Tuesday, 6 October 2009

(500) Films Of Empire - Day 21

99 - Toy Story - 5 stars
This film ushered in a new era for animated films and put Pixar firmly on the Hollywood map.
Rereleased this week in 3D, it is the first film to have the treatment that doesn't include any unnecessary gags of throwing things at the screen.  It's absolutely beautiful to look at (check out the UV neon colours in Sid's bedroom as an example) and strengthens the argument that 3D will last beyond gimmick films like horror films and children's animated movies - however the real test still lies ahead in the form of Avatar.
The animation is stunning, voice work is fantastic (Allen perfect as the toy who believes he is the real deal), but as Pixar has proved time and time again, the strength of a movie will always depend on the quality of the story and the screenplay.
Lovely references to Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Alien, Back To The Future and one of the great uses of the infamous Wilhelm Scream.
If there was one thing I could moan about it would be simply two words... Randy Newman 
Yet despite how wonderful this film is, I honestly believe that the sequel is even better, possibly the best sequel of all time... but I'll get to why when I review it in January when it's released in 3D.

A link to a compilation of lots of Wilhelm screams that have popped up in loads of movies since Star Wars in 1977 (but originally used in a western called The Charge At Feather River).

Now I said yesterday that I would name ten movies I felt should have been on the list (i.e. the DVDs left on the shelf after removing all the films I needed to watch):

1. Swingers 
2. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
3. Team America
4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
5. Adaptation
6. Star Trek: Wrath Of Khan
7. Master And Commander
8. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
9. Caddyshack
10. In Bruges
11. Talented Mr Ripley

Yes there are 11 films on that list, but that is because I made the list of ten then realised I'd forgotten to put Swingers on it!  So now this list goes up to 11!

After another evening of rehearsals with Lyric, I settled in for a lazy night in front of the TV with:

466 - Snatch - 2 stars
After the cinematic misfires of Swept Away and Revolver (and his marriage to Madonna), Guy Ritchie returned to the cockney crime drama with RockNRolla, but it just seems to me as proof that he is a one-trick pony, albeit one with some degree of creative flair. Snatch is very enjoyable and at times his best movie but I feel he has pandered to the needs of the American market too much .  Worth of a spot on the top 500?  Not really.  Should I be worried about what Ritchie does with a budget of $100 million+ for Sherlock Holmes?  Well it is a cockney crime drama of sorts?!  Still, Guy Ritchie did springboard The Stath into his career as THE B-Movie Action Hero.

58 - His Girl Friday - 3 stars
Film Noirs and Screwball comedies (what does the term screwball comedy even mean?!) in the 30's and 40's were famous for their razor sharp, fast talking dialogue and I don't think I've ever seen a movie where it was more rapid fire than this.  Researching the film on IMDB I discovered that it was the first film to have characters speaking over each other.  No wonder Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell can't wait to get their lines out when they spark and crackle like they do in this tale of an unscrupulous newspaper boss trying to disrupt the marriage plans of his ex-wife and editor, all the while trying to get the scoop on the upcoming death row hanging case.


  1. Sorry if I'm being retarded, but shouldn't swingers be the No. 1 left off the Top 500?

  2. Also, is that the order of the top 10??? Or is it the top 10 in no particular order? My top 3 (because you care...) would rank: Caddyshack, Swingers, South Park.

  3. ha ha, you're right. I went and looked for ten films (no real order to them), and then left Swingers off the list, D'Oh! Will amend the post, post haste.