Just a short trailer I made for a film on my course. It has its flaws, but I’m happy with how it came out, so I thought I’d post it here :)


21. American Beauty (1999)
What is there to say about this film that hasn’t already been said in every film studies course in the last 14 years? This film is brilliant. The soundtrack is absolutely great, pitch perfect performances from pretty much every cast member. Kevin Spacey walks the line between asshole and hero very well, and Sam Mendez really knows his craft.

21. American Beauty (1999)

What is there to say about this film that hasn’t already been said in every film studies course in the last 14 years? This film is brilliant. The soundtrack is absolutely great, pitch perfect performances from pretty much every cast member. Kevin Spacey walks the line between asshole and hero very well, and Sam Mendez really knows his craft.


20. Thank You For Smoking (2005)
This film is smug, self satisfied and deals in the morally grey. I don’t think anyone is really on the side of cigarette companies, but this movies gives a great little glimpse into the word of a ‘Merchant of Death’. The fact that Aaron Eckhart’s Nick Naylor is not immediately despised by anyone who watches this film speaks volumes for the actor’s charisma and likeability. It’s interesting, it’s clever and often darkly funny. This is a rare occasion where I like a film more than I would necessarily be willing to recommend it, but if you get the chance to watch it, don’t turn away. You may even like it.

20. Thank You For Smoking (2005)

This film is smug, self satisfied and deals in the morally grey. I don’t think anyone is really on the side of cigarette companies, but this movies gives a great little glimpse into the word of a ‘Merchant of Death’. The fact that Aaron Eckhart’s Nick Naylor is not immediately despised by anyone who watches this film speaks volumes for the actor’s charisma and likeability. It’s interesting, it’s clever and often darkly funny. This is a rare occasion where I like a film more than I would necessarily be willing to recommend it, but if you get the chance to watch it, don’t turn away. You may even like it.


19. Enchanted (2007)
As a long life Disneyphile, there’s a special place in my heart for the magical kingdom. Enchanted is one of the films I can watch over and over without getting sick of it. The breakdown of the silver screen fairy-tale and the cynicism of the real world is handled so expertly, and Patrick Dempsey is the perfect straight man to Amy Adams whimsical foil. The entire musical sequence in the park is smirkingly tongue in cheek and yet still manages to walk the thin line between cheese and postmodern skepticism. Feel good film extraordinaire, give it a watch if you want a little upper for your day.

19. Enchanted (2007)

As a long life Disneyphile, there’s a special place in my heart for the magical kingdom. Enchanted is one of the films I can watch over and over without getting sick of it. The breakdown of the silver screen fairy-tale and the cynicism of the real world is handled so expertly, and Patrick Dempsey is the perfect straight man to Amy Adams whimsical foil. The entire musical sequence in the park is smirkingly tongue in cheek and yet still manages to walk the thin line between cheese and postmodern skepticism. Feel good film extraordinaire, give it a watch if you want a little upper for your day.


18. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Since its Christmas, I thought I’d go for a seasonal film. Like Die Hard and Gremlins, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a Christmas film with nothing really to do with Christmas. Hey, I didn’t want to be obvious.
This movie works on so many different levels. The chemistry between Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr is astounding, and as an odd couple they’re just brilliant to watch. I love the detective pulp style, I love RDJ’s loveable asshole with a heart and though the plot isn’t the most coherent, how it unfolds is where the real charm of this movie lies. Darkly funny, sometimes tragic and has some of the most quotable moments in cinema. If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth a look.

18. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Since its Christmas, I thought I’d go for a seasonal film. Like Die Hard and Gremlins, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a Christmas film with nothing really to do with Christmas. Hey, I didn’t want to be obvious.

This movie works on so many different levels. The chemistry between Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr is astounding, and as an odd couple they’re just brilliant to watch. I love the detective pulp style, I love RDJ’s loveable asshole with a heart and though the plot isn’t the most coherent, how it unfolds is where the real charm of this movie lies. Darkly funny, sometimes tragic and has some of the most quotable moments in cinema. If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth a look.


