June 20, 2014

My Five Favorite Films From...1993

1993 was a powerhouse year for the movie industry. The sheer number of quality films that came out just boggles the mind. I had to struggle to pick my favorites.

Honorable Mention (x2) – Carlito’s Way and Dazed and Confused: Already I can’t pick just one film. Carlito’s Way is a fantastic gangster film and what I think is Pacino’s last great role. As for Dazed and Confused let’s just say that not only was it funny, but I was in my senior year of college and definitely enjoyed many of the same things the characters did. And I don’t mean Wooderman and high-school girls.

5. Schindler's List: An incredibly powerful movie. It seems ridiculous in retrospect that it took this movie to re-ignite interest in the Holocaust and preserving the memory of that evil as a warning to us all. But that is just how good it was. And that girl in the red coat…

4. True Romance: An excellent reminder that Tarantino has been writing great scripts for a while, Tony Scott could direct a film without gimmicks* and Christian Slater could act his ass off. And who knew that Balki from Perfect Strangers made such a good coke-head?

3. Shadowlands: I love this movie. If you told me 20 years ago that a British film about the relationship between C.S. Lewis and Joy Gresham would be a personal favorite, I’d have laughed in your face. But I do so love this film.

2. Army of Darkness: You have to love The Bruce in his seminal role as Ash. It’s corny and funny and ridiculous and I love all of it. Even people who don't like horror movies like this movie. Because The Bruce is awesome.

1. Groundhog Day: One of the funniest movies ever made. One of the best movies of all time. Solid from beginning to end with a lot of great one-liners and gets a message across without being preachy. If you don’t like this movie there is something seriously wrong with you.

Films I Like But Didn't Make The List: Three Colors: Blue, Rising Sun, Mad Dog and Glory, Dave, The Age of Innocence, Falling Down, The Fugitive, Judgment Night, In the Name of the Father, Manhattan Murder Mystery, Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire, My Life, Gettysburg, The Piano**, The Remains of the Day, Tombstone, Farewell My Concubine, In the Line of Fire, Point of No Return, Much Ado About Nothing, Philadelphia, The Firm, Grumpy Old Men, Six Degrees of Separation, Sleepless in Seattle, What's Love Got to Do With It

Underappreciated – So I Married an Axe Murderer: Mike Myers is pretty much a hack these days. But back in the day he made some funny films and this was one of them. But for some reason a lot of people hate on it and it always gets two stars from those ratings you see on cable when you press the “info” button for a listing. Which is insane, because this movie is gut-busting funny. It’s a Rorschach test of sorts; either you like it or you don’t. And if you don’t…well, I feel sorry for you. It’s like not being able to taste sugar.

Guilty Pleasure (x2) – Demolition Man and Hard Target: Stallone! Van Damme! Gunfire and punching galore! Sure, these aren’t Oscar-worthy films, but they are a fun distraction. And Hard Target was John Woo’s first American film, before he lost his mojo and starting making stuff like Windtalkers.

Insane Film That Must Be Mentioned – The Vanishing: This movie is not insane for what it contains but for how it was shot. This is a remake of the 1988 Dutch thriller/horror film Spoorloos, which has one of the best endings ever shot for a film. Simple, chilling and a gut-shot. The director, George Sluizer, directed the American remake as well. But he inexplicably tacked on a happy ending that destroyed any impact the movie had. It was like Sluizer intentionally killed it.

The only thing I can liken it to is Thomas Harris’ “fuck you” to fans of Lecter and Starling with his novel “Hannibal.” Just an utter disregard for one’s own work.

Reoccurring Note: As always, my list is not what I consider "the best" films of a particular year. If that was the case, Schindler’s List or Philadelphia would be at the top of the list. These are the films I enjoyed the most. Your mileage may vary.

* It's arguable to say that this was the peak of Tony Scott's career as a director: Crimson Tide was solid and Man on Fire is still a favorite of mine. Both were straight-ahead, well-directed films. But Domino was gimmicky in how it was shot and Deja Vu was both gimmicky and bad. All that said - before Scott sadly passed away he produced three solid films in 2013: Stoker, The East and Out of the Furnace.

** Could’ve done without seeing Harvey Keitel’s wang, though. What is it with him and showing off the goods. He did it in The Bad Lieutenant as well. Thank God he didn't whip it out in Moonrise Kingdom.

*** Woo got back on track with Red Cliffs, a historical Chinese war flick that is a hundred kinds of awesome.


Post a Comment


Site of Future Awesomeness

Coming soon.

Site of Future Awesomeness

Coming soon