Glasgow, Scotland, UK • July 2013 • Length of Read: 7 Minutes
I never really watched that many films growing up, especially those which could be referred to as ‘classics’. The occasional family trip to the cinema was made during times of bad weather, of course, which in Glasgow is more often than not, but I never really received an education in cinematic history past a few shoddy remakes and those films released by Disney and Pixar. As a result of this, I felt that I was missing out on a host of pop culture references and the punchlines to a number of stories and jokes. Therefore, at the age of sixteen and as an introverted pubescent recluse, I made it my aim to watch the hundred best movies of all time, regardless of genre, release date, or language.
Three years later, after a lot of nights binge watching my laptop screen and an incredible amount of illegal online streaming, I managed to complete the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDB) list of the top 100 critically rated movies. Now, I’m not going to give you a play-by-play synopsis of each bloody film, a lot of which I would describe as plain vanilla, but I will give you an insight as to what I thought of a select few. Remember, however, the list of films I watched is just a selective as my opinion on them, so don’t go crying to mummy that your favourite didn’t make the cut. I should also state here that, for the purposes of this bucket list item, documentaries were not included.
Okay, so let’s start with my five least favourite films on the list, each of which I really struggled to even get to the end of. Some didn’t stand the test of time, some were downright bizarre, and all, in my unprofessional opinion, were more shitty than the unsanitary long drop toilet of a poorly irrigated African village.
- Seven Samurai (1954)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
- Sunset Boulevard (1950)
- Paths of Glory (1957)
- Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
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- Black-and-white film in Japanese. Guy spent half-an-hour eating rice, a farm burned down, then there was a lot of horseback riding. Perhaps a predecessor to Brokeback Mountain?
- Jim Carrey being surprisingly unfunny in a number of fantasy worlds whilst chasing a far-too-young and far-too-pretty girl.
- Some movie actress gets depressed about retiring, kicks up a fuss, and people die.
- Bunch of guys stuck in a trench during WWI get bored, just like me watching it, then an evil general has to be a dick in order to save his own back.
- Plain vanilla gangster movie that felt longer than the entire Lord of The Rings trilogy.
In contrast, here are the five films which I was completely blown away with. Not my favourite five, but those which I expected absolutely nothing of and ended up bringing tears of laughter and sadness to my eyes.
- Untouchable (2011)
- La Vita e Bella (1997)
- Spirited Away (2001)
- Leon (1994)
- The Prestige (2006)
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- French dude from the ghetto unwillingly gets a job as the carer for a quadriplegic rich dude and the pair have serious banter and adventures.
- Roberto Benigni writes, directs, and acts in the most emotionally-charged Holocaust movie of all-time, making a game out of his Jewish family's death camp imprisonment to protect his son.
- A sublime Japanese anime about a young girl inadvertently wandering into an enchanted world full of sprites, beasts, and spirits, and trying to escape. Magical.
- A ten year old Natalie Portman finds herself befriending a hitman who loves to drink milk.
- Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman are rival magicians who employ cunning techniques, and go to life-threatening lengths, to top one another. A classic Christopher Nolan mind-fuckery.