The Worst-To-Best Filmation movies

About six months ago, I wrote a blog based on a internationally famous animation film company, that is Walt Disney Pictures. Of course, it’s also produced live-action movies, but many people mainly recognize the company for it’s animated features. So now, I’m going to rank some animated films which was produced by a studio that is very rarely discussed nowadays and hasn’t been in business for some time. This company is called Filmation.

Last year, the last of the founding members of Filmation passed away due to a bladder related issue. Because neither of them are with us no more, I am dedicating the rankings to them guys. For those of you who don’t know, Filmation was a production company which produced television programmes and feature films, mostly animation, from 1963 – 1989. Hal Sutherland (that’s the guy I was talking about) had previously worked with Disney as an animator for films such as Peter Pan, Lady & The Tramp and Sleeping Beauty. After the apparent failure of Sleeping Beauty, some of the staff was laid off and I would presume Hal was one of them. Later, he, Lou Scheimer and Norm Prescott commenced business, thus was born, Filmation. Filmation became famous for producing Saturday morning cartoons such as He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, Bravestarr and Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids, plus remakes of Star Trek, Flash Gordon and Ghostbusters. Mainly television, but there were also a few films Filmation produced. Filmation was notable for its limited animation technique and use of rotoscoping. Basically it involved a limited amount of frames per seconds and used less paper, which in a way is economical. Probably the reason why Filmation is one of the least discussed is because after the box office failure of its final three films, it eventually and alas went bankrupt in 1989, so many people would’ve forgotten about it, except for those who grew up in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

I would label Filmation as an ‘okay’ company. Personally I like the majority of its programmes better than its films. But sometimes, Filmation didn’t seem to be very original, considering that it remade such programmes as Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, Superman, Batman and so forth. However, stuff like He-Man, Bravestarr and Fat Albert were actually created by them, so they can be regarded as original. I also quite like the animation. And it did lead the way for certain crew members and actors who would appear in higher profile productions.

So just to keep things short, I will review the features. Here’s what I regard as The Worst-To Best movies produced by Filmation;

6. Journey Back To Oz

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Kicking off our list is a film which apparently took twelve years to bring to the silver screen; an ill-fated unofficial sequel to The Wizard Of Oz, one of the best movies ever made. Journey Back To Oz is so bland and forgettable. How many songs can you sing along to? Hint; there’s no Over The Rainbow, or Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead, or even… those were the days! It’s a totally weak sequel to anything whatsoever. Not even Mickey Rooney or Liza Minelli can uplift the spirits. There’s better films you can enjoy.

5. Treasure Island

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What a joke! Treasure Island? I’ve seen Walt Disney’s Treasure Planet and it was so much more original compared to this! If you want a movie from 1973 that shows off limited animation techniques, look at Robin Hood or Heavy Traffic. They are much more smoothly animated compared to this!

4. Mighty Mouse: Great Space Chase

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Well that’s much more of an improvement. I’ve always loved Mighty Mouse. I, of course, realise that Mighty Mouse: Great Space Chase is an anthology movie, but I ain’t big on anthology movies with the exception of Fantasia, that one’s awesome, but the Many Aventures Of Winnie The Pooh can kiss my butt! In fact, some of Quentin Tarantino’s movies are anthology and they’re awesome! Mighty Mouse: Great Space Chase looks a bit much like a television series. I would’ve preferred it if the segments was separate, because after a viewing of each one, I then forget what’s happened. But the action can still keep us relaxed.

3. Pinocchio & The Emperor Of The Night

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We’re half way through and this is another rather unofficial sequel to a legendary film. Pinocchio & The Emperor Of The Night is one of them movies I both really admire and really despise simultaneously. Although I’m glad I saw it, I ain’t sure if it was a good way for Filmation to boost its numbers after the He-Man and She-Ra movie only performed moderately successful at the box office. I admit there is some good stuff in the film, but there are flaws. Okay what’s the story?; the film takes place a year after Pinocchio’s origin. He volunteers to deliver a valuable box to the mayor for his father Gepetto. But he comes across them two thieving creatures, Scalawag and Igor, who trade a phony piece of jewelry for the box. Gepetto is annoyed, so Pinocchio who decides to make amends, plans to apply for a job at a mysterious carnival in order to mature. This leads to an amount of complications, involving a visit to the Land Where Dreams Come True, the reluctant teaming up with Scalawag and Igor, the kidnapping of Gepetto and a final showdown between Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night, hence the title, lol. Let’s start with the good stuff; first of all, the casting. My god, James Earl Jones is fantastic as the Emperor. His voice is kickass. His voice performance as Darth Vader really paid off. The voice of the protagonist is a young Scott Grimes. I ain’t joking. It’s the same guy who voiced Steve Smith in American Dad. There’s also Rickie Lee Jones who voices the fairy and she provides a cool ballad, Love Is The Light Inside Your Heart. Speaking of which, the music is awesome. It ain’t exactly When You Wish Upon A Star or Give A Little Whistle, but the fairy’s song which I just mentioned is so underrated. Even You’re A Star is cool. And that organ music which is played while Pinocchio is transformed back into a puppet. My god, it’s melodic enough to give a viewer nightmares. Also, the animation is truly epic. I know Filmation are well known for their limited animation techniques, but each time we see the Emperor, the scale is much larger and smoother, I dunno how to reword it. The villains including the Emperor and Puppetino are also badass. I love Puppetino’s cockney accent and laugh. Moving on, where does the film fall flat? Some of the animation on the characters ain’t brilliant. To me, the way Pinocchio is designed, he is meant to be a year older than in the Disney version, but I swear he looks a bit younger. He of course has a sidekick, only this time, it’s a glowworm called Gee Wilikers, who, let’s be honest, ain’t much of a replacement to good old Jiminy Cricket. I know Jiminy was created by Disney and Filmation attempted to avoid plagiarizing the Disney version, even though they did get sued at one point, but Gee’s voice irritates me so much. I really hoped for that toad to eat him. And frankly, I ain’t keen on the dialogue. It’s so simplistic and cliched. It’s like “I’m coming to get you” and so forth. And what’s this I hear about the fairy being named The Fairy Godmother. That is so Cinderella, a totally different story to Pinocchio.

Overall, the film isn’t as great as the awesome Disney version, nor will it beat the Two Ronnies parody, but there are worse versions. Is Pinocchio & The Emperor Of The Night corny at times? Of course. Does it have it’s flaws? Sure. But there is some good ingredients to balance the film. I love the soundtrack, I love the villains, the bug characters can kiss my butt. If you’re familiar with the story of Pinocchio, I’d give this film a viewing. If not, I’d start with the Disney version. All I can say at the moment is “Come back, Jiminy Cricket! Come back!”

2. Bravestarr: The Legend

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Ah, Bravestarr. One of Filmation’s delightful TV creations transforms into an underrated full length-feature, Bravestarr: The Legend. Alas, Bravestarr was Filmation’s final TV series before they reached their black day. Yet, the movie wasn’t commercially successful. I guess after Pinocchio & The Emperor Of The Night, Filmation was beginning to reach its end. Does that make Bravestarr: The Legend a bad movie? Good God no! It’s so action-packed and will appeal to sci-fi fans and western fans alike. It’s also more original compared to most of Filmation’s other features. Sure, it’s based on a TV programme, but Filmation created Bravestarr in the first place. it’s their project. What do you expect? So the film concerns a planet known as New Texas which of course receives similar consequences to the population of the generic city in the Streets Of Rage games and Bravestarr arrives to put a stop to the corruption.

Yup, that’s good enough for me. In fact, did you know it was one of few cartoons back then to use CGI?

1. He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword

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‘Ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go! Another TV programme-based feature. Yet, another one of Filmation’s own projects, that is He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword. Not many films based on TV programmes are great; however, Thunderbirds Are Go, awesome! Wallace & Gromit In The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, awesome! South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, you guessed it, awesome! But the movies to Garfield and Scooby Doo (blows raspberry!). I’m quite surprised this film only got a moderate amount at the box office, because He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword is so unique. Okay, maybe it’s a compilation film of episodes, but no one will notice. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the uniqueness. He-Man and She-Ra fight against Skeletor. They fancy each other, but it is discover later in the film that they are already family. Yes stupid, they’re brother and sister; a bit like the Osirias and Isis story; innit though? And of course we get to know their back-stories. At last, a bit of continuity. He-Man & She-Ra: Secret Of The Sword is an enjoyable fantasy action adventure cartoon.

So that was my ranking of all the movies I’ve ever seen to be produced by the long defunct Filmation. Though I hear Dreamworks has acquired the rights to it recently. Cool stuff.

Thank you for reading this review. I’ve never seen Happily Ever After in case you’re wondering. Moving on. If there are any filmmakers/companies you can recommend me to review, feel free to let me know.

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The Worst-to-Best Pixar Movies

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Some of you are probably wondering why I left the Pixar movies out when I ranked the Disney Animated features. Well, all of the stuff Pixar has done is animated and they have always worked with Disney. In fact, they are owned by Disney. But a) I was ranking the features which were produced by a company called Walt Disney Animation Studios and b) I needed to narrow things down.
Well, if anybody’s a Pixar fan, now’s the chance! For me, Pixar is a greatfilm studio. It certainly introduced CG animation, which is creative, but nowadays has become obsessive and clichéd. But the best thing about the studio is how much it thinks out of the box during pre-production. There are good films, but anyway, here’s the list!;

10. Cars (2006)

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Who’s up for a bit of speedway? Remember The Love Bug and its many sequels, about a racing Volkswagen beetle with a life of its own, and Disney’s version of Robin Hood, which had anthropomorphic animals with no humans in it whatsoever? Basically, Cars is about a racing car living in a world inhabited by other anthropomorphic vehicles. Sounds a bit weird, don’t you think? Okay maybe it’ll be a bit like Budgie The Little Helicopter and Top Gear (the latter which I ain’t never been much of a fan of, long story) tied together. I’m all for motor racing and I give credit for the vehicle designs (extra points for including a Volkswagen camper van!), but Cars is a bit too obnoxious and dull for me. Certain scenes get in the way of my enjoyment. I can’t believe they had to include a scene where the tractors fart. For crying out loud, if you wanted them to pass wind, at least make the farts sound like car engines turning on!

9. A Bug’s Life (1998)

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I think I enjoyed A Bug’s Life better when I was a kid, but now that I’m older, it ain’t as great as I remember it. I have to admit, I love the liberal message the film gets across. The fact is, when this movie came out, another bug-related cartoon came out the same year. That movie was Antz. Antz was the film I saw at the pictures. I later watched A Bug’s Life on one of my neighbours’ videos. Now if there’s one film I’d choose between Antz and this one, I would say Antz. The reason is because compared to Antz, A Bug’s Life lacks enough detail for a CGI cartoon. The characters, especially the ants, are not animated right! If them producers thought they could rival Antz, why are the ants missing two legs? And why are they blue?! Apart from its decent values, it’s just an excuse for cutesiness.

