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Author Topic: The AV Club's Top 50 Films of the 1990s  (Read 2755 times)
bob
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« on: October 10, 2012, 03:37:40 PM »

What are your thoughts?

http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-50-best-films-of-the-90s-1-of-3,86304/

The lack of Clerks, The Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects, Heat, The Silence of the Lambs, Leon: The Professional, Life is Beautiful, The Green Mile, and  Wag the Dog invalidates the list to me.
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 03:44:01 PM »

That's THEIR Top 25.  So what?  I've never heard of half those "films."   Lookingup
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 04:18:05 PM »

I was going to make a thread about this but I didn't want to list out their picks. Anyways I think it's an ok list obviously everyone is going to have disagreements but I have some far worse internet lists. What struck me looking at this list and thinking of what I would put in is what a great decade the 90's were. I agree with the majority of bob's pick except for Wag the Dog. I think Wag the Dog is ok but in comparison to other Mamet scripts of the decade would rank with me near the bottom. But as I said everyone is going to have disagreements.

Anyways here's my list obviously the order can change day to day. I went by filmmaker instead of individual films because
 
1)Tarantino- Ok say whatever you want about the guy, but he owned the 90's both in his direction (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown) but also his amazing script work (True Romance and From Dusk Till Dawn both fully deserving of being on the top 50 list.

2)Mamet-Like Tarantino he had great work in this decade both behind the camera and as screenwriter. In terms of his direction I would point to Homicide, The Spanish Prisoner, Oleana. In terms of screenplays we get his excellent rewrite of Ronin (you can find the original script online and it's atrocious, Mamet pretty much changed every single of dialogue), The Edge, and one cannot talk about 90's Mamet without mentioning Glengarry Glenn Ross. Glengarry which was included in AV clubs list could be the peak of both Mamet's writing and all of the performers involved (Pacino, Spacey, Arkin, Lemmon) Not everything he did in this decade was great (Hoffa, Lansky and Wag the Dog dont really do much for me.

3) John Woo-In the way that Tarantino changed dialogue and plot structure it was John Woo that changed action forever and the 90's were a great decade for him. Hard Boiled has yet to be surpassed in terms of sheer insane violence and style, 10/10. Bullet in the Head shows him in epic Deer Hunter kind of mood and he fully succeeds often overlooked. And finally we saw him make his transition to the US which was mostly disappointing save for the amazing FACE/OFF. I don't need to tell you why Face/off is good, it stands on its own.

4) Michael Mann-A man that got no love from the AV club but in my mind was one of the most impressive filmmakers of the 90's. Reasons why Heat, Last of the Mohican's and The Insider. Three largely different films all immense successes on all levels. Fantastic use of music that is radically different from film to film.

5)Hollywood-Looking back at the 90's I have to give credit to what Hollywood was churning out in terms of sheer bombastic big budget films. It seems that they were willing to push the envelope in this decade putting out films that weren't afraid of being politically incorrect or actually showing the results of violence. Add to that original screenplay's were actually still being produced and you have some amazing blockbuster entertainment.

Con Air-So awesome it hurts.
The Rock-Talk s**t about Michael Bay all you want he directed one of the most awesome action films of all times in the 90's.
The Last Boy Scout
Terminator 2
Home Alone 1 and 2
Jurrasic Park
Men in Black
Forest Gump
Alladin
and honestly it seems like I'm just scratching the surface. Looking at a list of the top grossing film of the 00's it is so depressing to see pretty much only adaptations, and sequels. It seemed like hollywood was more willing to try and sell premises instead of relying on pre existing properties and the result was just much more entertaining films.


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Jack
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 04:42:47 PM »

I've seen ten of those.  I dunno, half of the ones I've seen wouldn't have been on a top 100 list if I made it. 

Starship Troopers and Terminator 2 were both awesome.  Blair Witch was good, but some of the characters got so annoying by the end that it's not the type of thing I'd watch a second time.  Seven was okay, very forgettable.  The Matrix started out kind of cool and mysterious but quickly turned into a CGI fest that would inspire 1,000 beer commercials.  Election was a great little black comedy, I love anything where evil triumphs in the end   Smile  Fight Club had an unexpected ending but other than that it was a huge meh.  Fargo was just a little bit funny.  Unforgiven was overlong rubbish.  Pulp fiction was exactly like everything else Tarantino's ever made - "Oh look at my mahvelous style"  Lookingup

I honestly wouldn't bother watching the rest of the movies on that list if someone gave me all the DVD's. 
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2012, 01:28:20 PM »

