Monday, July 30, 2012

My Top 20 Favourite Movies of All Time


A while ago, I did the book equivalent of this list (with the Top 10) and I thought it was about time I did this version. You may have noticed that this list has twice as many items. I tried, I really did, to just have a top 10, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. In fact, I have a runners up list that is almost as long as this main list.

Now, this list is not a "Best Movies of all Time" list. I need to make that clear. I am well aware that not all the movies on this list can even be categorised as "good", but call them my guilty pleasures. So without further ado here are my "Top 20" movies that I just can't say no to (in no particular order).

1. Back to the Future

I don't know what it is about these movies (especially the first), but I can't take my eyes off them. There just so fun and wacky. What's not to love about Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox blundering around different time periods. It's like Doctor Who without the aliens.

2. Clue

Tim Curry. Murder mystery. Parody of a murder mystery. Shout outs to the game. Multiple endings. What's not to love? Definitely in my Top 10 underrated films of all time.

 3. Spirited Away

I'm enchanted with most of Studio Ghibli's movies to be honest. But Spirited Away has always been one of my favourites. I almost had Grave of the Fireflies on this list too, but it's such a sad movie that I might not watch it to stop myself getting depressed. I recommend it though, just be aware that you'll probably end up moping around the house in a funk for a week after. Spirited Away on the other-hand  is a good combination of light-hearted, whimsical and dark aspects. There are definitely some incredibly terrifying moments in it if you look too closely, but I will never turn down this movie.

4. The Road to El Dorado

Again this one beat out another (The Quest for Camelot) for a spot. Both of the films are ones that my friends and I enjoy and will watch almost anytime we meet. It's usually just a toss up between the two, however I chose El Dorado simply because I prefer it when watching alone. (By now, you're probably very aware of my love for adventure-comedies).

5. Jaws

As well as adventure-comedies I am a huge fan of shark movies. And what kind of fan would I be if Jaws wasn't my favourite. I'm also a fan of Deep Blue Sea, but Jaws wins hands-down. Not to mention, Jaws has Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss. On a side note, I do like the second Jaws movie. I'm not saying it can compare to the first, but on its own it is enjoyable. The third is terrible, easily the worst Jaws film (other than the the rip-offs) and finally the fourth movie is okay. It has huge plot holes and is really not a great movie, but compare it to other shark movies and it makes a competent b-movie.

6. Kung Fu Panda

Jack Black as a fan-boy panda who loves kung-fu. What part of that sentence is not awesome?! I do prefer the second movie, as it is a little darker and I prefer the villain. Also, all the characters have already been established so they just get straight into the story. But, I put the first on my list, because it was the reason I fell in love with the movie series.

7. Little Shop of Horrors

The tagline says it all- "A Singing Plant. A Daring Hero. A Sweet Girl. A Demented Dentist." All with musical numbers. I love these kinds of movies. I know that a lot of people prefer Rocky Horror to Little Shop, but I find the former to be just too weird. Whereas this movie has a plot, Rocky Horror is a sort of very adult version of Alice in Wonderland, with a demented, transvestite Tim Curry. Little Shop has Rick Moranis and a sadistic dentist played by Steve Martin. Plus a carnivorous alien plant that tempts you to feed it human flesh by singing. I love this movie.

8. The Mummy

Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah team up to fight a mummy. A brief cameo by Omid Djalili. Ha, a dream movie. The second is still good, not as good as the first, but still okay. The third? Let's never speak of it again.

9. Rango

Johnny Depp as a thespian-loving chameleon. Do I even need to add anything?

10. The Secret Garden

I am still as enchanted with this film as when I was a child. However, a warning to all those who watch this film- it will make you want to find your own secret garden and start talking to woodland animals.

11. The Swan Princess

This was one of the first films I remember watching. It was right up there with Disney. My memory was of the French version (I grew up partly in Paris) and I didn't even watch the English version until my early teens. I still love this film just as much as I always have. In fact, this is the film my friends and I put on when we've had a horror movie marathon. A bit of mood whiplash maybe, but you should know that neither myself nor my friends are good with horror. Maybe we should just stop renting them?


