1993, Bill Clinton starts his presidency, the first bombing of the world trade centre occurs and closer to home there’s a gigantic oil spillage off the coast of Scotland. More importantly though……there were some awesome movies that came out and I’m going to countdown my favourites.
35.Body Of Evidence
Ok let’s get this out the way….Body Of Evidence is a terrible movie but everyone in my generation had that one movie …..we’ll call it the chug movie. I explained to my bud that this was mine as a kid and his was Basic Instinct. After a while he turned to me and said “is that the one where Madonna always has her milkers out?” I replied it is indeed. “….Wasn’t Willem Defoe the dude in that one?” My world came crashing down and the flashbacks begun. Oh well, for services to chugs, we salute you Body Of Evidence.
Best Bit-Broken glass pump
When I think buddy cop movie I automatically think Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes….It’s essentially a buddy cop flick but it’s not really played for laughs much it’s quite gritty and mean spirited. It’s based on Michael Crichton’s novel and directed by Philip Kaufman about the murder of an escort.
Best Bit-“I don’t lose my temper”
The general theory about this is that the brilliant soundtrack is well worth getting but the movie isn’t up to much. Not so in my opinion, I really enjoyed the movie and found it quite a thrilling experience. Dennis Leary is great as the villain with his awesome voice and I think more directors miss a trick by not getting him as their bad guy. A group of freinds hit the town for a good time but take a wrong turn and witness a murder. They must escape the killer as he knows they witnessed it. For fellow horror fans, Stephen Hopkins directed this. He made Dream Child and Predator 2.
Best Bit-Jeremy Piven getting killed is always good.
32.Addams Family Values
One of the rare occasions where the sequels is a lot better than the original and in the this case it embraces the dark humour of it’s characters and revels in it’s gothic premise. The charismatic Raul Julia is brilliant as Gomez Adams, the father of the family and in fact everyone is perfectly cast. Angelica Huston as Morticia has such a presence and the kids play a big part in the film’s humour, particularly an adorable Christina Ricci.
Best Bit-Debbie dies
31.A Bronx Tale
As the poster says, this was De Niro’s directorial debut and typically it has that Scorcese New York vibe….which is unsurprising seeing as it’s set in The Bronx but you get me. De Niro also plays the father of a kid making his way in the world while being seduced by the mafia life and the crime boss that also treats him as a son. You won’t believe that the Simpsons episode “Bart The Murderer” was made before this. Almost identical.
Best Bit-“Where did you get this money?”
30.What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
Johnny Depp plays a young man caring for his massive mum and his mentally handicapped brother and the performances of all three are great. Leonardo Di Caprio plays the young brother and his performance rightfully received great acclaim and showed the great promise that would get him an oscar all those years later.
Best Bit-Arnie goes climbing
29.Dazed And Confused
A coming of age tale set in the 70s that many gene x-ers relate to and no doubt have in their top movies of all time lists. It didn’t quite have that effect on me but I certainly enjoy Richard Linklater’s high school comedy. An ensemble cast of young actors, many of whom would go on to huge stardom flesh out the enjoyable story. The stoner jokes fall flat with me as they all do….it’s the same joke over and over!
Best Bit-High school girls
I love a horror anthology and this one, which also had plenty of humour is a lot of fun directed by John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper and Larry Sulkis. Horror legends and directors like Wes Craven and Sam Raimi make cameos and it’s all like a little wink to the fans that this is a movie just for them. It’s a made for tv movie so nothing out of this world but it’s still a lot of fun for a horror nut like me.
Best Bit-Wes Craven cameo
27.Last Action Hero
I had this poster on my wall as a kid. ….state of it. This got pretty savaged when it came out and look, it’s not Arnie’s greatest movie and far from it. People didn’t want a tame family friendly action movie….if it’s action and Arnie then you are baying for blood and violence. If you can get past that it’s a fun, cute movie about a kid being sucked into a movie with his favourite star. It’s so meta that there’s movies within movies within movies in it.
Best Bit-The car chase
26.Hot Shots! Part Deux
Charlie Sheen stars in this parody slapstick sequel that’s a fair better better than the first and has a lot of stupid, silly fun to enjoy. Instead of Top Gun being the main focus of the parody this time it’s 80s action movies, in particular the Rambo series. Good, goofy fun.
