My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies

Happy Birthday to Tom Cruise, who turns 55 today. Wow… Does he ever age??

To be honest, I’m not a huge Tom Cruise fan. I mean, look at him in that photo up there… How annoying would it be to work with someone who goes around smiling like that? Can you imagine someone so goddamn happy sitting at the desk next to you?! Ugh. However, I have to say that I admire how Cruise treats his fans. He’s always happy to hang around & sign autographs and that’s cool. I hate stars who seem like conceited assholes in real life. He also seems to enjoy making movies and doing his own stunts and all that. So, yeah – I suppose he smiles like that because he does seem to be a pretty happy dude. Which is better than a grumpy famous person. I guess.

Anyway! I figured now would be a good time to finally do a list of My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies. He’s of course been in loads of films but he does a lot of action dramas, which aren’t really my type of thing. That’s why my number one was a huge surprise… His best movie in years & a genre I love! And number two deserves more credit – It’s a classic. I admit to needing to re-watch some of those outside of the top ten & they’d probably move up the list. How about I shut the hell up & do this list. Is Cruise still smiling like a loon in that photo up there…??

Here are My Top Ten Tom Cruise Movies, counting down to my favorite (ranked by film, not performance):

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

25. Tropic Thunder
24. Cocktail
23. Eyes Wide Shut
22. Born On The Fourth Of July
21. Days Of Thunder
20. Austin Powers In Goldmember
19. War Of The Worlds
18. The Firm
17. Interview With The Vampire
16. The Mission Impossible Films (Think I’ve only seen 1 or 2… Should re-watch & am sure they’d rank higher)
15. Legend (I’m lying. I barely remember this.)
14. Risky Business
13. Endless Love
12. Oblivion
11. Vanilla Sky

Top Ten:

10. A Few Good Men

9. The Color Of Money

8. Collateral

7. Magnolia

6. Jerry Maguire

5. Minority Report

4. The Outsiders

3. Rain Man

2. Top Gun

1. Edge Of Tomorrow

Some I’ve Not Seen:

Taps, Far And Away, The Last Samurai, Lions For Lambs, Valkyrie, Knight And Day, Jack Reacher, Rock Of Ages, The Mummy

(Is he still fucking smiling up there??)

My Top Ten Bill Paxton Movies

I was sad to hear of the death of Bill Paxton over the weekend. He has such an impressive movie resume! It’s funny how, even though he was only in very small roles at first, he still managed to be in so many beloved, kick-ass classics. Especially numbers one & two on my list… AWESOME films! It’s great that he ended up in bigger roles in things such as Twister & Apollo 13 but I’ll always first think of him as the lovably annoying Hudson in Aliens and as the hilarious asshole brother Chet in Weird Science.

I honestly thought I’d already done a Bill Paxton Top Ten list in the past as he’s been in several of my favorite movies but it looks like I never did. As always, I’ve ranked these in order from my least favorite to favorite movie as opposed to character role. So, in his memory, here are My Top Ten Bill Paxton Movies (counting down from 16 to include everything I’ve seen):

16. True Lies
15. Mighty Joe Young
14. Nightcrawler
13. Frailty
12. The Last Supper (but need to re-watch & refresh my memory, really)
11. Near Dark (also need to re-watch)

TOP TEN:

10. Commando

9. Twister

8. Streets Of Fire

7. Apollo 13

6. Predator 2

5. Titanic

4. Edge Of Tomorrow

3. Weird Science

2. The Terminator

1. Aliens

Seen But Don’t Remember:
Stripes
Indian Summer
U-571

Never Saw:
Navy Seals (Can you believe that, with my Michael Biehn crush??)
Brain Dead (I like the sound of this one…)
Tombstone
Boxing Helena
The Evening Star
A Simple Plan
Haywire
2 Guns

Finally, I think most people my age know that Bill Paxton directed & starred in the bizarre Barnes And Barnes “short film” video for the song Fish Heads.

In looking up his film credits, I noticed he was also in two other music videos. Love the Pat Benatar video for Shadows Of The Night! I’d forgotten about that video. I miss the “story” videos of the Eighties. Anyway – watch out for Paxton in a small role as a WWII baddie in that video. Also, he starred in New Order’s Touched By The Hand Of God, which I must admit I’d never seen. What a great, eclectic career. Bill Paxton will be missed.

R.I.P. William “Bill” Paxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017)

My Top Ten Emily Blunt Movies

Happy Birthday to Emily Blunt, who turns 34 today!

Yesterday I reviewed Sicario so I figured I’d do a list of My Top Ten Emily Blunt Movies since it’s her birthday today. And she’s a current favorite actress of mine (along with Amy Adams – how cool that they play sisters in one of the movies below?). Love these two and also love that they’re getting to play especially strong female characters in the past few years.

I’ve seen JUST enough Emily Blunt movies to make this list… I’ve seen 11 if I include two animated films she did voices for, including one that was an English dubbed version of a Japanese film. Know what? I’m going to TOTALLY CHEAT as I’ve not actually watched that dubbed version since I’m not a fan of English dubbing but I’m going to include the film on the list. Why? Because I HATED Into The Woods! I refuse to put it into a Top Ten! Plus the Japanese anime is a fantastic film (of course – it’s a Studio Ghibli). But I did still like Blunt in Into The Woods – she was one of the very few good things about it.

