Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 1992

We now begin the second stretch of 10 years of my life in film.  Hope everybody took a little break, cracked their knuckles and is back at it.  1992 was a really solid year.  It produced one of my all time favorite comedies and some underrated or unappreciated turns.  This is also the year Al Pacino finally won a damn Oscar.  We almost had the 2nd Oscar winner in a row make the final cut, but alas The Unforgiven was the last thing cut to make it that wretched 6 i'm keeping to.  But, its how the game is played, so here we go.  Onto 1992.

Here is the Academy Awards nominees and winner for 'Best Picture' in 1992.

WINNER - The Unforgiven
A Few Good Men
Howards End
Scent Of A Woman
The Crying Game

And here's what my little slice of life says about 1992


I think time and a few AVP films has been kind to this movie.  The biggest problem it had upon release was that it truly was not the film that people were wanting or looking forward to seeing when it finally arrived.  It was a different era back in 1992.  People didn't have full casting breakdowns, set reports/leaks and spoilers all over the internet to prepare them for what was to come.  Alien3 was a massive let down to everyone following Aliens.  In the first few minutes it wipes out everything you loved about the previous film and goes for a completely different tone and mission.  The film actually goes back to the roots of the first film instead of building on the second, which is why someone like me may be a bigger fan of it than others.  It had a troubled production and its director (first timer David Fincher) wants nothing to do with.  It was hacked and slashed and put into theaters.  Take away the films that came before it.  No, this one does not reach that greatness, but its still a pretty damn good film.  It's really dour and in the dumps, but is kind of so in an artful way.  in the years since DVD its been given a cut that is approximately the vision David Fincher had for it from the outset and its actually a much better film in that form.  I really like this as the final chapter of the series and for Ripley.  It actually does indeed work.  I think some of the ideas they were planning prior (the wooden planet with monks) were better, but what we got wasn't bad at all.

Batman Returns

Many have argued this one's merits as a Batman film.  And I don't really care, its a TIM BURTON Batman film and in that regard, because its what the movie is, it totally works.  If Tim Burton was attached to do a Batman movie today it would come as no surprise if it wound up like this.  The guy was given right to do whatever he pleased after making one of the biggest movies ever, so he went and did a sequel that was much more in vein of what he does.  At my young age, this movie was sort of strange, but over the years I've grown to absolutely love it.  Michelle Pfeiffer is incredible and gives a fully committed performance as Catwoman.  This is still Gotham City from the previous movie, its just we've invited Tim Burton characters to come over and play as villains.  This movie also has a part that cracks me up when Christopher Walken says "Bruce Wayne, why are you dressed up like Batman?".  Rolling!


Seriously guys, this movie scared the absolute piss out of me when I was a kid.  Helping it out was the fact that I was watching a horror film revolving around adults.  This thing took the slasher to another new level, and the last bit of decency it would have for another 4 years.  This film is an intriguing mystery, suspense nail biter, gore-fest and mindfuck all at the same done.  And no aspect ever done in an exploitative fashion.  Between this and Hellraiser, Clive Barker was "da man!" when it came to horror.  You were wanting to read his books and keep track of whatever his next movie was.  I couldn't look in a mirror at nighttime or in the dark for weeks after this.  I was at an impressionable age where stuff like "Bloody Mary" and "Candyman" were real dares and scares us kids were doing to each other back then.  Tony Todd was great in this and incredibly scare presence in the film and I really really got behind Virginia Madsen in it.  Also popping up is fave character actor of mine Xander Berkeley.  This is one of those movies so good that you get angry and get upset when things aren't going right for the main character and there seems no hope in sight.

Lethal Weapon 3

Hey!  Riggs and Murtaugh made the freakin' list!  This one may be considered a little softer than the previous 2 but if you've enjoyed the characters up to this point you're going to like this one.  Plus, its pretty good on the humor side of things.  This one definitely felt like we had a formula in place to run with for as many sequels as they'd want to make.  It'd only be one more, but this series could have been dragged out to at least 8-10.  Rene Russo joins the cast and fits right in.  Her tough girl part may seem a bit too on the nose or old hat for viewers today but this type of thing was a step forward around the time this film came out.  Aside from buddy cop action, the thing that works best in this series and keeps it going is the cast's comfort level and chemistry together and this one has all that and maybe them at their most comfortable without a drop in quality.

Reservoir Dogs

The directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino was a big step in influencing how movies were made.  People took a notice but weren't quite sold on Tarantino just yet.  He wasn't allowed to direct his next two scripts but he was on the brain.  I've gone through kind of a rollercoaster ride with my feelings on the film.  Upon release I thought it was amazing, edgy and badass.  Then I started noticing some cracks and some stuff that was poking at me as amateur hour (the trope of "bad guys have to drop the F bomb every sentence to show they're bad" annoys me).  But, through further studying film and learning more about what goes into making films and finding myself a lover of low budget bigger concept movies, I found a whole new appreciation for this film.  Its not the best he's had to offer, but it is a great film in itself that it is a hell of a start for a first time director.

Wayne's World

If you ask now about Mike Myers, someone may say "Who?" or "Ugh".  There was a time though when this guy was pretty much a comedy god to me.  Somewhere after the first Shrek his work got old, tired or he didn't really have much left to say.  He was one of my absolute favorite members of Saturday Night Live, Wayne's World was one of my favorite sketches...and I LOVED this movie.  SNL was kinda in the dumps with translating to the silver screen at the time and this movie rejuvenated it.  It still remains one of the best.  It may be a bit dated, but I think the message about selling out could still hold some weight today.  I'm not saying this movie is intentionally some masterfully layered work of art, but every time I watch this movie (I just did last Friday) I notice and catch new humerous things I didn't notice before.  And I don't think it should go without saying that Rob Lowe did some terrific under the radar work as sleezy yuppy scumbags in SNL movies during this era.  Would I take a Wayne's World 3 if it happened?  Yeah.  Do I need it to happen? No, not really.

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