Often regarded as the BIG ONE, this MASSIVE CATEGORY is MASSIVE and BIG — it’sa BIGGUN’, MATE.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
You know those total NOIDS who can recite Monty Python word-for-word? Well — “Not so long ago in the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim was dating a high-schooler…” — I could go on for another 113 minutes but that’d be silly. I’ve written 2000+ words on how much I love this movie over the past three years, but to sum up: Edgar Wright is a masterful director, never wasting a shot, showing both innovation and devotion to the source, a lesson in editing. The soundtrack is stocked to the brim of garage rock goodness, an ensemble of indie. Every single performance here is awesome, from the leads that felt straight from the page, to the bit roles I quote on the daily (Comeau is GOD). It’s action-packed, visually stunning, veratably hilarious and encompasses every aspect of life and culture I love — movies, music, games and comics — there is no way in hell it’ll ever not be the best thing created ever.
Ghostbusters (1984) – However, a lot of people might not be aware of Scott Pilgrim, so I often tell people my favourite film is Ghostbusters and, to be fair, it ain’t too far off. An inarguable classic, 80s comedy peaked with this supernatural blast. The finest comedy ensemble cast of all time take center stage here, as Murray, Aykroyd, Ramis and Hudson shoot off gags like a rapid-fire laughter cannon. So many iconic moments too, as I said, it’s a classic!!!!
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – Oh how my horizons had broadened when I watched this — oh what this movie hath done to I. I mean, I’m pretty sure the word “kitsch” was coined because audiences couldn’t comphrehend what this influx of decadence was hitting their screens — from the styrofoam Adam‘s lining the halls to the sax-blowing Meat Loaf. The songs are genuinely great and the sense of fun being had by everyone involved is overwhelming. Rocky Horror is not for everyone, but for those who love it, LOVE IT.
The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (2003)
I’m pretty sure The Lord of the Rings, not just as a film series, but as an entity, an idea, is the greatest thing this world has ever created. Screw the pyramids. J.R.R Tolkien set out to give Britain the legend and mythology he felt was missing from its culture, and with his creation of Middle-Earth he did it incredibly. You could say that the books spend too many chunks of paper describing trees and the taste of apples in Rivendale, and Peter Jackson clearly recognised this as he condensed the huge books into three movies and cut out anything that was unnecessary. But he still managed to perfectly capture the huge grandeur and magic of the original books, with each film lasting at least three hours each and being epics in the truest sense of the word. It all culminates in the trilogy’s closing film, The Return of the King, which brings together all the drama, action, and fantastical nature of the series in a massive finale and is the peak of all those three components in cinema. There is barely time to draw a breath in the first half of the movie, as the Witch King n’ chums battle it out with all the armoured goodies while Frodo n’ chums battle it out at Mount Doom. It’s INTENSE and I don’t know if I could ever enjoy a film so much as this again. Sure, the endings are uber long but it’s all lovely. Everything builds towards the events in this film and for someone who fell in love with it so much with the first two films, it’s the perfect finish.
The first other two I’d like to mention are, surprise surprise, the first two Lord of the Rings films, The Two Towers (2002) and The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), and I’ll say why in a later award. Next up, we’ve got The Dark Knight (2008), which comes very close to the top spot. Which also, I’ll say more about later (hope you look forward to it xoxo). And finally, although it’s a really close call between this and Monsters Inc., I want to give a very special mention to Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back (1980), which, again, gets its full due in another award.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
Best film ever made, mate. Harrison Ford punching Nazis is all you need. Throw in ghosts and booby traps and damsels who can drink you under the table, Egyptian tombs, submarines and biplanes and you’re following a red line on a map from excellent to ultimate.
Jaws (1975) – The leanest screenplay and the greatest theme tune. I’ve said it before but you could edit the shark stuff out of Jaws and it still works as a drama. You could cut out the drama and it works as an action adventure. You cut out everything but the shark scenes and it works as a horror movie. And sharks… Still scared of sharks.
Easy Rider (1969) – Some kids grew up with Goonies or American Pie. We had Dennis Hooper and Peter Fonda on the wall in my folks living room. The Pusher is my Circle of Life.
12 Monkeys (1995) – Gilliam makes fighting against the end of humanity confusing and frustratingly futile. Every time I see it I wish for a different ending, but there’s little Bruce Willis at the airport…
Apocalypse Now (1979) – The ultimate over the top movie experience. Like they’re napalm bombing your eyes and ears with Wagner and bullets. The making of the movie is as epic as the film itself. The redux adds even more texture and spectacle to an already gargantuan piece of cinema.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
If there is ever a film that deserves the label perfect, Full Metal Jacket makes the grade and then some. Not only did the Kubrick classic feature the caustic drill that made R Lee Ermey a legend. Through the eyes of tortured young marines, the darkly comic portrayals subtly capture the pains of war.
The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
A beautifully told saga about the eternal struggle between good and evil, friendship and love. Gorgeous Technicolor and sets.
I love Terry Gilliam’s films and almost all of them could be in this top spot, they are genius creations, but ‘Brazil’ was the one that really changed my life. I mean that literally, this film changed my life. Before I saw it I knew nothing about film and was a long way off having any discerning taste for them, then I saw it in an independent theatre one night and I walked out a changed human. The idea that a film could have a really terrible ending, as opposed to a happy, tied-up in a bow one which is all I’d ever seen before, was revolutionary to my infantile mind. I never looked at films the same way again and I still love everything about this film to this day, it should be compulsory viewing.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) – Bill Murray is just the best, just the very best, then there’s the score, the visuals, the crazy story and Bowie in French. The best film Wes Anderson has ever made.
Amelie (2002) – A joy from start to finish, beautiful to behold, such remarkable cinematography, this film always makes me happy and the score is one of my favourites of all time.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World (2010) – I mean, wow, just wow. This film blew my mind when I first saw it and it’s still blowing up today, so ridiculously funny and the best editing you will ever see, not to mention I listen to the songs all the time.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004) – This film opened a door for me that has led to some of the weirdest and best films I’ve ever seen, it started here, the original and probably the best, it will never not make me laugh. Vote Pedro.
Seven Samurai (1954)
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs Of All Time!