A lot of people have asked me about this, so here’s my top five films, with directors and screenwriters credited. I’ve also included critical reviews to justify my inclusions:
5th: The Peanuts Movie
Director: Steve Martino
Screenplay: Bryan Schulz, Craig Schulz and Cornelius Uliano.
Without body-function jokes or vulgarity, kids and adults will be entertained by this jovial, good-hearted movie that’s a salute to a creative genius.
4th: Batman Begins
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer
I said this is the Batman movie I’ve been waiting for; more correctly, this is the movie I did not realize I was waiting for, because I didn’t realize that more emphasis on story and character and less emphasis on high-tech action was just what was needed. The movie works dramatically in addition to being an entertainment. There’s something to it.
3rd: The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Screenplay: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
There’s a stock exchange heist, thrillingly enacted by cleaners and shoe-shiners under the leadership of Bane. When a suited schmuck tells Bane that he’ll find no money to steal he replies scathingly, “Really, then why are you people here?” There are nods to barbaric anti-terror measures, to occupation, to the danger of blind obedience and the power of fear, there’s a distinct lack of faith in the American government and even a conversation about the correct pronunciation of Ibiza. The Dark Knight Rises succeeds because it’s rooted in real-world experiences and fears and because it presents gut-churning action which suggests a sparing use of CGI.
2nd: Big Hero 6
Director: Don Hall and Chris Williams
Screenplay: Jordan Roberts, Dan Gerson and Robert L. Baird
Yes, it’s a movie that should probably come packaged with aspirins for adults: being whisked around San Fransokyo in pin-sharp 3D is as exhausting as it is exhilarating. There’s much to be said in favour of films that take their time to tell a story slowly, using words instead of action, but Big Hero 6 feels like an animation in step with an ever-changing world – one that will one day be inherited by the infants who think in fast-forward and are currently wiping their sticky fingers all over our iPads.
1st: Spider-Man 2
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenplay: Alvin Sargent
There are moviegoers who make a point of missing superhero movies, and I can’t blame them, although I confess to a weakness for the genre. I liked both of the Crow movies, and Daredevil,Hulk and X2, but not enough to recommend them to friends who don’t like or understand comic books. Spider-Man 2 is in another category: It’s a real movie, full-blooded and smart, with qualities even for those who have no idea who Stan Lee is. It’s a superhero movie for people who don’t go to superhero movies, and for those who do, it’s the one they’ve been yearning for.