35. One Missed Call 2
State of that poster.A surprisingly effective sequel considering the original is a solid but unspectacular by the numbers Japanese horror movie. There’s a few solid scares and some nicely shot scenes with an interesting twist on the mythology.
Best Bit-Final twist
One of those movies I would file under “Would definitely watch late at night on tv” but wouldn’t particularly go out of my way to see it. It’s an interesting thriller about a women and her child on a plane, they fall asleep and when the mother wakes up her child is gone and nobody on the plane remembers seeing her. It’s one of those movies that reminds me of anthology sci fi/horror like The Twilight Zone with a premise that has you thinking “what would I do?”.
Best Bit- Waking up
What a surprise this was. This was around the time Bruce Willis really started to give up trying when he was leading a movie and plodded through them. Tight direction from Florent Emilio Siri rises above the so so dialogue and by the books revenge plot. Another late night tv watch.
Best Bit-Final rescue
32. Red Eye
Ok take everything I said about the last two entries and apply it to Red Eye….late night tv yaddy ya. There’s a few of these unspectacular but very watchable thrillers on this list. This by absolutely no means one of Wes Craven’s greatest hits but it’s a fun watch and I really like Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy plays a menacing villain in this tense thriller set on a plane.
Best Bit- You are my business
31. Star Wars Episode 3:Revenge Of The Sith
Uh oh I’m about to praise one of the prequels…pitchforks out. Aye it was a load of shite but at least the final prequel was entertaining shite. By far the darkest of the trilogy, it deals with Anikin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side and into Darth Vader as well as the annihilation of the jedi and rebel forces.
Best Bit-Kiddy slaughter
30. The Booth
A low budget Japanese horror that manages to forego the cliches of the scary long haired girl, water coming from odd places and technology trying to kill everyone. It is a ghostly movie though….or is it? The claustrophobic nature of the movie with the whole thing pretty much taking place in a radio recording booth leading you to wonder if the protagonist is going crazy or if he is being haunted.
29. Corpse Bride
Tim Burton and Mike Johnson direct this stop motion goth love story with characters forever destined to be tattooed on goth girls. It goes for that dark fantasy and alternative look at romance for outsiders and it pulls it off.
Best Bit- Butterflies
Eli Roth’s torture porn poster boy had a certain cheeky charm to go with it’s disgusting scenes of dismemberment and unwanted body piercing which the many …..many imitators often missed. Hostel is by no means a classic but it achieves what it sets out to do by shocking, disturbing and thoroughly grossing the audience out. These films are fine every now and again and it’s a visceral endurance test.
Best Bit-The surgeon
27. Dark Water
A solid yet unremarkable (this f##king year is filled with them) horror drama is one of the more respectable and thoughtful remakes of Asian cinema. Based on Hideo Nakata’s original movie which in turn was based on the Koji Suzuki short story about a mother and daughter in a run down flat experiencing hauntings. Walter Salles did a solid job with this remake.
Best Bit-Bath time
26. Saw 2
When it was announced that indie smash hit Saw was going to be made into a franchise the horror fanbase let out out a collective groan which is why Saw 2 being pretty damn good was such a nice surprise. Starring ex New Kids On The Block bad boy Donnie Wahlberg trapped in a game of hide and seek for his son set up by Jigsaw while a group of troubled “strangers” are pitted against a series of intricate and disgusting puzzles. Keeps you on your toes and very enjoyable.
Best Bit-Needle pit
More horror, this time from Takashi Shimzu of Grudge fame and sees an actress take on a role set in a hotel where a grizzle massacre took place. The line between past and present becomes blurred. Some truly creepy atmosphere and set pieces makes up for a wonky script.
Best Bit-The doll
24. War Of The Worlds
I remember going to the cinema with pals to see this and the ending with the son coming back with no explanation left me absolutely fuming! Raging!. Other than that Spielberg’s adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel is an action heavy,fun sci fi epic about an alien invasion destroying cities and the human resistance fighting back.
Best Bit-First attack
23. Wolf Creek
Australia’s answer to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre sees a group of backpackers getting lost in the Outback and hounded by a serial killer. It was loosely based on real events and pretty grossly marketed as such which was pretty tasteless as the families of those murdered in 2001 were still grieving. As a film though it’s intense as hell and John Jarratt is excellent in the role of the psychopathic Mick Taylor.
Best Bit-Head on a stick
You know how you were telling me you always dreamed of a movie starring Jet Li alongside Bob Hoskins and Morgan Freeman shot in Scotland? Well have I got news for you!. Hoskins has Li caged and trained like a dog to pick up debts and beat the shit out of anyone who wrongs him. All kinds of violent shenanigans ensue. Fun nonsense.
