I wanted to ask a different type of Desert Island question, everyone always ask what books you would take. Me on the other hand wanted to know what movies Carol would take, bringing out the inner geek in me!
So what did Carol choose?
Here I am, waves lapping against the shore, rays of sun peeping through the shady palms I have constructed to shied my body from the sunlight. Help will come but I’m not overly bothered when I have my iPad and solar battery charger for hours of entertainment and my top 10 favourite movies downloaded onto it. I have an eclectic taste in films and choosing only ten was tough, especially as there are hundreds of amazing films available. However, these are the final ten I settled on with explanations as to why I picked them. Now all I need is a cocktail and I’m set up to watch them again:
10 Mission Impossible
I was a fan of the original television series but when Tom Cruise took over as Ethan Hunt, I was sold! This is an action-packed, espionage series with some incredible stunts (apparently Tom Cruise performed all his own) and twists; and we all know how much I love twists. I could have gone for any of the Mission Impossible films as a top choice but decided on this one as it was the first in the franchise and I had the theme tune as my mobile ringtone for absolutely ages and a crush on Tom Cruise for a lot longer.
(I LOVE Tom Cruise and the MI series, the 1st and the newest are my favourite! I think it adds to the magic of the film knowing he did his own stunts!!)
I know it’s deemed as corny these days, but back in the seventies when I was a teenager and watched this, I made so much noise laughing, I was almost booted out of the cinema. There are non-stop ridiculous jokes and daft comedic scenes and splendid acting from Leslie Neilson, and even today, having watched it a hundred times, every time I board a flight, I still say ‘Roger, Roger. ‘Over, Over.’ Sad but hey, this film was original and fresh, and was a spoof on the glut of disaster movies doing the rounds at the time. The groan-inducing jokes and dead-pan acting made tears run down my face. Perfect for a night of easy-viewing.
(I have not watched this film in years! I love all these films, cheesy but so much fun!)
I watched this film during a short trip to Paris with my son, at his insistence. (subtitled, of course) ‘You’ll never guess the twist,’ he said. I did! This one is about a serial killer, slaying his victims according to the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, and so on, leaving a sick procession of corpses, each one murdered in a way related to their own particular sin. Lovely! Yes, I was gripped from the start, drawn into the gloomy, melancholic backdrop, and eager to learn who was behind the gruesome murders. The plot glues you to the seat, and with superb acting from Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, this film has it all. I love films that surprise you and this one was a deeply rattling shocker. Probably one of the best endings ever.
(My god that ending! Another film I have not watched in years, I think I may have to watch this one again, such an epic film!)
7 The Shining
The first of two films on this list, starring Jack Nicholson, and one that I love. A horror film that still sends me racing to hide under the bedcovers. The story of recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance who takes care of the Overlook Hotel for the winter. The hotel has a disturbing past and the story slowly unfolds as Jack spirals into madness, before erupting into a violent murderous spree. Accompanied by low, morbid music. And it has a deranged writer… yes, I can relate.
(Now do I be afraid here or not……. another classic film. I LOVE HORROR films and I have watched some corkers. The bath scene and the twins for me, is still creepy as ever!!)
An epic historical film with a hero, Russell Crow, you can drool over. What’s not to like about this film? It’s a story of vengeance and redemption with heart-tugging and jaw-dropping moments. In my opinion, it has one of the best one-line quotes, ever: “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.” (Sigh!)
(Jesus woman you are killing me with these films! This film! I was on the Joaquin bandwagon despite the character he plays. I got chills re-reading that line!)
Hitchcock’s psycho-killer, slasher movie might not be as scary as some of today’s but Norman Bates was a break from the traditional movie monsters of the time: vampires, werewolves and the like, and brought us a new sort of killer who appeared completely normal and could be the man sitting in the café opposite you, or fixing your boiler. If you’ve read my crime novels, you’ll know how fascinated I am by human nature and what makes a person kill, so this film really got under my skin. Very atmospheric in black and white, I still love that iconic shower scene and deeply unnerving music.