Best Bit-Lady and the tramp
25. Groundhog Day
Such a great concept for a movie. Bill Murray plays a guy who keeps living the same day over and over and has several chances to make it the perfect day. It’s fun to watch the same events play out over and over with Murray reacting to them in different ways. It’s like an actually clever and funny version of Click.
Best Bit-It’s his time
A movie remake of the popular 60s tv show starring Harrison Ford as a man wrongly convicted of murder and Tommy Lee Jones as the U.S Marshall sent to bring him in. It was hugely popular among moviegoers and critics alike, receiving seven oscar nominations with Jones winning his best supporting actor award.
Best Bit-The dive
23. Carlito’s Way
Al Pacino in a crime drama? Never!. Luckily it’s really good so the typecasting didn’t really get in the way of a good performance. That monumental bell end Sean Penn is in it too and plays the sleazy lawyer friend well. After being released from prison, a former gangster vows to go straight but his violent past finds him wherever he goes.
Best Bit-Shooting pool
Wesley Snipes is doing well for him in these lists, didn’t realise I liked him so much. Weird seeing him a futuristic sci fi film but this one of the 90s more fun high concept sci fi movies. Stallone and he have good chemistry and Sandra Bullock is as likeable as always in her supporting role. The movie revolves around a super criminal unfrozen from cryo sleep and the police thawing a super cop to get him.
Best Bit-Cop killer
21.National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1
Another parody slapstick movie, this time mainly based on the Lethal Weapon movies. The buddies in this buddy cop flick are Emilio Estevez and Sam Jackson and their chemistry is fun. The slapstick and references are silly as with all these kinds of movies and you really need to be in the mood for it and switch your brain off but I remember having a blast watching this with my brother. Tim Curry is brilliant as the villain.
Best Bit-Toilet trouble
20.The Nightmare Before Christmas
I love me some stop motion and Henry Selick sure knows how to direct that style well. Tim Burton’s gothic Christmas tale is an absolute cult classic especially among goths and emos. Trust me I know this as I’ve spent a lot of my life in the punk scene and when the new style of emo started getting big in the mid 00s the amount of tattoos emo girls had of this movie was astounding. Anyway it’s a well made animated musical (composed by the great Danny Elfman) for those of you who like your Christmas dark. The visuals are stunning.
Best Bit-Demon vs Santa
Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott, this crime comedy became a cult hit with it’s all star cast and stylish violence. Great dialogue as you’d expect from Tarantino and very slick directing from Scott along with great performances from the likes of Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken etc make for a very enjoyable watch.
Best Bit-“I’m a call girl”
18.Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla 2
Best Bit-The first meeting
As I get older this movie makes more and more sense to me…..It’s a story of an everyman character who’s stresses in life push him overboard and he goes postal. He doesn’t want to but he’s sick of life kicking him in the balls and watching his slow descent is painful and terribly sad. Michael Douglas plays the part well and whenever anyone tells you Joel Schumacher is a terrible film maker show them this.
Best Bit-Breakfast time
16.The Bride With White Hair
An insanely over the top, violent martial arts movie from Ronny Yu who would later come to Hollywood and make the late 90s Chucky movies and Freddy vs Jason. It’s like a mix of Universal monsters with Crouching Tiger and it’s hilariously stylish and indulgent in it’s wackiness.
Best Bit-The village raid
One of my favourite Brad Pitt performances and certainly one of his most underrated. The film focuses on a writer (David Duchovny) and his photographer girlfriend (Michelle Forbes) who travel across the states to research serial killers but unwittingly end up picking up a serial killer (Brad Pitt) and his lass (Julliette Lewis). It’s really intense as Duchovny’s character starts to become entranced by his new serial killer friend’s charisma. Lewis is brilliant in her naivety and child like demeanor.