Best Bit-Pool fight
21. The Exorcism Of Emily Rose
There are a million and one movies about exorcisms and the large majority of them are absolute guff. So when a decent one comes along it stands out like a sore thumb. With a strong performance from Jennifer Carpenter who would go on to be Dexter’s annoying sister and a different take on the genre, this is definitely one of the better ones in the genre. It deals with a court case over the death of a young woman during an exorcism.
Best Bit-College meltdown
20. Welcome To Dongmakgol
Remember in the 2004 list I was talking about trying to get my dad into Asian cinema and a war film was what did it?. Well here we have another one he really liked!. During the Korean civil war, members of the north and south army, along with an American pilot crash land in a secluded village where the inhabitants know nothing of the war. It’s a story of kindness, love and understanding with a really sweet message and anti war sentiment.
Best Bit-Popcorn shower
19. Grizzly Man
It’s easy to scoff and laugh at Tim Treadwell, the subject of this documentary who loved bears and set up camp to live with a group of them…..only to be mauled to death by a hungry grizzly. I can’t though because when I was really young and saw some boys throwing stones at sheep I snuck back and lay down in a shed with them while they were sleeping because I was so sad……those sheep could have mauled me to death too!. Amyway enough of me being a disturbed child this Werner Herzog doc is a fascinating look at a naive and deluded man believe his passion can overcome nature.
18. V For Vendetta
Based on grumpy genius Alan Moore’s seminal dystopian future comic and directed by James McTeigue, this political thriller sees an anarchist freedom fighter go up against the fascist regime that has taken over Britain. It’ll mostly be famous for 4chan members using the mask to go on demonstrations though sadly. Moore hates pretty much any adaptation of his work and refused to even watch it or accept royalties.
Best Bit-“You may call me V”
17. March Of The Penguins
This incredibly interesting documentary follows Emperor penguins as they go on their yearly journey from their Antarctica habitat to their ancestral breeding grounds to mate and have babies. The incredible journey home is fraught with danger and if you’re an animal lover like me then it’s a nail biting movie watching the cute we penguins in danger and it creates a story structure like a fictional adventure movie but the fact it’s real makes you root for them more. Morgan Freeman narrating adds to the drama.
Best Bit-Family reunion
A cult classic sci fi comedy adventure from Joss Whedon and a continuation of his 2002 tv show Firefly which was cancelled causing much nerd outrage. An eclectic and fun group of characters on board the cargo smuggling space ship Serenity find themselves in danger in this entertaining space adventure with excellent dialogue and great characters.
Best Bit-I’m a leaf on the wind
15. Wedding Crashers
There’s no reasonable explanation as to why I like this so much….I can’t stand Vince Vaughn, I’m apathetic towards Owen Wilson but I had a blast at the cinema watching it. Most of the laughs come from the likes of Isla Fisher, Jane Seymour, Christopher Walken and more. Rachel McAdams is utterly adorable in her role and so utterly likeable that she’s the heart of the movie and makes it so charming which adds to the laughs for an all round great comedy.
Best Bit-Dinner time
14. Noroi:The Curse
Watched in the right atmosphere and letting yourself get lost in it on your own, Noroi The Curse is a terrifying little hidden gem from Japan. A found footage (don’t run away) film steeped in atmosphere and while admittedly it doesn’t warrant several views due to not much happening it’s all about the build and the incredible final scene.
13. Brokeback Mountain
“LOLZ GAY COWBOYS”. That was the standard comedy show hilarity when this Ang Lee romantic drama came out……no pun intended…..god dammit now I’m doing it. Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal play two cowboys who have lived their lives as straight men but begin to fall for each other over the course of several years beginning in the 60s when homosexuality was very much frowned upon.
Best Bit-I wish I knew…..
12. King Kong
Peter Jackson’s remake of the classic and beautiful 1933 classic monster movie for being overly long and too faithful to the original…..film makers can’t win can they? They get heat for not paying enough respect to originals or they get heat for giving too much respect. Anyway, I can understand the overly long part as, like the original it takes a long time for them to get to Skull Island but for fans of the original and Kong as a character it’s worth the wait. I said to my pal Lesley when we went to the cinema that I would probably cry. About halfway through the movie something small and insignificant happens to Kong and the audience laughed…..I started to fill up and turned to Lesley like “I’m in trouble here”. Safe to say by the time the lights came up I was a blubbering mess. NONE OF IT WAS KONG’S FAULT DAMMIT!.
