Tag Archives: BEST

Films To Get Excited About in 2015 [Part 1 – Action]

It is 2015, it is January and you are struggling to take your mind off the desperate battle to quit whichever vice you are attempting to jettison.  This during a month that promises nothing but miserable weather and the crushing realisation that the predictions made in Back to the Future 2 were nothing but lies, damn lies!  Fear not, for the following list will give you the hope of a better future.  Not just any future but a future where you can sit in a dark room and watch some really cool stuff on a screen.

To make all of this a little easier to digest i’ll release this in a few parts over the next week.  Each of the film’s has been plopped into a basic genre list.  Considering most of these films are yet to see a projector (or god forbid an illegal torrent site) the groupings are a little crude, obvious and odd (what the hell genre is an Inherent Vice?!)  Also, some of the film’s are so fresh and unheralded that they are yet to exist in any kind of visible spoiler format so you’ll have to use your imagination like those people who lived in the past.  It will be a struggle, we are people of the now who do not need imagination in a world of phone apps and instant gratification.  Those people from the past (or ‘Past People’ as they shall be referred to) were able to entertain themselves for hours with a snake on their phones.  Phones which didn’t even go on the internet.  Idiots!

SnakeScreenshot

ACTION

(Or films that I hope will contain a satisfying amount of jumpy, fighty, shouty bits)

         hateful

The Hateful Eight | Quentin Tarantino | USA

Tarantino’s last few film’s have shown flashes of brilliance but on the whole have been over-indulgent and over-long.  For any other director this would result in diminished expectations, but we are not talking about any other director here.  With that beautiful poster and a cast that look perfect for the genre (Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tim Roth to name a few) Tarantino could yet deliver the Classic Western he promised with Django Unchained.  

spectre

James Bond 24: Spectre | Sam Mendes | USA/UK

Little is known about Bond 24 but the retention of Sam Mendes as director is enough to instil belief that this, like Skyfall before it, could be another contender for best Bond film ever.  Despite the lack of information on this one (unless you check out the Sony leak, which is cheating) we do know that Ralph Fiennes will return as the newly instated ‘M’, Monica Bellucci will join (who should put the term Bond ‘girl’ to bed), and of course, Christoph Waltz who, whisper it, may star as Ernst Stavro Blofeld.  

avengers

Avengers: The Age of Ultron | Joss Whedon | USA

Joss Whedon brings us the latest in the ever expanding world of Marvel.  Last time out Whedon demonstrated great skill in building chemistry amongst a rabble of super heroes unaccustomed to sharing the screen whilst satiating the audiences hunger for something bigger than the film’s that preceded it.  This time up things look darker with S.H.I.E.L.D. a diminished force after the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier.  And damn, that Ultron fella’ seem’s like one angry customer.

mad max

Mad Max: Fury Road | George Miller | Australia/USA

Miller returns 30 years after his last Mad Max.  The trailer gives us a taste of the post apocalyptic landscape some of us will be familiar with and there are plenty of road warrior battles on display.  Even if for some reason you never saw the originals (!?) you may be familiar with the aesthetic as the original trilogy has had a big influence on any artist looking to create a trashy future dystopia.  Plenty of directors have openly named it as an inspiration (Guilermo Del Toro, David Fincher and James Cameron to name but a few), it inspired a 2Pac video, a succesful computer game franchise (Fallout), Glastonbury has the Arcadia arena which feels like a less sandy version of the film set, and the first film was even credited by the makers of Saw for inspiring their entire franchise with the infamous chop your own hand off or die conundrum.  Tom Hardy looks like a great choice to carry the Mad Max name and it will certainly be a change of pace for Miller who was last behind the lens on Happy Feet 2

kingsman-film

Kingsman: The Secret Service | Matthew Vaughn | UK

This is the film Matthew Vaughn turned down the chance to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past for.  He has returned to his UK roots with his regular writing partner Jane Goldman and the film is based on a graphic novel by Mark Miller who also came up with Kick Ass (the sequel of which died a death without Vaughn at the helm).  As the title would suggest the Kingsman are a secret service but a secret service that were somewhat ridiculously set up by a group of tailors looking to protect international security to allow them to trade worldwide.  The trailer introduces us to an incredibly dapper Colin Firth in a quintessential British public house, schooling a youngster, whom he appears to have taken under his wing, in the ways of a gentlemen before beating the bejesus out of a group of rather aggressive young chaps.  This looks to be for Bond what Shaun of the Dead was to zombie horror, a loving pastiche of the genre with its tongue set firmly in cheek.

