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Stalker's Top Ten 2009: Mark Buckley: Things I Learned This Year

10FSReel.jpgThis year's Stalker's Top Tens are a little late coming, but they're kicking off with a good one, and later on we're even going to hear from a group of guys that are a rather successful Scottish film-making group.

Mark Buckley has produced a rather superb list of things he's learned this year about film, and some of them I whole heartedly agree with. See if you do, and maybe you can add to it the list of things you've learned about film this year.

This year's Stalker's Top Tens has just opened, and it's easy for you to submit your own. It can be a Top Ten about anything film related, it doesn't have to be the best films. Just create a list, add at least a sentence explanation about each entry, how you'd like to be known on the published article and a site link, and email it to me at competition@filmstalker.co.uk, and your list will be published just like Mark's.

So let's hand over to Mark, who not only loves film and is participating in the Filmstalker Film Club, but he's also a damn good photographer, you can see his work over at his official site where you can also enlist his services as a photographer or his other work in digital restoration.

In the meanwhile, let's see what he has to say about the things he's learned from film for 2009, and it's a good list.

I can watch movies on a tiny screen.
.....and you know what, they can be OK! I don't know if its the headphones that draw you in, or the quality. Watching flicks on an iPhone is perfectly doable. It started with episodes South Park, and finished with watching fully fledged movies, and you know what, I really got into it.

Its about the audience.
Take one 3 year old girl, one copy of Wall-E (Filmstalker review). Add a bowl of smarties, and hit play. Then watch the drama unfold. I love the film, but I loved even more watching my daughter marvel at, jump at, smile at and cry at the movie. Its now a regular thing, we sit down and watch a flick on a Sunday afternoon after swimming. We've done a few Disney's, but at the moment, its Star Wars. A bit of father daughter bonding over a light sabre battle. It reminded me how all involving cinema is.

When she said that she didn't like Jar Jar I could have cried tears of joy.

It shouldn't take a death to make you re-evaluate.
Its been a year when some of the folks I've grown up watching died. John Hughes, The Swayze, Farrah Fawcett, Ricardo Montobahn, David Carradine. John Hughes hit me pretty hard, this was the guy that defined my teenage years and seemed to help me find my place. Re-watching The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink and Ferris made em realise what a damn fine writer and director he was. The Swayze, Point Break, and Red Dawn, two flicks that stand out, and Point Break shaped my vocab for a while. The one that caught me unaware, was Dom DeLuise, just watch those end credits of the Cannonball Run again, and you'll realise what a talent the guy was.

Why I left it 10 years between watching The Cannonball Run, I'll never know.

Sometimes its good to meet your idols.
OK, I'll admit it, I go to Movie Conventions. And meeting Jason Mewes was a major kicker, not only was he gracious and polite, but he was engaging, brutally honest about his life story (drugs, Kevin Smith, Affleck and tea-bagging) but he was also very humble. A good moment.

Some times its not good to meet your idols.
But Billy Dee Williams was an arse.

DVD's, Blu-Rays, who needs em?
In April we had a new arrival in the house. A small, beautifully formed thing. It's a small bundle of joy.

AppleTV arrived. 120Gb of goodness. A remote with 5 buttons on it. Two leads to plug in, and you're off. We now buy movies on demand, watch them, and then store them in iTunes. No more trips to Blockbuster, no more boxes of DVD's to stick in the crawl space. We've watched more movies than ever before, caught up on some oldies that I've not seen (who would have thought that Marilyn Monroe could act?) and watched some movies that we'd seen before and fancied again.

Sure its the movie equivalent of injecting drugs (instant hit!) but its made me fall back in love with film in a major way.

So thanks apple. That's two out of ten on the list!.

3D? I think not.
All of the 3D flicks bar one that I've seen have been at the IMAX. Sure U2:3D was amazing. I mean amazing. Beowulf was pretty dandy as well.

But Final Destination (what ever number it was), just didn't work in 3D. I saw it on a standard size screen. Sure the 3D effects worked, but the 3D seemed to be an excuse for the film to be in existence. The script was flimsy, and the acting terrible. Surely if films are going to be in 3D there has to be a decent movie in the first place.

I love George Clooney.
Lets get one thing straight, I'm married, have a child, and am straight.

But I love George Clooney. The Men Who Stare At Goats may not have been his best movie, but he made me howl with laughter, while at the same time muttering under my breath, 'You cool bastard.', and that in my books is a result.

Some people just make great films.
That's right, Tarantino, I'm talking to you. Inglourious Basterds (Filmstalker review) was the highlight of my year film wise. I loved it. It was a bit of a guilty pleasure, coming off the back of mediocre reviews, and friends saying 'don't go, watch it on DVD'. I went, watched and was blown away.

But I thought I'd have a look back at his older stuff. Sure we all know Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Res Dogs etc. I watched Dusk Til Dawn, and loved it. But Four Rooms, hell it got a slating on its release. But, I watched that, and again, really enjoyed it. I honestly think its great!

One things for sure, I'll never look at a glass of milk in the same way again.

Come back Chevy Chase.
And while you're at it, bring back a Fletch or Griswold! Comedy gold I tells ya!

Great list Mark, and thank you for kicking us off on this years Stalker's Top Ten's. I'd love Apple TV myself, and I whole heartedly agree with the surprise that you can actually watch and enjoy films on the small screen, something I once believed was heresy, as well as the fact that it shouldn't take a death for us to revisit good film and good film-makers.

After you've vented you can always go see the other Stalker's Top Ten's and perhaps submit your own, there's plenty time.



I met Billy Dee Williams and i agree with you although he seemed to me he was unwell. Now leonard nimoy he was a misserble guy


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