Main interests lie within cyberpunk, dystopian, thriller, psychological and space operas.
My Manga list is missing the majority of what I've read. I will get around to it eventually.
I don't accept random friend requests.
Cinema has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The earliest memory I can re-call would be watching The Land Before Time when I was probably no more then 4 or 5. From there I've only developed a strong passion for the medium be it foreign or western. I can't even begin to imagine how many films I've watched from all places of the world, it would certainly put my anime watching to shame.
I developed a pretty strong passion for Ghibli films at a pretty young age also, and it’s most likely what got me into Japanese animation due to the studio's reputation even in Western culture. It was also cinema that developed my love for Cyberpunk and Dystopian works. Blade Runner, Matrix and Total Recall to name a few of the firsts. Ultimately leading me to the likes of Akira and Ghost in the Shell when I really started to watch anime. (I was probably around 17 when I started to seriously watch anime)
My favorite director is Fritz Lang. It doesn't matter how many times I re-watch his films - especially Metropolis - they are still as engrossing as they were years and years ago. It’s rather funny, without hesitation I would tell anyone that Lang is my favorite director, yet I've done the great disservice of really not watching many of his films. Of his rather respectable amount of films either written or directed, I've probably only really seen about six or seven. Perhaps my justification is poor, yet in contrast, perhaps the few films that I have watched truly highlight how incredible he was. Metropolis is an indescribable experience and albeit very different, M is not far behind. Other notable directors include Sidney Lumet who holds the title: director of my favorite film of all time, 12 Angry Men among a large list of other brilliant films like Network, Serpico and Murder on the Orient Express. Alfred Hitchcock who probably holds the most titles of any director in my top 50 films with the likes of Vertigo, Rear Window and Rope. Once again, a man who I've ultimately seen very little of, Ridley Scott, who like Lang shares two titles in my top 10 and is a true pioneer and master of the sci-fi genre. Finally, Stanley Kubrick rounds it off at five with the likes of Dr. Strangelove, A Clockwork Orange and 2001 A Space Odyssey. I guess that would be my top 5 directors.
Top 10 Films
1. Twelve Angry Men (1957)
Conceived as a teleplay by Reginal Rose in 1954 Twelve Angry Men found itself quite the success. Shortly after, its broadway debut arrived and a few years later Sidney Lumet took the jury to cinema in his first ever feature-length film. The start of an incredibly successful career that saw him tackling a diverse range of films that few can compare to, earning his place as one of the greatest directors of all time.
Twelve Angry Men accomplishes a great deal in a one small tension-filled jury room with nothing but body language, emotion and dialogue to propel itself. In 90 minutes the twelve jurors are expertly characterized, from their prejudices to their backgrounds every character is explored in great detail. A moving story of realism and as much impactful as it is iconic today, Twelve Angry Men stands out as the greatest cinematic achievement to date.
2. Metropolis (1927)
Arguably the most influential piece of cinema in existence, Metropolis earns not only the title of “well ahead of its time” but also the benchmark for modern cinema. Or perhaps as H.G Wells put it, “foolishness, cliché, platitude, and muddlement about mechanical progress and progress in general.” If Metropolis isn't the most influential film, it's certainly one of the most polarising. No favors were done given that the closest intended cut of the film came almost 80 years later in a restorated format.
It’s very much understandable why one would dislike Metropolis, and its not a film I would recommend to a wide audience. Its an artistic and technical marvel that no film will ever match, spawning the way for centuries of films to come. A film that relies on technicals, imagination and craftsmanship rather than digital conveniences. Lang and Karl Freund’s minds come together to create a breathtaking spectacle of visual art.
3. There Will Be Blood (2007)
Aptly named, There Will Be Blood follows megalomaniac Daniel Plainview on his quest for wealth through corruption, greed and brutality. Raw and full of grit, There Will Be Blood is Paul Thomas Anderson’s greatest work and one of the most original films to come from Hollywood.
There Will Be Blood has some of the most captivating cinematography, from the silent start to the climax two and a half hours later Robert Elswit and Anderson come to create not only a visually engrossing film but also its masterpiece of well executed characterization and narrative alike.
4. M (1931)
In contrast of his greatest work - Metropolis - M is a very different piece of cinema. A film with such palpable emotion from the standout performance of Peter Lorre’s child murdering character. Fritz Lang tends to captivate, many scenes from Metropolis will forever be etched in my head and the enthralling building hunt and haunting conclusion of M echo there too.
