The B+ Movie Guide: Part XLVIII

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:

Trainspotting (1996)

Mike:

Heroin is a hell of a drug. (3)

Colin:

This is one I might have seen a little too young to appreciate it the first time I saw it. It is a horrifying picture of addiction and poverty in Scotland, and a movie that Scottish-Americans will probably turn to when they’ve watched Braveheart one too many times. Robert Carlisle is awesome, Ewan McGregor gets launched internationally and winds up as Obi Wan Kenobi and Kelly Macdonald got her start having sex with him so she could later go on to be Josh Brolin’s nagging wife. Also probably the first place anyone saw Kevin McKidd, who you now know as Vorenus on Rome and as Soap McTavish in the Call of Duty games.

Boogie Nights (1997)

Mike:

I wouldn’t even know where to begin on a gif with this one. Let’s just say “It’s fucking Boogie Nights” and call it a day. (2)

Colin:

That does it. Mark Wahlberg near his peak, but also — let’s all take a moment to remember what a freaking genius Philip Seymour Hoffman was. Still in denial about that death, and he was great in this.

 

The Fifth Element (1997)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

I don’t know why people forget about this movie. I was one of them until college, and then I saw it and recognized just how fun it is. This movie makes you want to watch opera, which — other than this, I’m thinking only Quantum of Solace and Amadeus pull that off for me. 90s sci fi is cheesy and fun, and this has Gary Oldman to go with it. Win.

The Game - 10

The Game (1997)

Mike:

A great overlooked Fincher film. Michael Douglas, Sean Penn — it’s one of those movies that’s not exactly The Usual Suspects in terms of twists, but it’s entertaining all the way through and is just a really great movie. Plus — Fincher. You gotta watch Fincher. (2)

Colin:

Had never heard about this, and all I can say is — plenty of twists, and a lot of moments where you have to shake your head at what white people will spend money on. Ridiculous stuff.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This movie is a freaking institution, now even more so because of Robin Williams’ death. He’s the guy who knows everything and knows how to heal broken children and all that. Basically the Boston psychiatrist version of Atticus Finch. Hey, what is it with Matt Damon and Boston psychiatrists? Anyway, Vera Farmiga didn’t win Best Supporting Actress for her role.

Hey, you guys remember Minnie Driver? This is probably her second best role ever, after her part as Robbie Coltrane’s girlfriend in GoldenEye

jackie-brown-3

Jackie Brown (1997)

Mike:

The Quentin movie that everybody forgets. It’s actually really great. Samuel L. Jackson is terrific. Robert Forster. It’s a really, really good movie. But everyone prefers the other stuff. Either way, you need to see it. (2)

Colin:

I forgot it, but it gets referenced a lot in rap songs, so it’s pretty well worth watching. The credits sequence is also really great.

l-a-confidential-5

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Mike:

This movie was overlooked from the second it came out. Because it went up against that boat movie that stole all its thunder. (2)

Colin:

I need to go back and rewatch this at some point in a big sweep of neo-noir movies. This, ChinatownMiller’s CrossingInherent Vice, all that good business. I had completely overlooked it until the list, and it was one of the first that I watched when Mike compiled everything. What a great movie, and we should be grateful that it gave US audiences Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce.

Life is Beautiful (1997)

Mike:

(3)

Colin:

I dare you to watch this and not cry. I mean, come on. There are the few Italian movies of every era that you absolutely have to see, and this is the one from the 90s that really can’t be missed. Roberto Benigni’s character has to be up there with the most selfless film dads of all time.

Titanic - 73

Titanic (1997)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

Ugh. The girl who sat next to me in 2nd grade art class saw this movie 14 times in theaters. We were second graders. That’s how I think of this movie. And other people have things to say about how it resembles other James Cameron projects.

American History X (1998)

Mike:

Not gonna put that gif there. But this movie is pretty essential, because it’s one that a lot of people get into when they first start getting into movies. And this is 90s Edward Norton, who was turning in great performance after great performance. It’s less complicated if you’ve seen it. (3)

Colin:

We all remember curb-stomping. We all remember 90s Edward Norton. We’re all exceedingly creeped out by white supremacy and its advocates. Messed up story — just the type that Norton likes to play to get Oscar action.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This and Pulp Fiction are the two 90s cult classics that film fans of our generation got into during middle school and high school. Everyone can quote it backwards and forwards. This movie was a big part of my childhood, for better or for worse. Just yesterday, I got the Gipsy Kings’ cover of Hotel California stuck in my head and saw John Turturro licking a bowling ball in my mind’s eye. 

– – – – – – – – – –

Final Thoughts:

Mike:

We’re at the point now where these are the movies that people know they need to have seen, if they haven’t. These are the ones that people will call you out for, if they find out you haven’t seen them.

Colin:

If you haven’t seen these, he’s right — you know you’re supposed to. That’s why there are so many omissions to the list in the 80s and 90s. We could include stuff like Lion King, but when we get to that point, it becomes dozens and dozens of slots taken up by stuff that we’d have nothing to say about. All of this is stuff you look at and go, “Well, yeah.”

– – – – – – – – – –

More movies tomorrow.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

One response

  1. BlueFox94

    Thanks for addressing The Lion King omission.

    August 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

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