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Mikes Film Talk – Desert Island Films

 

Mike from MikesFilmTalk has kindly submitted his Desert Island Films. Read on for his choices and reasons, and be sure to check out his site.

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Desert Island Films is about choosing 8 films you would take if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and explaining your choices. They don’t necessarily have to be your favourites, just 8 films, no more or no less! You are also permitted to take one book and one novelty item which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.

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Mike’s Desert Island Films

1) The Searchers –This is my all-time favourite movie. As other folks have said, picking just eight has been torturous at best. I’ve probably seen this film at least a hundred times and I still never fail to get ‘choked-up’ at the ending. The story of Ethan Edwards, the ‘black sheep’ of the family who returns after the Civil War with a saddle bag full of gold to visit his brother and his family .Ethan is the outsider because he is from the family, but, not part of it. While he is out with other homesteaders chasing an Indian war party, they all realise too late that it was a diversion. He comes back to his brother’s ranch to find everyone dead except for niece Debbie and goes out to get her back. Far better writers than I, have talked about this Western classic. Wayne played a character that through most of the film is a racist, stubborn, and driven man. During the first half of the film you hope he finds Debbie (Natalie Wood). Later when you and his constant shadow Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) realise what Ethan will really do when he finds Debbie, you hope he doesn’t. This film never gets old and if I could only choose one film, it would be this one.

2) The Wild Bunch (Directors Cut) – I know, the first two are westerns! But I’ve had a love affair with this film since I first watched it on Saturday Night at the Movies when I was a kid. Violent bloody and iconic this movie showed the world how a western could and should be damn it. Sam Peckinpah’s autumnal western bad men all trying for that big score so they can retire from a world they don’t understand or fit in any more. I love the fact that the ‘outlaws’ have a better moral and ethical code than the ‘good guys’ and it’s this code that dictates their actions in the film. I also love how they all decide in the end to fight the Federales for Angel. The film also shows the ‘wild bunch’ as sad and slightly melancholic men who still like to laugh, drink and bed women. They realise that their time is almost up and they rush to get there. I am always slightly down after watching this one so I’ll need something a bit lighter to watch next.

3) Kick-Ass – This film never fails to make me laugh and cheer. The homage’s in the film are a treat, from the ‘Man with no name’ reference towards the end of the film, to the ‘Spiderman’ reference at the beginning. Matthew Vaughn’s take on the whole superhero genre is brilliant. He goes to great pains to show that if these people did exist in real life, they would be a little strange, definitely not normal and not a little psychopathic. Chloe Grace Moretz ‘kicks ass’ as Hit-Girl and Nicholas Cage’s send up of Adam West’s Batman is brilliant. I never tire of watching Big Daddy slaughter drug lord Frank D’Amico’s men in a slow almost balletic dance of death all to the overtures of the 28 Days Later film score (slightly amped up).

4) Little Miss Sunshine – The best ‘feel good film’ I know of. I can be in the very worst mood in the world and this film will chase it to the far corners of the earth. This dysfunctional family’s journey to the Little Miss Sunshine contest and their journey of discovery of becoming a supportive, loving family are touchingly brilliant. Each member of this ensemble film plays their acting instrument with the skill of a virtuoso. There are no sour notes here at all. I only have to hear the song Super Freak and I start chuckling.

5) Serenity – Like the cute little animal says in Madagascar, “I love this film, I love it so much, you hate it compared to me.” I could, though, skip all the film except for the bar scene where River (Summer Glau) destroys the bar and most of its inhabitants in what can only be described as a ballet of violence. I am also a Nathan Fillion fan-boy. Ever since he scared the crap out of me as the evil Caleb in Buffy, he’s been a firm favourite. So to recap: great film, great actors, great writer and director (Joss “Is Boss” Whedon).