Best bit- Dancing on ice
11. Walk The Line
It may have a dream team of actors I don’t like leading the line, this biopic of the legendary man in black Johnny Cash and his partner and wife June Carter. These biopics of beloved people with interesting lives are generally the same story over and over again but because we care so much and already have a love of the characters before the movie has even started they always end up as total award fodder. No difference here as it was critically acclaimed and rightfully so. A respectful but real look at a complex man and a complex life. `
10. Cinderella Man
I’m a massive boxing fan, have been for the majority of my life and I think the sport and it’s competitors deliver the best stories in the entirety of any sport. This biopic looks at the life of James J.Braddock who had to give up boxing early due to injury but during the great depression was given a chance to make some money filling in for an injured fighter. He was meant to be fodder for a contender but shocked the world by winning and re-established himself back on the scene. Russell Crowe stars as Braddock.
Best Bit-Braddock vs Baer
9. Sin City
A hyper stylized adaptation of Frank Miller’s neo noir comic book of the same name from Miller himself and Robert Rodriguez. A movie that literally looks like the comic come to life with all the corny dialogue lifted from the page and an incredibly stunning visual style with thick blacks and whites with a splattering of red here and there. Violent, slick and enormously entertaining.
Best Bit-Interrogating Kevin
8. A History Of Violence
A brilliant adaptation of John Wagner’s gritty graphic novel directed by Canadian legend David Cronenberg. A small town family man’s secret past comes back to haunt him and his oblivious family. Vigo Mortensen is excellent in the lead role and the character building is exemplary in this shocking and disturbing slice of small town life gone wrong.
Best Bit-Fun at the diner
7. A Bittersweet Life
A super stylish South Korean gangster film from the excellent director Kim Jee-Woon and clearly influenced by early Tarantino flicks. Lee Byung-Hun is great as the enforcer who is set to kill his boss’ girlfriend after she is caught having an affair. After hearing her side he cannot do it and ends up with his former gang coming after him.
Best Bit- Final shootout
6. Memoirs of A Geisha
Ah Zhang Ziyi……This drama sees a young girl sold by her poor family to a geisha house where she undergoes brutal training in the ways and culture of that lifestyle. She ends up become the most celebrated geisha ever and seems to have everything but the struggle and lifestyle that got her there leaves her with plenty of emotional baggage. With a supporting cast of Ken Watanabe and Michelle Yeoh it’s a star studded affair and an incredibly interesting one. …and that beautiful score….ooft.
Best Bit-The heart dies a slow death.
5. Lady Vengeance
Park Chan Wook’s final part of his vengeance trilogy is probably the weakest but the fact it’s still brilliant shows how good they all were. After serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, a mysterious woman sets out for revenge against the real killer. Things get rather nasty.
Best Bit- Parents night
4. The 40 Year Old Virgin
What should have been a standard, funny Judd Apatow comedy is raised to an all time classic by Steve Carell’s charming breakout role. He’s insanely likeable as the titular virgin whose friends desperately try to get him laid in increasingly awkward ways. It’s all the crass nonsense you’d expect but Carell really does elevate it to more than it should be. A heart warming performance from Catherine Keener adds to the charm.
Best Bit-Drink driving
3. The Descent
A horrifying and massively competent British horror movie directed by Neil Marshall. A group of female cave divers get trapped in a cave system with flesh eating monsters on the prowl. Intense, terrifying and it has one of the most cruel conclusions to a movie I’ve ever seen.
Best Bit- First attack
2. Batman Begins
It’s not as well regarded as it once was but I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for the first in Christoper Nolan’s dark knight trilogy. I’ve said before that I really bonded with my dad over this movie as he had never really cared for comic book movies until he absolutely loved this one. Nolan’s respectful and grounded take on Batman surprised and pleased a lot of hardcore fans who had been waiting for this kind of movie for many years. It easily wiped the bad memories of Batman And Robin and ushered in a new era and a tone that has been copied so much now but rarely in a good way.
Best Bit-Batman’s first night
1 Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
An unexpected gem that seemed to come out of nowhere (for me anyway) which was a nice wee surprise as I love Shane Black’s work. He’s the master of the buddy movie and the chemistry he gets from his buddies (in this case Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr) and the dialogue is just impeccably witty and snappy. A weird but successful marriage of violence and hilarity and an absolute peach of a film.
Best Bit-Russian Roulette
There we go. Thanks for reading and catch me here next time and reach me @swing_kinker iif you want to request a list. Ta x