Saturday, 25 July 2009

Top 10 Movies

1. Fight Club [1999]
I don't know whether it was because I expected it to be awful due to the adverts, (Brad Pitt + Soap seemed like a bit of a chick flick), but it was a total revelation when I saw it at the cinema. It is also one of the few films that are as good as the book they are based on. I suspect it is due to Chuck Palahniuk's involvement in the script, but the movie actually adds to the book and vice versa. The dark humour, the subversive theme, the amazing twist and the awesome ending, make it easily my favourite film.

2. Dark Knight [2008]
For me this is the ultimate comic book movie. Before it came out I was torn, Batman Begins had been an excellent reboot of the series, but Heath Ledgers death meant that the film was being hyped to the point of insanity. In the end it is one of the few movies that lived up to the pre-release hype, I left the cinema with goose bumps. Dark tone, amazing effects, superb villan, great story, what more can you ask for?

3. Leon (Canadian Cut) [1994]
Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman and Jean Reno at their best. While that should be enough for anyone, this film also has an excellent plot, moody cinematography, plenty of action and a superbly non-hollywood ending. The Canadian Cut is well worth tracking down for the extra 30 minutes, it fills in some gaps in Matilda's training and flows a lot better than the regular cut.

4. Chasing Amy [1996]
I knew I had to have a Kevin Smith film in my list and it was a hard choice. In the end I picked Chasing Amy because it is what all romantic comedies should be like. Forget the standard saccharine - 'everything will magically work out in the end' - nonsense peddled in most romantic comedies. This film is genuinely hilarious but also touching and romantic at points. Ok the plot isn't hugely realistic, but if you take it as an overstated metaphor for relationships it is very insightful.

5. Black Hawk Down [2001]
One of the few realistic war movies. Even Saving Private Ryan which was lorded for its brutally real opening, eventually devolved into a typically heroic war film. In Black Hawk Down the real horror of war is shown and unlike most american war films the morality of the situation is left to the viewer to decide. In the end no-one wins, lots of people loose and you have to wonder what was accomplished. One of my favourite moments at the cinema was seeing a girl - clearly expecting Josh Hartnett to be in another 'Pearl Harbour' style film - vomiting in the aisle.

6. Dirty Harry [1971]
The original action movie, copied by many that followed. Clint Eastwood at his best; "You have to ask yourself do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?".

7. Serenity [2005]
Joss Whedon at his best, truly one of the great sci-fi movies. He manages to walk the tightrope of making a film for extremely loyal fans of the series and yet accessible to people who hadn't seen it. A perfect 15 minute opening that caught up people who hadn't seen Firefly and the rest of the film answered questions for fans of the prematurely cancelled series. I think it should have been the next big sci-fi franchise.

8. High Fidelity [2000]
This movie made me realise that in relationships, most people don't see themselves as the bad guy. It always seems to be the other persons fault and never yours. Of course given some time and introspection, a lot of it probably was your fault. Also a great reminder to be grateful for what you've got. Combine the above with a superb soundtrack, Jack Black at his least annoying, John Cusack at his most charming and you have a great film.

9. Transformers: The Movie [1986]
Classic movie from my youth, I watched it so much when I was a kid that I wore out the video. Unlike most other things from your childhood it still stands up now. Awesome soundtrack, good animation, good story, one of the most shocking deaths in any film (if you've seen it you'll know) and Orson Wells's last film. Truly puts the recent Transformers movies to shame.

10. Into The Wild [2007]
Beautifully shot, wonderful soundtrack, based on a real story. It really takes the romance out of the idea of dropping out of the rat race and living in the great outdoors ... which is a good thing.

Just finished writing all of these films up and some themes are emerging, see if you can spot them and drop me a comment.

Top 10 of other random stuff to follow.

No comments:

Post a Comment