6) Galaxy Quest  – “Well screw that!” Which is so obviously, not what she says. Kind of like the Youtube video ‘goat that yells like a man’ this just never gets old (thank you Justin Long for the tip about the goat btw). My daughter and I have watched this film so many times that we both have all the dialogue memorised. I know, I know, if I got the dialogue memorised why do I want to take it with me…I just do. Okay? Seriously, though. This is a hysterically funny film that not enough people know about. Want to see a room full of faces go blank? Mention this film, then recite some of the dialogue and while you are pissing yourself laughing, the folks in the room are tuning …you…out…I don’t know if it is more popular in the US but here in the UK its Galaxy what?

7) Ichi the Killer – I am a huge Takashi Miike fan-boy. It was a close tie between Ichi and Fudoh: the New Generation. Ichi just squeaked ahead of Fudoh and its rich picture of the underbelly of Japan. I am addicted to Ichi the Killer almost as much as Kakihara is addicted to pain in the film. This film is classic Takashi Miike, bucket loads of blood, over the top gore and violence that, were it not so overdone, could turn weak men’s stomachs. The film also has a sort of sly humour about it. I still remember watching this film for the first time and being so jazzed that I ran out and got the only other Takashi Miike film the shop had at the time. Yep you guessed it, Fudoh. I have since seen, if not all of his films, a good number of them.

8) Event Horizon – I had to think long and hard about this one. It is one of my favourite horror films. I love horror movies, but, I wasn’t sure if I wanted one that always scares the crap out of me on a deserted island. Finally I decided that, ‘Yeah, why the hell not? I mean I’m on an island, for crying out loud.” This film always makes me jump and want to turn on every damn light in the house after I’ve watched it. Great ensemble cast and the best haunted house story ever. Okay so the ‘house’ is a space ship, but boy does this ever work. Plus I adore Sean Pertwee. He has died, usually quite graphically and painfully, in every film I’ve ever seen him in, bar one. His death scene in Horizon is brilliant and probably the most ‘underplayed’ one he has ever done. Great stuff.

The Book – The Stand – I first got this book in a ‘Book of the Month’ special offer for members in 1979. I had never read anything of Kings before. The cover you see here is the one that was on the book. Despite this rather dubious advertisement of what the book might be about, I decided to read it. I’ve been reading it repeatedly since then. Kings near destruction of the human race is brilliant. He was the first author that I had ever read who let me see inside the head of every character. I got so attached to the gang of folks who wind up in Boulder, Colorado and fearfully take on the evil Randall Flagg. Captain Trips as it was called gave me nightmares for months after I read about the symptoms. This was, and still is, some epic scary shit. It is still my favourite King book (and I have many) and I never tire of reading it. I still prefer the ‘editor’s version’ over the re-released longer edition that King pushed for later. To me, it lacked the punch and the rhythm was a lot better in the first version of The Stand. Of course it could just be that I like the original because, by a fluke, I decided to read the ‘freebie’ that the book club sent me instead of just sending it back like I usually did.

Luxery Inanimate Item – This one was a ‘no brainer’ (well it’s only a ‘no brainer’ if I have a PS3 to play my DVD’s on) I would bring one video game as my luxury item. That game would be the second Uncharted. I still love the first one, of course, but the second one has so much more going on and it introduces Chloe. I could literally play that game for years while waiting to be rescued. *I know I won’t have too long to wait because my island has electricity to watch my films with. So naturally any planes that pass over will notice the light from my television screen and I’ll be taken off the island. So that’s it, unless it’s an island like the one in Lost. In that case I want a spear as my luxury item. For the polar bears…

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Thanks again to Mike for taking the time to join the prestigious Head In A Vice ”castaway” list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to this list, please drop me an email to – tysoncarter@hotmail.co.uk

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26 Comments

  1. By FAR The Best List I’ve Seen Here.
    I Can Totally Agree With Every Film Listed, Except For “Little Miss Sunshine” And That’s Only Because It’s Not My Kind Of Flick.
    Otherwise, SPOT ON, Dude!
    I’d Take All The Others To My Desert Island ANYDAY! 🙂
    -BRAD

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    • Agree, (apart from my list!) this is a great list. Also a lot of effort went into writing it.

