Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Movie Blogs
All this is really a list of is the movies I’ve seen so far and I’ve thought represent an amazing film in one way or another. I expect if I was to do this again in a few years there would be a lot of additions and probably some drop offs as well. The not really in any order but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of these...theres still some missing and I'll be updating as I go along the movie journey...
The Fellowship of the Ring – Fantasy comes of age as fans finally see a movie given the budget and actors it needed. To top that, it’s based on one the best written books of all time and proves Peter Jackson is no ordinary director but a visionary with the drive and determination to do Tolkien’s work justice in the way he knew best.
The Empire Strikes Back – quite simply, the best sequel of all time. After the fairy tale beginning for Luke Skywalker and the rebels in A New Hope, now the milk turns sour and their running for their lives. Darker, more action and new characters like Boba Fett, Yoda and Lando Calrissian make this the strongest of the original trilogy.
Goodfellas – “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”, so the story starts, top notch acting from an amazing cast, a brilliant story and Scorsese quite literally at the top of his game. To me, not even the first two Godfather’s can stand up to this one.
Dances With Wolves – See my review.
Platoon – Quite simply the best war film of all time. Amazing soundtrack, brilliant acting and a harsh, emotional and moving story about one man’s war and the changes it makes in him. Semi-autobiographical, to me its Oliver Stone’s best piece of work.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - love can fuck you up....amazing movie.
Die Hard – To me, this will always be the original action movie. Sure we’d had them before, but none had featured a divorced cop with no shoes hunting down a group of terrorists one by one and culminating with the destruction of skyscraper. 80’s action movies didn’t do PG13 then and the movies were a better place for it.
True Romance – All star cast that blow you away with their performances including one of the finest back and fourths on celluloid between a dying Dennis Hopper and mafia head Christopher Walken. Violent, brash and in your face, an under appreciated, Tarantino scripted gem.
Swingers – see my review.
Airplane – Funny, this movie transcends funny. Scene after scene of comedic genius that puts most other comedies to shame, especially all the scary/epic/superhero/date movie jobs by those fucking Wayans brothers….
Se7en – the movie that put Fincher on the map and creeped the hell out of movie going public.
The Thing – Hard to believe that after all his recent terrible movies, John Carpenter made one or two brilliant ones. To me, this remains his best. Suspense, gore, desperation and futility, to me, only Aliens can stand toe to toe with this as the best horror scifi combo made. And it’s a remake……
The Shawshank Redemption – Wrongly accused and left to rot for a crime he didn’t commit. Rather than go mad, Andy Dufrane spreads his wings as we watch his trials and tribulations in Shawshank prison. Beautifully acted by Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman that finds hope in the darkest of places.
The Wizard of Oz – classic musical that generations later, still holds it own as one of Hollywood’s best. I hate to say it but “they don’t make me like they used to”……
Aliens – Cameron’s Nam in space. One of the few sequels that bettered the original. Balls to the wall action, suspense and the fear factor set to its highest.
Terminator – The unstoppable killing machine arrives. Visionary movie that showed Cameron was going to be a director to sit up and take notice of with great things ahead of him.
Star Wars The biggest Sci-Fi of all time that went on to spawn the biggest movie franchise of all time. Who can forget the opening credits and the moment the star destroyers lumbers on to the big screen. Darth Vader, Obi Wan, stormtroopers, lightsabers, X-wings, the most iconic cinematic images of our time and one hell of a movie.
Monsters Inc – Come on, be honest, you thought there were monsters in your closet when you were a kid didn’t you…..but you know what? It’s okay, because now we know there actually a great bunch, their just doing their jobs when they scare the hell out of you! Funny, touching and great animation….what more can you expect from Pixar.
The Two Towers – Continued to prove that fantasy can be a legitimate genre when given the respect it deserves. Jackson carries on the probably the best trilogy of all time setting it up for the impending climax of ROTK.
The Return of the King – All good things must come to an end and so it proves. But not without a hell of a fight as Gondor feels the fury of Sauron’s hordes and we watch Frodo crack under the pressure of his obligation. And good ol’ Samwise Gamgee, where would we be without him.
