2017 Top 5 Films

First off Merry Christmas to all as I write this on 25th December. With just 1 week left off the year I thought I do a post of my top 5 films off the year, I still have at least 2 more to see (Pitch Perfect 3 & The Greatest Showman) in the next few days but not sure if either will dislodge any of the films I have in my Top 5. I will have seen 87 films in 2017 after I see the 2 mentioned films.

I started on 2nd January (as this was a bank holiday last year) with Assassins Creed and currently I will end with the Greatest Showman on Saturday 30th December though I may see a film on the 31st as not planned this day yet. So here are my Top 5

5. Miss Sloane – Starring Jessica Chastain as Miss Sloane it follows a lobbyist who defects to a rival firm over the lobbying of a gun law and is brought in front of the senate to answer charges related to her practice at her previous firm but a Senator who was against the proposed Gun changes. Miss Sloane received many film award nominations including the Golden Globes

4. Beauty and the Beast – Disney Live action remake of the animation starring Emma Watson as Bella and Dan Stevens as their Beast (Prince). This is one of a very few that have made me completely lost in a film and I loved the chemistry growing between Bella and The Beast, the humour and the music worked well in the film and I’m sure this will be nominated for some awards too.

3. Lion – Nominated for 6 Oscars including best film it follows the true story of Saroo Brierley after getting lost whilst going with his brother to his job and ending up being fostered by an Australia couple and years later tries to track and finally succeeds in doing so and and finally reunites. The film is a moving story and anyone that watches it will find it both terrifying and moving. Dev Patel starred as Saroo and really made the role come to life.

2. Manchester By The Sea – This actually started as my number 5 before finally deciding it should be number 2, again it’s a moving film and sees a boy being looked after by his Uncle after his father dies and shows the ups and downs of the relationship and how both come to terms with the situation. Again it nominated for the Best Picture at the Oscars but also didn’t win. This is a film I think works better as you watch more as after I first saw it I didn’t take everything in it was only when starting write a review and rewatching the story in my head that it started to improve (i find the best films do this IMO). Casey Affleck I think came out of his brother’s Ben shadows in this film whilst Lucas Hedges showed what a talent he can become.

Now my top film off the year.

1. Hacksaw Ridge – I predicted this would be an Oscar winner but it ended up just a nominee in the Best Picture category. Starring Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss a 7th Day Adventist who refused to hold a weapon during the Second World War and won the Medal of Honor for the courage he showed by rescuing over 75 men during one night on his own. Andrew’s performance is one of the best I’ve seen and this was an absolute fabulous film and is up in my top 10 of all time films now, it had everything a try story, plenty of action, guts and bloody parts and also a romance.

I could’ve chosen several other films that I think were good enough to be in my top 5 such as Moonlight which won Best Picture at the Oscars and even Hidden Figures. Other films I think deserve a mention are Wonder Woman probably the best DC film made along with Justice League, Gifted which I really enjoyed and of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention The Last Jedi the latest in the Star Wars Saga.

I look forward to beating this total next year and also to see what films are nominated for the Oscars as in the UK these films tend to come out in January.

My Top Christmas Movies

As it’s fast approaching that time of the year I start to watch a Christmas Movie every weekend until Christmas plus whatever news ones are at the Cinema, last Thursday saw me watch A Bad Moms Christmas which is the start of my Christmas viewing and possibly the start of a few Christmas Movies at Cineworld (Daddy’s Home 2, The Star) so I thought I’ll do my top 5 Christmas Movies.

1. The Polar Express – I feel in love with this movie when I first saw it, it’s a Animation film but features real people but animated using live motion capture. It follows a young boy who has started to disbelieve in Christmas as he boards the Polar Express where he learns along with other children about Friendship, Bravery and the spirit of Christmas which is what I loved about the film

2. The Santa Clause – Starring Tim Allen this is a Disney live action film where a separated father accidentally kills Santa and after putting on his suit takes on the role of Santa even though he doesn’t believe in Santa and is taken to the North Pole by Santa’s Reindeer where he has to believe but he still doesn’t for the following year until he finally accepts it.

