Friday, January 22, 2010

Top 100 Movies of the '90s: 80-71

80. Husbands and Wives, 1992
Dir: Woody Allen
Cast: Woody Allen, Judy Davis

Consisting of long, documentary-style shots, awkward jump cuts, and interviews with the characters--- Husbands and Wives is one of Woody Allen's most interesting, original movies with some great performances from Judy Davis and the late Sydney Pollack.

79. Hamlet, 1996
Dir: Kenneth Branagh
Cast: Julie Christie, Kenneth Branagh

For me, it doesn't get much better than this very long adaptation of Shakespeare's "Hamlet." It stays true to the source material, it has some interesting, memorable actors playing bit parts, and this is easily Kenneth Branagh's best of his Shakespeare adaptations.

78. The Usual Suspects, 1995
Dir: Bryan Singer
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro

Very slick, stylized, entertaining crime movie with a great cast, especially Kevin Spacey as Roger Kint. As must of us already know, this movie hinges on one big important plot twist that kinda loses its effect when you watch it again. Yes, this is the type of movie that you probably shouldn't spoil for someone who hasn't seen it before. But that's not to take away from such great performances and script.

77. Office Space, 1999
Dir: Mike Judge
Cast: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston

Another comedy like Swingers and Wayne's World that's easily re-watchable. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen Office Space and still enjoy all the clever lines and the memorable characters, and just Ron Livingston's wonderfully miserable performance. Gary Cole also plays one of the funniest boring characters ever.

76. A Few Good Men, 1992
Dir: Rob Reiner
Cast: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson

I actually remember first watching this movie when I was six or seven. I've watched this movie many times and it's one of Rob Reiner's finest movies with excellent performances from Cruise and Nicholson.

75. Waiting for Guffman, 1996
Dir: Christopher Guest
Cast: Fred Willard, Catherine O'Hara

Of all the Christopher Guest mockumentaries, this one perhaps comes closest to being as good as This Is Spinal Tap in its own weird, quirky way. Comprised of the usual cast of characters that you see in Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, this movie contains one of my favorite scenes of the decade featuring Fred Willard in a windbreaker (the scene wouldn't have worked, clearly, if they weren't wearing windbreakers). It's just amazing how professionals like Catherine O'Hara and Fred Willard can act so awfully... on purpose, of course.

74. Kicking and Screaming, 1995
Dir: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Josh Hamilton, Eric Stoltz

This very smart, funny, and well-directed flick by first-timer Noah Baumbach is one of those movies that is of a specific time and place. When you put on this movie, expect to be shot out of a cannon into the early-to-mid '90s with these highly intelligent, funny, yet disillusioned characters who just graduated college and are still figuring out what they want to do with their lines. Some don't want to move on to the next step of their lives, some are forced to. This movie really showcased what a talent Noah Baumbach is and it's a great thing that he's back making movies after a long hiatus (thank you, Wes Anderson).

73. There's Something About Mary, 1998
Dir: Farrelly Brothers
Cast: Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz

One of the funniest movies of the decade and still a pleasure to watch... I remember when this movie first came out and the commercials made it look so stupid and it was rated R so it took me about year to finally see this movie. Of course, I was still only about 12 years old. This movie taught me important lessons on life such as "always flog the dolphin before a big date" and zip up your zipper carefully after using the bathroom. This movie influenced a bunch of shitty gross out comedies that came out in the next decade, but that doesn't diminish the humor in this movie.

72. Naked, 1993
Dir: Mike Leigh
Cast: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp

Those casual movie fans who may have rented "Happy-Go-Lucky" (another Mike Leigh film) and found the main character irritating and annoying should maybe give this movie a shot since its tone, its characters are the polar opposites of Poppy from Happy-Go-Lucky. This is Mike Leigh's most dark and depressing movie and it's also perhaps one of his most brilliant.

71. Wild at Heart, 1990
Dir: David Lynch
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern

I don't really know why or how Wild at Heart wont he Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1990, but I imagine that the judges must've been huge David Lynch fans. That's the only way you can truly enjoy this movie. You must know all of Lynch's little idiosyncrasies, his twisted sense of humor, and his penchant for scenes of extreme violence. But you know what? This is an awesome movie and perhaps the most fun Lynch movie to watch. So take a load off and enjoy this weird, wild, and sometimes erotic movie... and if you didn't like it/understand it then watch Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and/or Mulholland Dr. then come back to it. I'd also like to mention that this movie bears an awful amount of similarity to Tarantino's "True Romance"... both are entertaining in their own right.

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