Sunday, July 2, 2017

I don't h8 the 90's anymore (Part 3).

Crap, it's been another two weeks since the last one.
Well, RL bullshit, and other blog stuff like the 9th anniversary slowed me down.
Back to it....


1995-

Mallrats


Eh, it's cute, but this is my least liked of the view-askew-niverse series.
It's no "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America", and that's kinda what it's going for.
The Stan Lee cameo is probably the best part.
And that Smith kept Michael Rooker on life support before James Gunn came along.

Characters from this pop up and are referenced in "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back", so it helps to see this at least once.

Also, it's surreal to see Ben Affleck in a movie with Kevin Smith swinging around in a Batman cowl, and now Affleck is Batman.
Weird accidental foreshadowing.

Canadian Bacon


Man, I'm so glad Michael Moore released this in the nick of time so that "Wagons East", didn't count as John Candy's last movie.
I mean, it was his last filmed, but, let's remember him with this one, okay?

A cult classic, even conservatives that wish for Moore's death like this.

I wish he'd done more satires like this, but, oh well...

Coldblooded


The directorial debut of the guy who would go on to write "Monsters vs. Aliens".

Another cool little indie that hardly anyone seems to know about.
Jason Priestly plays a guy on the autism spectrum (before we learned to call it that), who takes bookie calls for the mob, and gets promoted against his will to hitman, and discovers he's frighteningly good at it.
Along the way, he falls for the girl from "Father Of The Bride", and doesn't want to lose her because of his line of work, so he comes up with a plan to kill his way free of the mob.

I watched this every single time it was on Showtime, I just fucking loved it.
Boy meets girl, happy ending, what's not to like?

Fuck it, there's 5 I want to talk about, so I'm doing 5.

The Last Supper


From the director of "The Bye Bye Man".
Ssss, ouch, yeah, this is probably her best one then.

Another great little 90's indie.
A horror/thriller/comedy like Hitchcock used to make, but with that 90's indie quirkiness.

About a group of liberal friends who accidentally kill a guy (played by Bill Paxton) who turns out to be a serial killer on the news, and they conclude his death made the world a better place, so they decide to kill more assholes to make the world a better place, from anti-abortionists, to religious zealots, to conservative pundits, but it gets out of hand, and authorities start getting wise, and members of the group start getting too into it, and getting corrupt, and...well, all the hi-jinks one would expect from such an enterprise.

The title comes from that they kill with poisoned wine, so it's literally the victim's last supper.

Stars Cameron Diaz.
Man, she was in EVERYTHING in the 90's.
I think you could safely crown her queen of the 90's.

Well, good for her for having a heyday, cuz she seems to have vanished lately.
She pops up again if they need her for Fiona for a Shrek thing, but that's about it.
I never got tired of her; I say, bring her back.
Everything she did was fucking good.

Hackers


And the world was introduced to Angelina Jolie.
She's...been a mixed bag, but over the decades, I've grown to tolerate and ultimately like her.

She's always been cute, I'll give her that.
And she seems to have outgrown the whole weird blood drinker phase.
Expensive Hollywood doctors found the right mix of meds for her, I guess.

We were also given our first taste of Matthew Lillard.
My GOD did Harry Knowles hate his guts.
I never figured out why.
I mean, I get how he could possibly grate at you, because he was the go-to over the top comic relief guy, but...there's all kinds of guys that do that, and it's just a job, not the guy, and they weren't LOATHED the way Knowles loathed Lillard.
You'd think he committed a crime.
You'd think he'd shot Knowles's dad.
Ahh, the internet is wacky.

Anyhoo, Knowles dropped the hate-boner after Lillard became Shaggy in the Scooby movies.
That's the role he was born to play.

Anyway, onto the actual topic of this movie.
It's a hilarious time capsule to see them making computers do shit they absolutely positively could NOT do in 1995.
Or NOW, come to think of it.
Even if you try to wiggle out of it by saying it's set in a possible future, the clothes, the cars, the foods, all squarely ground it in 1995.

The only way this flick's computer science works, if if there was time travel shenanigans from "Star Trek Voyager", and an alternate 90's Earth got isolinear optical chips 300 years ahead of time.

Anyway, the plot of a computer security guy being an evil inside man that has to be taken down by good hackers that are propagandized by the authorities as bad is timely, given that the Russians are causing cyber mayhem almost every fucking week now, and possibly got Trump elected, and Edward Snowden is a thing.

Now for ones I only touched on before.
Where I did 5 instead of 3 above, then I'll only do 1 of these.

