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Old 10-10-2012, 06:05 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

The A.V. Club is making a list of their own. So far they have:
Quote:
50. Dead Man (1995)
49. American Movie (1999)
48. Ed Wood (1994)
47. Starship Troopers (1997)
46. Heavenly Creatures (1994)
45. The Limey (1999)
44. Metropolitan (1990)
43. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
42. All About My Mother (1999)
41. Raise The Red Lantern (1991)
40. Trainspotting (1996)
39. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
38. Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control (1997)
37. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
36. L.A. Confidential (1997)
35. Naked (1993)
34. Seven (1995)
33. The Matrix (1999)
32. Close-Up (1990)
31. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders At Robin Hood Hills (1996)
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #77 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

A.V. Club list continued:
Quote:
30. The Thin Red Line (1998)
29. Irma Vep (1996)
28. Election (1999)
27. Short Cuts (1993)
26. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
25. Fight Club (1999)
24. Crumb (1994)
23. Carlito’s Way (1993)
22. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
21. Fargo (1995)
20. Red (1994)
19. Exotica (1994)
18. Schindler’s List (1993)
17. Safe (1995)
16. The Big Lebowski (1998)
15. Groundhog Day (1993)
14. Hoop Dreams (1994)
13. Boogie Nights (1997)
12. Miller’s Crossing (1990)
11. Barton Fink (1991)
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:35 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

A.V. Club list concluded:
Quote:
10. Being John Malkovich (1999)
9. Rushmore (1998)
8. Unforgiven (1992)
7. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
6. Out Of Sight (1998)
5. Chungking Express (1994)
4. Dazed And Confused (1993)
3. Toy Story 2 (1999)
2. Pulp Fiction (1994)
1. Goodfellas (1990)
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:23 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

If you've never seen Dead Man, you are missing out. It's a really movie and you look like a film buff because it's in black and white.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:03 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

Quote:
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If you've never seen Dead Man, you are missing out. It's a really movie and you look like a film buff because it's in black and white.
I feel like I understand that sentence, but it seems like it's all in the wrong order.

Thanks for the tip, btw.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Tier 1

6) The Matrix

DISCLAIMER: For the entirety of this commentary, I will be pretending the 2nd and 3rd films do not exist.

If you didn't know already, I'm a big science fiction fan. More importantly for this review, though, I am also a big fan of science. That's where I feel I should begin on this one. The ambitious premise of this film seems entirely plausible scientifically. We know that our sensory receptors send electric signals to our brains. It is then up to our brains to process and quickly interpret those signals to determine if things feel, smell, taste, sound, or look interesting, pleasant, disgusting, etc. The idea of being a node in a jelly-filled pod while plugged into a collective neural network was quite intriguing to me when I first experienced this film.

It's also entirely plausible, were one so inclined... maybe when faced with dystopia, that one could extract energy from a human being in a battery-esque way through body heat and hydroelectricity (or perhaps more exactly bioelectricity). I particularly like the added detail that the relationship is symbiotic. Agent Smith tells Morpheus during the epic interrogation/helicopter rescue scene that the humans would die without the construct. This is extrapolated pretty well in all the scenes where people who are plugged in receive the scars of war despite not actually having been in a fight. I just wish I knew how they scorched the skies.

Once the plausibility of the matrix was established for me, I was freed up to enjoy the movie that forever changed the genre in much the same way that Metropolis, 2001, Blade Runner, and Alien had before it. The camera techniques which we've come to know as bullet time and flo-mo basically created a visual experience that reinvigorated the desire of film-makers to take presentation to new levels. Anyone who saw the film in a theater will also remember the other striking element of the experience: it was loud but controlled. The Wachowskis brought audio innovation to the table that was on par with their visual product. Imagine what Inception or Avatar might have looked like or sounded like without The Matrix.

In addition to the unique technical aspects on display, there's always the philosophy and the religion. I have read three different books (one of which was an interesting collection of essays on symbology) about the philosophical aspects of The Matrix. People tend to agree on the Gnostic roots of the Wachowskis and the idea that they were emphasizing the devaluing of the material world through complete removal from it. Outside of that, though, arguments abound. Some think the plot is allegorically Christian. Others feel that Buddhist thought motivates their questioning of reality and of the cyclical nature of the human journey. Still others feel that the inhabitants of Zion represent the type of enlightenment Hindus aspire towards. The film-makers have done everything in their power to keep that questioning flowing through complete refusal to discuss their true motivations and mindset.

