For those that don’t know I am watching all 700+ Dvd/Bluray films from A-Z which has so far taken me 2.5 years to get to the end of H’s!
I thought I should retrospectively review each letter and give my top 5 films from each alpha block and maybe bring your attention to some films you may not have seen, films you’ve not seen in ages or films you should give another try. Click A, B, and C to read previous parts.
And so we reach the D’s and looking into the history of D’s I found some hideous movies I’m glad to say I don’t own like the Dr Doolittle remakes, Dude where’s my car, Deuce Bigalow male gigolo (2 parts, how!!), D3 Mighty Ducks, Daddy Day Care, Domino, Dracula dead and loving it, Dumb and dumberer when Harry met Lloyd and so on.
However I do own, or my wife owns Dirty Dancing and I had probably the best experience watching it as I took a bottle of tequila in hand and did a shot every time a scene annoyed me and so almost a full bottle of tequila later I finished the movie in high spirits and in the only way I was going to get through it.
I’m also amazed by my own inability to own all great films, I am missing the likes of Deer Hunter, Day Earth stood still (1951), Dig!, Dirty Dozen, Dirty Harry, Downfall, Dark City, Duck Soup and many more I’m sure that should must own as they really are missed in my collection, maybe santa will be kind this year.
And so onto my five choice films of the D’s. We have a classic Steve Martin on top form movie, the ultimate Stanley Kubrick film with the ultimate Peter Sellers in his finest performance, A deeply Dark Muppet Movie, a charming Steve Carell Rom-Com Movie and the best comic book superhero movie ever made. A wonderful choice of movies and again all offering something amazing and unique.
A few notable omissions from my top five are:- Dead man Shoes, Die Hard, Deliverance, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Duel and Desperado.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Released in 1982 and staring Steve Martin as Private Detective Rigby Reardon whose recruited by Juliet Forrest (Rachel Ward) who is convinced that the reported death of her father, who was a prominent Cheese scientist working on a secret recipe, was no accident.
Rigby finds a slip of paper containing a list of people who are “The Friends and Enemies of Carlotta.” And starts a search for these people and here is where it sets itself apart from any other film, for the people Rigby meets are all from scenes of old classic black and white movies cut into the movie to give impression Rigby is talking or interacting with the likes of Marlon Brando, Vincent Price, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more, it works brilliantly and is flawless mainly due to the excellent design of costumes that match perfectly to the original actors dress and the excellent set design that again matches to the original scenes in the old movies, this combined with excellent editing make a quite brilliant movie.
The comedy is top draw with Steve Martin showing off his timing and line delivery with utter natural comic ease which makes the film work so well and carries the movie on even though the plot goes completely bonkers when the Nazi’s get involved towards the end but never the less it’s a genuine classic comedy movie.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I stopped worrying and learned to love the bomb
If you haven’t seen it then it’s definitely one of those films you have to see before you die.
Released in 1964, the plot is still very relevant and dark today as it was then and centres around a paranoid army general who freaks out thinking the Russians are polluting the bodily fluids of the American people and so starts off a chain of events that lead to a potential nuclear attack on USSR. The President meets with his advisers and is informed that if nuclear weapons are dropped on the USSR then it will set of a “˜Doomsday Device’ that will destroy all animal and plant life on Earth.
It’s Peter Sellers who makes the film so incredible and memorable as he performs as three entirely different characters throughout. Merkin Muffley The President of USA, British Group Captain Lionel Mandrake and the show stealing ex Nazi nuclear expert Dr Strangelove, an utter joy to watch Sellers at his best and utter such classic funny lines like “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room”. Brilliant.
Peter Sellers in my opinion was scandalously beaten to an Oscar for best Actor by Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady and Kubrick was beaten by George Cukor for best Director also for My Fair Lady and personally Dr.Strangelove is easily a superior film, maybe it was too dark of a film for it’s time but it was the best film of that year by a long way.
The Muppet Show this isn’t. Jim Henson brings to life this amazing fantasy tale using entirely puppets, animatronics or actors wearing puppet outfits and the result is a dark and scary movie that is one of the most loved children’s films of it’s time.
The film is a fine old good vs evil tale that centres around the character of Jen, the last Gerlfling in the world and her journey to insert the missing shard splinter into the Dark Crystal to end the rule of the Skecksis when the three suns align.
On route she meets a variety of characters including a banished Skeksi who is trying to capture them to get accepted back (This Skeksi was the creepiest thing I remember witnessing as a child) another Gerlfling and her dog-like pet Fizzgig and together they travel to the Dark Crystal to finish the rule of the Skeksis.
Dark Crystal is a wonderful film showing off all of the Henson magic and adding a incredible fantasy tale that scares, excites and impresses at every turn and still to this day I can sit and watch and enjoy every minute of it.
Dan in Real Life
Whilst visiting a book store he meets Marie (Juliette Binoche) who he connects with, something he hasn’t done since his wife died, they hit it off but and have to go their separate ways after she receives a phone call but they exchange numbers and Dan is left in love and further telling his family he may have met someone special.
It turns out that Marie is dating one of Dan’s brothers and when she turns up to the family get together things take a turn for the awkward, Dan can’t confess to the family that Marie is the girl and Marie can’t either after just being introduced to large family and so the two share a very awkward and frustrating time in the same home to very humorous consequences.
The film moves along nicely with some touching moments and laugh out loud scenes due to Carell’s excellent comic timing, and it’s Steve Carell who impresses the most in a great semi serious role as a father desperately trying to find someone to replace the hole left by the death of his wife and picking the one person to fill that that’s already taken by his brother.
Great film, moving and very enjoyable.
The standout film by far, not only in the D’s but arguably from all of the letters I have done so far. It’s got everything you could want from a film, action, gadgets, plot and the best portrayal of Batman vs The Joker you could hope for.
The film will be remembered for the performance of Heath Ledger and rightly so, the Oscar was fully deserved as Heath Ledger gave us the perfect performance of the insane with genius to battle the gravel voiced Batman and was so good you wanted to see more of the Joker than of the Batman.
With the addition of a well setup story to create Two Face, played by the excellent and highly underrated Aaron Eckhart, it was the almost perfect film from the Director who can’t make a bad film, Christopher Nolan.
I saw this at the IMAX and it wasn’t quite as impressive watching it at home but still the quality of the Dark Knight is astonishing with the only down side for me were Batman’s voice and the sonar concept at the end.
It’s all setup nicely for the next film with everyone guessing who will be the next villain in Batman 3, my choice is the Riddler but who knows.
Thanks for reading, any recommendations welcome. Coming soon is part five the E’s.