10th: Stalker

“Stalker” is a philosophical-religious film, told using the powers of film that include both symbols, metaphors, the visual, and language. Some of the philosophy is distinctly Russian in emphasis, tracing back to ideas that appear and re-appear in Russian writers and philosophers. The story is very much concerned with man, the meaning of life, the nature of life, God and man’s relationship to God, art, creativity. But this is not all that much explicit because it’s embedded in an adventure story told in a science-fiction world.

Stunning Imagery

The film’s imagery, its production design and sets, are all stunning. Think grime, decrepit buildings, industrial areas gone to waste and neglected, rusted tanks and artillery in a field, decaying buildings, underground caverns, water pools, muddy and teeming with detritus. Think surroundings like terrible urban decay with everything gone to pot. I cannot imagine how this film’s makers managed to capture all the images that we see on the screen.

Post apocalyptic movie - StalkerIt’s all symbolic of the world that’s inside human beings. It also symbolizes the Soviet Union of the time. They long for something else. The Room symbolizes that. The movie is like depicting a thorny path to God and the granting of one’s innermost wishes. At one point, Writer puts a crown of thorns on his head. The journey through the Zone is dangerous. There are pitfalls and shifts even though the surface looks placid and it is quiet. Paths differ on every trip through it.

This is like life. Although the exterior world of substance looks stable, the internal world is not. The dialog in this movie raises many philosophical points that, if we were reading them, would require time to ponder.

In a movie, the moment passes and we move on quickly. The Zone is like a place where one travels a path to the Light, to Christ, to God. The Zone is life. Not everyone makes it through to God in this film’s philosophy.

Camera Movements

Tarkovsky’s camera movements are very slow and he doesn’t use the conventional cutting and over-the-shoulder shots to show conversations. He might start at a distance and very slowly move the camera forward to the three men having a conversation in a small cafĂ©.

Viewing a movie like this requires some patience. It has adventure and novel dangers, but it is not anything at all like a Hollywood action movie. It reminded me at times, because of the presence of rain and water frequently, of “The Outrage” (1964). That film too has a small cast and a philosophical bent.

9th: Wall-E

WALL-E is a Pixar animation that is one of yet again, a great animated movie. It is just such a sweet tale with robots who seem so human like it is just amazing and lovely in equal measure. This film really goes to show that Pixar is at the top of it’s game still and really to be fair in the world of animation, they are still reigning supreme. I thought this was just about amazing and here below is just why so.

Pleasant Movie

The movie is just the right length and so well timed as well with it’s jokes but also it’s more sweeter moments which blend together so well. The movie is pleasant all the way through, sure some things happen along the way but even in the more less happy moments, you still can’t help feel a smile coming on watching little old WALL-E the robot trundle along, and on the case of WALL-E he is perfect as our main character, created with just the right amount of cuteness.

Wall-E, movie sceneIt has such a beautiful score accompanying it too with Thomas Newman making scenes even more brilliant with his delicate touch in music. Peter Gabriel’s song “Down to Earth” is amazing as well and when it is played in the final credits you will just feel so warm about this movie. The animation style is also a massive highlight here too, it is so detailed and yet keeps that signature Pixar style to a tee, just wonderful stuff and all credit goes to the staff for doing such a good job.

One thing that really stood out for me is that the robots hardly communicate with voice, you can understand everything that is going on perfectly well with just the noises and actions of these really sweet little bots. I loved the style in which they talk too and the way Ben Burtt makes WALL-E’s various sounds is just glorious with every little action and noise being completely flawless and yet again, so sweet.

Important Points

Now there is no doubt this is aimed at kids of course it is, but it brings up very important points about the earth and how we treat it, and ourselves. The way in which now humans can’t live on earth because of so much toxicity is weirdly disturbing to watch and raises absolutely massive environmental questions even if it just an animated movie.

It also brings up the old robots of the future question, now of course some robots in this aren’t the best of robots but this is one of the first films where future robots are portrayed as sweet and actually have feelings.