Besides all of that, though, this is just a good movie. The action sequences are sleek, the dialogue is crisp, Keanu Reeves' acting deficiencies are hidden by the script, and a giant collection of essentially flat characters are expertly positioned against the background of a very round world. Is The Matrix perfect? No. Is it great? I think so.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:28 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

I endorse the strategy behind the disclaimer - let's blame 2 and 3 on Lana's hormone shots

ps Im sure some undergrad somewhere has already attempted the thesis: The Matrix, the film and its relation to Plato's Allegory of the Cave
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:19 PM   #83 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

Quote:
Originally Posted by RollWithEm View Post
I feel like I understand that sentence, but it seems like it's all in the wrong order.

Thanks for the tip, btw.
and I was missing an adjective. Good job on figuring out I meant it was a good movie. I hated that it was in black and white, but once you get over that, it's pretty sweet. He's an accountant that goes to the West during Pioneer days only to find that the job no longer exists and doesn't have cash to get home.... bad dudes try to kill him ..... stuff happens..... befriends some Indian..... kills back.

Overall a solid A- film.
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Originally Posted by Cam*Ron View Post
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Old 12-21-2012, 02:03 PM   #84 (permalink)
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Re: Tier 1

Quote:
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6) The Matrix

DISCLAIMER: For the entirety of this commentary, I will be pretending the 2nd and 3rd films do not exist.

If you didn't know already, I'm a big science fiction fan. More importantly for this review, though, I am also a big fan of science. That's where I feel I should begin on this one. The ambitious premise of this film seems entirely plausible scientifically. We know that our sensory receptors send electric signals to our brains. It is then up to our brains to process and quickly interpret those signals to determine if things feel, smell, taste, sound, or look interesting, pleasant, disgusting, etc. The idea of being a node in a jelly-filled pod while plugged into a collective neural network was quite intriguing to me when I first experienced this film.

It's also entirely plausible, were one so inclined... maybe when faced with dystopia, that one could extract energy from a human being in a battery-esque way through body heat and hydroelectricity (or perhaps more exactly bioelectricity). I particularly like the added detail that the relationship is symbiotic. Agent Smith tells Morpheus during the epic interrogation/helicopter rescue scene that the humans would die without the construct. This is extrapolated pretty well in all the scenes where people who are plugged in receive the scars of war despite not actually having been in a fight. I just wish I knew how they scorched the skies.

Once the plausibility of the matrix was established for me, I was freed up to enjoy the movie that forever changed the genre in much the same way that Metropolis, 2001, Blade Runner, and Alien had before it. The camera techniques which we've come to know as bullet time and flo-mo basically created a visual experience that reinvigorated the desire of film-makers to take presentation to new levels. Anyone who saw the film in a theater will also remember the other striking element of the experience: it was loud but controlled. The Wachowskis brought audio innovation to the table that was on par with their visual product. Imagine what Inception or Avatar might have looked like or sounded like without The Matrix.

In addition to the unique technical aspects on display, there's always the philosophy and the religion. I have read three different books (one of which was an interesting collection of essays on symbology) about the philosophical aspects of The Matrix. People tend to agree on the Gnostic roots of the Wachowskis and the idea that they were emphasizing the devaluing of the material world through complete removal from it. Outside of that, though, arguments abound. Some think the plot is allegorically Christian. Others feel that Buddhist thought motivates their questioning of reality and of the cyclical nature of the human journey. Still others feel that the inhabitants of Zion represent the type of enlightenment Hindus aspire towards. The film-makers have done everything in their power to keep that questioning flowing through complete refusal to discuss their true motivations and mindset.

Besides all of that, though, this is just a good movie. The action sequences are sleek, the dialogue is crisp, Keanu Reeves' acting deficiencies are hidden by the script, and a giant collection of essentially flat characters are expertly positioned against the background of a very round world. Is The Matrix perfect? No. Is it great? I think so.
I will definitely finish this list one day. Until then, look what movie made it into the National Film Registry.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:58 PM   #85 (permalink)
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5) Fight Club

From the matter-of-fact introduction we get to our nameless narrator trying to talk with a revolver in his mouth to the chaotic conclusion that cements the volatile existence of a true power couple in the world, David Fincher's first great movie is a thrill ride. If you're not familiar with this one, think Brazil meets The Wrestler but with fascist overtones. And if you haven't seen those movies, you've officially got three good ones to move to the top of your queue.

