100 Films in a Year was five years old yesterday, and to mark the occasion I’m having five days of top fives from the past five years. On Monday I bemoaned the five worst films I’ve seen as part of this project, while yesterday I slammed the five most overrated. It’s all nice from here on though, starting with…
I’ve called up Easy Virtue before (recently) as underrated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing again. I really don’t see why it came in for such a drubbing (see my review for more details) — I thought it was witty and funny, with a distinctly mischievous streak, all wrapped around a surprisingly dramatic core.
Gambit‘s underratedness is beginning to be called into question — “thank you”s for Drew McWeeny‘s recommendation are still popping up on my twitter feed — but only so many people will see that, so I’m doing my bit. Watch it, but don’t give in to temptation and read about it first — the opening deserves to be seen unspoiled.
The King of Comedy
There are many films Scorsese is praised for, and deservedly so, but having watched Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and more in the past five years, I think this is my favourite. A black comedy about a wannabe-famous comic whose obsession goes too far, apparently “Scorsese has called De Niro’s role… his favorite of their collaborations.” What better endorsement?
Someone somewhere recently commented that if Speed Racer had been a CG ‘toon by Pixar it would be beloved, and they may be right. In fact it’s live action, but exists in the kind of heightened candy-colour cartoon world only the digital era has made possible. It’s fast, exciting, funny, not perfect, but visually astounding, and great.
Stranger on the Third Floor
This only seems to get mentioned as “the first film noir”, a nominal title established after the fact. It was tricky to see too — it’s available on UK DVD now, but I caught it on a rare TV airing, at which point it didn’t even have a BBFC certificate. It’s not the greatest noir, certainly, but I think it’s better than its lowly reputation would suggest.
You may have noticed a theme developing in this week’s Big Picture At The Top Of The Post (or, as WordPress calls them, “featured images”; or, as I normally call them, “banners” — whatever will do). I realised that the look of 100 Films has undergone five phases, which equates to one a year and makes it sound more turbulent than it really was, and decided that would be a neat way to top these five posts.
Monday was taken from the blog’s origins on deviantART. When I realised I was going to continue this project past the first year and make it a ‘proper’ blog (rather than just an on-going part of my dA journal), I got a Blogger site — the one seen on Tuesday. That was short-lived, because I found FilmJournal and that was better. The initial FJ look of 100 Films forms today’s picture, then.
I was quite pleased with this linking theme — so pleased I’ve decided to blatantly highlight it to make sure you all know how clever I am. Also, apparently, how fickle.
The individual posts I chose to feature in each banner are also in some way relevant (quite an obvious way, really). But I’ll leave that one up to anyone who cares to think about it.
Overrated, underrated, wombling free… Wait, what? Sorry. Um, tomorrow — the five films I thought were the best from my last five years of viewing.