 
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Ant-Man | Peyton Reed | USA/UK

The second Marvel film on the list, Ant-Man is a welcome curiosity.  We saw with Guardians of the Galaxy how a lesser known comic book series can be a damn sight more refreshing than another reboot (*ahem* Spiderman).  The only dampener has been the departure of director Edgar Wright after reported script disputes.  Wright worked wonders with Scott Pilgrim and always injects great energy into his films but has been replaced by Peyton Reed who is no doubt seen as a safe pair of hands in the eyes of the studio executives but hardly the visionary director fans were hoping for.  Nonetheless the idea of Paul Rudd playing a man who can change size and chat away with ants offers a great premise and with any luck the spine of the film developed by Wright and Joe Cornish (of Adam and Joe fame) will remain intact.

 
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Blackhat | Michael Mann | USA

Michael Mann has become a forgotten mann these days.  The director of Heat, Collateral, The Last of the Mohicans and The Insider is back after over half a decade without a directing credit to his name.  His back catalogue alone should be reason enough to give this ‘cyber crime’ movie your time.  The film’s subject of ‘cyberhacking’ couldn’t be more relevant with the recent attacks the film industry has suffered and with Chris Hemsworth on board in the lead and twice Oscar nominated Viola Davis co-starring this looks like one to watch.

john wick

John Wick | Chad Stahelski | USA/Canada/China

What is it about Keanu Reeves that keeps me coming back for more?  Only Nicolas Cage has the ability to out perform Keanu in the disappointment stakes.  Alarm bell’s are ringing with a trailer that contains the line “I lost everything. That dog was a final gift from my dying wife”.  Despite my reservations there seems to be some decent buzz coming from the US where it has done well at the box office especially for an R rated movie.  Reeves stars as an ex-hitman in New York who is driven back into action by the acts of some dastardly dog killing gangsters.  This could be Keanu’s Taken.  But then I didn’t really like Taken so I hope not.

 
moby

In The Heart of the Sea | Ron Howard | USA

At risk of being accused of having a Chris Hemsworth man crush here is another film starring the Thor man.  Directed by Richie Cunningham AKA Ron Howard, In The Heart of the Sea looks epic.  Set in 1820 it follows the true story of a New England whaling vessel which as the poster suggests encounters a rather large whale.  This supposedly inspired the classic novel Moby Dick and Ron Howard has a great track record of producing good old-fashioned movies that merit a cinema trip.  The cast has a distinctly Irish/British feel with Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw all starring.

NEXT UP: PART 2 – SCI-FI

The Top 20 Closing Album Tracks

On the face of it this is a simple challenge.  What are the best tracks that appear last on an album’s track listing?  This question was put to me a little while back and it dawned on me how rarely I listen to an album to the very end now.  Back in my adolescence I would listen to an album over and over to the point where even now if I hear a tune from back then I sub consciously anticipate the track that follows on the album.  Don’t get me wrong, these album’s weren’t always stone cold classics.  I was a bit of a nu-metal teen.  So for example, I still know that Limp Bizkit’s ‘Nookie‘ is followed by “…it’s just one of those days” from ‘Break Stuff‘.  That’s unshakeable knowledge.  I sometimes find myself struggling to remember something important at work because the space in my brain is filled with Limp Bizkit album track listings and the dance moves to Rollin’.

So in the hope of rekindling some love for the long play here are 20 of my favourite album closers.

Portishead – Glory Box 

Eels – Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues

Public Enemy – Fight The Power

Radiohead – Street Spirit (Fade Out)

M.I.A. – Galang

Roots Manuva – Dreamy Days

Elbow – Scattered Black And Whites

Elliott Smith – Say Yes

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Wedding Song

Pixies – Gouge Away

TV On The Radio – Lover’s Day

The National – Mr November

Arcade Fire – My Body Is A Cage

Mogwai – Mogwai Fear Satan

Arctic Monkeys – A Certain Romance

The Rakes – Work Work Work (Pub Club Sleep)

Elastica – Stutter

M83- Outro

The Strokes – Take It Or Leave It

The Doors – The End

BONUS: Jeff Buckley – Dream Brother (Phil’s choice)

Listen to the playlist on Spotify:

My Top 50 Film’s of the Decade (So Far)

I recently had the pleasure of witnessing a few friend’s have a fantastically abrasive argument on the relative merit’s of a couple of classic film’s.  It was a great example of how subjective film watching can be and it gave me a hunger to compile a list of my own favourites from the first half of the decade to see if they live up to the scrutiny of my ever so opinionated peer’s.

