With me being a Massive Godzilla fan my top 10 favourite films are all Godzilla Films and so because of this I have 2 Top 10 lists. My own personal Favourites and another for other films which are not Godzilla Films. This list has to e deployed constantly in conversation because my friends are not as interested in Godzilla as much as me. There have been many films recently that I have seen that I regard as my favourite (Non-Godzilla) films. So I have got round to actually producing the list and I thought I would share it here with you. The following films are all definite must see’s. If you want to know where they come in the official list of my favourite films, take their number here and add somewhere between 20 and 29 and you should get the exact number. So enjoy and do remember to watch the following films once you know what they are. There are many films that could not get a place on the list but please don’t think of them as me saying they are bad, they are Great too but it was always going to be a hard decision. The List below will go from 10 – 1 with 1 being my Favourite.
10. Reign Of Fire – Reign Of Fire is a post apocalyptic film where dragons have taken over the world. Whereas many films use things like nature, war and maybe space as the setting for this genre. Reign Of Fire’s use of Dragons is Fantastic and stays true to the ideas of Dragon’s breathing fire and as a result of their destructiveness were not the only things to destroy the world, man’s weapons helped out trying to kill the creature’s. The film stars Christian Bale (Before he was Batman) alongside a bald Matthew McConaughey, Gerard Butler and former Bond Girl Izabella Scorupco. The film begins in London with the discovery of the creature and advances a whole decade later (2020, 8 years from now) to a group of people trying to survive. The Dragons are not some cheap CGI neither, a lot of work has gone into them with the effects rivalling Jurassic Park. Reign of Fire’s mix of Fantasy Ideas and Modern Setting brings new life into the Legendary Beasts and altogether makes a Fantastic Film, (Choosing Number 10 was difficult and came down to three films; this, Broken Arrow and The Dark Knight).
9. Gamera 3: Revenge Of Irys – While not a Godzilla film it is a Japanese Monster Movie (Originally this position did got to Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, but after some thought I realised it was not as Good as this). Gamera 3 is the final installment in the Gamera Heisei Trilogy, and what an installment it is. Regarded by many as the Best Monster Movie since the Original Godzilla. While I have my own personal thoughts on it, I can see why they would say that. Around the world several small Gyaos like birds have been spotted, meanwhile a small girl finds a monster who uses her anger for Gamera to grow extraordinarily powerful. it is up to Gamera and a group of Humans to stop both creatures. Directed by the Fantastic Shusuke Kaneko and featuring an amazing cast, Gamera 3 is a must see for both Monster Movie fans and Movie Fans in General.
8. Escape From New York – From the mind of Horror Master John Carpenter comes a film with an interesting idea for the future where Manhattan Island has been turned into a Prison. The film stars Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef and Isaac Hayes alongside stars including Adrienne Barbeau, Harry Dean Stanton, Donald Pleasence and Ernest Borgnine. The President of the USA has arrived on the island while escaping Air Force One and the Prison has sent in War Hero and Convict Snake Plissken to rescue him. The films setting is an interesting one. While still remembering that it is a prison, there are some societies between the prisoners. Isaac Hayes’s portrayal as The Duke is done in a nice smooth way making the main villain stand out. More like a crime lord instead of a Bond Villain. The Music was done by Carpenter and has a nice futuristic and bleak interpretation.
7. Unstoppable – Directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun, The Taking of Pelham 123, Man On Fire) comes a film based on a true story of a runaway train. The Film stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson as Railway employees trying to stop a train hauling Toxic Chemicals on-board before it can create a disaster. The film’s action paced setting and Music keep it going as the action gets faster and faster, not slowing down for a second until the whole crisis has been concluded. One of the Best Action Films in cinema history that only stops when the credit’s roll. Read My Review Here.
6. The Dark Knight Rises – The Final Film in Christopher Nolan‘s Epic Film Series. The film is the final Chapter in the story and is the perfect end to the series. Bruce Wayne has managed to save Gotham from the criminals who used to run it as his alter ego Batman but now must do it all over again to save it for not only the present but for the future and from complete destruction. It has been eight years since Batman has been seen but now he returns but it has been too long. Wayne must now become Batman all over again, start afresh it is the only way he can Rise Up to save Gotham from its newest threat, BANE. The film may be long but it is the perfect way to end the series. The regular cast of Christian Bale, Michael Cain, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman have returned and star alongside new cast members Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Cotillard. Hans Zimmer returns along with the familiar title soundtrack. The story does not get boring and the ending will send tingles down your spine as you see how the film ends on the note of the Title Soundtrack and the End of the story. The Perfect Ending to a Fantastic Series.
5. The Host – From South Korea comes a film about something Lurking in the Han River. The Host is a Monster movie that is on a different scale to films like Godzilla Gamera. The creature is no bigger than a bus but this scale means it can be closer to the people it eats rather than the cities it would normally destroy. The film stars Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona and Ko Ah-seong as a family who goes to war against the monster who took one of their own. The film has some nice action pieces with some more comic pieces which is all nicely wrapped together. The film’s soundtrack is a nice blend of traditional asian music and the dialogue is not ruined by dubbing and goes for the subtitle route instead allowing the passion of the acting to come to it’s full potential. The film comes from director Bong Joon-Ho who also directed Memories of Murder. The Host is a highly acclaimed film by many (“The filmmaker Quentin Tarantino included it in his list of top 20 films released since 1992 (the year he became a director)”) and has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is also the highest grossing South Korean film in History. A Must see for all Monster Movie Fans. Read My Review Here (it is important to make sure you do not mix this up with a film of the same name coming out next year).
4. 13 Assassins – From Prolific and Controversial japanese Director Takashi Miike (Ichi The Killer, Audition) comes a period piece whose essence is like that of an Akira Kurosawa Film. The film is set in 1840’s Japan as the Samurai era is coming to a close, a new lord is about to come to power and so a group of Samurai are hired to kill him before he can become one of the most powerful rulers in Japan. The film brings back the Golden Years of period pieces in Japan Cinema. the film has several pieces of Samurai Sword Fighting and even has the differences in warriors that Seven Samurai had with one of the group being a bit more rogue and not technically a Samurai but does become an integral part of the group. 13 Assassins could be seen as the new launching point for films like this and I hope it does because films like this are Amazing. The film does not rely on CGI with only one scene using it, the rest comes down to good old reality. The film also uses Subtitles instead of dubbing and the raw passion of the japanese language comes out. There is something about the Japanese Language that sounds awesome, particularly during anger and shouting, a real gift. keep a look out for Tsuyoshi Ihara‘s Character HIRAYAMA Kujūrō who’s scenes are always great to see as he is a Great Fighter.
3. Snow White And The Huntsman – Celebrating 200 years of the classic Fairytale this adaptation has a nice blend of story and action that deserves its spot in my top 3. Starring Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen and Chris Hemsworth as The Huntsman. The film follows the story of the fairytale as Snow White escapes the Evil Queen who sends a Huntsman to collect her but who eventually helps Snow White escape to a distant land and from here launch an attack on the Queens Realm to overthrow her. The films story does follow the normal path of a good fairytale and does not over-complicate for the viewer. The Evil Queen is a classic villain with the viewer not having any sympathy for her and just booing her. Kristen Stewart’s (I hope she returns for the sequel) portrayal is fantastic with Chris Hemsworth cementing the roles to make the film an adventure throughout. Backed up by many more fine actors including Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone as Dwarves, the films setting breathes new life to this classic story.
2. The Hunger Games – This Past March I saw an incredible film, for about 4 weeks I could not think about anything else. I did not see it coming. I read about it before hand but I did not know much about it. It was only in passing that I noticed it and thought about seeing it. Thinking of it as a Battle Royale Rip Off I decided to go and see it, and I loved it. The Hunger Games is not a rip-off, it has similar themes but it is its own film, and own story. The film is based on the books of the same name by author Suzzanne Collins. It follows the story of Katniss Everdeen who along with 23 (12 Girls and 12 Boys) other children between the age of 12 – 18 as they are forced to compete in a fight to the death in an annual event orchestrated by the ruthless capitol. I loved the actors playing the great characters, I loved the story, the feel, the look and while it has this idea of mass slaughter there are several times where you have these nice scenes. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and the Great Donald Sutherland, The Hunger Games is a film that should not be overlooked. Keep your eyes peeled for it, you will not be dissappointed. The sequels have already been announced and the books are terrific (I bought the first one the day after I saw the film and bought the other 2 six chapters in). A Nice Film that will be hard to beat. Read My Review Here.
1. Seven Samurai – What Else Was It Going To Be. Out of all the (Non-Godzilla) films I have seen this is the one that stands out more for me than any other film. Directed by the Legendary Akira Kurosawa, this Master Piece is regarded as one of the Greatest Films in the History of Cinema. Starring such Legends of Japanese Cinema as Takashi Shimura, Isao Kimura, Minoru Chiaki as well as who many think of as the Greatest Japanese Actor in History; Toshiro Mifune. The film tells the story of a group of Samurai who have been hired by a local village to protect them from Bandits. The film itself is very long but does not get boring, even for a second. The film uses subtitles instead of dubbing which in turn like I have said previously allows for the true passion of the fantastic acting and vocals of the Japanese Actors to really come to life. Toshiro Mifune in particular is fantastic as the out-of-place, would be Samurai Kikuchiyo who while bonkers is enjoyable to watch and by far in my opinion the best character. The film’s soundtrack is Great too with the main theme being one of the Best Pieces of music I have heard not only this year but in any film I have seen. I could talk about it for a while but I don’t want to spoil it for you (or me). A thoroughly enjoyable film, directed by a Legend, Starring Legends with a Legendary Soundtrack. Seven Samurai is my Favourite (Non-Godzilla) film and deserves its place. A Fantastic Film. Read My Review Here.
GENEPOOL (Because I am currently recovering from a Nasty Case of Shingles there will be no Film Review This Month, Service will hopefully resume in September).