1991-Good Year (Excellent in fact)
1993-Good Year (Another great year)
Did 1995 Suck in Movie History?
Masterpieces (2 Points)
Toy Story- This film changed how animated films would be created from thereafter. It was truly revolutionary. The plot was familiar, much like Brave Little Toaster in the 1980’s. However, this film focused on creating detailed characters complete with fundamental flaws. The film also can get very existential at times, a place few films ever dive too deeply into. https://andrewthemovieguy714.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/the-rewind-1990s-toy-story/
The Usual Suspects– We are introduced to Bryan Singer as a director with this film. It is well crafted piece of fiction. The characters are interesting, the story well told. I don’t like crime-dramas too much, but this film works for me overall. I don’t think it is the best crime film since The Godfather (I’d say Goodfellas maybe is), but this film certainly raised the bar for crime-dramas in the 1990’s.
Seven– Kevin Spacey was huge in 1995! This movie is exceptional. The acting of Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and Kevin Spacey. All of them at the top of their game in this film. Spoiler warning- the twist at the end wasn’t exactly as surprising if you were paying attention to the story from the start.A clever crime drama with awesome characters.
Very Good Movies (1 Point)
Apollo 13– Still among Ron Howard’s best work. Get a great deal from the cast featuring Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, and Kevin Bacon.
Heat– Some of my movie critic friends would say this is a masterpiece of filmmaking. I won’t fight them on that because I think is an amazing film. I thought the first half the of the movie was very engaging, but I lost interest in the second half. I’ll say that this movie is one that has inspired television shows and crime movies since. Is it a masterpiece? It may very well be, but in this situation I’ll call it a great film and leave it for you to decide.
Braveheart – I don’t really care for war films even if they are historical. Yes, that even includes Braveheart. However, Mel Gibson was at his finest in this role. The sets are detailed, the acting is intense and actually great at times. This film is incredibly well made and there is no argument I can make against that. If I enjoyed war movies more, I may even call this a masterpiece, but I don’t, so I won’t.
Movies I Love and Want/Already Own (2 Points)
Billy Madison– It’s stupid, but it still makes me laugh. This is the proof that I didn’t grow up, but rather Sandler just got lazy.
Clueless– Smart, funny, and sassy. Clueless was the high school comedy for the 1990s. A good one too.
Tommy Boy– I love this film even though it borrows from other comedies heavily at times. I say I want more Chris Farley films, but I know there is the chance he may have become like Sandler today. Farley was a funny guy and I’m thankful of the few great films he did provide the world with before he died.
Mallrats- I still think this is Kevin Smith’s funniest film. Featuring the likes of Jason Lee and Ben Affleck. With a brilliant cameo by one neat guy.
The Prophecy: Christopher Walken is truly a special talent. Something about his role in this film makes me so happy. He pulls off a great Gabriel in a battle between Heaven and Hell set on Earth. This film is very quotable, the villains are creepy, and the overall message rather interesting.
Movies I Like, but May Not Add to My Collection (1 Point)
Goldeneye- I believe this to be the best Brosnan James Bond film by far. It was filled with action, a cool villain. High intensity Bond action.
Friday- Even though I don’t partake. Friday is a really funny movie. It’s not very clever, but still a lot of fun.
Balto – It’s the story of a heroic dogsled dog who rescues a whole town from a deadly disease. Happens to be half wolf and treated poorly because of that. Again, another animated film diving into issues of racism here. This film is just another reason to love Kevin Bacon.
Murder in the First– A great courtroom drama featuring Kevin Bacon, Christian Slater, and Gary Oldman.
A Goofy Movie- While I wouldn’t say this film was the best Disney venture, I certainly enjoyed it as a kid. It has a good father-son bonding message. It’s humorous and probably more subversive than it should be. Still, I find it fun and worth a watch for an animated film.
To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar– Three drag queens played by Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo decide to travel cross-country for a prominent drag show. They wind up getting stuck in a small Midwestern town and forced to adapt to life there. They would change the town, as much as the town would change them.
While You Were Sleeping– It has a silly premise that I still love. I like Sandra Bullock in the movie. It’s cute and inoffensive. Just sit back and enjoy.
Desperado– A Robert Rodriguez film featuring the likes of Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, and Danny Trejo. What is not to love about this film?
Outbreak– It feels dated and is rather disturbing still about potential for epidemics. Starring Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, and Dustin Hoffman.
Babe – A cute story about a talking pig who was raised by sheepdogs. Sometimes the best children’s movies are the simplest.
