Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

My top ten films

Sod the fishing for the moment because the weather and conditions are pretty close to breaking me. It's warming up and at least the wind is blowing from a decent direction now, but I was out walking the dog on the cliffs out at Whitsand yesterday and the sea was raging - looked more like a cod sea than anything else, but it's only a matter of time I am sure.

Anyway, for a bit of fun and because I am a bloke and I kinda like my top tens, here's my top ten films. The list is in no particular order and no doubt I could chop and change this until my head exploded, and there are plenty of other films I would like to put in there, but I do love films and I know that a bunch of blokes can debate a top ten like it's going out of fashion.

Goodfellas - About as good as a film can get if you ask me. Perfection ? Got to be pretty close. Scorcese on fire as a director and I don't think Robert de Niro, Ray Liotta or Joe Pesci have ever been better. That long tracking shot when Henry Hill enters the restaurant with his then girlfriend on his arm leaves me gobsmacked every single time I see it. One film that I can watch again and again and love it more every time.

Evil Dead 2 - Utter class. Savage, hysterically funny (come on, Bruce Campbell should have won an Oscar for his role), inventive, original and there's never been another horror film like it. A work of genius that scared the life out of me when I first saw it I am sure, but as you get older you start to appreciate just how funny and mad it really is. My folks say that I showed Evil Dead 2 to my youngest brother when he was I think 8 years old and apparently it gave him nightmares for months !! Nice of me eh ?

Predator - Come on. Ahnuld, the jungle, a bunch of testosterone-fuelled soldiers, loads of really big guns and an alien. What could be more awesome than that ? They just don't make films like this anymore. Forget all the other Predator films because this is the daddy. I know how good it is because my wife thinks it's a pile of crap. "I ain't got time to bleed". If a better line of dialogue has ever been written in the history of cinema then I'm a woman in disguise.

Terminator 2 : Judgement Day - Ahnuld at the top of his game combined with a director who was pushing the boundaries of special effects but was also not letting them overshadow an awesome story and an action film that is up there as the best action film of all time. Ahnuld as the good guy was just so clever and he was surely born to the role of The Terminator. "I'll be back". Come on, it doesn't get any more deep. Tell me you don't get emotional as Ahnuld's thumbs up slips beneath the surface.

Point Break - One of the greatest action film of all time ? If you saw this when it first came out on the big screen you will never forget it. Patrick Swayze (RIP), Keanu Reeves and the mighty Gary Busey all on fire. Any film with line such as "it's not tragic to die doing what you love, "if you want the ultimate rush, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price" and "you know less than nothing. If you even knew that you knew nothing, at least that would be something" is going to be up there as a cinematic masterpiece, and I can't see what there is not to love about this film. Surfing, bank robberies, sky-diving and some pretty epic acting. Class and utterly timeless.

Roadhouse - "I want you to be nice until it's time not to be nice". I would like to put the script for Roadhouse out there as one of the best ever committed to paper. Every single thing about this mighty film is designed to appeal to the real man in you. No other actor has ever worn a mullet so well as Patrick Swayze (RIP) and then done some mighty fine moves while covered in oil and looking so deadly serious about it. "Pain don't hurt". All bad towns need a Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse to come and clean them up. Very, very emotional.

Se7en - Watch this film carefully and tell me if you come across one single shred of hope in it. Hollywood just doesn't make films like this do they ? Not half as violent as you remember it being because it's just so cleverly implied, and one of those films that to me gives up more the more I watch it.

Jaws - Perhaps kids these days might laugh at the rubber shark when compared to modern CGI, but this was the first "event" film and it's as awesome today as it was back then. Jaws may well have done for the great white as a cuddly animal we might want to get close to, but this was Spielberg as a young man changing the face of cinema. "You're gonna need a bigger boat".

National Lampoon's Vacation - I don't know what it is about this film, but it makes me weep, and even more so now I am a father and sometimes we pack the car up and go away on holiday somewhere. One of those films that gets better and better the more you watch it. Easy to miss a lot of what makes Chevvy Chase so good in this film, but give in, trust me and you will be rolling around on the floor nearly wetting yourself.

Into the Wild - I can't think of another film apart from perhaps Schindler's List that has got to me so much. The first time I watched Into the Wild with my wife and both of us admitted about a week later that we had been feeling pretty strange. One of the most heart-breaking true stories you can imagine, but at the same time I think I can understand his desire to go "Into the Wild", and as a parent watching the film it just breaks my heart to see that a person (child) felt like that. Perhaps the most profoundly moving film that I have ever seen and it really affects me every time I watch it.

Guilty pleasure - Shooter. The perfect film to watch on my laptop in an airport or on a plane. Snipers. Conspiracy theories. Very, very hard men. Snipers. A pretty attractive woman wearing a top that is entirely too tight when Swagger first meets her. Snipers. Mountain scenery. Snipers.