A fine decade for music, also a great decade for movies — whoodathunkit? Let us celebrate the decade that gave us shitty CGI and more great Kevin Spacey roles than we knew what to do with — also Pauly Shore, what was that about?
Fight Club (1999)
OO the edgy pick of every 20-year old film student — there is obviously a lot to love about Fight Club. David Fincher is one of the most visually stunning directors of all time, in my opinion, and the way he manages to craft a shot within this surreal an sordid atmosphere here is just awesome. We’ve also got a solid philosophy, no matter how pretentious it might be, that centers the movie on an ideology, giving it so much focus. This is topped off by some amazing performances from Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter. Plus, that Pixies song — lush.
Mars Attacks! (1996)
A controversial choice for sure, but this campy love letter to b-movie sci-fi is my favourite Tim Burton film. Sure, it’s missing the black & white stripes and gothy Hot Topicness that we know the director for, but I can’t deny the sheer fun going on here. Sublime 90s CGI, a witty, nonsensical script and Tom Jones? Sign me up, right now.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
My personal favourite from the director of Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds, this crime flick is an inspiration for every crime-heist film that followed it, as well as every stag do theme. An ensemble cast do not a lot than produce some of the most iconic movie moments of all time, with that trademark Tarantino wit and that trademark Tarantino violence.
Men In Black (1997) – A rush of nostalgia, this sci-fi romp is one of the most watchable blockbusters of all time, with some great chemistry between the leads and theme song that has been written in the halls of history — make ya neck work.
Being John Malkovich (1999) – Kinda fuckin’ weird? Maybe. But Charlie Kaufman’s magnum opus is a masterpiece in fiercely original storytelling, mixing experimental and established wonderfully.
Rush Hour (1998)
This film, for me, is the epitome of a fun movie. Steamrolled along by the co-lead performances by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, you’ve got that mix of Jackie’s stunts and action-centric acting, and Tucker’s in-your-face shrill comedy – that Blackanese style, making for the perfect action comedy. It will always be one of my first choices for a film to watch with a group of people and it is just so relentlessly entertaining and silly.
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Quite a lot different, this one, eh? For me one of the greatest sequels in general, Toy Story 2 for me just builds on the groundwork made by the pioneering first film with improved animation and new characters that really work, along with a sprinkling of nostalgia, although I can’t quite put my finger on why I feel more for this sequel than its predecessor. Again, I’m not totally sure why, but this middle entry is my favourite.
Wayne’s World (1992)
Easily one of the greatest comedies of all time, but I wanted to give Wayne’s World a higher honour and give it the 90s award. It’s just stupid funny. Quotable from tip to toe, a fitting ode to the metalheads of the early 90s, and spawning about the best ever character to come onto the cinema screen: Garth. For me this really shows how brilliant a writer Mike Myers can be.
Other than those three, the main one that sticks out is the one and only The Big Lebowski (1998), but I will get into that one further later. And I’m gonna give Cool Runnings (1993) a mention. Yeah, suck on that. Actually no. Kiss it. Kiss that lucky egg.
12 Monkeys (1995)
Yep, I’m sorry (not really), another Terry Gilliam film – it’s not my fault he’s such a good director. Seriously though, if you’ve never thought Bruce Willis was anything more than an action hero then this film will change your mind – he does some superb acting in this film. Combining post-apocalyptic sci-fi with time travel, animal rights, a love story and an insane asylum (with Brad Pitt in it) this film has pretty much everything I need.
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs was my very first foray into cinema as a serious hobby, launching my unpaid career of watching movies daily as a ritual. This is a film with a star cast, an original heist story with brilliant turns, and not to mention, a killer original script. People may call Tarantino overrated, but it is hard to deny the man is a hell of a writer.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
The most quotable and powerful life of crime story ever committed to film. Brutal violence mixes with jukebox classics and virtuoso cinematography. I can’t hear Monkey Man, Layla or Leader Of The Pack without seeing Goodfellas in my head. Now go get your shinebox.
The Big Lebowski (1998) – I will never forget the night I saw The Big Lebowski at the Odeon in Ipswich. The mix of music, crazy visuals, quotable lines and the incredible casts amazing characters had me and my friends grinning from ear to ear. We went back the next night, and the night after that.
Human Traffic (1999) – Right at the end of the 90s, someone had finally managed to get an authentic representation of the British teenager experience on screen. This is what life was like for students and young adults in the era of jungle and big beat. Even if you were into indie, it looked and felt the same.
Leon: The Professional (1994) – The most stylish and enduring of the ‘post-Tarantino’ wave of crime movies. You couldn’t move for guns and sass after Reservoir Dogs. It took the European cool of Luc Besson to add to the formula. And Gary Oldman losing his shit.
True Romance (1993) – Quentin’s calling card screenplay matched with Tony Scott’s slick Hollywood sheen. There are so many moments in True Romance; Dennis and Christopher’s little chat, Oldman’s Drexyl, Nichols and Dimes, Val Kilmer’s Elvis, the corkscrew, You’re So Cool, Sonny Chiba, the phonebox. I’ve been taking sunglasses tips from Clarence ever since.
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs of All Time!