*BLOG POST #400!* HAMMY’S TOP 10…FILMS OF ALL TIME

For this Top 10 List, I’d thought I’d do something a little special…as this is my 400th post! Yes, I droned on and on for 399 blogs…and will drone on for one more. And how better to celebrate than to produce a list of my T0p 10 Films of All Time? I previously constructed a list of my Top 10 Films I’ve Watched More Than Five Times (click here to read!), but this List will be different. Some of these films may be ones I’ve only watched a few times, but they’ve stayed with me since that initial viewing. Or maybe it is one of those films I’ve watched time and time again.

Another milestone!

A few qualifications/rules I’ve made for myself. Only one film from a director/franchise. Well, okay, that’s the only rule…oh, and I’ll try to limit the science fiction element.

  1. The Raid

I have never seen an action film as pure as ‘The Raid.’ Some may come close, but none offer the insanity, purity and fight scenes like ‘The Raid’ does. Its sequel gave us an unnecessarily bloated story that was hard to follow, but the original keeps things simple and grounded. Police raid an apartment block. They get trapped and have to fight their way to the top. That’s all there is to it. But there’s huge creativity to keep that simple premise afloat. There’s something admirable about a film so unambiguous about what it wants to do: show you some of the best fight scenes in modern cinema. I did think about putting a Bruce Lee film in this position, but I’ve always been honest about his films: I always fast-forwarded to the fight scenes. With ‘The Raid,’ everything flows from one fight scene to another. It doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t (like it’s sequel did). It is what it is, and it’s splendid at doing so.

  1. Throne of Blood

The best Shakespeare adaptation in cinematic history? I’d say yes (well, apart from ‘The Lion King’). I only recently watched ‘Throne of Blood,’ not long after watching 2015’s ‘Macbeth.’ And while the latter was very good, Kurosawa achieved greatness with the former. Kurosawa moves the play from medieval Scotland to medieval Scotland, but the basics remain the same. Man is given prophecy and he kills people to achieve it. Shakespeare’s tale has never been so full of foreboding and menace than in ‘Throne of Blood.’ It may not have the language of Shakespeare, but a film has never conveyed the spirit or poetry of a Shakespearian text better than ‘Throne of Blood.’

  1. The Empire Strikes Back

Who can’t get enough of ‘The Empire Strikes Back?’ Of course, I can’t help but watch the Original Trilogy as a whole. But we all know that ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the peak of the Star Wars saga thus far (and probably will be, no matter how many Star Wars films Disney churns out). The first film was all style, little substance, with a feel good feeling running throughout it. The sequel is darker, weightier, and full of pathos. It still manages to be funnier than most supposed comedies as well. It’s the standard bearer for all sequels/middle entries in a trilogy.

(click here for my review)

  1. Robocop

Initially, I had this one down as ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ I was afraid of too much sci-fi in my Top 10 List. But, goshdarnit, I could not find it in my heart to leave out ‘Robocop.’ Yes, it’s a film I’ve watched more than five times, and it’s gets better on each viewing. There’s satire, ultra-violence, Christ under/overtones, buying things for a dollar, and one of the all-time great screen villains in Clarence Bodderick. But, deep down, it’s the story of a man who’s fighting to reclaim his past. But the past is something he’ll never reclaim. Dead or alive, you’ll probably never see a better film about a robot cop than Robocop.

(Click here for my review)

  1. The Fly

You can’t go wrong with David Cronenberg. I was tempted by ‘Crash’ for this slot, but really, there can be only one Cronenberg film worthy of inclusion in my Top 10 Films of all Time. And that’s ‘The Fly.’ It’s a twisted love story, a science fiction drama, and body horror all spliced into one grand viewing experience. Jeff Goldblum has never been better as the scientist who slowly becomes a monster (thanks to his own arrogance). His chemistry with Geena Davis is tangible and honest. The special effects haven’t aged a day. They still elicit squirms and disgust (in the best way!). But it’s the love story that grips you and devours you.

(click here for my review!)

  1. E.T. : The Extra-terrestrial

If I could only pick one Spielberg film to watch for the rest of my days, it would be E.T. It’s Spielberg at the height of his powers. I did think about ‘Empire of the Sun’ as well, one of Spielberg’s best but most underrated. But E.T. is a film for all generations. It may be a Christ parable, or maybe not, but it’s a film full of childlike wonder at the most common of things: watching T.V, getting drunk, enjoying Halloween. It’s a family film in all senses of the word: anyone can watch it (and everyone should watch it), and it’s about family, be it about divorce or the power of family. And you’ll need tissues for the bittersweet ending.

  1. Black Swan

In my Top 10 List of Films I’ve Watched More Than Five Times, I included Aronofsky’s ‘The Wrestler’ on it. But Black Swan edges over the finish line for this list. It’s the tale of a ballerina who’s chosen to be the Swan for a production of Swan Lake. It takes postmodern swipes at Swan Lake and moulds the story we all know and love into something far more sinister and disturbing. Natalie Portman gives a performance that rightfully garnered her an Oscar, but everyone here is spot-on, be it Vincent Cassell as the lecherous Director, Mila Kunis as Portman’s understudy, or Winona Ryder as the faded star who wants the limelight back. It looks stunning, the black and the white, the reflections and the mirages all exquisitely filmed and constructed. But, best of all, it’s utterly engrossing from start to finish.

