About Nicole Marchesani
A recent graduate of Drexel University with a B.S. in Screenwriting and a minor in Film and Video, Nicole has yet to come down from her cloud of dreams. Currently living in her hometown of Philadelphia, she'll dive into the big California pond in August to pursue a career as a screenwriter. In the meantime, she is directing a web series she wrote, “Why Me?” following the unlucky life of Anna Brown, who writes a self-help book to offer advice on how to cope with daily misfortunes.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 vs. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

November 16, 2012 Nicole Marchesani

If movies are like summer flings, movie franchises are more like long-term romances. We invest a lot of time and emotion in them; we feel really good while we’re involved; and after they’re all over, we wonder if we’ll ever experience anything else quite the same. I was thirteen years old when the first Harry Potter film was released in 2001 (the same age as Harry was). When the final film was premiering in theaters, I was 22. Essentially, Harry and I grew up together.

Similarly, Twilight hit theaters during my first year at college, and now, five years later, the final installment has arrived. Bella, the clumsy human turned empowered vampire, has graduated from high school and is forced to make some pretty adult, albeit bizarre, decisions. This feeling that we grow and mature and change alongside the characters is something we can’t ever get from just one film. We’ve formed meaningful attachments to these characters, and so, for the fans, it’s imperative that the endings be everything we hope for and more. […]

The Hunger Games (2012) -vs- The Running Man (1987)

March 23, 2012 Nicole Marchesani

President Snow (Donald Sutherland) shares his philosophy in this weekend’s blockbuster film, The Hunger Games, “The only thing stronger than fear is hope.” He and his kind have built their dystopia on this theory: if the people they subjugate don’t have a way to cope, they could get violent. Better to give them some pre-packaged violence and distract them.

The odds are stacked heavily against both Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and Ben Richards of The Running Man to win in their own futuristic sporting arenas. But they are motivated to try, each having not just their own lives but the lives of the people they love at stake. While millions of people watch, they suffer and struggle to make it to the end. The only thing keeping them going is hope.

It seems harsh to subject these characters to another bloody arena, but as the films prove, audiences love a good fight. We can’t lie. So do we. […]

Big Miracle (2012) -vs- Free Willy (1993)

February 3, 2012 Nicole Marchesani

After sitting at home, wiping the tears off of my cheeks as a boy goes over and beyond to liberate a killer whale from its tank, and then sitting in a movie theater crying my eyes out over the giant rescue mission to save three whales from suffocating in the ice, I had to wonder why humans care so much about their seafaring brothers-in-mammaldom. Why was it so believable that these characters would go to such great lengths to protect some whales? And why did I use a whole box of tissues over it? Drew Barrymore’s character explains it this way in Big Miracle: “Even though they’re big and powerful, they’re so much like us. We’re vulnerable, and we get scared, and we need help sometimes too.” […]

The Artist (2011) -vs- Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

November 22, 2011 Nicole Marchesani

Computer-generated effects, 3D, surround sound…. It’s hard to believe there was a time when the biggest challenge in filmmaking was incorporating the sound of characters talking. The 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain pays homage to that task while showcasing some of the greatest song-and-dance of its era. Why would anyone want to return to such a time, when it was clear, even back then, there was no market for silent films? Frenchman Michel Hazanavicius, the writer/director of The Artist, presents a compelling response and […]

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) -vs- Near Dark (1987)

November 19, 2011 Nicole Marchesani

Being a vampire used to be a heck of a lot easier. Dracula would suck his victims bone-dry, lure a beautiful woman to his castle, where he would turn her into a creature of the night to live with him forever, and that was that. No worries, no angst, no regrets. Nowadays, vampires have souls. They struggle to control their inner urges to feed on human flesh, while they cling to whatever’s left of their humanity. One thing remains the same, though. Vampires have always been and continue to be smoking hot. […]

Real Steel (2011) -vs- Rocky (1976)

October 9, 2011 Nicole Marchesani

Ah, the American dream. The hope that everyone, regardless of status, wealth or origin, has the opportunity to work for what they want and get it. One of the great ways Hollywood has represented the American dream in film is through boxing. Films like Cinderella Man, Ali, The Fighter and the most famous of all, Rocky. Rocky Balboa has been a symbol of the American dream for more than three decades. He continues to win the hearts of Americans by proving that the underdog from humble beginnings can go the distance.

Stepping into the smackdown ring to challenge Rocky is Real Steel, set to release in theaters Friday, October 6. Real Steel is a real contender, with a dynamic cast, stellar special effects and a sentimental story with heart. But does it have what it takes to defeat Rocky, the legendary, reigning champion? Let’s bring this fight to the ring and find out. There’s the opening bell… […]

I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011) -vs- The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

September 18, 2011 Nicole Marchesani

A woman’s role today in the world is as vague and subject to interpretation as the U.S. Constitution. She can work or stay at home or both, but every choice comes with a price. Some women feel judged for their decision not to have families; others feel pressured to stay with their families and not work. And heaven help the women who try to master both feats with only two hands.

I Don’t Know How She Does It and The Devil Wears Prada examine the ever-so-popular and unfortunate double standard that exists between men and women in the workplace through the woman’s point of view. Both films ask the big question: What are women supposed to do? Both offer solutions. Two all-star casts. Two scripts adapted by screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna from best-selling novels. […]

Zookeeper (2011) -vs- Dr. Dolittle (1998)

July 10, 2011 Nicole Marchesani

Animals have more acute senses than people do and an entirely different way of looking at things, so it stands to reason that audiences have been lapping up talking animal stories since that snake was introduced in the first act of Genesis. Hollywood really pricked up its ears back in ’98, when the Dr. Dolittle remake starring Eddie Murphy became the highest grossing live-action film ever made in the genre. That’s when the industry started tossing them out like so many chew-toys: the Babe sequel, Stuart Little, Narnia… and that doesn’t even count animation.

Now, along comes Zookeeper, which has more than a few things in common with the good Doctor: a depressed animal that needs tender loving care, a know-it-all beast that dispenses good advice when necessary, a really annoying creature that talks too much, and a likable human being — in this case played by Kevin James — who has less success with his own species than he does with his furry friends. Dr. Dolittle and Zookeeper both go for the laughs, but both also play as wish-fulfillment for the odd duck within us all — the one that craves a little primal understanding when we don’t quite fit in. […]