Lets continue our trip down memory lane as we look at my favourite movies of 1991. Some real crackers on this list but a surprisingly sparse year for greats outside of this list. Well, enjoy folks.
Haha that tagline just makes me think of Rick and Morty. Two brothers…just….just two brothers. Ok so we’re into our second year and we start it off with another Van Damme movie….may be a theme here. He plays two brothers from either side of the tracks and it’s a notable movie for being his second collaboration with the legendary Bolo Yeung. I re-watched this a few years back with a former band member of mine (shout out to Stevie Mo) and we had a blast.
Best Bit-Final fight
34.The Last Boy Scout
It’s a movie directed by Tony Scott and written by Shane Black so you know what you’re getting. A tongue in cheek buddy action flick that acts as a pastiche of 80s action tropes but rather than suffer from those cliches it celebrates them and ramps them up to enjoyable effects.
Best Bit-Got a light?
I’ve got a weird history with The Doors (the band) in that my friend used to try to get me into them when I was a kid and I just couldn’t. I liked the odd song here and there but just never cared and the whole troubled icon thing never appealed to me, it repelled me in fact as those types are way too prone to romanticism. A lot of the criticisms of this Oliver Stone movie is just that, friends and band members complained that although he nailed the wild drug addict Jim Morrison had become he never explored the sweet poet they all knew. That’s what frustrates me, it might be as my leaning as a punk but I’ve seen so much of it. People wanting to emulate the drug addled parts of the persona without that foundation of the poet, the writer, the kind soul. All the bad parts are emulated and promoted and it annoys the hell out of me. That said, there’s no getting away from the fact that there was that part of Morrison’s story and it’s told here brilliantly with Val Kilmer doing an immense job capturing his presence. Val Kilmer in his prime is the archetypal Hollywood star…..as a straight male I can admit he was a stunning looking man. That jawline…..ooft.
Best Bit-“I am the lizard king!”
Best Bit-Henry tries to make amends
Surely one of the most bizarre concepts for a movie ever. Let’s take an aging comedian and make him a dog and build a movie around him…..kids will love that. Whatever the motivation for it was it’s fun, I like Rodney Dangerfield so it works for me and I didn’t even know the damn movie existed until my fiance told me about it. I was randomly annoying her with my amazingly awesome (needs citation) Dangerfield impression she asked me how I knew about Rover…..cut to me looking very confused.
Best Bit-I’ll never do it on a Christmas tree
30.Drop Dead Fred
Anarchic punk rock comedian Rik Mayall stars alongside the beautiful Phoebe Cates in this black comedy that children loved, adults hated. It’s all incredibly immature as Mayall plays Cates’ “imaginary” friend and causes all kinds of chaos trying to cheer her up. The films touches on more serious themes of mental health and family emotional abuse.
Best Bit-Dog poo
I went to see this as a 7 year old at the cinema and with that knowledge you’d probably expect this to be higher on the list as my generation tend to view this as a massive movie from our childhood. I certainly enjoyed it but it didn’t leave a massive impact on me. It’s a cool concept with Robin Hood having left Neverland and forgotten all about his past life until Captain Hook kidnaps his kids.It’s a Spielberg directed movie so you’re guaranteed slick directing and great visuals.
Best Bit-Battle on the ship
28. Showdown In Little Tokyo
A cheesy buddy cop film staring big Dolph Lundgren and the tragic Brandon Lee. It’s directed by Mark L. Lester who also made the punk rock thriller “Class of 84” and the awesome Arnie flick “Commando”. A group of Yakuza are trying to make their mark in L.A and it’s up to our heroes to stop them.
Best Bit-“I’m you’re new partner”
26.The Addams Family
Best Bit-The school play
25 (Tied).Hot Shots!
Best Bit-Hospital trip
25 (Tied). House Party 2
Whilst this Kid n Play comedy sequel isn’t as popular as it’s predecessor I’ve always preferred it. It’s a good natured, youthful and energetic college comedy with light hearted sexual humour and great music. One of those films that can be enjoyed more than once.
Best Bit-“Yea…well….maybe so”
24.Child’s Play 3
I’ve talked about this silly but fun movie in my best horror sequels and I talk more about the ridiculous controversy that led to it being banned so go check that out. In this one, little Andy from the first two movies is now a teenager and an army cadet but somehow Chucky ends up at his camp to cause terror.
Best Bit- Serious like a heart attack
It took me ages to figure out the girl from Veep was the wee lassie from My Girl. Should have just gone to IMDB really. It’s a very sweet coming of age romance with moments of comedy and a solid cast with Jamie Lee Curtis , Macaulay Culkin etc. My pal Paul was staying over at my house one time and I was don with full on flu. I had to go up to the attic to get him bedding and so I dragged myself up there, shivering and sick, only to be confronted to a wasp bike. Paul shouted out that it’s all gone My Girl up there…..if you’ve seen the movie then you’ll get the joke. Even ill, broken and about to be stung I was laughing hard.