It is a film that evokes empathy from its viewer for even the most vile of humans, a film so powerful that Lorre’s pleas are truly able to be felt and understood, even if it’s a hard pill to swallow. M is a moving piece of cinema that I will never forget.
5. Alien (1979)
To me, Alien takes the claim as Ridley Scott’s magnum opus. A film as effective as it is limitless due to the ambiguity of its monstrous predator, Alien plays out slowly and methodically, building suspense creating true horror instead of rushing to the “horror” itself. Scott uses this technique like few other directors can, with only the likes of Alfred Hitchcock coming to mind.
Alien continues to be a major influence to its genres, unfortunately it's the action that's imitated rather than the buildup which is what truly creates horror. Alien remains one of the few genuinely horrifying films. It's a short list.
6. Dr Strangelove (1964)
Its not hard to see why Dr Strangelove is referred to as the greatest piece of not only political satire, but satire in general. Strangelove is the combination of Kubrick’s brilliant screenplay coming to life in a time of brutal uncertainty, a bold risk and a bold message given the circumstances.
Strangelove is a brazen film filled with ridiculousness and dark but hysterical creativity from the minds of Kubrick and Terry Southern. Strangelove is a must watch film that has aged brilliantly.
7. Blade Runner (1982)
A film that derives plenty of influence from 1927’s Metropolis, Blade Runner and also gives plenty of influence for future cyberpunk/dystopian and noir films alike (Gattaca, Total Recall). Blade Runner still stands as a visually captivating experience that truly illustrates a potential future for Earth in both visuals and premise with the aesthetics of Blade Runner remaining largely outdated.
The world is the story of Blade Runner and the world is built marvelously, easily captivating viewers as is a telltale sign of a brilliant cyberpunk and dystopian narrative, which Blade Runner certainly is.
8. Oldboy (2003)
I love Korean cinema and Oldboy was not only the one that got me into it, but still one of my favorite films of all time. From its breathtaking cinematography to its incredible musical score and cast performances, Oldboy remains one of the most memorable films I have ever watched.
Gripping and full of dark, gritty atmosphere one may come to love from Korean cinema with the likes of Oldboy, The Chaser and I saw the Devil to the gang films such as A Bittersweet Life, Korean cinema is nothing short of captivating as is Oldboy.
9. Mr. Nobody (2009)
To appreciate this film one must be able to forgive its imperfections along the way, and there are plenty. Quite frankly it is a mess of a film and there is not one instance where I couldn’t list a number of reasons of why one doesn’t like it or agree with someone who dislikes it.
Mr. Nobody resonates with me in its message, perhaps I'm too eager when it comes to appreciating what a film is trying to say rather then how it says it. Mr. Nobody is certainly saying something. What is it trying to say? It's a film about exploring all the choices in one's life, having a second chance and ultimately its the protagonists illusions of exploration that make him more alive and infinite than the immortal beings of the future.
10. Disconnect (2013)
As poignant as it is compelling Disconnect is one of few movies that is truly able to move me, not without its lack of trying. Accompanied by Max Richter’s somber composition “On the Nature of Daylight” the conclusion of Disconnect is forever engraved in full technicolor in my mind. Disconnect’s message will only become more relevant as time passes and technology advances.
Driven by the fantastic direction of Henry Alex Rubin and a cast that exceeds any expectations one might have there is little room for doubt in any aspect of the film. Disconnect is a diamond of sincerity in an era of insincerity.
Similar to cinema, I’ve been watching television for as long as I can remember. Starting off with old classics like The Simpsons. Watching old cartoons like Bugs Bunny and the like. Some fond memories include watching cartoons like Courage the Cowardly Dog which was just incredibly disturbing and bizarre which always kept my attention.
I started watching more mature and serious television as High School came around and was 15 when The Last Airbender began airing which was easily the most memorable television series of my childhood. Shortly after I started to watch real series and I fell in love with a number of HBO productions (The Wire, Sopranos, Deadwood ect).
Like cinema, I’ve easily watched much more television than I have anime and fortunately enough while Hollywood fails to deliver gripping and dark films, American television has truly stepped up to the plate. While Holywood may have dropped the ball in more recent times, American television has stepped up to the plate.
