park 1993 composed by John Williams


Take a trip to a park that shows us dinosaurs can exist, this movie’s score will always bring us back to the scene where we are introduced to the world of Jurassic Park. The score excellently balances childlike wonder with the imminent danger that surrounds the island. This feature along with many other great films is composed by John Williams and this will not be the only time you see Williams on this list.


Score - Back the the Future.png

4. Back to the Future 1985 composed by Alan Silvestri


This sci-fi adventure comes in at four on the list with a score that has a very zany feel to it. It is a score that screams adventure and it helps the audience forgo their beliefs about reality. It makes us feel that time travel is possible. Alan Silvestri who also has Forrest Gump and The Avengers movies to his name composed this score and also had a couple of songs on the soundtrack under the same name. 



3. Casablanca 1942 by Max Steiner


This classic brought to life an enduring love tell that brought together old classical elements and new (for its time) music. Casablanca’s score can be seen as timeless melody that perfectly matches the tone and feel for the movie. It is widely recognized movie and its score can bring people together from all walks of life.



2. The Godfather 1972 by Nino Rota


This movie score set the look, feel and sound of how we view the mafia. The movie is the reason why so many adolescent teens had huge godfather posters on their wall. The picture’s score was iconic as it set the mold for all Italian mobster movies to come. Nino Rota, who composed the music for this film, he won an Academy Award for his work on The Godfather Part 2 (1974).


Scores - Star Wars.png

1. Star Wars 1977, 1980, 1983 (the first trilogy) by John Williams


There was not much debate when it came to finding number one on our list. This movie transformed generations and the score is ingrained in people’s minds. There probably aren't many people who do not know the theme of Star Wars. This also comes from the incredibly talented John Williams who has 51 academy nominations to his name. Star Wars is not only transcendent movie but it sound and score set the bar for sci-fi action movies to come.

An interview with the director of Quaker Oaths, Louisiana Kreutz

Quaker 3.png

Quaker Oaths: Interview with the Director, Louisiana “Lucy” Kreutz


Written by Cameron Galvin

Questions Compiled by Cameron Galvin and Brionna Raum


Louisiana “Lucy” Kreutz is an award winning director and producer based in New York City. She has won the Sundance Institute’s Sustainability Award and the Faces of Austin Award at SXSW.  Kreutz wrote and directed her first feature film in 2016. Quaker Oaths is an independent comedy following a Quaker married couple, Joe and Emily, who want to get divorced. The Quaker tradition poses a challenge that forces them to get every signature on their wedding certificate crossed off. They hit the road to track down friends and relatives, discovering new feelings about each other during the journey. The film made its Arizona debut in the 2017 Phoenix Film Festival and is now being released. It is streaming on Amazon Prime Video and is on sale at Target, Best Buy, WalMart, Barnes and Nobles, and Amazon. Excited about the release, we were fortunate enough to interview Kreutz about the piece.


Quaker 1.png

1. What influenced you to make a film about Quaker tradition? & 2. Have you been or participated in a Quaker wedding before?

I am not a Quaker myself, but I went to one Quaker wedding about six years ago with a bunch of my friends. At this wedding, the bride and groom did the tradition of having all of their wedding guests sign their marriage certificate, and my friends and I immediately started joking about what would happen if they got a divorce- would we all have to cross off our names? Then we joked about how that would make a really good romantic comedy. I think the pun “Quaker Oaths” was born that same day.

3. What do you want to say about the institution of marriage with this film? 

I don't have a specific message about the institution of marriage- really all I'm saying is that every relationship is complicated and you never know where you'll end up.

4. Are the characters based on people in your life?

The character of Mikey is based on my good friend Angel, who really does play Unicycle Football. He's a very charming guy and a great actor and I wrote the part for him...but then he said he wanted to spend his time focusing on Unicycle Football so he didn't have time to do the movie! 


5. How are viewers supposed to feel about Mikey?

I tried to write the part of Mikey as someone who is so un-neurotic that he would stand as a good juxtaposition to Joe. I also wanted him to be one of those people whose confidence is off putting at first, but then he is so earnest and sweet that people can't help but like him.

