I hope there may even be a couple of titles in my list you may not have heard of. So in reverse order, here are my top ten.
#10 Rockula (1990)
Bits of the movie are filmed like music videos, while other parts are straight up film and it is wonderfully put together. The music is fun and Toni Basil as Phoebe (Ralph's mom) is just brilliantly whacky.
This is not a film to be taken seriously, but it is truly wonderful.
#09 V for Vendetta (2005)
This is a film about a bleak future where much is outlawed and the totalitarian society is run by an iron fist. V (Hugo Weaving) uses terrorist tactics to fight for freedom and gains Evey (Natalie Portman) as an ally when he rescues her from the secret police. Parts of it are gut wrenching and not all of it is easy to watch, but it is utterly captivating.
It makes me cry every time and yet I come back to it over and over.
#08 X-men First Class (2011)
I can give you one simple reason I love this movie and that is James McAvoy, well James and Michael Fassbender actually, but James is my favourite.
James plays Charles and he's so unlike the bald, controlled, careful Xavier we are used to in the other X-men films that he's completely new. First of all he has hair, lovely, floppy brown hair that makes me want to run my fingers through it. Then he's a bit of a lush and just coming out of being an eternal student now that he has submitted his final thesis. He's naive and a little bit arrogant, but so well meaning and loveable. In a word; brilliant.
Then there is Michael as Erik; Charles' total opposite. Hard edged, volatile, dangerous and honed into the perfect weapon by his time in a Nazi concentration camp.
One of the best things about this film is the chemistry between the two leads. They make the screen crackle and are totally superb. They have this habit of playing chess which could totally be a euphemism for sex :).
#07 RED (2011)
However, when someone tries to burn him he has to go get her and run so that she doesn't get killed. Along the way they pick up Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox) while being chased by Cooper (Karl Urban). This film has action, romance, hilarious comedy, tragedy and everything else you could possibly ask for. It is brilliant and the cast is to die for.
#06 The Lost Boys (1987)
I still think the late 80s and early 90s produced some of the best vampire movies in the genre. Some are funny, some are serious, but none of them took themselves too seriously, unlike some I could mention these days. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against totally straight vampire films, but teenage angst is given far too much credit these days. The Lost Boys does teenage angst, but it's far less emo and much more 'holy shit, I'm floating on the ceiling'.
I saw this film in the cinema when it came out and then I bought a copy of the VHS as soon as I could and the moment it was on DVD it was mine; I really must update to the Blu-ray soon. I can still quote most of it.
The basic plot is this: the Emersons move to Santa Carla because Lucy (Dianne West), the mom, has divorced and they have nowhere to live, except with Grandpa (Barnard Hughes). Sam (Corey Haim), the youngest son is of the MTV generation and just does not fit in, Michael (Jason Patric), the elder son is trying his best to help his mom and keep his little brother in line. What they didn't count on was vampires.
Michael starts running with a gang headed by David (Keifer Sutherland), because he falls for Star (Jami Gertz) who hangs out with them. He is tricked into drinking David's blood and starts turning into a vampire. Then it's up to Sam and some local teen vampire hunters (The Frog Brothers) (Corey Feldman, Jamison Newlander) to rescue him from the mess.
There are plot twists and humour and lots of action, and the script is beautifully put together. It is a classic and deserves its place in history. However, don't bother with the sequel, it is terrible, however, the third in the series is actually quite good. Not as good as the original, but not bad.
#05 Bicentennial Man (1999)
This film stars Robin Williams as Andrew, an android bought by Richard Martin (Sam Neil) for his family. It follows Andrew through his evolution from droid to synthetic human alongside three generations of the Martin family. It is an epic movie in the true sense of the word and it is touching and beautiful and poignant.
Have the tissues ready for at least three points in the film, but also be prepared to laugh and beam with joy, because it will take you on the whole journey.
#04 The Green Mile (1999)
This film has so many aspects I love; it has drama and supernatural powers and love and joy and sacrifice.
It also has scenes that make me hide behind cushions because they are so hard to watch.
All the characters are rich, good and bad, and the plot is complex and winding and exciting and heart wrenching. I don't think I could take the end in many films, but the way it is written is so well balanced that it rips my heart out, but patches it back together again. Tom Hanks is superb as Paul Edgecomb, the prison guard who comes to learn there are far more things in this world than he understands and Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) is just amazing at John Coffey, the inmate on the Green Mile who teaches him these things.
The rest of the cast are equally as good, from Doug Hutchinson as Percy, the prison guard just made to be hated, to Bonnie Hunt as Jan, Paul's wife. This is a stunning film.
#03 The Avengers (2012)
The script is funny and exciting in equal order. There are serious moments and moments that made the whole cinema laugh out loud. It is not only the best comic book movie I have ever seen, it is one of the best movies, hence it's place in my top ten. I only hope they can keep it up for Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and Avengers 2.
#02 The 13th Warrior (1999)
Antonio Banderas plays Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, an Arab poet sent as an envoy to the north lands because he looked at the wrong man's wife. He ends up the 13th man on a quest with the Norsemen to find out why some of their settlements are being destroyed.
The film is full of fighting and mythology and adventure with strong characters, a very well thought out plot and superb acting. It is an epic tale and yet has very human elements and the script is superb. I cannot recommend this film more, which is why it has my number 2 slot.
#01 Moon Child (2003)
It is mostly not in English, but the subtitles are very well done and actually make sense of the subtleties of the plot. It was designed to be an international film, because it's not all in Japanese either.
Hyde plays the vampire Kei who we first see at the turn of the millennium with the vampire who created him. With his maker tired and wishing to die, Kei is left all alone.
Then we skip to 2014 after the Japanese economy has collapsed and many immigrants are living in a place called Mallepa. We meet Sho, a young street kid with his brother Shinji and friend Toshi who are looking to score big money by theft. While making a run for it, Sho finds Kei, who is waiting for light to kill him, and takes him back to their hideout where Kei saves Sho and the others by eating the gangster they robbed.
|Hyde as Kei|
This film will make you cry twice at least unless your heart is made of stone. It is full of emotion and has some of the best fight scenes I have seen. Not because they are perfect and have the biggest budget, but because they have humour as well action.
|Gackt as Sho|
|Sho and Kei|
Just in case you were wondering, here are the titles that didn't make the top ten, but did make my initial list :).
Chronicles of Riddick - Director's Cut
The Dark Crystal
Ju-on (The Grudge) - Japanese version
Hawk the Slayer
Interview with the Vampire
Let the Right One In
Return of the Jedi
Midnight in Paris
Grosse Point Blank