Matt’s Top 10 Films of 2006
So another year has filled the big screens with films better (eg Munich), worse (eg Basic Instinct 2) and about exactly what we expected (eg Cars) and I’ve had the privilege of watching most of them then reporting back to you what I thought. If you read this page regularly, you’ll already have some idea as to if we enjoy the same sort of films and whilst you might not agree with me, at least you’ll be forewarned about what to expect…
Here’s my pick of the films released in the UK in 2006:
1. Superman Returns (12a)
“Even though you’ve been raised as a human, you’re not one of them. They can be a great people, Kal-El .They wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you... my only son…”For so many years we have suffered, adrift without our protector, at the mercy of evil in every form - our once bright hope has begun to fade. But in a dark and most desperate hour there may yet be salvation – look, up in the sky, it’s a bird? It’s a plane? No, it’s superman and he’s back to save us all from mediocre films!!How can I sum this film up? Except… WOW!!
2. Miami Vice (15)
“Smooth… That’s how we do it.”Oh yes, here it is – Miami Vice finally on the big screen some 20 years since the TV show changed the viewing habits and dress sense of millions of impressionable males across the world. I should know, I was one of them.
Michael Mann successfully took the classic cheesy TV show, stripped it, remixed it and unleashed it on a new generation. Everything about the new version is harder, darker and more stylish than before. Miami Vice the movie is a deliciously vicious victory of boiled down style over substance. As Tubbs asks at one point: “Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘foreboding’, as in badness is happening right now?” Watch this and you will do…
3. Brick (15)
“I betcha you got every rat in town together and said show your hands if any of 'em actually seen the Pin, we'd get a crowd of full pockets.”Welcome to the world of BRICK new director on the block Rian Johnson's strange and wonderful fusion of teen angst, neo noir and detective mystery – all wrapped up in an ultra stylish coating of David Lynchian unease. This is the tale of Emily (Emile de Ravin) a girl in trouble – too many lovers, too much of a drug problem, in with the wrong crowd – so far so Twin Peaks…But Brick is a hip, cool and entirely watchable calling card for some of the hottest new talent around. Prepare to be dazzled.
4. Casino Royale (12a)
James Bond: “Vodka-martini please.” Bartender: “Would that be shaken or stirred?” James Bond: “Does it look like I give a damn?”
Yes Britain’s smoothest export was back in cinemas this year, blonder, tougher and steelier eyed than you might have expected but he’s lost none of his macho charm, sophisticate charisma or woman killing eye for a foxy minx. In a nutshell, Casino Royale is Bond getting to do what he does best – getting the girl, killing the baddies and saving the entire planet. Director Martin Campbell (who also made Goldeneye) easily trumps his earlier Bond effort with this grittier, darker and altogether more satisfying tale of the super spy’s first major mission. It’s true what might have heard… Blondes do it better…
5. Hoodwinked (PG)
“It's true, I'm not like other grannies.”
Have you ever wondered if your dear sweet granny might actually be living a double life? Perhaps behind the cup cakes, jumpers and general mild mannered exterior – maybe she’s known as ‘Triple G’ and into extreme sports and danger? No, me either, but it’s a great ‘what if’ and it works brilliantly in Hoodwinked – a fun animated comedy for all the family. Think Little Red Riding Hood crossed with ‘The Usual Suspects’ and then mix it with lots of laugh out loud humour – top stuff.
6. Little Miss Sunshine (15)
“Losers are people who are so afraid of not winning, they don't even try.”
This cool film which is getting major Golden Globe buzz managed to capture the ridiculousness of life's tragedies and show them up in a one seriously humorous and genuinely moving road trip. Highlighting both ugly underbelly of Americana - with their weirdly creepy beauty pageants and stuff, through to the love and empowerment of having a family (however dysfunctional it might be). Double directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris take the viewer on a journey which will lodge in your unconsciousness and make you smile at inopportune moments. For once you should believe the hype – this is a must see movie.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (12a)
“One word love; curiosity. You long for freedom. You long to do what you want to do because you want it. To act on selfish impulse. You want to see what it's like. One day you wont be able to resist…”
The global box office phenomena of the year and direct follow up to 2003’s surprise pirate action blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean, sees eccentric Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) has been press ganged back into service. Add dashing Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and gorgeous Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), mix up with stunning special effects and a great sense of fun and enjoy! Needless to say, things go pear shaped before the titles have had the chance to stop rolling and another rip roaring high adventure takes sail.
8. The Departed (18)
“When I was your age, they would say you could become cops or criminals. What I'm saying is this: When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?”Welcome to the mean streets of Boston, a city ruled by terror where even the police are struggling to make any sort of dent in the all pervasive operation of psychotic mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). The Departed is a balls-to-the-wall confident and clever thriller, engaging and disturbing in equal measures and a benchmark by which all US cop thrillers will be judged against for some time to come.
9. United 93 (15)
“We have to do something; they are not going to land this plane.”
Unflinchingly powerful in its depiction of what might have happened on the 3rd plane high jacked on 9/11. United 93 is a film scripted, photographed and edited to make it feel like you’re actually there. This is a truly terrifying drama, made all the more nightmarish because it is based on real events. It’s impossible to watch United 93 and not be moved. This is no popcorn thrill ride, this is everybody’s worst nightmare played out with respect – a real tribute to the bravery of people faced with an impossible situation.
10. Severance (18)
“I've left Gordon's foot on the coach... sorry mate.”
Welcome to another bloody office outing… Literally. Severance is pretty much the ultimate slasher/action/comedy film. Think ‘Shaun of the Dead’ but swap the zombies for evil gun and machete toting nutjobs and you’ll be in the right zone. Whilst certainly not for the squeamish it will have you laughing out loud one moment and genuinely scared the next. This is without doubt the most dysfunctional, delightful and potentially brain damaging cinematic experience of 2006 – altogether a superior quality British film you simply must not miss...!!
And so that's my top 10 for this year - of course there were other great films and if I had a top 11 a certain Mr Borat would be in there too!
"Jagshemash! Matt - how could you leave me out?"
Click here for the previous top 10's:
Matt's Top 10 Films 2005
Matt's Top 10 Films 2004
and look out for my 'Matt's Movie Awards 2006' coming soon which will feature catagories including -
Top 5 Hottest Movie Babes '06
Best Scene involving a ground to air missile in a Movie etc
Darkmatters: H O M E