Apollo 13


Old non-review.

So, Ron Howard is going back to space by completing the Han Solo prequel.
We'll see how that turns out.

This one though, is one of his classics he'll be remembered for.

The "Davinci Code", sequels, and "Heart Of The Sea", landed with a thud, so he needs a hit to recharge himself.
I think he can pull Star Wars off.
We're in good hands.

It's hard to nail exactly when Tom Hanks became a legit movie star,  somewhere around "Forrest Gump", and "Philadelphia", territory, but by this one, he'd clearly made it.

I wish they'd do more NASA movies.
I miss NASA.
With the anti-science fuckbags in charge now, it's like they're a receding memory of an abandoned dream.

I'm sure I've ranted this somewhere in the deep archives before, but if humans aren't moving forward into outer space, then what's the point of us?
To just mindlessly crank out profits on Earth until it becomes a ball of pollution?
To have closed-loop gluttony greed orgies until we die, or else be the victims of the rich?
Seems pretty meaningless and pointless to me.
Doesn't seem like a life worth living at all.
But that's exactly what seems to be the plan of our brilliant leaders.
What towering intellects they are. *Eyeroll*
*Sad sigh*

The rest as links-

Tales From The Crypt: Demon Knight
Ghost In The Shell
Tank Girl
Village Of The Damned (remake)
Showgirls
Black Scorpion
Crumb

Honorable mentions-

Jumanji
Nixon
Jefferson In Paris
Jerky Boys The Movie
Braveheart


1996-

Kingpin


I guess I can safely say this is a cult classic.
Basic cable has rerun it enough for people to finally discover it.
I always forget Bill Murray was the bad guy in this.
And whatever happened to Venessa Angel?
"Weird Science: The Series", this, and then poof, gone.

Well, in one brief shining moment, before Randy Quaid went bonkers, and Woody Harrelson became too huge a star, and Venessa Angel vanished in the Bermuda Triangle, movie magic happened, and we have it forever now.

It was at this point making the list, I was like "oh, shit, look at all these awesome fucking movies!! The 90's were cool after all!! I totally have to stop saying they sucked now!".

Funny the effect your life being shit has on your perspective.
Funny the effect depression has on your life being shit.
But, even in that state, "Kingpin", brought me joy.

Anyhoo, great flick, if you haven't seen it, I don't know what cave you've been in.

Sling Blade


Damn, I miss Billy Bob Thornton as a filmmaker.
I guess he was a rare one hit wonder, but what a fucking hit.
That's gonna live forever.

And John Ritter snuck in a little reference, he named his character Mister Cunningham to imply it was Richie's lost brother from "Happy Days".
The implication being, that he was kicked out for being gay in the 50's, and then he became Ritter's character in this.
Lol, yeah, that's in my canon!
Damn, I miss John Ritter.

Joe's Apartment


Hmm, I'm not quite sure which came first...but I'm pretty sure this was the first MTV studios movie, then came "Beavis & Butt-Head Do America".

About a guy whose shitty apartment is infested with sentient talking cockroaches that become his friends.

Based on an MTV short film.
I miss those old days of animated and live-action shorts leading to bigger and better things on MTV.
Those creative opportunities don't exist on that network anymore.
It's all reality mush about detestable morons now.

All that said, this movie sucks.
But at least it got its chance.
At least they tried some new fucking things.
If they could make a stupid fucking "Joe's Apartment", movie, they were indeed willing to take some fucking risks.

Well...I guess the new vehicle for indie shorts is Youtube now.
I've seen a bunch of them get optioned into full features.
"Lights Out", and "Pixels", spring to mind.
Mixed results, but point is, it's happening.

Now for 3 I've only touched on.

The Craft 


Old review.

Ahhh, goth chicks with powers.
Fun shit.
Haven't seen Fairuza Balk in a dog's age.
Last I heard, she really got into witchcraft after this, and opened a magic shop.
Not magic as in card tricks, magic as in potions, crystals, and woo.

Ahhh, Fairuza, Fairuza, Fairuza...mmm hmm hmm hmmm....*eyes close, blushes, smiles*

AAAANYHOOO!!!

Fargo

From here...

Man, VH1 saw fit to throw in "the big Lebowski", for Coen Brothers movies, then left out THIS one?!?!
This is their fucking "Citizen Kane", man!
Yep, love this movie, everything about it.
Yeah, most people rave about the log chipper scene, but I like every minute Peter Stormaire is onscreen.
Spooky villain.
He needs to be on a top 10-20 list somewhere.
Well, like Ed Wood, it's all been said by everyone else.
If you haven't seen this...what, have you been in a coma?

