Apr 30, 2011

30 Days of Film (1): My Top 10 Films In No Order

Sin City
A ton of people dismiss this film and I don't get why. The story is fantastic, the style is awesome, and it mirrors the source material almost perfectly. Not to mention the all star cast list. How does the story avoid cast issues though? It is actually based off of 3 graphic novels, giving the film a grindhouse feel with 3 self contained stories, although they all take place in the same city.

District 9
Holy crap this movie is amazing. First things first, the editing is top notch, switching from various cameras that actually feel like they are there, giving the film a unique feel. Next is the special effects, which are absolutely astounding. Finally, the story line. It allows the aliens in the film to be developed as characters, rather than mindless beasts, and also presents a new take on blatant racism.

Aliens
The sequel that surpassed the first film as far as story was concerned, and it did so without destroying everything that was established in the first film. It also managed to genre jump, which most franchises don't even dream of doing, with the first film being a horror flick and this one changing to an action packed sci-fi dream. This film is parodied through out science fiction culture, and for good reason.

My Cousin Vinny
Probably one of the best comedy's ever, even with the simple plot. The plot follows a murder in Alabama and the two boys driving through the south on their way to west coast for college as they are pinned for the murderers. Luckily, one of them has a lawyer in the family. However, he isn't all that he seems to be when it is revealed that he has never been taken to trail before. The remainder of the film plays out in a some what obscure manner, and is definitely worth the watch. However, stay away from TV edited versions.

Wall-E
Pixar's true crowning achievement in film making. Sure they pioneered the 3D animation craze that has been sweeping across theaters, but Wall-E drove home the fact that Pixar could do more than just amazing visuals with such a superb story. The fact that Pixar could get you attached to characters who barely even spoke further drives home the point that Pixar has amazing storytellers. Sure, the movie might be considered 'preachy' depending on who you ask, but it is a movie people, let go of you ambitions and world view for a couple hours!

Toy Story
The movie wow'd people when it first hit theaters, even the skeptics. That isn't where the magic of this film comes to life though. The magic comes to life when you view the film today, years after the technology was considered new, and see just how well the film holds up. Tim Allen and Tom Hanks are absolutely fantastic, and their roles still hold up based on the two equally stunning sequels.

Galaxy Quest
I know it may seem a bit odd to find a parody on this list, but this movie does it so well, and there is an amazing cast to boot too. This movie is truly the film that made fell in love with Alan Rickman, and is also the first appearance of a very young, yet still charismatic, Justin Long. The film follows a group of washed up actors from a cult TV show obviously knocking off Star Trek as they are thrust into the very real world of space combat that they lived for years on a TV set. Sure the premise is simple, but the execution and pokes at science fiction itself make the film memorable.

The Book of Eli
I would be lying if I said this movie didn't influence my novel. The film follows Eli, a traveler played by Denzel Washington, as he travels through the remains of humanity to Alcatraz to deliver one of the last remaining Bibles in the world to the archivers there. What I love about this film the most is the 'twist', which you can see from a mile away if you pay attention. Gary Oldman and Mila Kunis also show up, with Oldman playing the bad guy who wants the Bible for himself so he can be viewed as a herald to a small town he founded, and Kunis taking a drastic step away from her 'That 70's Show' roots.

Finding Forrester
Sean Connery. That would be all I would have to say, but the rest of the film is too good to ignore. The film follows a student who grew up in the Bronx as a C student in high school that no one really paid attention to outside of his basketball skills. Then a very expensive private school notices his outstanding test scores and he decides to enroll. On the eve of his enrollment, he broke into a strangers house and left his back pack with samples of his writing in it. Little known to the rest of the world, the stranger is William Forrester, author of one of the best novels of all time. Forrester takes Jamal under his wing as a tutor and eventually becomes a friend. Without giving away too much, I highly recommend you go find this movie. Because of it's limited release it is pretty tough to come by, but it is well worth the search.

Iron Man
Excuse me, my fan boy is showing. But seriously, could you ask for a better 'first film' for a franchise? Robert Downey Jr. is cast perfectly as billionaire Tony Stark, and Gwyneth Paltrow was a great choice for Pepper Potts. Their on screen chemistry is great too. Not to mention the amazing special effects and break neck pacing as well. This movie also set up a huge event for cinema, the coming Avengers film, and I cannot wait to see how it all plays together.