17. Warrior (2011)
Thanks to my friend Walker for making me watch this film. I would otherwise be ignorant of its existence.
This film is an honourable mention, as I usually like to watch a film more than once before I name it a personal favourite, but this film is awesome. It’s cut from the same cloth as films such as Rocky and Million Dollar Baby, but what I love about this film is that while it is undeniably a film full of fighting (with some of the best choreographed fights I’ve ever seen in cinema) it is at heart about family and redemption. The two main characters, brothers played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton only really speak with each other once during the story, and yet by the end you fully understand their feelings toward each other and their relationship with their father.
It is a blend of stylish but brutal violence and glamour, but it has a soul that is not lost beneath the spectacle. It uses every fight movie cliche, the underdog, the montage, and I’ve heard some people comment on that as if it somehow detracts from the quality of the film, but I say this; sometimes things are cliche for a reason.
It says a lot for the staggering level of immersion this film creates that I was actively cheering and reacting the fights as if they were actual live events, something I’ve never experienced when watching a sports film. Watch it.

17. Warrior (2011)

Thanks to my friend Walker for making me watch this film. I would otherwise be ignorant of its existence.

This film is an honourable mention, as I usually like to watch a film more than once before I name it a personal favourite, but this film is awesome. It’s cut from the same cloth as films such as Rocky and Million Dollar Baby, but what I love about this film is that while it is undeniably a film full of fighting (with some of the best choreographed fights I’ve ever seen in cinema) it is at heart about family and redemption. The two main characters, brothers played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton only really speak with each other once during the story, and yet by the end you fully understand their feelings toward each other and their relationship with their father.

It is a blend of stylish but brutal violence and glamour, but it has a soul that is not lost beneath the spectacle. It uses every fight movie cliche, the underdog, the montage, and I’ve heard some people comment on that as if it somehow detracts from the quality of the film, but I say this; sometimes things are cliche for a reason.


It says a lot for the staggering level of immersion this film creates that I was actively cheering and reacting the fights as if they were actual live events, something I’ve never experienced when watching a sports film. Watch it.


16. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

One of my all time favourite books transformed into one of my favourite films. I have fond memories of getting to the end of the novel. As someone emotionally jaded by years of watching and reading sub-par fiction, it amazed me to find myself given actual chills. When Scout learns to work in Boo Radley’s shoes, my heart breaks. 
Atticus Finch is one of the greatest characters of all time, perfectly realized by Gregory Peck, and the feel of the film matches the tone of the book to create that feeling of understanding and tolerance that still resonates to this day.

16. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)


One of my all time favourite books transformed into one of my favourite films. I have fond memories of getting to the end of the novel. As someone emotionally jaded by years of watching and reading sub-par fiction, it amazed me to find myself given actual chills. When Scout learns to work in Boo Radley’s shoes, my heart breaks. 

Atticus Finch is one of the greatest characters of all time, perfectly realized by Gregory Peck, and the feel of the film matches the tone of the book to create that feeling of understanding and tolerance that still resonates to this day.


15. The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s “The Thing” by John Carpenter is a film from what I refer to as “the goldilocks zone” of science fiction, starting with Alien in 1979 and ending half way through the 90s when the computers took over. Now, don’t think I don’t appreciate CGI, I do. It has it’s place in the production process of course (when done well), but I am a massive nerd when it comes to old school special effects; animatronics, visual wizardry, elaborate puppets, all of it. It fascinates me, and I generally think that when executed correctly, nothing looks better or works more effectively that physical props (case in point, the chestburster). The Thing is a masterclass of this school of special-effect film making which instantly endears it to me.
It is scary in a more subtle way than say, Halloween (1978), Carpenter’s earlier work because it does the job it sets out to do so perfectly. The horror of The Thing is in the paranoia it induces. First time I watched it, I spent the next four days eyeballing my friends and checking over my shoulder before I entered my house. Kurt Russell is on classic form of course, as is Keith David, and the titular creature is the screaming, spitting hellbeast abomination that a monster without a real name should be. It’s classic horror at it’s finest in my opinion and is definitely a must see for fans of both horror and sci-fi.