The Matrix – Ground breaking effects and a brilliant story. Its tough to remember just how refreshing the Matrix was after its dire sequels but what a movie. Copied but never bettered, plugging in never felt so good.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Featuring Jack Nicholson’s very best performance in my opinion. A great cast of characters and one of cinema’s best bad guys in Nurse Ratchett. Jack literally blows everyone else off the screen as he wrestles with his own nature and those around him.
All Quiet on the Western Front – see my review for more info.
Up – Its about losing the love of your life, letting go, getting old and then learning to embrace life all over again….and its supposed to be a kid’s movie. Pixar, the god’s of animation strike again.
City of God – Kids with guns is always going to equal heartbreak. How far can you go to escape the Favella’s that offer nothing but despair…powerhouse of a movie.
The Godfather Part 1 – My favourite of the two, this is where it begins. Pacino announces his arrival to Hollywood, Brando proves he’s still got it and Jimmy Caan eats it up. Coppola’s best in my opinion. A true epic.
The Godfather Part 2 - 2 generations of Caesar build their making them rich, respected and powerful….. The transformation of Michael Corleone from naive young hopeful to mob lord extraordinaire is cold, stark and intense whilst the tale of young Vito’s arrival in America, his journey from lowly immigrant to mafia don is a filmic masterpiece.
Raging Bull – Probably the best sports movie ever made, DeNiro shows why he’s the master and why he and Scorsese go together so well.
Boyz N the Hood – see my review.
Menace II Society – Darker and grimier than Boyz and the Hood, the Hughes brothers first directorial effort pulls no punches. The protagonist has few if any good qualities making it all the more realistic and harsh to watch.
The Shining – When you put an actor and a director together who are both smack bang at the top of their game, this is what you get. The transformation from Jack from a man with writer’s block to a man wanting to butcher his entire family is astounding, who else could have pulled it off that well but Nicholson whilst Kubrick’s dizzying, suffocating visuals and direction leave you in awe until the bitter end.
The Good The Bad and The Ugly – Sergio Leone at his grimy western best with Clint of form as the man with no name. The spaghetti western kicks ass.
Fight Club – Could this be the man’s version of Dirty Dancing or Pretty Woman. One that makes you question your existence, your values, your thoughts and what the hell is expected of us men today. We don’t get to hunt and gather any more, we haven’t got a generation defining evil to fight or war to join in………..what are we supposed to be doing with ourselves and animal instincts? The answer? Beat the hell out of your friends and bring society’s outdated rules and financial corruption down in a flaming redemptive fury. Game on.
Forrest Gump – It’s almost like the best of American history from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s told through the eyes of a man with child like innocence. It’ll make you laugh, cry and marvel. Tom Hanks proves his mettle once again.
On Golden Pond – Father and daughter relationship that comes under the microscope after years of simmering feelings finally rise to the surface. Peter and Jane Fonda with an aging Hepburn as mum give some of the best performances of their careers.
Watership Down – To some, animation is a kid’s genre, warm, uplifting and friendly. Well, they obviously haven’t seen Watership Down. I’m still recovering from seeing it as a child….Made in the 70’s and way ahead of its time, it’s a tale of environmentalism, spirituality, life and death through the eyes of a bunch of rabbits. I know, sounds shit but its really not…….its a tale that I can remember clearly even having not seen it for over 20 years….
Alien – In space, nobody can hear you scream….no, but they can in your living room when you’re 7 years old and you sneak a copy of your dad’s VHS on. To say I shit my pants would be putting it mildly. Dark, creepy, disturbing…..years later it still ranks among the best sci-fi horror movies ever made.
Good Will Hunting – Nobody really saw this one coming but it reminded everyone of what Robin Williams is capable of and introduced Damon and Affleck to the big time.
Pulp Fiction – It may not have been his first movie, that honour goes to Reservoir Dogs, but this was the movie that made everyone stand up and take notice of old QT. Even if he never made another decent film in his life it wouldn’t matter, this movies sparkles with narrative, performances and story throughout. Amazing.
Heat – the best street shoot out ever? Quite possibly and 2 of cinema’s legends, Pacino and DeNiro sharing the screen for first time…..crime noir at its best.
Unforgiven – Thought Clint was too old to kick some ass? Wrong. As the aged outlaw goes out for one last ride, Clint proves that only John Wayne can stand with him when it comes to a hero of the wild west.
