Wednesday, January 16, 1991


  • The Best Films Of The Year:

  • 1. Cinema Paradiso (Nuovo Cinema Paradiso)
    2. Good Fellas
    3. Misery
    4. Awakenings
    5. The Hunt for Red October
    6. Miller’s Crossing
    7. White Hunter Black Heart
    8. Dances With Wolves
    9. Pretty Woman
    10. Jacob’s Ladder

    Let me be frank. 1990 was a terrible year for films. The top six on this list are about the only ones (aside from the underrated and horribly fun lists) that I recommend anyone actually watch.

    “Cinema Paradiso” is one of my favorite films and after being a projectionist, I love it even more. Released internationally in '89, it landed stateside in 1990. This is a prime example of why you should frequent your local art house theaters to find the foreign gems forgotten by the googleplexes.

    “Good Fellas” is arguably Martin Scorsese’s last good film. (I sort of call “Casino” a clone of this film). In any case, few things are more fun than watching Joe Pesci lose his temper and this film exemplifies that point. If you somehow missed this film and liked “The Godfather”, go out and see this.

    “Misery” was the breakout role for Kathy Bates, who doesn’t seem to take too many critical hits ever since she did this film. She’s like the Queen Latifah of white people. Bad films may happen but they don’t get blamed.

    “Awakenings” is a touching film that also made me sort of want to be in a coma. I know, I’m weird. Robert De Niro and Robin Williams give incredible performances and the nurse who assists Williams is Julie Kavner, who is a voice on the “Simpsons”. So that’s pretty cool, too.

    “The Hunt for Red October” is the best adaptation of a Tom Clancy novel made as of 2006. Director John McTiernan did a fantastic job putting all the elements together, even though due to budget constraints they had to change the ending. Alec Baldwin is the best choice for the character of Jack Ryan and it's a shame that some power struggles caused him to not be involved in future films in the series. Special shout outs to Sean Connery and Sam Neill for their work in this film as well. If you like political action/adventure/dramas, this is one of the best.

    “White Hunter Black Heart” is a thought-provoking drama, “Miller’s Crossing” is a gritty film with good performances and the rest of the list are decent films. I just don’t love them. I had to stretch to make the list a full ten, as happens from time to time.

  • The Worst Films of the Year:

  • 1. Ghost Dad
    2. The Bonfire of the Vanities
    3. Look Who’s Talking Too
    4. The Adventures of Ford Fairlane
    5. Dick Tracy

    Funny enough, I couldn’t find too many films to put into this list. It’s as if 1990 was filled with films between good and bad. Just kind of blah. Don’t get me wrong, these five are bad. I only know one person who likes “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane” and somehow I’m not surprised. The rest are forgettable at best. Save your time for something more productive like sticking Q-tips into orifices.

  • The Most Horrible Films That Are Fun To Watch:

  • 1. Total Recall
    2. Men at Work
    3. House Party
    4. Young Guns II
    5. Days of Thunder
    6. Blind Fury
    7. Gremlins 2
    8. Navy Seals
    9. Spaced Invaders
    10. Robot Jox

    Woo, boy. Did I just write that? Whatever. Like the following year, 1990 is stacked with films that are just so bad they’re fun. “Total Recall” is just good clean fun, letting a Governor go to Mars and somehow survive its atmosphere. That Michael Ironside is the guy chasing him only sweetens the pot.

    “Men at Work” almost makes it look like fun to be a sanitation engineer. More importantly, it gave the world the line: “Looks like somebody threw away a perfectly good white boy!” There are so many other good quotes but that’s my favorite.

    “House Party” gave the world the acting debut of Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin, better known as Kid N Play. If you want a hilarious look at fashion in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, this is the film to watch.

    “Young Guns II” boasts a cast that includes Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christian Slater, William Petersen, James Coburn, Balthazar Getty, Viggo Mortensen and some guy named Boots Southerland. I just had to include his name. Anyway, almost more important than the cast is the theme song that was done by Bon Jovi. “Blaze of Glory” is still something fun to crank out of your camaro while looking for a parking spot at that NASCAR event. Wait … what?

