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What Are Your Top 5 Desert Island DVDs?

by Maggie Kruger

Here in the UK, we’re known for 3 things – bad teeth, crappy weather, and Hugh Grant*. What really bothers me out of that list is the crappy weather. We’ve just had the wettest April in 100 years, but because of all the dry weather we’ve had up until then, we’re getting flood warnings that immediately follow drought warnings: go figure.

All I know is that I’ve spent a very damp month and I’m keeping my eye out for a guy with an Ark.

There’s a radio show here called Desert Island Discs, wherein celebrities name the pieces of music they’d take with them if stranded. Having grumpily woken up to yet more rain this morning, and wondering if I can call in hydrophobic to the office, I compiled my own list of “Desert Island DVDs”.

Is that a ferret in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Is that a ferret in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

If I could never leave my apartment again because London has turned into the set of Waterworld, and I could only choose 5 movies  to watch until Dennis Quaid comes to rescue me a la Day After Tomorrow, which movies would they be?

1. Beast Master – 1982

This is a total no-brainer and we’ve all waxed lyrical about it before (OK so it was just Joel and myself but we’re fairly loud, let’s face it).  I swear though I watched this movie every day for a year when I was 10, so I know it’s good for multiple viewings!

In a nutshell, if you haven’t seen it: Marc Singer talks to the animals in this sword and sorcery classic that also stars Rip Torn, Tanya Roberts and 2 marvellous ferrets.

 2. The Crow – 1994

I may have crapped on at length about this one as well, but with very good reason – I love it. Brandon Lee is brought back to life by a mystical crow one year after his murder to take revenge on the men that killed him and his fiancée, in increasingly violent ways (and accompanied by a frankly awesome soundtrack).

Sadly, it’s better known now for Lee’s tragic on-set death and several painfully bad sequels, but to my mind this original is a classic – give me enough beer and I’ll spend an hour telling you why the sequence set to The Cure’s ‘Burn’ is one of the finest pieces of cinematography known to man.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWs8kdGUgDg (Nine Inch Nails/Fan Made Video)

 3. Toys – 1992

It’s easy to overlook Robin Williams’ stomach churning awfulness in Jack, Patch Adams and Bicentennial Man when you watch a movie like this – a surreal family film with a surprisingly dark heart, set in a toy factory that kicks the arse of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Sure, you’ve got an almost annoying amount of Williams’ trademark schtick, and sometimes its message is a little heavyhanded, but every time I see Toys on TV I stop to watch it – it’s glorious.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhG-6UYkb9k (Trailer)

 4. The Last of the Mohicans – 1992

Despite its critical and commercial success, I think this movie has a tendency to get overlooked – both Michael Mann and Daniel Day Lewis have made much more prominent movies, and most people only remember Hawkeye shouting at Madeline Stowe through the waterfall (which, granted, was a little bit ridiculous).

However, I think this is a stunning film – beautifully shot, an amazing supporting cast (specifically Wes Studi and Russell Means), and any oversentimentality is tempered by some ferocious battle scenes. Well worth a watch.

 5. Dolores Claiborne – 1995

Again, I think I’ve crapped on at length about this before… but if I’m crapping on about something, it’s only because you need to watch it! Many’s the night I’ve been idly channel hopping before bed, only to find this is about to start and I have to stay up till 2am watching it.

Kathy Bates is charged with the murder of her employer, and her estranged daughter comes to help her out. Simple huh? Not in the least, but you have to see it for yourself. You’ll never look at that nice David Strathairn in the same way again.

So these are my five choices… But we want to know YOUR Desert Island DVDs: don’t be shy – stick them down in the comments section below!

*Once again on behalf of my country, I can’t apologise enough for Love Actually.

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