8. Monsters INC (2001)

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Monsters INC is one of them films I saw at the cinema. I was 12 at the time. When I first watched it, I enjoyed it. But then, after it was released on VHS, teachers over-showed it to us, probably due to students’ requests, I dread to think. Looking back, and this is why I said ‘I dread to think’, Monsters INC ain’t as great as I remember it. I was really invested in the film’s liberal values, the fact that Waternoose and Randall come up with this machine built to kill the kids, which will put all the monsters out of work, because they’re hired to scare the kids in order to generate power. That’s really creative. But the more I watch it, the more annoying it gets, though not everybody will feel that way. The problem with Monsters INC is the cast of characters. Sure Sulley is a good protagonist, Randall and Waternoose are awesome villains, Roz is hilarious, but about half the cast irritate me; Mike, Celia, geez I could slap her(!), sometimes Boo can be annoying, but I am invested in the relationship between her and Sulley, but the most annoying characters from this film are Smitty and Needleman. God their voices hurt my ears! It’s like they’re trying to rip-off the character of the Squeaky Voiced Teen in the Simpsons (of course he’s a great character). I’m also not a huge fan of Randy Newman’s songs. They ain’t bad, they’re just not brilliant. But I enjoy some of the visuals (like the door scene for example) and I really admire the ending (mustn’t give anything away). The values are cool, the villains are cool, half of the rest of the cast can kiss my butt. I’m glad I watched Monsters INC when I had the chance, but I’ve seen it enough times.

7. Brave

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Pixar’s animated feminine version of Braveheart. What can a guy like myself say about a princess-related movie? Well it’s so much more than that. There’s plenty of action to enjoy and I admire how Merida constantly stands up to her controlling and overprotective mom, always a great sign and she’s a regular Robin Hood. The Scottish background is also well-designed. There’s just one thing that I don’t get and that’s the bit where Elinor turns into a bear. It is a great climax when we see Merida trying to get her back into a human and we understand the witch’s betrayal, but turning into a bear after eating a cake. I can understand the idea of boys making literal jackasses out of themselves, parents pigging at a theme park and turning into pigs, an Inuit transforming into a bear after slaughtering one. But cakes and bears? Was the cake honey-flavoured? I’d probably get it.

As you probably get, apart from Braveheart, Brave seems to have taken elements from previous Disney films; Pinocchio, Robin Hood, Mulan, er… Brother Bear (?)…, but it doesn’t make it a bad movie. It’s still decent.

6. Finding Nemo (2003)

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Ironically, I didn’t see Finding Nemo at the cinema when it came out.

Audience: What?!

Yeah I know, big blockbuster. But I haven’t seen every single blockbuster in the world you know. I ain’t even seen Inception yet. The reason why I avoided Finding Nemo in the first place was because I thought it was just going to be an excuse for cutesy bits. I mean let’s face it, it’s about a bunch of little clown fish. The trailers and advertisements made it look like it was just going to be a movie aimed at really young children and I had only just become a teenager that year, so I felt I was too old. I of course was over analyzing, because one is never too old for Disney. But at the time, I wanted to see more ‘grown-up’ films. However, a college friend of mine persuaded me to watch it and so we had a movie night and watched Finding Nemo. It was better than I thought it would be. I enjoyed the visuals and the character development. I was really invested when Marlin lost his wife and how Nemo became the only child of his that survived and as a result becomes so overprotective of his son that Nemo sneaks away to the shore, leading to his kidnap. So it’s not a bad film. My only nitpick would be the villain, Darla, who once shook a fish to death. Was it a good idea to make a disabled child the villain? Would viewers get the wrong impression? I don’t know. But overall, Finding Nemo is a pleasant experience. It provides a perfect anti-fishing moral to viewers. What works really works. Visual, liberal, you name it.

4/5. Toy Storys 1 & 2 (1995 / 1999)

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And starter from five (and four), we now come to the franchise in which Pixar is probably best remembered for; the Toy Story films. Some of you may ask, why am I tying the first two films together? And of course, some of you may think I’m just too lazy to pick a favourite from the series. Well to be quite frank, I don’t have a particular favourite Godfather movie, nor can I decide which Lord Of The Rings film I like best. When I ranked the Walt Disney Animated Features, I found both Rescuers features as good as each other. In fact, that’s the same opinion I have with both Toy Storys 1 and 2. I think they’re both so good, I can’t decide which one is better. I ain’t too keen on the detailed features for the human characters, except for Al and Geri. I especially think Pixar ought to have gone for a more Antz or Beowulf look, personally. Though I realise that Toy Story was Pixar’s first full CGI-made feature and the first full CGI-made feature in general, so I can let Pixar off. Randy Newman’s soundtrack is okay. Of course it’s better than the soundtrack from James & The Giant Peach (yuk!). But the best things about TS 1 & 2 are the storylines, the dialogue, the attentions to detail, character backgrounds and of course the originality.

Now if you’re wondering about Toy Story 3, we’ll get to that one later. Right now though…

3. WALL-E (2008)

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I was 18 at the time WALL-E came out and yet, I felt I was too old to watch such a ‘cute-looking’ film. Maybe I was over-analysing; at the time I was studying A-Level Film Studies and I learned that one shouldn’t judge a film just by its target audience. I certainly didn’t enjoy Robots which further distanced myself from WALL-E. However I later saw WALL-E on BBC1 and it was much better than I thought. The film is a mostly silent movie set in a dystopian future where Earth is nothing but a garbage dump. That is awesome! It’s like a futuristic nightmare for many people who predict the future. And there’s WALL-E whose job is to clear the trash. He falls in love with a female robot called EVE whose mission is to seek out any vegetation left on the planet. So as you can see, this is a very unique love story. Not only that, but the film portrays communication through sound effects and includes strong messages of humanity and environmental issues. There’s one thing that bugs me; part of the second act; the humans. They all look the same and don’t have much of the personally, therefore I can’t remember any of them individually. That was the strong point to Atlantis. However, that’s a personal nitpick and I can understand why they are overweight and are unfit to exercise, due to the fact they relied too much on the modern technology.

I would’ve been a total wally, had I not given WALL-E at least one viewing.

2. Toy Story 3 (2010)

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Some of you may have been wondering why I didn’t tie Toy Story 3 along with the other two. Well I’m about to reveal the answer. First of all, can I just say?; when Toy Story 3 came out, I wanted to see it, but I was too tied up with college work at the time, so I didn’t get much chance. Sorry If I shocked you. Yeah I know, big blockbuster and Best Picture nominee. However, I think Toy Story 3 deserved that Oscar nomination. In fact, I site this one as my favourite movie from the Toy Story series. It contains extremely powerful visuals, it’s darker and there’s also more drama. I cried a bit at the ending, but mostly at the scene where the toys are imprisoned by Lotso. I also really felt for Woody when he reminded his fellow toys about their past losses including his girlfriend Bo. I was quite saddened that she wasn’t in this one. I especially enjoy the finale in the incinerator and how deeply detailed the trash is and of course the tension. Another cool point to the movie is Sid’s cameo.

1. UP (2009)

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And Thunderbirds they are go! UP is another movie that surprised me to bits. At first, I didn’t think the film would be that great; I wasn’t too keen on the idea of a comedy film including any sort of item flying with balloons or an overweight kid interacting with a senior citizen. I actually thought them elements have been done to death and felt it was too much for kids. Hence why I avoided the film on it’s release, even though the rest of my family saw it. But when we got it on DVD, I watched it and I kicked myself. UP was much more awesome than I thought. It was a great work of art! It contains an uplifting prologue which sparked tears to my eyes. Carl befriends Ellie, who is also a fan of his favourite celebrity. They get married and try for a baby, but Ellie has a miscarriage. Throughout their life, they attempt to save up for a trip to Paradise Falls to meet their idol, but are constantly forced to pay off their savings to various misfortunes, including a burst car tire. The most heartbreaking moment of the prologue is Ellie’s death. This part of the film highlights various issues adults like myself and older people can all understand and feel for. Yet of course, the rest of the film does as well. Carl somehow reminds me of Victor Meldrew from One Foot In The Grave. Both men have problems I can easily empathise with. Victor loses his job and is forced to cope with his involuntary retirement and cope with elements of the modern world which turn against him. Here in Up, Carl has lost his childhood sweetheart and all he wants to do is visit Paradise Falls, which is what Ellie would’ve wanted. At one time, he snaps at a construction worker who fiddles about with his mailbox and is ordered by the court to move to a retirement home. So he uses his balloons to fly his house away. I don’t blame him for that. As for Russell, he ain’t bad whatsoever. He’s kinda like the inner child to Carl. The animals are also fun and artistic. And of course Charles F. Muntz is a great villain.

I think I’ve said enough about the film now, but before I finish, let me just say that the fact UP was the second cartoon to receive an Academy Award nomination after Beauty & The Beast ain’t the reason why I placed it at number 1. The reason is because there’s a good reason for it.

I know there are some movies I missed out through my rankings, but here is a list of movies I still need to see or just ain’t watched all the way through;

The Incredibles (2004), I only saw a bit of this one, but not all the way through.

Ratatouille (2007)

Cars 2 (2011)

Monsters University (2013)

Thank you for reading my opinion on what I believe are the worst-to-best movies produced by Pixar. If there are any filmmakers/production companies, etc, whose movies you can recommend me to rank, feel free to let me know.

The Worst-to-Best James Bond movies

Recently, I have been watching a section of James Bond movies on ITV1. God I love James Bond. Who doesn’t? I’ve enjoyed the movies ever since I was a kid. Myself and the rest of the family obtain a long history with the James Bond franchise. My mother’s read some of the novels, even recalls seeing at least one of the films in the cinema. I even have 007 Racing on PlayStation and a compilation album consisting of the theme songs on CD.

The James Bond films have led a massive impact on many filmmakers and TV producers over the years. These people include Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, who used James Bond as an inspiration for their Indiana Jones films, even casting Sean Connery in the third one. Even Gerry Anderson seems to have created James Bond-style characters, hence Lady Penelope and her FAB1 in Thunderbirds and Joe 90, about a 9 year-old spy. The films have been numerously referenced in The Simpsons and some British sitcoms. In fact, there are some comparisons between the films and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Parodies include the Austin Powers trilogy and Johnny English.

It is over fifty years since the release of the first film, Dr. No and a new movie called Spectre is due to be released later this year. This is why I am ranking all the movies I have watched which relate to James Bond himself.