Quaker 2.png

6. Did Emily actually want to get divorced or did she use the road trip all along to reconcile with Joe?

That is up for debate! I don't think she did that on purpose, but I do think they were both, wanting to stall the actual moment of divorce.

7. Do you want to continue to make comedies? 

Yes! I'm hoping to make another film within the next year.


8. What were your biggest obstacles in making this movie?

I made this film on a very low budget, so all of the challenges that go with that were both fun and sometimes overwhelming. I had to beg friends to offer up their houses and offices and coffee shops as locations to film in. We used my small Mazda Protege 5 hatchback as our main picture car, but we also used it as our grip truck- jamming all of the gear into the back of it. So when we needed to film a scene of the car driving up to a house, we'd have to unload all the lighting gear, film the car driving up, and then reload the gear into it. There were a lot of little things like that that made our days way harder, but are kind of funny to look back on.


The Five - Bromance Movies

the five.png

The FIve Bromance Movies

Written by: Hannah Ehrlich

Compiled by: Okechi Apakama, Jose Castaneda and Kyley Warren

Bromance movies are the genre that allows men to express their undying affection for their close friends. They’re the rom coms of straight men, a great chance to show masculinity and friendship in a different light. Below are our picks for the five best bromance movies with number one being are all time favorite. Some favorite that didn’t make our list are Dumb and Dumber, Bad Boys, Talladega, and Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.


Waynes World.jpg

5.   Wayne’s World – This quirky cult-classic that derived from an SNL skit is the parody we all need. Wayne and his best friend Garth show us the true definition of what living in your parent’s basement really means. When a producer played by Rob Lowe discovers their late-night basement show he wants to take them to public television. We see the battle in professional versus personal life as Wayne and Garth try to navigate their friendship through it. The dopey duo also make the perfect Halloween costume for anyone looking to show off their own bromance.


White Chicks.jpg

4.    White Chicks – Possibly the most creative take on what it means to have a bromance when two black cops have to impersonate two white girls. The cop duo our already known to be best friends so when they have to pretend to be sisters there is no denying they get pretty close. Struggling to hide their identity while also maintaining their lives as straight men, these two will have you laughing the whole time. The concept of gender identity is explored by the men in ways that will leave you baffled. Leaving us with the question, what does it really take to be a white chick?


Rush Hour.jpg

3.     Rush Hour – This bromance was so iconic they made a sequel. Two completely opposite men are stuck together left to form a bond reluctantly. Jackie Chan plays a Hong Kong Inspector who is left to work alongside LAPD detective Chris Tucker when the FBI doesn’t want his help on a kidnapping case. The men decide to take the case into their own hands and use their differences to form the ultimate comedic team. Catch up on their movies because a fourth one is in the works. 


Step Brothers.jpg

2.     Step Brothers – The comedy that never gets old will leave you laughing until you cry. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play two jobless adults who live at home with their parents. When their parents decide to get married and move in together, the two grown men face the rivalry of teenage boys. Their extremely similar tendencies lead them to develop quite the relationship as they face the ultimatum of having to find jobs or getting kicked out.


21 Jump Street.jpg

1.  21 Jump Street – Our number one pick for best bromance is between Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. They play cops who go undercover as high school students to find out who is soliciting a new drug. Their longtime relationship from bully and nerd to friends creates the ultimate backstory. When Channing Tatum is no longer the cool guy he was in high school and Jonah Hill is, they struggle to not let their new identities get the best of them.

The Five - Movie Soundracks

the five.png

The Five – Movie Soundtracks


Written by: Jose Castaneda

Compiled by: Jose Casteneda, Okechi Apakama and Kyley Warren


On today’s The Five we try to set the record straight on the best movie soundtracks of all time. We focused on soundtracks that: beautifully complemented their films, included great songs and innovated on the very idea of music in film.

Honorable Mentions: A Star is Born, Silver Linings Playbook, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Great Gatsby and Shrek


Sound - Graduate.jpg

5. The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate follows recent college grad Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) as he embarks on an introspective quest to find meaning in his life. His journey is soon interrupted when he stumbles into an affair with Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), an older family friend. The film’s soundtrack serves as a sort of complementary rival, which parallels the movie’s greatness while also working together to create a unified spectacle. This symbiotic relationship can be seen during one of the first scenes of the movie when Ben is solemnly standing on a moving walkway while “The Sound of Silence” plays in the background. The feature’s album, which is spearheaded by Simon and Garfunkel, encapsulates the tone and sentiment of the movie as well as the era in which it was released. The film’s track list included “The Sound of Silence,” “April Come She Will,” and “Mrs. Robinson,” which was not even finished when the movie was released. The film’s soundtrack graduates with flying colors due to its quality and relationship to the film and the era.


