Ten of the best


Top Ten lists are sort of something I enjoy doing, especially at the end of each year.  But Top Ten Favourite Movies of all time?  Harder.  I used to have a list a while back of which some of the movies below used to appear on.  Yet I gave up putting them in a particular order as they are so different some of them, comparing is impossible.  So find below Ten movies I think have had the greatest effect on me, either growing up, inspiring me (writing, movie tastes) or just hitting me on an emotional level.

fight-club

Fight Club

Made me a big fan of the movies of David Fincher and has arguably Edward Norton’s finest turn.  Style, effects work in a movie that didn’t need it, a great soundtrack, that twist and endlessly quotable.

Gran Torino

Emotional, heart-wrenching, funny, touching with one of Eastwood’s best performances.  The cast of newcomers surrounding him are also first-rate.

gran torino

21 Grams

Complex and twist-filled with three stunning performances (especially Naomi Watts) and a script that is quite literally genius.  Tough going but well worth the journey.

21grams

Pulp Fiction

Possibly still my all time favourite movie.  The dialogue is amazing, funny, very cool and  believable.  The sound track is stuff of legend and performances across the board are superb.

pulpfiction

Leon

Natalie Portman’s debut.  Ice-cool, Gary Oldman’s looniest but greatest villain, Jean Reno as a lovable assassin and Luc Besson on stunning form.

leon

Annie Hall

All of Woody Allen’s best ideas, cleverest dialogue and touching observations rolled into one perfect movie.  Diane Keaton is excellent and Allen has never been funnier.

Annie-Hall

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

James Cameron fully realising Terminator … stunning effects work, amazing action sequences, Arnie at his best, Linda Hamilton as the most bad-ass female role model since Ellen Ripley.  The ultimate sci-fi blockbuster.

terminator 2

Blue Velvet

Weird but one of David Lynch’s most coherent works, with a great cast (Hopper is just plain nuts) and haunting music and a dream-like atmosphere.  Sexy and disturbing just how Lynch should be.

blue-velvet

Goodfellas

The finest gangster movie ever made, fast, packed with ideas, dialogue, people getting wacked, great dialogue and great performances throughout.  Martin Scorsese at his very best.

goodfellas

The Shining

Stunningly filmed, creepy as hell, scary, with an amazing Jack Nicholson and a true directing auteur in the shape of the late Stanley Kubrick.  The best horror movie ever made?  Quite possibly.

The-Shining

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Annie Hall


Viewed – 28 March 2012  Blu-ray

I went through a phase in the nineties of being really into the films of Woody Allen, and none more so than this 1977 Oscar-winning relationship comedy.  Allen plays struggling stand-up comedienne Alvy Singer who through the movie narrates the on off romance he has with Annie (Diane Keaton), a carefree, happy-go-lucky nightclub singer who Alvy at times adores, is annoyed by, and also finds irresistible … and it’s not hard to see why.

The movie is not your straight forward boy-meets-girl love story however, but more a satirical look at a very believable relationship, through its ups and downs, break-ups, make-ups and everything in between.  For me it remains Woody Allen’s most perfectly written, cleverly played out and engrossing movie he’s made.  Some I think don’t always get Allen’s brand of angst-ridden, nervous humour, and although it’s rarely laugh-out-loud, it has a charm to it he’s carried throughout his career, which is one reason why he still manages to turn critics heads and get rave reviews to this day (Midnight In Paris, for example).  Here though he’s at his inventive best, offering to the camera anecdotes, inventive use of split-screen, animation and just plain clever-ass dialogue that references everything from Groucho Marx to the JFK assassination, and kept this viewer smiling.  Performances are also first class, especially from a captivating Keaton, who sparks brilliantly off Allen’s at times motor-mouthed, scatter-shot version of himself.  The movie has been cited as being semi-autobiographical, an easy thing to believe considering Keaton & Allen’s real-life relationship, that spawned a succesful on-screen partnership until they parted ways years later.

Annie Hall for me is the best movie ever made about a single relationship, and captures the complexity, the fun and the sadness just right.  One of my all-time favourite movies, and watching it again was like visiting an old friend.

This recently released Blu-ray from MGM however, is a disappointment.  The picture is serviceable at best (although this is a very natural looking movie so vivid colours and razor-sharp image quality was never going to happen) and the audio has some minor lip-sync issues if you’re paying close enough attention.  Thankfully there doesn’t seem any post-processing work done and grain looks intact.  Extra features?  If you call the theatrical trailer an extra feature, then sorry … that’s all you’re getting.  A shame considering this movie’s legacy – where’s the documentaries, the interviews?  Very poor indeed.

Verdict:

(the movie) 5 /5

(the blu-ray) 2 /5