Source of the FX series, for you young kids out there.

This was a classic as soon as it came out.
We knew at the time this was something special.
Time has only backed that up.

There were some movies critics creamed over that didn't stand the test of time, but I never fell for any of those.

Independence Day


Old review.

The sequel to this finally came out, and from everything I've heard, it was a fucking abortion.

Who knew big dumb explode-y action could have a "lightning in a bottle", effect, and be unable to be cloned even by the original people?

Oh, just everyone who's followed Emmerich's career in the 00's and 10's.
Retire, you franchise killing hack.
You made your money.
Go away.

Anyway, people whine about the glut of superhero movies, but at least superhero movies have stories and characters you give a shit about.
Cinema snobs love to lump comic book movies in with big dumb movies like ID4, and "Twister", but the genre wouldn't have lasted this long if that's all that was under the hood.

And I've said it before, but I knew then in the 90's, that the golden age we're having now with comic book movies was possible then.
I did the bean counting in my head based on what was possible for ID4, T2, and Jurassic Park, and knew it could be done if the studios would just cough up the money.

And I was right.
They've opened the wallet, and they're raking in billions.

And I was right to be frustrated that it wasn't happening in the 90's.
I'm not immortal, I have a limited lifespan, I want to see all this shit before I fucking die.

The rest as links-

Scream
Mars Attacks
Beavis & Butt-Head Do America
Star Trek: First Contact
Heavy Metal (home video and limited theatrical re-release!!)
Tenchi Muyo In Love!

Honorable mentions-

The People Vs Larry Flint
James and The Giant Peach
Dr. Who (Paul McGann)


1997-

Chasing Amy


Hands down, my favorite Kevin Smith movie.
Askew-niverse, or non-Askew-niverse.

One of the few romantic comedies that actually earns my tear-jerking without being sentimental pap, or selling a sick evil version of what love ought to be.
(For an example of the latter, check out "He's Just Not That Into You", and then slit your wrists)

I saw this at just the right time, and it helped me with some of my own baggage.
Thank you, Kevin Smith.
I'm genuinely glad you existed.
That may seem like faint praise, but that's a big step for me.

Private Parts


Wow, it's really weird that this is 20 years old now.

I used to worship the ground Stern walked on, because, well, I was a teenager into my 20's, and he was a 40-something teenager, so what young guy wouldn't idolize a dude like that?

I ranted and raved, and hooted and hollered about both the book and the movie here.

My internal attitude is still "fuck 'em", when it comes to the uptight, but I'm learning better to pick my battles, and how to wage them.
Stern seems to have mellowed as well.

Maine never got the Stern show until that tiny little window just before he moved to Sirius.
The one episode I woke up early enough to hear it, it was the 10th anniversary of this flick, and he said how weird it was to see the whole love story with his first wife after the divorce, but he still dug it as a movie.
Wonder what he thinks of it now.

I happen to think it still holds up as a neat little comedy.
And, one of the signature movies of the 90's.
90's were Stern's ultimate peak, and this is the cinema time capsule of that.

Hmm, now that I think of it, Trump is an evil mirror-Stern.
No wonder I've cooled to that behavior.

Snow White: A Tale Of Terror


I haven't seen this since it was on TV 20 years ago, but I remember really digging it.
Dunno if I'd like it now, but I still love the idea of it.

It is what it says, a horror version of Snow White with Sigourney Weaver as the evil queen/witch.

Anything with Sigourney, the classy level shoots up a couple notches.
She's just aces.

I remember, the magic mirror in this version was a genuine Satanic demon stuck in the mirror.
All the little changes made a weird kind of sense like that.

The 90's were full of weird little gems like this.
The 10's have gems too, but you gotta dig a little harder for 'em.

Indie film and animation were really where it was at for the 90's.

Now for the 3 revisits.

Tromeo & Juliet


Old review.

And speaking if indie, it doesn't get more indie than fucking Troma.

This introduced the world to James Gunn.
When I wrote the old review, Guardians 1 hadn't even come out, now it has, as has Guardians 2.
And now the rest of the world sees what all us geeks have been ranting and raving about all this time.
We see the talent even through the crappy budgets.
Give these indie guys the big toys to play with, and you really fucking see something.

Kevin Smith refuses to sit in the big chair though.
DC keeps courting him, and they've even gotten him to direct episodes of Flash and Supergirl, but he's fraidy-scared of the big leagues.
Part of me can't blame him, but dammit, he'd be so good on a DC flick.
And they need the help.

