Crash! Landen’s Top 10 Movies of 1998
There were almost TOO MANY good movies in 1998. I take that back, there can never be too many. There’s just too much crap. Just to name some of the REALLY good ones that didn’t quite make my Top 10: Dark City (Director’s Cut was even better and I highly recommend the Ebert commentary. It’s good stuff if you take in movies on more than just a surface level), The Big Lebowski, Smoke Signals (which is a great movie about American Indians on and off the ‘res’… It’s a great comedy/story), Clay Pigeons and American History X (outstanding and pretty hardcore in parts).. 1998 also had a ton of fun/good movies like The Zero Effect, The Faculty, Rounders, Following (Christopher Nolan’s first film in B&W, no less)… I really could go on and on for 1998, but I put a self imposed ‘no more than 10’ Rule on myself, so here they are:
10 There’s Something About Mary (Not even my favorite Farrelly Brothers movie, but it’s right up there. If you started with #1 and worked down to 10, this might be a little jarring. Dark City was #11, but the Director’s Cut probably deserves to be here.)
8 The Truman Show (Again, Jim Carrey in ‘serious’ mode. Working off memory I think Tom Hanks won for Best Actor that year at the Academy Awards. He was in a better movie, but Jim Carrey deserved to win. He also deserved to win for Eternal Sunshineof the Spotless Mind, but I digress… Parts of this are hard to watch in a good kind of way… Not even close to being my favorite Ed Harris movie, but he’s great in everything.)
7 A Simple Plan (Not the movie of Sam Raimi’s that I would most like to watch, but I think it’s his best movie. Billy Bob is heartbreaking in this movie and of course any movie with Bridget Fonda gets an ‘star’ with me. She is, I believe the term is ‘awesome sauce’…)
6 The Dreamlife of Angels (I had no freaking clue where this movie was going. It was all over the board and then BAM! They slam the door in your face and everything in the movie has meaning.)
5 Pi (The low budget paranoia-thriller that introduced me to Darren Aronofsky’s work. He makes good movies, no matter what the subject. I’ll even go see the ballet movie The Black Swan when it ‘opens’. I guess it WILL feature Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis…um.. GOING AT IT… So yeah, I’ll be there. Pretty stoked also to have learned that he’s behind the Robocop making. I was traumatized that they were remaking that one, since it’s one of my favorite movies. I thought that they would ruin it for sure… But now I’m NOT so sure.)
4 The Emperor and the Assassin ( Chinese epics always seem to feature some past leader uniting China. They ‘love that shit’ in the words of a friend of mine… This movie blew my doors off. It has some really intense scenes and alludes to some pretty horrible stuff also. It’s just a HUGE very well made tragedy,as asian epics always seem to be. Awesome war scene at the beginning. The arrow in the neck always makes me cringe.).
3 Apt Pupil (Very subtle story very intelligently made. I say that, because I think they took an already pretty good Stephen King short story and made some significant changes for the better, much like Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone. I won’t give anything away, but I thought the ending in the film was far superior to King’s blunt force trauma ending. It had a more intelligent take on the effect of … Well, see the movie. it’s worth it. BY FAR, the best of Bryan Singer’s movies IMO, so much so, that I have to wonder if he just got lucky with this and X-2…
2 Rushmore (I had seen Bottle Rocket, and while I had thought it was okay, it didn’t make me a ‘Wes Anderson fan’. This one did. This is where I started to notice that Brian Cox also, even though I had seen him in a myriad of films already. Still the best Lecter in my book.)
1 Saving Private Ryan (i think this was the first movie that I ever went back to see more than twice at the movie theater. I think the 4th time, which wasn’t the last time I saw it, was with a group of WWII veterans. That was one of my favorite moviegoing experiences… And anyone that calls Stephen Spielberg ‘just a commercial filmmaker’ is an idiot. He just happens to have that ability like Hitchcock to make a very good movie that appeals to the masses. In my book, his body of work easily stacks up against any other director you care to name. Kubrick. Kurosawa. Polanski. Truffaut. Herzog. Murnau. Godard. Lynch. Hughes. Lang. Leone. Malick. Keaton. Huston. Scott. Capra. Hawks. Ford. Demille. Brooks. Chaplin. Lloyd. Cameron. Allen. Welles. Zemeckis. The Coens. Scorsese. Demme. Eastwood. Fellini. PT Anderson. Shyamalamadingdong. Whoever. You name them and Spielberg will kick their artistic @$$ all over the screen.
I’m sure there are probably movies that I’ve forgotten. But for now, that’s the list…. THOUGHTS?