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The Green Mile

A powerful Death Row Drama
So much has been written about this film that I can't be bothered to add to it!

What I will say is that this film tugs at every emotion: pity, humour, horror, love, dignity, pride, loyalty - it has the lot.

As soon as you see Tom Hanks is in the film, you know that you are in for a sentimental ride. But, as was the case with Forest Gump, it is not always a happy one. The supporting cast were all superb as well, and have been rightly acclaimed. Top marks to Doug Huthinsons Percy and Micahel Duncans' John Cofe, but is unfair to all the others to single any one out.

Those who have seen the film will have found that the three hours seemed a lot less than James Camerons mid Atlantic romp on the Titanic. And there is that one scene that we will all remeber for a long time! Suddenly, crispy fried bacon for breakfast doesn;t seem such a good idea!

One of Toms best films for a long time - probably since Gump

The Sound Barrier

An evocative look at British inventive genius
This black and white early 50s movie shows crusty Britain at its stiff upper lip best. It is the story of mans obsession with speed, and a ruthless plane makers ambition to succeed in building a supersonic jet. Richardson plays the tycoon whose dream kills his son and son-in-law, but who finally sees the error of his ways and whose daughter returns to the cold family home with his grandson.

The film is also a vehicle to show the world Britain's proud lead in jet technology. There is a classic sequence in the film where the happy daughter and son-in-law deliver a De Havilland Vampire jet fighter to Egypt. They set off at breakfast time in England and hurtle over the English Channel, the Alps, Ancient Greece and the Pyramids before arriving in at the airfield. Of course we take this for granted now, but 47 years ago this was unheard of. The director contrasts the old ruins and remains of our ancient ancestors with the marvel of the modern age: the jet plane.

The film also introduced THE marvel of the early fifties, the De Havilland Comet jet liner. This beautiful but flawed machine was in service SIX years before any other jet liner and for a while, the world rushed to De Havillands, and Britains door. For two years the worldwide fleet gave the travelling of the future.

In every other way this is an eccentrically English film with creaky old houses, cottages with roses around the door and eccentric engineers. Shout in glorious black and white it conveys a sense of wonder and optimism in the future, whilst being thoroughly old fashioned

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Simply the best of a clutch of 80s teen movies
In the 70s, it was cool for directors to look back to earlier times to create feel good films - Grease, American Graffiti being examples.#

John Hughes took a different approach in the 80s. His films were about the 80s and its values. As someone who was 18 in 1985, these films mean a lot to me. They sum up the work hard play hard ethic. Except Ferris Bueller - he worked smart and played hard.

Ferris Bueller was how we all wanted to be. The guy could bluff his way out of any situation. He had a gorgeous girlfriend, a best friend who idolised him, and access to a Ferrari. In order to cheer up said best friend, he decides to take the day off and show him the outside world. Of course he is being pursued along the way by school principal.

The film is witty, artistic (compared to others in the genre), has a great 80s sound track, and really does capture the mood of the times.

The funniest character in my opinion is the nutty secretary at the high school. This actress (who played Eunice in Whats up Doc) should have got an oscar. Her 'righteous dude' and 'horses ass' lines crack me up every time (if you want to here them, visit the Ferris Bueller Web Site)

The Towering Inferno

A star studded disaster extravaganza who will live? who will die?
As a child I remember visiting London just as Towering Inferno was about to open. There was so much hype in every theatre and booking office. And I couldn't see it as I was only seven. So I had to make do with Peter Pan instead.

Previous movies such as Airport and the Poseidon Adventure had laid the way for the diaster genre. But Irwin Allen outdid himself with this classic action movie. I can't recall seeing more stars in one film. As with all diaster movies, this was crucial, because the plots were usually humdrum. You had to enjoy the special effects and relish the spectacle of you favourite star being killed to get throught them

I love cliches in this film eg Paul Newman to Robert Wagner - "We almost had a fire" Robert Wagner - "What, in this building"

William Holden to Paul Newman "There is no way a fire can go from 83 to 138. Not in this building. Now come on down and enjoy the party"

At the end of the day what makes this film watchable over & over is not the plot. It isn't even the special effects. It is that the greatest cast ever assembled putting there all into it, and that's Hollywood.

Oh, and I guess in the back of everyone's mind is that lurking fear that it easily happen to them. Inferno was, and still is the greatest action film with a feasible plot.

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