Did 1993 suck for movies? I’ve decided to explore and find out which years were truly great and which were less than good from the viewpoint of all the movies of that year which I have seen.
I’m going to alter my grading system. I feel that average movies are getting too much credit. While I think they should be acknowledged. I don’t think they will earn points in my system. That may throw off my 1990, 1991, and 1992 scale a bit though, but I corrected it here https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/did-the-1990s-suck-in-movie-history-special-update/
Did I forget a movie? Let me know. I’m always willing to hear new POVs on movies I’ve seen or ones that I should see.
Masterpieces Movies (Movies I consider of an exceptional quality. 2 Points)
Schindler’s List-Another Spielberg work, this one a powerful historical drama about the life and deeds of Oskar Schindler during the Holocaust. It is a piece of tragic artwork, depicting the horrors of the Holocaust, but also the ability to rise above it. I consider it from a production stance as one of the all time great films ever made.
Jurassic Park – I still think it is the best dinosaur film to this day. Nearly every scene has meaning and or enjoyment. Well acted and wonderfully directed. Among Spielberg’s finest works in the Science Fiction/ Fantasy realm. Great cast, good writing, and near perfect scene for scene. I love this film dearly.
Films I love and Own/ Want to own (2 points)
Cool Runnings – An awesome movie starring John Candy. About Jamaica’s first bobsled team. It is totally Disneyfied, but entertaining. Includes some important notes about honor, self-respect, and achieving what many deem impossible.
The Fugitive– Another truly great film from the 1990’s. Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones are truly something impressive.
Mrs. Doubtfire -Another smash hit for Robin Williams. This time he dresses in drag as Mrs. Doubtfire. It was an enjoyable comedy when I was younger and it remains so to this day.
Groundhog’s Day- One of Bill Murray’s finest films. It has both humor and heart.
Robin Hood: Men in Tights– This isn’t Mel Brooks finest work, but I still thoroughly enjoy it. I feel it is ripped apart by many for its silly humor. All these years later, it can still make me laugh though. That is something I can’t deny.
Hocus Pocus-It is October tradition to watch this Comedy. I grew up with it, I love it. Sure, the technology and society have changed, but the humor still works for me. It is perfect for introducing the Halloween season without being too violent.
The Night Before Christmas– The stop-motion animation is superb. The songs and characters memorable as can be. Perfect for both Halloween and Christmas. Tim Burton maybe didn’t direct it, but you can feel his influence throughout.
Grumpy Old Men – Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon did such great work together. This remains as one of my favorites.
Movies I Enjoyed, but Wouldn’t Own (1 Point)
Tombstone – With a great cast featuring Kurt Russell Val Kilmer, Charlton Heston, Bill Paxton, This happens to be among my favorite westerns ever made.
Much Ado About Nothing– A very good adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, featuring the talents of Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson, and Kenneth Branagh. It’s wonderfully acted and of course well written. Branagh has a knack for writing movies like this.
In the Line of Fire- One of my favorite Eastwood films. Also stars John Malkovich, and Rene Russo. Showcases the struggles of being a secret service agent with a troubled past. Trying to save a president from an assassin.
Fire in the Sky– One of the better made alien abduction movies. It’s creepy and even disturbing at times. There are a couple moments I have to look away in this one.
Cliffhanger – It was Stallone’s big comeback to film. Starring him, Michael Rooker, and Jonathan Lithgow. Considering some of the movies Stallone has been involved in, it was certainly an improvement.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm – I debated putting this on the list, but it is a very well done animated film. Among the best things 1990’s Batman related things out there in fact.
Heart and Souls– A cute comedy-fantasy film starring Robert Downey Jr and Charles Grodin. Involving a smug businessman (Guess who plays that?), and four guardian angels who watched over him as a child with no idea what their true job was until later on when he is an adult.
Philadelphia– Skillfully acted by Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks. This film is very powerful with a strong message. It is a major step forward for mainstream media in dealing with the struggles of the LGBT community.
Sleepless in Seattle– A cute romcom starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. About two lonely people in Seattle looking for love. It’s funny, cute, and fun.
Addams Family Values – The lovable, but deranged family is back for another adventure. This one may not be as fresh as the original, but it still provides many people with the humor and characters that made the first film a hit. If you love the original, you’ll probably enjoy this film almost as much.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey– A reboot of The Incredible Journey (1963)- this movie tells the tail* of two dogs, and a cat as they look to find the way back home through the wilderness. It’s a heartwarming adventure featuring the voices of Michael J. Fox, Sally Field, and Don Ameche. The remake is actually quite good as far as remakes go.
