Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Some Films I Like

Here's some films I like! Yay me!

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1983) 

Iconic. That’s the only word fit to describe the first Star Wars sequel, directed by the late, great Irvin Kershner. Perhaps telling that Lucas had less involvement with this one that it’s considered the greatest, but regardless of that fact, Empire is without a doubt one of sci-fi’s greatest gamechangers. From the opening Imperial victory on the snowy battlegrounds of Hoth to that duel above Bespin, Empire was always remembered as the one where the bad guys win.

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

So the dialogue is still terrible, the acting equally dire and the plot slightly contrived. Revenge of the Sith isn’t a great film by any such standards, but nevertheless it remains one of my favourite. It ties up the saga, slotting nicely between Attack of the Clones and A New Hope, and is bursting with some pretty damn good action scenes (including the intensely climactic Anakin vs. Obi-Wan duel; the longest of its time). To be honest, this one’s more of a childhood memory thing, but it’s still not as bad as The Phantom Menace.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) 

And of course, there had to be a Harry Potter film here somewhere. But which to choose? Certainly, Deathly Hallows would have been next; Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix wouldn’t be too low down on the list either. But Azkaban prevails purely for its rebooting of the series, from ditching the uniforms to werewolves and Sirius Black. Yes, this was the one where everything started getting darker, but it worked. The script was the best of the lot too, injecting a fine balance of humour and intensity. And, for once, the kids’ acting wasn’t that abysmal.

Cloverfield (2008) 

The first JJ Abrams-related film I saw was Cloverfield. Release day, I was there, eagerly awaiting the much-hyped handicam monster movie. My response? Well, let’s just say I went to see it again the day after. I couldn’t get enough - the style; the mystery; the frantic fright of the unknown leads as they struggled their way through a devastated New York. I could honestly watch this film day in, day out for weeks and never become bored with it. A risky masterpiece, Cloverfield is an acquired taste, but it’s one I’ll never grow sick of.

Public Enemies (2009) 

What I like about Johnny Depp is his ability to play such a varied range of characters (even if they are all slight variants of himself). From the nervous, secluded Edward Scissorhands to the eccentric swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp never disappoints. The same is true here, where he plays iconic bank robber John Dillinger. Another stunner from Michael Mann, the cinematography and soundtrack in particular delight, and the climax is unforgettable. A modern great.

127 Hours (2011) 

A film that deserves one hundred and twenty seven stars, James Franco delivers the performance of his career in a superbly directed piece by Danny Boyle. Somehow it all works; it’s just one guy trapped in a canyon, but everything - even the dreaded amputation scene - slides together blissfully. Boyle manages to pull off a film where the main antagonist is a rock, so naturally, it's yet another modern masterpiece from the acclaimed director.

In hindsight, this list appears exceedingly mainstream. I think it’s high time I altered my viewing habits…

But nevertheless, I'd still give four or five stars to all of these. The only exception might be Revenge of the Sith; with my critical head on, it would probably only merit three. The nostalgia warrants its place here, but that's the problem with this list. It's films *I* like. People will inevitably disagree, because while a film might be a cherished memory, it might also be crap.

Though aside from a couple of love-it-hate-it entries (Cloverfield anyone?), the majority of this list has gained pretty favourable reviews.

Any thoughts?


  1. Mate, Abrams didn't direct or write Cloverfield. Just thought you'd want to know

  2. No, but it was still produced by him. I meant the first film I saw with Abrams' involvement :) cheers though