Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 1995

Let's talk about one big one that's gonna surprise you that's not on the list.  That's The Usual Suspects.  I had the ending ruined for me before I ever that one, so I never got that awesome "shock" on the first view that got people to love the movie.  I went over to a friend's house and he had to show me this part of this movie that blew his mind...guess what...it was the damn ending to The Usual Suspects.  Shitty, right?  Well, we can't win them all.  Also, Michael Mann's Heat isn't on here as I like the movie, have watched it once or twice but I'm not crazy about it.  This list, though is full of stuff I loved.  Its also noteworthy, Puff, that this year is when the horror genre was pretty much going on a lifeline.  We'll discuss that more next time.

Here's your Best Picture noms

WINNER - Braveheart
Apollo 13
Il Postino
Sense And Sensibility

And here's my faves

12 Monkeys

If I  were to torture myself with making a Top 10 All-Time list, this one definitely has a place somewhere in there.  The first time I saw this movie was when it came out on VHS and holy shit my eyes were glued to the screen watching it.  As I said, I'm a sucker for time travel movies, but the way and world they presented in this film fascinated me.  All the costumes and set design work was incredibly appealing to me.  Also, Brad Pitt, who I had thought was just a pretty face that girls liked, floored me with his performance in this.  This film provides an incredibly engaging mystery that is fun for the audience to follow as it is for the main characters to uncover.  Its got a great sense of style provided by director Terry Gilliam too.  I'm not going to go over plot details because if you haven't seen it...FUCKING SEE IT ALREADY!  This is an amazing movie and its one of the greatest all time for me.

Die Hard With A Vengeance

Well, 1995 Bruce Willis was the polar opposite of 2013 Bruce Willis for me as he stars in 2 of my favorite movies.  I've talked at length on this one via articles and a commentary track.  This Die Hard gets very close to being as great as the first one for me and is a top all time pure action movie for me.  Check out the sidebar and click on the Die Hard thumb and you'll be able to get plenty from me regarding this movie and the whole series.


Pierce Brosnan's debut as Bond is one of the absolute best.  And no, it has nothing to do with having an extremely popular video game attached to it.  Its also one of the best action movies of the 90s as well.  Like Die Hard With A Vengeance, I have written and vocally discussed this one, which you can find from the old Mendelson's Memos archives by clicking the James Bond Retrospective link on the sidebar.  It sucks that Brosnan's start was hands down his very best movie, but it doesn't mean the rest of it should be chalked up as a loss.  There's another really good movie in his oeuvre, a decent one and one that's quite terrible.  Its eye popping to believe this movie will be celebrating being 20 years old next year.

John Carpenter's In The Mouth Of Madness

This is truly John Carpenter's last great film.  Not to say it was just garbage after, but this is one that truly shines.  Its considered the final part to his "End Of The World" trilogy in theme that starts at The Thing followed by Prince Of Darkness (another great one I had to cut! Damn you 1987!).  This is one that I don't think was that well received or very popular when it arrived but grew a cult fanbase and now is actually getting the respect it deserved almost 20 years ago.  I think it holds up tremendously and maybe even works better today than it did then (same with Prince Of Darkness).  A lot of John Carpenter films have really stood the test of time and are finally getting their recognition and appreciation.  Maybe that's why he's seen a little resurgence in popularity on some of his lesser known works.  Just showing that Carpenter may have indeed been very ahead of his time during his prime.


I used to really love this film.  As I've gotten older I still really enjoy it, but its cracks show and it kind of has weakened for me.  One thing it really impressed me on was Brad Pitt and Gwenyth Paltrow.  Actors like them (pretty faces, populating gossip/glam mags) at this time didn't do movies like this.  This knock off of Silence Of The Lambs decided to err on the side of gore and brutality.  The film had a great and memorable ending too.  But I point to this film as one that has unfortunately been the big influence on the "gritty and real" stuff that overbloated our multiplexes many years later and watered down and made easy, cheap and predictable the type of surprise or engaging viewing experience a film like this can have.  Its a good film, but I have to wonder if it plays well to someone who's gone through all the movies influenced by it in the past years and HASN'T seen this movie?  Is it as impactful?

Tommy Boy

Finally after those 5 we get to laugh, eh?  This was Chris Farley's big breakout on the silver screen and quickly became a phenomenon.  I'd like to point out again, that we get another great turn from Rob Lowe as a skeezy guy in an SNL related movie.  His turn from what he was in the 80s and spending the 90s reinventing himself to me kind of mirror's Paul Rudd's journey through his career and reinventing himself working with the Apatow crew.  Anyway, this movie has a lot of great stuff you'd expect from Farley and Spade and they make for one of cinema's best comedic duos as they were able to translate their sketch comedy selves to the big screen. 

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