Saturday, June 17, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1991

After my stunning 1990 list that's bound to shock and amaze readers across the globe (I may only have 12 fans, but they're spread over 4 continents), I have prepared this next gem of a countdown. As I said in my previous list, this isn't some sort of attempt to compile the greatest movies of each year, I'm just naming my favorites. The precise ordering is pretty rough, so try not to take issue with where these are are placed. Half the time the tie-breaker amounts to little more than what title looks better next to a particular number. So keep that in mind, and enjoy reading.

10. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

The last of the first generation of Star Trek movies, and one of the very best in the whole series. I don't hear many people talk about this movie (probably because they gave up on the series after the fifth one), but when it comes to Klingon stories, this is easily the best put on film. The main cast is back and feel very energetic (Christopher Plummer also does an awesome job), with a story that helped retroactively set up certain elements of backstory for The Next Generation (series). It's a wonderful send-off for the characters I can't help but to love, letting them ride off into the sunset -- almost literally.

9. Samurai Cop

A legend of so-bad-it's-good entertainment, Samurai Cop is a goldmine for those of us out there who actively seek out cinematic stupidity. With acting so bad it would win porno Razzies, a script filled with dialogue that you can never quite tell if it's deliberately trying to suck or not, and all the impressive filmmaking qualities you could expect from a movie called 'Samurai Cop', there are few things out there quite as hilariously awful as this. So watch it, watch it twice, and don't forget to do that drunk and with other like-minded masochists.

8. City Slickers

I am yet to reach the point in my life where this movie might be considered relevant to my situation, but I have a feeling that when I do, this movie will have completely new meaning to me. Keeping that in mind, this has always been a comedy I've been able to find hilarious and touching. The trio of main characters are well-written with established personalities, imperfections, insecurities, and interactions that are both believable and emotionally charged. It's rare for an adult comedy to not rely on cheap shock humor (it's only PG-13), but rather deep emotional connections and heavy themes.

7. Beauty And The Beast

I didn't bother to watch the new remake that came out earlier this year, but I don't need to. Not only is the 1946 Cocteau film one of the best fantasy movies to come out in the first half of the 20th century, but this musical retelling of the classic story (which I hear is almost directly copied in the remake) is already so close to perfect, the entire idea of watching it again only different seems pointless to me. The music, animation,'s all fantastic. And you know this already. Moving on.

6. Delicatessen

The best French cannibal movie I've ever seen, Delicatessen is not only bizarre visually and thematically, but in virtually every other way as well. Jean-Pierre Jeunet (potentially the snobbiest sounding name in the history of the universe) is a director with a very distinct style and sense of humor, and despite being his directorial debut, this movie has all the hallmarks of a filmmaker with far more experience. This is a vibrant, energetic, and totally bonkers film that is impossible to forget -- and I would know, I haven't seen it in years and still vividly remember scenes from it.

5. The Rocketeer

One of the best superhero movies around, yet it never gets any attention and has been swept under the rug for well over a decade now. I usually don't care much for movies that try really hard to look old-fashioned (Joe Johnston's later film Captain America: The First Avenger is an example of that gone wrong), I was totally won over by this one and still enjoy it to this day. I particularly love the supporting cast that includes the always-entertaining Alan Arkin, a mustache-twirling Timothy Dalton, and Terry O'Quinn as possibly the best on-screen Howard Hughes. If you think those generic and boring MCU movies are the end-all of superhero movies, give this on a shot. If you don't enjoy this more, you're hopeless.

4. Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah

Trying to determine what my favorite Godzilla movie is is a very difficult task, and while my default answer is generally the 1954 original for a multitude of reasons, if I were to select a favorite for its sheer entertainment value, this one might top that list. Time-travel, giant mechanized monster enhancements, Terminator-esque robots...the amount of baffling nonsense in this movie is staggering, but the amount of fun that can be had from it is equally as high. It's definitely worth watching for anyone interested in Heisei era Godzilla, or just anyone who can sit back and enjoy a fun monster movie.

3. Barton Fink

One of the absolute best Coen Brothers films of the 1990s (which was a pretty great decade for them), Barton Fink is a weirdly surreal comedic drama that delves deep into the mind of a writer, blending absurdity into the film's reality in a way that wouldn't be totally out of place in a Charlie Kaufman script. John Turturro possibly gives the best performance of his career here, with John Goodman in one of his most memorable roles ever -- a character with a fantastic twist that you could pretty much never see coming. It's gone mostly under the radar, but has built up quite the following over the years.

2. Naked Lunch

It was a very sudden realization for me when I came to appreciate this film as the work of genius that it is. I enjoy body horror, and seeing it blended into a classic setting worked out surprisingly well. Peter Weller is his usual stoic self, and the gooey weirdness of the creature designs paired with the seemingly nonsensical plot make for a truly unique experience. It improves with each viewing, as it has risen from something I disliked into what I consider one of Cronenberg's greatest films.

1. The Silence Of The Lambs

While Naked Lunch was a very close second, this was a pretty obvious choice for me. Being one of the handful of movies I sought out after turning 17 (my family was pretty strict with following the rating system), this was a movie I was aware of and excited to watch for years before I ever saw it. And even with all that hype going into it, it still didn't disappoint. The performances are incredible, and even though I don't consider Hopkins the best film Hannibal (Brian Cox all the way), he did create a legend here, as did Ted Levine as the thoroughly disturbing serial killer Buffalo Bill. This is a disturbing, quotable, and iconic movie that holds up today and I'm sure it will still stand as an all-time great in another 26 years. Thanks for reading.

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