There are anti-heroes throughout our entertainment world, nowadays, but none have been quite as driven as Tylen Durden. He doesn't need to sleep. He's great in bed. He can take physical punishment with the best of them. He's shadowy and charismatic. He's a natural born leader of men. He doesn't go around creating loser alter-egos to make himself feel better. He knows the real reason they put oxygen masks on planes. He works towards the fleeting goal of true economic equilibrium. How does this modern hero see Fight Club?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Durden
Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
And that is the gist of the conflict in this incredibly well-acted film. It's not a war between two men or between a man and a woman. It's not even between a man and his other personality. The great conflict here is between man and the world he lives in. This movie asks viewers directly, "Are you your job? Are you how much money you have in the bank? Are you the car you drive? Will you ever be able to rise above the conveniently sardonic social satire that keeps you warm on those long winter nights? Are you the lion or the gazelle? Or are you something different entirely that isn't confined to the food chain at all?"

I acknowledge the sadomasochistic nature of the violence in this film, but the metaphysical violence is what truly sticks in your mind after you see this one for the first time. Imagine the feeling of human fat splattering on your head and then dripping down your face from liposuction clinic heist gone sideways. Imagine standing on a crappy porch for 3 days with no food or water while you are berated for all your personal defects. Imagine the sweet relief of vinegar neutralizing the deep acid burn on the back of your hand. The movie is visceral and dark. It challenges you to look outside of your comfortable little world. Who knows? Maybe you should think about blowing up your condo, too.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #86 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

It wasn't an acid burn. It was lye. When contacted to water, it forms complete to OH molecules creating a basic condition, like soap but a million times more potent. literally 1x10^6.

Vinegar is a weak acid, also known as acetic acid. It is used as a buffer.
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Quote:
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #87 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

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It wasn't an acid burn. It was lye. When contacted to water, it forms complete to OH molecules creating a basic condition, like soap but a million times more potent. literally 1x10^6.

Vinegar is a weak acid, also known as acetic acid. It is used as a buffer.
Appreciate the lesson.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #88 (permalink)
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4) Shawshank Redemption

One of the best compliments a movie can get from me is that it seems like everything in it was done on purpose. This film is the embodiment of that compliment. It's measured and deliberate. It's slow but never plodding. The suspense and the excitement come at unusual times. It's about self-worth, loyalty, resilience, friendship, and sheer power of will. The characterization is spot on, the costumes and set design are period-accurate, and the cinematography is beautiful, but the real star of this movie is the story and its narrator.

Morgan Freeman's Red is the man who can get things. He's been in Shawshank for a very long time. He's respected and revered and the "only guilty man" in the place. From the first word that I heard him utter, I trusted him completely. He served as the constant on which the rest of the film could be grounded. His character was also a microcosm of the movie: eloquently restrained and extremely knowledgeable about everything within his purview. Even then, though, I was left wishing that his character had been written with more range. I guess that was the point. Perhaps range is something reserved for free men.

If Red represents the movie, I would say that Andy Dufresne was representative of Frank Darabont's direction. He's dignified, quiet, purposeful, and ultimately secretive. The judge at his wife's murder case introduces us to Andy as a "particularly remorseless and icy man." Those turn out to be the characteristics that keep him alive in jail despite all he has to endure. I don't know what you may have heard, but "prison is no fairy-tale world." That is until you prove that you can provide valuable financial services to the warden, the guards, and the guards of other prisons as well. Who knows? If you play your cards right and stay persistent, you meant even be able to get a library built.

Watching Shawshank for the first time is a cathartic experience. Sure it's ultimately another human-spirit-conquers-over-horrible-adversity-and-insurmountable-odds-story, but's it's so much more than that. It explores the personal cost that a life on the inside has on a man. Once they conform and learn to cope, they sometimes lose the ability to exist outside those walls. Time catches up to all of us, but if you have no exposure to how time is affecting the rest of the world, it seems to catch up to you a little quicker. And then the film leaves us all with a bit of hope that corruption and violence can be conquered and beaten into submission if you take your life by the balls. Who doesn't love to hear that, right?

And then in terms of this list, it was a lock for my top 5 from the moment I thought about ranking the 90's movies because of its infinite rewatchability. There is something to be said for a movie that is as good the 50th time as it was the 1st.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:52 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Re: 90 Best Movies of the 90's

you should read the story, it's better than the movie and just different enough that it feels like a sequel or the other way around
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:01 PM   #90 (permalink)
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I like shawshank as much as the next guy but pulp fiction is better and you know that, man.
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