This is the meme: What is your favourite movie for each year of your life?
Well, it’s tough enough to narrow each year down to a selection, let alone a single movie, but I felt like I ought to give it a go. Below then, I consider this question and come up with answers, some reasons for those answers, and some also rans, for each of my forty years. To be clear, I’m not making quality judgements; this is about my historical and ongoing enjoyment of the movie, not how good it is. Therefore I am only looking at films that I’ve seen, and believe me there are some shocking gaps in that subset. Even in that limited space I’m not saying these are the best movies, but they are the ones I’ve had most fun with, for one reason or another.
Directed by James Mangold Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen
As always, there will be spoilers in this review.
In the not-too-distant future, Logan (Jackman) is living on the (unwalled) Texas/Mexico border, working as a limo driver in order to support Charles Xavier (Stewart), who now suffers from an unspecified degenerative brain condition that causes him to suffer seizures with terrible effects on those around him. The mutant tracker Caliban (Merchant) acts as Charles’s nurse and struggles to be a conscience to Logan in a world where most mutants have been exterminated. This arrangement is upset when a nurse named Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) finds Logan and asks him to transport her and a young girl, Laura (Keen) to Dakota.
Directed by Adam Randall StarringBill Milner, Maisie Williams, Jordan Bolger, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Aymen Hamdouchi, Miranda Richardson, Rory Kinnear
Tom (Milner) is an ordinary kid, growing up on a high-rise estate under the care of his Gran (Richardson) and never quite finding the nerve to confess his feelings to lifelong friend Lucy (Williams). He’s an okay student, and keeps out of the gang business that has already sucked in classmates such as school bully Eugene (Rothwell) and Tom’s best mate Danny (Bolger). Then one night he goes to help Lucy with her revision and stumbles on a gang punishment assault. He runs and tries to call the police, but is shot, the bullet shattering his phone and imbedding pieces of it in his brain.
Sometimes, I read an article which articulates something that I was struggling to frame in my own mind. In this case, it’s this article by Caroline Seide on the AV Club website, about feminist criticism. I advise you to go and read it, because it’s much better written than my blog ramblings; I’ll wait.
Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker Starring Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger and Alan Tudyk
Moana (Cravalho) is the heir apparent to her father, Chief Tui of Motonui (Morrison). Her people live a life contained on their island, which provides all that they need… until the fish leave the sea around the island and the crops and coconuts begin to die. Always adventurous, Moana suggests fishing in the more dangerous waters beyond the reef, and then follows her grandmother’s (House) stories to take a boat from the long-forgotten voyaging past of the tribe, and seek for the demigod Maui (Johnson).
Directed by Uwe Boll (dive! dive!) Starring Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff and Tara Reid
Amnesiac PI and occult investigator Edward Carnby (Slater) discovers a relic of the Abkani civilisation. Some dude in shades tries to nick it, but after a running gun battle in the heart of Somewheresburg, he deciphers the text on the artefact and discovers… something something awakening.
Directed by Ron Hulme Starring Jalal Merhi, Bolo Yeung, Monika Schnarre, Jamie Farr, Lazar Rockwood
Lyle (Merhi), a nice Lebanese-Canadian thirty-year-old grad student, falls into depression when his brother is murdered by drug dealers (or dies of an overdose; I wasn’t clear.) He drops his job at the family firm and postpones his wedding, angering his father (Farr) and fiancee (Schnarre), and goes to Hong Kong to study martial arts and earn the red sash of a master of arty martialness.
Directed by Tim Burton Starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson
Jake Portman (Butterfield) is a regular American (honest) loser, who connects better with his grandfather Abe (Stamp) than with his father (O’Dowd). When Abe dies, an apparent victim of a wild dog attack, and Jake believes that he sees a faceless giant looming in the bushes, his psychiatrist (Janney) suggests that it would do him good to go to the island in north Wales where his grandfather once lived in a children’s home, run – he always insisted to Jake – by a woman named Miss Peregrine who could turn into a bird, for the protection of children with extraordinary powers.
Directed by Lee Tamahori Starring Ice Cube, Willem Dafoe, Scott Speedman, Peter Strauss, Samuel L. Jackson
A commando team bust into the secret HQ of the xXx programme, killing everyone except station chief Agent Gibbons (Jackson) and technical comic relief Shavers (Michael Roof). Informed of the incident, the president (Peter Strauss) is determined that his State of the Union address must tackle the causes of such attacks by building up international relations, much to the chagrin of hawkish Secretary and obvious villain Deckert (Dafoe).
Directed by Matteo Garrone Starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones and John C. Reilly
Once upon a time, there was a Queen (Hayek) who could not bear a child. At the advice of a necromancer, the Queen’s husband (Reilly) slays a sea monster. The King is also killed, but the Queen eats the heart of the monster and is instantly pregnant. She and the virgin kitchen maid who cooks the heart give birth to identical boys even before the King’s funeral, attended by two other monarchs: a King (Cassel) whose appetites know no restraint, and another King (Jones) with a beloved daughter.