Crash! Landen’s Best 10 Movies of 1992

1992 was an outstanding year in movies. There were a number of  interesting movies and was a breakout year for a number of artists in front of the camera or behind it. This was the year that Robert Rodriguez broke out with El Mariarchi, a really astounding movie/story (sitting at #11 on My list). Quentin Tarantino had his assured directorial debut with Reservoir Dogs…. Love that word ‘assured’…
Some of the others that didn’t make my list: School Ties (and like A Midnight Clear, had a cast of  actors on their way up.)… Radio Flyer… The Last of the Mohicans… 1492: Conquest of Paradise (one of Ridley Scott’s worst, but still far superior to most everything else out there.)… the flawed ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’… And Mike Myers and Dana Carvey (and maybe even Tia Carrere) ruled the Earth with Wayne’s World….
On to the Top 10:
(Bumped) The Waterdance (Probably little seen or heard of, but that doesn’t make it any less good. Eric Stoltz costars with Wesley Snipes and William Forsythe, who are all dealing with  paralysis in their own way. This was back when Wesley Snipes hadn’t become a full fledged ‘action star’ and was still ‘acting’. The ‘ego-race’ sticks out in my mind about this film. You’ll have to see it, to understand that one. It’s serious, but it’s funny, too. It’s one of the better roles for all involved.
(Bumped) A Midnight Clear (A somewhat small movie set during World War II.  I think this was my introduction to Gary Sinise among a cast of young up and comers…
10 Reservoir Dogs (Obviously, the movie that put Tarantino on the map. A heist movie without the heist.)
9 Patriot Games (It was utterly surprising that Alec Baldwin was better in the Jack Ryan role than Harrison Ford was. I think Baldwin made a grievous error in not coming back for the ‘sequels’, and Tom Clancy almost severed all ties with Hollywood after the director didn’t stick to Clancy’s meticulously researched details; but this was still a pretty good effort. Much better than the next installment of the Jack Ryan series.)
8 A River Runs Through It ( I might have put this at this spot on the list based entirely on the final line of the film. It’s worth watching the entire film just for that one line. Not kidding.)
7 Damage (One of those very intelligently made British films. Revolves around a self destructive member of English Parliament that becomes involved with his son’s fiancee. Parts of the movie are predictable, but it’s fun watching the downward spiral, especially when juliet Binoche is the son’s fiancee. Probably not for everyone, but a great film nonetheless.)
6 Glengarry Glen Ross  (Seven great acting performances… Truly an ensemble cast with Baldwin, Spacey, Pacino, Lemon, Arkin, Harris and Pryce… Always be closing!)
5 The Player (One of Robert Altman’s best. Not as good as Gosford Park, but it’s right up there.)
4 Howard’s End (I saw this recently and it knocked me over. Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson work very well together. It’s ending is an honest one. Stay away from it if you don’t feel comfortable watching something intelligent.)
3 One False Move (Usually when Billy Bob plays a dumb guy, the movie’s really good. This one  is very under-rated. It’s very intelligently written and acted with a lot of subtlety and mannrisms.. For me one of Bill Paxton’s best roles. Michael Beach is also really good as Pluto, one of the bad guys. But everyone involved did a terrific job. I almost want to move this up a notch.)
2 Malcolm X (This was a HUGE surprise for me. It wasn’t what I expected it to be and for me is STILL Spike Lee and Denzel Washington’s best movie. It’s a CRIME that Al Pacino beat out Washington for Best Actor at the Oscars that year. A CRIME.  Maybe Washington getting Best Actor for a mediocre movie /performance in Training Day was Hollywood’s way of apologizing. The movie has some flaws at least according to my own personal tastes. I never cared for the cinematography. The soundtrack was spotty also. Maybe I should correct myself and say the film’s score was a bit spotty. Those are just picking nits, though. Malcolm X is an epic film.)
1 Unforgiven (Maybe my favorite western. I might have to flip a coin between this and a few other Eastwood westerns. All of my absolute favorites star Eastwood  anyway. Well deserving of Best Picture and all of that. Great story. Great actors. Great script. Funny. Serious. Poetic. Violent. Poignant. Layered. Just a brilliant work. Great movie!)
Any thoughts? Thoughts welcome…

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