Monday, January 26, 2015



  1. Star Trek: First Contact
  2. Looking for Richard
  3. Mission: Impossible
  4. Independence Day
  5. The Island of Dr. Moreau
  6. From Dusk Till Dawn
  7. Jerry Maguire
  8. The Cable Guy
  9. Trainspotting
  10. Happy Gilmore
  11. Primal Fear
  12. Romeo + Juliet
  13. The English Patient
  14. The Nutty Professor
  15. Scream
  16. Hamlet
  17. Mars Attacks!
  18. That Thing You Do!
  19. Mary Reilly
  20. The Fan
  21. The Rock
  22. The Phantom
  23. Kingpin
  24. Courage Under Fire
  25. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  26. The Quest
  27. Rumble in the Bronx
  28. Crash
Other Notable Releases
  1. A Time to Kill
  2. Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
  3. The Birdcage
  4. Bottle Rocket
  5. Bound
  6. Emma
  7. Eraser
  8. Evita
  9. Fargo
  10. The First Wives Club
  11. Flirting with Disaster
  12. The Frighteners
  13. Get on the Bus
  14. Glory Daze
  15. High School High
  16. Jack
  17. James and the Giant Peach
  18. The Last Supper
  19. Marvin's Room
  20. Michael
  21. Multiplicity
  22. Muppet Treasure Island
  23. My Fellow Americans
  24. The People Vs. Larry Flynt
  25. Phenomenon
  26. Ransom
  27. Shine
  28. Sleepers
  29. Sling Blade
  30. Space Jam
  31. Swingers
  32. Tin Cup
  33. Twister
  34. Wallace and Gromit
Notes: I've twice before selected a Star Trek film as my favorite, but they were both in '80s years where my experience was fairly lean.  First Contact was an instant favorite of mine, and thanks to Patrick Stewart's standout performance remains my leading contender as best Trek all-time.  From there, let's provide a breakdown, just so you can see my thought process.  Second goes to Looking for Richard, Al Pacino's film about a production of Richard III, which also features Kevin Spacey.  The '90s were good for seeing unusual actors doing Shakespeare, which is a shame because it's happened rarely since.  Third goes to another instant and long-time favorite, Tom Cruise's first Mission: Impossible, which should never be diminished in anyone's eyes just because it was based on prior material.  It's first-rate stuff.  Fourth goes to Independence Day, a classic disaster flick (and the year's top grosser) packed with memorable performances.  Fifth goes to Island of Dr. Moreau, which is usually regarded as Marlon Brando's biggest headscratcher.  But I don't tend to agree that conventional wisdom is always right.  Whatever Brando thought or however he approached the role, the results are still fascinating, and it doesn't hurt to have David Thewlis and Val Kilmer along.  Sixth goes to From Dusk Till Dawn, another early-career Robert Rodriguez winner, with the same being said for at-the-time box office newbie George Clooney.  Seventh goes to Jerry Maguire, which is one of the decade's enduring romantic dramas.  Eighth goes to Cable Guy, the movie that snapped Jim Carrey's streak, undeservedly so.  In hindsight, the beginning of Carrey taking his career into his own creative hands.  Ninth goes to Trainspotting, a movie I haven't seen in years and if anytime more recently, probably would rank higher.  Shame that it doesn't seem to have had the same cultural staying power as its ideological predecessor, A Clockwork Orange.  Tenth goes to Happy Gilmore, easily my favorite Adam Sandler comedy.  Eleventh goes to Edward Norton's breakthrough, Primal Fear.  Twelfth goes to Romeo + Juliet, one of those '90s Shakespeare efforts that's now best known as early spotlights for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, both of whom proved very much worth casting in such famous roles.  Thirteenth goes to The English Patient, which you kind of have to be patient with.  Fourteenth goes to The Nutty Professor, which revived Eddie Murphy's popular career and because I really haven't seen his biggest '80s hits is still my most direct experience with what he's best known for (besides Donkey).  Fifteenth goes to Scream, the start of a franchise I still like to think as Liev Schreiber's best bet to be remembered.  Sixteenth goes to this particular Hamlet, which was Kenneth Branagh's.  Seventeenth goes to Mars Attacks!, which is like the comedy version of Independence Day.  Eighteenth goes to That Thing You Do!, which will probably remain the only time one of the colleges I went to (Mercyhurst in Erie, PA) becomes immortalized in film.  Unless people start making films about Stephen King.  Nineteenth goes to Mary Reilly, a film that at the time nearly ruined Julia Roberts' career, but is actually pretty awesome.  Twentieth goes to The Fan, which is a fun little entry in the careers of Tony Scott, Wesley Snipes, and Robert Di Niro.  Twenty-first goes to The Rock, which was a favorite of my brother's.  Twenty-second goes to The Phantom, which was like a warm-up for Mask of Zorro, Catherine Zeta-Jones included!  Twenty-third goes to Kingpin, which I think if anyone remembers it is thanks to Bill Murray's hair.  Twenty-fourth goes to Courage Under Fire, which I pretty much remember as the film where a young Matt Damon is incredibly gaunt.  Twenty-fifth goes to Hunchback of Notre Dame, still the unlikeliest Disney animated flick ever.  Twenty-sixth goes to The Quest, a minor if crucial film in Jean-Claude Van Damme's career.  He directed it.  And stars in it, naturally.  Twenty-seventh goes to Rumble in the Brbox, which launched Jackie Chan's Hollywood career, but as it turns out doesn't really translate that well.  And finally, Crash rounds out the list because it's about as good as the book.  I don't like either one.

