Films, films, films, films, films...
41. The Outlaw Josey Wales
I was never a fan of your John Wayne style good-guys, bad-guys Westerns but I’ve always liked Clint Eastwood’s stuff for the shades of grey and moral ambiguity. This is one of his best.
42. Live And Let Die
Bond goes Blaxploitation. There seems to this thing where you have top prefer either Sean Connery or Roger Moore. Well, I reckon there’s room for both of them and this is definitely one of my favourites (along with The man With The Golden Gun).
43. The War Of The Worlds (1953)
Somehow, this version which Wells’ original to ‘50s America seems to work. When I was kid, the bit where the dying alien’s hand reaches out of the crashed craft used to really creep me out.
44. Bubba Ho-Tep
Bruce Campbell plays a dying Elvis Presley living in a rest home who teams up with a black man who thinks he’s JFK in order to defeat an ancient Egyptian soul-sucker who removes people’s souls by sucking them out of their arse. All pretty standard, really, and that guarantees it a place on this list.
Joe Dante’s finest and probably the best Christmas movie ever. All those crazy angled shots and lurid lighting effects along with the brilliantly malicious little creatures themselves combine to make this a definite classic. I love the sequel, too, which ditches some of the horror in favour of being more an out-and-out tribute to Looney Tunes cartoons.
46. The Princess Bride
Rob Reiner again and, yes, another romantic comedy has snuck it’s way on to the list. But how can you not love a film with so many great lines and performances (especially Peter Cook’s speech impedimented priest – “Wuv. Twue wuv.”)? You can’t. End of story.
47. Dr Strangelove
The only other Kubrick film I’m partial to mainly for Peter Sellers triple performance and a brilliant turn from Slim Pickens as Major Kong.
48. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy
I still find it hard to believe that Peter Jackson went from making Bad Taste and BrainDead to this. It’s an impressively epic achievement and a faithful adaptation. Again, I’ve included these as one film as you can’t really watch one without watching the others.
49. The Matrix
OK, so the sequels were increasingly duff leading to an insulting “is that it?” ending to the last one but you can’t deny the energy of this first film. Like Alien and Blade Runner, it defined the look of sci-fi films for the decade that followed (for better and for worse).
50. Mary Poppins
It is technically illegal to do anything other than love this film. It is also considered child abuse if you were deprived of this film as a youngling. Even Dick Van Dyke’s atrocious Cockernee accent has a certain charm about it.
51. Toy Story
Pixar’s first and still one of their finest. The animation has started to look a little dated but the characters and humour still shine through.
52. Be Kind, Rewind
The first film in a long while after which everyone leaving the cinema had a big grin on their face. It’s a fun and funny feelgood film – a tribute to ‘80s style films that feels very much like an 80s film itself.
53. Annie Hall
Woody Allen at the height of his “making funny films” years (other favourites in this period for me are Sleeper and Love And Death).
54. The City Of Lost Children
A weird and twisted little French fable, part fantasy, part sci-fi and all weird. The look and design for this film is amazing.
55. The Big Lebowski
It’s probably a cliché but this is the Coen Brothers film I’m going to plump for as my favourite. It’s effortlessly cool and eminently quotable, featuring uniformly good performances (I think this is also the best thing that Jeff bridges has ever done - he was born to be The Dude).
56. Die Hard
I like a good action film and this is the definitive action film - which is always particularly badly ruined when shown on network TV. My favourite time being the screening which replaced a certain line with the much better “Yippe-ki-ay, kemosabe”. Genius.
57. Ed Wood
I’m always fond of Tim Burton’s work and, when he teams up with Johnny Depp, the results are always at least watchable. This is really Depp’s film as he turns in a great performance of eternal optimism in the face of an overwhelming lack of talent as Ed Wood.
58. Monsters, Inc.
By this point, Pixar were really at the top of their game – it’s great stuff and bloody funny too.
59. Fight Club
One of those films that I’d really wish I’d made and the best thing that David Fincher has directed. I didn’t watch this for a long while because I thought it was some of boxing film. Just shows you how wrong a marketing campaign can be. It’s great – if you haven’t watched it, go watch it now. I’ll wait......... There, good, isn’t it?
60. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Of the “Fistful” trilogy, this is quite rightly regarded as the best. It’s epic, it’s exciting and it’s pretty funny in places. Plus Ennio Morricone’s music is utterly brilliant.
Only 40 left to go. Any of your favourites still missing?