Sunday, January 01, 1995


  • The Best Films Of The Year:

  • 1. Lèon (The Professional)
    2. Forrest Gump
    3. The Shawshank Redemption
    4. Pulp Fiction
    5. Immortal Beloved
    6. Death and the Maiden
    7. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
    8. Quiz Show
    9. Clerks
    10. The Lion King

    Putting aside my Natalie Portman fixation, "Lèon" is an amazing film that also featured Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. Portman’s screen presence, even at such a young age, is unbelievable. One of those rare instances where a young actor/actress seems to be channeling an old soul. Reno played his role wonderfully, I can only think of one other person who could have pulled off an emotionally stunted hitman and he was playing the villain in this film. Gary Oldman is easily one of the greatest actors working in films today. He consistently disappears into his character and does not give audiences the same character over and over again, like most ‘movie stars’ do.

    Keep in mind there is a difference. Oldman is an actor. Tom Cruise is a movie star. Both have their place, but do completely different things onscreen. Also take note that Gary Oldman plays a pivotal role in two of the top ten films this year. His performance in "Immortal Beloved" was even more fantastic than his role in "Lèon", but the film as a whole didn’t really resonate with me as much.

    Wow, I’ve already written a dissertation and I’m only through with two films. Ok, "Forrest Gump". Tom Hanks falls a little bit in-between the two categories of actors I just mentioned. He does bring forth different character traits in his movies, but you still see him at the core. There are few Hanks’ films that I found less than at least entertaining. And with "Forrest Gump", director Robert Zemeckis crafted a beautiful, sprawling film that encompasses both a decades-long timeline of American history and a love story sure to break any romantic’s heart.

    "The Shawshank Redemption" is a phenomenal film, packed with amazing actors and performances. Many other years, this may have grabbed the top spot. "Pulp Fiction" isn’t as hard hitting as "Reservoir Dogs", but has some of the most memorable moments in recent film history, from Samuel L. Jackson’s bible quotations to Eric Stoltz plunging a needle into Uma Thurman’s heart.

    "Death and the Maiden" was a play brought to the big screen and it shows. However, it’s an amazing script that was well executed. If you have any inkling towards good stage work, this film will satisfy you. "Priscilla" captured most of its attention for its outward appearance and, at the time, controversial gay themes. But once you lost the spectre of notoriety, it’s just a wonderful film with loads of heart and good performances by Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce.

  • The Worst Films Of The Year:

  • 1. The Road To Wellville
    2. Exit To Eden
    3. The Flintstones
    4. The Mask
    5. Bad Girls

    I can't count the number of times I could have retired on the money spent on worthless pieces of crap. I think there should be people hired to work on films who take a look at the dailies, get a feel for how the film will turn out, and then stop production once it’s clear the film will be a dud. Then the remaining production money should go to me for suggesting this idea.

  • The Most Horrible Films That Are Fun To Watch:

  • 1. Streetfighter
    2. Leprechaun 2
    3. Double Dragon
    4. The Chase
    5. Blue Chips

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This year brought me three of my favorite “horrible” films. Not only did someone have the gall to do a live-action "Streetfighter" movie, they cast Jean-Claude Van Damme in the lead. His speech to rally the troops at the end is one of the greatest audition pieces ever written. "Leprechaun 2" is my favorite of the series. Not only does Warwick Davis use a go-kart of death, he also tricks a boy into kissing a lawnmower. Fantastic.

    "Double Dragon" is another horrible video game to movie transition. When will Hollywood learn? Though, truth be told, I hope they don’t because I would miss out on gems like this. "The Chase" is a bad, bad film. But it does have Charlie Sheen and Henry Rollins. And the scene where Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers try to stop Sheen’s wild ride is worth the rental alone. "Blue Chips" is a real-time documentary of Shaquille O'Neal’s college career. Ok, it’s not really, but that’s what I try to imagine as the film unfolds.

  • The Most Underrated Films Of The Year:

  • PCU
    Dumb & Dumber
    Jason’s Lyric

    While "Animal House" may be the original college comedy, "PCU" is my personal favorite. Jeremy Piven plays his sarcastic self to perfection. Jon Favreau plays an amazing stoner and David Spade can play a comedic neo-Nazi like no other. If you’ve been to college, see this film. Even if you’re thinking of going to college, see this film.

    "Dumb & Dumber" made a ton of money and just about everyone has seen it. But do yourself a favor and watch this film a few more times. Once you unlock the subtleties in both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ performances, you’ll find this movie reaches a whole new level. Of course, if you did not find this film amusing, you should just click the buttons on your web browser that take you back to the Pauly Shore homepage.

    "Jason’s Lyric" was a small film that few people saw but it packs a punch. Allen Payne and Jada Pinkett Smith provide the performances of their careers. The themes in the film are universal and while I had almost forgotten about this film until I reviewed the movie releases of 1994, once I saw the title I immediately remembered the intense emotions I felt after watching this film.


    Blogger -jlaabs said...

    I love LEON. Seriously, I do. I own the laserdisc, the dir's cut dvd, three posters and ALL the rest of Luc Besson's movies (plus the plush stuffed animals ;). But your telling me that Leon is better than Shawshank Redemption? No way, eh! Shawshank's story and plot are ten times better! I love Leon but the edge goes to Shawshank.

    1:17 PM  

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