Monday, 23 April 2012

Top Ten Films

Ok folks.  You've had my musical choices and now it's time for the cinematic variety.

Again, I'm wondering about the wisdom of only producing a list of ten as there is so many more to enjoy, but I'm going to make myself stick to the ten, and as always, nobody can stop me from making another list later on.  Anyway, read on and see if you agree or not.

The Shawshank Redemption - It’s a ‘slow burner’ of a film with a nice subtle twist towards the end of the film and yes, it does have a bit of swearing during the first half an hour of the film (not that I’m against swearing mind you, but only when necessary), but if you can ignore that and stick with it, you’d be treated to a fascinating, gentle, and wonderfully well told story. 

I’d seriously recommend this film to anyone who hasn’t yet seen it.  Simply brilliant.

A Beautiful Mind - Russell Crowe stars in this biographical film about John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, and how he sees his paranoid schizophrenia affects those around him including his wife and friends.

Russell Crowe’s acting here is simply top rate, and considering that I don’t have a high opinion of him as a person, I have to admit liking him in several of the films that he appears in.

Mr Holland’s Opus -  This drama about a teacher who harbours a dream about composing a piece of orchestral music which throughout the film appears to be pushed to one side as he realises that he is a marginalised figure in the schools faculty’s heirachy.

It is essentially a 30 year video biography of this fictional man and of course, has an emotional and uplifting ending.

I’ve never seen much of Richard Dreyfuss’s career and other then Close Encounters of the Third Kind, this is the only other film I’ve seen him in, but what a beautiful performance he gives.

The Sixth Sense - This pyschological thriller sees Bruce Willis (Dr Malcolm Crowe) attempting to help a young boy (Haley Joel Osmont) who states that he can see and speak to the dead.

I happen to be one of those people who likes to guess who did what to who and when, and I try to forsee the ending before it occurs (with more success than not), but the surprise ending in this film is one that I never even comtemplated and totally surprised me which just made it even better for me on top of the marvellous acting from both Willis and Osmont.  Another one worth recommending.

It’s a Wonderful Life - Yes, this an ‘oldie’ and Yes, it’s a black and white film, but it just goes to prove that such a great film can stand the test of time.

An american christmas film shows James Stewart as George Bailey as he comtemplates committing suicide only for his guardian angel to show up showing him how his life has touched others for the better, together wth how life would have been without him.

Even though it's regarded as a flop at the time of release, it is justifiably one of the top 100 films produced according to the American Film Institute.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day - It is extremely rare for a sequel to be better than the first film, and this is just one of the select few that manages to pull it off.  Mr Schwarzenegger is now battling for the good guys in an attempt to stop a new improved Terminator from killing John Conner. 

It is a shame that Edward Furlong (who plays John Conner) was a bit of a let down but hey, it’s Arnold, playing the Terminator with top of the range (at the time) special effects with a story that kept the pace of the action full tilt to the very end.

K-Pax – This science fiction mystery film had me hooked from the word go. 

Kevin Spacey produces yet another fantastic performance (along with Jeff Bridges), depicting a man who has been committed to the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan where he impresses patients, as well as the psychiatrist, all believing him to be prot, an alien from the planet K-Pax.

This is just a film where everything about it just feels right (well, as right as any alien can be).  The two leads both convince easily of their personas and yoou enjoy the film or what it is.

Being There – Peter Sellers stars here, in his last film, with an amazing performance playing Chance, a middle-aged man whose whole life has been spent gardening for a wealthy man in New York.  When his benefactor dies, Chance is forced to leave and the film shows his experiences of life in the outside world.

I just liked the simplicity of the lead role in this film, showing a man who couldn’t grasp the basic shenanigans than mankind displays and Chance’s innocence and naivety shines through with his words of wisdom, which often makes me smile wryly when others misinterpret them.  A gentle understated film that shows that Sellers could actually act, and act well.

The Green Mile - This film drama, adapted from Stephen King's book (of the same name), shows life inside an american death row penitentiary from the viewpoint of one of the correction officers, Paul Edcombe (Tom Hanks), and he time when John Coffey arrives at death row convicted for raping and killing two young white girls.

This film is again, another 'slow burner' but one where it is a joy to watch the officers interact with each other, and you even laugh with them when they make an unpopular fellow officer, called Percy Wetmore (a cruel, sadistic and cowardly person) suffer for his treatment of the prisoners.

Master & Commander : The Far side of the World - Well, Russell Crowe again, but in my opinion, deservedly so.

An american historical drama where the plot and characters are taken from Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series.  Captain 'Lucky Jack' Aubrey (Russell Crowe) has been ordered to locate the french privateer Acheron and to 'Sink, burn, or take her as prize'.
Again, the whole cast are perfectly chosen and gel so well together, as we follow the pursuit.  The HMS Surprise encounters the Acheron three times, being damaged the first, and barely escaping the second time before the third meeting.

Well my friends, there is my list such as it is.  It was difficult having to leaveout so many, and those missing out by a close whisker were The Matrix (either the first or second), The Day the Earth Stood Still (the black & white version) and Somewhere in Time (yes, I do watch romantic films too) and Tim (starring an very young Mel Gibson).

Thought for the Day

"Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you're in."
Courtney Cox Monica on "Friends"

Others in my Top Ten list  Films  :  Books  :  Comedy Moments  :  Music

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