My Life In Film: Part Nine

I think I’m on another roll…hot on the heels of Part Eight comes, surprisingly, Part Nine!  Another eclectic mix of popular films and the not so popular ones!

So, without further a do…

THE FRIGHTENERS (1996)
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After a tragic car accident that killed his wife, a man discovers he can communicate with the dead to con people but when a demonic spirit appears, he may be the only one who can stop it from killing the living and the dead. This is one of those cult movies that kind of slipped under the radar on its release but it really shouldn’t have. Michael J. Fox gives a great performance as the psychic conman who is tasked with saving the very people he set out to con.  With a magnificent supporting cast, The Frighteners really is one of those films you should see before you die!

WATCH IT FOR: Just watch it!

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)

Possibly one of Bill Murray‘s finest hours, this gentle drama sees an unlikely friendship blossom with his faded movie star and Scarlett Johansson‘s lost young wife of a visiting photographer in Tokyo.  Murray is understated and on top form in Sofia Coppola‘s slow-burner.

WATCH IT FOR: Bill Freakin’ Murray

BATMAN (1989)

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Back when superhero movies were few and far between (and a little less…flashy) there was this, an ambitious adaptation of the famous comic book hero of Gotham City.  Director Tim Burton brings the dark, brooding cityscape to life in his own inimitable style and the casting is nigh on perfection.  Michael Keaton as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne/Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker give us iconic performances.  Batman busted the cinematic summer of 1989 and Burton returned for a sequel in 1992 before Joel Schumacher killed the franchise.

WATCH IT FOR: Jack Nicholson’s tour de force

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE (1996)

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An American agent, under false suspicion of disloyalty, must discover and expose the real spy without the help of his organization. Based on the classic television series, Mission: Impossible kickstarted a multi-million dollar franchise that manages to provide a sequel that is able to top the previous film.  Tom Cruise leads an all-star cast including Jon Voight, Emilio Estevez and Jean Reno.

WATCH IT FOR: Action set-pieces like this one!

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984)

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Harrison Ford returns as eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones in this adventure sequel (which is actually set before Raiders) which sees him go up against an ancient cult in order to regain the mythical shankara stones.  Darker in tone to the original film, Temple is generally credited (along with Gremlins) with implementing the PG-13 rating in cinemas.  Still a thrilling adventure yarn, Temple has some impressive set-pieces and stunts and cements Indiana Jones as one of cinemas greatest heroes.

WATCH IT FOR: The dinner scene

FROZEN (2013)

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When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition. The film that taught us all to Let It Go and asked us if we wanted to Build A Snowman, this is hugely entertaining thanks, in part, to that ever reliable of Disney trademarks, the loveable sidekick, seen here in the guise of snowman Olaf.  Memorable songs and great animation add up to a knockout experience.

WATCH IT FOR: Olaf!

FALLING DOWN (1993)

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An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.  Michael Douglas shines as the anti-hero in this taut thriller from Joel Schumacher (yes, the man who killed off the Batman franchise!) with stellar support from the always excellent Robert Duvall this is one of those films that stays with you long after the credits roll, mostly because we’ve all been there haven’t we?

WATCH IT FOR: I want breakfast

THE SANTA CLAUSE (1994)

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When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place. This is the perfect vehicle for comedian Tim Allen, playing a single dad consumed too much in his job to celebrate Christmas properly with his son.  Chaos ensues when he has to fill the void of the jolly fat man and deliver all the presents in time.

WATCH IT FOR: That warm and fuzzy feeling

THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)

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In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.  Humphrey Bogart won his only Academy Award for his portrayal of the grizelled sailor alongside Katharine Hepburn in this wartime drama.  To be honest, I can’t really watch this anymore as it was my dad’s favourite film but its still a classic!

WATCH IT FOR: Bogart!

BUGSY MALONE (1976)

The classic story of ganster Bugsy Malone told with kids, songs and lots of gunge. Alan Parker has created a wonderfully innocent film about a not so innocent time – prohibition era Chicago.  The gangsters are all played by children, who sing and dance their way through the excellent score from Paul Williams.  Most of the cast have gone on to become household names, not least Jodie Foster but its the music and the brilliance of Alan Parker that make this one stand out.

WATCH IT FOR: Finale

And there you have it…another batch of favourites in the can! That’s a massive 90 favourite films so far out of a countless infinity of possibilities! I can’t wait to find out what’s in the next batch of ten…

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