I've seen 6 of those films and haven't heard of a good many. Of that list my favorites are "Unforgiven" and "Terminator 2".
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2012, 01:35:33 PM »

Eh, I like our list better.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2012, 02:31:18 PM »

Using IMDB's advanced search features to locate only movies I've rated and a little bit of shuffling and a lot of formatting, it was relatively easy for me to come up with this fairly accurate personal top 50 list:

1. Schindler's List(1993)

2. Pulp Fiction(1994)

3. Barton Fink(1991)

4. The Big Lebowski(1998)
 
5. The City of Lost Children(1995)

6. Twin Peaks Pilot (1990)

7. Dead Man(1995)

8. Red Rock West(1993)

9. The Sixth Sense(1999)

10. The Blair Witch Project(1999)

11. Being John Malkovich(1999)

12. Sling Blade(1996)

13. The Red Squirrel(1993)

14. Toto the Hero(1991)

15. Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam(1995 Documentary)

16. Reservoir Dogs(1992)

17. Cemetery Man(1994)

18. Slacker(1991)

19. Naked Lunch(1991)

20. The Silence of the Lambs(1991)

21. The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993)

22. Life Is Beautiful(1997)
 
23. L.A. Confidential(1997)

24. Hard Boiled(1992)

25. Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life(1995)

26. Begotten(1990)

27. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas(1998)

28. A Simple Plan(1998)

29. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer(1993 Documentary)
 
30. Magnolia(1999)

31. Dracula(1992)

32. Pi(1998)

33. Ronin(1998)

34. Open Your Eyes(1997)

35. Heavenly Creatures(1994)

36. Dead Man Walking(1995)
 
37. Wag the Dog(1997)

38. The Shawshank Redemption(1994)

39. Eve's Bayou(1997)

40. The Game(1997)

41. In the Company of Men(1997)

42. Archangel(1991)

43. Bad Boy Bubby(1993)

44. The Pillow Book(1996)

45. Shallow Grave(1994)
 
46. Barcelona(1994)

47. Election(1999)
 
48. Tromeo and Juliet(1996)
 
49. Arizona Dream(1993)
 
50. Habit(1995)



 
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bob
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2012, 04:05:11 PM »

Using IMDB's advanced search features to locate only movies I've rated and a little bit of shuffling and a lot of formatting, it was relatively easy for me to come up with this fairly accurate personal top 50 list:

1. Schindler's List(1993)

2. Pulp Fiction(1994)

3. Barton Fink(1991)

4. The Big Lebowski(1998)
 
5. The City of Lost Children(1995)

6. Twin Peaks Pilot (1990)

7. Dead Man(1995)

8. Red Rock West(1993)

9. The Sixth Sense(1999)

10. The Blair Witch Project(1999)

11. Being John Malkovich(1999)

12. Sling Blade(1996)

13. The Red Squirrel(1993)

14. Toto the Hero(1991)

15. Heidi Fleiss: Hollywood Madam(1995 Documentary)

16. Reservoir Dogs(1992)

17. Cemetery Man(1994)

18. Slacker(1991)

19. Naked Lunch(1991)

20. The Silence of the Lambs(1991)

21. The Nightmare Before Christmas(1993)

22. Life Is Beautiful(1997)
 
23. L.A. Confidential(1997)

24. Hard Boiled(1992)

25. Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream That One Calls Human Life(1995)

26. Begotten(1990)

27. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas(1998)

28. A Simple Plan(1998)

29. Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer(1993 Documentary)
 
30. Magnolia(1999)

31. Dracula(1992)

32. Pi(1998)

33. Ronin(1998)

34. Open Your Eyes(1997)

35. Heavenly Creatures(1994)

36. Dead Man Walking(1995)
 
37. Wag the Dog(1997)

38. The Shawshank Redemption(1994)

39. Eve's Bayou(1997)

40. The Game(1997)

41. In the Company of Men(1997)

42. Archangel(1991)

43. Bad Boy Bubby(1993)

44. The Pillow Book(1996)

45. Shallow Grave(1994)
 
46. Barcelona(1994)

47. Election(1999)
 
48. Tromeo and Juliet(1996)
 
49. Arizona Dream(1993)
 
50. Habit(1995)

no love for Troll 2?  Wink
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fulci420
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2012, 04:08:31 PM »

Interesting list Rev, glad to see you put up In The Company of Men, which I think is a minor masterpiece. Also props on Hard Boiled. Surprised to see Red Rock West though which I think is fine but is not something I would expect in a top 10.
Anyways all reading all this discussion of 90's movies on the AV club comment board got me thinking about some 90's classics that might get overlooked with lists like this.