  1. Die Another Day

Released: 2002

Directed by: Lee Tamahori

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

Composer: David Arnold

Budget: $142,000,000

Gross amount: $431,971,116

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We begin the shooting with what I consider the weakest link of the franchise. Die Another Day takes that bullet. It ain’t totally dreadful, but it contains a few forgettable characters, including Zao, who just appears from nowhere and he, let’s be fair to him, is just trying to be creepy. He is one of the most boring Bond villains of all time. I give the film credit for the invisible car (it’s the invisible car, der-der, it’s the invisible car, der-der, it’s incredible how you can woooooooo see right through it) and the incredible opening scene. However, it’s not enough to hold a not-so brilliantly scripted synopsis, nor can it rid that awful theme tune. Madonna or no Madonna.

  1. Diamonds Are Forever

Released: 1971

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $7,200,000

Gross amount: $116,000,000

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The diamonds they are forever, saaaaahhhhh! So sang good ol’ Shirley Bassey. Diamonds Are Forever contains such a wonderful theme tune from such a wonderful British singeress. Too bad it had to be wrecked by some rapper 34 years later. As for the film, this was Sean Connery’s brief return as 007. It ain’t exactly the strongest film in the franchise. Blofeld’s return isn’t that interesting, nor is his new look, compared to his earlier films. There’s also a fairly cool scene with James fighting two women, but the film ain’t really that memorable.

  1. A View To A Kill

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Glen

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $30,000,000

Gross amount: $152,400,000

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Yet again, another slightly forgettable film in the franchise. Apart from one of the most awesome villains in James Bond history, that is May Day, threatening and fairly silent, don’t mess with her. Well nobody would dare, except Bond of course. And how about the thrilling shoot-out on the Eiffel Tower?

  1. Never Say Never Again

Released: 1983

Directed by: Irvin Kershner

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: Michel Legrand

Budget: $36,000,000

Gross amount: $160,000,000

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Okay, Never Say Never Again may not be considered a traditional Bond movie, considering it was not produced by Eon Productions, but so what? It’s got Sean Connery in it. He was in some of the Eon produced movies, so what more do you want? Never Say Never Again is basically the comedy in the franchise. James Bond ages in this one. No surprise considering Sean was in his fifties at the time. Plus he pays visits to a clinic after failing a training exercise. Also, Rowan Atkinson’s performance is awesome. If you don’t believe me, check out The Witches, Four Weddings & A Funeral and The Thin Blue Line and you’ll see that it pays off. Unfortunately, Never Say Never Again is a film I may need to watch again.

  1. Thunderball

Released: 1965

Directed by: Terence Young

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $9,000,000

Gross amount: $141,200,000

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Thunderball has one of my favourite theme tunes out of all the movies on this list and also my favourite song ever to be sung by Tom Jones. However I don’t remember much from this movie, apart from the speedboat battle and Blofeld’s badass appearance, except for his face of course.

19. Octopussy

Released: 1983

Directed by: John Glen

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $27,500,000

Gross amount: $183,700,000

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Octopussy, Octopussy,… 13st Bond movie to come out, the sixth one with Roger Moore in it. Also starring Maud Adams as Octopussy herself. We saw her in another Bond movie. I saw this movie twice. On the first time, I couldn’t remember much about it, apart from Bond hijacking the train. But on the second time, a bit more memorable; Bond fiddles with Q’s camera and observes a woman’s boobs. He also disguises himself as a clown in order to get rid of a bomb set to blow up a circus. Lovely.

18. For Your Eyes Only

Released: 1981

Directed by: John Glen

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: Bill Conti

Budget: $28,000,000

Gross amount: $194,900,000

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I’ve only seen For Your Eyes Only once. And yet, I can remember that epic opening; Bond battling Blofeld one last time (I won’t say too much more about it for those who ain’t seen it yet), Bond’s first meeting with Melina, who wants to avenge her parents, Q’s awesome gadgets (including what we could call an early example of a digital photo scanning thing), Melina’s funny parrot and speaking of funny, Margaret Thatcher’s (personally not my favourite prime minister) cameo appearance! And of course the cars. Apart from that, I can’t remember much else. This was John Glen’s first film as the director, and I ain’t talking about the astronaut.

17. Live & Let Die

Released: 1973

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $7,000,000

Gross amount: $126,400,000

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Gee, I could listen to Paul McCartney’s theme tune all day. Live & Let Die is memorable for Roger Moore’s introduction as the spy himself, Bond fighting against the crocodiles, JW Pepper’s introduction (speaking of which) and them tough guy villains. The film is about a drug lord in Harlem, Mr. Big, who attempts to rival out all the other drug barons out of their businesses. Man, this is a bit like an episode of The A-Team. And then, Bond finds three British agents dead, leading him to a fight with Dr. Kanager and facing a gang of gangsters and voodoo magic, just like in the awesome 2nd Indiana Jones film. Plenty of action to enjoy. You don’t see JW for long, but at least you saw more of him in the next film, find out later.

16. Moonraker

Released: 1979

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $34,000,000

Gross amount: $210,300,000

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(childish singing) Jaws has a girlfriend, Jaws has a girlfriend. (ceases singing) Okay enough of that. James Bond in Space, how Moonraker is remembered. But also as I just explained through my immature rant, Jaws gets himself a brand new bird, which I suppose is cute to watch; a villain with a serious romantic feeling for Dolly after she saves him from a cable car wreckage. Jaws will forever stand out as one of the best Bond villains of all time; no dialogue until near the very end. This of course is one of the best moments in the film as are the cable car scene and the finale in the spaceship. I will also offer praise to Derek Meddings’ special effects.

15. Casino Royale

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Bond actor: Daniel Craig

Composer: David Arnold

Budget: $150,000,000

Gross amount: $599,000,000

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I, of course, am referring to the most recent version, which introduced Daniel Craig as the new James Bond, not the comedy version which starred David Niven and was directed by the same bloke who did Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about Casino Royale without mentioning the scene where Bond gets stripped naked and tortured; “Now the whole world’s gonna know that you died scratching my balls”. That line really cracks me up. Nor can I not mention the opening scene which I think is pretty unique for a gun barrel sequence. Then there’s the old school casino settings, it’s Casino Royale, what do you expect? Plus, Casino Royale is the first Bond movie to not finish with a happy ending, since On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Yeah, don’t think I’m giving anything away. Casino Royale may not be as awesome as Daniel Craig’s later films, but it’s certainly an improvement compared to Die Another Day.

14. The World Is Not Enough

Released: 1999

Directed by: Michael Apted

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

Composer: David Arnold

Budget: $135,000,000

Gross amount: $361,832,400

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If you thought Die Another Day was dull, then how about The World Is Not Enough, Pierce Brosnan’s third film as James Bond? A much more investible storyline, of course bearing in mind this was so before Die Another Day. Opening scene, great. Speedboat, exploding glasses, Millennium Dome, you name it.  Valentin Zukovsky returns, with his evil daughter Electra. He’s as charming as ever, though Electra isn’t very interesting, apart from the scene as explored in the image above. But I’ve seen a little more boring, i.e. Christmas Jones, but having said that, I think awarding her the Razzie for worst actress was a bit too harsh. And who can forget Renard who isn’t very interesting for a villain. I just ain’t a huge fan of Robert Carlyle. He’s just an okay actor. But Robbie Coltrane, or as I like to call the British John Goodman, is a lot of fun as Zukovsky, as is John Cleese (‘duh’) who portrays R. I should also mention Gladiators’ Diesel and Vulcan as the henchmen. I’ve given The World Is Not Enough credit for the storyline, but I also give credit for the gadgets and of course for Desmond Llewellyn’s final starring role as Q.

Rest in peace Desmond.

13. From Russia With Love

Released: 1963

Directed by: Terence Fisher

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $2,000,000

Gross amount: $78,200,000

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For starters, the theme tune is one of my favourite songs of all time! Good old Matt Monro. Movin’ on, From Russia With Love is basically a sequel, and by sequel, I mean continuation, following Dr. No where SPECTRE plots to avenge the death of one of their henchmen. Red Grant takes part in their scheme to kill James Bond. From Russia With Love features a memorable introduction to Inspector Gadget himself, Q. And portrayed by Desmond Llewelynn. He’s probably the only guy who survived over more than fifteen movies with the same role. And of course, there’s the introduction to Blofeld, excluding his face of course. I also love the train/helicopter related climax.

  1. Skyfall

Released: 2012

Directed by: Sam Mendes

Bond actor: Daniel Craig

Composer: Thomas Newman

Budget: $200,000,000

Gross amount: $1,108,600,000

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We always knew Daniel Craig would make a difference to the franchise since Casino Royale (the recent one that is to avoid confusion). Well Skyfall is not only different to Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace, but to James Bond movies in general. The storyline is most certainly unique as the conflict actually involves M herself; yes the actor is Judi Dench in case you wanted to know why I said ‘herself’. It was also her final role as M. As confirmed for the next film yet to be released, the new M will be Ralph Fiennes who is mainly known for his villains (Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List, Victor from that Wallace & Gromit movie, etc). Why? In case anybody ain’t seen Skyfall yet, I mustn’t say or I’ll spoil the ending, but have a look and see for yourself.

  1. Tomorrow Never Dies

Released: 1997

Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

Composer: David Arnold

Budget: $110,000,000

Gross amount: $333,011,068

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Tomorrow Never Dies contains some of the coolest gadgets the franchise has ever provided us. As far as action thrillers go, this is a movie that marks an awesome contribution to the codes and conventions. As usual we have Bond mucking about with Q’s inventions, added to that, a rather suspenseful moment where he drives his new remote-controlled BMW towards Q and manages to stop right in front of him by an inch. It’s like “wow!” The car of course proves useful during the always exciting parking lot scene; Bond of course needs not to sit in the car in order to distract his assassins. Wai-Lin is also dead sexy and the finale in the ship is a lot of fun.

  1. Goldfinger

Released: 1964

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $3,000,000

Gross amount: $124,900,000

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Starter from ten, some of you lot are probably going to scowl at me for placing what has long been regarded as the (pronounced ‘thee’) masterpiece of the franchise. Not to say that there’s anything bad about Goldfinger, because there ain’t. It’s actually really really good. The opening scene is always great; Bond and Jill fighting Oddjob, Bond knocked unconscious, then discovering that Jill is covered in gold and dead. It’s a very symbolic opening, as is Shirley Bassey’s forever awesome theme song. I just bet Alfred Hitchcock wished he directed Goldfinger. In fact, there is another scene which many viewers seem to enjoy and I enjoy too and that is when Goldfinger ties Bond to a gold cutting table and a laser slices through almost reaching Bond’s groin. It’s enough to make one cringe. Somehow the actor of Goldfinger, Gert Frobe, reminds me of Dustin Hoffman. I also remember seeing him as Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and you’d hardly recognise the actor. Maybe the moustache is part of it, because he doesn’t have on in Goldfinger. Plus both characters have slightly different voices.

