The Video Krypt’s Top 29 Movies of the Past Seven Months…
Video Krypt has reviewed 29 movies in its seven month history, so time for an arbitrary Top 29 Movies List, ignoring every other movie out there.
I’ll get round to reviewing the rest of cinema’s back catalog eventually & see where it fits in with this lot –
Powell & Pressburger’s sumptuous romantic psychological adventure, illuminated by Jack Cardiff’s peerless Technicolor cinematography. Some films are for all time, and Black Narcissus never fails to remind me why I love the movies.
Read the full review here:
2. The Filth and the Fury – 2000 (Julien Temple)
Restless, swaggering retelling of The Sex Pistols’ rise to infamy isn’t the most balanced documentary around. It is a headlong rush which creates an urgent feel of a time, place and scene, and finds surprisingly vulnerable human beings at the heart of it all. Makes me proud to be British!
3. Let the Right One In – 2008 (Tomas Alfredson)
Dark, sweet and folkloric, Alfredson’s adaptation of Lindqvist’s 2004 novel allows vampires to be frightening again. Lucid and touching, there are two wonderfully natural performances by the film’s child actors. Laced with ambiguity and black humor, this is sure to be a film you’ll think about for a long time to come.
4. The Tree of Life – 2011 (Terrence Malick)
Malick’s dreamy, fragmented family drama set against the backdrop of All Time, from the Big Bang to the Hereafter. Commanding performance from Brad Pitt, this may just be a film that makes you feel better about the idea of dying. Some people will find it boring, pretentious tosh. I loved it.
5. Into the Abyss – 2011 (Werner Herzog)
Herzog steadies his gaze and finds evidence of life in the abyss, in this harrowing yet curiously uplifting death row documentary.
6. Robocop – 1987 (Paul Verhoeven)
Verhoeven’s American masterpiece looks a little dated these days, but the satire is still delicious, the violence brutal, and Weller is terrific as the knight in shining armour cleaning up a scum-ridden Detroit of the near future. Robocop is unusual for it’s genre – a sci-fi actioner which has a true emotional wallop.
Spike Jonze wisely decides not to expand Sendak’s beloved children’s classic, instead using it as the basis for a melancholy, realistic drama about being a kid. Marvellous special effects.
8. Deep Water – 2006 (Louise Osmond & Jerry Rothwell)
File under: “You couldn’t make this shit up.” A gripping, spooky documentary charting entrepreneur Donald Crowhurst’s fateful round the world boat race attempt. Perhaps one of the strangest tales never told, it is a catalog of misplaced courage, bumbling ineptitude and deceit, with an outlandish cosmic twist.
9. The Departed – 2006 (Martin Scorsese)
Scorsese, DiCaprio, Damon and a muscular supporting cast bring their “A” Game in this dynamic remake of Hong Kong classic Infernal Affairs. Unfortunately, all their hard work is dangerously undermined by a silly, self-indulgent performance by Jack Nicholson as a crime boss.
10. Mystic River – 2003 (Clint Eastwood)
Eastwood’s harrowing tale of child abuse and murder isn’t the most cheerful movie around, but it is gripping and satisfying. Kevin Bacon and Tim Robbins are predictably excellent, and the heavyweight trio is completed by an unusually restrained performance by Sean Penn.
11. Exit Through the Gift Shop – 2010 (Banksy)
An assured film debut from Banksy, who turns a documentary about himself into a documentary about someone else. A great insight into the world of street art, and some food for thought about the nature of art itself.
12. Tropic Thunder – 2008 (Ben Stiller)
Tropic Thunder is a Hollywood satire with a Hollywood blockbuster budget. The comedy is broad, but commendably sticks to its guns, and there are two monstrous comic performances from Downey Jr and Tom Cruise to enjoy. In the end, it turns into a decent action flick in it’s own right, and watching Platoon will never be the same again.
13. Black Swan – 2010 (Darren Aronofsky)
Aronofksy’s hysterical portrait of a fragile-minded, ambitious ballet dancer in meltdown. The same crowding technique used in The Wrestler creates an uncomfortably claustrophobic, voyeuristic atmosphere. Portman works wonders with a one note role. Erotically charged and completely bonkers.
