American superhero film. The relationship between Peter and Mary Jane is poignantly developed, and the revelation of his identity at the end just as Mary Jane is about to be crushed by the building is gut wrenching. It also showcases Doctor Octopus, one of the greatest villains, for he is not simply ‘pure evil’ but is twisted and manipulated, and eventually is able to stand up for what is right.
(9) 2002 Chris & Paul Weitz Hugh Grant Nicholas Hoult
British-American comedy-drama. Newcomer Nicholas Hoult portrays ‘nerdy, outcast’ Marcus perfectly; his blatant and serious attitude and mannerisms captured the character, making it even more hilarious when he breaks out singing, “shake ya [butt]”.
(8) 1993 Agnieszka Holland Kate Maberly
British drama/fantasy film. The movie is simply shot but beautiful, with outstanding performances, notably by Dame Maggie Smith who plays the cold, stern Mrs. Medlock.
(7) 2012 Gary Ross Jennifer Lawrence Josh Hutcherson
American dystopian adventure film. The direction and visuals eerily mirrored the representation of work camps from World War Two, complimented by the dark color scheme. It is very true to the book, helped by the fact that the author also assisted with the screenplay.
(6) 1980 Stanley Kubrick Jack Nicholson Shelley Duvall
British-American psychological horror film. The acting is tremendous, no doubt from Kubrick’s arguably unethical direction – it is rumored that he purposely alienated Duvall on set in order to keep her on edge. Never mind filming on location in that deserted hotel for over a year!
(5) 1995 Alfonso Cuarón Liesel Matthews Eleanor Bron
Drama. Made the list, even though the movie changes the ending of the original novel to a much happier one. Liesel Matthews as Sara Crewe crying out ‘Papa’ when lying in the ‘magic circle’ drawn by a piece of chalk is an extremely poignant moment.
(4) 1987 Rob Reiner Cary Elwes Robin Wright
American romantic comedy fantasy adventure film. The screenplay was written by the author of the book, which was supposedly an abridgement of another novel by the fictitious S. Morgenstern. As the author asserted, his novel and screenplay kept “the best bits in”.
(3) 2008 Christopher Nolan Christian Bale Michael Caine
British-American superhero film. The director brings about moral and ethical questions into the film, best demonstrated by the scene when the citizens and prisoners have to decide which boat to detonate. There is an encouraging message that shines through when both decide to let the other live.
(2) 2001-2003 Peter Jackson Elijah Wood Ian McKellen
Three epic fantasy adventure films. The books were so entrancing, so detailed, and the films matched that. Somehow, Peter Jackson was able to translate the entire world of Middle Earth. NAME THE TRILOGY
(1) 1994 Frank Darabont Tim Robbins Morgan Freeman
American drama. The acting is realistic, moving and gritty. The unassuming yet brave protagonist Andy Dufresne and his best mate, Ellis Boyd ‘Red’ Redding are two of the most unforgettable film characters of all time.
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