  1. Dr. No

Released: 1962

Directed by: Terence Young

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $1,100,000

Gross amount: $59,500,000

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I just couldn’t avoid placing the very first Bond movie in the top ten. The Dr. No in question is a man who works for SPECTRE and intends to disrupt an early American launching using a radio beam weapon. He even introduces SPECTRE to Bond, not literally if you know what I mean. We didn’t need to know their faces yet, because the producers knew and we knew sequels would follow, considering how many novels Ian Fleming wrote and we were right. Not only was this film a success at the box office, but all the rest that followed were.

What else do I like about Dr. No? I mentioned the villain. I also enjoy Bond’s first appearances and the suspenseful moments. The tarantula bit, I could watch over and over again. The three blind mice song is a bit goofy, but still symbolic considering them three guys we see in the opening.

  1. The Living Daylights

Released: 1987

Directed by: John Glen

Bond actor: Timothy Dalton

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $40,000,000

Gross amount: $191,200,000

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What could people possibly be wrong with Timothy Dalton’s movies? Many people consider Timothy the weakest of all Bond actors. Unfortunately I don’t hate any of them, nor do I have a favourite. But I reckon Timothy provided a unique portrayal of James Bond. After all, not all films from the franchise have to look the same. The Living Daylights contains some of the greatest gadgets since The Spy Who Loved Me. If you don’t believe me, check out the car chase scene. Shame that Aston Martin V8 Vantage (Series 2) wasn’t used in the game 007 Racing. The side laser, the snow skids and so forth. In fact, the whistle bomb cracks me up. One what-appears-to-be-harmless wolf whistle and BOOM!

Gee, I even admire Bond’s dialogue. “He got the boot!” One of the best moments in James Bond history. I just bet Arnold Schwarzenegger wishes he was given that line. I even wonder if The Living Daylights was the inspiration to True Lies. Did I mention that Tim Dalton portrays the kind of Bond who stuffs M’s orders and is like “M can fire me for all I care. I’m strong and I don’t need his authority”.

Of course, even children admire James Bond in general. Mind you, they would obviously need serious accompaniment by an adult. Anyhow, The Living Daylights is a thrilling underrated action thriller which will even appeal to fans of say Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, any action movie starring Arnie, you never know.

  1. Quantum Of Solace

Released: 2008

Directed by: Marc Forster

Bond actor: Daniel Craig

Composer: David Arnold

Budget: $200,000,000

Gross amount: $586,100,000

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Many consider Casino Royale the best of all the Bond movies that star Daniel Craig. For me, Quantum Of Solace tops it. I’d probably say it’s the From Russia With Love of the Daniel era, considering that From Russia With Love is a definite sequel to Dr. No, due to SPECTRE avenging No. Well Quantum Of Solace depicts Bond avenging his girlfriend (yup, kind of spoiler from Casino Royale). But Bond ain’t the only one seeking vengeance. His new lady friend, Camille Montes, wants to avenge her family, actually also a bit like For Your Eyes Only. And in-between, we can enjoy the terrorist atmospheric action.

  1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Released: 1969

Directed by: Peter Hunt

Bond actor: George Lazenby

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $7,000,000

Gross amount: $64,600,000

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The producers, and probably at the time fans, was so unfair to poor old George Lazenby. He’s only ever had one role as James Bond, that in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I just hope the fact that it grossed lower than You Only Live Twice was not part of the case. Any viewer who is still betrayed by the fact Sean Connery bowed out in the first place must bear in mind that even high profile actors want to move on like many people do in life. They should also give newcomers, namely at the time George, the chance to adapt to a new role. It’s actually because George encountered bad experiences with the producers, hence why On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is his only film. Experienced or inexperienced, George pulls it off. He even takes his romancing with Tracy deadly seriously. In fact, who would’ve thought Bond would literally propose to his girlfriend in one of the most bitter-sweet scenes in the film. That’s quite rare for a character like James Bond. Speaking of which, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service contains what I regard as the best ending scene ever to have occurred in a James Bond movie. Not only that, that was the scene which gave me tears to my eyes and I won’t give anything away, but this was something that wouldn’t occur again until Daniel Craig’s movies. In-between, we’re provided an amazing acting talent from Kojak himself, Telly Salavas, as Blofeld and some cool skiing and bob-sleighing sequences.

  1. You Only Live Twice

Released: 1967

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Bond actor: Sean Connery

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $10,300,000

Gross amount: $111,000,000

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You Only Live Twice is probably the first Bond film I ever saw. Now where to begin… I know; the scene which really turns me on; when Blofeld reprimands Osato and Helga for failing to kill Bond. “This organisation does not tolerate failure,” he makes clear and then sends Helga plunging to her death in a pool of piranhas. This scene always gives me a giant grin. Seeing this as a kid, I thought; “should I be watching this?” Now I really love it.

I have also been long impressed with the opening sequence which is quite dark; an unidentified spacecraft captures an American ship snapping a cord from an astronaut still dangling out. Added to that, Bond, who is romancing with some woman in Hong Kong is gunned down and presumed dead. But after the opening credits, we are relieved when we discovered he has another life. And did I mention that after a few faceless appearances, Blofeld finally comes across Bond and this is the first time we see him as a whole?

Many consider From Russia With Love or Goldfinger as the best Bond movie that stars Sean Connery. Personally, I vote You Only Live Twice. One other thing, did I mention Nancy’s Sinatra lovely theme song? Shame Robbie Williams had to ruin it 31 years later.

  1. Licence To Kill

Released: 1989

Directed by: John Glen

Bond actor: Timothy Dalton

Composer: Michael Kamen

Budget: $32,000,000

Gross amount: $156,100,000

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Licence To Kill is a film most James Bond fans seem to dislike the most. For that, I cannot understand why. Is it to do with the fact that the film is the least child-friendly and that it’s the only film with a 15 certificate? That is sooo inexcusable. Licence To Kill is a very unique James Bond film. It is in fact unlike most of the other films a revenge flick, which highlights Bond’s personality much deeply. Bond is seeking vengeance on a drug baron who has injured his best mate, Felix, and murdered Felix’s new wife. And speaking of violence and women, have you noticed in the opening scene the way Sanchez beats up a woman (extremely powerful scene)? Following Felix’s casualty, Bond begins his own investigation, but after refusing an assignment in Istanbul, M removes the licence to kill from Bond, thus Bond is like ‘then I’ll have to do this myself’. However, he teams up with Pam Bouvier and Q, who of course is a loyal friend to Bond.

Speaking of Q, I totally love the scene where he and Bond meet each other in the hotel room; “Pam, this is Q, my uncle. Uncle, this is Miss Kennedy, my cousin,” says Bond. “Ah we must be related,” replies Q. And after a brief showing of Q’s latest gadgets, “I hope you don’t snore, Q”. Why do people say Licence To Kill lacks humour. This scene is hilarious enough to make me laugh.

Licence To Kill contains some of the most powerful scenes I’ve ever encountered in a James Bond film. One of my favourites is when Bond pushes Killifer in a shark’s tank with a briefcase full of money; “You want it, you keep it old buddy!” great line! The finale involving the cocaine and gas trucks is so fun to watch, as is the lovely ending. Who says Tim Dalton was so bad? He was so involved in the productions, even achieving his own stunts. Licence To Kill is definitely one to check out.

  1. The Spy Who Loved Me

Released: 1977

Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: Martin Hamlisch

Budget: $14,000,000

Gross amount: $185,400,000

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The Spy Who Loved Me is one of the films my mom saw in her teenage years. She also loves the title song and I have to agree. The song is great, but the opening titles are visually stunning and contrast well with the music. As for the other bits, the opening scene, brilliant. Villains, great, especially Jaws; Needs he no dialogue for his part. All he needs is his strength and steel made teeth. Seriously though, Jaws marks a valid contribution to the film. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the glorious yet hilarious finale where Bond magnetises Jaws.

I should also mention the famous Lotus Esprit. This car is as magical as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In fact, our introduction to the car is provided by Q (duh!), but the lecture is only very brief as Bond drives off leaving him behind in the middle of nowhere. Then we get a fantastic car chase followed by the Esprit’s dive in the sea and transforming into a submarine. Gee, is there anything Ian Fleming or Albert R Broccoli or whoever came with the idea can’t do?

The Spy Who Loved Me is overall a pleasant experience which you will never get bored of.

  1. GoldenEye

Released: 1995

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

Composer: Eric Serra

Budget: $58,000,000

Gross amount: $352,194,034

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I’d be a right slug-head if I didn’t give GoldenEye a position in the Top 10 or even a number 2 spot, where it is now. GoldenEye, the Beauty & The Beast of James Bond (not that it got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, hardly any of the movies did), was not only a perfect introduction to the then new actor Pierce Brosnan, but it’s actually his best one. There are so many badass plot elements, stunts, props and awesome bits of dialogue which highlight GoldenEye. First of all, each time I see Bond attaching a rope to the dam and jumping off, my epidermis shows.

Man, even the villains are as cool as hell. Xenia is my favourite of them all. She’s the one who enjoys a good squeeze and somehow reminds me of Lara Croft. She’s feisty and energetic, yet almost impossible to defeat. Boris makes me laugh with his catchphrase, “I am invincible”. I have a bit of empathy for Alec, aka 006. Yes he’s nasty and betrays Bond, but I can understand his bitterness. His motive is to avenge the death of his parents after they were betrayed by the British government during the aftermath of WW2, and so secretly attempts to lure Bond in a trap during the opening scene and pretends to die. As for the Russian Colonel, he is so great. After 006’s apparent death, he attempts to kill Bond, but Bond shields himself with a trolley of gas barrels, so orders his soldiers to hold their fire. One soldier disobeys and the Col shoots him as a result, for disobedience and to shut him up. That was the impression I got. That bit is so hilarious, but also rather dark. I mean GoldenEye is more light-hearted than Licence To Kill, but it just goes to show how dangerous it can be to live/work in a nation run by dictatorship.

In-between, we get the usual epic transport chases, the forever amusing gadget introductions from Q; this Q scene in particular being one of my favourites; “don’t touch that! It’s my lunch”, leading to a thrilling showdown between 00s 7 & 6. This is what GoldenEye is all about.

In fact, GoldenEye is a favourite Bond movie, starring Pierce, of most people. The only nitpick they seem to have is the soundtrack. But I don’t think it’s that bad. In fact, I’m surprised Tina Turner’s theme song didn’t even get an Oscar nomination. Still, the film was so popular that even a video game of the film was released and that was also a blockbuster. I’ve only managed to play a bit of it though, but that was because I never owned a Nintendo 64.