The Sandlot- Back when baseball was cool and being the new kid struggling to fit in with the neighborhood boys was a major struggle. (I suppose it still is.) All I can say is that this film is still pretty great.
Films I Respect, but Don’t Particularly Enjoy (1 point)
True Romance– Written by Quentin Tarantino and starring Dennis Hopper, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken, and of course, Samuel L. Jackson. This movie is well written, but much like most Tarantino inspired works, I don’t like it all that much.
Manhattan Murder Mystery– Directed, written and starring Woody Allen. Also featuring Diane Keaton, Anjelica Huston, Jerry Adler, Alan Alda, and the movie debut of Zach Braff. It’s a quirky comedy that is a bit slow. I’ve watched the film a couple of time, it’s certainly not bad, but never really hit the mark with me.
Benny and Joon – Starring Johnny Depp, Oliver Platt, Julianne Moore, and William H. Macy. An eccentric young man finds himself falling in love with a mentally ill woman or vice-versa. You be the judge. Certainly a lot to like about the film, but a bit too odd and slow paced for my liking. Still, I appreciate the talent that went into the film.
Rudy– the never say die football story…isn’t all that special for me. Starring John Favreau. Maybe it’s because he plays for Notre Dame? I just don’t know, but not my kind of film and I love an underdog story. No clue why I don’t love this movie.
Alive– A disturbing movie inspired by true events where a rugby team gets into a plane crash and are forced to eat the dead in order to survive.
The Secret Garden – a well made fantasy film with Maggie Smith. I certainly don’t hate it, but it just didn’t fill me with love either.
In the Name of the Father – Daniel Day Lewis and Emma Thompson are great. In fact, I may have to rewatch this one. The first time I never got into it. Sometimes a film just doesn’t engage you like you’d hope.
This Boy’s Life – Starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. About a young man and his abusive father and their time together.
A Perfect World – Clint Eastwood directed and starred in it. Also has Kevin Costner. A unique crime-drama.
The Remains of the Day – Starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It’s a slow movie romance movie.
Short Cuts– A movie that is long winded, but with a great cast. Julianne Moore, Robert Downey. Jr, Jack Lemmon, Fred Ward, Matthew Modine, Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Six Degrees of Separation – Will Smith breaks out with this role (at least in film). The movie also features Donald Sutherland, Ian McKellen, Anthony Michael Hall, and Stockard Channing.
Fearless – About overcoming fear and much more. Too much to mention really. Starring Jeff Bridges
The Joy Luck Club – There is nothing about this movie which suggest it is for me. I did try watching it, but I could not relate to it. Sometimes a movie isn’t made for you. At those times, respect the film if you can, and walk away.
Searching for Bobby Fischer – I just don’t care! They are making a new Bobby Fischer inspired movie, and I care a bit more there, but not here. Starring Laurence Fishburne, Sir Ben Kingsley.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? – This movie just beats you down so much before letting you up. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, John C. Reilly,
Dazed and Confused– This movie is dazed and confused. Sure, it stars some noteworthy people like Matthew McConaughey and directed by Richard Linklater, but I couldn’t relate to anyone in this movie. Didn’t particularly care for em either.
A Bronx Tale – I don’t care for crime films all that much, but it was directed and stars Robert De Niro. No question, I respect it in large part because I respect him so much as an actor.
Average Films (0 Points)- You may or may not want to check them out.
Untamed Heart – Could never get into this movie despite it starring Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei. Just wasn’t for me, but if you like a good comedy, romance, drama, then check it out for yourself.
Kalifornia– A dark crime-thriller starring Brad Pitt.
Once Upon a Forest – this animated movie is fine for younger audiences, but gets tiresome quick as you get older.
Needful Things – I actually enjoyed this Stephen King inspired movie, but of course the book is much better. Read the book, then if you are bored, watch the film.
Demolition Man – I love the trio of Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock in this film. Seeing them work together makes the film worth watching. (Also stars Dennis Leary, but the first three make the movie.)
The Firm– Stars Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, so you know there is some positives to the movie, but I found it bland.
Rookie of the Year– It’s a funny fantasy film that loses some of its shine halfway through. Stars Garey Busey though, so watch it if only for his parts.
