It’s been a while, old friend. But I’m back – blogging, writing, complaining, gushing… Whatever.
As a way to dip my toes back into the world of bloggage, I thought I’d start with a few countdowns. So I took to social networks and I was given a couple of ideas for topics.
This one was suggested by my good pal, Ian Nesbit (@i_nesbot) – who has a lovely little Red Bubble store that you can check out here, for all your filmy, televisiony, comicy, nerdy needs.
Anyway. On with the fucking list.
*NOTE:- This will contain ‘threequels’ in some cases*
10. Evil Dead II (1987. Dir – Sam Raimi)
While I’m totally alienated by the horror genre in general – Sam Raimi’s approach to production and direction – of his horror work in particular, is something I really hold dear. Sure, everyone says there’s a ‘charm’. But there fucking is, ok? Evil Dead II, although is more or less a retread of its predecessor – Actually surpasses it with its downright mental hilarity, creative effects work and offbeat style. Groovy means groovy.
09. Aliens (1986. Dir – Jim Cameron)
Staying with the horror genre, so to speak. Ridley Scott’s beautifully constructed ‘Alien’ is among my favourite movies of all time. But with its sequel, James Cameron fucked that whole concept up the poop schute, and elevated it to gun-toting, ooh-ra chanting heaven. Additionally solidifying Ellen Ripley as a certified bad ass. It’s amazing how two films can be so vastly different, but so ball-achingly awesome aswell.
‘Awesome Jim Cameron’ – RIP
08. Toy Story 3 (2010. Dir – Lee Unkrich)
Oh, Toy Story. You beautiful bastard. No other film series has resonated with or affected me more than this. On surface a kids film, but deep down there’s a whole other level of just how much this series rocks. After two belters, in 2010 they give us the masterpiece. I’m not going to justify by any means why this film is on the list. It should really be on everyone’s. The last 20-15 minutes, in particular, struck a chord with me I believe no other film has ever done. And that, alone, is something as a movie lover I will treasure.
07. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade (1989. Dir. Steven Spielberg)
Welcome to big school. A lot of people seem to shit all over Indy prequel/sequel ‘Temple’, due to its missing sense of ‘adventure’ that was so richly prominent throughout ‘Raiders’. But with ‘Crusade’, there’s a welcome return. Couple that with the addition of Sean Connery in one of his most memorable roles – you’ve got a recipe for success.
06. ‘Lord Of The Rings – The Two Towers’ (2003. Dir – Peter Jackson)
Normally I consider Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy to be one complete body of work. However I felt I needed to include this particular choice on the list or I’d be fussing over whether to edit it or remove it. Whatever. So, yeah. Helms Deep, Gandalf’s return, Gollum, the rise of Aragorn. It’s all there. And yes, I’ll highly recommend the extended cut, thankyou.
05. ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004. Dir. Sam Raimi)
Raimi again! Where upping the ante is concerned, Spidey 2 is one of the most recent examples of how to get it so perfectly right. Peter’s (Tobey Maguire) dilemmas with being a superhero, caring for his lonely Aunt, his career, his love life, his guilt over events of the first movie and going toe to toe with an idol of his (Fred Molina) – is placed so precisely well throughout the course of the film, that it never seems to lose any traction. Keeping all those elements relevant to the entirety of the film’s plot. The action/effects are also leagues ahead of Raimi’s original. Particularly the train fight between Peter and Octavius. Check out the extended cut on You Tube for certains. Then thank me with money and praisings.
04. ‘The Godfather Part 2’ (1974. Dir – Francis Ford Coppola)
Considered to be one of the greatest films of the 20th century – ‘Godfather 2’ has one of my favourite film stories of all time. I love a good downfall movie. Newly donned…um… Don – Michael, completely unravels in perhaps Al Pacino’s most iconic, and best performance ever. Running parallel with the story of his father Vito’s escape from his hometown and settlement in America. A stellar turn by Bob De Niro. Though I’m a bigger fan of the first film, Godfather 2 is without question one that all filmmakers would aspire to.
03. The Empire Strikes Back (1980. Dir – Irvin Kershner)
Course I was gonna have fucking Star Wars in here…. What I love about Empire is that though tonally it’s drastically different from A New Hope, it seems to just seamlessly blend with past (and future) events. Everyone’s on top form here, particularly Hamill and Ford. The standout aspect for me though is the movie’s dialogue and interaction between characters. The script is sublime. Oh, and there’s awesome fucking battles involving giant mechanical walkers, lightsabers and laser shooters – peow peow!
02. ‘Back To The Future Part II’ (1989. Dir – Robert Zemeckis)
GLOVER REPLACEMENT! WELLS REPLACEMENT! Ah, shut up. This is always a winner for me. Sure there are some questionable elements that a lot of people take criticism with. I adore the filmmaker’s depiction of the future, the ramifications of the now infamous ‘Gray Sports Almanac’, Marty & Doc’s comedically heartwarming and lovable chemistry – in addition to the call backs to the first movie. It’s a time travel movie done right and then some.
01. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008. Dir – Christopher Nolan)
“What about escalation?”…. Quizzed Gary Oldman’s Lt. Jim Gordon at the end of Nolan’s new vision of the Caped Crusader. Yes, escalation is exactly what they aimed for and high-fived that bitch so hard its hand ceased to exist. ‘The Dark Knight’ is by a loooong mile my favourite sequel of all time. A few character nitpicks aside, the story is faultless in my opinion. It deals with an interesting study into Bale’s Bruce Wayne, and how far he could be pushed, as well as the city he protects – to its limits. Though I can gush on about Heath Ledger’s immortal portrayal of The Joker, the movie itself is also benefitted by its superb casting and screenplay by Nolan and his brother Jonathan. The theme of the film is ‘escalation’. And one thing I love about Chris Nolan’s storytelling is how he uses some of his movies as a living example of these themes. (See – ‘Memento’, ‘The Prestige’). This is another prime example. Here, it feels like a gradual rush – a shot of adrenaline, perhaps. Toward a dizzying high of tension, emotion and unnerving… Until everything comes crashing down in complete devastation. It’s a simple, yet really, really effective and clever method of film making.