I tried to put together a list of my top 10 films of all time but just couldn't do it, after about 2 weeks I was up to 22 and there was just no way I could drop 12 of them! In fact I couldn't even put them in any particular order. Having decided to write a paragraph on each film made things easier and I got it down to 15!
(The links go to amazon.co.uk where you can find get the current price & availability. If you just want data on the film through, you should check out IMDB - The Internet Movies DataBase)
Dir: Hayao Miyazaki, Japan 2001, Studio Ghibli
The fact that this is the most technically impressive and beautiful animated feature ever made is one good reason to watch this movie. But the film is amazingly much more than that. It is such a wondrous story you'll quickly forget it is animated.
Dir: David Lynch, US 1990, Polygram, Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern
"You please me too peanut"
True love versus reality in the show down of the century for Sailor and Lula. Road movie, fairy tale and psycho thriller rolled into one in David Lynch's bizarre parody of the Wizard of Oz!
Dir: Ridley Scott, US 1982, Warner Bros., Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer
In the release version Harrison Ford leads the feeble minded through the blindingly obvious plot. In the editors cut we loose the voice over and some sloppy scenes, gain about 20 minutes of film and somehow an entirely different and far more engrossing story emerges. In either version the sets, the soundtrack, the action and the pure style are breath taking.
Dir: James Cameron, US 1986, 20th Century Fox. Sigourney Weaver.
Better than either Alien or Alien3, this is the one in which Ripley battles a whole planet
of the acid blooded monsters, saves the little girl, and shows a whole troop of space
marines the meaning of the word 'tough'. Big guns.
(Good at Google? See if you can find William Gibson's alternative Alien3 script...)
Dir:Joel Schumacher,US 1993, Warner Bros. Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall
The story is about a man going insane. The marvelously tense and claustrophobic opening scene is when this happens, the rest of the film is a journey though hell with someone who knows he is 'economically unviable' in the same society he helped to build. The film has a marvelous way of empathizing with it's main protagonist even though you know from the start that in the twentieth century his oddessy can only have one conclusion.
Dir:Joel Coen,US 1987, Circle Films. Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman
Well there's always a risk with comedies - often one's reaction depends on one's mood and 'subjectively funny' is definitely an oxymoron! I saw it twice and laughed twice so thems good odds in my books. Arizona complete with instruction manual (Dr. Spock's) is a baby and an expensive commodity bundled from one ineffective criminal to the next until finally the show down with the devil himself!
Dir:James Cameron, US 1984, Pacific Western. Arnold Schwarzenegger
This film explodes, and then keeps exploding. I loved the sequel but it has to be the original that gets on the list. Arnie is one bad attitude machine from the future. (I could have done without the philosophising about the nature of time but nothings perfect.)
Dir: Terry Gilliam, UK 1985. Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro
This is often cited as Terry Gilliam's black-comedy version of 1984 (although it isn't really, there are some very subtle references to Orwell's book) In the nightmare bureaucracy of the future even the most simple things have become complicated nightmares, and society itself has become the relentless destroyer of people's dreams. One man remains a dreamer, to his ultimate cost, and not even the ghost in the machine can save him. In the end, this film is not a comedy after all.
Dir: Rob Reiner, US 1987, Vestron. Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin
"My name in Inigo Montoya... you killed my father... prepare to die!"
What can I say? Cute. I really enjoyed this story. It has romance, friendship, anger, joy, revenge, sword fights and a marvelous sense of humour. So it isn't exactly cult material and you can't spend weeks analysing every camera angle to death... what the hell.
Dir: Quintin Tarantino, US 1992, Miramax. Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel
"Lets go to work."
Cult material where you spend weeks analysing every camera angle to death? This is a tense, claustrophobic and often horrible film that pulls you into the ugly and disintegrating world of a gang of robbers. You start to enjoy it, maybe too much, then when the shit hits the fan, the bullets fly and there's blood on the floor you know it's your fault too. It took me two weeks to look back and realise what a great film this was - but I don't know if I'd go to it again!
Dir: Peter Greenaway, UK/FR 1989, Helen Mirren.
Say what you like about Greenaway, but this film looks fantastic. The direction is more like choreography, the action takes place in no restaurant that could possibly exist - rather the mythos of all good restaurants. The angel faced, boy soprano washing glasses and placing them in a pyramid. The corpulent soup chef. The truck full of rotting meat. The cretinous gangster. The philosophical chef. The beautiful love scene in the toilets (of all places). This film moves like a dream from day to day, menu to menu, telling the story of a brief, doomed love affair between the gangster's wife and a librarian. Then revenges gets heaped upon revenge - and in this film it is served hot!
Dir: Alan Parker, US 1987, TriStar. Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
"Your soul is mine!"
It has voodoo, the devil, a cynical detective and a bizarre and twisting plot. This is a dark, dark film, words cannot do justice to it's atmosphere and tension.
Dir: Robert Zemeckis, US 1988, Touchstone. Bob Hoskins.
"I'm not bad... I was just drawn this way!"
Another comedy - I loved this film for it's special effects but found it very funny and action packed too. If you love cartoons (esp. Tex Avery) you will love this film.
Dir: Stanley Kubrick, US 1968, MGM.
"Daisy, Daisy, give me your heart, oh do!..."
Man pales into insignificance when compared to his own artifacts. More a deep horror film than science fiction, this is one you have to think about afterwards. Stanley Kubrick rescues us from what could have been a very mundane space movie (see 'The Lost Worlds of 2001', Arthur C. Clarke) and remains true to science to great effect (i.e. the silence in space and zero gravity).
Dir: Luc Besson, FR 1990. Anne Parillaud.
The tense story of a murderer who is given one option: to become a killer for the state. If you are looking out for this on video try not to get the dubbed version, go for the subtitles!
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