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Picture the scene, your author here gets kidnapped by an angry band of disagreeable movie bloggers and left for dead on a remote Desert Island. After 3 months of living off of tree bark and spring water he finds a rusty old lamp, tries to polish it up and WHAM – out pops a Genie. “Oh great one” Says the Genie, stretching, and giving his balls a seriously overdue scratch “You have awoken me from a 10,000 year slumber, and while I’m eternally grateful my wife will be pissed so I need to nip off home and do some washing up. Quickly, tell me eight things you would like…”

After a short think Paul replies. “I’ll have a solar-powered hot tub, an everlasting bottle of chilled Dos Equis, a bottomless bag of hot McChicken Sandwiches and the five most attractive Swedish female volleyball players the history books will ever see”

Fast-forward 25 years and Paul’s getting old, terminally jaded, has serious weight issues, no sexual boundaries left, alcoholism and 5 moody women / 47 unwanted children running around. He yearns to re-live the days where he sat around watching movies all day without a care in the world. It’s even more annoying that he found a 50″ TV and DVD player under a rock some 24 years ago… If he could go back to that fateful day and ask for eight of his finest movies, he would have probably said…

1) BASEketball: This film never fails to make me laugh. Watched it dozens of times growing up, know the script inside out and will never get bored of this. Anything featuring the minds behind Airplane! The Naked Gun and South Park is a surefire winner. Best Scene: pretty much every psyche-out

2) Kill Bill I:
nothing comes closer to filling a man’s insatiable lust for a great revenge tale like Tarrantino’s first Kill Bill Movie. With an epic story and more action than you could shake a stick at. Everything about this is textbook cool. Best Scene: House of Blue Leaves showdown.

3) Goodfellas: one of the best movies ever made and definitely the best gangster film. Screw the Godfather Trilogy, this is where it’s at. Diamond cast and technically it’s still one of the slickest films out there. Best Scene: Shoe Shine / In What Way Am I Funny?

4) Happiness: Every single subject brought up in this film is totally wrong. Rape, paedophilia, sodomy, abuse, massacre, masturbation… yet Todd Solondz manages to make this one of the most unforgettable black comedies known to man. Best scene: Seymour Hoffman’s phone manner.

5) Love Me If You Dare:
outstanding French movie about a life-long romance that starts off brilliantly but strains with age. Guillaume Canet and Marion Cotillard set the screen on fire long before they were household names. Best scene: the dares in school.

6) Oldboy: Korean masterpiece that’s just too damn good to never see again for the rest of your life. Everything about it is just stunning. Best scene: the single-take corridor fight.

7) The Wire: bit of a cheat here but seeing as I rate this higher than any film I’ve seen to date I’d love nothing more than to have the free time to watch it again, and again, and again. Best Scene: Omar, Stringer Bell and Brother Mouzone in the empty building.

8) Swedish Nymph Volleyball Milfs Go Wild*: On a practical note, any red-blooded male’s going to need some company until he’s rescued, dies or tries to escape!

Click here to see the full list of everyone’s Desert Island DVDs

Note: now you know why this isn’t a creative writing blog… *May not be a real movie, but you get the picture!

Kill Bill Vol 2: (Blu Ray) retribution continues at a slower pace as the back story is given more attention. This installment starts off as it means to continue, totally rip-off retro: effects, music, voiceovers, homage, etc. The story’s very strong until the last 45 minutes when it grinds to a halt, feeling drawn out with heavy conversation and that stupid truth serum. I’m not a huge fan of Tarantino’s ‘natural dialogue’. It’s not Kevin Smith bad but still quite annoying, and it really bogs down the end of Vol 2… On the upside there’s still some great cinema to be had; parts like the blacked out buried alive scene utilising big sounds to strike fear in to you are movie gold. The acting is top notch again, from Uma through to the let-himself-go Bud, sharp-as-ever Bill and the (still) foxy Elle Driver – it helps that all characters get good screen time to develop. The Blu Ray is absolutely stunning; close-up skin, face, hair and clothing detail will blow you away – even in the intentionally grainy Pai Mei scenes. The sound’s also fantastic, again making it worth the upgrade. It’s definitely the weaker stand-alone film, but when viewed back to back with Vol 1 it’s a great conclusion to one of the most epic revenge tales committed to celluloid!

Score: 7/10

Kill Bill Vol 1: (Blu Ray) a former assassin and her nearest & dearest are murdered; she survives and sets out for revenge – big time. Although his style’s not for everyone this Tarantino flick works the audience like no other. It has style in excess as it flips between live action and anime, the past and present, colour and B&W, tranquility and hyper violence… There’s also a load of retro & chic elements such as the unnecessary censorship of The Bride’s name, yellow jumpsuits, and who doesn’t wiggle their big toe when Uma wills herself on? With all the style, story, great soundtrack and violence it’s easy to overlook Uma’s talent, covering everything between ‘broken woman’ to ‘superwoman’ without raising a single doubt.  It’s very heavy on the homage, but doesn’t take itself seriously – what with the limbs flying everywhere as the bride breakdances with a sword in hand! The trademark unnecessarily long dialogue is toned down a bit and the middle part with Hattori Hanzo feels a tad stretched. The music builds up so much tension before the fight scenes and technically the film’s outstanding: the swooping single shot between the main room and toilets (twice!) in the House of Blue Leaves seems effortless. The consistently vibrant picture and near-flawless audio on this Blu Ray make it 100% worth the upgrade. If a gravity-defying swordswoman hacking and shooting her way through dozens of bodies is your thing, then look no further than this. Perhaps one of the best action films, ever.

Score: 9/10

As the year/decade draws to a close I thought it’d be interesting to see which films have left the biggest impression on me. Naturally, I didn’t catch every film released over the past ten years but here’s my personal top ten:

1) Oldboy: 2003 – South Korea
2) Amores Perros: 2000 – Mexico
3) Mystic River: 2003 – America
4) A Bittersweet Life: 2005 – South Korea
5) Children of Men: 2006 – UK
6) Kill Bill Vol 1: 2004 – America
7) Together 2000 – Sweden
8) No Country For Old Men 2007 – America
9) 3:10 to Yuma 2007 – America
10) Battle Royale 2000 – Japan

I’d also give the following an honourble mention: Memento, The Fall, Intacto, Infernal Affairs, The Woodsman, Bourne Ultimatum, District 9, 3-Iron, Brick, Eternal Sunshine, Primer, Lilya-4-Ever, In Bruges, City of God, Love Me If You Dare

Just realised that they’re almost all action/dramas. Weird.