It’s because of this that we at HeyUGuys (and in this case, we, is myself and Bazmann) have decided to set ourselves a project. To watch and review all 250 movies on the list! We’ve frozen the list as of 1st January this year. It’s not as simple as it sounds, as we’ll be watching them in one year, 125 each. Click here to keep up with our progress.
This is our second update, a rundown of my first five movies watched for the project.
The thing I have enjoyed about doing the project so far is that it’s a great opportunity to see some of these films again but the best thing is that I have a reason to finally see some classic movies for the first time with 12 Angry Men, Rope, Paths of Glory being a few to mention, it’s a very exciting challenge.
All five movies were absolutely brilliant and I’m glad to say all in the collection of films I’ve owned for many years. They all fully deserve to be in any one’s top 250 films and span over 40 years of film history from 1959 to 1999 that certainly show the best in comedy, thriller, animation and drama that movies have to offer.
No.79 – Some Like it Hot (1959) – Rating 8.3
If you haven’t seen this film then shame on you. Billy Wilder directs and Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe star in one of the funniest, one of the most watchable and ahead of its time films ever made.
Curtis and Lemmon are Joe and Jerry, musicians from Chicago who unwillingly witness the St Valentines day Massacre by the mob and have to escape to stay alive so they dress up as women, Josephine and Daphne, and join an all girl jazz band with Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Monroe) as it’s singer that’s travelling to Miami. Joe falls for Sugar and attempts to win her heart as another hilariously disguised character called Junior, a millionaire with the voice of Cary Grant. Their problems expand as the mob come to town and things get hectic as they realise they have to flee again.
Some Like It Hot is one of those rare movies where everything just works perfectly from start to finish. Tony Curtis and especially Jack Lemmon show a fantastic feeling for sexual confusion through their cross dressing and both excel at the silliness required to entertain with Marilyn Monroe providing a perfect focus to Curtis and Lemmon’s antics. The supporting cast from the mean mobsters who had the seriousness to the story to the excellent Joe E Brown as Osgood who confesses his love to Daphne adds a wonderful comic performance that finishes off the movie with a classic memorable line , it all just works superbly. Billy Wilder proves what a brilliantly director he is with this the first of 6 films in total on our list of 250 films to watch. A dam fine start for me.
No.19 – Rear Window (1954) – Rating 8.7
Every time I see Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window I’m always left flabbergasted by how good it is. In my opinion It’s one of the best thriller films ever made as we nose the neighbourhood through the rear window of a New York apartment with L.B.”Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart), confined to his room in sweltering heat with a broken leg and through boredom finds a hobby of watching the lives of his neighbours through the lens of his camera.
Jeff’s girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) and his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) visit him and although disapprove of his peeping tommery gradually get drawn into the story unfolding as Jeff is convinced that a neighbour named Thorwald has murdered his wife. Through tense and incredibly well written suspenseful scenes Jeff gets help from Lisa and Stella to investigate further as Jeff’s friend, Detective Doyle, finds it hard to believe especially without evidence to do anything. I won’t spoil the end for those who haven’t seen it but it’s one of the most terrifying and edge of your seat conclusions of any film.
The setting is just incredible with the view from Jeff’s apartment looking into the rooms and worlds of all his neighbours and these characters all have interesting lives we see glimpses of and like Jeff you want to have a nose too. Adding a murder plot is a stroke of genius to this scenario, watching Thorwold come and go doing seemingly suspicious acts is gripping and having Jeff incapacitated watching through the lens is such a superb idea with the helplessness he’s forced to endure.
James Stewart is just incredible in the role and has become my new favourite actor of all time, the beautiful Grace Kelly and smart talking Thelma Ritter add a mischievous and excellent supporting role to aid Jeff is his quest and Raymond Burr as Lars Tholwold is one of the best visually menacing regular villains of film history, the scene of his pitch black room with just the burning end of a cigarette occasionally lighting up is the most creepiest shot of the film. A masterclass in film making from Hitchcock and the 1st of 11 of his stunning movies on our IMDb250 list.
No.158 – Toy Story (1995) – Rating 8.1
Toy Story changed everything expected from animated movies and set a new high standard in story telling, character design and stunning visuals. Pixar took a gamble, almost bankrupted themselves and fell out with Disney in making the first fully computer-generated full-length feature film but of course it was a gamble that paid off and Pixar never looked back.
