Am I a sociopath, or just a film wanker?
22. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media. Hilarity ensues.
When I was growing up my parents would pretty much let me watch anything. We’d watch films with them on video that were massively inappropriate (I saw Police Academy when I was 8, for gods sake) but weirdly, there were certain things they’d draw a line on.
I’m still not sure if I wasn’t allowed to watch Natural Born Killers when it came out because of the controversies surrounding it or because my mum really hates Oliver Stone, but either way, ‘it wasn’t coming into the house’. Other things that never came into the house included Eastenders (dad), Parsnips (dad) and The Films of Richard Gere (mum). Whatever. This passed me by. I read Tarantino’s original script when I went to college but never saw the film.
But what a film. It’s demented, horrible, violent, trippy and also outstanding. Visionary. It’s scary when you laugh at people being killed. I like to think it’s because of the film student thing and not because I have some deep-seated emotional issues that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to keep pets. 7/10.
Going dooooooowwwwwwwnnnnnn, in a blaze of gloooorrrryyyyyyyyyy
(My hopes, watching this movie)
21. Blazing Saddles (1974)
In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary. Hilarity ensues.
Ughghghghhghg I really wanted to like this. Objectively I could see why it was funny, I just didn’t find it funny myself. Whether that was because I was hungover, because I had PMT or what I don’t know, I just didn’t really like it that much. Much preferred Young Frankenstein. It’s quite vulgar. Normally I don’t have a problem with vulgar but perhaps I was just channeling my mother. Lovely Dom DeLuise cameo at the end though. 6/10.
Someone once told me I should go as Ursula from The Little Mermaid for a fancy dress party and I’m only just now realising that he was calling me a sea witch!!
20. The Little Mermaid (1989)
A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain with an unscrupulous sea-witch in order to meet a human prince on land. Hilarity ensues.
The Italian likes to wander round our flat in his pants singing Disney songs and was horrified when he found out I’d never seen this, his favourite, so I promised him that it would be on my list.
Reader, I judged him. I mean, it’s alright, and Ursula’s a great villain (seriously, was the guy calling me a sea-witch or did he mean my makeup looked drag queeny?) but it’s no Lion King, is it? 7/10.
Walt Disney was a seriously fucked up individual.
19. Bambi (1942)
A doe gives birth to a fawn named Bambi, who will one day take over the position of Great Prince of the Forest. Horrific things happen thereafter.
OK, maybe I’m too old to be watching this for the first time. Maybe I just have a heart of stone. But I didn’t really like Bambi. It’s too cloying. And Thumper’s an annoying shitbasket. I preferred the skunk.
That said, the whole scene where his mother dies is just a terrible thing to put in a kids film. Following it straight up with a bunch of Satan’s pterodactyls whistling dementedly happy tunes is even worse. 6/10 (it looks pretty but the voice casting was dreadful).
And just to say I so wanted this to happen in the meadow scene…
“I just met a wonderful new man. He’s fictional but you can’t have everything.”
18. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
To assuage her loneliness, unhappily married Depression-era waitress Cecilia escapes to the picture show and becomes transfixed with the movie “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” and especially with its lead character, archeologist Tom Baxter. When Tom literally steps off of the screen and into her life, both realities are thrown into chaos. Hilarity ensues.
More from the Woody back-catalogue. I loved this. Bittersweet and gentle, with a great cast (I have such a crush on Dianne Wiest). Not as slapstick as the early seventies stuff but so adorable it isn’t true. Apparently Allen was told that the film would be more successful if he changed the ending, but he refused. Kudos to him for that, it was perfect as was. 9/10.
Never seen Young Frankenstein. Ran around drunkenly imitating the Monster singing Puttin’ On The Ritz, sure. I mean, who hasn’t done that?
17. Young Frankenstein (1974)
In this spoof of Mary Shelley’s gothic tale, the grandson of Victor Frankenstein, a neurosurgeon, has spent his life living down the legend of his grandfather, even changing the pronunciation of his name. When he discovers his grandfather’s diary, he begins to feel differently, and returns to the family castle to satisfy his curiosity by replicating his ancestor’s experiments. In the process, he creates one very unique monster. Hilarity ensues.
Oh god, this is might be the funniest film I’ve ever seen. It’s AMAZING. 10/10.
You know those days when you hurt all over, work’s being shitty and you narrowly avoid blowing up your kitchen? Time to retreat to bed with a bottle of wine and Colin Farrell.
16. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu. Hilarity ensues.
The McDonagh brothers are a pair of clever bastards. John wrote and directed Calvary which I absolutely loved (aside from guessing the killer after 2 minutes because I recognised his voice) and Martin, who wrote and directed Seven Psychopaths, also created In Bruges which I think is a modern classic (and is also the film that made me stop dismissing Colin Farrell as a Crap Actor).
Seven Psychopaths is just glorious. Please see it. It’s violent but not unpleasantly so. It’s hilarious – a lot of the cast are known for playing oddball characters anyway (Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell in particular) and you’d think might just let rip and have the scenery for breakfast, but they’re nuanced, not taking the piss (and this might actually be my favourite Christopher Walken performance of all time).
I could nitpick about a few bits – it’s slightly too meta for it’s own good (that’s a point lost right there for making me describe it as ‘meta’) and it might drag in a few tiny places, but on the whole, absolutely brilliant. 9/10 (2 points lost for being (and making me type) meta but 1 point added for Colin’s eyebrows, seriously how do they not have their own imdb listing yet? They’re like the 8th Wonder of the World).