Get Shorty – Smart and funny. A unique look at the movie business with a great cast. John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Danny DeVito, and Rene Russo,
Pocahontas – I understand that the movie is historically inaccurate, but it has some beautiful songs. A powerful message about racism, colonialism, tolerance, and conservatism. I’m not looking to an animated musical for historical ac curacies.
Jumanji – The acting performances by Robin Williams and Kirstin Dunst are pretty good in this one. It is a creepy board game, the movie has plenty of action, comedy, heart, and wonder. It is a perfect childhood movie that should only be remade because the effects do look very much dated.
Good Movies I just Can’t Embrace (1 Point)- These are movies that I saw the talent that went into the film, but still didn’t care.
Sense and Sensibility – I’ve never been a huge fan of Jane Austen novels. Nor do I enjoy films about her novels. If you do, check this one out though.
The Basketball Diaries– Certainly some disturbing imagery within this one. Tough to watch, especially since the late 1990’s.
Leaving, Las Vegas– A depressed writer goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. Builds and uneasy friendship with a prostitute. Nicholas Cage doing some of his best work here.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance– After the original, I didn’t enjoy these films nearly as much. If you love the franchise, you love this movie though.
Ghost in the Shell- Among the better anime movies ever made.
Smoke– About a smoke shop and the community which it serves in New York City.
Richard III – A historical drama starring Ian McKellen and Robert Downey Jr. Can be adapted to more modern situations
Nixon – An Oliver Stone film starring Anthony Hopkins as President Richard Nixon. It tells the story of his life and his time in office. All in traditional Stone fashion.
Dead Presidents- A Vietnam Vet struggles to assimilate into civilian life. Turns to a life of crime in order to support his family. I’ve never been a fan of the whole idea that the ends justify the means. Not my ideology in general, so it’s hard to embrace a film like this. Even if there is talent on and off-screen around it.
Dolores Claiborne– Based on a Stephen King story. About a small time reporter who is looking into the murder of a maid. A murder committed by her mother. She looks to uncover the mystery behind these events.
Strange Days- An action drama starring Ralph Fiennes and Angela Bassatt. About an ex-cop who uncovers corruption and conspiracy on the L.A. Police Force.
Casino- It’s a very well acted movie as are many crime films in the 1990’s. However, I don’t care much for the genre. Despite great acting by Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone, James Woods, Don Rickles, and Frank Vincent. Never could embrace this film even though I applaud the filmmaking and overall production of the film.
Rob Roy– Another period flick about Rob Roy trying to help his community live a better life through even the most desperate of means.
Mr. Holland’s Opus – We never know where inspiration will strike next. This is a beautiful movie, but unless you are really into the subject. It can get boring.
Dead Man Walking– A great cast featuring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. About a nun who has compassion for both the killer and the family of his victim.
The Bridges of Madison County– Very well acted thanks to Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, but I’ve always had a hard time being captivated by a love story.
Kids – The story of several kids living in New York City. This movie just bored me to no end.
Twelve Monkeys- I like a good thriller featuring Bruce Willis. This movie never caught my attention despite it’s overall quality. It’s a rare science-fiction miss for me.
Average Films (0 Points)
Casper-He’s a friendly ghost, and this is overall a friendly movie for kids. Although I’m sure there are some really sensitive people out there who are offended by this kind of movie.
Bad Boys- Some say this is Michael Bay’s best work. (I think it is the original Transformers.) I wouldn’t say it is a bad movie, but I do consider it overrated.
Empire Records-I think the movie’s strengths are from its talented young cast especially Liv Tyler and Renee Zellweger. For me, the film has a slow build up, but a cool third act.
Heavyweights – Ben Stiller is the biggest and best reason to watch this movie. He is just incredibly insane. Before there was White Goodman of Dodgeball (2004), there was Tony Perkis.
Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls – Not as fresh and funny as the original, but certainly worth a viewing.
Higher Learning-People coming from all walks of life must learn have to deal with the complicated issues or racial tension, violence, and responsibility on a college campus. It’s effective enough, nothing truly horrid about the film.
Major Payne– This movie has trouble with its tone. It had moments of comedic brilliance followed by long periods of boredom.
The American President- For some reason, I get this movie confused with Dave (1993). This is a political satire in the form of a romantic comedy. Starring Michael Douglas and directed by Rob Reiner.
Mighty Aphrodite– Woody Allen often makes an very well crafted film. This is another example, but I can never embrace his style of comedy as much as I hoped. Often I find it bleak and depressing.