The 5th Element


Old review.

And the world was introduced to Milla Jovovich.
She's so synonymous with her "Resident Evil", role, it barely needs mentioning.

Luc Besson's movies since this haven't been as ambitious in scale like this was, but hopefully "Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets", will be a return to form.
The trailers sure look pretty.

And Bruce Willis....he's a good actor when he tries, but he stopped trying.
Dammit, Willis, why won't you try??!?!?!
WHY!! WON'T!! YOU!! TRYYY!??!!?

Ahem. Anyhoo, Valerian.
Catch the fever.

Men In Black


Old review.

Followed by two sequels, and a cartoon.

Neat little series of films, but its really not in the pop culture zeitgeist anymore.
Sony almost rebooted it with a crossover with "21 Jump Street".
Wow, Sony, you're really bad at this.
I mean, really.

Will Smith keeps almost fading out, and then re-igniting again.
"Suicide Squad", just gave him another boost.

The rest-

Devil's Advocate
Starship Troopers
Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
Princess Mononoke
Star Wars Special Editions
Alien: Resurrection
Black Scorpion II

Honorable mention-

Selena
Contact
When Time Expires


1998-

Very Bad Things


Speaking of weird little movies, and Cameron Diaz being in everything.

Comedy Central rotated this for awhile, but in case you missed it...

About some guys on a Vegas bachelor party, one of whom accidentally kills a stripper.
So, they go to bury the stripper, but a security guard catches them, so they kill the guard, and things just keep escalating, and escalating, until everyone is either dead, or psychologically destroyed.
Cameron Diaz is the domineering fiancee of the groom to be.
She gets hers.

Dark as fuck.
I was genuinely shocked the first time I saw it.
I don't know if it was more for the flick itself, or that it was on Comedy Central at an hour kids could see.
I've since toughened up to it, but wow.

Social conservatives and radical liberals alike decried this flick, so you know it's good.

Recently got remade, but with ladies, and without the pointy toothed bite to it, as"Rough Night".
Features Holtzmann, I mean Kate McKinnon, who I hear is the best thing in it.

All the same, watch this one instead.

Life Is Beautiful


Ssss, wow, 19 years later, and I'm still processing this movie.

About a guy who falls in love, the couple has a kid, and then Germany occupies France, and the fucking holocaust happens.
The guy decides even the holocaust shouldn't pee on his son's parade, so he protects him from it with fantasies and humor.

Get ready to drench a whole box of Kleenexe with tears and snot.
Ho-ly shit.

I still don't know exactly 100% what the take away message is, but it sure deserved all the trophies it had thrown at it.

And hey, whatever happened to Roberto Benigni??
He did this, a crappy "Pink Panther", reboot, and then, poof, gone.
Eh, maybe he's still was a star in France.

Jerry Lewis tackled the holocaust in a similar way in "The Day The Clown Cried", and it's notorious for being one of the worst movies ever made, if not the worst, and Lewis has it locked away in a  vault, and won't let it out until 2025, by which time, he'll be dead.

Fascinating to see that Benigni could take the same concepts, and not only make them work, but make them Oscar worthy.

It's weird twists of fate like this that truly make me love the movies.
It's almost science fiction come to life.

And as an antidote to all this shock and sadness...

Dirty Work


Did you love Norm Macdonald on SNL, and wish you could get more of him in some other medium?
Well, here's his movie.
He did a couple others, I think, but this one's his magnum opus.
This encapsulates his whole shtick, and puts him on display at his best.

90's SNL mostly ate it, but him and Will Farrell were a couple of the best things to come out of it.
Oh, and Maya Rudolph.

Anyhoo, the flick is about a guy (Macdonald), who can't get his life together, and then he realizes that he has a talent for evil pranks that he could put to use, so he starts a revenge business with Artie Lange as his sidekick.
Hi-jinks ensue.
Ribs are tickled.

Like "Private Parts", another great time capsule of 90's humor.
Let's just sidestep Paulie Shore, what say?
Okey-dokey.

As to whatever happened to Norm, Artie Lange said on Joe Rogan's show that he gambles.
Yeah, apparently, Norm is really good at gambling, and he lives off it.
So, he's all set.
All righty then, Norm.

The list for this year is so short, I'll just let the old links do the talking.

The rest-

Blade
Star Trek:Insurrection (wow, 6 years ago I wrote that)
Bride Of Chucky

Honorable mentions-

Elizabeth
Six String Samurai
Big Lebowski
Saving Private Ryan
The Man In The Iron Mask
What Dreams May Come


1999-

Being John Malkovich


Another weird little movie with Cameron Diaz.

