I'm joining in the Top Ten Movie Countdown BlogFest.
Now, I thought this blog post would be easy, but I'm finding whittling my list of favourite movies down to just 10 is v. difficult - many have fallen by the wayside!
The Mummy (1999)
I love Egyptology, I love adventure movies and John Hannah has the best one liners ever! Brendan Frazer and Rachel Weisz star in what everyone thought was going to be a minor adventure movie, but turned into something of a blockbuster. I'm not surprised, because it has a stellar cast, a fun script that doesn't take itself at all seriously and a good dose of action to back it all up. Plus, the heroine is out and proud as a LIBRARIAN! What's not to love?
Lady In White
Lukas Haas after Witness, but before he grew up, playing Frankie Scarlatti, a young boy who, thanks to a trick by his friends, gets shut in the school cloak room and thus witnesses the appearance of the ghost of a little girl. Shortly thereafter, he is attacked by someone who is very much alive, who comes looking for something in the same room, and he is nearly killed. Thus begins his quest to find out who the little girl is, who the mysterious woman in white can be and what his attacker wanted in the school room.
It's a bit twee in places, the whole hearts and stars at the end is not its finest moment, but this film has the ability to gently scare (don't expect blood and guts and lots of screaming), take you to the edge of your seat and also charm as it harks back to rural USA in the mid 20th Century. It's a small town story, not fast paced, but enthralling and the first time I watched it, I wanted to find out everything Frankie is discovering.
This is an 80's movie starring James Spader (wow is he sexy in this one) and Cynthia Gibb, and, on the surface, I should have hated it, because it contains two of my most awful things in a movie: Jack The Ripper inspired murders (I find them really boring); death of a twin. However, this is one of my all time fav movies now, hence it being on this list. It just has something, probably James Spader, but there is something else as well - a little mysticism, a bad boy done good and some really good action.
The Green Mile
I cry and cry and cry when I watch this movie, but I also smile through the tears at times. Heart-wrenching and difficult to watch in places, but just a brilliant, brilliant piece of cinema.
The Young Sherlock Holmes
This is a real romp of a movie that reinvents the first meeting of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes to a boarding school in London. It's Steampunk before Steampunk was invented, throws in Egyptology, which is a favourite of mine and mixes it up with a lot of fencing and stiff upper lip. It was also an early use of computer graphics. The villains are villainous, the heroes, heroic and its not that subtle, but I've loved it since I was young and the whole attack of the killer cream buns that happen in the middle is priceless!
I can go back to this movie and watch it over and again. The characters, the eccentricity, the setting are all just wonderful. N.B. I tried to read the book after seeing the movie and absolutely loathed it. :(
The 13th Warrior
This is another one of my go-to comfort movies. I can put this on and just watch, I don't get bored like I do in other movies I've seen before. Antonio Banderas playing an Arab who gets dumped with a bunch of Norse men going off to rescue a village from a (possibly) mythical foe. He's a poet, not a warrior, and if he'd been ten years younger, I'd have said this was a coming of age movie, but it's more than that. There's self-discovery, courage and a lot of dead vikings by the end of the movie, but, since it embraces the complete fearlessness of death that the Norsemen have and their sense of fatality, you don't grieve for them, you celebrate them.
The Woman In Black
I have read the book, seen the stage play, seen the TV adaptation and I was chomping at the bit to see this movie when it came out. Some folks might have groaned about Harry Potter being the lead, but Daniel Radcliffe plays a perfectly understated Arthur Kipps, a young man devastated by the loss of his wife and struggling to find his way back into the world. Much of the film is focused just on Arthur and the ghostly terror that awaits him in Eel Marsh House, an isolated place on an island cut off from civilisation for much of the day and night by the tide. Daniel proves that he is a strong actor, who can hold the screen by himself. For fans of horror, there are plenty of moments from spooky to downright terrifying and it is a well-paced, totally absorbing story.
The Lost Boys
This movie began my life-long addiction to all things vampire, plus, I like the Lost Boys' style! ;P
I love the half-vampire fighting full-vampire for their soul trope and this one did very well. It's very 80's, but it's the bits of the 80's I like to remember, so it's well worth a watch for any vampire movie fans.
Return of the Jedi
This has to be number 1: I waited to see it for five or six years after it came out, because we didn't get to the cinema a lot when I was a kid and, so the first time I saw it was on video when we borrowed a VCR for the Christmas holidays and rented the vid. Then we nearly wore out the tape, because we watched it so many times.