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Favourite Films

Last week, I listed my all time favourite games. Now it is time for favourite films. Film is far more subjective than most mediums out there so my list will be different to yours. I could agree on best films made with people but for favourites, its knowing what you like and love no matter what its flaws are. Here are my favourite films-what’s yours?

10.  Crank 2: High Voltage (2009): The first film on my list is a supercharged action film starring Jason Statham. It is not the best film I have ever seen and to many, it is quite bad. But, its such a fun film to watch with plenty to look out for including over the top action, parody and one hell of a soundtrack. I watched this in my teens and I must have watched this film dozens of times over. It is relentlessly entertaining and quite funny also.

If you are into action, over the top stunts and a film that resembles the chaotic nature of a videogame-Crank 2 is certainly a film to satisfy and blaze all of the senses.

9. Heat (1995): Heat is arguably one of the best crime films ever made and certainly one of my favourites. Al Pacino and Robert De Niro star as characters on the opposite sides of the law. Despite their opposites, they are both in fact very similar characters. The film has a cat and mouse edge to it with the developments in the film made on fine lines. It also boasts one of the best shoot-outs in Cinema history.

Films recently such as The Town have copied the template set by Heat extensively. That is a testament as to just how good this film is. Brilliantly acted, scripted with great grounded visual effects and sound-Heat is a brilliant crime drama. I recommend this film to everyone and anyone.

8. Hard Boiled (1992): I am a big fan of action films. I like over the top action and I also have quite the passion for Far-Eastern cutlure. Hard Boiled is a crime action film based in Hong Kong that stars Chow-Yun Fat and is directed by John Woo. There is not much I can say about this film other than it is balls out insane and over the top. This film can be even more over the top than Crank which is not to be taken lightly.

It is cheesy at points but at the same time its narrative shines through and is a poignant film through all of the action. Its visual effects and sound design even 22 years on is second to none. Violent, epic and fun-Hard Boiled is a very good action film despite its awkward script. Highly recommended.

7. Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers (2002): LOTR is the best film trilogy ever made. The films are all suitably well acted, scripted and beautifully shot. It is the second film that is my favourite in the series and is among my favourite films. The scale of the second compared to the first is shot up immensely with beautiful action sequences and a truly wonderful exploration of Gollum. While the first third of the film is muddled, the rest is sublime.

It is the final hour of the film which really captivates with a truly memorable battle sequence in which only the final act of the final film in the trilogy came anywhere near matching. If you have not already, watch LOTR trilogy.

6. The Terminator (1984): The Terminator is a film well suited to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s attributes as an actor. Big, stiff and monotic-The Terminator is an excellent film with great pacing and grounded action. You should know the film by now and despite the second film being seen as superior, it is the first that is my favourite. The raw sense of action and pursuit from The Terminator is brilliantly realised.

One of the most underrated elements is the use of sound design which is top-notch in the film while also the soundtrack is quite fitting and captures the essence of the film perfectly. Very easy to watch and uses tension extremely well-The Terminator is a great action sci-fi film.

5. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008): This is not to be confused with Clint Eastwood in anyway. The Good, The Bad, The Weird is an Oriental ‘Western’ film set in 30’s Korea and Manchuria. The film uses 3 central different characters all deliciously portrayed. Its unique given that its a Western stylised film set in the East. It also combines quirky Korean humour with some excellent set pieces and a nice plot.

Its action is great though and the film is brilliantly shot accomplishing what it needs to. Extremely fun, enjoyable and funny-The Good, The Bad, The Weird is highly recommended.

4. Oldboy (2003): Probably the best Korean film ever made and Oldboy shines as a dark passage into the depths of Human depravity. The film chronicles the life of a man kidnapped for over 15 years then released without explanation. Yet, his release is soon part of a greater plan in which his captor has devised. Choi-Min-Sink is on fire in this film and should have been at least nominated for an Oscar his performance was that good.

The film has a very evenly paced plot with complex characters and also complex sequences in which the audience are unfolding the pieces without the film unfolding it for you. Violent, dark and uncompromising-Oldboy is a superb film one in which everyone should watch.

3. Drive (2011): What a film we have here. Drive is a measure of how you can always introduce new life into a stoic genre. Driving/action films are somewhat generic despite the efforts of Fast and Furious. It is Drive though that combined a controlled well paced narrative with complex characters and shocking violence. With its uplifting sequences comes its descent into Human capabilities.

For every good uplifting drive there is a scene of extreme violence. This works very well due to the fact that Ryan Gosling is mostly muted. He is every bit as good as he is bad and he talks through his face rather than what he says. An unbelievable triumph in film making and a complete masterpiece.

2. Battle Royale (2000): The Hunger Games as good as it is borrows a lot and owes a lot to Battle Royale. Battle Royale despite its slightly awkward script at times is one of the best films ever made because of its complexity. On the surface, it is a violent film for teens in which kids kill kids. Go deeper and its a film about the balance between the teenage groups and adults while exploring relationships. I have never seen a film that gets so much right as it does here.

The complexity of relationships the characters have is perfect representation of the troubled relationships teenagers have universally. Its fascinating and also a deep relevant film. Yes it is controversial only because it used teenagers as the device to tell this story. It would not work with Adults nor Children. Teenagers are the most complex people out there and this film tells a perfectly layered story.

It also delivers thumping action sequences and dramatic exchanges. Battle Royale is a film that I hold in high regard not because of what it represents but because how it does so.

1. The Dark Knight (2008): The Dark Knight is not the typical comic-book movie we see on our screens every year. Before we were bombarded by Marvel, The Dark Knight released in 2008 and I have to say with every watch comes a deeper understanding. The Dark Knight is one of the best films ever made for doing things much like Battle Royale did. At the centre of the film is not Batman but instead the Joker.

The Joker is representative of a character in which will go to many lengths to disturb the peace but also to show the true colours of society. He is not a typical criminal. He is complex, logical and manic. The film delves deep into his character and much of it follows his moves or what he could do next. As well as that, we have brilliant action sequences, writing, visual effects and performances. As much as Christian Bale did a good job, the film will be forever remembered for Heath Ledger in one of the best acting performances ever.

The Dark Knight is a masterpiece for everyone to enjoy. Youths can enjoy the good nature of the film while mature viewers can see the depths the film explores and the characterisation of the film. It is my favourite film because it does everything so nearly perfectly and also, like every good film-each time you watch it you discover something new about the film.

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