Was the year 1991 a truly good year in film? Or was it better in our heads compared to on paper?
As you may have seen in 1990, it was a notoriously awful year in film. Would 1991 be the same or would it manage to improve?
This is all my opinion. So you may disagree about certain movies I talk abot and that’s fine. If you disagree, tell me what movies you like more or why you like the movies you do.
It is true that if you look at every film released in a year. You can likely make the case that there has never been a good year in movies. However, I’m only human and watching every single movie released in a year sounds needlessly painful. So rather than dissect every film, I go with the top 150 most popular films of that year which by and large will cover most films you’ve watched.
If you see a film missing that you think I should watch from 1991. Please tell me about it. I’m always looking for new suggestions.
For those of you who may wonder. When I say I couldn’t get into a film. I’m saying that it bored me or didn’t inspire me in anyway to watch it again.
Good Movies that Never Clicked With Me (1 Point )
JFK– I’m not crazy about JFK. Nor am I the biggest fan of Oliver Stone’s style of directing. I won’t say it’s bad, but it’s not for me. This movie talks about the JFK assassination in detail and discusses the possibilities and evidence of another shooter.
The Indian Runner- About a Vietnam vet who comes home to his small town only to struggle to assimilate into civilian life. He comes in conflict with his brother and the rules he vows to uphold.
Naked Lunch– A really bizarre drug trip of a movie. Inspired by the William S. Burroughs novel of the same name. The movie is well done, but too out there for me. I’m also very anti-drug, so it’s hard for me to relate to the characters.
My Own Private Idaho– A movie about two best friends on the road of self discovery. Never drew me in.
The Doors– I love the music of the Doors. I am fascinated by Jim Morrison as well. He was a unique soul with a dark side pertaining to drug use. I felt this movie focused far too much on his darker side and isn’t considered very accurate in general. It’s more Stone trying to make Morrison into more of an extreme figure than he was. I think despite its inaccuracy’s, the film is well put together.
Cape Fear – It is actually a very good remake of a very good movie. This one starring Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, and Jessica Lange Directed by Martin Scorsese. I think the film was well done, but I couldn’t get past the fact that it was a remake.
Fried Green Tomatoes – This movie just bored me. I wasn’t interested in the characters and the story just fell flat for me.
Thelma and Louise- A film that is well acted and well directed. Depicting a famous (or perhaps infamous) female duo on the run from the law together. The story exaggerates for entertainment purposes. Certainly not a bad film at all, but just I couldn’t get involved with the characters like I’d hope.
Boyz n The Hood – The film has a great cast featuring Cuba Gooding Jr, Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, and Ice Cube. . It’s very well done, but I just am not interested in crime films.
The Commitments – About an Irish rock band and their journey. Maybe it is because I’m not from Ireland, but I could never get into this film.
I Love This Movie! (Movies I own/or want to own) (2 Points)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day– A cinematic masterpiece. I’d argue that it is James Cameron’s best film.
What About Bob?– Billy Murray steals the movie, but Richard Dreyfuss is certainly a close second. It’s an absurd comedy.
Beauty and the Beast– Part of Disney’s golden age. A princess who doesn’t fit the traditional role, a good lesson followed up by wonderful songs, and a good story. Certainly among Disney’s best work.
The Addams Family– A fun, but sometimes dark and twisted comedy about that lovable family of misfits. I still feel this film was perfectly cast and Twenty plus years later, it’s still enjoyable.
The Silence of the Lambs – Well acted with creepy characters, two memorable villains and one tough woman played by Jodi Foster. Among the best films of the decade and beyond.
Overall Score- 20-0
Good Films (I like them, but wouldn’t spend money to own them)
Barton Fink– This is one of my favorite Coen Brothers film. It’s well crafted and well acted. Starring John Goodman and John Turturro. If you saw the ending of this movie coming, I may just call you a lair. Well done, a bit off the trodden path, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The Fisher King – Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges star together in this comedy drama about people facing and confronting a variety of mental illnesses. While it falls short of getting profound, the movie does provide some interesting insight into mental illness and how people are treated.
