Archive for category The 90’s

Groundhog Day [1993]


One of my all time favorites. Bill Murray gives what may be the best performance of his career in this unique comedy, arguably the best of the 1990’s.  Murray plays Phil Connors, a cynical and grumpy weatherman who is dispatched with producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliot) to a friendly town in Pennsylvania to witness the annual Groundhog Day Ceremony. It is clear to us that Phil doesn’t want to be there at all, and wishes he were just about anywhere else. When they get snowed in, Phil wakes up the next morning to discover he is reliving Groundhog Day all over again. He isn’t exactly thrilled, especially when he relives it again the next day, and the next, and the next. It’s a terrific concept that first causes Phil to deal with the situation in a funny and cruel way. He knows everything will be wiped clean, and he can start fresh the next day. He becomes an expert in medicine, ice sculpture, poetry, piano playing and a number of other things. He even asks a woman what she looks for in a man, and the following day embodies all those attributes to the lady. Later on he commits suicide in various ways, only to realise that he will  wake up the next morning alive and well. Eventually, he tries to improve his behavior, aswell as his people skills, in order to impress Rita, who sees him only as the grumpy man he’s always been. In between, there are hilarious gags, and the movie keeps coming up with twists and turns, even when you know there’s nowhere else it can go.

Watch it, then watch it again, and again, and again. Comedy is rarely this terrific.

Rating: 3.5/4

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The Big Lebowski [1998]


One big funny joke, courtesy of the Coen brothers, about an unemployed slacker better known as “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges in a one of a kind hilarious role) who’s mistaken for a big shot millionaire of the same name, and then gets hired by the guy to deliver a ransom when his wife is kidnapped. The plan goes beserk when The Dude’s friend (John Goodman) schemes to keep the full ransom instead of delivering it. If you’re a fan of the Coen brothers, then you’re probably familiar with “The Big Lebowski”. Afterall, Jeff Bridges’s character has become an icon in today’s pop culture (I’m “The Dude” man!). But is it their best work? I don’t think so. It’s very funny, with plenty of amusing and memorable characters (John Turturo is hilarious as Jesus the bowler), but I wouldn’t rank it on the same level as “Fargo”. But still, there’s a lot to enjoy here, and it’s definitely hard to dismiss any movie directed by the Coens and starring the legendary Jeff Bridges (is he the man or what?).

Rating: 3/4

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The Hurricane [1999]


Exceptional movie follows the story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (Denzel Washington in one of the best performances of his career), a proud, talented prizefighter unjustly convicted of a brutal crime he obviously didn’t commit. Locked away for almost 20 years, his once forgotten case surprisingly reemerges when a small group of supporters decide to help him by conducting their own private investigation. Carter’s last glimmer of hope now rests with the tireless efforts of those people, who refuse to end the fight for his freedom. Inspiring and perfectly acted, this truly amazing movie is long, but masterfully told and thought provoking. Washington has always been great, but his performance here is truly phenomenal and worthy of an oscar (though he didn’t win). His final speech might leave  some in tears, but the whole movie is just powerful and brilliant, which makes it a must see. Kudos to everyone involved in this film. One of the best of the 90’s.

Fun fact: The real Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter is only 5’8″ and 155 pounds, being about 4 inches shorter and nearly 40 pounds lighter than Denzel Washington (even when the actor slimmed down to play Hurricane). In actuality, Washington (and the actors who play his opponents in the ring) classify as heavyweights.

Rating: 3.5/4

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JFK [1991]


Brilliant movie from director Oliver Stone about the assassination of John Kennedy, and the investigation that followed his death. Kevin Costner gives the performance of his career as the attorney who becomes obsessed with the case; he is convinced that there’s more to the assassination than the official story (a conspiracy maybe?). His final speech (which is 20 minutes long) hits all the right notes and is especially memorable. Long, demanding movie (just like any other Oliver Stone film), but completely absorbing and thought provoking (which makes it a must see). This can easily be ranked as one of the best movies of the 90’s. Watch it now, thank me later.

Fun fact: Oliver Stone regards this film as his “The Godfather”.

Rating: 3.5/4

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Woody Allen Filmography [Part 4]


25-Scenes From A Mall (1991): 2/4

26-Shadows And Fog (1992): 2.5/4

27-Husbands And wives (1992): 3.5/4

28-Manhattan Murder Mystery(1993): 3/4

29-Bullets Over Broadway (1994): 3/4

30-Mighty Aphrodite (1995): 3/4

31-Everyone Says I Love You (1996): 2.5/4

32-Deconstructing Harry (1997): 3.5/4

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What Dreams May Come [1998]


I  really wanted to write a positive review about “What Dreams May Come”, but truth be told, I couldn’t. It may be visually impressive (the special effects won an oscar), but the story is so damn confusing and awfully boring that I couldn’t care less about the characters. Robin Williams is Chris Neilson, a guy who dies and goes to heaven (which is an amazing place). But suddenly he misses his wife. Then the wife commits suicide and goes to hell, so Chris decides to find her. And it’s all downhill from here. Overlong and pointless (unless you dig the idea of reincarnation). I wonder why Williams got himself mixed up with this in the first place.

Rating: 1.5/4

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Dances With Wolves [1990]


“They were a people so eager to laugh, so devoted to family, so dedicated to each other. The only word that comes to mind is harmony”.

While watching this movie, I had a feeling of deja vu. I felt like I’ve seen this story before. Then it hit me: “Avatar”. Now I know that “Dances With Wolves” was made long before “Avatar”, but I couldnt help but notice the similarities between the two. Kevin Costner is  John Dunbar, a lieutenant who requests a position on the western frontier during the civil war. He meets an indian tribe and quickly earn their respect. But when the white army decides to attack the tribe, he must now make the decision of a lifetime. Directed by Costner himself, this exceptional movie won 7 oscars including best picture and best director. It’s also beautifully shot on location in South Dakota. One of the best movies of the 90’s.

 

Rating: 3.5/4

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