2014年6月5日 星期四

Movies of the Late 90s

In 1995 I was twenty, and in 1999 I was twenty-four.  During all this time I was a college student.  In 1999 I graduated, and two weeks later I moved to Taiwan, where I still live.

For me it was a time of discovery.  I had many jobs, I went to many parties, and yes, I had my share of girlfriends.  I can remember a lot of novel experiences from those years.  I was stoned or drunk quite often, I had my heart broken more than once, I saw a dead guy, and I began to see my hometown differently.

Seattle was doing very well at the time.  There were tech jobs aplenty, many local companies were making names for themselves, and our lives were far removed from the political and economic turmoil awaiting us after 9/11.  In 1999 you could still confidently assert that America was the greatest country in the world.  In 2014 it's a little harder to make that statement.

Biggest Movies of 1995: Die Hard with a Vengeance, Toy Story, Apollo 13, GoldenEye, Pocahontas, Batman Forever, Se7en, Casper, Waterworld, Jumanji

The Die Hard movies were never very good.

The best of the above movies would have to be Apollo 13 and Se7en.  Se7en is still classic.

Waterworld is often described as one of the worst films ever made, but I thought it was alright.  No, the quality of the film didn't justify the amount of money spent, but I've seen much worse.

Honorable Mentions: Braveheart, Leaving Las Vegas, Murder in the First, Casino, Dead Man Walking, Twelve Monkeys, The Usual Suspects, Rob Roy, Trainspotting, In the Mouth of Madness, The Quick and the Dead, Tommy Boy, The Basketball Diaries, Kids, Lord of Illusions, Showgirls, Heat

Yes, Showgirls was terrible.  But it is so terrible that it should be seen at least once.

I have seen Leaving Las Vegas so many times.  Something about that film keeps pulling me back.  I downloaded it (again) just the other day.

In the Mouth of Madness and Lord of Illusions are two underrated horror movies from that year.  In the Mouth of Madness is a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, and Lord of Illusions isn't a terrible film from Clive Barker.  It presented a few interesting ideas, anyway.

Most guys will like Casino and Heat.  Both very manly, both very operatic crime films.

Murder in the First should have been a more successful movie.  Anyone down on Kevin Bacon should really see it.  He is a terrific actor at times.

Biggest Movies of 1996: Independence Day, Twister, Mission: Impossible, The Rock, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 101 Dalmations, Ransom, The Nutty Professor, Jerry Maguire, Eraser

All of the above movies are fairly retarded, with the exception of Ransom.  Ransom is one of those dark, brooding films that Mel Gibson used to do so well.  What the hell happened to that guy?

Honorable Mentions: The English Patient, Fargo, The Birdcage, The People Vs. Larry Flynt, Sling Blade, Lone Star, The Fan, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Box of Moonlight

I liked the movie of The English Patient more than the book.  The book was good, but the movie was better.

I've probably seen Sling Blade and The Fan more than the other movies listed above.  I have a lot of the dialogue from Sling Blade memorized, and The Fan is a great baseball movie featuring Wesley Snipes and Robert de Niro.

Box of Moonlight was a lower budget movie from that year.  It is worth seeking out.

Biggest Movies of 1997: Titanic, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Men in Black, Tomorrow Never Dies, Air Force One, As Good as it Gets, Liar Liar, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Fifth Element, The Full Monty

As Good as it Gets, The Fifth Element, and The Full Monty were good movies.  The rest?  Not quite as good.

Honorable Mentions: L.A. Confidential, Boogie Nights, Amistad, Good Will Hunting, In & Out, The Ice Storm, Donnie Brasco, Breakdown, Face/Off, Cop Land, Event Horizon, G.I. Jane, The Edge, Gattaca, Starship Troopers, Jackie Brown, The Apostle, Cube

The Ice Storm is probably my favorite movie from this year.  It is one of Ang Lee's first films.

L.A. Confidential was my introduction to James Ellroy, an author I still enjoy.  Russell Crowe was great in this one.

Anyone who questions Stallone's acting ability should see Cop Land.

Event Horizon and Cube were two lesser known movies from that year.  Event Horizon is still one of my favorite horror films, and Cube, although not nearly as good, featured an interesting concept.

I have seen the Apostle more times than I can remember.  Like Leaving Las Vegas, that movie keeps pulling me back.

Biggest Movies of 1998: Armaggedon, Saving Private Ryan, Godzilla, There's Something About Mary, A Bug's Life, Deep Impact, Mulan, Dr. Dolittle, Shakespeare in Love, Lethal Weapon 4

Saving Private Ryan has to be the best of the films listed above, and Lethal Weapon 4 is undoubtedly the worst.  Armaggedon and Deep Impact were very similar movies, though Armaggedon was slightly better.

The 1998 version of Godzilla was widely panned at the time, but I like it more than the 2014 version.  It has its flaws, but the makers of the 98 version seemed to better understand the point of a Godzilla movie.  

Honorable Mentions: The Truman Show, Gods and Monsters, Elizabeth, A Simple Plan, American History X, The Big Lebowski, Blade, Buffalo 66, Dark City, The Legend of 1900, The Thin Red Line, Velvet Goldmine

The Big Lebowski is one of those movies that you can watch over and over again.

Gods and Monsters and Buffalo 66 were two overlooked movies from that year.  The former features Ian McKellan and Brendan Fraser, and the most famous person in the latter is Christina Ricci.  

I saw Velvet Goldmine in the theater.  It is a very homoerotic movie, and it was fun to see the discomfort on many moviegoer's faces as Christian Bale engaged in anal sex with Ewan McGregor.  It's also about the glam music scene in the early 70s - one of my favorite music periods.

Biggest Movies of 1999: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, The Sixth Sense, Toy Story 2, The Matrix, Tarzan, The Mummy, Notting Hill, The World is Not Enough, American Beauty, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

The Phantom Menace was a historically disappointing movie.  Anyone who can sit through those Star Wars "prequels" is a bigger fan than I am.

The Matrix and American Beauty were probably the best two hits from this year.  The lackluster nature of the two sequels obscures how awesome the first Matrix was, but at the time it was a revelation.  Kevin Spacey was also great in American Beauty.  

Honorable Mentions: The Insider, Boys Don't Cry, The Green Mile, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Office Space, Election, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Arlington Road, Eyes Wide Shut, Mystery Men, Stir of Echoes, Three Kings, Fight Club, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, Any Given Sunday, Galaxy Quest, Audition

Boys Don't Cry launched the career of Hillary Swank.  It is the story of a girl living as a boy in a small town.  The ending is really hard to watch, but it's a great film.

Office Space and Ghost Dog are two other movies that I can watch over and over again.

A lot of people will tell you that the Fight Club movie isn't as good as the book.  I would disagree with those people.  I think the movie was far superior.

Audition is a Japanese horror film.  It is one of the most disturbing things ever.