1996 feels like the peak year of “these are the movies of my childhood.” And that’s not just because of Space Jam. But a lot of it is because of Space Jam.
This year… maybe it’s because I was 7, going on 8 and this is the year stuff tends to stick with you more, maybe it’s because we moved this year to a place that was much closer to a movie theater and started going more (mainly because my sister was now old enough to go consistently and we could all go to basically the same movies and enjoy ourselves), or maybe it’s because this is the year we first got our illegal cable hookup and got all the PPV movie channels for free. More than likely it’s a combination of all of those things.
But on top of all of that, there’s a lot of really awesome stuff this year. It feels like the year that’s more “stuff I like” more than “a lot of this stuff is some of the best ever made.” This is the year I’m most willing to say is closer to my sensibility than objectively what most people would say are the best movies. That said, a lot of this stuff is really great and we all probably really like it.
And there’s Space Jam too. Never count out Space Jam. (more…)
1995 feels like the year where the decade in film starts to shift gears and become something else. There’s a weird sort of half-decade thing going on with the 90s. The early 90s feels like it’s half-getting over the 80s and half-burgeoning independent cinema. Then the last half feels sort of like they took independent cinema and made it part of the mainstream so it sort of… it’s like how the 70s was a whole decade of auteur directors making all these great movies. And then Hollywood took them in and the 80s happened. (The 80s is much more than that, but you know what I mean.) It feels like that happened mid-decade and then the late 90s is just all just kind of a big mess of whatever the byproduct of that is.
But in terms of this particular year… it feels like one of the weaker ones of the decade. There’s stuff I really like here, but not a whole lot I love. Aside from the first handful of movies, everything else would be #8 or lower most other years this decade. Which happens. Not every year can have your favorite movies of all time. Even the lower tiers feel kind of ho hum as compared to what some of the other years have.
Though, just glancing at what’s to come, this year is responsible for a few of cinema’s most iconic and recognizable moments. So there’s that. (more…)
1994. This year almost contained the single greatest crop of Best Pictures in Oscar history. (For starters, my #1, #2 and #3 are in there. So that’ll tell you something.) Still, it’s an incredible year. There’s not a weak movie in the entire top ten. And I feel like, were you to give most people a top ten list from this year, I feel like at least 7 or 8 of my list would be on almost everyone’s list. It’s that strong a year at the top.
This year helped revolutionize cinema, in a way. Pulp Fiction really put independent cinema on the mainstream map. It’s kind of like how, in the 70s, the director/auteur movies became the norm, and the “Hollywood” stuff was secondary to those. Because of that film, independent-style movies really became A-level movies, alongside the big blockbuster stuff. And it stayed that way for a little while. Of course, until all (or most) of those filmmakers became homogenized into the system and we moved on to the next thing.
Still, I can’t get over how amazing this top ten is. Pound for pound, it may be the strongest set of ten this decade. (more…)