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.

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