Top 10 Series
1. Oz (1997)
Driven by an incredibly large cast Oz resides at the top of my list for it’s brutal yet realistic portrayal of prison life. All six seasons of Oz maintain a high standard in every aspect and wholistically Oz hits every mark. Characters actions are often brutal yet justified and even in their lowest lows it is not hard to be empathetic towards them. This is one of Oz’s greatest strengths, brilliant characterization of an incredibly diverse cast.
That isn’t to say Oz is flawless, there’s the occasional plot convenience along the way but ultimately Oz is the sum of its parts and with expert cinematography, acting and overall writing Oz earns the title of masterpiece.
2. Rome (2005)
Rome is, first and foremost, a drama series. Despite this, HBO’s Rome is one of the most - if not the most - accurate retelling of the Roman Republic era. This extends largely to all aspects of the show from sets and landscapes to characters themselves. The world HBO created with Rome is as engrossing as it is realistic.
3. Hannibal (2013)
Byran Fuller’s Hannibal takes the third and final title of masterpiece which does everything it attempts to and more. Fuller takes Thomas Harris’ Hannibal to a new level surpassing the films and the television medium allows him to explore characters to greater detail whilst still creating a compelling narrative. Hannibal is a visually stunning series with unparalleled cinematography and acting for a television series creating a benchmark that other series can only dream of reaching.
4. Mad Men (2007)
As realistic as Rome was in capturing its era, Mad Men also delivers incredibly well at portraying 1960s America. Mad Men is a series driven by its flawless characterization of every relevant cast member. But most importantly it’s a series that respects its audience offering an intelligent series that plays on a large number of themes, especially motifs relevant to its time. Capitalism. Mad Men expertly creates a world filled with rich characters and an intuitive story to follow.
5. Sherlock (2010)
Sherlock grabbed me instantly, the duo of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch work wonderfully and the chemistry between them makes Sherlock a stand out series. The production and editing of Sherlock stands out as the greatest of any series I have watched and the it’s this creativeness that further makes Sherlock a striking series.
Sherlock is a series that is able to brilliantly juxtapose its warm and funny moments with its dark and serious moments, especially when the brilliant Andrew Scott enters the stage. A creative and unique take on the modern Sherlock, BBC’s Sherlock is a very worthwhile series with and interesting and engrossing story, cast and production.
6. House of Cards (2013)
Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors not only in more recent times but one of my favorite actors in general. Spacey’s performances are always something to marvel at and his performance in House of Cards is no different. Naturally, House of Cards is an extremely good series. Establishing that the cast is fantastic throughout the series, House of Cards also shines through its writing and cinematography. House of Cards is a must watch series.
7. Fargo (2014)
Fargo is an anthology series that depicts past events that have happened in and around Fargo. Season one delivered a creative blend of black comedy and drama perfectly. The sinister nature of Billy Bob-Thornton's character Lorne Malvo is unforgettable, as is his chemistry with Martin Freeman during the entire season. Season two presents an entirely different cast and a different story. Despite the anthology approach, the quality of acting, cinematography and writing of season two remains the same, if not surpassing its predecessor.
8. Band of Brothers (2001)
Maybe the most overrated series of all time Band of Brothers is an authentic war-drama that doesn’t glorify nor condemn it, but simply explores it. It's an incredibly well produced mini-series depicting the harsh brutalities of war. Simply put, Band of Brothers may have its moments of bombast but ultimately it's a realistic, intelligent and beautiful (from a visual perspective) experience.
9. Rick and Morty (2013)
Spawned from the hilariously inappropriate Doc and Mharti, Rick and Morty is an original and highly innovative comedy series that can take the piss out of anything, itself included, and still be funny. Rick and Morty is an episodic comedy series filled with senselessness yet there are underlying motifs that have real meaning.
Rick and Morty is a genuine and intelligent series that breaks the mould of stale and repetitive western comedy-cartoons with a larger picture slowly getting developed with each passing episode.
10. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005)
The Last Airbender reaches a standard no other children’s series has ever reached. That isn’t to say TLA isn’t a childish series, because it largely is. Ultimately, it’s a combination of its childishness and intelligent writing that creates a magnificent series.
Avatar’s greatest strengths lie in the world it is able to create and its characters, their transformations and development. Two things Avatar does masterfully and has the luxury of 61 episodes to do it. Watching as the characters mature and develop a greater sense of the world, especially Zuko, Avatar becomes an incredibly rewarding experience.