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Welease Bwian( crown)
Top Five British Films
Member Name: thedevilinme
Top Five British Films
Date: 18/06/10, updated on 02/07/10 (104 review reads)
Advantages: We still make classics
Disadvantages: The English Patient
There are quite a few films that won't make my list but deserve a mention of course. Mike Leigh and Ken Loaches contribution with bittersweet comedies have defined British working-class comic films for thirty rears; Life is Sweet and Riff Raff two of the best. Then there's the brilliance of the Pythons first film, 'The Holy Grail' also edged off my list, as is Hope & Glory and Gregory's Girl. There's also those beautifully made Merchant Ivory classics in the mix, but Shadowlands also falling at the last. Slumdog Millionaire is British but not British enough to be considered, as is the case with Trainspotting. Can't understand a word of it! I won't be including the cliché and over-rated Four Weddings and a Funeral (three dull sitcom episodes stuck together if you ask me) or films that are really average TV dramas at best, like The Full Monty. I have no time for the traditionally British overwhelming sprawling bores of The English Patient and Atonement. No, I define a top movie as one you can watch over and over again on TV, regardless of your mood.
-LIFE OF BRIAN-
Imdb.com 8.2 out of 10 (90,932 votes)
Coordinator: Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each.
Mr. Cheeky: Er, no, freedom actually.
Mr. Cheeky: Yeah, they said I hadn't done anything and I could go and live on an island somewhere.
Coordinator: Oh I say, that's very nice. Well, off you go then.
Mr. Cheeky: No, I'm just pulling your leg, its crucifixion really.
Coordinator: [laughing] Oh yes, very good. Well...
Mr. Cheeky: Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left.
It caused a stir at the time in the church like a Catholic Priest pants in a borstal, but The Pythons always smart enough to stoke that nonsense to hype their brilliant movie that sits atop most peoples all time comedy list. Yes it does mock religion and the reason why EMI pulled out of financing it, and if they did a comedy on Islam today you would guarantee it wouldn't get past the storyboard stage. But back then there were enough arty people who liked to rile the establishment up and it was Beatle George Harrison's that saved the day, creating 'Handmade Films' to ensure this classic did get made as the Pythons scrambled for funding. Rather bizarrely it was only totally banned in Norway, Torbay and Aberyswyth, the latter council only recently lifting its ban in the last ten months for a film made four decades ago.
Its joke after joke, religious pi**take after pi**take, side-splitting stuff all the way through, Chapman's 'Brian Cohen' character born on the same day as Jesus but in the next door stable but Chapman, Jesus in all but name here, yet another false prophet in Biblical times full of many, the films only point. Its just deliciously silly and funny but also witty and intelligent, the perfect mix, visual gags for the lads and clever written stuff for the students to guffaw about. It's just hard to fault this. Surprisingly it's only done £20,100,000 to date in 32 years. Valentines Day did that on opening holiday weekend this year.
The six cast members played 40 characters between them to keep the bills down and Eric Idle sung the theme tunes whilst Terry Gilliam continuing to play the hunchbacks and doing the animations. Apparently, when the HMS Sheffield was hit in the Falklands, the crew whistled Eric's tune, 'Always Look on the bright side of life'.... as they awaited rescue. Graham Chapman, a qualified doctor, would hold surgeries after filming on all the Python sets to sort ailments and relax nerves, whilst smoking his pipe. Some guys aye!
The film was shot on location in Tunisia, which allowed the Pythons to reuse sets from Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth (1977). Many locals were employed as extras on the Life of Brian and they were all very knowing because they'd all worked for Franco Zeffirelli on Jesus of Nazareth, and accoring to Terry jones, elderly Tunisians telling me, 'Well, Mr Zeffirelli wouldn't have done it like that, you know.'
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me, you don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!
The Crowd (in unison): Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd (in unison): Yes, we are all different!
Man in Crowd: I'm not.
Another Man: Shhh!
- 2000 -
Imdb.com - 7.1 out of 10 (20,486 votes)
Gal: I am going to have to turn this opportunity down.
Don: No, you are going to have to turn this opportunity yes!
This is one of Britain's finest cool dialogue led movies and a must see for all guys and girls that drink pints. Sir Ben Kinglsey gives a startlingly dark and unrecognizable performance as psychotic crime gang muscle, Don Logan, who travels to the Costa's to recruit reluctant ex safe cracker Ray Winstone for one last job for Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), the Mr Bigg back in the 'Smoke' where Gal (Winstone) is required. Kingsley steals the film and received a surprise Oscar nomination for his brilliant Logan character.
It is that striking visual and the cool spoken word that sucks you into this from frame one, director Jonathan Glazer coming from a background of making pop videos and so his stylish approach very prevalent. The opening scene of a boulder crashing down off the hill into Ray Winston's Spanish villa swimming pool seems self-indulgent and yet it fits neatly into the final narrative, a filmmaker that knows what his target audience enjoys in this type of lads movie and how to deliver that. Yes it's another style other contemporary in British gangster flicks like 'Layer Cake' and 'Gangster Number One' but remains credible and one you can watch over and over. Guy Ritchie's films don't make my list as they were just Tarantino clones, although Snatch the most superior of the four Ritchie efforts. Posh men that talk cockney wearing country hats to cover their bald patches and are not to be trusted. Sexy beast did £31 million to date although the follow up film, '44 Inch Waist', was waste of time and one to miss.
