All Geek To Me has been running for almost 6 months now, and I thought it was about time that I sat down and tried to write something about my Top 20 Films. I think that an individuals Top 20 Films gives you an insight into that persons personality. It is a quick, but largely useless way admittedly, to decide whether or not that person is your kind of person. I have chosen a Top 20, simply because, a Top 10 didn’t seem appropriate, I love Movies way more than that. Also, these films are in no particular order, I consider them all excellent, and I love them in different ways, perhaps not all equally, but I could watch all of them, and have, numerous times, and still feel the same way about them. This is going to be a bit of a long one, so with out further ado….
I have loved JAWS for as long as I can remember. I never really found it scary, but always found it fascinating. The film is perfectly cast, wonderfully acted, beautifully shot, and surely in the top 2 adventure films of all time. The music, the story, the USS Indianapolis speech, Quint. I can watch this film endlessly, although I probably wouldn’t take it to a dessert island, it would certainly put me off swimming. The Father of the modern blockbuster, this film, and the next choice, are, for me perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
It is a hard choice for me to choose between Raiders and JAWS as my favourite film of all time. For me, they are the finest examples of action cinema available. Raiders is responsible for certain decisions I made in my life. Along with another film on this list, Raiders began my love of ancient history, which I went on to study at University. Raiders cheers me up when I’m down, makes me forget about shitty things, or just takes me away for 2 hours for. No matter how much I watch it, it’s still perfect. I wanted to be Indy, I still do, he is the greatest action hero ever created. Spielberg really knocked it out of the park here, in fact I want to watch it now…
KING KONG (1933)
I can remember watching this when I was very young on TV. The black and white perfectly capturing a fairytale nightmare world of Skull Island, and the amazing stop motion work of Willis Obrian. Fay Wray is beautiful, who could fault Kong for falling in love with her? So sad, so exciting, hard to believe it was made in 1933. The Peter Jackson remake is good, but this is better. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to.
THE WOLF MAN (1945)
About 10 years ago I got into the Universal Monsters Classics. I had always liked monsters etc. but had never seen the old classics. My favourite has always been The Wolfman. I loved the look of the Jack Pierce make-up. When I finally saw the film, I fell in love. It’s brilliant, tragic and once more we have a monster doomed by a pretty blonde, is their a pattern emerging here? All the old classic monster films are worth watching, but The Wolfman is my favourite. I liked the recent remake by the way, few others did.
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
This is another film I happened to see when I was younger. Peter Cushion as Holmes is perfect, the story is slightly racier than other adaptations as this is a Hammer film. I love the black and white Basil Rathbone Holmes too, but Cushion in this role will always be my favourite. Very atmospheric, perfect rainy Sunday afternoon movie.
I love Vikings. This is my favourite Viking Movie. Based on a Michael Crichton book, Eaters of the Dead, itself a reinterpretation of Beowulf, 13th Warrior perhaps should be considered a guilty pleasure. No way, why feel guilty about a film this exciting and fun. Vikings vs cannibals? Why aren’t you watching this now?
Many people would pick The Dark Knight alone as the best Batman movie, I disagree. The Dark Knight is an amazing movie, but for me, Batman Begins is where it’s at. I couldn’t believe how right Christopher Nolan got this film. After years of Tim Burton weirdness and campy rubbish, Batman Begins was the perfect antidote. Bale is THE Batman, a stellar cast, and great action, and the best teaser for a sequel ever.
JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS
This is the other film that forged my love of ancient history. I have loved this film since before I could talk, and would watch it on a loop. It is in my opinion the finest example of stop motion work ever created, and by the master Ray Harryhausen. It is testament to his skill that he could make you care about, or fear the creatures he created, something the modern remake of Clash of the Titans was so poor at. JATA is a fine adventure film, and wow, that skeleton fight scene.
Goodfellas is, in my opinion, the best crime drama ever made. Great performances, a great story and fantastic music, it is Scorsese at his best. All the casts career best performances. Goodfellas has never been bettered in the mob film genre.
The funniest film I have ever seen. It stands up to repeat viewings and the cast is once again spot on. So good, many of the lines are cliché, how amazing the most of the film was improvised. Can’t wait for the sequel.
Have you seen Hotrod? You really must. It is the other film on this list that I can watch endlessly, and it makes me laugh every time.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
When I was 15, this film was the coolest film ever made. Clooney was the fucking man in this, and I don’t think he has ever been better. Two films in one, this is a cool crime thriller and a vampire horror all in one tasty package.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY
I know it’s cheating to pick all three, but you can’t really separate the greatest achievement in cinematic history. If I was forced to pick just one, it would be Fellowship of the Ring, but they are all triple A classics. I was a fan of the books since I was 11, and was very worried that the films wouldn’t live up to my high expectations. I needn’t have worried. Peter Jackson created a masterpiece of fantasy cinema. This is the best trilogy ever made, and I can’t wait till December to see The Hobbit.
THE PRINCESS BRIDE
I always mention this film to friends etc. as one of the greatest of all time, and I always get funny looks. They obviously don’t understand. The greatest sword fight ever, Andre The Giant, pirates, monsters, true love, death, resurrection, evil, good, and friendship? As you wish. One of the best films ever made… that is defiantly not inconceivable.
Russell Crowe is immense as Maximus. I love Ridley Scott, and here I believe he delivers his greatest film. I’m fascinated by The Romans, and Gladiator is a great look into ancient Rome, although it is perhaps not 100% accurate. The return to the swords and sandle epic was well over due when this came out, and for me, this eclipsed all other ancient world films that had been made before it.
BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF
Based on a true story of the beast of Gevuedan, this French film is an amazing cocktail of monster film, period drama, kung fu epic and thriller. I love love love this film. Take a pinch of Last of the Mohicans, a spoonful of Hound of The Baskervilles and pour in a large drop of Enter the Dragon, and you have a great, unexpected epic about a real life event, that remains unexplained.
I am very much aware that this film is style over content, and I don’t care at all. Based on a Frank Miller Comic, which is based on one of histories greatest events, 300 is a comic come to life. Bloody, violent, homoerotic? Awesome. I happen to love Zack Snyder, and I think this film showcases his style perfectly. This is SPARTA.
I know this only came out recently, but I just bloody love it. For me, it is the greatest, purely comic book movie ever made. This was so much fun and the end result of a 5 year plan that seemed impossible at the time. To bring 5 films and their characters together in one giant superhero slugfest was a huge risk, but Joss Whedon and Marvel managed it perfectly. I can’t wait to own this on Bluray. It needs to be in my collection.
THE DARK KNIGHT
Yes I preferred Batman Begins, but The Dark Knight was almost it’s equal. Ledgers Joker blew Nicholson out of the water, we had a great plot, great sequences, Two Face!! Perhaps 20 mins too long, but when a film is this accomplished and excellent, who cares. Surely The Dark Knight Rises will be as good, I do hope so.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN
I love Arnie. This is my favourite Arnie role. Conan isn’t a perfect representation of the Cimmerian conqueror, in fact, the recent Jason Mamoa film was closer to the Robert E Howard stories, but I love Arnie’s take. This, along with The Princess Bride, was my favourite classic fantasy film, until The Lord of the Rings. Crom!!