My Top 10 Favourite Films of All Time

Video Version:

 

This list serves as a list of my Top 10 Favourite Films of All Time, wherein I recount my favourite movies, but this video also functions as an experiment I’d like to play out over the coming years here on the channel. Every year in January I would like to remake this list and compare how the list changes over time. With that being said let’s start the list:

  1. Goodfellas

Goodfellas is getting hard done by here on this list. I think its positioning on the list and its importance to me would be significantly different if I watched it for a second time; but this video has to come out in January and we only have so much time. There’s an undeniably unique atmosphere to Goodfellas, its unlike anything I’ve personally ever watched, maybe Martin Scorsese’s other films are similar in atmosphere, but since this is the only movie of his I’ve ever seen, to me the look, feel and tone are all entirely unique and fascinating. I have seen a variety of mob related media, including movies that will appear further down the list, and tv shows that will appear in tomorrow’s video, but this is the grittiest representation of the mob life, I’ve ever seen. In both the Sopranos and The Godfather there is a draw, an appeal, to the mob life, Vito makes it all look so respectable and elegant and the Sopranos’ waver in the filth, but the filth of sex and drugs something we all admire, so the draw is still there. But in Goodfellas it all seems hopeless, come films end; all the characters we are even tangentially aware of are either dead or in prison, except for Henry, who hates his mundane new life anyway. There are no happy endings here and we don’t feel good come movies end, but that’s the point. We’re telling the stylised story of a reckless man who wanted something and reached for it, only to fall, not to his death but to a worse fate, a life of unfulfillment and absolute mediocrity. The cinematography and performances bring the movie it prominence. The way the helicopter is portrayed through visual language is fantastic, you feel genuine unease, the famous restaurant tracking shot is undeniably impressive in every category. The performance from Joe Pesci’s is literally career defining, he was type-casted forever because of his performance here as a quick tempered, miserable piece of shit. Everything in this movie is appropriately vile and yet somehow entirely enthralling.

  1. Inglorious Bastards

Inglorious Bastards might not be Quentin Tarantino at his craziest, that would be Death Proof, but Inglorious Bastards shows all his strengths, diametrically. It establishes in the first scene and in the equally tense German pub scene that Tarantino can build tension like no one else, the slow burn of the two Nazi soldiers slowly uncovering that the Americans are undercover or that the farmer is sheltering Jews is brutal, and there made worse by how both end. Tarantino could have kept this strikingly serious tone throughout the entire film, but he doesn’t, the film is the diametric representation of Tarantino’s strengths, it in some ways they even contradict each other. These tension-laced scenes are in the same movie as Hitler being blown away by twenty rounds in a burning cinema. The outlandishness completely juxtaposes the realism of the other scenes, but somehow it all still works. These diametric elements co-and-side to create a masterpiece in tension, humour, drama and catharsis. Performances reign king throughout this film, Tarantino is ubiquitous for his strength in dialogue and when performed at this high of a level the results speak for themselves. Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger and Michael Fassbender may all have my favourite individual performances of them in this movie. Waltz is charmingly evil, Pitt is obliviously stupendous, Fassbender is cunningly swov and Kruger is desperately deceitful. These characters are captivating, big personalities that mesh incredibly well and they’re interactions result in some of my favourite scenes of all time. I don’t fully understand how this movie functions on a technical level, it’s a marvel to me, and enjoying it even more because it confuses me on a fundamental level.

  1. Good Time

The rawness of Good Time is intriguing, the vicarial desperation of a man giving everything for his goal is captivating to watch. In this movie we watch an awful man breakdown over 2 hours trying to break his mentally ill brother out of prison. Now his brother is only in prison because this awful man, Connie, manipulated him into assisting him in a bank robbery. I would like to thank Super Eye Patch Wolf for recommending this movie in one of his videos because otherwise I doubt I would have found it and this film is really worth watching. Throughout my initial viewing of the movie I found myself dreading the, what I perceived as, inevitable sad ending with the brother getting murdered in prison or something else horrible happening to him, when this was clearly not his fault. But when the movie ended I was entirely satisfied by the ending. Everyone that needed to be punished for being a terrible person was punished and everyone that needed help or was wrongfully put in a bad situation were given the help they required. Connie is taken to jail by the end of the movie and Nick is in the mental health facility allowed to be happy. But the real draw of this movie is following Connie as he manipulates all the people he knows in order to try to get his brother his freedom, he manipulates a psycho girlfriend into using her mother credit card to try and pay the bond, he saves the wrong guy at one point and manipulates him into helping him out. He even manipulates a 16-year-old girl into helping him. Watching this clusterfuck of human desperation with a happy ending is incredibly enjoyable and I would recommend this largely unknown film to anybody, and that’s why it deserves a spot on this list.