John Waters-Serial Mom-My favorite Waters film. Great writing and performance's.

Vincent Gallo-Buffalo 66-Love everything about this movie, incredible music, direction and performances.

Guy Ferland- Telling Lies in America-A minor gem to be sure, a deeply personal script from the usually hacky Joe Esterhaz makes this a touching coming of age tale.

Abel Fererra-King of New York-People rightfully respect Bad Lieutenant but sometimes overlook this film which is Fererra's most ambitious and technically accomplished. His Body Snatchers remake also from the 90's is excellent as well.

Nicola Winding Refn-Pusher-With little resources and no name actors Refn showed himself to be a director to look out for with his excellent debut.  

Francis Ford Coppola-The Rainmaker-Almost nobody talks about the best adaptation of John Grisham to date. Fantastic film making not afraid to run the gamut of emotions from melodrama to exuberance and comedy.

also:
Jim Jarmusch-Ghost Dog-The Way of the Samurai, Sam Raimi-Darkman, John Carpenter-In The Mouths of Madness, Mike Figgis-Leaving Las Vegas, Ron Underwood-Tremors, James Mangold-Copland, Bob Saget-Dirty Work, Paul W S Anderson-Mortal Kombat (I'm not kidding, rewatched this last week and it is flawless. Perfect video game adaptation, probably the only good one).

k i could go on forever but i'll stop here. Again I'm struck by what a creatively fertile time the 90's were.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2012, 05:20:19 PM »

Interesting list Rev, glad to see you put up In The Company of Men, which I think is a minor masterpiece. Also props on Hard Boiled. Surprised to see Red Rock West though which I think is fine but is not something I would expect in a top 10.
Anyways all reading all this discussion of 90's movies on the AV club comment board got me thinking about some 90's classics that might get overlooked with lists like this.

John Waters-Serial Mom-My favorite Waters film. Great writing and performance's.

Vincent Gallo-Buffalo 66-Love everything about this movie, incredible music, direction and performances.

Guy Ferland- Telling Lies in America-A minor gem to be sure, a deeply personal script from the usually hacky Joe Esterhaz makes this a touching coming of age tale.

Abel Fererra-King of New York-People rightfully respect Bad Lieutenant but sometimes overlook this film which is Fererra's most ambitious and technically accomplished. His Body Snatchers remake also from the 90's is excellent as well.

Nicola Winding Refn-Pusher-With little resources and no name actors Refn showed himself to be a director to look out for with his excellent debut.  

Francis Ford Coppola-The Rainmaker-Almost nobody talks about the best adaptation of John Grisham to date. Fantastic film making not afraid to run the gamut of emotions from melodrama to exuberance and comedy.

also:
Jim Jarmusch-Ghost Dog-The Way of the Samurai, Sam Raimi-Darkman, John Carpenter-In The Mouths of Madness, Mike Figgis-Leaving Las Vegas, Ron Underwood-Tremors, James Mangold-Copland, Bob Saget-Dirty Work, Paul W S Anderson-Mortal Kombat (I'm not kidding, rewatched this last week and it is flawless. Perfect video game adaptation, probably the only good one).

k i could go on forever but i'll stop here. Again I'm struck by what a creatively fertile time the 90's were.

Yeah, RED ROCK WEST probably shouldn't be that high. IMDB just grouped all the 9/10s together and I moved some of them around and not others.

I guess I never rated BAD LIEUTENANT or LEAVING LAS VEGAS, they should make my list.

The 90s were an amazing time for filmmaking.
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2012, 10:07:27 PM »

34. Open Your Eyes(1997)
 
Great choice. A stunning piece of filmmaking. Now if we could only erase the awful Vanilla Sky we'd be all set.   Smile
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2012, 02:54:25 PM »

Here is the AV Clubs full list for those who dont want to read through it all.