  1. Drive

Drive rarely needs dialogue to tell the audience what’s going on. Yes, it helps occasionally, but the silence of the protagonist, simply called The Driver, often tells you everything you need to know. The brilliant soundtrack tells you even more. Those are merely two of the many great facets of ‘Drive.’ It may be a case of style over substance (something you could say about all of Nicolas Refn Winding’s films), but there’s enough substance to chew on here among the blinding style. It’s crisp, it’s lean, it’s brutal, it’s gory, but most of all, it’s a film that encapsulates Winding’s enigmatic style without being too esoteric (like, for example, ‘Only God Forgives’). This is a film where nothing goes to waste, and everything is part of the whole. And it also stars Bryan Cranston.

(click here for my review)

  1. The Terminator

Okay, I did say that I was going to limit myself to one film per director and/or franchise. James Cameron has three films worthy of this list: Terminator 2, Aliens, and this one that made the list. I wish I could have all three, but I can’t. So I chose ‘The Terminator.’ It’s lean, mean, rough and ready. There’s barely a minute wasted in this science-fiction/horror/chase film. Arnie was very good as a good guy in T2, but he’s excellent as the bad guy here. He may say few words, but his expressions and movements inspire terror. It’s a relentless chase that continues to leave me breathless. It also has one of my favourite scenes in cinematic history: The Tech-Noir scene. “You got me burnin’ to the third degree…”

(click here for my review)

  1. Gladiator

Yes, this was at the top of my Top 10 Films I’ve Watched More Than Fives Times (click here to read!), and there was no other choice for the top spot here. I enjoy it more and more every time I watch it. Ridley Scott may have lost his directorial touch since then. But this is his magnum opus. Everything about it is cinematic perfection. The performances, the story, the pacing, the structure, the dialogue, the cinematography, the action scenes…I could go on. Ever since first watching it at the cinema in 2000, I’ve never watched a better movie. You should see it, Maximus…

Honourable Mentions

The Lion King

Aliens (one film per director…)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Battle Royale

Blade Runner (only allowed myself one film per director…damnit!)

Rear Window

Casablanca

The Killer

Crash (1996) (one film per director again!)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Way of the Dragon

Moon

Mad Max: Fury Road

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?

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9 thoughts on “*BLOG POST #400!* HAMMY’S TOP 10…FILMS OF ALL TIME

  1. lkeke35 May 31, 2017 / 1:15 am

    Excellent choices. I’d probably replace Throne of Blood with Seven Samurai, which is a little bloated but I like it more. I’d replace E.T. with Bladerunner because I was never impressed by it.

    If I had to choose a film featuring children it would be The Gate, or Poltergeist. But this is great list because The Fly is very possibly one of the best horror movies of all time, next to The Thing, which definitely would’ve been in my top ten. The Fly is about the only horror movie, I know of, that made me cry like a baby.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews May 31, 2017 / 12:14 pm

      The Gate? Never heard of that one!
      I was tortured by not including Blade Runner on the list, but could not miss Scott”s Gladiator off the list!!!
      As for Seven Samaurai, I haven’t watched it for a long time…time for a rewatch!

      Like

  2. John Charet May 31, 2017 / 2:58 am

    Great post 🙂 In terms of Kurosawa films, I probably would have chose Rashomon, but Kurosawa’s a great filmmaker all-around so their is no wrong choice. The Empire Strikes Back is for me, the strongest of the Star Wars films altogether. I love Robocop, but I probably would have chose Showgirls (that is my number one favorite Paul Verhoeven film). Again, Robocop is a great choice though cause it is one of my many favorite Verhoeven films. The Fly is my number one favorite David Cronenberg film and I love a lot of his films. I would have chosen A.I. Artificial Intelligence when it comes to Spielberg, but E.T. is my second favorite after that one. Under Honorable Mentions, I love it that you mentioned Mad Max: Fury Road because I love that film and it is my number one favorite George Miller film. Aliens is my number one favorite James Cameron film. I would have chose Evil Dead II as opposed to Spider-Man in terms of Sam Raimi films though. I would have chose either Alien or Blade Runner for RIdley Scott films and you chose one of them. Under Alfred Hitchcock, I would have chosen The Birds, but Rear Window is great. Instead of Casablanca, I would have chosen Mildred Pearce from 1945. I agree with you on John Woo’s The Killer. Under Cronenberg within honorable mentions, I would have chose A History of Violence, but I do love Crash and that is my fourth favorite Cronenberg film. I love it that you put down Texas Chainsaw Massacre. That is my number one favorite Tobe Hooper film. I love what you put down. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammy Reviews May 31, 2017 / 12:16 pm

      Yeah, with James Cameron it was either Terminator, T2, or Aliens…but Terminator is lean and rough (which I adore in a film!) Never enjoyed Spielberg”s A.I, think it is one I need to rewatch!

      Like

    • Hammy Reviews July 29, 2017 / 2:26 pm

      Good idea! Will have to have The Hunchback of Notre Dame in there

      Like

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