Steve’s Favourite Films Meme

Monday, September 25, 2006 21:12 | Filed in Memes, The Pickards

Following on from Stephen Lang’s discussion of his top ten films, I thought I’d try and come up with a list of ten favourites of my own. The only problem being that as I’m coming up with the list, I’ve got a nagging feeling that I’m missing out some tremendous films which would have been certain shoo-ins, so instead I’ll have to present to you my top ten films that came to mind this evening — in no particular order.

My Top 10 Films

Alien (1979)
A horror film, in space. In fact, not just any horror film in space, the horror film in space. The claustrophobic atmosphere in the Nostromo, the face-huggers and chest-bursters, the acidic blood; frankly, the genius. Aliens was good too, but in an entirely different genre (sci-fi action rather than horror). Shame it all went downhill from there, but we’ll not talk about Aliens vs Predator, okay?
Way Out West (1937)
I simply had to have Laurel & Hardy in here somewhere, and Way Out West moved to the top of my Laurel & Hardy list for two main reasons — the scene where Ollie steps in the puddle, and the song “The Trail Of the Lonesome Pine”, which became a theme song of the Gateshead FC fans (we used to watch Stan and Ollie films on the coach trips home). Although I’ve got to admit, Sons Of The Desert ran it pretty close.
The Lord Of The Rings (2001, 2002, 2003)
Ideally I want to count this epic trilogy as one film, because it’s one story told over about nine hours. I love pretty much everything about this — from the sublime cinematography, to the superb casting; the script adaptation to the special effects. If I absolutely had to pick a single film of the three I’d pick The Fellowship of The Ring because I prefer the storylines with just a handful of characters to the big battle scenes, but the whole lot is just wonderful. I would almost suggest this is possibly even a case where the film is better than the book (and I love the book) but for the fact that Tom Bombadil is missed out (and I understand why as he adds nothing to the plot, but I still like him).
Monty Python And The Quest For The Holy Grail (1975)
This is not the best film in the world — it’s not even the best Python film, having a particularly weak ending and a poorly constructed plot in comparison to The Life Of Brian, this is still nonetheless my favourite of the Python stable. Which other film could introduce us to The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, The Knights Who Say Nic (and demand shrubbery) and have the Keeper of The Bridge Of Death who asks questions three, such as “What is your favourite colour?”.
Heat (1995)
As action thrillers go, this has pretty much got the lot. It’s got De Niro and Pacino, for a start. It’s got smart cops, smarter criminals, meticulous planning of the heist, as well as it’s spectacular execution. Stylish, slick, and smart. In short, it’s a bloody good film.
Leon (1994)
Not quite your average gangster flick, this is about a Jean Reno lone hitman who takes in a little girl called Mathilda when her parents are killed in a drugs “thing” with a corrupt, pill-popping cop played by the wonderfully dangerous Gary Oldman. It’s a film about redemption in some ways as Leon looks to protect the little girl from her family’s killers culminating in a very bloody war between Leon and the majority of the police force.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
For any lover of Sci-Fi, and particularly 1950s B-movies, this is a film that just can’t be beat. Okay, it’s a musical so if you don’t like musicals — and usually I don’t — you might not like it, but from Richard O’Brien’s Riff Raff to Tim Curry’s sweet transvestite Frank N Furter (poor Tim Curry. In my head he’ll always be either a transvestite or a murderous clown. What an odd way to get typecast). Oh, and Christopher bloody Biggins crops up in it. But the songs are fantastic … at the late night, double-feature, picture show.
Airplane! (1980)

This was a tricky one. I don’t really like Airplane II, but I’m a fan of the Naked Gun movies which are in pretty much the same genre, but I felt for the sheer GPM ratio this was the best film, surely.

…don’t call me Shirley.

Moulin Rouge (2001)
Despite saying that I don’t like musicals, I’ve somehow managed to get two musicals in here. Well, for a start it’s got Kylie in it as the absinthe fairy; it’s got the phenomenally underrated Jim Broadbent, and when I was told I was going to see it I was expecting to hear all sorts of traditional songs in it — not pop songs fitted into the tale, like the Police’s Roxanne. Which anyone who’s been on an A-Level Biology field trip with a certain Mr Mark Fairlamb will never forget, because there was a red street light outside the window of where we were staying, so at various points when everyone was asleep, he would start singing “Roxanne” very loudly. But enough of that, ’tis a fantastic film, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s about time you did.
Snatch (2000)
I’m quite a fan of gangster flicks if they’re executed well enough and I think this one is. In common with the Guy Ritchie genre, as well as being ferociously violent, it’s also witty and very, very, well executed. Plus, like Fight Club, this is a film where you can see Brad Pitt being repeatedly punched in the face, and given that he’s been lucky enough to be more attractive (some say) than me, certainly richer than me, and the fact he’s been out with both Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, and I’ve never been out with either, and I just don’t think that’s fair, then watching him get punched in the face kind of appeals to me a little bit. He’s also a damn fine actor too, but I don’t like admitting that bit.

Bubbling Under

Bubbling under were “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest”, which is a great and very powerful film that deserves to be in any top ten of best films on merit, but is a bit too depressing to make it into my favourites list. Then we have the recent disappointment that was “Silent Hill” — a horror film that was released earlier this year which was based on a computer game. For the first two thirds of this film, this was a brooding atmospheric horror, with tension and dread building up to almost unbearable levels. Unfortunately, the film makers then decided to waste the excellent build up and crest to the end on a tidal wave of gore and special effects.

While it would have never made my list, the very worthy film about the slave ship Amistad deserves a mention too, because when I went to see it, I put on a dopey voice and said “AM-IS-TAD? Oh, it’s not about computers then”, which amused the bloke behind me so much he was still chuckling to himself about the idiot in front of him half way into the film. I could have pointed out to him that I was joking but I thought “naaah — he’s got a better story to tell his mates if I don’t!”

So there you have it — my top 10. If you want to join in the meme, leave a little note on here pointing me towards where you’ve listed your top 10.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

17 Comments to Steve’s Favourite Films Meme

  1. Steve says:

    September 25th, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    I nearly picked Holy Grail too, and I’m glad you’ve got a Jack Nicholson in there…and Alien of course…

    This could be a very good meme…

  2. Mike Cherim says:

    September 25th, 2006 at 11:31 pm

    Mine are…

    Office Space – Damn it feels good to be a gangsta.
    Forest Gump – Run Forest, Run!
    Jaws (1) – We’re gonna need a bigger boat.
    The Beach – It took me nearly half a day to make that jump.
    Big Fish – Take your shoes off and stay a while.
    Armageddon – *sniff*

    Oh, well, I can only think of six at the moment :)

  3. Brien says:

    December 13th, 2006 at 8:40 pm

    lord of the rings-epic visually stunning
    cold mountain- again visually stunning and the journey is amazing
    titanic-its gotta be on the list freaking awesome
    ben hur- go jews awesome chariot race even compared to cgi of today.
    sleeping beauty- how awesome is this film dragons, and witches oh yeah a hot unconscious girl.
    pagemaster- only flaw mr. culkin.
    crouching tiger- visually awesome beautiful music
    saving private ryan- stevo’s best work.
    star wars- 4-6 are awesome 1-3 suck
    sin city- robert hit the mark on this little gem.

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