50. Dead Man
49. American Movie
48. Ed Wood
47. Starship Troopers
46. Heavenly Creatures
45. The Limey
44. Metropolitan
43. T2: Judgment Day
42. All About My Mother
41. Raise the Red Lantern
40. Trainspotting
39. The Blair Witch Project
38. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
37. Glengarry Glen Ross
36. LA Confidential
35. Naked
34. Se7en
33. The Matrix
32. Close-Up
31. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills
30. The Thin Red Line
29. Irma Vep
28. Election
27. Short Cuts
26. Eyes Wide Shut
25. Fight Club
24. Crumb
23. Carlito's Way
22. The Sweet Hereafter
21. Fargo
20. Red
19. Exotica
18. Schindler's List
17. Safe
16. The Big Lebowski
15. Groundhog Day
14. Hoop Dreams
13. Boogie Nights
12. Miller's Crossing
11. Barton Fink
10. Being John Malkovich
9. Rushmore
8. Unforgiven
7. Reservoir Dogs
6. Out of Sight
5. Chungking Express
4. Dazed and Confused
3. Toy Story 2
2. Pulp Fiction
1. Goodfellas

I think Dazed and Confused shouldn't be on the list at all. Pulp Fiction should be higher than Goodfellas. Barton Fink is too high IMO, there is no way it's better than Fargo. Movies like The Matrix and Fight Club even though they have aged pretty terribly, do belong on the list because to me because they were such phenemenons and for better or worse changed movie making significantly, in the same way Tarantino would with his rise in the early 90's.
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2012, 01:22:18 PM »



John Waters-Serial Mom-My favorite Waters film. Great writing and performance's.
 

also:
Jim Jarmusch-Ghost Dog-The Way of the Samurai, Sam Raimi-Darkman, John Carpenter-In The Mouths of Madness, Mike Figgis-Leaving Las Vegas, Ron Underwood-Tremors, James Mangold-Copland, Bob Saget-Dirty Work, Paul W S Anderson-Mortal Kombat (I'm not kidding, rewatched this last week and it is flawless. Perfect video game adaptation, probably the only good one).

k i could go on forever but i'll stop here. Again I'm struck by what a creatively fertile time the 90's were.

Definitely second all these.  I'll throw BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (1993) in there too; for my money, the best Batman flick (and I'm not a Nolan-hater).
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 05:50:56 PM »

I wanna play!
My top 50 of the '90's....

1.SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
2.BRAIN DEAD (aka DEAD ALIVE)
3.CASINO
4.ED WOOD
5.BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR
6.GODZILLA VS KING GHIDRAH
7.GOODFELLAS
8.JACKIE BROWN
9.JFK
10.MARS ATTACKS!
11.PULP FICTION
12.RESEVOIR DOGS
13.the SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
14.TRUE ROMANCE
15.WILD AT HEART
16.TREMORS
17.SLING BLADE
18.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
19.SGT KABUKIMAN-NYPD
20.RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3
21.GODZILLA VS DESTROYAH
22.GODZILLA 2000
23.FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
24.FARGO
25.the EXORCIST III
26.DUMB AND DUMBER
27.CAPE FEAR
28.ARMY OF DARKNESS
29.the IDIOTS
30.MISEREY
31.MY BEST FIEND
32.OUT FOR JUSTICE
33.RAVENOUS
34.TWISTER
35.TROLL 2
36.the THIN RED LINE
37.AIELEEN WOURNOS-SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER
38.GUMMO
39.MAN BITES DOG
40.BAD LIEUTANAT
41...more later-mebbe...!
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tracy
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« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2012, 12:08:03 PM »

I wanna play!
My top 50 of the '90's....

1.SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
2.BRAIN DEAD (aka DEAD ALIVE)
3.CASINO
4.ED WOOD
5.BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR
6.GODZILLA VS KING GHIDRAH
7.GOODFELLAS
8.JACKIE BROWN
9.JFK
10.MARS ATTACKS!
11.PULP FICTION
12.RESEVOIR DOGS
13.the SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
14.TRUE ROMANCE
15.WILD AT HEART
16.TREMORS
17.SLING BLADE
18.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
19.SGT KABUKIMAN-NYPD
20.RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 3
21.GODZILLA VS DESTROYAH
22.GODZILLA 2000
23.FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
24.FARGO
25.the EXORCIST III
26.DUMB AND DUMBER
27.CAPE FEAR
28.ARMY OF DARKNESS
29.the IDIOTS
30.MISEREY
31.MY BEST FIEND
32.OUT FOR JUSTICE
33.RAVENOUS
34.TWISTER
35.TROLL 2
36.the THIN RED LINE
37.AIELEEN WOURNOS-SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER
38.GUMMO
39.MAN BITES DOG
40.BAD LIEUTANAT
41...more later-mebbe...!

I'm so glad to know that someone besides my twin and I appreciate Twister.
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