Number 5. - Chinatown
There's something in the whole tone of this neo-noir that I found captivating the first time I saw it. Chinatown's narrative is expertly constructed around a series of sub plots that trust the intelligence of the viewer, and although Jack Nicholson's superbly portrayed "J.J Gittes" is always 2 steps ahead of the audience, the result is an intriguing though sadly rare cinema experience. And Chinatown is just that......... an experience. It's a film which captures the era in which it is set so beautifully, that it could just as well have been made in the 1940's, and yet it does this without looking nostalgic or camp, as so many films of this genre do. This film deserves to be seen by everyone, and the plot twists which take Gittes along on a ride are genius. 10 out of 10.
Number 4. - Where Eagles Dare
Like my dad always says: "Son...... you can't beat a good war film", and sadly, many of them aren't very good. But one which truly stands out for me, is the 1968 Where Eagles Dare. It's the ultimate boys movie, full of what a friend of mine would describe as "all the things mark likes: Guns, Bombs, Chases and Cool Shit". The "cool shit" is provided by the oozing suaveness of the brilliant Richard Burton, and his co-star, my old hero, Clint Eastwood. It might not be an Oscar winner, nor may it be as beneficial to those interested in world war 2 as say, the longest day, or downfall, but it's a film which stays true to the original story by Alistair Maclean, and as a result is a real gem of an action film, full of nazis, plot twists, spys, cable-cars and castles.
The stair case duel wielding scene is a particular highlight!
Number 3. - Back To The Future
As much as I look for a fault in this film, I am unable to find one, It is brilliantly, scripted and the casting is perfect. It's a slyly smart, funny family comedy which deserves to credited among the best films which Hollywood has ever produced.
"You mean to tell me...... That you built a time machine..... out of a Delorean?!?!"
Number 2. - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Perhaps the wrong reason to inspire someone into a career... yet it worked for me. Indiana Jones has been one of my favourite film series for as long as I can remember, and to be honest, apart from number 4, which was crap, I could have chosen any of them to appear on this list. Now I'm aware that Raiders is perhaps the most critically acclaimed, and that the Last crusade is most people's favourite because of Sean Connery's exquisite performance as Indi's dad, yet still for me, Temple of Doom by far outshines the others. It's strength lies in the fact that instead of following the success of Raiders with another comic book style, globe hopping adventure, Lucas and Spielberg decided, and bravely so, to go much, much darker. And if you can stomach the child slavery, monkey brain dinners, bad bug infestations and careless open heart surgery, and as a child.... I could............. just about.... then this film is one hell of an entertaining ride.
My favourite scene is without a doubt the brilliantly done "spikey death room" scene.... in which the suspense is made even more exhilarating by the brilliant score conducted by John Williams. A scene which for me, far outshines any sequence that was included in raiders, or last crusade.
Number 1. - Big Trouble in Little China
Before I begin to explain this film...... It might be best if you all take a look at this:
Critically this film was panned.... and it's easy to see why. Bad points include:
The script is corny in its best parts
Most of the action revolves around people flying in and out on wires
The love interest is played by Kim Cattrall (that slag from sex and the city)
Kurt Russell plays the main character as some kind of John Wayne pastiche
His friends know all kinds of awesome kung-fu, even though they work in a restaurant.
The film assumes the audience will readily believe ancient Chinese wizards run around L.A blowing things up and building huge fortresses without anyone knowing.
Yet, these are the things which make this film great. Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is perhaps one of the best action heroes I've ever seen in any movie. He's likeable, able, and funny.... and some of the dialogue he utters is so corny that it's brilliant. People running up and down walls is awesome. A young Kim Cattrall is hot. Emulating John Wayne allows for some excellent character development for Burton. and who doesn't like wizards? everyone loves Harry Potter after all (apart from me).
Here is a film which sits back and says to its audience: "Hey, this is by no means an Oscar winner..... but if you just sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride, what you'll get is a movie to remember"
When I first saw it, my old man had recorded it off the TV for me as it was on past my bed time (aww). I think I watched so many times that the tape ate itself.... anyway.... Big trouble in Little China was for me no more.... years later, I was in HMV.... and there it was.... in a bargain bin for £2:99. And you know..... of all the DVD's I have in my ever growing collection, this one truely is my all time favourite..... I think I might put it on right now.