Tuesday, July 4, 2017

#Top10.......with Simon Waite

#Top10 is a brand new feature to Movie Critical. Each week we will be chatting to a film lover or a member of the film community about their #Top10 favourite films and discussing what makes these films so special to them. We all have different tastes in film and watch movies differently depending on who we are. The object of #Top10 is to share the love of film and hopefully you the reader can find some new favourites.

This week we spoke to Victorian based film reviewer, Simon Waite. Here's what Simon had to say......

Looking back, I don't really remember any kind of moment where I said "From this day forward I want to love movies". It's something that has really kind of been there even as far back as when I was a little kid, though I rarely went to the cinema as I mostly saw new films on video. Although as I got older, I started going more and more often. Certainly I never ever thought I'd end up on ABC Radio talking about them, but it's certainly been an opportunity that has opened a lot of doors for me in my life.

When devising this list there were four key qualities that I thought of. Three of those are imaginative storytelling, great filmmaking and replay value, while the 4th is wanting this list to reflect something of me personally to those reading it. By that I mean you could look at this list and see a mirror image of myself somewhat. So with that out of the way let's get started. 

#1 Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

This is, has been and probably always will be my favourite film of all. This along with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi have been 3 films that have always inspired me, had me marvelling at their filmmaking precision and been watched by me so many times that I place them so far above all my other favourite films ithat t's beyond a joke. The philosophies, characters, music, sound, FX......all these elements harmoniously come together and not one of them feels out of place. So successful was it very very few have done it as well since.

#2 The Hunger Games (Gary Ross. 2012)

Sometimes a film or a series of films can come along and surprise you in a way that you don't see coming and this film along with its 2 sequels did just that. What they did was bring back the feeling of seeing Star Wars for the first time, but as the person I am now. It was also a series that got better and better as it went along with great storytelling and characters that have stuck with me ever since.

#3 X-Men (Bryan Singer, 2000)


It's hard to imagine the modern comic book genre without this movie doing so much ground work to make it viable. Sure you had the early Batman and Superman films, but what Singer accomplished here virtually kick-started the modern craze and he did it with great filmmaking that showcases how important the opening of a film can truly be. Great and imaginative storytelling that also showcases this genre at its best, as well as great science fiction where story and ideas come first and this movie does all of this in spades for me.

#4 Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright, 2007)


I virtually credit this movie for rejuvenating my love of movies at a time when it had begun to seriously wane. It is this high on my list for Edgar Wright's superb filmmaking, which shows in every scene of the film. The other reason is the replayability, as I have watched this movie so many times over the last 10 years that I've pretty much lost count. It hasn't gotten old or dated for me at all and there always feels like there's something to find each time I watch it.

#5 The Accountant (Gavin O'Connor, 2016)


Some will be surprised by this choice and especially for it to be so high on my list, but this movie (like the others in my top 5) have a common link and that is they are films that came along and struck a deep, personal chord in me. This film with its great central character and action/thriller story with a genuine heart and message at its core did just that.

#6 Mad Max (George Miller, 1979)


In terms of high energy action filmmaking, few have done it for me as well as Mad Max. Now some will pick the second film or Fury Road as their series favourite, but this first film is my favourite as it has not only great car chase action....but also a great story and characters that have served to inspire me greatly over the years.

#7 Aladdin (Jon Musker and Ron Clements, 1992)


This has been what I consider a formative film, as it was one of the first I saw as a child that really excited my imagination and want to love movies as much as I do from then on. Though it had been there for as long as I can remember and this is also an example to me of every aspect of Disney's filmmaking coming together effortlessly great storytelling, memorable characters and catchy music all critical elements of their success and their all here in his film.

#8 The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan, 1990


This movie, for me, embodies the kind of imaginative storytelling that I want to see whenever I see a film, especially in a thriller like this one. The tale of a Soviet sub with a potentially dangerous weapon never fails to excite my imagination or marvel at McTiernans exemplary filmmaking. When it comes to wanting to do a tale of my own like this one, this is a key inspiration for that kind of story for me.

#9 Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)


This movie is one I have watched many, many times and even raved about on radio, Save for Terminator and Terminator 2, it is James Cameron at the top of his game and yet. he didn't do a rip off of Ridley's film. He made it his own and played to his own filmmaking strengths starting with a great script that has story, characters, heart, fear, action and humour.

#10 Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)


This is a movie that I have watched many, many times. Blade Runner has filmmaker Ridley Scott at the very top of his game, plus has some of the most imaginative storytelling I've ever seen in a movie. It's vision of a dark world with constant rain and neon signs with those in it trying to survive with their humanity intact is incredibly appealing to me plus Rutger Hauer's Roy Batty is one of my top film villains, which for me is incredibly important in a genre type film.

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