      As for your own choices ‘Youjivinmeturkey’, please feel free to join in and submit one. Im sure everyone would love to see what you pick 🙂

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      • Sir, I Accept Your Challenge hehehe
        OMG, How Am I Supposed To Condense A Lifetime Of Movie Loving Into Just 8! Wow, This Is Gonna Be A Toughie. Should Be Fun Putting It Together, Though.
        I’ll Get Back With You, Sir. 😀

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  2. Thanks again for doing this Mike!! Anyone that chooses Ichi The Killer is cool in my book!!

    I actually gave Mike some ‘creative liberty’ with his luxury item……computer games would be declined normally, but Mike has had a bad couple weeks and I had to delay the posting of his list until he was better, so I feel like I’m giving something back by letting you sneak in a game buddy! Just this once, and only because it’s you! 🙂 Glad your on the mend my friend!

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    • This was great fun to write and it took me longer than I thought. Condensing the list down to 8 was a great challenge! Oh and there is no way that I could exist on a desert island with Old Ichi! 😉 Thanks again for asking me to participate in this cool feature. It was fun. Cheers mate!!

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      • Glad you enjoyed it! Yeah its tricky and a bit different at least to picking your favourites. Got to be stuff you could watch over and over.

        You’re more than welcome Mike, thanks again and nice to have you along with the other castaways!

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  3. The Searchers, Little Miss Sunshine and Galaxy Quest are all in our top half dozen. A couple, I’ve never heard of, so I’ll have to see if I can find them. I don’t think I am capable of picking one book, but I guess if I had to, it would be Lord of the Rings … the whole set, however. You can’t take just one! S.O.B., Sunset, Inherit the Wind, The Lion in Winter, The Seventh Seal, Rustler’s Rhapsody, anything by the Zucker brothers and/or Mel Brooks … So many films, so little time.

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    • Your pretty much on your way to picking your own list there, so why not go the whole way and become a castaway and let me post your list! Mike wont mind me recruiting people on his list Im sure! 🙂 If youre tempted let me know 😉

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    • I just did that annoying thing where you have spent 15 full minutes writing your reply only to do some stupid keyboard thing and send it into cyber oblivion. *Grumble* In a nut shell, super kudos for not only seeing Rustler’s Rhapsody, but having the good taste to admit it. Sadly the hilarious film is overlooked! 🙂

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  4. Serenity, I am a fan of mikes now 😀

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  5. Thomas Priday

     /  September 9, 2012

    Yep, The Searchers is up there with the best of the greatest films. John Ford, I salute you.

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  6. atothewr

     /  September 9, 2012

    Not so sure about Ichi, but I like the rest of the list especially The Wild Bunch and Serenity. I still don’t think Serenity got as much as it should have. Awesome movie, great list. Again, more King is always appreciated.

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  7. how much don’t I love Galaxy Quest, saw it on DVD couple of years ago just because it had Weaver and Kline there and thank god I did, have now shown it too most of my friends whom had never heard about it.

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  8. I’m very glad to see Event Horizon getting a mention here. Scary, scary movie.

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  9. Reblogged this on MikesFilmTalk and commented:
    Check out Tyson’s other Desert Island Film contributors! Cheers!

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  10. Awesome list! Some kick-ass (pun intended) picks right here! Absolutely love #3 and 4.

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  11. “5) Serenity – Like the cute little animal says in Madagascar, “I love this film, I love it so much, you hate it compared to me.” I could, though, skip all the film except for the bar scene where River (Summer Glau) destroys the bar and most of its inhabitants in what can only be described as a ballet of violence. I am also a Nathan Fillion fan-boy. Ever since he scared the crap out of me as the evil Caleb in Buffy, he’s been a firm favourite. So to recap: great film, great actors, great writer and director (Joss “Is Boss” Whedon).” – YES, YES, YES!!!

    Galaxy Quest – Have you played the drinking game? Every time Alan Rickman says “By the hammer of…” you drink!

    The Stand – I read it once a year. I never get tired of it. Speaking of, it’s fall so it’s almost time to read it again!

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