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Hey folks well I return with my top ten films of the past year. There maybe a few missing which you would expect like The Assassination of Jesse James… and Eastern Promises but unfortunately despite having 13 screens in Worcester neither cinemas decided to show them so I have to wait for the dvd releases soon to catch them!

 Right we will start at number 10.

10. Rocky Balboa

 As a child of the 80’s who remembers queing up to see Rocky IV and not getting in because it was full, I always loved the Rocky films even V has it’s moments. Like most people though the hopes for the new installment weren’t high, but Stallone pulled it out of the bag with a very respectful nod to the first film. With Rocky now living off his memories of the past and not much else in his life. Then he gets this offer to regain some respect and he takes it. Fair dues to the filmmakers for not going for the obvious ending.

9. Superbad

  The second Seth Rogen comedy of the year and one of the funniest films of the year as well.  In a genre that has been oversaturated in the last few years, Rogen and pals made a teenage comedy that was fresh, in that the kids in it actually act and talk like real teenagers, no watering down at all. Resulting in some classic scenes (the party dance stain) and great characters especially the now legendary Mclovin. Just hope they don’t go for the obvious sequel.

8. Knocked Up

 Following his writing work now Seth Rogen gets his acting credit and stardom beckons. Like Superbad, Knocked Up was that rare thing of a rude comedy that actually has a real heart behind it as the consequences of a one night stand comes to haunt Rogen and the lovely Katherine Heigl. There are some really crude jokes and the chemistry between Rogen and Hiegl works though not as good as the chemistry between Rogen and Paul Rudd as Heigl’s brother in law!  Their trip to Vegas where they watch Circe de Solei on magic mushrooms is hilarious.

7. Ratatouille

  Another year and another great Pixar film, this time with a cooking rat as the hero. In what shouldn’t have really worked, the magic of Pixar produces a sweet and funny tale with some of the greatest CG animation yet. The scene on a rain soaked Parisian street is jaw dropping, can’t wait for the Blu Ray!! As with every Pixar film they look great but always have some real substance behind them. Also the short film before it ‘Lifted’ was awesome.

6. Hot Fuzz

  Following up ‘ Shaun Of The Dead’ was always going to be a hard task but Wright and Pegg have copied admirably. Following the RomZomCom they have made a homage to the classic action film, with nods to everything from Bad Boys to Lethal Weapon but with a distinct English flavour. They have given us the action we expect from Hollywood, whilst giving the US what they expect of England, villages and tea! A great script and the British acting aristocracy combined to make a huge hit. Come one Timothy Dalton as a villian what else do you want!

5. Zodiac

  I watched this again the other day on a HD DVD and it look stunning and reminded me what a great movie it is. Over 2 and a half hours long but never drags once, and even though nothing is resolved you still come out of it feeling very satisfied with what you’ve watched. David Fincher is a cinematic genius, Se7en and Fight Club are two of my favourite films and he has brought that same visual flair and attention to detail to this true story.  The overhead shots of the taxis are amazing and the opening shot of the murders is shocking in a real way unlike some of the gorno films we’ve seen this year like the Saw’s and Hostels.

4. Apocalypto

  After the annus horriblis Mel Gibson had come out of, no one was expecting much from this film about an ancient Mayan civilisation filmed in the original language. The knives were all out ready for the kill, but were soon put away. Gibson produced a visually stunning film, which had the look of an art film, with great detail but was underneath really a chase movie. A great chase movie as it turned out, with some breathtaking scenes with real tension. It was quite graphic but it needed to be, just check out the decapitated heads eye view shot. Don’t be put off by the language issue you could watch this film with no sound and it would still be a real experience.

3. Transformers

  I admit it, I love big mainstream action films, it’s what attracts us to the cinema when we are kids, and as I am still a big kid I love them now as I did then. When the first trailers appeared for Michael Bay’s new film I was immediately hooked, and when it finally arrived I was really surprised. Not by the action that was as amazing as I hoped. The visuals in the film were jaw dropping, the level of detail on the robots was astonishing, they looked real. No what really surprised me was the humour, future star in the making Shia Labeouf has  great screen prescence and brilliant comedic timing. He was instantly likeable and thats what you need from a hero in a film. The scene where the Autobots are try to hide from his parents in the garden was great.  Obviously an action film relies on its action and it didn’t disappoint, the highway fight was amazing. There might not be a huge amount of substance to the style but with a film like this you don’t care, personally I can’t wait for the sequel!

2. The Bourne Ultimatum

  The films that have made Matt Damon a superstar and had James Bond quivering in a corner, reached an end and a pinacle this year. Paul Greengrass’s second Bourne film had a lot to live up to and he didn’t drop the ball at all.  In what was a brilliant idea the film started just where the ‘Supremacy’ finished with Bourne on the run in Moscow and this new film keeps the chase going for another two hours not breaking pace once!  This is a adrenaline shot of a film, just non stop from start to finish. It piles on the tension, action and intrigue but doesn’t give you time to breath.  You could pick out multiple scenes from the film and be blown away, from the Waterloo station hunt to the Tangiers rooftop chase, just an amazing film.

So to my favourite film of 2007, and it wasn’t one that I reviewed on the blog as like I mentioned at the start my local cinemas are very Hollywood orientated so didn’t show it. Luckily it’s DVD release was pretty quick!

1. This Is England

  Shane Meadows follow up to the terrific ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’, was the story of a 12 year old Shaun, who has just lost his father in the Falklands War and is being bullied at school. Looking for friends he bumps into a group of Skinheads who take him under their wing and look after him buying him clothes and getting his hair cut much to his mums annoyance.   Soon though National Front nutter Combo turns up and Shaun finds himself being drawn into a dodgy world of racsim.  From that you would think that this is  pretty dark and depressing film, but it’s the opposite and it was that that made me take this film to heart. The first half of the film where Shaun and his skinhead friends hang out and enjoy themselves is very funny, and surprising. For most people the image of Skinheads was of yobbo’s, but these lads and girls are real friends to him and want him to be happy and enjoy himself. They aren’t racists, for them the Skinhead look is a fashion and music thing. it’s when Combo arrives in Shaun’s life that the film goes a lot darker, preying on Shaun’s vunerability of the loss of his dad he starts to brainwash him, and soon he is racially abusing local shop keepers.  The cast in the film are amazing especially Thomas Turgoose who is a revelation as Shaun, and Steven Graham as combo has a real sense of menace that as soon as he appears on the screen you know he’s gonna be trouble.  With the film being set in the early 80’s there are some great tunes in it but I dare anyone not to be touched by the end of the film as Clayhill’s cover of the Smith’s, ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ plays. I have already watched this film a couple of times and will no doubt watch it many times again, it’s a film that deserves to be seen more than it will and deserves my film of the year!

Oh what was my worst film of the year, well two come to mind, first Captivity with Elisha Cuthbert, just a pile of nasty dross, a film that was gory just for the hell of it. The other you will probably know if you have been reading the blog this year! Yes Pirates Of The Carribbean: The Worlds End. With Ikea Knightley and Orblando Doom, in a far too long and boring film!

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