So, a guy finds a secret hidden middle floor at his office building, and on that middle floor is a secret magic door that takes you inside John Malkovich's head for a limited time, then spits you out at an overpass.

You only get to passively observe, but the guy, being  a puppeteer, figures out how to possess Malkovich, and live his life.
Hi-jinks ensue.

One of the more creative films of the tail end of the 90's.
They don't get much weirder and unique than this.
And I only say that to give myself elbow room.
Personally, I think this is as weird as it gets.

This floats around on cable now, you can totally find it somewhere.

American Beauty


The movie that reminded everyone "oh yeah, that's right, Kevin Spacey is nothing to sneeze at!!".
Then he was Lex Luthor in "Superman Returns", and everyone went "ACHOOO!!".

But for one brilliant shining moment...

Plot...um....okay, Holden from "Catcher In The Rye", gets a video camera, and makes mopey emo/gothy movies about grocery bags, and this gets him laid.
Meanwhile, his dad is a violent homophobic closet case.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend's dad is Kevin Spacey who's going through a mid-life crisis, and wants to bang the cheerleader chick who's on the poster.
Meanwhile, Kevin Spacey's wife is a spastic un-medicated crybaby.
Meanwhile, Holden is also Spacey's pot dealer.
Meanwhile, Holden's homophobic Nazi dad thinks Spacey and Holden are gay fucking instead of doing pot deals.
Meanwhile, the cheerleader chick is a boring snotty cunt outside of Spacey's fantasies, and would be the first to go in a Jason movie.
All of these plotlines collide in Spacey's murder.
Hi-jinks ensue.
That's not a spoiler, Spacey's ghost narrates from the opening frames.

Sounds pretentious as fuck written out, but it's actually really good.
It's all about the performances.

Bill O'Reilly thought this movie was a moral cancer.
For this reason if none other, go see it right fucking now.

Election


If you were a misfit in school, you likely hated the chirpy eager-beaver go-getters that ran for school office.
And if you were a particularly curmudgeonly outcast like I was, you always deeply suspected these people were fucking psychos underneath the plastic veneer.

This flick will confirm your worst nightmares.

Reese Witherspoon plays the chirpy go-getter, Matthew Broderick is the teacher who sees through her, and tries to stop her evil rise to power.

Hi-jinks, and inevitable hopeless doom ensue.

Witherspoon's character became Kellyanne Conway in real life.
We were warned.
We were fucking warned.

Okay, now the 3 revisits.

Dogma


Old review.

Yep, Smith only did four in the 90's.
Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and this one.

But what a ride it was.

One of the better religious comedies.
It gets a little full of itself, a  little sentimental, and its satiric teeth aren't as sharpened as say, "The Life Of Brian", or "Bedazzled", but it's in the top 5.
Somewhere.

And like I said in the old review, you've got Carlin in there.
Carlin's religion rants in his stand-up specials make Richard Dawkins look like a Carebear.
So, you know he was having a blast playing a hypocrite clergyman.

You can nitpick and eye-roll this flick, but no one else in the Generation-X film community was doing this at all.
Or if they were, they were hiding it pretty well.
Sure, Smith took a lot of shit for it.
But he survived.
The other filmmakers were scared of the shit.
They'll play with poo jokes, and gore monsters, and taboo sex, but not religion.
They will NOW that the ground was broken.
Now you can have Bill Maher's "Religulous", and "The God Delusion", and "God Is not Great".
Now you can have "House", for 7 seasons.
And the world didn't end.
No one had a three headed goat baby.
You can question and challenge this shit.
It's okay.

So, props to this movie.
Warts and all.
Cringe-y Alanis and all.
Good on ya, Kevin Smith.
I repeat, I'm glad you existed.

Office Space


Old review.

Another time capsule of authentic 90's-ness.
Cubicle farms truly became a thing in the 90's.

Dilbert, and this flick, rebelled, and exposed, and ridiculed, but nothing changed.
Even psychological, productivity, and ergonomic studies that show they're objectively bad for people, and bad or business, won't shake the stubborn management notion that people ought to be penned like horses.

I don't know what short of a revolution is going to make change happen.
But its got to happen.
It's not cute, it's evil.
It's a horrible thing we're doing to people.

Well, we're gonna have more Miltons before it's done.
Should be interesting.

