The B+ Movie Guide: Part XLIV

In May of 2012, Colin said I should make a list of movies that need to be seen, because he felt there were huge gaps in what he’d seen, and wanted something to do. The idea was that I’d make up a list, as “homework” for him, and he’d use that as things to watch.

So we came up with a giant list of 500 movies that worked, and Colin went about finishing it. And now that it’s finished, we’re gonna write it up. Because you don’t watch a giant list of movies without documenting that you did it.

We’re going through the entire list, little by little, for posterity’s sake. And here’s the next set:

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

Mike:

Pretty much every Coen brothers movie is gonna be essential. Get used to it. They’ve never really missed. (2)

Colin:

This is the one that I missed until this list, though. I think I’d seen just about everything else. This moment with Turturro and the execution is so timeless. “Look into your heart.” I know the guy ended up playing a goof in the Transformers movies, but I really hope that people still recognize just how good an actor he is. We’ve got him in a few on this list, and every role is great.

Barton Fink - 55

Barton Fink (1991)

Mike:

I should just put a gif here, but I actually want to tell people — this might be the Coen brothers’ best movie. It’s so good. It’s brilliant, hilarious, totally watchable, and has a bunch of layers to it that you can either get into or ignore. You can ignore this as a simple comedy of a writer in Hollywood who doesn’t belong there, and the absurdity of it all. Or you can read into the allegorical nature of the whole thing. Either way, this is a masterpiece. (2)

Colin:

As I was saying about John Turturro… this movie blew me away when I saw it because I had no idea what I was supposed to be expecting. That era in Hollywood is great to begin with, but when they start messing with him and Goodman gets going, it’s sublime.

He will show you the life of the mind.

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Mike:

(1)

Colin:

Do people like Disney? I don’t hear a lot about them. Hope they don’t go under, or anything. 

Boyz N the Hood (1991)

Mike:

Oh, Ricky. (3)

Colin:

Yeah! I rented this from my local library in high school shortly after discovering NWA. For whatever reason, it had taken me that long despite being really into Snoop and much older classic hip hop since middle school. Once I figured out that Ice Cube was awesome, I knew I had to see this. It was also just after The Matrix happened, so I knew who Laurence Fishburne was, too. He was so badass in this movie, driving that VW Beetle. Cuba Gooding Jr. is also decent, which was weird, watching this movie the year after Snow Dogs came out. The most exciting part of this? Ice Cube in a role that he referenced in my favorite song of his.

“I’ll make dough / But don’t call me Doughboy”

JFK - 12

JFK (1991)

Mike:

I don’t think people need to be told to see this, but also — FUCKING SEE THIS. This is a masterpiece. Directing, editing — it’s a perfect movie. The amount of famous people in this, and just how watchable it is. This may be Oliver Stone’s finest work. (2)

Colin:

Not only had I not seen this movie before the list, but I also hadn’t quite gotten into the details of the Kennedy assassination, which is a pretty major moment during the 20th century. When I saw that it was Kevin Costner, I wasn’t super thrilled, but then — Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald. Come on, people, get on the Gary Oldman bandwagon. I guess it’d be a Gary Oldsmanbile. He and Tommy Lee Jones made this movie worth watching even before you factor in all the other awesome actors and direction and cinematography. Masterpiece covers it nicely.

The Fisher King - 18

The Fisher King (1991)

Mike:

This is a movie even I was late on. I didn’t know what this was, and then I watched it for the Oscar Quest and went, “Whoa, this is actually incredible.” Because it starts as one kind of movie, and then becomes something else, and then something else, and finally something completely different entirely. Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges are amazing, and it’s just one of those movies that you might not see on your own, or even right away, but when you do see it, you’ll be blown away by how good it is. Which is why it’s here. I’m trying to expedite the process of getting people to see this. (3)

Colin:

What a beautiful film this was. I hadn’t heard of it and watched it knowing nothing and was totally surprised by how wonderful a portrait of loss and redemption it was. It’s even sadder now to watch because it features Robin Williams as a defender of the weak and deals with suicide prevention as a major theme. I saw this before Williams died, but I bet it would be that much more powerful now.

the-silence-of-the-lambs-14

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Mike:

I should put a gif from this movie, but instead, I’m going to give you all this gift:

It’s really from 3 minutes to 3 minutes and 20 seconds that really puts it over the top. (2)

Colin:

I first saw that clip when my brother showed it to me the summer I was working for him. That’s what working for my brother was like. A lot of cruising Craigslist, a lot of videos like that. Pretty gross, huh?

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

I’m not the only one who thought that this was better than the original, right? I mean, this is an almost archetypal sci fi action movie. Everyone knows and loves this movie…right?

Thelma and Louise (1991)

Mike:

The only gif I could really put for this would ruin the ending. But then again, don’t we all know that part anyway? (3)

Colin:

This wasn’t really my favorite movie. I don’t have a whole lot to say about it other than… yeah, I watched it and could just as well never see it again. Meh? I hope I don’t get too much hate for that, but I liked the Wayne’s World parody of it more than I liked this movie itself. 

A Few Good Men (1992)

Mike:

I was gonna put a gif of the famous line, but I felt this face would be better:

(2)

Colin:

This is a nice break in Tom Cruise’s slew of action movies. A really solid courtroom drama within the military that probably launched the TV JAG by itself. If I’m perfectly honest, most of this movie could be totally different and I probably wouldn’t care. It’s the final trial where Nicholson gives the juiciest part of his performance during which I really enjoyed this most. I think everyone knows the famous line and remembers him saying “Lt. Weinberg” with such disdain. 

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This movie is so perfect, and this is the most perfect scene in it. Brass balls. Coffee is for closers. Fuck you, that’s my name. Alec Baldwin totally steals this movie, and he’s only in it for a little bit! And on top of that, you’ve got Kevin Spacey, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris and Jonathan Pryce! I think we all agree that Mamet can write like nobody’s business. This movie is my idea of an awesome evening.

– – – – – – – – – –

Final Thoughts:

Mike:

I’m pretty sure most people will have seen all of these or know they need to see all of these. The one thing you’ll thank me for is introducing you to that song.

Colin:

That song will haunt you for years and years. The movies, cool. Except for Thelma and Louise. I’m sorry, it’s just not my cup of tea. Essential, but not my cup of tea.

More movies tomorrow.

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