Desert Island Classics – Movie Review World


Whilst I eagerly await your blogathon entries (please feel free to join in, click HERE for details), I wanted to shine some light on my long running Desert Island Films series, and more importantly the people who joined in and made it so much fun to do. I am therefore randomly visiting the archives and re-posting a few of the lists with some added kind words. I present to you; Desert Island Classics…… You may have read all of the lists so far, but I hope you won’t mind seeing a few of them again, and who knows, you may even find some new blogs to read.

At number 86 on my list was Allan from Movie Review World. He runs one of the best looking and most complete sites out there, offering everything from reviews and news to festival coverage and interviews. Allan is a fantastic writer and has been hugely influential in a new upcoming venture of mine so I’m forever grateful to his expertise. So please, read on for his film choices, and more importantly go now and check out his magnificent site. You won’t regret it.


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.


Allan from Movie Review World


So here I am, washed up and alone on a desert island, but what survival materials have I managed to scrape together during the ensuing panic of my ship going down, I hear you cry? Ehh… 8 DVDs and a book of course! I suppose it could be worse. I mean, I might have brought something really daft like rope, a blanket or something totally out there like some water. But with me, it’s all about priorities. Anyways, as I count down the days to my extremely short life expectancy, I have the following films to take the edge of my rapidly approach fate. Here are my 8 films and the reasons I choose them……over anything else.

1: Carlito’s Way


Carlito’s Way was and still is a hugely underrated film. It’s accentually a character study of a man trying to do the right thing in a world that refuses to allow him. Although the films linear structure is nothing new and its narrative relatively simple, Brian De Palma has managed to create fascinating characters that are anchored by truly wonderful performances from both Al Pacino and Sean Penn. The film is full of dramatic tension and the climatic cat and mouse set piece is that of cinema gold. Truly a master-class in filmmaking.

Carlito’s way is one of my 8, beacause if I didn’t get my quarterly fix Id likely explode, and nobody needs self-detonation to add to their list of worries on a desert island.

2: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


This is another film that I never tire of seeing. From the creative mind of Charlie Kaufman comes this emotionally charged, thought provoking love story that not only puts a fresh and unique spin on the genre, but presents Jim Carey as the multi faceted actor we always knew was hiding behind that idiotic, rubber face façade.

3: The Shining

the shining

Stanley Kubrick….What more can I say? The man remains one of the finest directors in film history. Each film pushed the boundaries of the medium and inspired many a would be film maker. The Shining is just one of my many favourite Kubrick films; each scene is multilayered offering endless interpretations, inspiring new possibilities with each viewing. The performances are magnetising and each scene including the soundtrack feels like a hypnotic voyage that we the audience pursue, despite the ever increasing sense of foreboding round every corner.

The Shining is on my list as its not only one of my favourite movies, but one that will keep me busy studying and deciphering its true meaning…forever!

4: There Will Be Blood

there will be blood

There Will Be Blood is a film that screams Masterpiece to me. The ambition, detail, set-production and vision by Paul Thomas Anderson are truly mesmerising and executed within an inch of its life. He has proved himself as one of the finest director of his generation, an auteur, a modern Kubrick and with each new offering he seems to raise the bar higher and higher? With There Will Be Blood, he effortlessly creates characters and landscapes so rich in detail you’d think they were real.

It is a film about greed, ambition and human nature in all its guises and is set against the backdrop of the oil boom in 19th century America. The tour de force that is Daniel Day Lewis absolutely smashes the role in every way possible. He is absolutely enthralling and unnerving to watch from start to finish. I’m not sure I can even fault this film…for me it’s close to perfection and it’s on my list for the simple fact, I bloody love it.

5.The Road


I read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and it left me it bits. I then went to see John Hillcoat’s film adaptation and despite certain reservations, it too left me in bits…..This was all in the space of a week and a half and as a result I was left as a shell of a man. So why am I bringing it to my new isolated hell I hear you ask. Because it is perhaps one of the most emotionally powerful films I have ever seen. Plus, everyone needs to let it out every now and again……right?

The films main theme is about that unbreakable bond between a father and son. This is a strong theme and something that will resonate with every man. The post apocalyptic landscape which now encompasses them is lawless, barren and filled with amoral danger at every turn. Survival by any means is the only way. However, what strikes so hard with The Road is the fathers unflinching determination of parental duty, teaching his son right from wrong and good from bad in a world that no longer lives by these basic rules of humanity. The chemistry and relationship between Viggo Mortessen and Kodi Smit-McPhee is so strikingly real that they draw you into their plight almost immediately. Director John Hillcoat has you in the palm of his hand the entire time and while the journey has its moments of drama and tensions it is ultimately the character that shape and elevate the film to a whole new level.

6: Jaws


The movie Jaws needs no introduction as it is perhaps one of the most recognised films in history. It not only gave birth to the summer blockbuster grossing over 400 million dollars, but catapulted the young Steven Spielberg to international fame.

The film is part thriller, part action adventure and its switch in style half way through is nothing short of genius on Spielberg’s part. The cast are all note perfect in their respective roles, but as we all know, the shark is the real star of the show. Although ‘Bruce’ is rarely seen, his presence is felt through John Williams iconic musical score – and it still sends a cold shiver down my spine each time I hear it.