Anyhoo, don't mean to be depressing.
Despite all the above, I enjoy the flick.
It's a hoot.
Best thing Mike Judge ever made next to"Idiocracy".
But, that's 00's, so I can't do it here.
I'll just add TRUMP!

Music Of The Heart


Old non-review.

I finally saw this, it's really good.
Based on the true story of a violin teacher that brought violin to inner city kids, and helped them get out of the ghetto, and into higher education.

I remember 60 Minutes doing a thing on her now.
Streep really did a good job of morphing into her.
But, it's Streep, she's a T-1000.

It's a Wes Craven joint, but they kept his name off the posters to not scare the straights away.
Poor Wes, never got his props from the mainstream-ies.

I'd look up if this woman's program still exists, but I don't want to end up bummed the fuck out.

And the rest-

Toy Story 2
Austin Powers 2
Green Mile
Iron Giant
Galaxy Quest
Bicentennial Man
Existenz
The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
Terror Firmer
The Phantom Menace

Honorable mentions-

Fight Club
Bowfinger


And there, done!
Someday, I might do an update on the honorable mentions.
Wanted to reign it in on this batch.
Even reigned in, it's big.

That's 90's movies.
It was a good crop.
I didn't even cover all of it, or even everything that was notable, this is just the stuff that stood out for me personally.
Hope you enjoyed it, and took some recommendations away from it.


Up next, 90's TV shows!


5 comments:

B. D. said...

Where and what was part 1? I can't find it. Only part 2 which I commented on extensively.

"Mallrats" - I've never felt like revisiting this, but it's probably better than "Empire Records." In all honesty, watching it for the first time today might as well be the first time, it's been so damn long. That's an interesting point about Michael Rooker kind of disappearing in the mid-90s?

"Canadian Bacon" - This has sort of survived as a cult favorite hasn't it? "Wagons East" was hideous. I remember a lot of headlines when Candy died.

"Coldblooded" - I actually never have heard of this one!

"The Last Supper" - Not bad but I wish it better lived up to its glorious concept. Note that this is before Cameron Diaz became the most frequently miscast high profile actress in Hollywood (don't go anywhere near "The Counselor," and gah, remember "Gangs Of New York"?)

"Hackers" - You want an even funnier bad 90s retro trip with Angelina Jolie, go watch "Foxfire" (1996), the lesbian rebel teenager movie that was too shy to actually be lesbian. Matthew Lillard had a great little popup in new Twin Peaks recently as a killer high school principal (he actually looks his age now!) I didn't know about the Harry Knowles thing, but I almost never read Knowles (that "Blade 2" review put me off of him for good.)

"Apollo 13" - Never revisited this but it was good enough. I don't watch Howard's Dan Brown movies so I've never actually watched him direct a turd, and thus, to me he's actually basically just the "Arrested Development" narrator guy. I bet his Han Solo movie will probably be plain and safe, but maybe he'll surprise me ("Frost/Nixon" was good!)







B. D. said...

"Apollo 13" con't: Hanks was probably a legit movie star after "Big." That was 1988. He got the high profile lead in "The Bonfire Of The Vanities," which was supposed to be a huge smash hit because of the book, but then that went straight down the toilet. I guess people started taking him more *seriously* because of "Philadelphia."

As for NASA, you mentioned Challenger as the point when "real life Star Trek" died.

"Kingpin" - This is remembered, though at some point the Farrelly Brothers stopped being hitmakers ("Dumb & Dumber To" isn't going to end up any kind of classic!)

"Sling Blade" - I still like this too. Billy Bob's directorial career stalled after he bombed with "All The Pretty Horses," which isn't as bad as you've been told, but still not that great. He still digs up the character from time to time. Dwight Yoakam was really great as the bad guy in this. The best scene is the opener with J. T. Walsh babbling incoherently about sex crap. MAN DO I MISS J. T. WALSH. Don't you?!? Best character actor ever!!!

"Joe's Apartment" - So even YOU know that MTV is just reality show garbage now!

"The Craft" - She ended up in "The Waterboy," which was unwatchable, and then "Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans" which was more recent.

"Fargo" - It's pretty good, but more for the details than the overall picture IMO. This was definitely the flashpoint where they became A-list, since nobody cared (or cares) about "The Hudsucker Proxy." I do prefer "Lebowski," but this used to be their most acclaimed movie.

"Independence Day" - I guess I could still tolerate most of this. The sequel was total garbage, yes--I could tell just based on watching a few scenes. Earth actually gets mostly destroyed and there's, like, ZERO sense that anyone actually got killed or that anything was at stake. CHARLOTTE GAINSBOURG was in it!!! How?!? That's even more baffling than Anthony Hopkins calling Michael Bay a genius!