Best it-“He can’t see without his glasses”
Unsurprisingly this Spike Lee joint is all about racism. Despite that obvious trait he certainly knows what he’s doing and although sometimes his white characters are nothing but caricatures that’s not so prevalent here and the movie explores different races’ fascination with the media based myths of each other. Sam Jackson’s turn as Gator the crackhead really got his career going after recently beating his real life crack addiction and his arc is probably the most interesting of the movie.
Best Bit-Gator’s last dance
Remember when Billy Crystal was a thing?. It’s kind of a shame that he’s not anymore. He’s one of the few aging comic stars from my youth that haven’t disgraced themselves and become social pariahs. He was always pretty likeable in his movies and that’s the case in this western comedy. A group of frustrate businessmen retreat to a ranch to train as cowboys with Jack Palance as the academy award winning trainer.
Best Bit-Curly’s pep talk
20.Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead
A young and very pretty Christina Applegate stars in this teen comedy in which her family’s parents go on holiday and she’s shocked to find out she’s not been left as the head of the house with a babysitter coming in. Said babysitter is incredibly strict and mean and dies of old age with the teens deciding to hide her for fear of being blamed. Craziness ensues.
Best Bit-Fun on the roof
19..Godzilla vs King Ghidorah
A wonderfully silly kaiju movie featuring one of the best Godzilla villains, the three headed monster known as King Ghidorah. It’s more fantasy orientated than many in the series with time travel, androids and aliens…..and lots of economical debate about the destruction caused by the monsters…..not the film’s strong point.
Best Bit-Final fight
BARTON FINK! BARTON FINK! BARTON FINK!.A Coen brothers critical smash that defies genre. John Turturo plays a playwrite who gets the chance to write screenplays in 1940s Hollywood. It’s difficult to discuss as it’s really a film that needs to be experienced, switching from horror to comedy to abstract surrealism in the blink of an eye it’s a n aesthetic treat. The sparse building he moves into has scenes reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s excellent “Repulsion”. John Goodman who plays th bizarre neighbour is excellent as always. Spot the scene that influenced a pivotal scene in Silent Hill 2.
Best Bit-The hallway
What a striking poster, I remember it well as my brother was obsessed with his vhs copy of his ensemble piece. Directed by Ron Howard, this blockbuster look at the lives of big city fire fighters and the effects their job has on their lives and their families lives. Kurt Russell, De Niro, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Donald Sutherland….what a cast….oh and Billy Baldwin……he’s there too.
Best Bit-Don’t open the door.
16.Thelma And Louise
I totally forgot this was a Ridley Scott film…huh. The 90s in media really was a decade of female emancipation as the much maligned generation x often stood for women’s rights and this movie at the beginning of the 90s encapsulated that. Susan Sarandon plays the free spirited friend of Geena Davis’ put upon character who is abused by her overbearing husband. They go on a road trip and fin themselves and a load of trouble as the end up on the lam after several altercations. It’s a brilliant feminist movie directed by a male with the two leads forming a life long bond with their stunning chemistry. I also launched the career of Brad Pitt
Best Bit-The iconic ending
15.The People Under The Stairs
One of Wes Craven’s less celebrated movies and one of his most underrated. It actually did well at the time too but seems to have been forgotten to a certain extent. A scary and sometimes humorous look at what lies beneath a quiet suburban town. Always good to have a terrifying gimp in a movie too.
Best Bit-In he basement
An animated short movie based on the books by Raymond Briggs who’s book The Snowman had also been turned into a classic movie a few years previous. It’s a down to earth take on Santa in which e goes about his daily life as a grumpy old man. It’s an absolute staple of British Christmas time and a really warm family movie with Mel Smith voicing Santa.
Best Bit-Trip to Scotland
13.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret Of The Ooze
Rushed out a year after the fantastic first movie and with the violence toned way down after complaints from parents, the sequel is nowhere near as good but still had a huge effect on me as a kid. It’s so incredibly 90s with Vanilla Ice’s famous cameo and song and the totally tubular lingo bro. It’s still a lot of fun to watch with nostalgia glasses on but it’s unlikely going back and watching it now without any attachment to it is going to do anything for you.
Best Bit-Super Shredder Kevin Nash
An utterly insane Japanese cyberpunk art piece by Shozin Fukui about a cyborg sex slave who has had his mind wiped by a corporation and has been discarded by his owners for his inability to maintain an erection. He meets a mind wiped girl who takes him home and tries to teach him to communicate. In a similar vein to the Tetsuo series by Shinya Tsukamoto.Incredible visuals and a unique experience all round made by a punk during the heyday of the movement in Japan. Many of the scenes were shot guerilla style for that added punk rebellion and many of the techniques are shoddily done that purists will hate it. That’s the point, it’s punk rock rebellion, rules out the window.