City Slickers – I mentioned this film in one of my rewinds. It’s one of my favorite Billy Crystal comedies. I think he steals the movie
Point Break– I know many who seriously love this movie. Starring Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Gary Busey. I can never fully embrace the movie, but I can’t deny that it has has an impact on action, crime films since.
Personal Score 14-0
Average Movies (1 point)(They aren’t bad, but I wouldn’t call them great either.)
Hook – A film I enjoyed in my youth, but as I grew older and watched more movies, this film lost a lot of its charm. Watch it again, its messy, awkward, and just off putting.
The Last Boy Scout – The plot is ridiculous and I never fully buy the Damon Wayans and Bruce Willis team up.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves– Robin Hood has never gained much interest from me. Despite featuring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, I never found this movie to be all that enjoyable.
Hot Shots– It’s not meant to be a good movie. It’s just Charlie Sheen making a crazy stupid movie. It doesn’t make much sense. It takes a familiar tone of Airplane (1980) except not nearly as fun and much stupider.
Grand Canyon – like the aspect of these characters from different backgrounds finding common ground. It’s good acting from Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Mary Louise Parker and Steve Martin. Still, it can get boring.
Jungle Fever– Despite featuring my friend’s cousin, Annabelle Sciorra along with Spike Lee and Wesley Snipes, the film never interested me. The whole interracial aspect felt too similar to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967). Certainly not a bad film, but I’ve seen better.
At Play in the Fields of the Lord – I wanted to like this film. I thought Jonathan Lithgow’s performance was admirable, but the story line was boring to me. I stopped caring halfway through the movie.
The Hard Way- Michael J. Fox and James Woods. One is an actor, the other a hard edged cop. Together, they join forces to take down crime. It has a strong first half, but the offbeat couple bit stalls in the second half.
Oscar – I like Stallone as Rocky. That seems to be about it for me.
Bugsy – Again, not a big crime buff, but I do enjoy history. The history aspect of this movie is skewed for Hollywood, but some of it still rings true.
The People Under the Stairs – Despite Wes Craven’s success in the 1980’s and later in the 1990’s, this film has very little to offer. It makes for an average horror film which means its a below average film in general.
Backdraft – I like the concept of two brothers filled with animosity forced to work together to stop a unique situation from going from bad to to worse. Stars Kurt Russell and Robert De Niro.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze – Another film I loved as a kid, but upon further review found it has aged terribly. The first one was far better.
Father of the Bride– This movie is alright, Steve Martin does what he can, but you are better off watching the 1950 original with Spencer Tracy.
The Rocketeer– You can see some of the elements that Iron Man (2008) would use. It’s neat to see that aspect of movie busi
My Girl – This movie isn’t bad if you like romance movies, but it bored me to tears on several occasions.
40-0 Overall Score
30-010- Personal score
Bad Movies (1 Point)
Sleeping With the Enemy– Think Gone Girl of the 1990’s, except with worse acting and a more ridiculous story.
F/X 2 – FX in 1986 was interesting and entertaining. It had a mix of light hearted and darker tones. This sequel misses the point of the first one. It’s just dark with more darkness. Not fun, not even good.
Drop Dead Fred– While I enjoyed the film as a child. Watching it as an adult is next to impossible.
Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare-If you like your horror cheesy and generally bad. This is a film for you.
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey – I enjoyed the original back in 1989. This one has a few good jokes, but pales in comparison to its predecessor.
House Party 2 – The first one had its moments. This movie is just awful.
Movies that were a special kind of awful (2 Points)
Child Play 3 – They just get worse and worse don’t they?
Mannequin: On the Move – I believe the CIA refers to films like this as “enhanced interrogation”
Every year will provide good and bad movies. Sometimes we get great films. This year had a little bit of everything. However, from what I’ve experienced. The year 1991 had by in large been very positive. Far better than 1990.
Overall Score- 40-10
Personal Score- 30-10
So I officially can tell you that while 1990 was awful, 1991 proved to be an exceptional year for movies. There were certainly a lot of average films, but the great ones really changed film.
1990- Bad Year for movies.
1991- Good year for movies