  1. Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel deserves all the credit in the world for just how successful this movie is, and I’m not strictly talking about how monetarily successful it was, but just overall as a piece of cinema. Marvel made a great movie and they didn’t necessarily have to, to make all that money. They caught lightning in a bottle with the structure of this movie, somehow all your favourite characters are featured here, and they get apt screen time. It brought countless extraneous plot elements from several movies together and then delivered with a fantastic villain, with Thanos. Even Marvel’s unanimously considered weakest element, the villain, defies all expectations. Thanos is the selling point of this movie, to me, I really don’t care about the Marvel cinematic universe or any of the characters or even any of these films, I see them once and a while, and I’m glad I went to see this one, and only for Thanos. Thanos is the Darth Vader of cinemas modern time, a generation defining. He works so well because he is not a mindless evil tyrant, as at least I had assumed going into the movie, being largely blind, he does not take any joy or reverence in his actions throughout the movie. He is a damaged hero who views this as his last chance to save the universe, he believes what he is going to be right. He sacrifices the only being in the universe he still has any affection for, in order to save the universe, he is not a hypocrite, he is willing to sacrifice everything for this goal, and the fact that he achieves it at movies end solidifies my admiration for this character. The embodiment of my fascination with this character, is in the scene where Thanos defeats Tony Stark and before he kills him, he genuinely acknowledges his respect for him and hopes that the remaining people on Earth remember him for the hero he is. The subtly and nuance of the writing of Thanos is the driving force behind this movies placement here on the list.

  1. The Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight to me, is the story of a Black man that hates white people and a racist from the south coming together to kill this bitch, and by movies end they realise that they aren’t so different from each other as they die together. The mystery premise of this movie is the initial intrigue of the film, and as the plot unravels I like how the mystery element is subverted and nearly everyone is in on the plan. But as with all Quentin Tarantino movies the dialogue and performances are what carry the film. Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russel and Walton Goggins are the standout performances, the scene where the sheriff exposes the major for his fake Lincoln Letter is amazingly great, the tension and humour are all evident and it also leads great insight into all three of them as characters. From this one interaction we learn that the sheriff is cleverer than we may have initially anticipated, the major is more deceitful than initially anticipated and that the Hangman is more gullible than initially anticipated. These characteristics of them all individually plays very cleverly into the twist, the Hangman unknowingly drinks the poison and the major and the sheriff are forced to come together to survive. This throw-away interaction in the middle of this film is only one reason that this film is so great and why it earns a spot as one of my favourite films of all time.

  1. Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is so unbelievably great, and it isn’t even my favourite or the highest-ranking Quentin Tarantino movie on this list. At this point I might seem like a broken record but the dialogue and performances are what carry this movie. Mr White and Mr Pink particularly are my favourite performances, I love the cynical nature of Mr Pink, and the fact that he never takes his eyes of the prize, whereas everyone else flusters. Mr White is the most relatable character in this film, he’s the closest to the everyman, he works hard and trusts in his friends, he has the empathy the characters lack and the relationship between him and Mr Orange is portrayed not to dissimilarly to a father and son. Which only makes the conclusion of the film more tragic, Mr White kills associates of his own and gives his life for someone he believes to be his friend only for Mr Orange to reveal himself as the undercover cop. The final scene of Reservoir Dogs is iconic for a reason, it beautifully brings all the tension and dramatic irony together in a single climactic scene where these characters bear their souls to the audience. This was Quentin Tarantino’s debut and since then he’s never looked back, and this first outing was one of his best.