  1. The Man With The Golden Gun

Released: 1974

Directed by: Guy Hamilton

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Composer: John Barry

Budget: $7,000,000

Gross amount: $98,500,000

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And Thunderbirds they are go! Some of you may not agree with this choice, but in my opinion, The Man With The Golden Gun is the film I would award a gold medal in the James Bond Olympics. Suspenseful opening scene – check. Awesome villains – check. Fantastic gadgets, including a gun made out of a cigarette case and lighter, cuff link and fountain pen all made of gold – check. Beautiful women – check. Hilarious scenes, i.e. any part including JW Pepper – check. Upbeat music – check. Epic car chase – you guessed it, check. Well choreographed fight scenes – double check.

Before I move on, I forgot to point out when I ranked GoldenEye that M at one point refers to Bond as a ‘sexist, sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you’. There is one scene in The Man With The Golden Gun where Bond flees a karate dojo, comes across two twin schoolgirls and faces the karate students. He tells the girls ‘stand back, girls’, which relates to his casual sexism, but the girls teach him a lesson by proving useful and helping him out with the fight. It’s hilarious, but it does have an anti-sexist and anti-ageist message.

And speaking of politics, The Man With The Golden Gun does concern the energy crisis that was occurring around the time of the film’s release. I, of course, wasn’t yet born then, but the film does provide the idea of how people suffered from the events. Francisco Scaramanga, who I have to say is my favourite Bond villain, is responsible for the stolen solar energy which he uses to create powerful gadgets and weapons and charges a large sum of money for each kill he commits. Like 006 in GoldenEye, we get to know Scaramanga’s back-story including how he spent his early childhood in a circus and experienced low wages and high level of work with the KGB forcing him to be an independent assassin, hence how this leads to burglary in regards to money and solar energy, thus putting the world in economic danger.

The Man With The Golden Gun is an extremely underrated film, which never gets tiring. Plenty of action, getting to know characters, politics, humour, etc. This is what James Bond is all about.

So this is my personal ranking of all the James Bond movies I have watched in my life. I still have yet to see Casino Royale, the one directed by Ken ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ Hughes and starring David ‘Pink Panther’ Niven that is. But when I do see it, I’ll rank it.

Now which position do you suppose Spectre will be placed?

The Worst-to-Best live-action Movies produced by Walt Disney Pictures

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Since I have reviewed Disney’s animated movies (apart from the Pixar ones, I still have yet to do them), I’m going to review the live-action ones;

32. James and the Giant Peach (1996)

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One film has to be the worst. In this case, it’s James & The Giant Peach. I remember seeing this movie when it came out and I have no memory of enjoying it back then. The second time; I had forgotten about it and then it all came back to me, but then I began to question the rhino bits. The third time; dreadful!

I mean dreadful! The parent eating rhino who appears from nowhere literally makes no sense whatsoever. The dialogue sucks and Randy Newman’s songs are just as yucky as them songs out of that Winnie The Pooh film. Even transferring James to a stop-motion model is pointless.

Paul Terry was so much better as Joe Parker in Microsoap, Joanna Lumley was better as Patsy Stone in Absolutely Fabulous and as Mrs. Everglot in Corpse Bride and Miriam Margoyles was better as, er, the voice of Fly in Babe. Richard Dreyfus, Susan Sarandon and David Thewlis also had better roles and Roald Dahl wrote better stories. I don’t care what other people think, James and The Giant Peach is not only my least favourite Disney film, but also the worst adaptation to one of Dahl’s novels.

31. Return to Oz (1985)

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I remember seeing this film once, but unfortunately, I don’t remember much detail about it. Exactly, it’s forgettable compared to the awesome 1939 film.

30. The Santa Clause (1994)

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This is the film we once saw at elementary school. It was nearing to Christmas at the time, so I guess it made sense to show a Christmas-related feature. But looking back to The Santa Clause now, it ain’t the best one. Seriously, there are some badly acted one-liners, it attempts to go for the cutesy style for the sake of looking cutesy. Did I mention the special effects; they so need improving!

29. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

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As I once said when I reviewed one of Tim Burton’s movies; just because a film’s a gigantic blockbuster, doesn’t mean it’s that good. Titanic and Pearl Harbor both sucked. The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrode certainly can’t compare much to Jurassic Park, or Jaws, or Lord Of The Rings. It’s just boring. Scenes drag and nothing truly exciting happens in that film adaptation to the ‘famous book’.

28. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

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And speaking of blockbusters and Tim Burton (bearing in mind, I did not say that he directed Narnia, because he didn’t), here is another plop-buster that I really want to strangle. I have already reviewed this film, so if you want to see details, please check this link (https://johnno74.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/the-worst-to-best-movies-directed-by-tim-burton/).

27. Inspector Gadget (1999)

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I probably liked this film as a kid, but now, I think it’s a pretty lacklustre remake to the cartoon, which I also enjoyed as a kid. Kids, if you want to familiarize yourself with Inspector Gadget, stick with the cartoon. It’s better than some live-action remake with horrid sound effects that were made for the sake of making the film obnoxious. The same goes for Garfield and Scooby Doo and probably Alvin and The Chipmunks, Yogi Bear and The Smurfs; I never saw them three and I don’t intend to. The Flintstones, fine, but just avoid the sequel by all means.

26. Muppets From Space (1999)

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So what if a Muppet related movie is on a list of live-action movies? It’s still got actors on-screen. No other comment.

Okay, out of every film I’ve seen from the Muppets franchise, Muppets From Space is kind of the least memorable. I saw it once and can only remember certain parts i.e. the opening which is just plain strange. I do give it credit that it tried something new. For instance, it is the only non-musical film of the franchise. Apparently it was also Frank Oz’s final film role with the Muppets. But I feel there’s something I’m missing.

25. Jungle 2 Jungle (1997)

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Jungle 2 Jungle is a fine film to enjoy once in a while. It has it’s moments and a strong father-son bond and deals with parent separation, which is the result of the son feeling so used to the wild. Basically it’s a sort-of remake to Crocodile Dundee, not as strong, but still a pleasant viewing.

24. Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

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Geez, how many versions of Treasure Island have I seen? Let’s see, there was the amazing animated sci-fi version retitled Treasure Planet. There was that dreadful one by Filmation. Muppet Treasure Island is no exception. It’s a bit more memorable than From Space. The antics and parodies are always fun to watch, but it’s ages since I last saw this one.

23. The Kid (2000)

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Did we ever imagine an adult-action-and-psychological-movie actor like Bruce Willis starring in a Disney movie? I don’t think we ever did until we saw The Kid, also known ironically as Disney’s The Kid. I find the screenplay really interesting; The Kid is basically a viewing of one’s own inner child. Russ, that’s Bruce Willis, meets Rusty, the kid in question, who is the kid Russ was. Get it? While the bond between the two is relatable, Rusty is rather annoying at times with his constant whining and his over-repeated one-liners and it’s like; “kid, shut up!”. But I think The Kid is worth a view.

22. George of the Jungle (1997)

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I used to watch George Of The Jungle a lot as an elementary school student and yet back then, I had very little idea it was based on a TV programme. The nostalgia still remains and I really think the lead part suited then-newcomer Brendan Fraser. He certainly was ready for the action! But there are certain things that almost bring this movie down to earth; first of all, I really think the producers should’ve ditched the fat-beaked narrator. Plus the woman who plays Ursula overacted. But I like how George attempts to familiarize himself with human civilization and I especially love his interaction with the animal residents, especially when he fights that lion.

21. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)

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Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a bit like Mary Poppins, except a little different. I mean it’s the same director, Robert Stevenson (no, not the guy whose son built the famous Rocket locomotive!), and song-writing gods namely the Sherman Brothers, and some of the cast; David Tomlinson, Reginald Owen (as Sir Brian Teagler), you name it. There’s still the live-action/animation mix. And of course, there is a similar-ish storyline; only it’s about a group of kids who are evacuated due to the butt-kicking second world war and they meet, not a nanny, but in fact a witch named Ms Price. Wait a minute, isn’t Mary Poppins also a witch? In fact, Price is also a mature college student whose principal Professor Browne is a con artist. Browne joins the crew in search of a missing spell book that should eventually battle against the Nazi’s in one of Disney’s most awesome showdowns ever! The songs ain’t as memorable as the ones in Mary Poppins, but they most certainly beat the ones in (sighs) that awful Winnie The Pooh movie(!). Bedknobs & Broomsticks is a pleasant experience.

20. Song of the South (1946)

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Warning! This part of the review contains language which may be unsuitable for younger and sensitive readers. Unless you’re used to that stuff, I’d advise you to skip this part and move to the next film. You have been warned.

Okay here we go; Song Of The South. Whenever I think of Song Of The South, I can’t help but think of the racial prejudice the film has faced from certain r****ds, excuse my language, for long enough. This is the film that has probably been labelled the most racist Disney film in history. Most people automatically assume it’s racist, just because a black guy happens to be the lead character. Oh for god’s sake! Family Guy wasn’t called racist, just because Cleveland’s black, was it? Is the word ‘n****r’ mentioned in the film? No! Is Remus (that’s the black guy) rejected permanently? No! Is he called any offensive names? No!

Guys, you’ve got to be more mature about this. I don’t think you even know what the word racist means. Anyway, Remus is a former slave. It doesn’t mean he still is. The only thing racist about the film is Johnny’s dumb mother. She rejects the friendship between Johnny and Remus for no good reason. She’s totally a racist b**ch (sor-ry!)! But she does learn her lesson.

19. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

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The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise, At World’s End may not be as memorable as the first one. But if you like action, there’s plenty of that involved. I saw this film once when I was coming home from a field trip to Saltzburg; ya know, where they filmed the Sound Of Music. Er…, er…, what was I gonna say? At World’s End,… er…, oh screw it. Next film!

18. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

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Pirates Of The Caribbean, as we was just talking about right now. Yes, Curse Of The Black Pearl is the first one. Johnny ‘Edward Scissorhands/Ed Wood/ Victor from Corpse Bride’ Depp is the leader of the pirates. Keira Knightly, who you may remember from that episode of The Bill (she was only so young back then), is the woman who needs rescuing. Good amount of action and lovely atmosphere. Anybody could enjoy this.

That’s all I can say right now.

17. 101 Dalmatians (1996)

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There was three Disney movies I saw at the cinema when I was six; The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, that was and always will be awesome, James & The Giant Peach, the total opposite, but I’ve already yacked on about it, so moving on. What was the third? The live-action version of 101 Dalmatians of course.  I would place this film in the middle. At the moment, I don’t have a particular preference between that or the cartoon. Cruella DeVille remains a badass villain, cartoon or live-action. Yeah, you still have the same characters, but this version is a little different. Roger was originally a musician, but in this film, he’s a video game designer. Swell. I wonder if Sega would hire him. The dogs don’t talk in this one, but who cares? Tom & Jerry never had much dialogue and they still should be hailed messiahs.