12. Thoroughly Modern Millie/ Auntie Mame

Yes, this is a bit of a cheat, but oh well. If I had to choose it would be Auntie Mame, but I love the style of both of these films. If you haven't seen these classics please do. But be aware, they're long- Auntie Mame is about 2 and a half hours long.

13. Bugsy Malone

I have nothing bad to say about this film. I adore it. On a side note, I always wanted one of the cars they "drive".

14. Cats Don't Dance

One of my top favourite children's' films. I remember having a very old VHS tape of this, back when you could still get them. Still very charming.

15.  Coraline

I adore these kinds of films. The odd mix of fantasy, adventure and some dark aspects paired with the absolutely stunning animation. I actually own both the 2D and 3D versions of this movie. The 3D does actually work fyi, though it can be a little jarring in some places.

16. Fantastic Mr. Fox

This was one of my sister's favourite books as a child and, while I didn't love it quite so much, I still have a lot of nostalgia for the book. Now the movie could easily be argued to be a completely different story altogether. The basic premise is the same, but of course they had to expand on the story to make it movie length, using a huge amount of creative license and a lot of adaptations. However, while this doesn't always work, this time I think the movie works great with the changes. When I watch Matilda the movie based off the book, I can't help feeling that it's lost a lot of what made the story so great (most of the dark elements and a lot of the characters' personalities are changed slightly) to make it more kid friendly and add in a few extra laughs. Fantastic Mr. Fox  has a more adult method and works so much better because of it. The characters are all memorable, the animation is great and the added quirks are hilarious. I would say younger viewers may be a little bored watching this though, just because there isn't always a huge amount going on.

17. Chicken Run

I don't know why I love movie. I really don't. All I know is that I can't take my eyes off it when it's on.

18. A Perfect Getaway/ Fear Island

Yes I know, another cheat, but they're basically the same movie. I adore thrillers. And murder mystery thrillers especially. I am aware that these films are not great films by any means, but they're entertaining and that's all I ask for. If I had to choose one, it would be A Perfect Getaway, mostly just because I love Steve Zahn.

19. Lake Placid

And to some extent the second as well. Yes, these are definitely B-movies. Maybe you're wondering what makes these croc films any better than the army of others out there. Simple- the characters. Yes, some of them are unbelievably annoying and the acting is hammy, etc, etc. But what I love is that absolutely EVERYONE in these films have some form of sarcasm going on. And this makes the interactions between the characters entertaining enough. Then if you start to get annoyed by a character, they're usually killed off pretty quickly. Win, win.

20. Meet the Robinsons

"I know! I'll turn him into a duck! Hahaha! It's so deliciously evil!....But I don't know how to do that. And I don't really need a duck."

Enough said. Entertaining nonsense at its best.

Runners Up

1. The Neverending Story
2. Down with Love
3. Monsters Inc
4. The BFG
5. The Wind in the Willows (1995 version with Alan Bennett, Michael Palin and Michael Gambon)
6. The Secret of Nihm
7. Sahara (I love Steve Zahn okay)
8. The Adventures of Tintin (I love Tintin. Read the comics all the time when I was younger. I love Jamie Bell. Jamie Bell as Tintin. The perfect combination.)
9. Frozen (the soundtrack is a huge part of why this film is so good. I know a lot of people said it was unrealistic, but 1. if you look up the details it's really not and 2. creative license. The only reason it's not in my top list is because it's a hard movie to watch. There are some pretty horrific scenes, so it's not the kind of film you want to watch often.)
10. Grave of the Fireflies (again didn't make it onto the list because it's a hard to film to watch. This is one of the saddest films I have ever watched.)
11.Deep Blue Sea
12. The Prince of Egypt
13. West Side Story
14. Get Smart (with Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway)
15. Lilo and Stitch (a very realistic- except for the aliens- portrayal of a broken family and a little girl's journey to find a friend.)
16. The Great Mouse Detective (dark, funny and very entertaining. Disney at its best.)
17. The Bourne Identity
18. Finding Nemo
19. Kiki's Delivery Service (very much a feel-good film).

And there we have it. My Top 20 Favourite Movies of All Time, plus 19 extra. Hope you enjoyed reading.