The very way we watch film’s has changed drastically in the last 5 years with the emergence of digital streaming, whether by legitimate mean’s or otherwise.  This has given us an endless pool of film’s to choose from whenever we settle down to watch the latest that Hollywood has to offer.  As a result I often find myself spending more time searching for potential film’s to watch than I do actually watching them so with any luck this list will stir you up enough to provide me with your own lists to help guide me through the online minefield that is the Netflix catalogue.  How many god-awful Nicolas Cage film’s must I watch before seeking help from other’s?  There is really not a lot of point in answering that question because if I can be sure of nothing else it is that for as long as Nicolas Cage continues to make film’s I will continue to watch them.  It is as if I have been put on this earth just to watch him growl and shout his way through the latest Ghost Rider sequel or any other piece of crap I can dredge up from his ever increasing back catalogue.  So in many ways this list represents the first step in an intervention of sorts.

This is my cry for help  (…please help)

Another reason for making rigorous lists in this ‘cloud’ based era is the lack of physical artefacts we collect of the thing’s we love.  Long gone are the days when you’d build a fort of VHS tapes around you and organise it in whichever unique way you so choose (obviously colour coded is best).  Perhaps this decluttering is good for the soul but if you aren’t the type of person to document your existence in the form of diaries and journals then there is a good chance that you will lose track of the things you love.  Streaming sites do a good job of collating and organising all the films they have to offer but the magical Algorithm’s working in the engine room of these websites are based on estimates and averages and they just can’t come close to predicting the random taste’s we all have.  They are programmed to keep us looking forward to the latest new releases rather than looking back and celebrating the film’s that played a role in shaping our warped little mind’s.

I have opened up the parameters of the list to a half decade which offer’s the benefit of a little hindsight as there has been time to watch the dust settle now that the award’s season hype has died down and the Hollywood marketing machine has moved onto the latest big budget mega movie coming soon to a screen near you.  It is only now that we’re able to look back at the last few year’s movie’s in the cold light of day.  I mean this figuratively of course, as daylight has no place in the movie watching process.

As a rule I have not included documentaries.  This is not because I am some kind of documentary hating man of fiction, but in fact because I don’t want to resort to lame tokenism by adding only one of two to the list.  There have been so many fantastic feature length documentaries in the last few year’s that they merit their own list which can be left for another day.

The film’s that are listed are not necessarily the bonafide classic’s of the last five years and there is no real logic to how I went about compiling and ordering them all.  All I can say is the heart want’s what the heart want’s and these are the film’s that I have really come to love.  Some of those that made the list I didn’t love immediately but they grew on me over time and some film’s that once seemed like obvious addition’s didn’t make the cut after failing to meet up to my repeated scrutiny.  I am a demanding film lover!  The film’s that do stay with me tend to be a little odd, are often unafraid to show their imperfections, but most of all they have an ability to vividly stay with me and perhaps offer a little insight into the way I comprehend the world around me.  Be sure to let me know of any glaring ommissions!

“Why do I feel like I just spent the evening with my ex-wife?”

49 Trollhunter

Troll Hunter

“Fairy tales are for kids. Trolls are animals. Predators. They eat, shit and mate. Eat anything they can.”

48 Margin Call

Margin Call

“There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat.”

47 Beginners

BEGINNERS

“I don’t want to just be theoretically gay. I want to do something about it.”

46 A Field In England

Michael Smiley in Ben Wheatley's A Field in England.

Friend: When you get to the alehouse, see a way to get a message to my wife.

Jacob: Anything, Friend. Anything.

Friend: Tell her… tell her I hate her. Tell her I did burn her father’s barn. ‘Twas payment for forcing our marriage. Tell her I loved her sister. Who I had. Many times. From behind. Like a beautiful prize sow.

45 Before Midnight

Before Midnight

“If you want love, then this is it. This is real life. It’s not perfect but it’s real.”

44 Source Code

Source Code

“What would you do if you knew you only had one minute to live?”

43 The World’s End

The Worlds End

“I remember sitting up there, blood on my knuckles, beer down my shirt, sick on my shoes and seeing the orange glow of a new dawn break and knowing in my heart life would never feel this good again. And you know what? It never did.”

42 Mud

Mud

“I like you two boys. You remind me of… me.”

41 The Way, Way Back

The Way Way Back

“You’ve got to go your own way, and you, my friend, are going your own way.”

40 Love Is All You Need

Love Is All You Need

Benedikte: I just love Italy. The food, the wine, the romance. Don’t you?

Philip: No

39 Sightseers

Sightseers

“He’s not a person, he’s a Daily Mail reader!”

38 Haywire

Haywire

“I don’t even know how to play that. I don’t wear the dress. Make Paul wear the dress.”

37 The Guard

The Guard

“You know, I can’t tell if you’re really motherfuckin’ dumb, or really motherfuckin’ smart.”