Dumb n Dumber – I know most won’t agree but hey, its my list! Immature, stupid and down right funny with perhaps more quotable lines than any other film I can think of. Lloyd Christmas does stupid like no other man can ……..“Austrian huh? Let’s chuck another shrimp on the Barbie!”
Casablanca – I know, it’s not a particularly original choice but you can’t argue with the best, and the best is Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman smoldering in this 1942 pro-war propaganda classic.
The Raiders of the Lost Ark – Its where Indy began, brilliant story, effects and Harrison Ford at the top of his game.
Jaws – The original summer blockbuster and even 30 years on one of the best. Whilst the bellbottom flares might look dated, the shark still looks brilliant even now. Launching Spielberg’s career, some might argue this is still his finest moment.
Frailty – A widely unseen gem, this movie messes with your mind in the hunt for a serial killer with a difference….. “God’s hand”. One of the most under appreciated horror/suspense movies I know. Brilliant twists and turns show Bill Paxman to be a brilliant director.
In To The Wild – see my review for further info.
Big – I grew up with this one so nostalgia plays a big part in this but who didn’t dream of what it would be like to be a bigger boy when you were a kid. Innocence slowly evaporates as Hanks is forced to leave his boyhood behind to survive in a mans world, touching and funny in equal measure.
American History X – Or how circumstances in your life can conspire to entirely fuck your life up. How you come out at the other end is up to you. Edward Norton……….amazing.
The Assassination of Jesse James – definitely not to everyone’s taste but the haunting imagery of the beautiful mid west, the unpredictability of Pitt’s James and the sad desperation of Robert Ford played so well by Casey Affleck make this a favourite of mine. Amazing on blu ray.
Sling Blade – A man with mental health problems and a boy with no father figure, I never would have imagined this was going to be so powerful. Billy Bob Thornton is amazing in this movie.
The Wrestler – see my review.
Casino – Okay, so maybe it is Goodfellas lite, but its still a hell of a movie bristling with great performances from Woods, DeNiro, Stone and Pesci.
Flight 93 – How can a movie you know the story of so well still surprise you? With amazing performances and direction and a cast of unknowns, it felt like it was too soon. Maybe it was but I felt proud of those people on the plane seeing this. If you’re gonna go down with a fight, this is how heroes do it.
Taxi Driver – “You talkin to me, you talkin’ to me?” Scorsese, DeNiro and the first steps in a powerful movie making partnership that kicks the 70’s into touch.
Toy Story – Did you ever wonder what happens to your toys when you’re not there? I always did as a kid, and Pixar proved me right. Pixar came, they conquered and they continue to do so…..still waiting for number 3 in the UK, can’t come soon enough.
Das Boot – the mini-series is more intense than the film so I’d recommend that over the movie as there’s a whole lot more fleshing out. But watching a group of confined men slowly go from confident, arrogant world beaters to shells of themselves as Germany crumbles is powerful stuff. Cut off from the rest of the world what is really going on around them.
The Maltese Falcon – Classic private Dick movie with Humphrey “The Man” Bogart where nobody can be trusted and everyone’s out for themselves.
Children of Men – A future that really doesn’t seem to distant or unlikely sets the tone for this amazing, and ultimately positive movie. Clive Owen is awesome and Cuarron is sure to achieve great things as a director after this.
The Dark Knight – surely the comic book movie we’ve all been waiting for as Nolan smashes this one out the park with Heath Ledger giving his best and final performance.
The Thin Red Line – Malick returns in this all star line up that shows the horrors of war against the backdrop and beauty of mother nature.
Blade Runner - neo noir, dark dirty future, amazing on every level.
Downfall - Hitler....shown as just another man? Amazing acting as Germany dies around the Fuhrer...
Grosse Pointe Blank – Depressed hit man returns home for a high school reunion – death and laughter follow in this black humoured coming of age tale.
Halloween – Still the original and best slasher flick made on a shoestring budget and pioneer of the steady-cam. Dammit John Carpenter, what happened to you….
L.A. Confidential – Corruption and vice in 1950’s Hollywood. Stylish crime noir for the 90’s.
Schindler’s List – The holocaust comes to life in Spielberg’s unflinching tale of life and death in a Nazi camp. Haunting and unyielding, a history lesson for us all.
Predator – Okay, so its not high art, it is however a fucking great action/scifi movie and one that has rarely been bettered.