3. The Santa Clause 2 – Set 10 years after the original Scott (Tim Allen) is happy in his role of Santa when the Head Elf shows him the Mrs Clause Clause where he has to find a wife or he will stop being Santa. I loved the way the teachers act when they get gifts they wanted when they were kids that Scott had got them whilst he tries to impress Carol (Elizabeth Mitchell) who is Charlie’s (His son) teacher.  This is only below the Original Santa Clause because it is a sequel.

4. Elf – Probably one of the most popular Christmas I only watched this for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Buddy as a baby stowed away in Santa’s toy sack and was raised as an Elf in the North Pole but as he gets older and bigger he starts to get in the way due to his size so Santa sends him to New York to hunt for his father. This is a lovely film and really good for families to watch.

5. The Miracle on 34th Street (1994) – This for so long was my favourite Christmas film even though was released the same year as The Santa Clause (above) as loved the ending (I still love the ending and I believe should be the message we send out at Christmas). Starring Richard Attenborough as Kris Kingle it’s Mara Wilson as Susan that is the true star of the film. This is a remake of the 1947 film which didn’t have the same feeling as the 1994 version though as now been watching some of the old films I might give it a go again.

Though I also watch A Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause 3, Arthur Christmas amongst other Christmas Films, during the writing of this post I’ve watched both the Holiday Inn (where the song White Christmas was first sung) and White Christmas which are both brilliant films.

I have 2 new films to watch this year – A Christmas Story and Four Christmases as both I’ve not watched and tend to be high on the list of Christmas Movies to watch.

The Day After Tomorrow

My favourite film of all time. Released in 2004 starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, it shows the catastrophic effects of Climate change with the disruption of the North Atlantic Ocean Flow due to the Polar Caps melting that triggers extreme weather than causes a new Ice Age. The film idea is taken from the 1999 book The Coming Global Storm that gives some of the scenarios in the film.

In the film, Paleoclimatologist Professor Jack Hall (Dennis Quaid) with his team including a NASA Meteorologist build a weather forecast after the globe is hit by several weather and takes his findings the US government and finally to the President and suggests to evacute the northern part of the country as they predict a storm that the eye of it has a cooling temperature of -150F that will freeze everything caught in the eye. Meanwhile Jack’s son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) is competing in an Academic Decathlon in New York, when Jack tells his son Sam about the weather at first he wants him to try and get home but as the weather worsens he tells him to stay put and stay warm as he is coming to find him. Sam finds shelter in the Public Library in New York with others. The film then seperates into 2 stories, Jack’s trip to New York which has become like a Polar Expedition and Sam’s struggles in New York to keep warm and also to help Laura Chapman (Emmy Rossum) who cut her leg whilst hurrying to get into the Library before a Tsunami wave hit.

I really enjoyed the movie as whilst it’s fiction you can’t help thinking What If… this is part of the reason I like this film. It’s a very well made film and has an excellent cast and you can’t tell what’s going to happen next and includes the deaths of the US President and the Royal Family (though never mentioned is hinted that they perished). I watch this nearly everytime it’s on and I’ve still not got bored of watching this.

The Breakfast Club

To me this is a classic and it still relevant now as it was in 1985 when it was released. It also gave us the “Brat Pack” and the stunning track “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds.

Starring Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy it follows 5 teenagers that have a Saturday Detention at their High School for a various of reasons and we learn all about different stereotypes and that they ‘re relevant to each one of them.

It’s Saturday March 24th and five students make their way to the Library at Shermer High School for an all day detention, whilst not strangers they all come from different groups, Clare (Molly) who is pampered and rich, Andrew (Emilio) who is State Champion Wrestler, Brian (Anthony) a geekish intellect, Allison (Ally) an outsider and John (Judd) a delinquent. When they’re all in the library Assistant Principal Richard Vernon (Paul) instructs them to sit and not to speak, sleep or move until they write a 1000 word essay on who they think they are. John has no regards to the rules and tries to wind Clare and Andrew up and starts messing around with the door that causes Vernon to come in and John ends up arguing with him giving him 8 (though Brian says it’s 7) more weekends of detentions and takes him to the storage closet but escapes back to the library and after they manage to retrieve marijuana from John’s locker and share it between them the group start to open up to each other and why they’re in detention. The group find that even with their differences they all face the same pressures and complications in their lives and begin to forge friendships and even romantic relationships. As the day draws to a close Clare asks Brian on behalf of the others if he can write the essay for all of them.