Sound - Baby Driver.jpg

4. Baby Driver (2017)

This Edgar Wright flick chases the narrative of a musically-driven getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who is trying to escape his life of crime. Baby constantly blasts music into his earbuds in order to drown out a ringing in his ears, due to an injury in his early life. Therefore it is only fitting that the sound track is filled with fast-paced throwbacks that incorporate seamlessly into the film. Every song in the movie is placed in that exact time and space for a specific creative purpose. These tracks run, speed and swerve alongside the vibrant action sequences in the film, instead of just supporting them without a purpose.  


Sound - Guardians of the Galaxy.jpg

3. Guardians of the Galaxy 1 (2014) & 2 (2017)

These films represent Marvel’s first experimentation with a more colorful and campy group of heroes.  The features focus on a group of intergalactic misfits and their adventures in saving the universe. The story, color palette and music all reflect this revolution to the traditional superhero blockbuster. The album became the first soundtrack in history to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 with songs that were all previously released. The music collaborates with the film in order to elevate the narrative and create a relatable and interesting story.


Sound - Black Panther.jpg

2. Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther follows the story of T'Challa, the new king of Wakanda and the supherhero Black Panther, and his battle to retain the crown when a long-lost adversary returns to challenge him for the throne. The film’s soundtrack is led by Kendrick Lamar, Grammy award-winning rapper and songwriter. The song “All The Stars” by Lamar and SZA garnered widespread praise and an Oscar nomination for best original song. The album does an amazing job of complementing the movie through its ability to mirror the tone and theme of the film.


Sound - Footloose.jpg

1. Footloose (1984)

This film tells the story of Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), a newcomer to a town where dancing and rock music are forbidden. Footloose is tightly packed with iconic songs that stand the test of time and land it at number one on our list. The track list includes songs from Bonnie Tyler, Kenny Loggins, John Mellencamp, Foreigner and Quiet Riot. In other words, this film is an extravagant amalgamation of songs that defined the 80’s and countless parodies and recreations through the years. The songs “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins and “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” by Deniece Williams earned the movie two Oscar nominations for best original song. This film will make you find your nearest abandoned warehouse and dance-punch all your rage out to the soundtrack.

Behind the Screens - Part Three


Behind the Screens - Part Three

by Brionna Raum

Welcome to this week’s edition of Behind the Screens, where we let you in on what it’s like to prepare for Arizona’s biggest film festival! We are currently in the beginning stages of preparations, but we are making headway and things are beginning to take shape in a really exciting way!

Over the course of this week we finally completed the ever tearful rejection process. While it breaks our heart to have to reject so many wonderful films from the festival this year, we simply only have enough room for a certain amount. But it’s not bad news for all… we are very pleased to say that we have finally selected our competition films for the festival this year! It was a long and difficult process, but we’ve come out the other side with some really great films that we can hardly wait to show you all. And if there’s anyone who is more excited than we are, it’s the filmmakers of these great pieces. We have a very diverse group of filmmakers this year who have all created some really fantastic films. They couldn’t be more excited to show you their work and we are proud to be able to bring their films to the screen. You’re not going to want to miss this group of films!

Some other developments this week have been with our sponsors. We welcome back returning sponsors such as The Arizona Republic, Bookmans, Arizona State University, and The Pain Center. Joining us for the first time we are thrilled to have Christian Anderson PLC, Confidio, and i9 Sports.

We are also continuing to release our Daily Top Five posts, so be sure to read our curated choices of films from this week on topics such as, Best Impactful Netflix Movies, Best Guilty Pleasure Netflix Movies, Best Biopics, and Best Remakes.

We are grateful for all of the support in the process of preparing for this festival, and we are so excited to see it all come into place. Be sure to read up next week on what's going on with festival preparations, and have a great weekend!