From a film analysis point-of-view, Koyaanisqatsi is a very difficult film to criticise because it has no plot, characters or setting. Instead, the film is composed of shots of the world pieced together in a surreal manner, which results in an engorging tale of apartheid and discord. In the film, it starts off very nicely with some high-altitude mountain shots but inevitably transitions to logging and excavation then finally city life and machinery. This is done purposefully to illustrate the title which means "Life out of balance" in native american. The music for the film, composed by Philip Glass; is by far on par with the cinematography in terms of quality and depth, complementing the film perfectly. I liked the music so much that I am in fact the proud owner of a 5.1, 24-bit lossless release of the original soundtrack! I have rated this film so highly because I think it goes far beyond what any other film has ever done.
Ever since I was a child, I always preferred to watch foreign films instead of whatever happened to be showing at my local cinema, this was for two main reasons: one; I always felt that films in a different culture/language could provide an alternate viewpoint to an issue, which I think is quite important, and two; I believe that most new (English) films are quite bland and boring (with the exception of one or two films each year). In 2010 I found I prefer the Crime genre of film the most because they tend to have excellent acting, I also found the same held for Drama films, so when I found Memories of Murder on the internet, I immediately acquired it and viewed it as soon as possible. What I saw was an epic on a minor scale featuring two dumb detectives bumbling their way through a series of murders in a small korean town, with a mentally handicapped person as the only known lead. As the film progresses you see every attempt made by the detectives to solve the case ruined in some way or another until the second-to-last scene in which a showdown takes place [SPOILER ALERT]. I particularily enjoyed this film because of the pace and the ending, which I think has topped any film I have seen to date.
I have heard that the book which this film was based on was just as good if not better than the film, so it seems the film has faithfully adapted the book to cinema. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a psychadelic romp through las vegas with a reporter writing about drug abuse and his dodgy attorney. The film features a continuous monologue from the writer (played by Johnny Depp [excellent choice of actor]) whom is constantly under the influence of at least one drug, and film has been set to accurately portray this. Something I noticed from the moment they get into Vegas is how detailed everything is, I have watched the film about 4 times and I keep seeing new things, which makes the movie very fun to watch. The acting by Depp is also perfect for the role and would keep me entertained if it was just him rambling (which it is for most of the film). I'm sure this film would be excellent to watch whilst under the influence of drugs as well, I'll note.
Action, Science, Fantasy, Drama and a good plot; Cyberpunk anime film AKIRA has everything I've ever wanted to see in an animated film, however I should note that Ghost in The Shell 2: Innocence almost won this title too! Akira is a dystopian anime film about a young guy named Kaneda and his involvement with a scientific research group investigating a phenomena known as ``Akira''. It is my favourite animated film because of the attention to detail and the art style, but the voice acting is very quite impressive too, even in the English dub! It is also worth noting that this film was the first mainstream anime film that was popular in the western world. I recommend this to anyone who has not seen an anime film before and wishes to experience it.
City of God is a baseline film with excellent cinematography and an engaging setting. It is about two young men growing up in a slum city in Rio De Janeiro and their lives thereafter. I particularily like this film because it so engaging to watch, not to mention the visually perfect scenes which make you feel as if you are there. I noticed that this film was particularily popular with my friends, probably not because of the somewhat flat plot, but because it relies on un-guessable circumstance which keeps you entertained very easily. This does not detract the quality of the film however, which is unusual. Excellent replayability.
Out of all the films here, this film is the hardest for me to evaluate, the reason being that Solyaris is a very personal film, in the sense that the director intended for you to decide on what aspects of the film meant whichwhat [sic] and what the overall message was intended to be. I think that the strongest point of this film was the particular message which it gave relating to expansion of earth into space colonies (but I will not disclose my thoughts on it as so to not ruin the plot). I would also say the cinemography of this film is probably the best out of all the films listed here. So I will summarise by saying that Solyaris is not worth writing about, but worth watching instead.
(it should be noted that I have only seen the Final Cut release of this film otherwise it may not have made it onto this list)
I read the book which this film was based on (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) after I saw the film and I wholeheartedly think that the film has done an excellent job of adapting an already fantastic book into a great film. Blade Runner is about a man named Rick Deckard who works as a Blade Runner, which means his job is to kill Replicants (a type of humanoid) which have gone rogue. One thing I love about this film is how futuristic yet familiar the settings feel; it is set in future Los Angeles (2040 if I recall correctly) and it has many cyberpunk elements which make it very engrossing. I also think that the acting by Harrison Ford was top-notch in terms of portraying the man which I read from the book as a character in a film. There is also the possibility that Deckard is a replicant and the other cop is his owner which makes the film all the more fascinating to watch.
Do I really need to explain this one?
I love cyberpunk, crime and dark fantasy films, so it should come as no surprise that Pan's Labyrinth is in my favourites list. Pan's Labyrinth is a fantasy film about a girl living in 1944 war-torn spain named Ofelia, whom has recently moved with her mother to a military outpost in the mountains to accompany her father who is a captain of the area. The film is such that I can't talk about the plot in much detail without giving too much away, so I will say that it is much like a fairytale but quite sad. The film has notably good acting and uses certain plot devices (see: the rule of three) which make the film all the more enjoyable and help to make it feel more like a fantasy.
I originally watched this film in 2006, forgot most of it, then read the comics, then watched the film again. I also watched the uncut version (which goes for 30 minutes longer!) and I must say that the action and the visuals remain constant and excellent throughout the film and comics. Sin City was purposefully done to mimic the style of the comics (sharp black/white contrasts, monotones) and executed it perfectly. The result is a high-action ``fast'' film with a fairly basic plot but not over-the-top like Crank: High Voltage. The soundtrack is also excellent.