    Speaking of NASCAR, “Days of Thunder” sees the birth of Cole Trickle, Tom Cruise’s acting alter ego. It’s my professional opinion this character is the same character he plays in every film, short of maybe “Far and Away” since that one had an accent. Even in “Born on the Fourth of July”, I still see some Trickle in him.

    “Blind Fury” was released in West Germany a few months before the Berlin wall fell but didn’t hit the U.S. until 1990. It gives the world the joy of seeing a blind Rutger Hauer kick ass with a samurai sword. Marvelous.

    “Gremlins 2” is one of those wonderful little films that brings a smile to my heart. We finally see the emergence of ‘female’ gremlins and what says fun better than little creatures running amok in New York City?

    “Navy Seals” is pure three-in-the-morning fun. Drink a forty, get a greasy burrito and pop this bad boy in your VCR. Oh, you have the DVD? Why?

    “Spaced Invaders” sees a group of bungling aliens try to conquer the world. Only it’s Halloween and everyone thinks they’re trick or treaters. Tell me, is there anything in that formula that doesn’t work?

    Oh, “Robot Jox”. Where have you been all my life? This clunker is stupendous. In the future, why have a war when you can have people man giant mechanized robots and fight in arenas? Seriously, why don’t we do this in today’s society? It’d get much better ratings than “The Bachelor”.

    I couldn’t quite fit in “Tremors” or “Ski Patrol” onto the list but wanted to mention them for my own peace of mind.

  • The Most Underrated/Overlooked Films Of The Year:

  • Side Out
    Kindergarten Cop
    My Blue Heaven
    Pump Up The Volume
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Home Alone

    Some good cheese this year. “Side Out” is the best beach volleyball movie ever made. “Kindergarten Cop” taught us wonderful phrases like “It’s not a tumor” and showed the world that a cop can be a teacher, so why can’t an Austrian bodybuilder be Governor?

    “My Blue Heaven” is good, clean fun for the whole family. “Pump Up The Volume” is not as clean but just as fun. Christian Slater’s radio show is better than anything currently on the air.

    “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is just pure glory. I’m going to be disappointed by the upcoming CGI Turtles film. I can just feel it.

    And “Home Alone”, well I want to hate it. Something in me feels stupid for liking it but it’s one of those Christmas movies that’s just fun and nice. Oy.

  • The Best Titles Of The Year:

  • "Comment faire l’amour avec un négre sans se fatiguer"
    which translates from French to:
    "How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired"

    Just let that title sink in. I mean, wow. I haven’t seen it but one of the reviews I read labeled it just about the most offensive film they’ve ever seen. Which means I need to find it and judge for myself. But seriously … wow. That title is … amazing. Simply amazing.

    Other titles that had me going were:

    Roller Coaster Rabbit
    Life is Cheap … But Toilet Paper is Expensive
    Russian Terminator

    All good titles, but that first one is probably the best one I’ve ever heard of. I’m still in awe.

  • “Lambada” vs. “The Forbidden Dance”

  • That’s right, kids. In the same calendar year, there were competing films about the short-lived dance craze known as the lambada.

    In the first film, Jennifer Lopez helps create a stupid movie. That’s a first. In actuality, the film is really about a guy named Kevin ‘Blade’ Laird who’s a high school teacher with a double life of a lambada dancer! Wow, that’s pretty … what’s the word … dumb. Yeah, that it.

    In “The Forbidden Dance” … well, I can’t summarize this too well so I’ll cheat and give you the description at IMDb:

    “A princess in the Amazon rain forests tries to fight a conglomerate threatening the forests by going to Los Angeles. There she links up with a rich kid who tells her that she must get on TV to succeed with her mission. Quick as a wink the two come up with the idea of winning a lambada dance contest that is getting TV attention. A witch doctor also accompanies the princess and provides some humor.”

    Anyone else interested in watching this?

    One of these days I’m going to be so bored and drunk that I’ll double feature these. I better start stockpiling liquor because it’s going to take quite a lot of it.

  • The Shafted of a Theatrical Release Movie of the Year:

  • Ninja Academy

    This little gem was only released on the big screen in the Phillipines (WTF!) but thankfully was released on video this side of the Pacific. If you like your films ridiculously campy and kitschy, you need to see this one.


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