Return of the Top Five

It’s been a while, but it’s amazing how many things in life can be brought down to a top five… Today, it’s my top five favourite Film franchises and my favourite film within that franchise. (‘Franchise’ is such an American word it’s sickening… like using the word ‘season’ instead of series.)

5) Shrek – In at number five, it’s the animated japery of Shrek. The way children’s fairy tales have been taken, twisted and then layered with adult humour is genius. Even Mike Myers comedy Scottish accent is funny for no apparent reason. Eddie Murphy gets the hyperactive Donkey act perfectly and Cameron Diaz gets top marks.
My favourite Shrek film – Shrek

4) Harry Potter – The latest in the tradition of ‘Good vs Evil’ stories has pretty much everything required for success. They’re based on hugely successful books and have been adapted pretty well in my opinion. Then you’ve got the hero at the forefront, but he wouldn’t succeed without his sidekicks (the clever one and the funny one). Add in to the mix a bit of adolescent moodiness, hormones and the like and you’re left with a film series that will stand the test of time and be passed down to the next generation. Magic!
My favourite Potter film – The Prisoner of Azkaban (for Gary Oldman’s performance)

3) Back To The Future – It’s difficult to put this at number three, because it’s such a brilliant trilogy. Mainly because (at the moment) there has been no attempt to resurrect the series with an unnecessary addition (think Rocky or Indiana Jones). You’ve got the time travel aspect, crazy Doc Brown (“Great Scott!!”) and young Marty McFly who goes backwards and forwards in time, fulfilling every boy’s dreams. Plus there is the best scene of the lot when Marty plays ‘Johnny B Goode’ at his parents’ Enchantment Under The Sea dance. Even now, I still think it would be pretty cool to have a DeLorean…
My favourite BTTF film – Back To The Future (for the Johnny B Goode scene)

2) The Godfather – A must for any film lover. A depiction of American Mafia through the ages from the rise of Vito Corleone (portrayed by Robert De Niro in part 2) to the eventual undoing of his youngest son Michael Corleone in part 3. Along the way you get James Caan shot to pieces and Marlon Brando frightening the crap out of a child actor with nothing more than orange peel. Admittedly, in Part 3 you get Pacino’s overacting, but it can just be forgiven thanks to the preceeding two films.
My favourite Godfather film – The Godfather (it’s just great!)

1) Star Wars – I am of the Star Wars Generation. Therefore nothing will ever beat it. Certainly the original trilogy is untouchable, the prequels a little too reliant on the special effects, but still packed with escapism, excitement and Ewoks… Again, you’ve got Good vs Evil, the hero with a gift, but still needs help from friends to get by. Acting wise, Mark Hamill’s woodenness as Luke Skywalker uncannily transfers to Hayden Christensen as he attempts to act as Anakin Skywalker. Both are overshadowed by fellow actors (Hamill by Ford and Christensen by McGregor) which may explain why neither have really been seen since their Star Wars days. The tone of the series is really set by the opening scene of A New Hope where we see the rebel ship fleeing from the Imperial Star Destroyer that appears, and keeps appearing, slowly eating up the entire screen.
Personally I’m just praying that George Lucas decides to tamper with it one last time to give us Star Wars 3D at the cinema.

My favourite Star Wars film – The Empire Strikes Back (it’s dark and it has the unexpected twist at the end)

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