To continue the review of my epic journey to watch all my films from A-Z, this is the second part.
For those that don’t know I am watching all 700+ Dvd/Bluray films from A-Z which has so far taken me 2+ years to get to the end of the G’s!
I thought I should retrospectively review each letter and give my top 5 films from each alpha block and maybe bring your attention to some films you may not have seen, films you’ve not seen in ages or films you should give another try.
First off was the A’s which you can read here, next it’s the B’s
Again there were some absolute classics in my collection that didn’t make it into my 5 choice B Films like Back to the Future (we’ve all seem them), Blues Brothers, Bourne Trilogy, Batman Begins, Breakfast Club, Bill & Ted, Bladerunner and Bug’s Life to name a few.
Shockingly missing from my collection is the delights of Batman and Robin, Barb Wire and Bean:The Movie! but more serious omissions are Brazil, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and the classic John Woo ‘Better Tomorrow 2′ which is unforgivable.
So without further delay I give you my 5 must see films starting with:
Big Lebowski, a film that has been in my top 5 all time favourite movies since its release and my favourite Coen Brothers film.
It has the most iconic movie character in the Dude, played supremely by Jeff Bridges, a supporting cast that provide equally memorable characters like the Dude’s friends Walter and Donnie played by John Goodman and Steve Buscemi respectively and a story that was simple yet captivating and completely flawless and immecibly quotable.
With fantastic additional characters like “Jesus” the bowling Pederast (John Turturro), the other Jeff Lebowski (David Huddlestone) and his assistant Brandt (the always brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman) plus many others the film has reached truly iconic levels, It’s made the White Russian Cocktail famous, it’s created a new spiritual following in “Dudeism” (I kid you not) and has launched Lebowskifest, a regular cult convention following of all things Lebowski. A truly stunning phenomenon of a film and I take great comfort in knowing that the Dude abides.
Blood Simple, another Coen Brothers classic film and their first movie.
It’s a basic story of a bar owner who suspects his wife of having an affair, so he hires a private detective to get proof and so begins a story of double crosses, plot twists and murder.
The cast are superb, led by Frances McDormand and supported by John Getz and M Emmet Walsh. It’s quite a brutal Film Noir that showed some amazing glimpses of brilliance by the new Coen Brother team and Cinematogropher Barry Sonnenfeld way back in 1984.
The film is a cracking example of small budget brilliance, it’s very dark and beautifully shot and well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.
Brick, With Joseph Gordon-Levitt rising as an A list actor I want you all to see one of his earlier films that seemed to pass a lot of people by.
It’s a strange and a bit of a confusing type of film with a mostly young cast about Brendan (Gordon-Levitt) whose ex-girlfriend contacts him and then is later found dead. Brendan investigates her death and forces his way into a high school crime ring lead by “the Pin” and plots a revenge through a complex story.
I really enjoyed the film, although confusing at times. It was the characters that made it stand out, like Tugger, The Pin, The Brain and our lead Brendan, they all added to a really different and well made film. It’s very cheap at the moment in HMV and well worth adding to your collections.
Boogie Nights, one of my favourite ever films from one of my favourite directors. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson it’s a film about the porn industry in the 70s& 80s and of a rising star called Dirk Diggler and his exploits in making films, making new friends/family and dealing with drugs and stardom.
It’s a truly epic movie lasting about 3 hours but it’s one of the most watchable films ever made with an amazing tale stretched over many years showing the change in the industry and the change it has on the characters we follow.
The stellar cast boasts Philip Seymour Hoffman, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Luis Guzman, John C Reilly, Thomas Jane, William H Macy, Mark Wahlberg, Alfred Molina and Don Cheadle to name but a few.
The film has some truly hilarious moments and some shocking ones too but the overall story is just brilliant and the performances outstanding and well worthy of its 3 Oscar nominations for Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore and Paul Thomas Anderson.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must buy.
Bubba Ho-Tep. Not one of the best films but definitely two of the greatest performances from actors in 2002.
Bubba Ho-Tep is a silly film with a very interesting plot. Basically Elvis is still alive and lives in an old peoples home where he is known as an impersonator of the King played amazingly by one of my favourite actors Bruce Campbell. He is joined by Jack (Ossie Davis) who believes he is JFK and who explains that he was patched up after the assasination in Dallas, dyed black and abandoned by Lyndon Johnson – genius. The two old boys are tormented by the regular deaths of their fellow occupants and find that an Egyptian soul eating mummy is on the loose feeding off the almost dead residents. So they hatch a plan to destroy the creature (Ho-Tep).
As I said the performances are brilliant and their banter makes the film work well, there are some stupid scenes but the image of an elderly zimmer-framed Elvis and an electric wheelchair driving a black JFK is pure gold.
Well worth a watch this one, mainly for fans of the Big chin.
That concludes the B’s, coming soon the C’s. What will make the list? Citizen Kane, Casino, Close Encounters of the Third Kind”¦