------ Quote -------
Don: Shut up, c*nt. You louse. You got some f*ckin' neck ain't you. Retired? F*ck off, you're revolting. Look at your sun tan, its leather; it's like leather man, your skin. We could make a f*cking suitcase out of you. Like a crocodile, fat crocodile, fat bastard. You look like f*cking Idi Amin, you know what I mean? Stay here? You should be ashamed of yourself. Who do you think you are? King of the castle? Cock of the walk? [Don gut-punches Gal]
-DEAD MANS SHOES-
Imdb.com - 7.9 out of 10 (17, 250 votes)
Dean Man Shoes is a real gem. Director Shane Meadows explodes onto the screen with this low budget classic, the story of ex-squaddie Richard (Paddy Consadine), who has returned from Iraq after seven years to avenge his brother's abuse within the small Derbyshire village where they grew up. His target is a local drug dealer Sonny and his deliberately gormless goons, Sonny played by ex boxer Gary Stretch, a surprisingly good comic/serious turn, Richard picking off the losers one-by-one, his violence justified by the films late twist.
With some quotable dialogue and a real sense of foreboding it just builds and builds, the clever twist skillfully hidden until the last scenes. Its Paddy Considine's best performance to date and amazing how he has recovered his Nottingham accent after five years at posh London stage school. For Meadows to make a film like this for just £725,000, and on location, shows a real talent. This guy is going to win an Oscar in glorious style one day soon like Danny Boyle did. This is a must see film if your over 16 and male, the word F**K being used a then record of 116 times in a British film its laddish qualification.
Sonny: You're making me very nervous, Richard.
Richard: Well you should be. If I were you, I'd get in that f*ckin' car and I'd get out of here man. I'd gather them goonies and get whatever you've got comin' mate... 'cause I'm gonna f*cking hit you all.
Sonny: I don't like being threatened, Rich'.
Richard: I'm not threatening you mate. It's beyond f*cking words. I watched over you when you were asleep and I looked at your f*cking neck and I was that far away from slicing it.
Richard: [Richard opens up his hand right hand and points towards his palm] you're f*cking there mate!
[Richard clenches his hand]
Richard: So get in that car... and F**K OFF!
-REMAINS OF THE DAY-
Imdb.com - 7.9 out of 10 (21,234 votes)
Stevens: "Do you know what I am doing, Miss Kenton? I am placing my mind elsewhere while you chatter away".
I'm not a huge fan of period English films and apart from 'Mr Brown', I have genuinely steered clear of them. But when this run of Merchant Ivory films came about in the late 80s and early 90s and everyone knew they had quality stamped all over them, Anthony Hopkins at his utmost best on screen in two of them. They were so well made that even Hugh Grant was terrible in this one. I honestly believe they gave Hopkins that silly Oscar for Silence of the Lambs because they didn't reward his best work in the likes of this and Shadowlands. He is astounding in both films, especially this one, the sexual tension between his correct head butler character and the brilliant Emma Thompson as the flirty housekeeper, trying to squeeze in the tightest of emotional gaps between Stevens and his loyalty to his employer, excruciating as it is brilliant. They practically have tartaric sex on screen but without knowing it. Fabulous acting!
The film is beautifully intricate and superbly paced and the English social class structure of upstairs, downstairs is exploited to perfection here, even though the prize winning book this is based on was written by a Japanese guy and actually set in Japan. Even if you can't stand period dramas this is not fluttering eye lids hiding under bonnets stuff with heaving chests, and there's not a Mr Darcey type in sight either. It's an intelligent look at post war England and the gentry meddling with right wing policies as the state and the gentry began to drift apart, but the butler totally loyal to his master, however dangerous those times, and certainly no time for sexual shenanigans and tolerating lazy staff.
Imdb.com - 7.9 out of 10 (9.813 votes)
Louise: What are you doing here? You look like sh*t.
Johnny: I'm just tryin' to blend in with the surroundings
This little celebrated Mike Leigh indie starring David Thewlis (when he made decent movies) as an obnoxious smartass Manc drifter who spends all night winding people up after he flees Manchester for London after being accused of rape, is well worth catching up on through filmfour or lovefilm.com, guys. It's rarely show on TV and if it is it's on at an ungodly hour. It's a very clever dialogue led film and would make a great stage play,
The Thewlis character Johnny is very smart and educated and particularly enjoys bending the ear of anyone forced to listen to his musings on the world and the universe, clearly not a fan of Londoners. The power of this film is the writing with some very clever/funny bits. Thewlis is also superb in it and it's hard to believe he has gone downhill so far with his choice of roles since this film. It's not a smug student humor film in the way 'With Nail and I' is and why that one doesn't make the list, this superior in so many ways. Atmospheric as it is seedy, Thewlis cynical man against the world Johnny prowls the darker back streets of London with an almighty chip on his shoulder he is proud of.
Louise: How did you get here?
Johnny: Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday.
Summary: Top movies!