"Private Parts" - I still like the parts that are about his early years at least. I've never found him even that shocking to begin with--the idea that he was ever considered some sort of holy terror is beyond hilarious, like from the same era that "Boxing Helena" could have been considered terrifying.

"Tromeo & Juliet" - LEMMY!!!!! (he's dead)

B. D. said...

Hahaha, this thing isn't even giving me captchas anymore!

"The 5th Element" - Milla Jovovich had no lines in "Dazed & Confused" which was in 1993, but she figured hilariously into the movie's marketing (when they were filming it she got involved in some kind of shotgun wedding with some other actor in the movie and they ran off.) But yes I suppose this is where people found out about her.

"Men In Black" - This was okay. I remember the first sequel as being pretty worthless. Of course nowadays it'd barely be a huge movie just because of the stars, in 1998 people would see anything with Smith in it.

"Life Is Beautiful" - Go watch Benigni in 1986's "Down By Law" costarring Tom Waits, that's a cool alt-80s flick. But yeah, Benigni became some sort of global goofy superstar for about 10 minutes, and then he did the "Pinocchio" thing, and everyone decided they hated him. Don't think even the Pope bothered to see that one! Really I haven't even heard from him in ages.

Footage from "The Day The Clown Cried" has turned up, but good luck. I agree that Jerry Lewis was not an untalented filmmaker, but I've also held him at arm's length for being an unbelievable jerk from time to time. Then again, sometimes I give jerks chances. I'd be interested in seeing the whole film, but it's because of its reputation. Lewis has said that it's crap.

"Dirty Work" - I was wavy hand on this. People tried to compare Norm to Chevy Chase, I guess he does radio now. Bob Saget directed it, weirdly enough, and lots of jokes were made at Saget's roast about it. I still LOL thinking about Norm's OJ/Jacko jokes on SNL. The "comedy that everyone hates that I"m going to die defending" isn't Pauly Shore though, it's "Freddy Got Fingered."

"Being John Malkovich" - Very creative and very funny, so I like it, but I'm not really convinced it's about much of anything. Funny thing is, out of all Charlie Kaufman's films, I think I'd rather watch this than "Synecdoche, New York" which was about lots and lots of things. It's on Criterion BTW.

"American Beauty" - It sucks IMO--the least deserving Best Picture winner that I know of. Painfully obvious "message" screamed at the audience, to the point where you wonder that it's satire, but it doesn't work as satire either.
If you want "anti-suburbia," go watch "The Virgin Suicides" instead. I'm sure Bill O'Reilly had twatty reasons for disliking it, but God the preachiness in it is unbearable that "bag blowing in the wind" scene just sicks me. Eghn, that's just me though, feel free to disagree. As far as BP winners go I'm no fan of "Gladiator" either.

"Election" - I went to a redneck dump of a high school where the only things anyone cared about were sports, and couldn't have cared less about the eager beaver types because we didn't really have them. Columbine got blamed for that but actually it was supposed to be a really good school academically too. HAH! I like your Kellyanne Conway analogy!

"Dogma" - Always hated it. The people who got mad at it were full of shit, but I didn't exactly think Kevin Smith said much of anything wise about the whole issue either. Ignore me if you want, but I really hate when "controversial" movies don't really stir up controversy. I don't really agree that Smith has "survived" - his movies fly totally under the radar now. 1999 was a different time, I guess.

"Office Space" - I sort of like how Mike Judge's movies never look like he had to put any effort into them. He just sort of whips them out doesn't he. I always laughed hardest at "this is a fuck!!!"

Diacanu said...


The links for part 1 and part 2 are at the top of the post.
Part 1 was the one about cartoons.

Harry Knowles- Yeah, you were lucky, he was my main movie site for a couple years before I snapped out of it. Course, I got the "Quaaaiid, open your miiiiind Quaaaaid!", skit out of it.

Howard Stern- Like I said, I USED to worship him, now I'm pretty "meh", on him.
I'm like you on the movie now, his biography stuff is the best.

Poor Lemmy. :-(

American Beauty- Oh, yeah, I remember you hating this one now that you mention it.
I haven't seen it since 99, it may not hold up. I'll give "The Virgin Suicides", a look.