The film’s a little clichéd and some lines are ridiculous, but it’s guilty pleasure (dunno how to reword this). I could laugh at Hugh Laurie & Mark Williams all the way through.

16. Flubber (1997)

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Another film with a bit of not-so-brilliant slapstick, Flubber demonstrates another part of guilty pleasure. I first saw this film at elementary school at age 8, so there’s a sense of nostalgia. Wilson could’ve been a more interesting villain rather than some guy who’s like; “this is Wilson, planning to steal your bird” etc. The fight scenes look like the director has tried too hard to choreograph them; I would need to show a clip to show you what I mean, but I can’t find one right now.

What do I like about this movie?; the special effects used to make Flubber itself are fine. I can easily snigger along to the scenes with the frightened little kid. And of course Robin Williams, who ought to be named the king of, or rather, the emperor of American comedy, strikes a cool difference to this film. If there’s a choice between Flubber and Happy Feet, Flubber is the answer. I have yet to see the original version.

Oh Robin. I still can’t believe you ain’t around no more.

15. Herbie Rides Again (1974)

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Again? Has Herbie rode already? Well, we’ll get there later. Herbie Rides Again is the 2nd film in the whole franchise about a car with a mind of it’s own. No, I ain’t talking about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, I’m talking about Herbie. I’ve only seen this film once. I don’t remember it as much as another couple of movies, but if I was to re-watch it, things are certainly likely to drive back to me. The zaniness, the subtlety, the car’s persona; it kinda reminds me of Gromit. Ya know, reactions without having to say a word. After all, a car doesn’t need dialogue, does it now.

14. Condorman (1981)

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This is what I like to call the Plan 9 From Outer Space of Walt Disney Pictures; that is Condorman. I call it that, because clearly it ain’t brilliant and reviewers gave the films thumbs down. Was they right? Well, yeah but, I don’t know, I think there’s some creativity to Condorman. The dialogue may be corny, but Michael Crawford, being a badass actor, does his very best. I should know, I’ve seen him in Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em. I’ve also seen him in that lousy live-action version of Alice In Wonderland (no, not the one that Tim Burton directed!), but how can that possibly compare to good old Condorman? Pro-point number 2; costumes and that car, cool and colourful designs. Pro-point number 3; the synopsis certainly sparks a sense of originality. You see, the Condorman in question is a comic book designer who performs his own stunts in order to come up with ideas for his next strips. I guess Mike’s portrayal of Frank Spencer really paid off and I bet the creators of Batman are turning in their graves. Pro-point number 4; the music! What more do I need to say? It’s Henry Mancini. His music is and always has been neat, sweet and petite!

13. The Muppets (2011)

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Jim Henson’s legendary creations return on the big screen after over a decade’s absence, though they did make a cool TV festive movie in-between. They bring you The Muppets. And yes, that’s what the film is all about, the Muppets returning in business. And to do that, they hold a live fundraiser. Not only will long time fans enjoy this movie, but there’s also plenty for the newer generation. The reason why I place this lower on the list is because I remember watching this and missing a chunk out in the middle. I did manage to catch up with it though and it got me invested.

12. Snow Dogs (2002)

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Here is another movie many people hate, but personally I love. Snow Dogs! Okay, what’s the story?; a dentist learns from his adoptive mom that he is to inherit seven Siberian Huskies and a Border Collie. As he travels to Alaska, he experiences trouble with blizzards thin ice, a grizzly bear and, of course, Demon, one of the huskies who happens to be inconvenienced. I have to admit, I always get a laugh each time I see Demon attempting to kill Ted. Even the dangerous stuff is fantastic, and the music helps so much.

11. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)

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Herbie rides once again in the third installment to the Herbie series. Out of all the Herbie films that have followed the first one, I consider Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo the best prequel. Yeah, yeah, spoiler, but I still have yet to see Herbie Goes Bananas and Herbie: Fully Loaded. I think this one contains an adorable synopsis; Herbie falls in love with another racing car. Aww, ain’t that cute. Normally I don’t care for cutesiness much, but at least the film don’t go overboard with it. And yet, this is Herbie doing what he does best.

10. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time (2010)

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Mike Newell, director of the boring Mona Lisa Smile and fourth Harry Potter film and the okay Four Weddings And A Funeral, improves his career with the more exciting film version of the game franchise, Prince Of Persia. I’ve never played Sands Of Time, but I know what an impact the prince had on many people and I have to admit video game movies are always fun to watch, yet a similar impact superhero movies seem to have on movie-goers. Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time contains some fantastic imagery and fight sequences, stuff that never gets boring.

9. Cool Runnings (1993)

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Cool Runnings is based on a true story about a group of Jamaican sports-guys who form the first Jamaican bobsleigh team to compete for the 1988 Olympics. The forever great John Candy marks a splendid performance as Irv Blitzer, who mentors Derice, Sanka, Junior and Yul. Being that Cool Runnings is a sports movie, we get some incredibly cool racing sequences. But by far my favourite scene is where Junior receives a visit from his dad some time before the big race, who being such a big authority figure is planning to take him home; Junior then stands up to him stating that he’s moved on, is now a mature Olympian and has an important race to compete for. In my opinion, a very inspiring scene.

8. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

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The Muppet Christmas Carol is by far my favourite movie from the Muppet franchise. I also call this my favourite version of Charles Dickens’. It does go by the book, but there’s plenty of room for the Muppets’ various antics and breaking-the-fourth-wall elements, in particular when Gonzo contributes to the story with his narrations and his sidekick Rizzo just being himself. And of course we have some great songs. It’s a pleasure to watch during the Christmas period, so much better than The Santa Clause!

7. Old Yeller (1957)

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Many fat-gobbed people who remember Old Yeller as kids always ruin the ending for those who ain’t seen the movie yet. Not to worry. I won’t. I’m wise, innit. Old Yeller is one of the most powerful dramas ever to be produced by Disney. It’s also directed by Robert Stevenson, the same bloke who directed Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Herbie Rides Again and a couple more films which I have yet to mention. The film depicts a stray dog (that’s Old Yeller) who is eventually claimed ownership by the Coates family. Travis, at first does not trust him, considering his meat stealing habit, but soon begins to adore him after a bear almost kills the family. Soon however, the dog becomes fierce and dangerous causing problems for the family. Old Yeller is a lot different to other Disney movies. Like I say, I won’t give the ending away, but the producers do not sugar-coat it. Old Yeller is definitely one that’s worth checking out.

6. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

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Directed by Joe Johnson and produced by Steven Spielberg, Honey I Shrunk The Kids is a pure sci-fi and comedy masterpiece. A struggling inventor named Wayne invents this shrinking device which shrinks his kids down to only quarter of an inch tall. The same happens to two of their next-door neighbours. They end up on the front yard thus beginning an epic adventure back to their house. The set design and props are amazing! They’re also literally to scale; giant ants, giant bees, you name it. The lawn is built like a jungle and even the rain drops are enlarged to make it look as if the rain is attempting to destroy the children. The scene where Wayne searches for the kids while attempting not to touch the lawn demonstrates caution, but is also hilarious! The cinematography is also terrific – there’s a point-of-view shot from the bee at one point. There’s so much to enjoy from Honey I Shrunk The Kids I just can’t complete the list!

5. TRON (1982)

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Tron is a freshly visual experience about a computer programmer (Kevin Flynn), whose ideas for video games, were stolen and plagiarized by another engineer (Ed Dillinger) he works with. Kevin threatens to sue Ed, but is stopped each time by an artificial intelligence, MCP, created by Ed. Kevin decides to deal with it himself; his hacking abilities soon lead to a climatic and epic game he ends up in. There is simply nothing bad I can say about this film whatsoever. Either that or the smooth visual effects in Tron are irresistible. It’s like playing a Commodore 64 game, only with developed 3D graphics. It’s also like attending one of them cinemas similar to the Motion Master. You feel like you’re really there. Forget the need for 3D glasses and take a relaxing view of Tron.

4. The Love Bug (1968)

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Another one of Robert Stevenson’s works. And speaking of Herbie, The Love Bug is the first film in the franchise. Mirror, mirror on the wall, which Herbie film is the fairest of them all? Answer; The Love Bug, which is also the most memorable of them all. We are introduced to Herbie, the car with a mind of its own, who needs no expressions and no dialogue to express feelings and emotions. Just actions, even controlling his own steering wheel and throwing people out of him. Almost like Gromit. I even remember the bit where Herbie attempts to throw himself off a bridge, because he feels rejected after Jim plans to sell him to Thorndyke in order to solve the financial issues, and the drivers struggle to stop him. That scene may be fairly witty, but it’s still so dark. And in-between, Herbies proves himself dedicated to the various races he takes part in. David Tomlinson is fantastic as the villainous glutton Thorndyke. He’s fairly relaxed for a villain as well. It’s not like “Haw-haw-haw”, because it doesn’t have to be. The Love Bug is witty, fast-paced, and musical, not that there’s songs in it. Does there have to be?

3. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

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If you didn’t enjoy The Santa Clause or James And The Giant Peach much, surely there’s another live-action Disney movie from the 90s right? Darn right! Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey is a powerful and emotional animal related drama about two dogs and a cat searching for their home after they worry their owners have abandoned them. Along the way, they cross a dangerous river, dodge a grizzly bear and mountain lion and look after a lost girl; this was a scene which shattered me almost to death. In fact, out of all the films I have listed in this blog, Homeward Bound is the one I cried at the most, even if one of the scenes was a happy one, which I can’t give too much detail about. The themes are awesome; Shadow’s old age and Chance’s youth signal an important theme and demonstrate importance throughout this movie. The dialogue is fairly witty. In fact, there are also a few comedic moments to have a good laugh at. There’s plenty of adventure – did I mention Sassy managing to dodge a speeding train? My god, that scene made me cringe. Homeward Bound is an extremely underrated flick which I would seriously recommend. Hell, I also want my kids to grow up with this one.

