No. No no no. No no no no no no no.
15. The Girl on the Train (2016)
There’s a girl on a train. Shit happens. Audiences are meant to care. Hilarity ensues as you clock Emily Blunt trying to do ‘drunk acting’.
I didn’t choose to watch this, I really didn’t. I was staying at someone else’s house, he wanted to watch it and he’s the type of man in his late 60s who isn’t used to being argued with. So I sat politely and endured 2 hours of bad adaptation and bad acting whilst periodically being offered Pear Drops, which any fule kno is the worst kind of sweet.
I know, I know, novels made into films are always going to be different (I wrote papers on this at college, believe me I know). But the changes from the book here are stupid and unnecessary. Part of the joy (hmm, wrong word) of the novel was the lead character going into her local Spar, getting 3 bottles for a tenner then getting wankered just outside Milton Keynes. I mean, we’ve all been there. Transplant that to upstate New York and it just doesn’t work. They don’t even have Spar in the US.
I could articulate further what I didn’t like about it but I think I’d just like to blot it from my memory now, thankyouplease. 4/10.
OK, ‘Greatest Movie Ever Made’, do your worst. Not Citizen Kane, which I saw years ago, but its most recent usurper…
14. Vertigo (1958)
Former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson is forced into early retirement because an incident in the line of duty has caused him to develop acrophobia (an extreme fear of heights) and vertigo. Scottie is hired by an acquaintance, Gavin Elster, as a private investigator to follow Gavin’s wife Madeleine, who is behaving strangely. Hilarity ensues.
So, we all know that guy, the one who uses his mysterious and traumatic past as an excuse to act like a total and utter prick. We all know the girl with an absurd Scousebrow who changes her look/personality/everything for her man. That’s Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo. Elements of this were… OK…. but I wasn’t a fan. I’ve tried to watch it 6 times before and fallen asleep every time (staying awake this time was a struggle); Jimmy Stewart’s overactive facial expressions are nothing short of ridiculous (not to mention his eyeshadow); the ending is rushed and not the shock I’m sure it was in 1958. It’s not aged well at all.
As far as Hitchcock goes, I preferred The Birds. As far as Greatest Movie Ever Made goes, I’m on Team Orson. 6/10
Time to start ticking off those classics.
13. It Happened One Night (1934)
As they travel northward from Miami to New York City and engage in a series of misadventures, a gruff newspaperman and spoiled rich girl, thrown together by circumstances, fall in love with each other. Hilarity ensues (no, it really does this time).
So this is the original rom-com, and one of the only films to win the Big Five Academy Awards – my hopes were high. And I wasn’t disappointed. I’d never seen a Clarke Gable movie: now I get what all the fuss was about. Yeah, it’s a bit dated but it’s funny as fuck – dry, silly, zingy. You look at this and then you realise that the shit Richard Curtis churns out is It Happens One Night distilled a billion times over into nothing. 8/10.
What’s that splintering sound? Oh, just my heart shattering into a thousand pieces.
12. La La Land (2017)
Sebastian and Mia are drawn together by their common desire to do what they love. But as success mounts they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart. Hilarity ensues.
So, I’ve been waiting to see this since August last year. A musical, starring the Gosling/Stone dream team? Sign me the Chorus Line up!
I try not to get too excited over new, massively-hyped movies. I’ve been burned too often (Man of Steel, I’m looking at you, you colossal bucket of shite), but I was so desperate for this to be wonderful. I love a musical. I love movies about Hollywood. I would relax my “no babies from this vagina” rule for Ryan Gosling.
And I loved it. 10/10
Pro Tip – if you’re ripped off your tits on antihistamines, Irvine Welsh-inspired films are definitely the way forward.
11. Filth (2013)
A drug-addled, manipulative misanthrope begins to experience increasingly severe hallucinations as he tries to solve the murder of a Japanese student. Hilarity ensues.
Oh I know I got all worthy about Atticus Finch the other day and how good men are special/rare/extinct etc, but fuck me this was hilarious. James McAvoy’s Bruce is a delightfully evil bastard, which is funny…. up until the point that it isn’t. Yes there’s a kind of moral lesson in here but it’s all bound up in a trippy, drug-fuelled mess of glorious bollocks. Also, best ending I’ve seen in ages. 8/10 (extra half mark for surprise David Soul).
The world is a scary place right now. I wake up most mornings with ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know it’ playing on a loop in my head, and the internal screaming just gets louder every time I think about the impending Trumpocalypse.
10. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Atticus Finch, a depression-era Southern attorney, fearlessly defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.
I don’t know what’s more terrifying: that such a decent man as Atticus Finch only seems believable to me as fiction, or that the story is set nearly 100 years ago and yet the issues examined are still frighteningly relevant.
We need to do better.