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Movie Recommendations for Gary Neville

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Gaz claims he hasn’t seen a new movie since Braveheart. Time for an education.

“They may take my spot at centre-half, but they’ll never take my freedom!”
Illustration by Nathan Heintschel

Mel Gibson’s Braveheart was released on May 24, 1995, and, for all intents and purposes, it was the last movie Gary Neville apparently ever needed to see. It’s understandable considering inside a 10 day span, Gaz and his Manchester United teammates lost the Premier League title to Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the season, lost to Everton in the FA Cup, and finally it was capped off with a three-hour epic about William Wallace.

(We imagine this was the dressing room before every match during United’s 1995-96 title-winning season.)

However, with a global pandemic raging, many of those able to work from home are finding themselves with some extra time on their hands. As a member of such a privileged class, it appears as though Neville is ready to dip his toes back in the cinema pool after a 25 year abstinence.

Of course, we at the world-renowned Manchester United blog and content factory, The Busby Babe, jumped at Gaz’s request for movie recommendations. After all, we interview our pets about their opinions of United, write Top Chef recaps, and compare United players to fast food items, so, this is clearly in our wheelhouse.

The criteria for our list will consist of films released after May 24, 1995 which, not sure if you know, leaves a lot of eligible films for Gaz to catch up on. Remember, this is our list of our personal recommendations, and, if you, the reader, see a movie that you love not make the list, please drop a comment. Or, as always, you can start your own blog, too! Cheers!

Snatch (2000)

It’s difficult for me to choose a favorite movie as my blu ray collection currently sits in the low 300s with another 100 movies sitting in my digital library. However, depending on the day, if you ask me what my favorite movie is, Guy Ritchie’s Snatch is usually the first movie that pops up in my head. Certainly, if I was stuck with only a handful of movies to watch for the rest of my life, this is on the list as it is like comfort food on a disc.

Ritchie’s first film, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (1998) might be more original, but Snatch excels with the same quippy dialogue and plot machinations of Lock Stock while benefitting from the extra money and polish Ritchie was able to put into it.

I’ve probably seen this one over 100 times now, and my friends and I still quote it at least once a week it seems. Frankly, if you can’t find even a shred of something to enjoy in this movie, I gotta ask, “who took the jam out of your doughnut?”

And if you’re desperate for us to relate something in this piece to football, Vinnie Jones is in this film, and — surely, not a surprise to anyone — he’s an absolute maniac in this one. -NH

The John Wick Trilogy (2014, 2017, 2019)

Will somebody PLEASE get. This. Man. A. Gun.” F——— hell, these movies are awesome.

This might come as a shock to Gaz considering he hasn’t seen a new movie since 1995, but Keanu Reeves has experienced quite the dip in career form over the late 00’s and early 10’s. Yes, the man who stood on top of the world following the release of The Matrix films (which Gaz should also consider watching) was in desperate need of a hit around the time a low-budget action flick named John Wick released seemingly out of nowhere.

Harkening back to the OG action flicks of the 80s and 90s, the John Wick franchise relies on stuntmen to deliver all the set pieces in favor of CGI. Therefore, the action all feels grounded in realism despite the films constantly upping the ante.

What seemed initially like a cool line from the trailer transformed into Reeves’ rallying cry, “People keep asking if I’m back and I haven’t really had an answer. But now, yeah, I’m thinkin’ I’m back.” Now, three films have released, a fourth is in production, and a spin-off tv show is in development. Back indeed, John.

I don’t want to spoil anything for Gaz. So, I’m just going to recommend he turns the volume up on the sound system and let the movies give him the injection of adrenaline that working from home can’t possibly deliver. -NH

Pocahontas In Space Avatar (2009)

This movie is on the list more for its technical achievements. If Neville truly hasn’t seen a movie since 1995, then this movie might cause his head to cave inward. James Cameron set a new bar in what is possible in films and technology. - NH

No Country for Old Men (2007)

Since the turn of the century, 2007 has been the best pound-for-pound year of movies — as evidenced by the inclusion of a second 2007 film next on the list. Joel and Ethan Coen’s No Country for Old Men is an instant classic and, frankly, a masterpiece. It’s two hours of pulse-pounding set pieces and some of the most gorgeous cinematography you will ever see.

As Roger Ebert put it in his review of the film:

“It involves elements of the thriller and the chase but is essentially a character study, an examination of how its people meet and deal with a man so bad, cruel and unfeeling that there is simply no comprehending him.”

This movie is timeless, and Ebert’s description of the film resonates strongly as an allusion today as it did 13 years ago. -NH

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Following the theme of No Country’s resonance in 2020, here comes There Will Be Blood like an Eric Cantona karate kick to the chest. The movie follows Daniel Day-Lewis’ Daniel Plainview, an oil prospector whose heart is as black as the substance he excavates. This is an incredible film to watch — oh, I dunno — right now, as states and countries prematurely open their doors to “rEsTaRt ThE eCoNoMy.” Maybe y’all should watch this movie first to see that the people in power encouraging you to go out don’t actually care about you... but I digress.

Like Kelis who changed the way we heard the word “milkshake” in 2003 with her hit song, Plainview’s infamous “I drink your milkshake,” monologue has forever intertwined the darkest parts of capitalism with the delicious frozen beverage. -NH

SNL’s I Drink Your Milkshake Sketch (2008)

Watch this AFTER you’ve watched There Will Be Blood and No Country, Gary. -NH

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

This tenderly shot, beautifully scored film is an outstanding feature debut from Joe Talbot. It manages to be both love letter and elegy; a tribute to a city and its people, and a heartbreaking depiction of loss and displacement.

As a businessman and property owner in a city that is also changing in ways that leaves many long-time residents feeling left behind, Gary Neville should be able to appreciate this look at the human cost of gentrifi-....

- BM

The Lego Movie (2014)

This movie is a delightful romp involving your favorite childhood toys to tell a story that anything is possible with a little imagination and a can-do attitude. And of course, the song’s main theme “Everything is Awesome” rings true today... even in a whisper as you stare at a wall... and it definitely DOES NOT sound like a cry for help. -NH