A-Z Film Challenge: Day Thirteen


The letter ‘M’, and halfway through. Time for some thoughts about spending thirteen days coming up with a post on the same subject. They are nearly all positive, you might be surprised to hear. By my standards, views of the posts have been spectacular, averaging well over 200 a day. Visitors have also increased by around 20%, and many new followers have arrived too. After spending so much time on this project, that level of interest is rewarding indeed. I have greatly enjoyed the numerous comments that this topic has generated too.

I might never do another challenge though! 🙂

On to the films, and my choices for ‘M’. Once again, I have already decided well in advance which one is deserving of my top pick, so it’s up to you to add your own choices. ‘M’ films are numerous indeed, and many popular ones will be glaringly obvious. So…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Twelve


The letter ‘L’ seems to be admired by many film makers. The choice of film titles beginning with that letter is huge. No surprise, when you consider that it allows the use of all possible derivations of the words ‘Love’, ‘Long’, and ‘Luck’. My first shortlist was still over thirty films, and I considered doing a double post for this one. As it turned out, my top choice remained unchanged, and I decided to focus on some of the least well-known options for my other suggestions, to leave you free to romp all over the many on offer.

My first choice is an historical drama starring Johnny Depp. (No, nothing to do with Pirates…) I like his style, though not that many of his films. This one is an exception, and should have won him a house full of awards. In many ways, he was born to portray the real-life…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Ten


Not even half way through, and up to the letter ‘J’. Choices are a little thinner on the ground here, but I have still found a few good ones to select, and my top choice is already definite.

Starting with a fantasy film from my youth, ‘Jason and The Argonauts’ (1963) was made before CGI had ever been imagined, and special effects had to be contrived using small models, and stop-motion animation. This ancient tale of a band of Greek warriors setting sail into the unknown in search of the legendary Golden Fleece, was brought to the screen with a solid cast, and the special talents of model maker Ray Harryhausen. Who can forget the ‘army of skeletons’, or the immense metal statue of ‘Talos’? This is an all-action film, beautifully made, that still holds up in the 21st century. Stirring stuff!

I have yet to see ‘The Revenant’, but…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Nine


After a quiet weekend, time to get on with it, and the letter ‘I’. Lots to choose from here, with all those ‘Is’ and ‘Its’. I have left out plenty of films for you to consider, so please add your personal choices in the comments.

I am starting with a sumptuous classic from Douglas Sirk. ‘Imitation of Life’ (1959) is a treat for the eyes, and tackles an issue, as Sirk usually does. This time it is Racism, and attitudes to colour and race in 1950s America. The lovely Lana Turner stars, alongside memorable performances from Juanita Moore, and Sandra Dee. Despite the soap-opera feel, this was an important film, and dealt with sensitive issues that are still relevant as I type this. As always, Sirk delivers with a colour palette, and performances from the leads that will stay in your memory. A similar theme, adding powerful performances from Rod…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Eight

This series is fabulous and I’m adding hugely to my Netflix list.


Published a day early, as I am busy tomorrow.

Has it only been eight days, and up to the letter ‘H’? It feels like a life’s work already, and I have gained a new admiration for those bloggers who regularly take on such challenges. I note that views have reduced considerably over the weekend, so I hope that this long slog doesn’t become too tiresome for you all.

Nobody mentioned ‘Gandhi’ (1982) yesterday, one that I deliberately left off. Ben Kingsley gave an amazing performance in the title role, and that epic film won 8 Oscars, and 27 other international awards. Has it been forgotten, I wonder?

I am starting today with a great crime thriller from director David Cronenberg. Central performances of considerable strength take a well-worn theme up to a new level in ‘A History of Violence’ (2005).
It received an Oscar nomination, and it’s easy to see…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Seven


A quiet Sunday in Beetley, and time for the letter G. There are not as many ‘G’ films as you might expect, but many of them are so good, choosing a selection is as hard as ever. Don’t forget to add your own selections in the comments. I have deliberately omitted some well-known ones, just as a test!

‘G’ starts off with two modern gangster films that are among the best films ever made, in my opinion.
‘The Godfather'(1972) (and its two sequels) changed all the rules of the genre, bringing us a sweeping saga of the life of organised crime families, from the early 1900s, right up to the 1960s. A huge cast, perfect locations, and atmospheric detail beyond compare, place these three films firmly in the list of the greatest films ever made. Like them or not, the quality is breathtaking. Almost twenty years later, Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’ (1990)…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Six


The weekend is here, and I am up to the letter ‘F’. Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions and additions, and to those of you who are reading, but not commenting.

On this occasion, my daily choice was not cast in stone, so I was able to approach ‘F’ with an open mind. I had forgotten just how many good films started with this letter, so was once again surprised to be presented with such an array of choices. I had over 25 films on the ‘potentials’ list, and the eventual selection was difficult, as was my own final choice. I am expecting some great suggestions, so don’t let me down!

I will start with an overlooked British classic, and the wonderful Ralph Richardson, in Carol Reed’s neglected adaptation of a Grahame Greene story, ‘The Fallen Idol’ (1948). This amazingly ‘small’ film deals with the attraction of a young…

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A-Z Film Challenge: Day Five


I have made it to day five, and the letter ‘E’. Thanks to those of you who have stuck with it, and the new visitors who have come aboard for the ride.

Once again, I am starting this with the certain knowledge of my top spot. However, ‘E’ has been something of a challenge, so I really had to put my thinking cap on.

Unsurprisingly, a foreign language film comes straight to mind. The wonderful Brazilian film from 2007, ‘Elite Squad’. (Tropa de Elite) This is a terrific no-holds-barred look at the work of the special police squad trying to tackle out of control crime in the slums and shanty towns of Rio. Police corruption is rife, and the gangs are left free to control their territories. When the Elite Squad move in, they face extreme violence, as well as betrayal from within. A hard-hitting action film, that is thoughtful…

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Top Ten Films


When I first started this blog in 2012, Top Tens were all the rage. Most days, it seemed to me as if there was a Top Ten of everything on the blog. This ranged from the top ten cute cats, to the top ten favourite film stars, through to the top ten favourite places to go in the world, and the top ten best snack foods. Top Ten mania had hit blogging, and could not be avoided.

Not long after I started to write posts about film and cinema, the ‘Top Tenners’ came knocking on my door. They sent me links to their own top tens, and asked to know my own preferences. Who were my favourite actors? My list of best directors? The questions went on and on. The barrage was relentless, for a while. Some blogging sites were even called ‘My Top Ten’, and other variations. These Top…

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My name in print!


Forgive the blatant self-promotion, but I received this photo today. It was sent by Daniel, of Longshot Island, and is a page of the latest magazine, with my name above my story. For those of you used to seeing your name on articles, or on the covers of the books you have had published, I know this will not be anything to get excited about. I have had many film articles published on other sites myself, and was very pleased that they were.

But this is an actual publication! A printed magazine, on real paper, available to buy from Amazon. For someone of my age, this is pretty much the ‘real deal’. And until, and if ever, I publish a book, this is the best it gets too.

Daniel has also set me an interesting challenge. When I receive my copies of the magazine, he wants me to photograph them…

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