14. The Phantom of the Opera – 2004 (Joel Schumacher)
One of my favorite guilty pleasures, Schumacher’s lip-smacking Phantom has me hooked from the first cheesy guitar riff of the title song.
15. Do I Not Like That – 1994 (Ken McGill)
Sympathetic fly-on-the-wall documentary charting former England manager Graham Taylor’s hapless qualifying campaign for the 1994 World Cup in America. A piercing insight into the failures of the English game, and a frightening look at how the British tabloids can make a pariah out of a decent footballing man.
16. A Time to Kill – 1996 (Joel Schumacher)
Slick and sexy, an all star cast and familiar courtroom theatrics mask a slippery moral conundrum and the heart of Schumacher’s lascivious Deep South revenge thriller.
Danny Boyle’s zeitgeist-y take on Irvine Welsh’s instant cult novel has dated badly. Still deserves to be recognized for its impact on British cinema, but the pace flags after an electrifying opening scene and suffers from its episodic structure.
18. Full Tilt Boogie – 1997 (Sarah Kelly)
This making of documentary goes behind the scenes of Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. Kelly’s unusual approach of giving everyone on the crew a say, from the tea lady to George Clooney creates a wonderful sense of community. However, it wanders off along self-indulgent tangents, especially when Kelly unwisely puts herself center stage.
19. National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets – 2007 (Jon Turletaub)
Harmless family fun without any discernible sense of logic or plausibility. Amiable cast keeps this Indiana Jones/Da Vinci Code hybrid ticking along enjoyably.
20. Twilight – 2008 (Catherine Hardwicke)
Not as bad as its detractors would have you believe, this po-faced and ponderous teen vampire romance does what it does for the people it does it for. Like a less fun Lost Boys – for girls.
21. Mike Bassett: England Manager – 2001 (Steve Barron)
Largely witless comedy about an old school football manager thrust into the country’s hardest job. A few stray good jokes hit the target perfectly, and Mike Bassett benefits hugely from an affectionate performance by Ricky Tomlinson.
22. The King’s Speech – 2010 (Tom Hooper)
Impeccably directed and acted, and also vastly overrated. Colin Firth just about deserves his Oscar, and it’s nice to see Bonham-Carter on day release from Tim Burton movies. The whole concept of this film seems a little tasteless. Otherwise, perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
23. Iron Man 2 – 2010 (Jon Favreau)
Effortlessly watchable, this bridging chapter between Iron Man and The Avengers isn’t as breezy as the original. It also seems unwilling to develop the characters in interesting ways, seemingly aware of its role as a build up to the main event.
24. Captain America: The First Avenger – 2011 (Joe Johnston)
Good clean square fun.
25. Forgetting Sarah Marshall – 2008 (Nicholas Stoller)
Likeable romantic comedy with an engaging lead role for Jason Hegel. Russell Brand is disappointingly well behaved. Plays a safe middle ground, and is not nearly funny or romantic enough to be truly satisfying.
26. The Prestige – 2006 (Christopher Nolan)
Intriguing tale of two warring illusionists, punctured by a daft, unnecessary twist & smothered by Christopher Nolan’s innate, portentous boringness.
27. Scream 4 – 2011 (Wes Craven)
Horror has moved on. Craven and Williamson seem stuck in the Nineties as this belated franchise entry promises new rules, but does exactly the same as its predecessors. In the era of torture porn, there’s something nostalgic and cozy about Ghostface dicing up good looking teens. Disappointing.
28. Alice in Wonderland – 2010 (Tim Burton)
A dreary cavalcade of CGI as Burton takes characters from Carroll’s classic children’s book and molds them into a generic quest for his grown up Alice. This approach turns the much-loved characters into mere sidekicks, and Johnny Depp irritates as the Mad Hatter. Joyless.
29. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – 2008 (Mark Herman)
Pernicious teatime drama about a little boy who’s slow on the uptake when faced with a death camp inmate of his own age. Staggeringly exploitative use of the holocaust in an attempt to gain respectability and maybe some Oscars. Sickening.