Cinepub


Top 10 Films That Influenced Me As A Youngling: Part 2 by Jamie
27/02/2009, 5:28 pm
Filed under: Lists | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yes I’ve finally returned with the second part of this list. Sorry it took me so long, it’s been a weird week. So without further ado, let’s get into it. Remember E.T. and Star Wars are taken as given.

5. Transformers

Yes, the original Transformers cartoon movie, set in the futuristic world of 2005! Alright, It seemed like along way away when the film was released in 1986. The film opens with the reveal of Unicron, a planet eating mother-fucker who, appropriately enough, eats a planet inhabited by robots. Unicron, of course, was the last film role of Orson Welles. Yes, Citizen fucking Cane ended his life by voicing a gigantic planet eating robot. Not only that but Leonard Nemoy also shows up, as does Eric Idle!
There are, however, two things that this film is largely remembered for. The first is the soundtrack which features a Weird Al song ‘Dare To Be Stupid’ but more importantly Stan Bush’s ‘The Touch.’ Is the song terrible? Yes, terribly awesome! Let’s have a listen:

The other thing that this film is known for is the relentless robot slaughter that takes place on screen. Many, many Transformers die, especially during the film’s first battle when the Decepticons attack the Autobots base one Earth. Why was there so much robotic carnage? Well, it was so they could clear out the old cast, introduce new characters and have a whole host of new toys to sell!

There is one death in particular which stands out, of course. Robot God himself, Optimus “The Christ” Prime lays down his life so that other Autobots might live to fight the good fight another day. There is no way to describe how it feels to see Prime die when you are a child, especially so damn early in the film. And what’s worse? Optimus’s final act as the Autobot leader is to hand the Matrix of Leadership to Ultra Magnus who is a total fuck up. So we’re left with the impression that Prime has shit judgement. I guess I can give him a pass since he was dying at the time but still… So there’s the influence, the first time I remember feeling terrible about the death of a fictional character.

4. The Goonies

Hey You Guys! Fuck yeah, The Goonies. Action, adventure, pirates! What more could you want from a children’s film? Well, lots more and the Goonies has it all. The story revolves around a group of children trying to find the treasure of One Eyed Willy so that they can save their homes. Throw in a crime family with a deformed son and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Is it me or were children’s films of the 80s a little more risqué than the stuff you see today? This film has references to sex and drugs, the characters swear and there are times when it genuinely seems as though the kids could die. I noticed the same thing in the Explorers and other 80s kids films such as D.A.R.Y.L. and even E.T. Elliott gets wasted for fuck’s sake.

There is so much I remember about this film that it’s almost impossible for me to write about it. The truffle shuffle, Mikey’s moment ‘alone’ with One Eyed Willy, Data’s gadgets, Corey Feldman being a cool motherfucker, Josh Brolin riding a girls bike, Sloth, Chunk’s breaking down during his lengthy confession… Fucking hell, every damn frame of this film is gold.

3. Gremlins 2

I saw the original Gremlins when I was probably around 6. Too young, perhaps, but I loved it. The violence was so over the top and crazy that I don’t think I was really scared by it. It seemed almost like watching a live action cartoon. So if that was the reaction my young mind had to the first film, the second one took that and ramped it up to eleven.

Now I know some people are going to say that Gremlins 2 is inferior to the first film and to those people I say shut your goddamn whore mouths. I saw this film at just the right time for it be forever ingrained in my mind as the better of the two. There’s so much I love here. The genetically mutated gremlins, in particular the Brain Gremlin, voiced by Tony Randall, who is one of my favourite movie characters of all time with one of my favourite quotes:

“Now bear in mind, none of us has been in New York before. There are the Broadway shows – We’ll have to find out how to get tickets. There’s also a lot of street crime but I believe we can watch that for free.”

He is the epitome of what a gremlin with intelligence should be, a bizarre creature with a warped view of what civilisation should be. There’s also poor old Spike, born as a mogwai with a mohawk meaning he’s destined to be the leader of the Gremlins but this role is kinda usurped by Brain Gremlin so Spike ends up as a spider hybrid instead.

The violence is even more over the top and cartoonish than the first instalment and the whole thing is just a little more than tongue-in-cheek, with self-referential gags throughout, including Leonard Maltin with a review of the original film. Fuck, I’ve knackered myself just thinking about this film. It’s awesome.

2. Jurassic Park

1993 saw the release of three major films involving dinosaurs. One, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story, would be largely forgotten about. The second would be despised and reviled for years to come, Super Mario Bros. and the third would be Jurassic Park.

Now, it’s a well known fact boys love dinosaurs but perhaps I more than most. Christ, when I was a kid I wanted to be a palaeontologist. I even had a favourite palaeontologist in the form of Bob Bakker. He has an awesome beard and a character based on him appeared in the sequel, The Lost World. I had toy dinosaurs all around my room. My carpet had dinosaur footprints in it. I loved every damn dinosaur thing that came my way, Denver The Last Dinosaur, Dink The Littlest Dinosaur, The Land Before Time and Dinoriders (which clearly had the best quality dinosaur toys.) It was all awesome, so when Jurassic Park came along, what choice did I have but to love it?

Dinosaurs were brought to life in a way they never had before. Gone were the days of bits of cardboard being stuck to lizards, stop motion animation and men in giant rubber suits (sorry Godzilla). These things looked like living, breathing animals. People say that the effects look a little dated nowadays but I can’t see it. Every time I watch it, I watch it with a child’s eyes. The sense of wonder and amazement I felt as a child at seeing a T-Rex attacking a couple of cars it still there with me today. What more can I say? It’s one of the few films that just makes me feel like a kid again.



1. Jaws

Iconic music. Iconic characters. An iconic monster. This film was my favourite when I was a kid and it’s probably my favourite now. I often have a hard time trying to decide which is my favourite film but it turns out if I’m thinking about long and hard than this is definitely it. Simple as that.

The film simply ramps up the tension with every scene by employing a technique, familiar in later films, in which you have a killer which you don’t see until fairly close to the end of the film, most of the time the action is seen through the shark’s eyes as he stalks his prey, the tension highlighted by John Williams simple but awesome Jaws theme. It doesn’t pull any punches either, with both a dog and a kid getting killed. This leaves you with the feeling that everyone is a potential meal for the great white menace.

Now many horror films, and I was technically consider Jaws a horror film, have an iconic killer but the rest of the characters are essentially cardboard cut-out stereotypes. Not so in Jaws. You have Chief Brody, the good cop who knows the score but who no one will listen to. He’s also shit scared of water. There’s also Matt Hooper, shark expert and of course Quint. Quint is without a doubt in my top three movie characters off all time. He’s the one who was most in danger of being a stereotype, just your typical salty sea-dog type but he has just enough back story and personality to make him stand out from the crowd.

And god, there are so many great scenes in this film. When the shark comes up when Brody’s chumming to the simple scene where Sean is copying his father‘s actions. Fuck, the scene where Ben Gardner’s head bobs out of his boat still makes me jump and I’ve seen this film a thousand times. But the scene that really stands out, in my opinion one of the greatest scenes in cinema is the comparing injuries/Indianapolis scene. Awesome.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment so far
Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: