11. The ‘Burbs 1989
There are certain films in childhood that you loved, but upon watching them as an adult they either lost their charm or didn’t age well. The ‘Burbs is not one of those childhood films for me. I love it as much now as I did then. I think I’m mentioned it before on this blog? Definitely one of my all time favourites. It was a film both my brother an myself adored and I can’t help but think its a movie very much for kids. As an adult, an easy life is what you want, but as a kid the desire is to have that mysterious house with its dark secret in the neighbourhood.
“There go the goddamn brownies.”
12. Rope 1948
There will be more than one Hitchcock film on this list. He isn’t considered a master for no apparent reason. But I will be avoiding some of the obvious of his films such as The Birds, Rear Window etc While they are great, they are not my favourites. Rope, on the other hand is brilliant. I know what happens. I’ve seen it too many times not to remember how it ends. Yet I find myself with a sore back each time I view because subconsciously I inch further and further to the edge of my seat as the climax comes. Love it!
13. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004
Of course there was going to be a Harry on the list. And Prisoner of Azkaban will be the only one. Not that I don’t love the others, but because in my view it is far superior. Never has an adaption veered so far off the source material in the Potterverse but remained the best of all. It could be the introduction of two of my favourite characters in the series, but mostly I think it is the tone of the film. Merging the brightness of the first two films with the darkness of the later ones, PoA hits on the perfect tone. One I wish they had either kept or didn’t veer off so far from in HBP and DH. Less said about HBP the better. It went too dark. Went too awful.
14. Calamity Jane 1953
One of my mam’s favourite films and one of mine as a result. I can quote it from beginning to end. I can’t discuss it because it is too painful. She did so love this film.
15. American Werewolf in London 1981
One of the best horror movies of all time because it has the best transformation scene of all time. Parts of the film feel a bit dated with time but not the transformation scene. Rick Baker is the greatest. I dread to imagine the awfulness they’d do if they every rebooted this film and used CGI. It would be a crime against cinema.
16. Dirty Dancing 1987
Staple of every girl’s childhood, particularly if you were an 80s/90s child. It’s funny because I see a lot of thirty- and forty-somethings complaining on Facebook each time this film is broadcast. They all were led to believe they’d find their own Johnny Castle and that true love exists. But life is not like an awesome romantic drama of forbidden love and dirty dancing and abortions…which is what I later found out was what Penny had. For years I always wondered but the (sorry for the pun) penny never dropped until I was in my teen years. Oh how naive I was.
17. Life of Brian 1979
I’m not a Python fan by any means. I think their brand of comedy just to utterly ridiculous but there are some things they’ve done that has me laughing my ass off and Life of Brian was one of them. A recent fav, it was originally banned in Ireland for blasphemous reasons, I remember my siblings finally being able to rent it on video because the ban had just been lifted. I remember my siblings renting the video and doing so on the sly because if my Catholic parents had of found out there would have been hell to pay. :’D
18. This is My Father 1997
Now I know I have talked about this film before. James Caan is a Chicago school teacher who returns to his mother’s home town in the West of Ireland to discover who his father is. Told in flashback, it was the first film to really have me balling my eyes out by the end of it. Heart-breaking. I’m welling up just thinking about it now.
19. Jurassic Park 1993
I loved dinosaurs when I was a kid. Loved reading the books on the different kinds. Loved wondering what actually happened to wipe them out. I used to collect a weekly magazine on Dinosaurs in which you could collect with each issue a different bone and in the end you could assemble your own Tyrannosaurus Rex. I. Was. Obsessed. This film blew my mind when it first came out. Probably the first big blockbuster to come out in my lifetime.
There was even a dinosaur exhibition thingy at Dublin Zoo and it was to be a school trip for us. Oh god! My excitement. I was so thrilled. I couldn’t wait.
So the day arrives and the teacher asks for our permission slips and I realised with horror that I hadn’t picked mine up off the kitchen table. GUTTED. DEVASTATED. I lived ten minutes from school (five if I ran) and wanted to run home and get it. I had permission. I had permission. I just forgot my slip.
It was Harry can’t go to Hogsmeade in PoA. It was Robbie handing the wrong note to Briony. It was a mistake that made me cry as I sat in a near empty classroom for the rest of the day while all my classmates (who definitely knew LESS about dinosaurs than me but could remember to bring their fucking permission slips to school) enjoyed the trip.
Am I still sad about it? Yes! By the time my parents managed to save up enough money to take me and my younger brother, the exhibition had closed.
20. Gosford Park 2001
(Genre: Murder Mystery)
Now, moving on – murder. Yes, murder on my mind now. While I think Julian Fellows isn’t as fantastic as many claim him to be (he uses far too many modern and americanised speech patterns in Downton Abbey. And don’t even get me started on some of the more preposterous storylines) Gosford Park is one part Howard’s End and one part Agatha Christie and two parts fun to watch.
The costumes, the set = beautiful.