RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS
WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE… AND LET THE MOVIE NERD DEBATE BEGIN.
LET’S REWIND TO 1998.
These are personal TOP 10s ranking Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn-munching blockbusters, indie films, b-movies, and cult classics.You never know, you might even uncover a hidden gem or two.
1998 was still making mid-range budget dramas. The indie scene was still booming. Original flicks were still coming out. It was a different time. While there were more grounded stories to see at the megaplex, the #1 movie was mega popcorn muncher ARMAGEDDON with $553 million worldwide.
The Michael Bay smash hit was accompanied by some other big budget blockbusters gone bad like Ferris Bueller’s GODZILLA and Joey from FRIENDS getting LOST IN SPACE. There were also mid-range stinkers like THE NEWTON BOYS with the late-90s version of the ‘Brat Pack’ and PHANTOMS with breaking into the biz Ben Affleck, and the visually feasting disasterpiece WHAT DREAMS MAY COME with Robin Williams.
MY TOP 10 IS FOLLOWED BY HONORABLE MENTIONS AND THE BEST OF ART VS POPCORN.
THE TOP 10
10. LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS
Guy Ritchie burst onto the scene with this fast-talking UK crime flick. Full of dark laughs and firecracker dialogue.
9. FEAR & LOATHING LAS VEGAS
Johnny Depp disappears playing Rolling Stone writer Hunter S. Thompson in this drug fueled odyssey. Trippy visuals and dark comedy.
A stunningly gorgeous film. Thandie Newton stars in this ‘romance’ about what you will do for love. Sparse dialogue but beautiful music and emotional performances help energize this cinematic character piece.
7. DARK CITY
THE CROW director takes on sci-fi film noir with this twisted head-scratcher that combines anime-like visuals and philosophical themes with mystery.
6. THE TRUMAN SHOW
Could be Jim Carrey’s best performance, combining comedy with drama, playing a character who’s entire life is the subject of a reality show he has no idea he is the star of.
5. AMERICAN HISTORY X
Edgy, violent, energetic examination into racism and its path through generations. Could be Edward Norton’s best performance ever.
Disney done right. Balancing history, drama, action, and comedy. One of the most stunning hand-drawn animated films ever (with early usage of CGI style). The themes connect with an engaging story. Plus, actually good songs.
3. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
One of the best war films ever made. Spielberg guides us through combat like never before, using high speed shutter rates and a documentary style to capture the devastation. A simple story is easy to attach to, but the relentless intensity of the battle sequences is its most spectacular feat.
2. THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Infinitely rewatchable and supremely quotable. A love-it or hate-it comedy. A ransom goes wrong with one the most unusual ‘detective’ stories ever. Coen Bros at their best. Incredible ensemble cast led by Jeff Bridges as one of the best (and most unexpected) on screen characters in cinematic history.
1. THE THIN RED LINE
This is film is often forgotten or dismissed. The director is a love-him or hate-him type of guy. Flagged as pretentious by some, yet praised by certain cinephiles, Terrence Mallick is focused more on themes than story or action. This cinematic masterpiece is more interpretive than more melodramatic entries in the genre. Stars an all-star cast including George Clooney, Sean Penn, John Travolta, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Nick Nolte, Jared Leto, and Jim Caviezel. Haunting music composed by Hans Zimmer compliments the sublime cinematography and more poetic or contemplative moments. The darker nature of humanity is explored alongside the hopeful in one of the best war films ever made.
BLADE / THE CELEBRATION / DEEP IMPACT / THE FACULTY / HAPPINESS / HE GOT GAME / OUT OF SIGHT / RUSH HOUR / SPHERE / THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
the best of art vs popcorn
54 / APT PUPIL / ARMAGEDDON / THE AVENGERS / B. MONKEY / BASEKETBALL / BELOVED / BELLY / THE BIG HIT / BRIDE OF CHUCKY / A BUG’S LIFE / CAN’T HARDLY WAIT / CITY OF ANGELS / DEEP RISING / DISTURBING BEHAVIOR / EARTH / ELIZABETH / ENEMY OF THE STATE / FALLEN / GODZILLA / HALF BAKED / HALLOWEEN: H20 / HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK / INSOMNIA / I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER / KURT & COURTNEY / LAST NIGHT / LETHAL WEAPON 4 / LOLITA / THE MASK OF ZORRO / MEET JOE BLACK / THE NEGOTIATOR / PI / PLEASANTVILLE / PRACTICAL MAGIC / THE PRINCE OF EGYPT / PSYCHO / THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS / RETURN TO PARADISE / RINGU / RONIN / ROUNDERS / RUN LOLA RUN / RUSHMORE / SENSELESS / SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE / THE SIEGE / A SIMPLE PLAN / SLIDING DOORS / SMOKE SIGNALS / SNAKE EYES / SPECIES 2 / STAR TREK: INSURRECTION / URBAN LEGEND / U.S. MARSHALS / VAMPIRES / VERY BAD THINGS / WATERBOY / THE WEDDING SINGER / WHO AM I? / WILD THINGS / THE X-FILES
HONORABLE MENTION +1: HBO’S GIA
MY must-watch list
notables films I have yet to see
CENTRAL STATION / THE HORSE WHISPERER / HURLYBURLY / LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL / TWILIGHT / WAKING NED DEVINE / YOU’VE GOT MAIL
What do you think?
Stay tuned for more Rewind & Rank!