The story was perfect for Pixar’s debut feature with a young boy named Andy who’s Toys come to life to form a smile inducing toy community when the human element departs the room. This routine is interrupted only by birthdays and holidays when Andy receives some new toys that will possibly have a negative impact on the harmony of the exciting toys. This birthday Andy receives a new toy that is the big craze of the time, A super gadget filled Space Ranger toy called Buzz Lightyear that is destined to upset one toy in particular, Andy’s favourite Woody the Cowboy doll who is has taken a leadership role to the other toy’s.
Buzz takes over as Andy’s favourite toy and Woody hates it, so much so he creates an accident where Buzz is forced out a window, Woody is banished for this action and attempts to get Buzz back and be accepted by his friends again and so the two venture off on a journey to get back to Andy’s house before he moves leaving them forever.
It’s a phenomenal film that appeals to both child and adults with its lovable characters based on some of the most loved toys of any generation and all voiced by the perfect suited actors, the story has plenty for young children to enjoy and enough jokes and witty humour for adults to take delight from which all together makes some of the best 81 minutes of animated film you will ever see. It’s amazing that 15 years have passed since its release and still the computer animation is of the highest quality and holds its own but it will always be the story that makes it a winner, you can’t fault it. Toy Story is the 1st of 8 Pixar films in the IMDb250 list.
No.242 – Toy Story 2 (1999) – Rating 7.9
Toy Story continues on from from the first with more characters and a big story which is arguably equal to or maybe even better than the original. Woody, Buzz and co live in harmony until through an act of heroism by Woody in saving a toy being sold in a yard sale, Woody is stolen by a toy collector and taken to a building where Woody finds he is a rare toy and part of a collection of toys from an old TV show called Woody’s round up, he meets the other toys from the collection called Jesse his female sidekick, Stinky Pete the prospector and Bullseye his trusted horse and it’s through their excitement and happiness they will no longer be kept in storage and forever be treasured in a museum that Woody chooses to stay.
Meanwhile Buzz and the other toys set off to rescue Woody and venture through the city in some stunning visual set pieces and when they reach him find he wants to stay but Buzz reminds Woody he is a toy and should be played with by children, Woody convinces Jesse and Bullseye to come with him to Andy’s but Stinky Pete stops them and they get packaged up to be sent to Japan where Woody, Buzz and Co attempt to save the toys at the airport and of course they do and they all end up back at Andy’s. It’s a wonderful sequel to Toy Story and equally enjoyable improving on the first with some incredible action sequences in a much larger world, again the humour is brilliant the animation is completely amazing, the story is just Divine and overall just the perfect children/adult movie you can see.
No.156 – Stand By Me (1986) – Rating 8.1
Rob Reiner directs a Stephen King story that has gone on to be one of the best and most loved films of all time. Starring a young cast of River Phoenix as Chris, Corey Feldman as Teddy, Wil Wheaton as Gordie and Jerry O’Connell as Vern, four individually likable young boys taking a long journey to find the body of a dead boy. It’s a fantastic tale that works so well because the young cast are so dam good in their roles with the late River Phoenix showing why he emerged as one of the best rising actors of his time.
The story is narrated by an older Gordie Lachance (Richard Dreyfuss), looking back at his life to write a story. The recount of the journey of the boys is beautifully told and so memorable as the boys go on a journey of a life time to find the body of a boy that has been missing and presumed dead and to get the fame for discovering him, Vern heard the story of the supposed where abouts of the body from his older brother who unknown to the four boys tells his friends led by the intimidating Ace (the ever brilliant Keifer Sutherland) who also head off in search of the dead boy.
The boys have some brilliant moments, the stand out being the race across a railway bridge as a train is coming behind them which is funny and tense and the brilliant made up story by Gordie of Lardass and the pie eating competition which is one of the most sickest and fantastic scenes to watch, it’s just a really incredible movie that never fails to entertain especially as it comes to the end which a gripping and sad finale that brings everything to a satisfying end.
One of those films that stands out a mile in quality and story telling and when watched will leave a mark on you forever. I love it with a passion and always craved adventures like it as a kid, it fully deserves its place in the top 250 films of all time.
That’s my first five films done, my next five will be Spirited Away, Heat, Duck Soup, City Lights and Rope. See you in two weeks.
You can follow our progress on Twitter. Barry at www.twitter.com/baz_mann, and Gary at http://twitter.com/gary_Phillips_