  1. The End of Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the greatest television series of all time and its climatic cinematic performance is equally as great. What’s most impressive about the End of Evangelion is how short it is, this movie is a clean and concise 1 hour and 30 minutes, I was stunned when I rewatched the film recently to discover this shockingly short run time. Think about all the iconic scenes that you associate with this movie in your mind; Misato’s death, the invasion of Nerve, Ryusiki’s death, Rei’s philosophical awakening and subsequent killing of Gendo, Asuka’s fight against the Eva series, the world ending and Shinji’s psychological awakening and subsequent saving of the world all happens in a succinct and satisfying 90 minutes. Just scene after scene of classic, unforgettable anime drama. The direction and cinematography of this movie may be peak Hideiki Anno. I love the use of flashing images and match cuts Anno uses frequently to overload your brain with rapid fire images, its tantalising to watch. Evangelion has always thematically been about the worth of human connection and this is never further brought to the forefront than in the climax of the movie, Shinji is given the choice to allow everyone to be absorb into a singularity or to reject the end of the world and try one final time to connect to Asuka, and ultimately Shinji proves himself the hero and chooses hope. The final scene might be the most iconic of this seemingly ubiquitous film and is the perfect closer for Anno’s masterpiece, making it even more infuriating that he decided to revisit the series with the terrible and ugly rebuild films…

  1. Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown is Quentin Tarantino’s best work and I will not here otherwise. For the first time in a Quentin Tarantino movie the plot is equally as complex as the characters and dialogue. Jackie Brown is where Tarantino’s characters feel the most authentic. But once again, even with the dynamic plot, in Jackie Brown the performances and dialogue reign supreme, everyone in this film is outstanding. Watching Pam Grier as Jackie Brown portray her absolute exhaustion at life only to outsmart Ordell and the cops and get away with stealing tens of thousands of dollars is extremely satisfying. Ordell’s self-destruction is equally as satisfying to watch all his allies betray him or end up dead. Jackie betrays him, Melonie dies, he kills Lewis and he kills Buemont. Every scene in this movie is infinitely rewatchable for me, Chris Tucker gives the performance of his career here in a great scene acting beside Samuel L Jackson. The scene where Jackie and Ordell argue at the beach house is great and the diegetic audio of the scene is priceless in execution. Lewis and Melonie have fantastic chemistry in this film and watching them annoy each other is weirdly rewarding. This film is just so well-written and is easily to me the best of Quentin Tarantino.

  1. The Godfather

There is an unrivalled atmosphere in the Godfather. You consciously feel like you’re watching a classic of the medium whenever you gaze at its frames. There’s such class and appeal on display here that it gives me a nostalgia and a fondness for a time in which my parents weren’t even born. The Godfather is a two-part narrative about the successfulness of Vito Corleone, the initial Godfather and patriarch of the Corleone family and the failure of his successor and son Michael Corleone. The acting in this film is remarkable, every performance is unique and believable, everyone from Tom to Fredo to Moe Green to Sollozzo to Clemenza to Sonny to Kay, are damn-near perfect in this film. An outstanding cast of characters. The Godfather Part 1 feels like a journey you take with Michael you grow with him on this journey, you carry the weight of his actions and his trauma, and by the end you feel like you’ve been worn out. This movie is long, and you don’t feel any of it, something interesting or iconic is always happening. I love in this film and in the sequel how the monumentality of someone raising their voice is portrayed, the noise sounds unique to the time and is scary as well as captivating. The score of this movie is also undeniably excellent, the main Godfather theme is unparalleled in cinema for excellence. There are countless scenes from this movie I would consider to be my favourites, from Michael and Vito’s final on screen talk, to Vito’s wholesome death, to Michael’s hit on Sollozzo and the police chief, to the explosion with the car, the emotional moment with Tom and Vito after Sonny’s death and of course, the namesake scene of the movie. The Godfather is only outclassed in my heart by one film, it’s sequel.

  1. The Godfather Pt. 2

The Godfather Part 2 narrowly outclasses its predecessor in nearly all areas. You may as well count these films together as one they are so similar, but for me everything’s just a little better in Part 2. This movie serves as the crescendo of Michael Corleone’s descension. He ruthlessness is on full display in this film, even after he wins at the end of the movie all his enemies, no matter how harmless they are after Michael has destroyed them must be killed, from Roth to Fredo, everyone that stands even briefly in Michael’s way are killed by movies end. Everything I said about the first movie applies here to the second movie, the acting and atmosphere here are unmatched. Roth as a villain and the surrounding storyline in Cuba is far more entertaining to me than the conflict in the first movie with Sollozzo and the 5 families. My favourite scenes from this movie also rank higher than those of the first. The iconic Fredo scene is great, Michael embracing Fredo at the funeral is beautiful and his subsequent killing of Fredo is devastating, Michael exploding when Tom tells him Kay had a miscarriage is terrifying and Tom’s final scene with the nearly rat, where he convinces him to kill himself is also impeccable. Everything in this movie to me is great and at this point in time, to me, The Godfather Part 2 is the pinnacle of cinema.

 

 

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