My Life In Film: Part Eight

Well, it’s been a while but I’m back to continue the countdown of my all time favourite films.  As ever, there are more films than there is space to fill so this list will most likely be neverending…

THE WORLD’S END (2013)

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The long awaited third part of the Cornetto Trilogy (following on from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) The World’s End is, as you’d expect from the team, a very fitting addition.  A group of friends reunite after 20 years in an attempt to complete the pub crawl they started when they were younger only to find that events take a rather bizarre turn.  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are joined on this journey by Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan for a rollicking good adventure.

WATCH IT FOR: The Epic Bar Fight

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1986)

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A nerdy florist (Rick Moranis) finds his way to success and romance lies with a man-eating plant that demands to be fed in this colourful musical from director Frank Oz.  The film is full of memorable musical numbers and scattered with A-list cameos but it is really Rick Moranis who is the star and carries the movie perfectly.

WATCH IT FOR: Steve Martin’s Dentist

THE POLAR EXPRESS (2004)

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A heart-warming story of a young boy’s journey to the North Pole aboard The Polar Express.  Along the way he makes friends and learns about bravery and the spirit of Christmas.  Director Robert Zemeckis uses motion capture technology to bring the classic children’s story book to life with a little help from Tom Hanks, who plays multiple roles.

WATCH IT FOR: The animation and this beautiful song

THE DARK KNIGHT (2008)

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The caped crusader comes up against one of his most dangerous enemies in the guise of Heath Ledger‘s maniacal Joker, a role that some saw as a poisoned chalice following Jack Nicholson‘s bravura performance in 1989.  But Ledger immersed himself into the role and brought to the screen one of cinema’s most frantic performances and earned a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  The film is somewhat lost against Ledger’s Joker but there are some neat set-pieces and Christopher Nolan brings a look and feel that makes the comic book world believable.

WATCH IT FOR: Heath Ledger’s powerhouse performance

DR. NO (1962)

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The film that introduced the world to MI6’s most dangerous agent, James Bond 007.  Ian Fleming‘s iconic character is brought to life by Sean Connery in a story that involves Bond travelling to Jamaica to face off against evil megolomaniac Dr. No (Joseph Wiseman) while trying to woo the sultry Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress)

WATCH IT FOR: The iconic introduction of a super spy

ALIEN (1979)

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In space, no-one can hear you scream…

A commercial crew aboard the Nostromo receives a distress call on their way home.  After searching for survivors they head for home, only to find that they are not alone.  Ridley Scott brings to the screen a sparse, desolate space full of danger and classic imagery.  With a feisty female heroine (Sigourney Weaver) and a mixed bag of a crew, Alien manages to both shock and entertain.

WATCH IT FOR: THAT scene!

 BEETLEJUICE (1988)

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A recently deceased couple, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, hire a “bio-exorcist” to help rid their home of the obnoxious new owners.  What they don’t realise is that their ‘help’ is probably more of a hinderance.  Michael Keaton is sublime as the eponymous host with the most and steals almost every scene he’s in.

WATCH IT FOR: The dinner scene

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, Jon Heder, 2004, (c) Fox Searchlight/courtesy Everett Collection

A listless and alienated teenager decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he must deal with his bizarre family life back home.  This is one of those quirky films that you either love or hate.  Part of its charm lies with Jon Heder who plays Dynamite with pathos and humour.

WATCH IT FOR: The dance

HIGH ANXIETY (1977)

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Mel Brooks perfectly parodies the Alfred Hitchcock films.  Dr. Richard Thorndyke arrives as new administrator of the Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous to discover some suspicious goings-on. When he’s framed for murder, Dr. Thorndyke must confront his own psychiatric condition, “high anxiety,” in order to clear his name.

WATCH IT FOR: The title song

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)

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A group of intergalactic criminals are forced to work together to stop a fanatical warrior from taking control of the universe. This is, by far, one of the most enjoyable of the current Marvel movies and that is down to the chemistry of the ensemble cast, lead by Chris Pratt.  The soundtrack is thumping and the special effects are out of this world.

WATCH IT FOR: The whole damn thing!

And so, another episode is brought to an end.  Stay tuned folks, for the next exciting installment…

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