Well my friends, it’s time to kickstart 1000 View Week with one of the most exciting and interesting articles for me to write, which is of course my top 5 favourite films of all time. It’s been very hard cutting down a shortlist of 15 films to just 5, but after a long time deliberating, it has been done. Oh, and there will be spoilers for the 5 films too. Without any further ado, let’s get into it:
#5 – Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Although I’m not the biggest fan of Stanley Kubrick’s work, Full Metal Jacket stands out as one of the best war films I have seen. I’ve previously written a mini-review that is as of present unpublished, which I’ll attach as a quote now:
absolutely incredible, tense, though-provoking, often disturbing, this is a masterclass in filmmaking. and of course its hard to forget the gruelling and disturbing training camp scenes, with the killing of the drill sergeant particularly lingering in the memory. 9/10
Yes, as you can see, I didn’t seem to grasp the concept of capital letters when I first watched Full Metal Jacket.
I’ll be sure to write a more in-depth review some time in the future, but I loved Full Metal Jacket, because unlike other war films, it doesn’t tell you whether you are supposed to like or dislike war, and gives arguments to support both sides of the story, and ultimately lets you decide for yourself. The first half in particular contains some of the tensest and most dramatic filmmaking I have ever seen, and when the horrifying Drill Sergeant was grilling the trainee soldiers, I was genuinely afraid of him. The film is shot beautifully and the characters are very well presented, with the leads ranging from all different opinions of war and levels of sanity, making for an incredible experience. It’s hard to watch at times and nail-bitingly tense, but if you pass Full Metal Jacket by, you’re making a huge mistake, because it is outstanding.
#4 – Monsters, Inc. (2001)
I grew up watching Monsters, Inc. but never really considered how high quality a film it actually is. For its time, the special effects were incredible, and still hold up to this day, and it tells a highly emotional and gripping story. One may perceive Monsters, Inc. as ‘just a kids film’, but it is so much more than that. I wouldn’t call myself hardened, but every time I watch Monsters, Inc. it brings me to uncontrollable floods of tears due to the brilliant voice acting from John Goodman and Billy Crystal, and the beautiful tale of a young girl stuck in a world that is not her own. At times Monsters, Inc. is a laugh-a-minute thrill ride through the dense, detailed world of monsters, but at other times it is very thematic and emotional, and in my opinion, Pixar’s best film ever. I can watch Monsters, Inc. whenever because it is so diverse and appealing, and with an irresistible charm, you’d have to be hard as nails not to fall in love with Sulley and Mike, or not to shed a subtle tear in the emotional ending. Truly a superb triumph in filmmaking, not to be disregarded as a trashy kids film.
#3 – The Lion King (1994)
Another Disney pick, The Lion King is arguably the last traditional Walt Disney picture, and in my opinion, the best by a mile. Just like Monsters, Inc., The Lion King is incredibly emotional at times, reducing me to tears on every single viewing, but I’m proud to admit that because if the film was poorly-made, that wouldn’t be possible, unless I was crying with boredom. The music in The Lion King is also very well done and brilliantly incorporated into the films more joyful and darkest moments to add to the experience. For example, the unforgettable opening sequence would be far less entertaining if it wasn’t for Elton John’s ‘Circle of Life’, and then songs such as ‘Hakuna Matata’ make the film much more kid-friendly. The Lion King is one of the greatest animated films ever, and proves that films can be emotional, scary, intense yet spectacular all at the same time, without the need for live action actors. As with all of these, I’ll be writing much more in an in-depth review, but if you haven’t seen The Lion King, it is an absolute must because it may well be the best Disney film ever.
#2 – Alien (1979)
Very different from the last two picks, Alien probably would’ve nabbed the top spot if the #1 pick wasn’t as amazing, because it is a masterclass in filmmaking. On a relatively low budget, and in a much more conservative time period, Ridley Scott managed to craft one of the scariest and most iconic monsters known to man, and make an effective and incredibly high-quality horror film without the need for millions of dollars to get it going. Aside from a few revealing scenes, Alien still holds up to this day, and it is absolutely timeless due to its chilling soundtrack, which had my pulse racing from the get-go, great acting, especially from Sigourney Weaver and Ian Holm, and because of its beautiful cinematography, highlighting the film’s brilliant tagline: In space, no-one can hear you scream. Although the Alien saga has effectively run to a stand-still due to awful saturation of the brand, nothing can detract from the sheer quality of the 1979 original, which not only launched the careers of Scott and Weaver, but also introduced the world to much more advanced visual effects, which although endangered due to the easy way out of CGI, is still being preserved to this day by directors such as Christopher Nolan. A landmark film that everyone should see, and one of the few films that I would rate 10 out of 10. Talking of Christopher Nolan…
#1 – The Dark Knight (2008)
If any of you reading know me in the real world, you would have seen this coming from a mile away. I sing the praises of The Dark Knight whenever possible because it truly deserves it. It is a throwback to classic cinema such as the work of Kubrick, and unlike most contemporary films, relies on its character-driven plot and incredible design and direction to carry it home instead of special effects or beautiful women. I wouldn’t consider The Dark Knight to be the best superhero film of all time because it is not too accurate to Batman’s rich comic history, but it is by far one of the best films of the 21st century, and manages to break the mould of generic comic-book blockbuster to become something special that only comes around once a decade or so. Those that argue that The Dark Knight is terrible are mostly DC Comics fanboys that can’t stand Nolan’s ultra-realistic interpretation, but I too am a DC Comics fanboy, but it is my favourite film of all time because in an era where films are mostly the same, it does something different and breaks the mould. The Dark Knight features some of the best performances of the last 10 years, especially the late Heath Ledger as The Joker, who I believe would’ve won the Oscar anyway, because his performance is simply a class above the rest. He is terrifying yet endearing at the same time, and pulls off a Joker that has never, and will never see again, simply due to the unique spin he put on the character, which I absolutely adored. I could talk about The Dark Knight until I’m old and grey, but to put it simply, don’t believe those slating it because it is an incredible film that people only reject because it is different, which really is the reason it should go down in history. In my opinion, no film is perfect, but to me The Dark Knight is the closest to film perfection that we will ever get.
Well, there it is, my top 5 films of all time. A couple of my choices are quite controversial, and if you agree or disagree with me I’d love to hear your top 5, or why your opinion varies from from mine. I appreciate that we are all different, but please don’t give me abuse if you disagree with me, because one person’s idea of a good film may be another’s idea of an awful film; we all vary, which is what makes the film-loving community one of the best around. As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for a lot more from us over this 1000 View Week!
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