Now this is just fun all the way through and I couldn’t recommend this more to anyone, whether kid or adult this is sure to make you happy and even the most grumpy of people could be swayed by this. It is also a good old laugh too, now I have seen funnier animations but this is still pretty funny so again all credit to the team and if you want a laugh too then this is it also.

Overall it is sublime animating and must be one of the best animations of all time(I know for some it could be of all time!). I can see just why critics and cinema goers alike loved this and going into it I expected a lot but got even more than I expected afterwards.

8th: Dredd

Dredd 3D is one of the most violent and entertaining movies of the year! I went into the cinema expecting violence but nowhere near as bloody at this. Packing a tonne of action, an insanely evil baddie and two awesome protagonists, this is a guaranteed good time.

The Plot

America is an irradiated wasteland. 800,000,00 live in the ruin of the old world in MegaCity One. Crime is at an all time high and a new drug called “Slow-Mo” is on the streets which allows addicts to experience time at a much slower rate than normal. When Judge Dredd is called out to investigate a homicide in Peachtrees, along with the help of Judge Anderson they end up locked down in the 200 storey tower, filled to the brim with the MaMa clan, a notorious gang leader who is distributing the drug. Now Dredd and Anderson must fight their way to the top and put an end to MaMa’s clan and stop the Slow-Mo.

Post apocalyptic movie, Dredd 3dThe plot unfolds in a spectacular manner, it never slows down it just speeds up, and the bold action sequences get faster and more exciting as the two Judges venture deeper into the tower. The action is brilliant beyond words, there’s no messy editing so the camera stays with the action at all times, you are thrown into the deep end and the relentless nature never stops.

It has be said that the 3D makes this film even more jaw dropping, the 3D is one of the stand out aspects, it is beautiful. The effects are mesmerising, transcendental, it genuinely feels like you are falling and experiencing part of the slow-mo drug effects. You can literally touch the glimmers of light and particles floating off the screen, and when the title “Dredd” appears it crashes into a million pieces and hits hard.


Karl Urban is electrifying as Dredd, a Judge who is in a 200 floor tower in lock-down, filled with thugs controlled by Lena Headey who plays Ma-Ma, a vicious and brutal criminal whose trademark is violence, Lena Headey is hands down the best bad guy of the year, forget Bane and Loki, her violence is shocking and the best scene features her echoed voice projecting across the speaker system addressing Peachtrees, the atmosphere kicks in and you know she is not to be messed with.

Alongside Dredd is Olivia Thirlby who is excellent as Anderson, who follows Dredd on his mission. The way she develops throughout the movie is great, she starts as a rookie with the lack of confidence to execute, but as events worsen she turns into a full blown bad-ass.

DREDD 3D is a knockout 90 minutes of perfectly constructed non stop action, near perfect 3D and a fantastic cast, Dredd is a high recommendation and it gets better every time you watch it, so yes I’d watch it over and over again.

7th: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

After the events of the 2011 predecessor, Dawn is set 10 years into the future, where Caeser has a built an ape community that is flourishing. Meanwhile, the humans are struggling to survive as they have become dispersed due to the effects of the virus that was released in Rise. When a group of survivors from the San Fransisco area run into two apes, the plot will be set in motion as these two factions will collide.

I gotta say that after the good work done by Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, I was hoping for a sequel to up the ante and present me with even bigger stakes. Not only did Dawn do that, but also served up a kind of character depth one doesn’t see too much in a summer blockbuster. We all know of Andy Serkis‘s legacy in motion capture performances and he once again delivers as Caeser, the ape leader who must deal with the human issue, while also having to prevent a rebellion within his own ranks.


Post apocalyptic movie, Dawn of the planet of the apesThis bad seed among Caeser and his apes is Koba, an ape who seeks revenge given the abuse he suffered at the hands of humans. Toby Kebell gives the surprise performance in the movie as Koba turns from a trusted right hand adviser to a treacherous villain. The humans take a back seat in terms of plot importance, as should be expected from a movie with Apes in the title.

Still their secondary role is effective and names such as Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman give the performances that were asked of them.

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is unlike any movie being released nowadays. It seems to exist in its own brand of blockbuster cinema, something I find very refreshing. Here’s to hoping the trend continues with the follow up movies in this series.

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