Friday, 3 May 2013

Charlie Albuery's Top Ten Films: Numbers 10 to 6

by Charlie Albuery
Last Friday, I saw Iron Man 3. Now, it is a brilliant film, but I realised something. It’s good, but it features Robert Downey Jr. AND IRON MAN, it was always going to be good, you don’t want to read hundreds of words of me irritatingly fanboying (yes that’s a word) and picking out every single moment I like in a 150- minute film. So, I got to thinking how I could do an interesting angle on Iron Man 3, and that got me to thinking exactly how much I like it. I realised it cracks my top ten films of all time, and THAT made me realise two things: (a) despite all my film-themed ramblings on this blog, I’ve never actually discussed my favourite films, and (b) I must have a really awesome top 10.
As such, without further ado, these are half of my top 10 films of all time, which, in a Peter Jackson-esque grab at your continued attention, I will spread across two separate articles (that was a great film joke; I am proud of myself).
So without further ado (seriously this time, I promise).
Number 10 – Monsters Inc.
Yes, Monsters Inc. It would be a true betrayal to my (and I assume all of our) childhood(s) if I didn’t include at least one Disney/Pixar film on this list and, despite what you will hear, Monsters Inc. is undeniably the best of these for three simple reasons.
A - Anyone who claims Up! is their favourite Disney film is lying to you. They heard critics say it was good and promptly jumped on the bandwagon. Ignore these people; there is roughly a 95% chance they can’t even name the main character.
B – All animated movies now seem to need a depressing scene around 80 minutes in, in which the main character is doomed/alone/suffering uncontrollable urges to eat his best friend (Madagascar --- seriously, that movie’s really messed up). OK, yes, Monsters Inc. has kinda a low point where Mike and Sully are sent to live in the icy wastelands, but even the lowest-ebb scene features this guy:
"Do I look abominable to you?"
 C’mon, how can this guy not cheer you up.
C – The protagonists are just so strong. Yes, Wall-E has some level of charm and Simba is just the most adorable thing ever, but Monsters Inc. was the first Disney film, scrap that, the first children's film where the central characters were even a hair's breadth away from the typical damsel in distress of beefy-forearmed prince, and the result was Mike and Sully. Those two are the reason we have unusual protagonists like Wall-E; these two made it happen.
 9 – Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is considered by many, most, all, all except me to be the greatest superhero film of all time, largely because it proved that superhero films could be more than just excellent genre pieces, hey could be excellent films in their own right. Michael Cain is excellent, Heath Ledger is indescribable and deserves every shred of the posthumous Oscar he won for his performance as the iconic Batman villain, the Joker.
Now, OK look, internet, I’m going to upset you, but I need you to just be cool for like a minute, ok? Can you just be cool? Just this once? Please? Can you just this once be cool?
Ok, contrary to popular belief, there is a problem with The Dark Knight; it’s like half an hour too long. Seriously, if this film ended with the Joker’s death it would be at around my number 7, but the whole Harvey Dent/Two-Face plot is unnecessary and detracts from the film as a whole, Ok? Now that wasn’t too hard was it?
 8 – Moulin Rouge!
This is Baz Luurman’s masterpiece, which truly meets the balance between music, filmic content and crazy-ass, psychedelic, what-I-imagine-watching-In-The-Night-Garden-in-a-hallucinatory-state-is-like-ness.
This is my favourite musical film of all time, narrowly beating out Les Mis; the reason this wins out for me is it is just a huge amount of fun. Ewan McGregor is great, the score is excellent (particularly the elephant love medley --- Google it, buy it, love it) and it perfectly melds orchestral elements with pop-music of its time.
The reason I’m having so much trouble describing this film is that it’s more of an experience than it is a film. Trying to describe Moulin Rouge! as a film to someone who hasn’t seen it is like trying to describe a new colour that only you can see (that’s a great game for when you’re bored by the way).
 7 – Iron Man 3
Ok, no spoilers on this one as it’s relatively recently released, but I cannot recommend this film too highly. This film is very much the opposite and equal of the Dark Knight, in place of a focus on realism and darkness Iron Man 3 spends it’s time creating incredible moments of humour and over-the-top action that won’t fail to have the whole audience cheering.
I’m not sure how well the secret will hold up now that the film’s in theatres, but the reveal as to the nature of the villain midway through the film is, in my opinion, the best reveal in a film since The Third Man and, yes, as a huge Marvel fanatic, I, to an extent, saw it coming, but most of you won’t, and Ben Kingsley’s performance leading up to and following this huge reveal that I refuse to spoil will make your day (hell, it made my YEAR!)
 6 – The Breakfast Club
The first of 3 'Eighties movies on my list, The Breakfast Club is the quintessential film that defines the school experience (take that Ferris Bueller!), and, bizarrely features the best song of any film on this list, a personal favourite of mine as a ringtone. ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ is a piece of musical genius akin to whoever invented the musical note.
You simply have to see this film; it’s homaged and referenced so often you’ll quickly realise you’re already familiar with 80% of the scenes.
Also, The Breakfast Club creates some of the best ever lines of dialogue, Bender coined the term ‘Eat my shorts’ long before Bart Simpson, and, of course, the world’s all-time best put-down: ‘Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?’, ‘Being bad feels pretty good, right?’and, of course, perhaps most famously, ‘Don’t mess with the bull, young man, you’ll get the horns.’
And finally Bender=Great Halloween costume.
Thank you for reading. Please return next month for the second half of my Top 10 Films of all time.


  1. Totally agree with 'Moulin Rouge!' - such a good film.

  2. Dark Knight at #9. Should at least be #1, if not higher.

  3. *Baz Luhrmann, your favourite film...

  4. Ahhh the breakfast club, whatta classic- almost on par with the sound of music ;)


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