...And I'll spare everyone doing the same for the movies in the second list.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 at a glance

The Loft (1/30)
This was on my watch list last year, but it was apparently delayed.  So here it is again.

Jupiter Ascending (2/6)
Another must-see movie from last year with a far better publicized release delay.  (There are a bunch of delays coming out this year for some reason.)

Focus (2/27)
New Will Smith.  For me, that's still a very good thing.

Chappie (3/6)
New from Neill Blomkamp.

Serena (3/27)
I'm so far behind my Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence flicks, if I saw this one on its release, it would be my first one.

Furious 7 (4/3)
Probably the most anticipated delayed release of the year.

Selfless (4/17)
Although for me, the new Tarsem is.

Child 44 (4/17)
Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.

Rock the Kasbah (4/24)
Featuring Zooey Deschanel.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (5/1)
One of those surefire blockbusters, right?

Mad Max: Fury Road (5/15)
"Mr. Franchise" Tom Hardy.

Tomorrowland (5/22)
Looks fascinating.

Terminator Genisys (7/3)
I'm hooked on the franchise.

Pan (7/17)
I'm also hooked (heh) on Peter Pan.

Black Mass (9/18)
Mob movies.  C'mon.

The Walk (10/2)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The Twin Towers.

Spectre (11/6)
Bond.  New Bond.

The Martian (11/27)
Ridley Scott.

Midnight Special (11/27)
Kristen Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton, Michael Shannon.

In the Heart of the Sea (12/11)
Ron Howard adapts the true story of the event that inspired Moby Dick.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (12/18)
You, ah, probably know about this one.

Mission: Impossible 5 (12/25)
Another of my favorite series.

Joy (12/25)
Cooper/Lawrence again, this time with David O. Russell.  Again.

The Revenant (12/25)
Tom Hardy again, plus Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

(Clearly, all dates subject to change.)



  1. Toy Story
  2. Grumpier Old Men
  3. The Quick and the Dead
  4. Don Juan De Marco
  5. Higher Learning
  6. Desperado
  7. The Usual Suspects
  8. Braveheart
  9. Mortal Kombat
  10. Apollo 13
  11. Nixon
  12. Waterworld
  13. Batman Forever
  14. 12 Monkeys
  15. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
  16. Dracula: Dead and Loving It
  17. Dead Man Walking
  18. Casino
  19. Bad Boys
  20. Mr. Holland's Opus
  21. Othello
  22. Four Rooms
  23. GoldenEye
  24. Judge Dredd
  25. Tommy Boy
  26. Species

Other Notable Releases
  1. A Kid in King Arthur's Court
  2. A Little Princess
  3. The American President
  4. Babe
  5. The Basketball Diaries
  6. Before Sunrise
  7. The Bridges of Madison County
  8. Clockers
  9. Clueless
  10. Congo
  11. Crimson Tide
  12. Cutthroat Island
  13. Dangerous Minds
  14. Die Hard: With a Vengeance
  15. First Knight
  16. Friday
  17. Get Shorty
  18. Heat
  19. Jade
  20. Jumanji
  21. Kids
  22. Leaving Las Vegas
  23. Mallrats
  24. Mighty Aphrodite
  25. Money Train
  26. Richard III
  27. Rob Roy
  28. Sense and Sensibility
  29. Seven
  30. Strange Days
  31. To Die For
  32. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
  33. Village of the Damned
  34. Waiting to Exhale
  35. While You Were Sleeping
  36. Wild Bill
Notes: Clockers, Cutthroat Island, First Knight, Mallrats, Rob Roy, and Wild Bill are all films that could be listed in the Viewed/Ranked section, but I've reserved because I would need to see them again to have a proper appreciation.  It strikes me that 1995 was an exceptional year, and a crucial one.  I could write a lot more about that.

Monday, January 19, 2015



  1. Pulp Fiction
  2. The Shawshank Redemption
  3. Forrest Gump
  4. Star Trek Generations
  5. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  6. Wyatt Earp
  7. The Mask
  8. The Santa Clause
  9. Stargate
  10. Natural Born Killers
  11. Legends of the Fall
  12. Maverick
  13. The Lion King
  14. Street Fighter
  15. True Lies
  16. Dumb and Dumber
  17. Clerks
Other Notable Releases
  1. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
  2. Airheads
  3. Being Human
  4. Beverly Hills Cop III
  5. Bullets Over Broadway
  6. Clear and Present Danger
  7. The Client
  8. Crooklyn
  9. The Crow
  10. Ed Wood
  11. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  12. Heavenly Creatures
  13. The Hudsucker Proxy
  14. I.Q.
  15. Interview with the Vampire
  16. The Madness of King George
  17. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  18. The Next Karate Kid
  19. The Pagemaster
  20. The Paper
  21. The Professional
  22. Quiz Show
  23. The Road to Wellville
  24. Speed
Notes: The Viewed/Ranked for this year is a pretty strong crop (although I'm not particularly a fan of Clerks), with a number of films listed in Other Notable Releases (Crooklyn, Interview with the Vampire, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Road to Wellville, Speed) technically eligible for inclusion as well, held out only due to my sketchy memories of and/or incomplete experience with them.  I left out a bunch of other recognizable names in the latter listing in the interests of brevity.  As always, that's a list of movies I'd like to see at some later point.  Also, my listing of Forrest Gump below Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption should not be construed as a commentary on the Oscars debate.  They all three extremely notable movies for entirely different reasons.