15. The Thing (1982)


John Carpenter’s “The Thing” by John Carpenter is a film from what I refer to as “the goldilocks zone” of science fiction, starting with Alien in 1979 and ending half way through the 90s when the computers took over. Now, don’t think I don’t appreciate CGI, I do. It has it’s place in the production process of course (when done well), but I am a massive nerd when it comes to old school special effects; animatronics, visual wizardry, elaborate puppets, all of it. It fascinates me, and I generally think that when executed correctly, nothing looks better or works more effectively that physical props (case in point, the chestburster). The Thing is a masterclass of this school of special-effect film making which instantly endears it to me.

It is scary in a more subtle way than say, Halloween (1978), Carpenter’s earlier work because it does the job it sets out to do so perfectly. The horror of The Thing is in the paranoia it induces. First time I watched it, I spent the next four days eyeballing my friends and checking over my shoulder before I entered my house. Kurt Russell is on classic form of course, as is Keith David, and the titular creature is the screaming, spitting hellbeast abomination that a monster without a real name should be. It’s classic horror at it’s finest in my opinion and is definitely a must see for fans of both horror and sci-fi.



14. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

I put off watching this film for 6 years despite recommendations from two of my closest friends during all of that time. I just never got round to watching it. Do not make the same mistake I did. Everything about this film is amazing. Surreal, beautiful and occasionally terrifying, I don’t want to ruin it for you, so please, just watch it. No excuses; no “doesn’t seem like my cup of tea” or “I don’t like subtitles”, just watch it. It visually orgasmic and narratively genius, and once you do, remember these three things;
1. Doug Jones, the guy who played the faun and the pale man, is a legend and deserves a hell of a lot more recognition than he gets for his roles.
2. Captain Vidal is one of the best cinematic villains I’ve ever had the pleasure to hate. (Mad props to Sergi López.)
3. THE COSTUMES ARE ALL FUCKING PROSTHETICS! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

14. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)



I put off watching this film for 6 years despite recommendations from two of my closest friends during all of that time. I just never got round to watching it. Do not make the same mistake I did. Everything about this film is amazing. Surreal, beautiful and occasionally terrifying, I don’t want to ruin it for you, so please, just watch it. No excuses; no “doesn’t seem like my cup of tea” or “I don’t like subtitles”, just watch it. It visually orgasmic and narratively genius, and once you do, remember these three things;

1. Doug Jones, the guy who played the faun and the pale man, is a legend and deserves a hell of a lot more recognition than he gets for his roles.

2. Captain Vidal is one of the best cinematic villains I’ve ever had the pleasure to hate. (Mad props to Sergi López.)

3. THE COSTUMES ARE ALL FUCKING PROSTHETICS! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?


13. Highlander (1986)
The only film where you can see a French man play a 500 year old Scottish immortal, and a Scottish man play a 3000 year old Egyptian immortal with completely zero change in accent, and completely maintain your suspension of disbelief. Also, the villain is the voice of Mr Krabs, and the soundtrack is completely done by Queen, with Freddie Murphy tonguing your cochlea throughout. Honestly, I love this film. Despite it’s inherent silliness, it still manages to be impressive and incredibly entertaining. But remember; the sequels are a series of increasingly heinous cinematic abortions that I choose to believe got rebooted out of existence: therefore, there can be only one.

13. Highlander (1986)

The only film where you can see a French man play a 500 year old Scottish immortal, and a Scottish man play a 3000 year old Egyptian immortal with completely zero change in accent, and completely maintain your suspension of disbelief. Also, the villain is the voice of Mr Krabs, and the soundtrack is completely done by Queen, with Freddie Murphy tonguing your cochlea throughout. Honestly, I love this film. Despite it’s inherent silliness, it still manages to be impressive and incredibly entertaining. But remember; the sequels are a series of increasingly heinous cinematic abortions that I choose to believe got rebooted out of existence: therefore, there can be only one.