Here we go! Counting down to my favorite movie, not role, these are My Top Ten Emily Blunt Movies. Although my favorite role of hers is also in my favorite movie of hers…

**Updated March 12th 2017 to add The Jane Austen Book Club. It doesn’t make the Top Ten.**

11. The Jane Austen Book Club

TOP TEN:

10. Gnomeo & Juliet

9. Wind Chill

8. The Muppets

7. The Devil Wears Prada

6. Sunshine Cleaning

5. The Wind Rises

4. Looper

3. Sicario

2. The Adjustment Bureau

1. Edge Of Tomorrow

Some I’ve Not Seen (quite a few!):

My Summer Of Love
Charlie Wilson’s War
Dan In Real Life
The Young Victoria
The Five-Year Engagement
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
The Girl On The Train (I’ll watch this even though I pretty much hated the book)

My Top Ten Movies Of 2014

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So yesterday I posted My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2014 (you can see that list HERE). I often like the movies I watch at home each year even more than the ones I see in the cinema (theater, you Americans!). However, 2014 was actually a pretty damn good year for movies.

Here are My Top Ten Movies Of 2014 counting down from ten to one. Remember I’m in the UK so these go by UK release date – I’m aware a few of these were 2013 in America. Dammit – I hate when America gets stuff before us! At least we’re getting most of the Marvel stuff first, I guess. 😛 I wrote a bit about each movie in my last list but I’ve not had time for this one – I’ve reviewed them all anyway if you want to click the links to see what I had to say about any of them. 🙂

10. I Origins

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9. Under The Skin

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8. Boyhood

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7. The Babadook

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6. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

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5. The Lego Movie

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4. Edge Of Tomorrow

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3. Her

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2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

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1. The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Honorable Mentions:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dallas Buyers Club
Gone Girl

You can see my full, sad, ranked list of movies watched in 2014 HERE. 🙂

Edge Of Tomorrow (2014) Review

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Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)

Directed by Doug Liman

Based on All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Starring:
Tom Cruise
Emily Blunt
Bill Paxton
Brendan Gleeson
Kick Gurry
Dragomir Mrsic
Charlotte Riley
Jonas Armstrong
Franz Drameh
Masayoshi Haneda
Tony Way
Noah Taylor

Running time: 113 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Groundhog Day. With aliens. And Tom Cruise.

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My Opinion:

I mentioned at The IPC (in this post HERE) that I went to see four movies the other day. Yes, I was at the cinema for, like, ten hours. No, I don’t normally do that. Yes, I do think it was a little insane. 😉

This is what I saw: Godzilla, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Edge Of Tomorrow, and A Million Ways To Die In The West. Well, Edge Of Tomorrow is easily the best of these. And this is coming from someone who is Anti-Cruise and his Tom Cruise-y acting. He’s too Tom Cruise-y! (Which was also my main in-depth argument in my review for Oblivion).

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Well, I may have wished that this movie had starred someone else but it’s still a pretty damn good piece of sci-fi anyway. Yes, it really is Groundhog Day with aliens but, hey – what crazy person doesn’t like Groundhog Day? And Alien & Aliens are two of the absolute best movies EVER so, really, it’s a recipe for success.

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And while the story sounds convoluted (I’ve not gone into a full plot synopsis as I know some people don’t like to know too much), it’s actually done really well in the film and doesn’t get confusing. In fact, I found X-Men: Days Of Future Past far more convoluted (and slightly disappointing). I’m not one of those types to dig for plot holes but it feels like this one would actually stand up to close scrutiny. It felt a bit like Looper if Looper had been a little more straight forward (I suppose the Emily Blunt connection made me keep thinking of that one throughout this movie). But Edge Of Tomorrow is better – I thought it had a very solid plot that’s less complex than you’d think, which is actually nice for a change in a world (I just heard that movie trailer guy’s voice in my head – “in a world…”) where too many sci-fi movies try to be something like Inception and most fail miserably, just giving us a mess of a plot.

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As always, the things I care most about in a movie are story & characters. Luckily, the characters are just as strong as the plot (especially Emily Blunt, who is fabulous in this and SUCH a great character). I was going to go on & on about her in this review but, instead, I highly recommend you read this piece by Mike over at Screenkicker: Full Metal Bitches. It’s an excellent write-up about the lack of decent female characters in action films these days & how right Edge Of Tomorrow gets Blunt’s character. She’s tough yet feminine, she’s intelligent, she’s… Fully clothed! She kicks ass but feels more “real” than Ripley or Sarah Connor (not that I’m complaining about those two because those two RULE!). Anyway – just read what Mike wrote. Oh, and you can also read his Edge Of Tomorrow review HERE. 🙂

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As for Tom Cruise-y Tom Cruise… Well, he’s good in this. He does so many similar roles and especially loves his sci-fi but, for once, this felt like a slightly different character for him, especially at the beginning. I can’t really fault his performance and I suppose he can’t help the fact that he’s Tom Cruise. As for the other characters, they seemed to be trying to make the soldiers similar to those in Aliens (I mean, hell – Bill Paxton was even used!). At one point Paxton’s character was like “Game over, man! Game over! I’d like to butter your muffin!” (Okay – that didn’t happen. But it should have). This mostly works but not QUITE. I appreciate the effort, though, as I think Aliens has one of best groups of characters so it’s natural to want a similar thing here. I’d actually have liked to see a little more of the soldiers in Edge Of Tomorrow – believe it or not, they provide some comic relief. But in a good way. One of the most surprising things about this movie was that there were bits of humor scattered throughout and it worked just fine. Hell, even Tom Cruise had a couple funny bits!

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Summary:

Yeah – I could ramble on more but I think it’s time I wrap this up as I’ve said all there really is to say. This is a solid sci-fi film with a strong plot that doesn’t get all convoluted. The characters are great, especially Emily Blunt in a role that female (and male) sci-fi fans will be happy to see (yes, there are plenty of female sci-fi fans – it’s time Hollywood realizes this). Oh! And I suppose I’ve not even mentioned that the aliens look really good and are pretty cool and the action scenes are great. Edge Of Tomorrow is a good piece of sci-fi action and I definitely recommend it to fans of this genre.

My Rating: 8/10

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