2. Mary Poppins (1964)

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Some of you was probably guessing that I was going to rank Mary Poppins near the top. Well, you guessed affirmatively. Now before you say anything, my pleasure for this movie simply has nothing to do with the fact that it was nominated for the most Oscars and won the most Oscars out of every Disney movie that has ever been broadcast. Having said that, I love Julie Andrews. She most soitenly deserved that Academy Award for Best Actress. She’s incredible! Don’t get me wrong. I like My Fair Lady too, but that’s number two for me. I would’ve preferred Mary Poppins to win Best Picture. Oh well. And another thing, PL Travers, the original author, can’t always be right. She once insulted the glorious songs that was included; Sister Suffragette, Life I Lead, Feed The Birds, Fidelity Fiducialy Bank, Let’s Go Fly A Kite – which is my favourite one, etc, all badasssss songs, written by a badasssss songwriting pair! It’s the same two guys who wrote songs for The Sword In The Stone, The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Bedknobs & Broomsticks and so forth. If only Robert was still with us (sniffs). Them songs will remain with us forever and I’ll never get tired of ’em. Mary Poppins is also perfectly casted; there’s David Tomlinson as the conservative banker George Banks, Hermione Badderly as the maid and of course Dick Van Dyke who plays two parts; Bert, Mary’s best friend, and George’s 137-year old villainous boss Mr Dawes Sr. Many people whine on about Dick’s attempted accent. Am I the only guy who doesn’t think it’s that bad? Moving on, Mary Poppins also contains a set of liberal messages and values, mainly liberal. It’s anti-poverty, it supports charity, hence Feed The Birds, Sister Suffragette attacks the unfair treaty against women which occurred around that time, even the chimney sweeps briefly join her protest during the Step In Time sequence. I can’t name one person who ain’t never even not even seen Mary Poppins in their life. Folks if you ain’t watched this movie in your life, do it before it’s too late. C’mon, do it.

1. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

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And we have ignition! Some of you readers may not have expected a film-adaptation of a classic Jules Verne novel to hit number one. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea is a neat, pleasant experience for all ages to enjoy a viewing of. It’s the sort of film that treats children like adults, it’s kinda an adult film and I don’t mean to say that there’s swearing or nudity included. But the dialogue is quite grown up and most of the characters are adults. Even some of the themes are mature; for instance, Captain Nemo is sick of humanity, hence the reason why he takes residence in a submarine. To make matters worse for him, ships are disturbing his atmosphere, therefore making him the prime suspect of being the ‘monster who attacks ships’, which is the mystery Ned Land and co intend to solve. Guys, if Gerry Anderson got away with including mature themes in Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and so forth, surely Disney could do the same with 20,000 Leagues. Kids, if this ain’t enough for ya, how about that epic fight with the giant squid? There’s also a cool musical number, sung by Kirk Douglas himself! Speaking of which, did you know he’s 97, going on to 98? Long live Kirk Douglas! James Mason is also awesome as the Captain and a very unique Disney villain. I mean, he’s more misguided than evil. He doesn’t detest the crew he captures and he insists on showing them around his vehicle and the ocean. And in-between, we receive an exciting adventure through the Pacific Ocean. 20,000 Leagues is an underrated, thrilling, colorful, mature, awesome, badass, terrific, creative and unique yarn which I urge any fan of Disney or general movie fan to try out. Trust me;

All you want to do is see it, big girl, big girl

All you want to do is see it, big girl, big girl

All you want to do is see it, big girl, big girl

big girl, big girl, big girl, big girl, big girl!

Yet-to-see;

The Reluctant Dragon (1941)

Treasure Island (1950)

Davy Crockett, King Of The Wild Frontier (1955)

The Great Locamotive Chase (1956)

Davy Crockett & The Pirates (1956)

Darby O’Gill & The Little People (1959)

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)

The Absent-Minder Professor (1961)

The Parent Trap (both versions)

Babes In Toyland (1961)

Son Of Flubber (1963)

The Incredible Journey (1963)

That Darn Cat! (1965)

L.T. Robin Crusoe U.S.N (1966)

The Gnome Mobile (1967)

The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

Never A Dull Moment (1968)

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1969)

The Million Dollar Duck (1971)

Escape To Witch Mountain (1975)

One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (1975)

Freaky Friday (1976)

Pete’s Dragon (1977)

Return From Witch Mountain (1978)

The Black Hole (1979)

Midnight Madness (1980)

Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)

Popeye (1980)

Flight Of The Navigator (1986)

The Rocketeer (1991)

Newsies (1992)

Honey I Blew Up The Kid (1992)

The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Hocus Pocus (1993)

The Three Musketeers (1993)

Homeward Bound 2: Lost In San Francisco (1996)

102 Dalmatians (2000)

The Princess Diaries (2001)

The Santa Clause 2 (2002)

Holes (2003)

Freaky Friday (2003)

Around The World In 80 Days (2004)

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

National Treasure (2004)

Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)

Sky High (2005)

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

The Santa Clause 3: Escape Clause (2006)

Enchanted (2007)

National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (2007)

The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

High School Musical 3 (2008)

Race To Witch Mountain (2009)

G-Force (2009)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)

Tron: Legacy (2010)

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Maleficent (2014)

Yes it’s a long list and I’m sure I’ll probably never get round to watching all of ’em, but until I’ve seen any of them, they will remain unranked.

The Worst-to-Best Movies directed by Danny Boyle

Since I reviewed the works of many American directors and production companies, I decided for a change to review a British director. Another reason being is that I too am British. Now I’ve looked through as many British directors as I could. I thought to myself; “Alfred Hitchcock and Ridley Scott are both British, but some of their films are American” and I wanted to analyse somebody whose film CV was mostly British. So I have decided to analyse what I consider the worst and the best features directed by Danny Boyle;

6. Millions

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I saw Millions during a college lecture. A couple of my friends hated it. Personally I don’t, but I don’t really blame them. Millions ain’t terrible, but it certainly ain’t Danny Boyle’s strongest movie. I understand Damian’s desire to give the money to the poor and his belief that the money was sent by God. Yeah, sent by God, imagine that. I also understand his brother and father’s desperation to get rid of the cash in case of fugitivity. But it drags at times. This is a film only for those who understand religion. I ain’t among that audience. I’m totally dumb on the subject. And the dialogue so needs tweaking. Seriously, if Danny aimed this for families, why is the “f” word included?

5. Shallow Grave

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Somehow, I think one of my lecturers from that film-making college course really admires Danny Boyle (that’s a compliment by the way). Shallow Grave is another film we saw during a lecture. Script, fine. Story, fine. But I’ve seen this film twice and I don’t remember much about it. The characters aren’t really as memorable as, say, Spud or Renton or even that guy who got his arm trapped in a revine – mind you, he’s a factual guy, but that’s beside the point. I think Danny Boyle improved better for his next movies.

4. Slumdog Millionaire

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Some of you may hate me for positioning the Academy Award-winning Slumdog Millionaire so low on this list. I admire the film for the liberal message it gets across and the story of a young lad who’s finances are low and who ends up on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The working class, i.e. myself, can relate to that, because we often wish for something that can pay us through life easily (I dunno how else to put it) and its every kid’s dream to be wealthy. The problem with the film is… (audience boos), here me out. I realise some of the film is foreign and English subtitles are provided to help us understand, but the subtitles are way too small to read and there’s too much yellow lighting included simultaneously, which increases the reading difficulty. From a media observer’s point-of-view, it’s not a great experience for those who are color-blind.

Personally, I ain’t keen on the music either and didn’t feel it fitted in with the mood, but each to their own. I couldn’t really care if the lead actor was also in some popular British teen programme, because I don’t watch Skins. Still I’m glad I watched the film when I had the chance. Definitely give Slumdog Millionaire at least one viewing.

3. 28 Days Later

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Woooooooooooooooooo!

(sighs) Yes, 28 Days Later is a zombie film. Zombie films have been made to death and there ain’t much difference between them, except Shaun Of The Dead of course; anyway, it’s a spoof of the genre, so we can let that off.

Actually, 28 Days Later is also an original example. If you don’t believe me, observe how the zombies are… edited. Are they CGIed? I’ll never know, but the graphics are outstanding. The zombies are more like werewolves. Even the location of trashed London is distinguishable. There was a sequel labeled 28 Weeks Later, but it ain’t as memorable as this one.

2. 127 Hours

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Some of you may have heard about a guy who had his arm trapped in the Blue John Canyon and was trapped for nearly a week. 127 Hours is his story. This is easily Danny Boyle’s best of his most recent material. It demonstrates all the attempts Aron made to free his arm before he had to make the ultimate sacrifice. But there is one film that really, really, really made Danny’s career…

1. Trainspotting

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B-I-N-G-O and Bingo was his name, o! Trainspotting, in my opinion, is the one and only! I ain’t kidding man. It’s everything you want to observe about Danny Boyle. It is like an introduction to the films he would direct later on. Well, technically, Shallow Grave was his first one, but Trainspotting is an improvement. It explores a wide variety of social issues, such as child neglection and drug addiction. There are totally unforgettable scenes included, like when Renton loses his constipation, uses a filthy lavatory and climbs into it after losing a couple of pills that fell out of his butt. There’s quite a foul scene where Spud passes out unaware that he has used the bed as a lavatory. Also, there’s a really dark scene where Renton suffers a nightmare; a baby he neglected comes back to haunt him! Spooky!

So that’s all the films I have seen that Danny Boyle directed. He chose life, he chose a job (film-making that is), he chose films, he chose synopsises, he chose his target audiences, he chose props, he chose a … big career, receiving an Oscar, and other awards. He chose, … various other things.

The Worst-to-Best Movies directed by Tim Burton

Previously, I’ve listed the works by Steven Spielberg and David Fincher and the Disney animated features each in the order of my personal ranking. Now I’m going to explore the films directed by the King of Darkness, that is, Tim Burton.

 

13. Alice In Wonderland (2010)

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If there is a worst film that Tim Burton directed, it’s this one; the Michael Bay of his works. “Wow, gigantic blockbuster!” That doesn’t make it great, does it? “Watch me, watch me” Well I would if there was a better way to sequelise Lewis Carroll’s story and if Helena Bonham Carter portrayed a less overacted and downright irritating queen of hearts. I remember going to see this movie, because I was really impressed with how Steven Spielberg made a sequel to the Peter Pan story, hence Hook. That was great. This one was and shall remain a disappointment. Kids, if you want a film based on the novel, stick to the Disney cartoon.

Other films: Review me!

Jon: Alright, I’m coming!

 

12. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (2005)

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A much better effort with the story, but I’m still encountering script-problems. For a start, nobody is stupid enough to know the difference between violet and blue. Very artistic and colourful settings, but life would be sweeter if somebody got rid of them yucky songs. That would at least take the horrid taste away.

 

11. Planet Of The Apes (2001)

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One of the most hated remakes, but to be honest, I don’t hate this movie. I kind of like the idea of setting the film a time period earlier than the 1968 original and with different characters. After all, it’s a remake; what do you expect? Some of it does drag and it isn’t as memorable as the other one, but surely, Planet Of The Apes can’t be all bad. I probably should give this another watch, because I only saw the film once.

