Opinion: My 100 Favourite Films of All Time

11:45 am EDT, March 10, 2012

Last week, I decided it was time to make a list of all my favourite films. I started with my top 10, which I have always had in my head, in no particular order. I then thought of all the films I watch on an annual basis, and these are the top 40.

The next 60 are films that I really love and enjoy watching every time, but that I choose to watch on a less regular basis for one reason or another.

Two of the films in my top 10 are directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the ‘master of suspense’, so as you can probably guess, he is my favourite director of all time. Overall, four of his films appear on my list. Eight films starring Adam Sandler, six starring James Stewart and three starring Cary Grant appear. These are my favourite actors, along with Robert Downey Jr and Joseph Gordon Levitt, who unfortunately have not made as many good films as they should have, and so only appear twice and once on this list respectively.

There are 4 films from 2011 on this list, which means that as 2012 progresses, this list could dramatically change, with the likes of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3’ at the top of my ‘Most Anticipated List’.

I hope you enjoy reading, and feel free to comment underneath with your opinions!

1. North by Northwest (1959)

Cary Grant, Eve Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau. A cast list that makes any fan of 50s/60s cinema cry with excitement and joy… and this film deserves that kind of reaction. It is the inspiration for almost every fast-paced action movie made today, including ‘The Bourne Identity’ and ‘National Treasure’ franchises. Grant stars as a business-man, enjoying a fairly average day of meetings, who raises his hand at the wrong time and is pulled into a world of suspense and danger, which involves him being chased by a plane in the legendary ‘crop-duster’ sequence, chased over Mount Rushmore and chased across the United Nations. A must-see for any fans of the ‘action-mystery’ genre.

2. The Incredibles (2004)

Considered by many to be Pixar’s greatest non-Toy Story film, if this were live-action it would most certainly be directed by Christopher Nolan. It has all the makings of a great superhero film, a villian turned evil because of rejection, a mad fashionista based on Edith Head, a midget boss who gets all his bones broken, a giant robot gone rogue, and a demented super-baby. Hollywood were so impressed with director Brad Bird’s skill at making an animated film seem so real that they hired him to direct ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’, which has gone on to be a huge hit with critics and audiences alike. In my opinion, one of the greatest animated, and overall, films of all time.

3. National Treasure (2004)

Nicholas Cage has had a lot of ups-and-downs in his career, but in my opinion, this is one of his high-points. It’s basically a cross between The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code and Indiana Jones, but with a PG certificate and just enough violence to be suitable for all the family..and the whole family will love it! I have never met a person under the age of 45 who saw this film and din’t enjoy it! Although some of the plot may be slightly historically inaccurate, the twists and turns of the mystery are exciting, and the acting by Cage, Jon Voight (Mission: Impossible), Justin Bartha (The Hangover) and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) is superb. Also, this is the first major film for Diane Kruger who has gone on to star in ‘Inglorious Basterds’ and is set to be Tarantino’s new female lead.

4. Bednobs and Broomsticks (1971)

Made 7 years after the more beloved Mary Poppins, this seriously underrated Disney family musical stars Angela Landsbury (Murder, She Wrote) as an apprentice witch who is forced to take 3 orphans under her wing during WWII. One of several links to ‘Poppins’ is David Tomlinson (Mr Banks in MP) who plays a failed street magician living in a run down abandoned London townhouse, with an unexploded bomb in the front garden. The fantastic songs were written by Richard Sherman and his brother Robert, who passed away last week at the age of 86. Perhaps the film’s best known sequence is when, Poppins style, the live-action characters are transported to a world of hand-drawn animated creatures, under the sea and on the island of Nabooboo (no, that isn’t a location from the ‘Star Wars’ prequels). The technology used is quite impressive, and shows how passionate Disney was about making these films perfect, so children and adults alike could enjoy them for decades to come.

5. Finian’s Rainbow (1968)

This is Fred Astaire’s last major musical, where he travels to my home country of Ireland in search of leprechauns and gold. It is directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and has been almost forgotten due to the release in 1972 of a little film called ‘The Godfather’. Petula Clark and Tommy Steele co-star as Astaire’s daughter and favourite leprechaun, respectively, and there are great plot-lines about a racist millionaire (Keenan Wynn) turning black by magic, and a deaf-and-dumb girl getting her lost senses back, after falling in love with the leprechaun. It also features wonderful songs about homesickness and the nostalgia associated with visiting Ireland, a trip I would recommend you all to make!

6. Funny People (2009)

As you can probably tell from reading this list, I am a big fan of Adam Sandler’s films. To be honest, I even found ‘Jack and Jill’ slightly funny, although I do admit his earliest work was his best. This is not one of his ‘Happy Madison’ films, and it was directed by raunchy comedy supremo Judd Apatow. It is over 2 and a half hours long, and when it finishes, you feel much closer to the characters played by the brilliant ensemble cast (including Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jason Schwartzman, Jonah Hill, Aziz Ansari, Eric Bana…need I go on?) than you do in most shorter comedies. Sandler plays a succesful stand-up and film star comedian, who has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, and believes he has only a few months to live. About halfway through the film, he is cured, but then he must get back into the flow of his life, and reconnect with his friends and family. At points it is hilarious and at points it will make you cry, but it is a must-see for fans of any sort of comedy or stand-up comedians.

7. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Although it is absolutely nothing like ‘North by Northwest’, this is the second Hitchcock film on this list. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day star as the parents of Ben, who is abducted in Morocco and taken to London, where they must track him to a rural church and uncover a plot to murder an important political figure. Bernard Herrmann, in my opinion the greatest film composer of all time, appears on screen as himself, performing in the Royal Albert Hall, and conducting the orchestra when the cymbals clash and the gun is shot. Fast-paced, well scripted and featuring some of Doris Day’s most beautiful songs, this is a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking.

8. The April Fools (1969)

One of many great Jack Lemmon comedies that could have filled this spot, this co-stars Catherine Deneuve and Peter Lawford, and features songs by Burt Bacharach. Lemmon and Deneuve meet at a party and go on a mad all-nighter, visiting a jungle-themed club, a privately-owned castle occupied by a fencing champion, and more! Over the next few days, Deneuve starts to pull apart from her husband (Lawford) and eventually, her and Lemmon are reunited in the film’s climactic scene at JFK Airport. An example of how a good rom-com should be made.

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Any of the Potter films apart from ‘Order of the Phoenix’, which I dislike very much, could have filled this slot, but I chose this one because, at the helm of director Mike Newell, it really feels like a separate film which can be watched outside of the series. ‘Prisoner’ is the most artfully directed, but this is the real ‘blockbuster’ of the sires, pulling out all the stops with dragons, sea creatures, dancing, romance, mild swearing and of course, THE MAZE! Robert Pattinson also contributes largely to the film, in his first major role as Cedric Diggory.

10. A Series of Unfortunate Events (2005)

The adaptation of the Daniel Handler novels was overlooked by many when it was released, but in my opinion, Jim Carrey’s performance as Count Olaf, the demented actor who tries and fails several times to kill the Baudelaire children and steal their inheritance, by dressing up as numerous wacky characters, was deserving of an Academy Award. Another wonderful thing about this film is the fact that almost every character shares a name with a great writer, such as Mr Poe, Esmé Squalor, Uncle Monty, Edgar Guest, Ish, the Baudelaire children and many more. It does have a PG, but young children may find it scary. Other actors that appear include Meryl Streep, Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, Jude Law and Craig Ferguson.

11. Brigadoon         

12. The Sound of Music

13. Mary Poppins

14. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

15. The Polar Express (2004)

16. The Wizard of Oz

17. Inception (2010)

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 

20. Doctor Doolittle (1967)

21. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

22. Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

23. Bell, Book and Candle

24. The Cat in the Hat (2004)

25. Batman Begins (2005)

26. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

27. Click (2006)

28. The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2005)

29. Mr Deeds (2002)

30. Twilight (2008)

31. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

32. Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones

33. The Maltese Falcon

34. Rear Window

35. Pinnochio

36. State Fair (1945)

37. Toy Story 3

38. Vertigo

39. Enchanted (2007)

40. Wall.E

41. The Third Man

42. To Kill A Mockingbird

43. Lili (1953)

44. Gigi

45. The Help (2011)

46. Singin’ in the Rain

47. The Apartment

48. Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope

49. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

50. Sunrise (1927)

51. Grown Ups (2010)

52. Groundhog Day (1993)

53. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

54. Ratatouille (2007)

55. Big Daddy (1999)

56. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (2011)

57. Shrek the Third (2007)

58. Barefoot in the Park

59. The Birds

60. Hugo (2011)

61. The Shop Around the Corner

62. It’s A Wonderful Life

63. Goodbye Mr. Chips (1969)

64. The Nightmare Before Christmas

65. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

66. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

67. Paul (2011)

68. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

69. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

70. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

71. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

72. The Dark Knight (2008)

73. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

74. Odd Man Out

75. Easy A (2010)

76. Billy Madison

77. The Devil & Miss Jones (1941)

78. 2001: A Space Odyssey

79. The Thin Red Line

80. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

81. The Quiet Man

82. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

83. The Santa Clause

84. Breakfast at Tiffanys

85. The Royal Tennenbuams

86. Batman Forever

87. Spider-Man (2002)

88. 23 Steps to Baker Street

89. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

90. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1

91. Laurel and Hardy’s Way Out West (1937)

92. Batman: The Movie

93. The Railway Children (1970)

94. Forrest Gump

95. Happy Gilmore

96. Anger Management

97. The Ghost and Mrs Muir

98. Laurel and Hardy’s Swiss Miss (1938)

99. Iron Man (2008)

100. The African Queen

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

Read full article

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

Read full article

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Read full article

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?