Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The List Hero's Favourite Films of the 80's

Top ten films from the decade I was born.  My knowledge of this decade is not vast but here are 10 solid movies that I do enjoy.  Some, as I'm sure you'll realise, is fairly tongue-in-cheek and, as always, in reverse order.

10.    The Little Mermaid  (1989)

9.    See No Evil, Hear No Evil    (1989)

8.    Platoon    (1986)

7.    Running Man    (1987)

6.    Return to Oz    (1985)

5.    Amadeus    (1984)

4.    Labyrinth    (1986)

3.    Rain Man    (1988)

2.    The King of Comedy    (1983)

1.    Scarface    (1983)

Saturday, 20 November 2010

The List Hero's Favourite "non -musical" Films of the 60's

The sixties were a time when musicals were ruling the cinemas... The Sound of Music, Oliver, Jungle Book, West Side Story, Mary Poppins, Hello Dolly, and not forgetting the Beatles' films.  And, although I do enjoy some of these movies, musicals are not really for me.  So here's my top 5 sixties flicks that don't burst into song at the beginning of each scene.

5.  In the Heat of the Night  (1967)

In three words:  Racially tense drama

4.  Kes  (1969)

In three words:  British heart warmer

3.  Psycho  (1960)

In three words:  Hitchcock's iconic thriller

2.  Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?  (1966)

In three words:  One long argument

1.  Midnight Cowboy  (1969)

In three words:  before its time

Monday, 8 November 2010

The List Hero's Favourite Films of 2008

In reverse order...

20.  Let The Right One In

In three words:  Commendable Swedish flick

19.  Vicky Cristina Barcelona

In three words:  Woody Allen film

18.  Bedtime Stories

In three words:  funny kids film

17.  The Strangers

In three words:  Unintelligent, jumpy horror

16.  I've Loved You So Long

In three words:  French - hidden past

15.  Marley & Me

In three words:  You WILL cry!

14.  Waltz With Bashir

In three words:  Israeli wartime cartoon

13.  Rock N Rolla

In three words:  Ritchie done good

12.  Frost/Nixon

In three words:  Slick interview drama

11.  The Reader

In three words:  Winslet constantly naked

10.  Front of the Class

In three words:  Teaching with Tourette's

9.  Gran Torino

In three words:  Clint's racial piece

8.  Revolutionary Road

In three words:  Home or escape?

7.  The Dark Knight

In three words:  Proper superhero film

6.  Bolt

In three words:  Excellent, original cartoon

5.  Changeling

In three words:  Quality all-round production

4.  Ghost Town

In three words:  Humorous misanthropic tale

3.  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

In three words:  Reverse order growing

2.  WALL-E

In three words:  Beautiful meaningful animation

1.  Burn After Reading

In three words:  dark, well-made comedy

Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween Special - The List Hero's Favourite Horror Films (2000-2009)

Not my favourite film genre but here (in reverse order) are a few that I enjoyed...

10.  The Others  (2001)

In three words:  Dark psychological twist

9.  The Orphanage  (2007)

In three words:  spooky Spanish kids

8.  The Skeleton Key  (2005)

In three words:  hoodoo house horror

7.  Hide and Seek  (2005)

In three words:  psychological, critically slated

6.  White Noise  (2005)

In three words:  creep noises, slated

5.  The Strangers  (2008)

In three words:  Jumpy, no substance

4.  Saw  (2004)

In three words:  original was excellent

3.  The Ring  (2002)

In three words:  genuinely scary remake

2.  Pan's Labyrinth  (2006)

In three words:  brilliant fantasy horror

1.  The Devil's Backbone  (2001)

In three words:  Excellent ghost story

The Thing (1982) - The List Hero Review

Being Halloween, the girlfriend and I decided to indulge in a supposedly "scary" film and, after having a browse on the Internet, I discovered that The Boston Globe newspaper had called John Carpenter's The Thing "the scariest movie... ever!"  So, upon watching this supposed classic, I began asking myself "exactly which bit is meant to be frightening?"

The film began promisingly enough; for a film of the early eighties, it was well produced and the music had an air of menace in it (avoiding any of the usual eighties cheese!)  The key, in my opinion, to horror films, is the unknown - and The Thing gave us that to begin with; a destroyed Norwegian research centre and a mysterious dog.  Hmmm... what was going on?

All good so far.  But things rapidly went downhill from there...
The effects and make-up of the alien, which received critical acclaim at the time, suddenly erupts onto the scene.  It looks ridiculous, immeditately ruins the initial element of suspense and I quickly want to switch off.  The scientific team then come up with some bizarre findings and (completely unsupported) predictions that the crew instantly believe to be facts without any question whatsoever.  My interest is decreasing rapidly.

But there is still potential here - the suspense can still build (aliens lurking around the corner, dark rooms, etc etc).  Unfortunately, none of these things really ever occur.  Tension?  Zero.  Suspense?  Zero.  Fear?  Zero.  Do we even care about any of these characters?  Why should we - none of them have been given a personality, a background, or any kind of development.  There's also the question of why the crew puts so much faith in Kurt Russell's character - to me, he just seems like an arrogant alcoholic tosser - but perhaps if we'd had a bit of back-story (anyone know why they're actually on the Antarctic?) then we might know why they all respect him.

The whole thing turns into a big waste of time and when it all comes to a "climax", I'm pretty apathetic towards the whole situation.  Spielberg's E.T. wiped the floor with this at the Box Office in 1982, and it's obvious why - Spielberg knows how to make you care about the people on screen - this film doesn't.

Scariest movie ever?  Wake me up when it's finished.

The List Hero.