We’e through the looking glass here people. Along with area 51, 9/11 and the moon landing, the assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the most talked about and debated conspiracy theories of all time. Oliver Stone uses an all star cast to bring said theories to the wider public in his typical, not so subtle way. Of course there was huge controversy surrounding the movie with many calling for it to be banned which ust fueled the theories even more. It’s certainly an interesting movie, whichever side you take.
Best Bit-Back and to the left
10 (Tied).Point Break
Kathryn Bigelow’s extreme sports heist movie (not much of them) has gone down as a cult classic with a really needless remake coming out a couple of years back. Keanu Reeves plays an FBI agent undercover in the surfing world to infiltrate a gang of surfers he believes have been robbing banks. It’s hi-octane fun.
Best Bit-Ex presidents robbery
10 (Tied). Once Upon A Time In China
The choreography in this movie and the speed at which Li and the stuntment he throws all over the place is really quite stunning. You don’t see much of Li any more and that’s a shame. Hollywood really neutered his talents like they do with a lot of Asian martial arts stars but here he is free to showcase all his skills.
Best Bit-Ladder fight
9.New Jack City
Best Bit-Poor Pookie
In typical David Cronenberg fashion this is one visceral and disturbing piece of cinema. The master of body horror takes on the William S. Burroughs’ seminal beat generation novel of the same name from 1959. Guttural voiced actor Peter Weller takes on the lead role of an exterminator who starts to hallucinate due to his bug spray. Shit gets wild with talking kafkaesque bugs and typewriters in this incredibly bizarre but disgustingly beautiful movie.
Best Bit-The bird cage
7.An American Tail:Fievel Goes West
A lot of people consider this fantastic sequel better than he original. Whilst I clearly love this one I prefer the original’s more depressing and introspective tone….says more about me really. This is what an animated sequel should be though as the action and fun is way ramped up in a much more whimsical and adventurous way. Jimmy Stewart lends his voice to the cast this time in his final role. This was produced by Spielberg’s animation company Amblimation which only made three movies.
Best Bit-Lazy eye
I’m a massive Studio Ghibli fan and even visited the museum in Mitaka Japan with my fiance which was like a little piece of heaven for me. I even made an arse of myself by having tears in my eyes during the short film they showed……it was about a poor wee egg what do you expect me to do?. Anyway this is one of their less fantasy laden films, in fact quite the opposite it’s a drama aimed at adults and based on a manga. Isao Takahata directed and an English language version came out last year with Daisy Ridley as the lead.
Best Bit-Baseball is stressful
5 (Tied). The Silence Of The Lambs
I talked about this more on my best horror sequels list but no harm in going over the foot notes. While many consider Anthony Hopkins turn as Hannibal Lector as the high point in the film I find it a little hammy and much prefer the performances of Jodie Foster and Ted Levine. It’s a taught thriller and one of the few horror flicks to get mainstream critical respect….but we don’t care about that. Horror is for horror fans, we don’t need acceptance.
Best Bit-It puts the lotion on it’s skin
5 (Tied). Cape Fear
It’s gone down as one of Martin Scorsese’s less well received movies these days but I’ve always loved this remake of the 1962 original. Robert De Niro is brilliant as the charming but terrifying Max Cady who ruins his former lawyer’s (played by Nick Nolte) life after going down for rape and the loopholes in the law he has learned in his time incarcerated make for an interesting villain. His seduction of Nolte’s daughter played by Julliette Lewis in particular is intensely creepy. Great performances by the cast including Jessica Lange make for an incredible thriller. One of the best Simpsons episodes parodied the film perfectly.
Best Bit-Failed assault
4.Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear
Best Bit-The Whitehouse scene
3.Boyz N The Hood
John Singleton’s brilliant debut is a no frills look at life in South Central L.A’s mainly hoods and the lives of their inhabitants. In the 80s and 90s there was a real effort from socially conscious media makers to highlight the violence in deprived, minority filled areas of America where police were not only doing little to help but actively exacerbating situation and movies like this really brought the issue to light. A breakout performance from Ice Cube along with excellent turns from Laurence Fishburne, Morris Chestnut, Cuba Gooding Jr and more.
Best Bit-Parenting tips
2.Beauty And The Beast
I always relate to these kinds of stories…..don’t know why. Disney did what they usually did when they released this gem and brought a brilliant family film to the masses with catchy songs and tear jerking sentimentality. It’s a lovely film..
Best Bit-The dance
1.Terminator 2: Judgement Day
A brilliant sequel to a brilliant movie. It’s more action orientated than it’s horror based predecessor with a much bigger budget and it shows with stunning special effects that still hold up well today. The script is flipped as Arnie plays a good T-model this time, sent back in time by John Connor to protect him and his mother. Robert Patrick plays the T-100, a newer slicker model that can morph into anything and turn itself into liquid. An almost perfect action cyberpunk movie.
Best Bit-Thumbs up
There we go then, 1991 is in the bag. Let me know your thoughts @swing_kinker