(Yes that shower scene! I still get a bit unnerved in showers! Definitely a scare for the time, not always the monsters in plain sight!)
4 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
I read Ken Kesey’s novel during a thirteen-week stint in hospital when I was 16. (Great place to read such a book!) They say books are better than films and to a large extent I agree, but this film bucks that trend and Jack Nicholson plays the role of asylum anti-hero, Randle McMurphy to perfection. When McMurphy is transferred from a prison farm to a mental institution, he hopes for an easier time of it but he hasn’t banked on Nurse Ratched, a psychotic nurse, who runs the ward and whose patients are controlled through medication and electroconvulsive therapy. It becomes a battle of wills between the pair. This is possibly the best psychological drama I have ever watched. It might have come out in the seventies but still holds that crown.
(For me as soon as I see the name “Jack Nicholson” you know it’s going to be a winner! He is just acting gold.)
3 A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess’s, dystopian crime thriller novel had a profound effect on me as a teenager, so I was happy when it became available on the school curriculum and I could teach it to my A-level students. By then, this film, originally banned in the UK, was also available to watch and what a fantastic job Stanley Kubrick did. Malcolm McDowell, plays (to perfection) the lead role of a juvenile delinquent who undergoes state-sponsored psychological rehabilitation for his aberrant behaviour. (I don’t think I’ll ever get that ‘eye-opening’ treatment program out of my head.) The opening scenes are disturbing and chilling but also make you reflect on today’s society that is rapidly heading in this very direction. The fact this film represents the society we currently live in makes it all the more chilling.
(This film was chilling and the casual way things were done and the violence! I love that (in a non crazy way) for some reason the scenes of drinking milk have stuck in my head a long time after!)
2 The Matrix
The Matrix is a good versus evil film, but takes the prize for its dazzling visual effects and sheer energy and for having Keanu Reeves as the good guy in a really cool, long, black coat. Not my usual genre, this sci-fi film grabbed me with the idea of the world being nothing more than virtual reality and man as a mere servant to the computer that runs it. Heroes have to be plugged into the virtual world to battle the bad guys, known as Agents, but they can still die while there and there are some heart-stopping moments during those. The combat scenes are ferociously quick and watchable and are also responsible for me taking up kick boxing but I unlike, Neo and Trinity, could not run horizontally on walls, and suspend in the air long enough to deliver karate kicks. What a film!
(The fight scenes in this are another level! I was only talking about this film the other day too with the new one being on it’s way!)
One of my all-time favourite films is Up by Disney/Pixar. I cry every time I watch it and my heart goes out to Carl Fredricksen, the old gent who lives alone. His sadness at being alone is palpable. The film-makers touched upon a subject that is a stark reality for many.
Although it makes me cry every time I watch it, I adore this film. I think it’s because I really understand how Carl feels. If Mr Grumpy were taken from me, I would definitely retreat from the world. Even writing this I can feel a familiar lump in my throat. Of course, as with all Pixar films, the heavier scenes are juxtaposed with humour brought mostly in the form of Dug the talking dog. A few years ago, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post about loneliness that began the same was this paragraph did. It went viral and my inbox was flooded with messages for weeks afterwards. Disney/Pixar produced an absolute winner with this one. ‘Squirrel!’
Check out Carol’s post here
(This is the only film I have not watched on your spectacular list, and the reason is because I know I am going to be bawling my eyes out! I will try to find the strength to watch this LOL)
I think you might have to make room for me on this deserted island!!!! So many epic choices here that I would not have thought of, and now want to watch again! Thank you so much for sharing your choices with us today!
Plus I would have cheated, LOTR extended editions – I would class as 1 film and the same with Hobbit and Star Wars, totalling 15 films but I would class them as 3 😉
Until next time xxx