Sunday, 20 March 2011

My Top Ten… Films

I’ve been deliberating over what, exactly, to write about this week. There are several things I could write about, including the situation in Libya, but I don’t have enough to say about those things at this stage to make a fully fledged blog post out of them. With any luck further developments in the next week or so will give me something more to say. In the meantime, it’s been a while since I did a top ten, so here’s a list of my favourite films, again, in no particular order.

  • Inception: This is only the first of several Christopher Nolan films on this list. See my review for reasons why it’s awesome. A brilliantly written, brilliantly filmed, mind-bogglingly complex, character-driven sci-fi. Really incredible, deserving of the Oscar it didn’t win

  • Shawshank Redemption: A classic. Really good study of the life of a prisoner and the problems facing them after they get out of jail, combined with a fantastic story of the dedication of one man to break out of prison. Wonderfully understated and subtle. Shame about the narration, but I guess we can forgive a few faults.

  • The Dark Knight: Another Christopher Nolan film, possibly the best superhero film to come out in recent years. Incredible performance by the late Heath Ledger. See my review of this one for details (jeez, that’s going back a long way, I was a horrible person back then). I cannot wait for the next Batman film to come out. With Nolan directing, I expect it to be excellent.

  • Lucky Number Slevin: One of the very few films in which Brice Willis in not trying to kill everything. He actually does a really good job in this one. Slevin is a fantastic Noir film that has a brilliant twist in the tale. Well written, beautifully stylish and really well acted by all involved.

  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King: One of the best book-to-film adaptations I can remember. The whole trilogy is a really good interpretation of the original work, stripping out a lot of the superfluous bits (Bombadil is awesome, but not needed), but keeping the essence of the work intact. The Return of the King in particular is a suitably epic finale. Outstanding film making on Peter Jackson’s part.

  • The King’s Speech: I reviewed this one a matter of weeks ago. Absolute triumph of film making. Wonderful feel-good story that dealt with some fascinating characters and issues. Deserving of the Oscar in any ordinary year (but Inception still should have won it this year)

  • The Prestige: Another Christopher Nolan film. A much older work, but still fantastic. Alternative History about magicians in the 19th century. More brilliant twists and interesting characters. Typically dark and very stylish. I need to see Memento; another Nolan film. I’ve heard it’s also awesome.

  • The Matrix: A truly incredible idea. One of those stupid ‘what ifs’ that kept on being explored until an idea for a film emerged. A superb existential idea, questioning the very existence of existence as we know it. From that, a piece of Sci-fi that is as bleak as it is far-reaching. Add in some interesting and deeply flawed characters and some inspired cinematography, and you have a really fantastic film. Shame they never made any sequels.

  • V for Vendetta: If only for two of the most awesome speeches ever committed to film. Another brilliant superhero film, driven by the enigmatic V and his fascinating back-story. I have to say it, I’m a massive fan of dystopia and the one created in the graphic novel and faithfully reproduced in this film is wonderful. Another brilliantly shot film – parliament exploding to the 1812 overture? Incredible. Excellent philosophical points, as well.

  • Fight Club: More Noir. One of those strange little mind-fuck films that leaves you reeling. One of Brad Pitt’s best performances to date. Really well written and really stylish. The twist isn’t quite as neat or as subtle as in Slevin, but it certainly changes the very essence of the film a lot more. It turns from a study of violence and violent protest into a character study of a deeply troubled man and his inner battles. Awesome.

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