36 Philomena

Philomena

“She told four people today that they’re one in a million. What are the chances of that?”

35 The Illusionist

The Illusionist

Jimmy (Blog Writer): This is pretty much a silent movie so it has thoroughly destroyed my lovely quote system! Needless to say it’s a great film.

34 The Selfish Giant

The Selfish Giant

“What are you doing sat ‘ere? Let’s get out and make some money. C’mon!”

33 Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Once Upon A Time In Anatolia

“It’s the kids who suffer in the end, doctor. Everyone pays for the things they do. But kids pay for the sins of adults.”

32 Hanna

Hanna

“Erik: What’s wrong? Are you hurt? You were half asleep. You must always be ready. Even when you’re sleeping, think on your feet. Adapt…

Hanna: …or die. I’ll do better next time.”

31 Martha Marcy May Marlene

 Martha Marcy May Marlene

“You’re my favorite. I won’t lose you.”

30 Never Let Me Go

 Never Let Me Go

“What I’m not sure about, is if our lives have been so different from the lives of the people we save. We all complete. Maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time.”

29 Amour

Amour

“Things will go on, and then one day it will all be over.”

28 Chico and Rita

Chico and Rita

Chico: Have you thought about your career? About your future?

Rita: Future, what future? The future never gave me anything! All my hopes are set on the past.

27 Four Lions

Four Lions

“I may ask you to blow yourself up, but I will never ask you to piss in your own mouth.”

26 Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

“The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece… the entire universe will get busted.”

25 Submarine

Submarine

“Jordana hates any place that could be termed romantic. With this in mind, I took her to one of my favourite industrial estates, for some quality one-on-one time.”

24 The Kid With A Bike

The Kid With A Bike

“Don’t be upset if it’s not the way you dream it’ll be.”

23 Winter’s Bone

Winter's Bone

“Never ask for what oughta be offered.”

22 Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips

UKMTO Officer: Maersk Alabama, you should alert your crew, get your fire hoses ready. Chances are they’re just fishermen.

Captain Richard Phillips: They’re not here to fish.

21 Berberian Sound Studio

Berberian Sound Studio

“I’ve never worked on a horror film before.”

20 Made In Dagenham

Made In Dagenham

“Jesus, Eddie! What do you think this strike’s all been about, eh? Oh yeah. Actually you’re right. You don’t go on the drink, do ya? You don’t gamble, you join in with the kids, you don’t knock us about. Oh, lucky me. For Christ’s sake, Eddie, that’s as it should be! You try and understand that. Rights, not privileges. It’s that easy. It really bloody is.”

19 The Golden Dream

The Golden Dream

“I feel as if I had a zoo in my stomach. As if a whole bunch of animals were running all over my body from the excitement of going over to the other side. “

18 The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

“You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity. Indeed that’s what we provide in our own modest, humble, insignificant… oh, fuck it.”

17 Paranorman

ParaNorman

“There’s nothing wrong with being scared, Norman, as long as it doesn’t change who you are.”

16 12 Years A Slave

12 Years a Slave

“I don’t want to survive. I want to live.”

15 Boyhood

Boyhood

“You don’t want the bumpers, life doesn’t give you bumpers.”

14 Another Year

Another Year

“Life’s not always kind, is it?”

13 The Kings of Summer

Kings of Summer

“You’re right, it’s a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta.”

12 The Raid

The Raid

“Let’s clean this city’s mess!”

11 Of Gods and Men

Of Gods and Men

“I’m not scared of terrorists, even less of the army. And I’m not scared of death. I’m a free man.”

10 The Angels’ Share

 The Angels' Share

“Even if you wanted to change they’re not gonna let ya”

9 The Secret In Their Eyes

The Secret in their Eyes

“A guy can change anything. His face, his home, his family, his girlfriend, his religion, his God. But there’s one thing he can’t change. He can’t change his passion.”

8 Inside Llewyn Davis

 Inside Llewyn Davis

“If it was never new, and it never gets old, then it’s a folk song.”

7 Wadjda

Wadjda

“If you set your mind to something, no one can stop you”

Frank

Frank

Don: You play C, F and G?

Jon Burroughs: Yeah.

Don: You’re in.

5 Skeletons

Skeletons

“Stick to the rules, tell them everything, leave and never come back”

Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

“New York has the hair cuts, London has the trousers but Belfast has the bands”

3 Toy Story 3

 Toy Story 3

“Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he’ll never give up on you… ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.”

2 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

“He’s a fanatic. And the fanatic is always concealing a secret doubt.”

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim

“When I’m around you, I kind of feel like I’m on drugs. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them all the time. All of them.”