This months Film Club, and January’s for that matter, has brought with it some interesting views and a few interesting stats. For the first time in Film Club’s short history we have four films with the same rating, meaning that third and fourth place in the leaderboard are each shared by two films a piece.
A total of seven films now make up the leaderboard and things are starting to take shape. Casino Royale is still miles ahead of anyone else, while Star Wars: Episode IV sits steadily in second. The Departed and, maybe surprisingly, The Great Escape share third while Batman and Heat share fourth. Liam Neeson’s first time out as Bryan Mills in Taken occupies fifth spot and the 2013 remake of Oldboy is firmly bottom of the pile in sixth place.
So far, we have reviewed a pretty wide variety of films, ranging from classics to modern greats and one controversial remake. March will bring something completely different to the table and Film Club will return on 15 March, until then keep checking the site for updates.
1. Casino Royale (2006): 9.3/10 (← →)
General consensus: James Bond’s 21st outing manages to reboot the franchise for a modern audience, while also keeping the things older fans are familiar with. Casino Royale is a spectacular film full of action and intrigue, and manages that rare thing of being a blockbuster with brains as well as brawn.
2. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope: 8.8/10 (← →)
General consensus: Star Wars is a film that still stands up strongly even today, 37 years after its initial release. Despite some clunky dialogue and some stiff acting, the essence of the film and the fantastic characters carry the film and still entertain fans of all ages. Along with an iconic score by John Williams that takes this space opera to another level, the film’s influence is still being felt today.
3. The Departed: 8.6/10 (← →)
General consensus: The Departed is a modern crime classic that forgoes the glitz and glamour of Scorsese’s earlier gangster offerings, for a more real and unrelenting look at the life of those who make a living from crime and those who attempt to stop it. However, The Departed is not necessarily a film for everyone, and the level of violence and bad language along with a running time of nearly two and a half hours can be off-putting for some.
3. The Great Escape: 8.6/10 (New Entry)
General consensus: The Great Escape remains a classic of its time and still proves enjoyable today. Whether you have seen it once, ten times, or a hundred The Great Escape proves that they just don’t make them like this any more.
4. Batman (1989): 7.6/10 (← →)
General consensus: Batman is perhaps not the classic it once was, suffering over time from dated effects and the ever popular Dark Knight trilogy. However, it still remains a pulpy ride, that has some great moments and two defining performances from Keaton and Nicholson that carry the film. While also being iconic in helping pave the way for the films we are all clamouring for at the cinema today.
4. Heat: 7.6/10 (New Entry)
General consensus: Heat drew more heat than I, and several Film Club members anticipated. Thought of by many as a crime classic for its patient build-up and frenetic gun fights, is also disliked for the same reasons. To many, Heat is a classic showcase of a director and a cast performing at their best, while others struggled with a long running time and an ending that left something to be desired. Interesting.
5. Taken: 7.4/10 (← →)
General consensus: A cult classic to some, and a passable nights entertainment to others.Taken remains a solid action film, with a great central performance from Liam Neeson, and with reasonable expectations Taken is a fine way to kill an hour and a half.
6. Oldboy (2013): 4.8/10 (← →)
General consensus: If ever you want to spark a debate among film fans then ask them their thoughts on a remake of a beloved classic. Oldboy 2013 seems to split people between those who have seen the original, and dislike the remake, and those who have viewed the remake without any prior knowledge of the 2003 original and can get a little more enjoyment out of it.