As they leave Vernon finds the essay and Brian’s reads part of it as Allison and Andrew kiss with Allison taking the champions badge from his Letterman Jacket, Clare and John also Kiss and Clare gives john one of her diamond earrings.

Brian reads that ” Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…” with the others adding their own stereotype – Andrew ” …and an athlete…” – Allison “…and a basket case…” – Clare “…a princess…” – John “…and a criminal…” before Brian finishes the essay “Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

This is slightly different from the original opening narrative by Brian at the begin “Saturday, March 24,1984. Shermer High School, Shermer, Illinois, 60062. Dear Mr. Vernon, We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. What do you care? You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct? That’s the way we saw each other at 7:00 this morning. We were brainwashed.”

There are some other great lines in the film too, here are a couple that I like from when they start to have Lunch –

John: Well, Brian, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?
Brian: Uh, no. Mr. Johnson.

John: What’s that?
Claire: Sushi.
John: Sushi?
Claire: Rice, raw fish and seaweed.
John: You won’t accept a guy’s tongue in your mouth, and you’re going to eat that?
Claire: Can I eat?
John: I don’t know. Give it a try.

I still love this movie as much as I did when it first came out and regularly watch and think everyone can relate to each person especially whilst growing up. If you’ve never watched this you must.
I don’t really want to give it a rating but since I do most of my films it has to be a 10/10.

Kate Winslet – Top 3 Movies

The second of my Top 3 is my favourite Kate Winslet films but first a bit about Kate Elizabeth Winslet whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting albeit she was wearing Dr Martins, jeans and rolling a cigarette, it was also a year or so before Titanic came out. Titanic was the first film I did see starring Kate Winslet but I have since watched Heaven Creatures, Jude and Sense & Sensibility. For someone who has been body shamed by the business and the press she has had no issues with appearing naked. 

Kate has had seven Oscar nominations winning once for The Reader and a top 10 single with What If from the Animation film Christmas Carol The Movie which she voiced Belle, among numerous of other awards including a CBE. 

Now my Top 3, this was quite hard to narrow down since she has starred in over 35 films but here goes. 

  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  2. Titanic
  3. The Holiday

My Top 2 change positions a few times during my planning but decided on Eternal as felt this was a better if different film. Titanic I loved and saw it as a first date with then girlfriend Mary and holds fond memories for me. The Holiday was behind Enigma & Collateral Beauty at the start and then the Life of David Gale popped into my head but gave it to the Holiday as I liked the kindness of her character in it. In fact I think of all of the Kate Winslet films I’ve seen (most of the ones she has been in) only Triple 9 I’ve disliked her character/performance as she was very unconvincing as a Russian Gangster. 

Kate has 2 films out later this year and I believe one of them is already being a  potential Oscar nomination and I shall look forward to watching them. 

Top 3 Movies – My All Time

Thought I’ll do some Top 3 Blogs of certain films, here are my Top 3 All Time films, I will blog about each film later. 

  1. The Day After Tomorrow – Always watch this when on, love that it focus on climate change with our current state of the world, I also like that why unlikely this is entirely possible. Global warming has cause a chunk of polar ice to break off that causes a change in the sea temperature that in turn caused extreme weather that cause the northern hemisphere to go to an Ice Age and the leading Global Warming scientist having to ski to New York to rescue his son. 

  2. Room – Emotional, outstanding acting and Brie fully deserved her Oscar and who can forget young Jacob who aged 8 years old plays Joy’s (Brie) 5 year old son, based on a true story. Joy had been held captive for 7 years and Jack has never seen the outside world and only knows the Room, Joy hatches a plan and helps Jack escape and get help for her, once released Joy has to learn to live outside and teach Jack about it. It’s very emotional but I loved it. 

  3. The Breakfast Club – The beginning of the Brat Pack (for me anyway) and the meeting of Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy. I love the mixture of characters and who couldn’t love the soundtrack by The Simple Minds. It threw kids from different aspects of life in to a Saturday detention for different reason with a power hungry assistant principal who want to show he was boss but they end up find out about each other and each one is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.