Fantasia – Classic Disney in every sense of the word. Even today’s amazing CGI just can’t hold up to the lovingly hand drawn wonderment of the dancing broomsticks as Mickey loses the plot.
Very Bad Things – Black, black comedy in every sense of the word on possibly the most depraved and fucked up batchelor party of all time. Dark and spiteful but damn funny.
Dead Man’s Shoes – low budget British Indie that shows revenge is a dish best served cold. Dark justice gets spoon fed to those who deserve it.
The Goonies – another nostalgic choice from my childhood but seriously, what more you could you ram into a kids film to make it any cooler. Pirates, booby traps, treasure, bad guys and to top it off, the truffle shuffle. I defy anyone to think of a funnier dance caught on celluloid!!!!
The Truman Show – to think this film came out before reality TV even existed. It seemed so far fetched back when this came out but now, with half of TV shows being reality TV crap (I’m sorry, I just don’t give a crap about Kim Kardashian, Hulk Hogan’s Kids or those spoilt brats from the hills), the idea of a child growing up live before our eyes doesn’t seem all that unlikely any more. Quite prophetic in its own way…..
Sexy Beast – When retired criminal Ray Winston refuses to come out of retirement for one last job, Ben Kingsley’s Don Logan gets sent out to Spain to help “encourage” him along. Who’d have thought that Kingsley could play a psycho on par with Joe Pesci…
Field of Dreams – Its about faith, whatever you believe in, you have to have faith at some point and this movie is full of it. And its hard to walk away from this one without a smile on your face, it really is.
TAE GUK GI: Brotherhood of War – Two brothers on opposite sides of the Korean war, both believing what they fight for. It’s been described as the Korean Private Ryan but that’s doing it a dis-service because its has so many layers to it and the battle scenes are on par with any Hollywood war movie.
Dazed and Confused - The last day of high school in the 70's in Texas. Great cast of stars before they were stars and a timeless story of
growing up and chasing tail. One of my favourites growing up...
This is very much a work in progress, theres loads of movies I've not seen yet from directors like Kubrick to Kurosawa and lots of era's I've not seen enough from. If any of your favourite movies are missing or you think theres something I'd like, shout as I love watching people's recommendations.
All this is really a list of is the movies I’ve seen so far and I’ve really enjoyed in one way or another. I expect if I was to do this again in a few years there would be a lot of additions and probably some drop offs as well.
A lot of the time, when I've read a book, comic or graphic novel and then seen the movie I'm disappointed as they rarely live up to what I've built up in my head. Nonetheless, there are so many great books out there and far too many remakes of classic movies coming out and so to freshen things up, these are the stories I'd like to see hit celluloid.
One or two are apparently in production but I'm adding them anyway. In the meantime, come on Hollywood, give us some new and original tales....
Let me know if you've got a favourite you'd love to see made into a movie or a book you can recommend.....
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik...A brilliant series of books that tells the tale of the Napoleonic wars with Dragons serving as the air force. Sounds ridiculous but is a lot of fun and besides the fact that it features dragons, for its era its incredibly historically accurate. A lot of fun.
World War Z - Max Brooks - Written as a series of survivors accounts in a war to survive against zombies. It contains lots of different voices and interviews with some great, original ideas. Probably the best horror book I've ever read.....although I hear a film is already in the works.....
The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson - a true tale of a serial killer juxtaposed against an organiser of The Worlds Fair both living in Chicago in the early 1900's. An fascinating and dark tale.
The Forgotten Soldier - Guy Sheppard - another true tale of a Franco-German boy caught up in the German army, watches the army collapse and his friends die as he retreats across Russia trying to get home alive.
Wolverine - I know, we already had one shitty monstrosity of a movie but I'm talking the original origin story available as a trade where Logan goes to Japan and falls in love and ends up fighting for his life against a clan and some seriously badass ninjas. Some of Frank Miller and Chris Claremont's finest work.
Careless Love - the best of all the Elvis biographies, in an era where musical biopics seem to be making big bucks, I can't believe nobody's tried to tell the King's of rock n roll's tale yet.
The Game - a journalist starts investigating the secret underground world of pick up artists. Soon he gets sucked in and starts learning the tricks of the trade until he becomes one of the masters. A bit like a Mr Lover Man version of Fight Club, this would make a great movie.