So, we're 20 down with 80 still to go. Let's narrow it down a bit more, shall we?
21. The Jungle Book
The Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You. Do you need any other reason than those to love this film? No, I thought not.
22. This Is Spinal Tap
This one goes up to 11 (ah, d'you see what I did there? Yes, well, it was a bit obvious, wasn't it?). Christopher Guest has gone on to write and direct some great films of his won (Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting For Guffman, For Your Consideration) but this is the business.
23. Withnail And I
This was another slow burner for me. The first time I watched it, I remember thinking, “Yeah, it’s pretty good but I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.” The more I watched, though, the more I loved it. Plus it helps that I lived a reasonably pub-based lifestyle while a student so it was fairly familiar.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat. 'Nuff said.
I think maybe that I prefer Mallrats overall from Kevin Smith’s oeuvre* but this was one of the films that made me want to go out and be a filmmaker. If he could stick a film on his credit card, why, then so could I!
26. Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs was one of the other films that made me want to be a filmmaker but this is the better film. This is one of those films that I watched so much I got sick of it and then completely forgot about it for ages, only to rediscover it recently and realise that I still loved it.
I remember thinking, “Yeah, this is one of those classics that’ll just turn out to be really dull.” How wrong I was. Plus I lost my virginity while this film was playing. Chicks dig Casablana.
28. Duck Soup
I love anything with Groucho Marx in it – one of my comedy heroes – but this is the best. Non-stop one-liners and some top visual humour (notably the mirror scene with Grouch and Harpo) make this the Marx Brothers film I’ve watched the most.
29. Way Out West
There are a lot of fine Laurel and Hardy films but I’m going to go with this one on the list for the thumb lighter, the constantly falling in the deep bit of the river gag and for the Trail Of The Lonesome Pine.
30. Blazing Saddles
Mel Brooks’ other finest film and, along with Airplane!, one of those comedy films that I can’t remember ever having not seen. Another fine performance from gene Wilder (“little bastard shot me in the ass”)
31. Monty Python's Life Of Brian
Well, we had Holy Grail so it was inevitable this one was going to turn up.
Another fine Terry Gilliam effort with a sterling effort from Michael Palin. It was the first medieval based film I remember watching that looked properly dirty, filthy and grimy – the sort of film that looks like it smells bad.
33. The Pink Panther Strikes Again
If I’m honest, these all start to blur into one a little bit and I have trouble telling them apart. I’m going to go with this one because, after a quick check, this is the one with the “Does your dog bite?” line and Closeau becoming hysterical on laughing gas while his disguise melts.
Ah, an obscure choice here. An animal-based parody of TV sports coverage (obviously, the Olympics specifically), this features the voices of Billy Crystal and Harry Shearer (of Spinal Tap/Simpsons fame) and is great fun. I remember having this taped when we were kids and watching it incessantly.
Scorsese’s finest film and the one that kick-started a bit of an obsession with gangster films back in the day. Although I have a confession to make – I’ve never seen The Godfather Pt II. I know, it’s a shocker. I do actually own it now, though, so it’s on the pile of stuff to watch.
36. Transformers: The Movie ('80s)
The ultimate battle between good and evil. In cartoon robot form. With the voices of Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy and Eric Idle. It’s a classic. Bah weep grah nah weep ni ni bong.
37. The Dark Knight
It’ll be interesting to see if this one stands the test of time. While I enjoyed Tim Burton’s versions (Joel Schumacher, you can fuck right off), this is probably the closest version to the comics I’ve been reading for the last 16/17 years so that’s why it currently has a place on the list/
38. Time Bandits
Yet more Terry Gilliam. Well, I like his stuff, OK? This is another of those “watched incessantly since we were kids” ones and may go towards explaining why I like my fantasy a bit twisted and warped.
39. The Evil Dead II
Sam Raimi’s finest, in my opinion. This one strikes the right balance between gory horror and slapstick comedy - the first film being too grim and the third just that little bit too silly. The sequence in which Bruce Campbell fights his possessed hand is always a favourite.
40. The Shining
I’m not a big Kubrick fan – 2001 bores the pants off me and A Clockwork Orange left me cold – but I love this one. Justifiably changes the source material to keep it basic and amps up the creepy, claustrophobic feeling perfectly.
Another 20 down. We’re over a third of the way through now. What else is to come? Stay tuned....
* That’s French for eggs. I’m so cultured.