Dogma- Well...Smith is in a weird phantom zone now. "Cop Out", and "Yoga Hosers", have put him in what for other directors would be "movie jail", but it's not maximum security movie jail. He podcasts, he wanders onto Star Wars sets, he gets free inside dope for Marvel and DC movies, he kind of still Forrest Gumps his way around Hollywood. And like I said in Independence Day, he's only ever one phone call to DC from getting out of movie jail and back into the big time, it just seems he really WANTS to make these crappy cheap little projects he's doing. It's self destructive, but that's what he wants..*shrug*.

Hmm, I dunno, what do you think would be something wise on the subject of religion?
He tried to be friendly and neutral, and say it has a core of goodness, but man was fucking it up.
Like Carlin, I think it's a blight on humanity.
Any movie that says it's pure good has to ignore 9/11, the holocaust, inquisitions, etc, etc.
How would you tackle it?
I don't know how the Hell I'd do it.
It's a tricky Gordian knot, and you piss people off no matter what.

I'd probably just do something tacky, like Jesus can't afford his AIDS medication because of the Republican healthcare bill.
And Mitch McConnell watches him die, and cries, but can't stop it, because he's such an ideologue, he can't make himself budge.

It would get booed at Cannes, and Lucasfilm wouldn't give me any spoilers, nor a Stormtrooper voice-over.

Office Space- Mike Judge's movies are beloved, but you have to remember, they actually bombed at theaters.
He did a third one "Extract", that both bombed, and was boring, and fans didn't like it.
That killed his movie career.
He's in maximum security movie jail now.


B. D. said...

Oh crap that's right, I did comment on part 1. Sorry, I just couldn't find it there.

Harry Knowles - I don't even know why he's still going. Him still going is far more baffling than Kevin Smith still going. He's a total relic of 2000 or so.

Howard Stern - Every time I'd tune into the guy he'd be doing the same off the cuff celebrity interviews that are totally standard now. Or interviewing bimbo strippers and porn stars, whoooooopty dooooo.
When did I first even hear about the guy?....1993, I think....oh yeah, the same year uptight conservative groups and sissy liberal groups were getting mad at pathetic stuff like "Mortal Kombat," "Boxing Helena" and FUCKING "Night Trap"!!!!!

Have you ever even SEEN the worst clips from "Night Trap"? If you haven't, here's Dana Plato:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3_Y2xb40MY

What a fucking innocent time we lived through!! Wasn't she a great actress.

Speaking of Dana Plato, I watched about 10 minutes of clips from the infamous 1983 "Diff'rent Strokes" pedophile episode starring Gordon Jump. I had to--I've seen it referenced probably almost as much as the "Saved By The Bell" "I'm so excited" drug episode debacle. It wasn't worse than that, but it did come from a much stranger mentality--that episode had to G-rate the whole thing by having Elizabeth Berkeley get addicted to freakin' No-Doz, but the "Diff'rent Strokes" debacle was full of people LAUGHING THEIR ASSES OFF at things like the boys discovering porno mags!

"American Beauty" - I can see liking it if you just have an absolute raging hardon for hating suburbs and perfect little American families and schools but the thing doesn't work on either a sincere or ironic level IMO. Hey, feel free to disagree, but anti-suburbia was done far better in older books ("Catcher In The Rye," "Rabbit, Run," some John Cheever short stories) than in movies. You may or may not like "Virgin Suicides" - It's actually a creepy dreamlike take on teen nostalgia (set in 1970s.) Sofia Coppola isn't perfect either--"Somewhere" was a godawful movie.

"Dogma" - "He tried to be friendly and neutral, and say it has a core of goodness, but man was fucking it up" - That's just it. That's not a very brave or deep thing to say--it's actually a lighthearted secular humanist lightly PC thing to say. And he got all this controversy and acted like he'd said something really profound. Either bash it really hard or don't bother.
Maybe I've been way too hard on the movie--as a viewing experience, it probably doesn't deserve to be down there with "Beverly Hills Ninja" or "What The Bleep Do We Know" or "Batman & Robin" or any of the other zero star films I've commented on over the years, but your Mitch McConnell idea is actually BETTER (not just on paper, but if it were an actual movie) than "Dogma" probably was. In fact, if you develop a TV show please do what Trey Parker and Matt Stone bombed doing with "That's My Bush," but about Mitch McConnell.

"Office Space" - I forgot about "Extract." I knew OS and "Idiocracy" bombed in theaters but "Beavis & Butthead Do America" did well right? Don't remember. Did his new B&B's bomb too? I didn't watch them. All I remember anyone even saying about them was some nerd commenting on how kids today wouldn't wear AC/DC or Metallica T-shirts. That's too bad if Judge is really done for or something--I thought "Idiocracy" got a lot of references out there.

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