Thursday, 10 June 2010
A new thing for the blog, top 10’s from my point of view…. Starting of course with my personal top ten movies of all time…
10. The War of the Worlds (2005)
This is a very personal movie and would surprise anyone by being in any critics top ten list. The reason put simply is that I love anything based on the original novel and this adaptation is for me the best film version. Steven Spielberg captures the feel of the novel by keeping it personal; a view of an invasion from one mans perspective. Of course that man is played by Tom Cruise and of course everyone gets pitchforks and torches out for him! I’m going to stand up for the man and say I thought he was very convincing as an irresponsible father. My pick of the scenes would be when they are in the basement of their step fathers house and the Aliens/Martians attack a plane, your not shown any of it just blasted with noise which when I first saw made me almost pee me pants! Of course there are the tense scenes in the basement at the end which are handled very well, and the fact that the fighting machines are actually tripods, yay!
9. The Dark Knight
I have gone on about this movie till I am blue in face, it simply pushed the standard of comic book movies up a notch and showed what could be done with them. In a conversation I was having the other day we were saying we are in a time when everything is being taken a bit more seriously just look at this years take on Robin Hood! One character it hasn’t done any harm to is batman, great film making and a worthy top 10 entry. Best scene, pretty much every time Heath Ledger’s joker is on screen but if forced to pick I would choose the scene between him and Harvey “Two Face” brilliantly acted and shot! You could argue that the film would be no where near as hyped had it not been for the sad passing of Mr Ledger, the sad truth is we will never really know and that’s the worse thing about it. That bitter sweet ending knowing the Joker is still alive but no actor out there alive who can play him.
8. 28 Days Later
In my humble opinion a landmark in British film making and a wake up call for the zombie franchise. Danny Boyle has shown himself a master of various movie styles and to be fair Trainspotting and Slumdog probably deserve to be in here instead of this but it’s my favourite. A star in the making was Cillian Murphy who played the role superbly, showing his descent into the madness at the end with utter conviction. 28 days later for me was one of the scariest films I have ever seen, the most realistic vision of this type of scenario I have ever witnessed. My favourite scene in this film, the attack on the house at the beginning as it is directed so brilliantly, silent camera movements then BANG! The visceral violence is what sets these films apart from other zombie films, in those it’s all about gore and flesh eating; whilst here they just want to pound your face to a bloody pulp. The sequel is also very good and with a hint of a third you can sniff a franchise coming on.
Probably deserves to be higher up the list but then it was tough enough whittling them down to 10! The Godfather isn’t in the list and that’s because I thought one gangster movie and to be honest I do prefer Goodfellas simply because it’s rewatchable time and time again. For me Godfather was enough one time round and though I’ll watch it again at some point I’d still prefer to re watch Goodfellas. This film is a masterwork in Direction and one of the best scenes is the camera as it follows Harry and Karen as they enter a club and are shown to a table in front of the stage; in one long continuous shot showing what a life of crime can give you. My favourite scene, what else but the “What do you mean I’m funny?” scene, Joe Pesci steals the film with one hell of a scary performance! It is a landmark in Gangster movies that in my opinion has not been matched, unless you count a certain HBO series of course.
6. Grosse Pointe Blanke
Another very personal choice, an incredible intelligently written comedy about an assassin with an attack of conscious, a stand out performance by John Cusack and an awesome soundtrack! Favourite scene without a doubt being stared out by a baby as Under Pressure plays in background; nothing puts your life in context like a baby does. As a feel good movie it has everything and for men and women of a certain age it meets several criteria. Moments of slushy romance are dulled by the black comedy and moments of violence are lessened by the witty banter between every single character in the script. It’s just so well written is the bottom line, its clever snappy and charming not to mention very very funny. It’s just a shame John Cusack doesn’t get more roles like this, as in most things specially these days he is a talent wasted.
5. The Usual Suspects
A long time favourite of mine that fooled that hell out of me and I love it when films do that! I also love re watching it just to see how they tricked me! Best scene is the line-up at the beginning that despite the actors losing their cool it was kept in and it works brilliantly! That’s also the recipe that makes the film work so well, the chemistry between the actors is excellent and the film just seems to ooze cool! Bryan Singer ripped a good yarn so to speak and deserved to go on and direct bigger things.
It’s tough to pick the sequel over what was a fantastic first film but that’s one of the reasons it’s in here. Aliens is not just one of the best films ever its also one of the best sequels ever! It took what Ridley Scott had done and not only placed it into a larger universe but also a different genre, how many directors are brave enough to do that. Who would have thought a film that is basically a stalk and slash horror movie in space be pretty damn good as an action sci-fi? It does so by honouring the original, it’s still scary and the Alien is still kept the same. The things it adds only bring a whole new perspective to the original idea i.e. the alien queen. The human factor has more meaning, not just because there are more to care for but because the chemistry is amazing, I’ve often thought that the first hour or so is the best. No avatar is not in my top ten!
3. Fight Club
It’s really tough not putting this up at number 1; Fight Club is the definitive film of a generation. Ask anyone around my age (26) what their favourite films are and I guarantee Fight Club will come up almost every time! It’s possibly the coolest film ever and fools the hell out of most people who see it for the first time. It is superbly acted by all involved, directed in such a wonderful individual style and based on one hell of a book.
2. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Now I could have said all three but the nature of this top ten is that its movies that stand alone not as part of a franchise. However the whole trilogy is amazing and groundbreaking it just that this one, like the books is more linear story telling. What that does is make the story simpler; in turn it also makes it much more emotional. One route and several characters progressing together on a steady but hard journey it’s a classic but it works. The other parts of the trilogy were a little detached due to manically having to cut between characters. That is the only reason though and The Lord of the Rings is one generations Star Wars and will be remembered as such because of everyone involved and their insane attention to detail, that created such a wonderfully in depth fantasy world. My favourite scene; Aragorn’s fight with Lurtz without a doubt!
1. The Shawshank Redemption
Still not 100% whether or not I want to have this at number 1 but I put it there when I wrote this list down and I’m keeping It like that, It’s in a lot of top ten lists and is not a stranger to the number 1 spot. The Shawshank Redemption is the very definition of an inspiring movie, above all it inspires hope. Based on a great book by Stephen King this story of wrongly accused Andy Duframe drags it self through what could potentially be a huge downer. The film has a rather episodic feel of traumatic moments tied together with blind hope; the important thing is that the blind hope wins in the end. In a book I have, someone accuses Shawshank of being too “sentimental”, although he may have a point I think it all depends on your personal connection to the movie and most people see it the way I do. That at the end of the film when you realise after everything he went through that hope really can be found in the darkest of places. Dramatic I know but this film deserves it.