57 – Stardust:Just the other day, I went to myself ‘Matthew Vaughn is awesome, isn’t he?’ – and ain’t that the truth? Mr Vaughn originally started out as a producer – and he’s the man responsible for hits like Snatch, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Mean Machine – before making a big impact with his directorial debut Layer Cake. Matthew Vaughn is one of those directors who isn’t afraid to drift towards films that aren’t ‘Academy friendly’. His filmography includes the brilliant superhero deconstruction Kick Ass and X-Men: First Class, which helped redeem the X-Men on the silver screen. If you’ve got Matthew Vaughn behind the director’s chair, you can count on having a film that’s a lot of fun to watch and also has a lot of depth to it. So when Disney inevitably give Aladdin a live-action remake, we know who they should turn to. One other thing that Matthew Vaughn is known for is his outside-the-box casting choices. I mean, no one would have thought of James McAvoy to play Charles Xavier – and now look at how excellently he played it. Chloe Moretz wasn’t the first child star you’d think of to play Hit-Girl, and it ended up making her a household name. The film here also features a few of those – and they are every bit as awesome as one should come to expect in a Matthew Vaughn film.
58 – The Spectacular Now:
Ah, the good old coming-of-age story. Who doesn’t love one of those? Every generation seems to have one. 80s kids had Stand By Me, 90s had The Sandlot and for 2000s kids it was possibly Bridge To Terabithia. It might be just me, but I find that a coming-of-age movie is a good way to find the potential stars of tomorrow. After all, the protagonist is usually a child or teenager – and often played by an unknown. In the case of this movie, that was exactly the case. Both Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley rocketed to mainstream success shortly after this was released, due to both of them starring in the Divergent adaptations. A good coming-of-age story knows how to make an audience empathise with a teenager. The teen years are a dark part of all our lives – and once they’re over, we try our very best to forget them. But a story that can remind us of how hard it was to be a teenager is always a winner in my book.