 

10. Big Fish (2003)

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Big Fish is another film which I only saw once and feel that I may need to give another view. However, I can remember how great it was. It was like seeing Tim Burton’s version of Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. Maybe other impressions are different, but that’s the impression I got.

 

9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (2007)

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Since the mid-1980s, live-action musicals seemed to be going downhill. Personally, the 1986 version of The Little Shop Of Horrors was never my cup of tea, nor do I like Moulin Rouge. However, The Commitments is great and I quite like the Blues Brothers sequel. Sweeney Todd is one of those musicals I actually do like. The songs are quite cool and the music is horrifying enough to give us the crepes, er I meant to say creeps. Johnny Depp gives a wicked performance of a barber who wants revenge on a guy who mistakenly transported him to Australia. The colours are very Schindler’s List/Sin City. They contribute to the haunting London atmosphere. Helena Bonham Carter’s acting can be a little annoying at times, but hey, at least she can speak with a cockney accent.

 

8. Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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Some of you may remember Walt Disney’s The Adventures Of Ichabod & Mr Toad. The last section was based on the same story as this film. You definitely saw the headless horseman, but not until the ending. The rest of it dragged and dragged and was as forgettable as most of Disney’s features released between 1942-49. Tim Burton’s version, on the other hand, is like that, but different; it’s much more than that. It is a squid-zillion times better! Need I say more.

 

7. Batman (1989)

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This famous caped crusader based movie hailed Tim as the King of Darkness. This was the beginning of not only the franchise which ended with the rather corny Batman & Robin, but a new beginning of Batman in general, a darker edge to the man himself. I mean no offense to the 1966 film version, because I love that one so much. But Tim Burton uses his black magic to recreate the guy and also the streets of Gotham City. Jack Nicholson’s performances in films such as the Little Shop Of Horrors (1960) and The Shining most certainly paid off; I like his portrayal of the Joker better than Heath Ledger’s portrayal.

6. Beetlejuice

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Another Michael Keaton movie. This time, he is the villainous midget who lives in a model city. Without a doubt, it’s hilarious. I reckon Tim should be crowned not only the king of darkness, but also the king of comedy. If that wasn’t enough, there is a fantastic soundtrack with a glorious taste; so what if there’s no chocolate?

5. Batman Returns

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Batman is awesome, but Batman Returns is badasssss! Michael Keaton returns as the caped crusader, who returns to fight two new enemies; the Penguin and Catwoman. My god, look at the way Michelle Pfeiffer licks her own body. Man, Danny DeVito seems to have adopted a Dustin Hoffman kind of talent; you’d hardly recognise him as the penguin. Well, apart from his height. The sequel is much more darker as probably many Batman fans would expect. There’s also detailed back-stories from the villains; the Penguin is disposed of by his parents at a very early age (charming!), it must be a pretty sad life for poor Oswald. Catwoman and Batman have a secret love for each other. So I guess we do feel a lot of empathy for the villains as well as the title character.

4. Mars Attacks!

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Some people hate Ed Wood’s movies and B-movies. But the hate seems to be dying down, because once upon a time there lived a boy who saw that stuff a different way and that boy was Tim Burton. Thus began the entertaining tribute to the many ‘badly-made’ movies that is Mars Attacks. Mars Attacks is a more ‘modern’ version of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Sure it’s cliched; by that, I mean the aliens are not so different and they use funny-sounding laser guns and there’s the alien attacks which occur after a misunderstanding, but so what? Bearing in mind that it is a comedy and it does make fun of them things. And it does it so brilliantly, you could not cease giggling through this experience.

Danny Elfman’s score is solid. Even the all-star cast is impressive; Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J Fox, Natalie Portman, Tom Jones? How did Tim manage to gather all them celebrities in one movie?

3. Corpse Bride

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You and your Victorian English settings Tim, lol! But still, there’s more to it than just the simple recurring theme. Unlike When Harry Met Sally, Corpse Bride is one of the most unique romantic movies ever to be produced. Victor Van Dort is arranged to be married to Victoria Everglot. They immediately like each other, but Victor is nervous about his wedding and practices his vows, only to accidentally marry a corpse named Emily, causing further difficulty.

There’s no denying that this film is one of the most stop-motion animated features of all time along with The Nightmare Before Christmas and those by Aardman, though James & The Giant Peach, I can shove up my ass. The stop-mo figures are part of the symbols to comedy genius; including the bizarre height differences between Victoria’s parents. The cinematography answers a lot to Tim’s dark side. If you look at the two different settings; the London setting and the underworld, you’ll notice how much the color adds to the art.

I repeat, Tim Burton is the king of comedy and darkness.

2. Ed Wood

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There was the Elephant Man, there was Raging Bull, there was Schindler’s List, and here’s another black and white film; Ed Wood.

Ed Wood is a biographical film based on Edward D Wood Jr, who many consider as the worst film directors of all time. I don’t blame them, but I can’t seem to hate his works one bit. That’s why sometimes, I wonder if I’m turning into Tim Burton, because he doesn’t seem to hate Ed Wood either. And that’s probably why this film explores a sympathetic yet hilarious view on the director himself. We come across the various production problems Ed came across when it came to directing that we can all understand; budget cuts, faults with animatronics, re-casting, very little time to re-shoot, Ed Wood demonstrates how cheerfully unaware Ed was that he had no talent in directing, but demonstrated more skill in bizarre back-up plans and a high awareness that ‘time is money’.

Ed Wood is a brilliant example of how not to direct a film and I ain’t referring to Tim.

1. Edward Scissorhands

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 And we’ve hit the jackpot! I know Johnny Depp is pretty good in his later movies too, but I personally think he’s best in this one. He of course rabbits on much less considering he’s playing a man-made boy. It’s like he’s a regular Arnold Schwarzenegger! There’s a fair amount of humour (I already explained about the comedy talents) which is quite relaxed, meaning that the elements don’t try too hard to be funny. Check out the various topiary statues Edward models and them hair-styles, oh and when Kim’s boyfriend Jim banishes him, how he turns on every resident.

There is also a lot of drama involved; the Boggs family feel deep sympathy for Edward, considering how his hands are made entirely out of blades and he experiences difficulty with his touch sense. Other characters take advantage of him, which is quite similar to the way Stromboli treats Pinocchio. Jim uses Edward to commit a robbery and leaves him to get arrested. Joyce, a hairdresser, seduces him and then spreads untrue rumors that he raped her. There are a lot of things Edward encounters that he has yet to learn about the world, but they turn against him, leading to a final showdown between him and Jim and a finale that literally sparked tears to my eyes. I ain’t kidding, without giving anything away, I cried at the ending.

Edward Scissorhands is without a doubt Tim Burton’s best feature film ever. Now I said he was the king of comedy, though there are a lot of other people with the same title, so I can’t fight over it now.

But in the meantime, all hail, Tim Burton, king of darkness!

Oh yeah, and here are a few films I have yet to see;

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Dark Shadows

Frankenweenie

The Worst-to-Best Movies directed by David Fincher

Sometime ago, I watched Fight Club for the second time, controversially, on ITV4. Many film bluffs love David Fincher’s works, including Fight Club. Personally, I’m not a David Fincher fan, but I’ve seen about five of his films. So here’s what I regard as his worst-to-best movies.

 

5. The Social Network

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So I obtain an account on various social networking sites. Does that mean I’m going to enjoy this rubbish? A film about the foundation of Facebook is rarely likely to interest me, but mates kept rabbiting; “it’s brilliant”, etc. So I relented and gave this film a view. It didn’t disappoint. It was one of the most boring films I’d ever seen in my life! All Zach did was yak yak yak. Or as Chas and Dave would put it;

He’s got a beautiful chin,

He’s got beautiful skin,

He’s got a beautiful face,

He’s got taste

He’s got beautiful eyes,

He’s got beautiful thighs,

He’s got a lot, without a doubt,

But we’re thinkin’ bout bustin’ ‘im out, Cos,

He won’t stop talking,

Why can’t he give it a rest?

He’s got more rabbit than Sainsbury’s

Its time he got it off his chest

Now he was just the kind of guy to break our hearts in 2

I knew right off when we first met our eyes on him

But how was I to know he’d break our ear holes too,

with his excessive talking, he’s becoming a PEST, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit….. you know the rest.

 

4. Fight Club

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Okay, so there’s Brad Pitt;

But that don’t impress me much, uh uh uh uh, so the film’s got the looks, but has it got the touch,

Now don’t get me wrong; I think Fight Club’s alright, but it won’t keep me in the groove all night.

Seriously though, I don’t care how popular Fight Club is. Having said that, it’s much less tedious than The Social Network; none of that whinging from, oooh, founder of Facebook(!). But the screenplay is so random and I’m so certain that a film about fighting has been done to death. Nothing much can save Fight Club from being so overrated. I’m glad I watched it at least twice, but I don’t plan to watch it again.

 

3. Se7en

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Another overrated film with scenes that come from nowhere. Oh look, it’s Brad Pitt. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Am I bovvered?

Look, I know Brad’s a fine actor and I’ve always loved cop movies. I also like the cinematography. I like this movie better than Fight Club, but I’ve seen him in better movies; one will be coming up shortly.

 

2. Alien3

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I hope you’re fans of Ridley Scott’s Alien and/or James Cameron’s Aliens or you probably ain’t going to enjoy this movie that much. Yeah, I’m probably being harsh, but Alien3 is certainly not the strongest of the franchise. I guess you can’t really blame Ridley nor James for not directing this one; they would’ve wanted to move on. After all, it was David Fincher’s starting point, and Sigourney Weaver’s still there. So just enjoy the various alien attacks.

I’m Believing The Strangest Things, I’m Loving The Alien.

Where was I? Oh yes…

 

1. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

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At last, the moment we (and I) have all been waiting for. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button is the best David Fincher film Brad Pitt has acted in that I’ve ever seen in my life! Oscar or no oscar, adapted screenplay or not, I honestly think this is David’s best work for a feature. This is the one I really really like.

Never have I seen a film where a man literally obtains a reversed birth; I of course mean a life ranging from old guy to baby and not the other way round. It’s way more original and less random compared to David’s other features. The ending is also a very touching scene. I won’t give anything away. This is the film I recommend the most out of all the others I’ve just reviewed.

 

So that’s all of David Fincher’s feature films I’ve watched. So far, for the majority, I’m not a huge fan of David Fincher, but The Curious Case has made my day.

David, if you’re reading this, don’t take this the wrong way. I think you’ve made fantastic music videos, I especially love the video for Madonna’s Vogue. I just find films like Alien3, Se7en and Fight Club not brilliant, just… okay. I still have yet to see The Game, Zodiac and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. One thing’s for sure, you definitely beat Baz Luhrmann.