Jaws is on my list as not only is it perhaps one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, but it’s a sobering and effective reminder not to go into the water that surrounds my Desert Island.

7: Cast Away


Cast Away is a film I have watched tirelessly since its release. Above anything else is a personal study of self discover. Tom Hanks beautifully portrays the character of Chuck Noland through all the stages of his journey, from the initial panic of being stranded, to his then breakdown, before the acceptance and realisation that he is alone and finally to self preservation and self dependency. By the end he learns who he truly is and to watch this character develop through all his stages of grief in the film is a marvel to the acting ability of Tom Hanks.

The film is directed by the steady hand of Bob Zemekis’s and his visual style is honest and restraint in what is a multilayered, emotional experience everytime.

Surely I don’t need to spell it out why I brought this film along?

8: The Thin Red Line


Terrance Malick is a director whose pictures are rather like Marmite, you either hate them, or you love them. For me, it’s the latter. Like Kubrick, Malick has his own unique style and is said to shoot in very unorthodox ways. For example, he will explain the tone of a certain scene to his actors before filming them continuously for hours and hours until he gets the one shot he is looking for. His aim? For his actors not to force an emotion or be caught up with lines in the script, but rather he wants his actors to feel the real thing, and so films them tirelessly until that very emotion is caught naturally on camera. Accentually, he doesn’t want his actors acting; instead he wants create the most emotionally natural film he can, every single time.

The Thin Red Line is one of Malicks larger productions and whilst its huge cast may give the impression of a large scale picture, it is in-fact one of his most beautifully shot, deeply moving and intimate portals of war I have ever seen in a motion picture. It is as stunning as it is heartbreaking.



The book I have chosen to bring along is the SAS Surival Handbook. It does exactly what it says on the tin and is full of step by step instructions from trapping animals to collecting water. This coupled with the excellent CAST AWAY on dvd, has to be a winner.

Luxury Item:

paul daniels magic

I was first going to choose Paul Daniels Magic Set as my novelty item, as like the Genie in the lamp, it pretty much means you get what you want, everytime. But then I remembered if you lose the instruction manual you’re pretty much screwed, and on a desert Island that is quite likely to happen, therefore I was forced to choose….A hunting knife with a handy Flint attached. DONE!

hunting knife with flint



Thanks again to Allan for taking the time to join the prestigious castaway list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to THIS LIST, please drop me an email to –


Leave a comment


  1. As I said last time and many times since, despite what they say you’re a decent man Allan. Thanks for joining my project and all your other help. And every list should have The Shining on. It will forever remind me of my daughter as I was due to go see it on a special Halloween cinema screening until she arrived on the same day (ruining my cinema viewing) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the kind words Mr Carter. Furthermore, I absolutely loved taking part in your ‘Desert Island Film Series’. Its such a simple, yet great concept. As for the arrival of the wee one ruining your cinema viewing, never let her forget it!! 😛 Keep up the good work bud and I look forward to the launch of your new venture.


      • Yeah I mean obviously I stole it from the music version but it seems to have gone down well with the film bloggers and I’m so glad I started it. All types of bloggers and non bloggers have participated so it’s been a pleasure to host it.

        And this Halloween the same cinema is showing the shining again so unless my wife’s hiding something very well no child birth can stop me this year 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Garry Armstrong

           /  August 4, 2014

          I like Allan’s list. “Jaws” is a personal favorite because I covered the location shooting on Martha’s Vineyard and have some back stories. The knife is also great. If you’re a fan of “NCIS” as we are here, you know that’s Gibbs’ rule #9. “Always carry a Knife”. Look forward to seeing more of the Desert Island all stars.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You will be getting featured on the ‘classics’ here very soon Garry 🙂


  2. A really good choice of movies but I’m far more impressed with that knife!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom

     /  August 1, 2014

    Some very great choices here man! Can’t argue with a one of them. I think the only one I’d leave off, personally, would be Cast Away. It’s just. . . .too soon man, too soon. . . that situation would drive me mad on an island. Of course, I could pick up some tips as to how to keep myself occupied on very boring days. lol


  4. Niiiiiiiiiiccccceeeee.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Otaku Judge

     /  August 2, 2014

    That book would certainly come in handy when trapped on an island.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I get that feeling with There Will Be Blood too. The film carries an aura of authentic importance and true craftsmanship. Great to see The Road on your list too – for once, both book and film complement each other equally. Awesome list!


    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree. Although there is a clear distinction between the book and its film adaptation (The Road), I think its one of those rare circumstances were, instead of one being a better than the other, they compliment each other to offer a more comprehensive experience. Cheers Adam


  7. LOVE The Thin Red Line, perhaps one of my faves from Malick. It’s one of the more emotionally engaging war films as it’s less about the battles but more about the soldiers’ psyche.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to see a fellow fan. I love Malicks work as you can probably tell and The Thin red Line is no exception. Such power, poignance and emotional weight to every scene. Its just a shame it leaves me an emotional carcass after every viewing.



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