Sunday, January 18, 2015



  1. Schindler's List
  2. Groundhog Day
  3. Grumpy Old Men
  4. True Romance
  5. Heaven and Earth
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Much Ado About Nothing
  8. Robin Hood: Men in Tights
  9. The Snapper
  10. Mrs. Doubtfire
  11. The Fugitive
  12. Kalifornia
  13. The Thing Called Love
  14. Gettysburg
  15. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
  16. The Man Without a Face
  17. Dave
  18. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
  19. Jurassic Park
  20. Romper Stomper
  21. El Mariachi
  22. It's All True
  23. Cool Runnings
  24. Tombstone
  25. Hocus Pocus
  26. Free Willy
Other Notables Releases
  1. Addams Family Values
  2. Another Stakeout
  3. Army of Darkness
  4. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
  5. Beethoven's 2nd
  6. Benny and Joon
  7. Carlito's Way
  8. Cliffhanger
  9. Coneheads
  10. Dazed and Confused
  11. Dead Alive
  12. Demolition Man
  13. Dennis the Menace
  14. The Firm
  15. Geronimo: An American Legend
  16. In the Line of Fire
  17. Indecent Proposal
  18. Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday
  19. The Joy Luck Club
  20. Last Action Hero
  21. Look Who's Talking Now
  22. Manhattan Murder Mystery
  23. Menace II Society
  24. The Meteor Man
  25. Mr. Nanny
  26. The Pelican Brief
  27. Robocop 3
  28. Rookie of the Year
  29. Rudy
  30. The Sandlot
  31. Searching for Bobby Fisher
  32. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit
  33. Six Degrees of Separation
  34. Sleepless in Seattle
  35. Son of the Pink Panther
  36. Super Mario Bros.
  37. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
  38. The Three Musketeers
  39. Wayne's World 2
  40. Weekend at Bernies II
  41. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  42. What's Love Got to Do with It

Monday, January 12, 2015



  1. Malcolm X
  2. Reservoir Dogs
  3. Aladdin
  4. A Few Good Men
  5. The Cutting Edge
  6. Sister Act
  7. Batman Returns
  8. A River Runs Through It
  9. A League of Their Own
  10. Bram Stoker's Dracula
  11. Chaplin
  12. Wayne's World
  13. Noises Off
  14. Brain Donors
  15. Unforgiven
  16. Scent of a Woman
  17. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  18. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  19. The Mighty Ducks
  20. Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
  21. Toys
Other Notable Releases
  1. 3 Ninjas
  2. 1492: Conquest of Paradise
  3. Alien 3
  4. Bad Lieutenant
  5. Basic Instinct
  6. Beethoven
  7. The Bodyguard
  8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  9. Candyman
  10. Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
  11. Cool World
  12. The Crying Game
  13. Encino Man
  14. Far and Away
  15. Glengarry Glenn Ross
  16. Honeymoon in Vegas
  17. Johnny Suede
  18. The Last of the Mohicans
  19. Lethal Weapon 3
  20. My Cousin Vinny
  21. Of Mice and Men
  22. Patriot Games
  23. Sneakers
  24. Twin Peaks - Fire Walk with Me
  25. Under Siege
  26. Universal Soldier
  27. White Men Can't Jump

Monday, January 5, 2015



  1. JFK
  2. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  3. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  4. Hook
  5. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  6. The Doors
  7. The Fisher King
  8. Beauty and the Beast
  9. What About Bob?
  10. The Commitments
  11. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
  12. White Fang
  13. My Girl
  14. Thelma and Louise
  15. Point Break
  16. Shipwrecked
  17. The Rocketeer
  18. Life Stinks
  19. Fried Green Tomatoes
  20. The Silence of the Lambs
  21. King Ralph
  22. Jungle Fever
  23. Highlander 2: The Quickening
  24. Hudson Hawk
  25. The Neverending Story II
  26. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II

    Other Notable Releases
    1. The Addams Family
    2. An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
    3. Barton Fink
    4. Boyz N the Hood
    5. Bugsy
    6. Cape Fear
    7. City Slickers
    8. Doc Hollywood
    9. Father of the Bride
    10. Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
    11. Hot Shots!
    12. L.A. Story
    13. La Femme Nikita
    14. Madonna: Truth or Dare
    15. My Own Private Idaho
    16. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
    17. Sleeping with the Enemy