Dave– Another average political comedy where a man has a striking resemblance to the president and is put into his place during the onslaught of a political scandal. It has a great cast, featuring Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Ving Rhames, Bonnie Hunt, Laura Linney. Sir Ben Kingsley, Frank Langella Charles Grodin
Wayne’s World 2 – This one has some great comedic moments. It also has Chris Farley and Christopher Walken, so I still think it awesome!
Hot Shots: Part Duex– Incredibly stupid sequel to an equally stupid original. I personally enjoy the sequel more, but both are just so stupid.
We;re Back: A Dinosaur Story– An animated movie with a great voice cast. John Goodman, Jay Leno, Walter Cronkite, Larry King, Yeardley Smith, Martin Short, Julia Child. It works, but not the best animated dinosaur movie. (Land Before Time (1988) still holds that honor.)
The Pelican Brief – Starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, it is a decent crime drama. Has it’s moments, some good acting, but nothing superb.
The Good Son– McCauley Culkin has gone evil. Basically, in this scenario. Joe Pesci would probably be the hero if he caught this kid.
So I Married and Axe Murderer– A comedy starring Michael Myers. It’s a bit slow at time, but certainly has its moments. Not Myer’s best film, but far far from his worst. (Did you watch The Love Guru? No, you didn’t, because it’s unwatchable. )
The Man Without a Face– A slightly above average drama starring Mel Gibson. It is an intriguing story that I’d actually watch a remake of given the right talent was behind it.
Bad Films. They aren’t grand, but There’s Worse (1 Point for Bad Movies)
Coneheads – A popular SNL skit turned into a movie. I will admit I enjoy the first half of this movie a great deal, then all the joy stops and it tries too hard. While it certainly has some moments, the overall product is inferior.
Indecent Proposal- whoever thought of this movie sure accomplished that. Not just indecent, but rather obscene.
Loaded Weapon 1 – This movie is meant to be bad, a spoof off of Lethal Weapon series. It is very silly and will make people laugh sometimes, but in the end its for the trash heap in movie history.
Dennis the Menace-You would think a movie starring Christopher Lloyd and Walter Matthau would be pretty cool. In this case, you’d be wrong. Again, it has these moments of joy, but the overall movie squanders any magic.
Return of the Living Dead 3- When an interesting franchise becomes a joke. The zombies look for brains, because they were in short supply for this film.
Sister Act 2 (Back in the Habit)- There are positives to this movie, but in between the positives are long periods of nothing. We bought it first time (barely), now you go back? Why?
Free Willy – Alright, the kid me enjoyed this film. Though, slowly as I aged. The film lost its charm. Now knowing all I know. It’s horrific in many ways.
Some of the Worst Films Ever Created (2 Points)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3– The first two were good to tolerable. This last film was the work of something unspeakable evil.
Son-In-Law- Oh Pauly Shore….please stay in the 1990’s and never come back (I know he is still around, but no quite like this and thank goodness. This movie is dreadful!.)
Super Mario Bros– While there are some positives to this movie as a stand-alone sci-fi flick. As something remotely connected to Super Mario games. It borders on a hate crime.
Weekend at Bernie’s 2– The first movie should not have worked, but it did. The second movie shouldn’t have worked ever more so….and it didn’t. It truly didn’t. The fact that this movie was even cobbled together brings tears to my eyes .
Leprechaun– Let’s make a horror comedy that is neither scary nor funny. Just bad, very bad (then give it sequels! Talk about terrifying.)
The Beverly Hillbillies– I loved watching reruns of the television show. I still would like to sit back and watch that show, but this movie was just awful. Whatever charm the show has, this movie lacks.
Look Who’s Talking Now – I get that many people talk down to children or fail to put effort in. There are movies that are going to stick with a child and movies like this that will be easily forgotten. One thing movies like this teach us is that a cheap money grab doesn’t work. (An expensive money grab may still work though- Transformers….any Adam Sandler of the last decade plus)
Cop and a ½ – Funny how fast something goes from “Awww, how cute.” to WHEN IT IS OVER! WHEN! This is one of those films.
Beethoven’s 2nd – The first one as a kid was tolerable. The second one was a money grab and it was horrible. When you are eight years old and think a movie sucks. Bad sign.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday- The first couple were okay at best. By this point, the series is stale.
Robocop 3– Just let this franchise die! Some ideas are just not meant to be sequels.
By a score of 49-29. I pronounce that 1993 was indeed not just good, but a great year in movie history.