Ten to One

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Here's part two of my top twenty films. Expect some more (or less?) interesting blog entries later this week or something

10. Red Cliff (2008)

John Woo's latest movie, and his first film in his native Hong Kong since Hard Boiled in 1993, Red Cliff is a war film of massively epic proportions, detailing the famous Battle of Red Cliff which led the way to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The original Chinese cut of the film (split into two films) is about five hours long, but the beautifully choreographed battle scenes, the amazing acting and the breathtaking cinematography make the whole thing fly by like 10,000 arrows heading towards straw boats

9. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

I love a good action adventure film. In fact, there aren't enough of them, I think. And if there's any film that should be considered the best action adventure, it's Raiders of the Lost Ark. With its endearing and loveable characters, its sense of fun it never takes itself too seriously, but it keeps the thrills coming nonetheless. Raiders is a really fun film, all the while being incredibly well written and thirty years on continues to enchant. Also, you can't go wrong with the Raiders March theme.

8. Role Models (2008)

Role Models is one of my favourite comedy films. Sure it's not the best written film or anything, but it's made me laugh no matter how many times I've seen it. The idea behind Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott - two slackers doing community service - having to look after kids Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobb'e J Thomson is simple enough but brings some side-splitting results. And with a great supporting cast (most notably Ken Jeong), it never fails to bring a smile on my face.

7. Battle Royale (2000)

In a distopian Japan, where kids run riot and everything's gone to shit, the government has set up the new Battle Royale scheme - where a randomly selected class of 9th graders are put in some isolated place and told to kill one another. Tagged with explosive collars they have no choice but to slaughter each other until one is left. The film, like the book it's based on, follows a few of the students as they try to find a way out of the nightmare they have been thrown into. It's dark, violent and not for the faint-hearted, but is fantastically entertaining, thrilling and heart breaking.

6. The Dark Knight (2008)

Superhero movies aren't often considered to be high quality cinema. After all, they're usually more a showcase of special effects than anything else - after all, even when you have these fully developed characters in the comics, it's difficult to translate into 2-hour films. But the Dark Knight does something different. Nolan is a master director, and when he took on the Batman franchise he did it with style. the Dark Knight tells a much gritter, more realistic and faithful Batman story - incorporating stellar action scenes, powerful character developments and the best live action version of the Joker put to screen.

5.Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story was a revolution in terms of animation. Much like Snow White was to traditional animation, Pixar showed the world what CG was capable of. Coming from the mind of little-known John Lasseter, the film is a madly imaginative tale about toys, of all things, and their attachments to their owners. Today it stands as one of the best animated features, and it really isn't difficult to see why.

4. Die Hard (1988)

A Christmas movie for the whole family, Die Hard has a simple plot: a bunch of terrorists take an office party hostage demanding a bunch of other terrorists be freed in exchange. However, New York cop John McClane isn't having any of it and decides to make it his business to take them all out. What made Die Hard so different was how it portrayed its main character. Instead of the rock-hard unbeatable machine we were used to seeing in films like Rambo, McClane instead gets hurt. A lot. He's much more human and as a result we relate to him. Die Hard is wonderful, violent fun and always good to watch

3. Le Diner de Cons (1998)

Le Diner de Cons is a film about a man who, with his friends, holds weekly dinners where each participant has to bring the biggest idiot they can so everyone can secretly make fun of them. But when Pierre Brochant finds the biggest idiot and makes the mistake of inviting him around to his house first, it's hilarity all the way. Le Diner de Cons is very clever, witty and so rapid-fire in its jokes that you will not stop for a second laughing, right through the unexpected and hilarious ending.

2. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Pixar are known for a few things - as the top computer-based animation company, for their work in developing the technology further always, and of course for their incredibly original ideas. Monsters Inc, to me when I first saw it, was simply brilliant. The story, the voice cast, the breakthrough animation (just look at that fur) makes this one of Pixar's best and my favourites.

1. Infernal Affairs (2003)

This is probably a bit of an unexpected choice. Infernal Affairs is the story of two men - one a cop, and one a member of the triads, who both are sent undercover into the other's organisation. The film follows both main characters - Ming (a triad in the police) and Yan (an undercover cop) as the pressure of undercover life gets too much. It's an emotional story, filled with will-he-wont-he tension and brings in some twists and turns to keep you guessing. It had two sequels, and I could even be as bold as to say the second was better than the first - going more for character development (especially in the side characters), but the first one is what got the ball rolling. It was remade as the Departed, in 2006, which is a fine film, but really, the original trumps it any day.

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