Top Ten Favourite Movies


I’ve hesitated for a while about doing a ten favourite movies of all time, as I find my list can change. However there’s always been certain titles that will always be there. So I thought I’d finally compile a list. These are not necessarily the ‘best’ movies ever made, but movies I personally enjoy watching. In reverse order of greatness…

10

Blue Velvet

Still for me the definitive David Lynch experience. Easier to follow for his style of movie but still weird, dream-like and mesmerising.

9.

American Psycho

Although I find the book overly graphic and just not as interesting, Christian Bale’s electrifying performance makes this highly re-watchable, quotable and perversely entertaining.

8.

Goodfellas

The perfect mob movie. Energetic, fascinating, shocking, and with all-round great performances. The star of the show however is Martin Scorsese’s expert direction.

7.

Dazed & Confused

The ultimate ‘comfort movie’ for me. I love watching this and chilling out to the music, the characters and the laid-back seventies vibe. A great snapshot of a time and place that’s endlessly watchable.

6.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

The ultimate action movie. Possibly the greatest sequel of all time. James Cameron’s slick direction, amazing action, stunning effects. This has it all.

5.

The Big Lebowski

My favourite Coen Brothers movie, a great chill-out movie, massively quotable, very funny with one of the greatest double acts ever put on screen.

4.

Back to the Future

So much nostalgia for this as it formed my childhood. Doesn’t seem to age, is still as fun and re-watchable as ever. Just one of the most enjoyable movies ever made with the other great double-act of Michael J Fox & Christopher Lloyd.

3.

Leon

One of the coolest thrillers ever made. A star making debut from Natalie Portman, a badass Jean Reno and Luc Besson’s super-slick direction. This also has my favourite Gary Oldman performance.

2.

Pulp Fiction

Still Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. An ingeniously woven crime opus, great performances all round, cool music. What’s not to love?

1.

Almost Famous

Another great ‘comfort movie’ for me. That seventies vibe, a charming, funny and feel good coming-of-age drama that is just so satisfying with great performances and so many memorable moments. Love this movie.

Everything, Everywhere, All At Once


Viewed – 08 June 2022 Cinema

I was quite hyped going into this. This tells the story of Evelyn, a middle aged Chinese woman who runs a laundromat with her husband and father, who is in spiralling debt and being leaned on by the local IRS. However during one meeting to work out her finances, another version of her husband contacts her and tells her he’s from another universe, explaining that there are many more multiverses where Evelyn’s life turned out differently and that he needs her to help him stop a looming threat.

We’re probably accustomed to the concept of the multiverse with movies like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man No Way Home. However this movie takes that idea to the extreme, creating a chaotic and quite bonkers experience. Hong Kong Cinema veteran Michelle Yeoh delivers a commendably demanding performance, that although her grasp of English isn’t great, physically she’s put through the ringer in many dazzling and intricately edited sequences. With all the multiverse stuff the movie jumps rapidly from place to place as Evelyn adopts various abilities, including Kung Fu. The various action scenes are imaginative, well choreographed and often hilarious. The ideas here clearly come from a pretty out-there mind as we get fights with dildos, and at one stage a Chihuahua used like a whip! Jamie Lee Curtis proves memorable as the IRS lady, and movie legend James Hong also makes an extended appearance.

I did feel this got a bit much after a while. The concept means that the possibilities are endless but doesn’t mean a movie need go that far. Also why things were happening got a bit muddled – at times it’s simply odd for the sake of being odd (a multiverse with everyone with hotdogs for fingers!). I was entertained though, just maybe a little restraint would have gone a long way.

Verdict: Good

Uncharted


Viewed – 16 February 2022 Cinema

I certainly consider myself a fan of the games, especially the 2nd and 4th instalments, so the prospect of a big screen adaptation seemed obvious, even though it’s taken years to get off the ground. Here petty-thief turned adventurer Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) teams up with an old friend of his brother’s, named Sully (Mark Wahlberg) who lets him in on a quest to find some long lost treasure.

Immediately the sheer likability of Holland sells the movie. I don’t consider him much like the Nathan Drake of the games, but he carries his own in a charismatic, physical turn that proves him as a credible lead. Wahlberg surprised as I also didn’t initially think he bared much resemblance of the game’s Sully … but he delivers a lovable-rogue that comes across very much like the character in the games, albeit a younger version. There’s also plenty of action with fights, chases and a few stand out set pieces including a memorable one that opens the movie.

The story for me, apart from a mystery surrounding Nathan’s missing brother, was fairly typical and not that interesting when compared to similar movies. Also, the movie trips itself up in its villain casting, with a woefully under-used Antonio Banderas. Overall, this was still fun, delivered a fairly faithful interpretation of the games and proved once again that Holland is a star. Just a shame it doesn’t have a great deal of personality to call its own.

Verdict: Good

Top Ten 2021


It’s that time of year again! What with the pandemic, I feel it’s been a weird year movie release-wise and getting to the cinema has been a struggle. However I watched a total of 79 movies this year (new and old) and coming up with my ten favourite wasn’t easy.

However, the list below are the movies I enjoyed the most. A few may also be slightly older than 2021…

10.

Free Guy

9.

The Empty Man

8.

The Mitchells Vs The Machines

7.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

6.

Cruella

5.

Dune

4.

No Time To Die

3.

Raya and the Last Dragon

2.

The Father

Drum roll…

1

Last Night in Soho

There you have it. Of the movies I was disappointed by in 2021…. There was Bill & Ted Face the Music, Nomadland and Censor.

Happy New Year folks!

Craig.

Safety Last!


Viewed – 03 July 2021 Blu-ray

I’ve not watched many movies of the classic ‘silent’ era, but have in the past year started taking an interest in the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. So I now come to Harold Lloyd. I remember catching some of his short films on TV as a kid, with the ‘Hurray For Harold Lloyd’ jingle that went with them sticking in my head. This 1923 feature is possibly his most famous, with the iconic dangling-from-a-clock-face image stuff of cinematic legend, which went on to influence Jackie Chan’s similar stunt in Project A.

don’t look down…

Lloyd plays a small town guy with dreams of making it big in the city. Leaving his fiancé behind with the promise of sending for her when he’s made it, Lloyd soon gets a small time job at a department store. However as time passes he sells the idea that he’s some big shot to his fiancé back home, leading to her turning up unexpectedly. This causes Lloyd to have to pretend he’s the manager of the store, which gets more and more complicated, leading to him to performing a stunt by climbing the outside of the twelve story building.

Gentle in its humour and with a rather typical set up, this still proved very entertaining. Lloyd’s relatable everyman persona is charming and fun, and the down-town Los Angeles setting is especially fascinating when you consider the age of this movie. Of course the second half, taken up almost entirely by the famous building climb is something to behold, and although it was mostly achieved with camera trickery, Lloyd’s physical skill sells the danger and the comedy brilliantly.

The Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection is packed. Firstly the movie itself is given a new 2k restoration, with a musical score by composer Carl Davis, created in 1989. We also get an in-depth introduction from Lloyd’s granddaughter Suzanne Lloyd, a fascinating audio commentary from critic Leonard Maltin and filmmaker Richard Correll. Add to this a 107 minute documentary about Harold Lloyd called ‘The Third Genius’ and three newly restored shorts … and along with a detailed booklet, interviews and a special effects featurette – this is a must for any fan of the era.

Verdict:

(the movie) Recommended

(the Blu-ray) Essential