Canadian Bacon– More satire, this time coming from Michael Moore who of course is making a strong statement about the United States in comparison to Canada. I find the film funny and it uses a great cast excellently. If you are very pro-America, then you may find it more offensive.
The Crossing Guard- Directed by Sean Penn and starring Jack Nicholson. A story of revenge after a jewelers daughter is killed by a drunk driver.
Restoration-A historical drama starring Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, Ian McKellen, Meg Ryan, and Hugh Grant. It’s certainly in good hands as far as acting, but falls short on being interesting throughout.
Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead– A quirky crime-drama starring Christopher Walken, Christopher Lloyd, and Andy Garcia. By the cast alone, you know you have something worth watching, but it’s certainly not for everyone.
Forget Paris– A run of the mill romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal. It has its moments, but it is also so very average.
Grumpier Old Men – People just loved seeing Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau together in comedies. I happen to be one of them. This movie make not be pioneering in anyway, but it pleasurable.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It– This is one of my guilty pleasure movies. It is so stupid that I love it.
Hackers– This movie is ridiculous. Basically a hacker is banned from using a computer til his 18th birthday. Him and his friends must find a way from stopping a destructive new computer virus from being unleashed into the world.
Waterworld- This movie was overhyped, over budget and over ridiculed. Yes,we all expected much more of the film, but there are far far worse films.
Bad Movies (1 Point) Bad movies can be guilty pleasure movies. There can be aspects about the films we enjoy. Just I wouldn’t call them good.
Mortal Kombat – This movie is bad, but as far of video game movies go, we can appreciate some aspects of it. It’s not unwatchable, it’s just not very good.
Judge Dredd- This movie has some great one-liners like “I AM THE LAW”. It has some neat ideas,but it never quite lives up to its potential.
Tank Girl– A cult-classic movie that is really strange. Very fitting of its equally bizarre comic. I still maintain that everyone should watch Tank Girl at least once in their life. It’s bad, but in a fun way.
First Knight -A medieval tale starring Sean Connery and Richard Gere. It is predictable and cliché. Just avoid it and watch something better.
The Net- This film may have been alright in the 1990’s, but due to the rapid advance in computer technology, it has grown old incredibly fast.
Congo- Things go from bad to worse in this movie about super gorillas. Read the book, it’s much better.
Village of the Damned- Stick to the 1960 original. It’s superior in almost every way imaginable.
Man of the House- Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Chevy Chase in the same movie. Oh my goodness, the pretentiousness in filming this one must have been bursting from the walls of the set. Avoid at all costs.
Nine Months-The film was far more boring than funny.
Money Train- Nothing remarkable here. Not nearly as funny as one would hope.
Tall Tale – I thought the idea of having all these tall tale figures come to life to be a really cool idea. I’d kind of want to see this one remade in hopes it would do better. For the children, this movie is acceptable.
Tom and Huck– A kids film featuring Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Remember him?) A watered down, family friendly version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn to say the least. Again, a fun movie if you are under 12, but that’s about as far as I am willing to say.
Vampire in Brooklyn– Another cult-classic. The tone in this movie is very strange. Mixing from serious and bloody to comedic. It never feels quite right throughout. There’s something cool about it, but from an overall perspective. Nothing in the movie was particularly good. It was Eddie Murphy dressed as a vampire, doing his standup routine basically.
The Big Green- In the tradition of the Bad News Bears, here is a team about a bad soccer team that suddenly becomes good. It’s a cute move for people who don’t know about movies and are under the age of 12..
The Indian in the Cupboard– Another kids movie that had some neat aspects to it. I would still have young kids watch this film, but I would not be the room for it.
Johnny Mnemonic– It’s a non-Matrix 1990’s Keanu Reeves film. That about sums it up.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie– I watched this movie as a kid and I enjoyed it. I watched it as an adult, and found it to be an abomination of film. May I never see it again.
Species- Here is a movie with an interesting idea. It’s a horror-scifi movie with some sexuality mixed in. Interesting idea, but other movies have done it far far better since.
Worst Movies Ever (2 Points)
Showgirls- This movie has lots of eye candy, but nothing else. It should be valued more as very light porn than actual cinema.
Halloween: Curse of Michael Myers– I really like the Halloween franchise. I can even find enjoyment in Halloween 4&5, but not this one. It is overly violent and lacking in any sense of taste. Of the original franchise, I consider it the second worst (Nothing beats Halloween 3: Season of the Witch.)
Theodore Rex- There are some movies that are too terrible to even grasp. This is one of them.
With a final score of 50-24. I must declare that 1995 was indeed a great year in movies. .