Best Bit-Learning to shoot
14.Wayne’s World 2
Hot off the heels and rushed into production after the huge success of the original the year previous, Wayne’s World 2 is more of the same which is a good thing if you enjoyed the first obviously. It’s a good natured, funny and endearing movie about stupid music fans who are devoted to rock music above all else
Best Bit-Garth’s date
Now don’t quote me on this but Van Damme’s great run might have come to an end with this entry. John Woo’s fantastic Hollywood debut after his amazing Hong Kong movies is a great action flick about rich arseholes that hunt the homeless for sport. The studio (Universal) didn’t trust Woo to direct properly (a stunningly stupid view) so sent in Sam Raimi to supervise. Ridiculous stuff but it all worked out in the end.
Best Bit-The first homeless hunt
12.The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb
A surrealist, arthouse stop-motion animation nightmare from the mind of Dave Borthwick. It’s a trippy, creepy and forever disturbing piece of work that stuck in my head for weeks after seeing it. I know I go on about this a lot but a lot of my cinema education comes from late night channel 4, lying in bed discovering all these weird and wonderful films.
Best Bit-Stoned to death
11.Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm
The immense popularity of the animated series which began in 1992 led to a movie in which a new vigilante is killing mob bosses in Gotham. It’s up to Batman to figure out what the crack is. The voice cast all reprise their roles and it still has that unique Bruce Timm art that helped make the show what it was. I loved the series so much I did a talk about it at primary school like the massive twat I am.
Best Bit-The police chase
Robin Williams plays a down on his luck father whose wife leaves him and restricts his visitation rights to his kids. He desperately dresses as a woman and gets the job as the housekeeper so he can spend time with his kids. It’s a great family film as I’m sure you know…I mean everyone has seen this movie why am I even describing it?.His Scottish accent isn’t bad either.
Best Bit-The birthday dinner
This was a film that everyone I knew had rented at the time it came out. It was immensely popular and with good reason. It’s an inspiring tale loosely based on the real trials and tribulations of the first ever Jamaican bobsled team. A fish out of water movie with the late great John Candy leadingand managing the team of misfits and a real bond forms between them all. Another movie I cried at…..
Best Bit-The final race
8. Cannibal: The Musical
As a teen I was obsessed with Matt Stone and Trey Parker (still love them now) and I had always heard of this fabled movie that Trey had made in college through Troma Studios but could never find it anywhere. One Christmas my parents imported it from America on vhs for me and I was delighted. It’s an incredibly low budget musical that somehow manages to rise above it’s limitations through it’#s insane humour. The trademark Matt and Trey humour is there like made up words, violence and catchy songs. So much fun.
Tom Hanks delivers a powerhouse performance in this exploration of the HIV/AIDS epidemic which was in full flow at the time and the homophobia that came along with what was generally regarded as ahomosexual disease at the time. Before Denzel Washington was a grumpy old tube he was also a likeable and incredibly charismatic actor and he too delivers a stunning performance as the lawyer who defends Hanks who has been fired after his employers learn of his illness. It is soul crushing in it’s emotional punch and just a truly horrible experience to sit through….but it’s one that everyone should sit through.
Best Bit-Goodnight my angel
6. Iron Monkey
In the last few years, particularly since the IP Man series began, Donnie Yen has become a big hit in the west, even getting a good role in the latest Star Wars movie. I completely forgot it was him in Iron Monkey, a movie I had seen in my youth that I absolutely loved. Another channel 4 recording, they used to play a lot of martial arts movies and Hong Kong cinema in general. It was directed by Hong Kong legend Yuen Woo-Ping who will also appear in wee minute again.
Best Bit-Ninja street fight
Senor Spielbergo certainly had a varied year in terms of his output in 1993 as we’ll see in a minute. This was surely the movie event of 93 as the hype was off the scale for this one. I had a giant poster of thsi that sat next to my Last Action Hero one and my parents took me to the cinema to see it. A 9 year old seeing the dinos come to life was exhilarating. and the effects were stunning and still hold up well today. A breathtaking family adventure with elements of comedy, horror, action in what is an all time great family film. A typically great score from the legendary John Williams.
Best Bit-“Welcome to Jurassic Park”
4. Schindler’s List
Monumentally bleak and deeply affecting, Spielberg’s depiction of the holocaust and one man’s efforts to limit the death toll is and incredible piece of film making based on an unfortunately true story. Liam Neeson plays Oskar Schindler, who by geographical circumstance found himself in league with the Nazis, employs over a thousand jews in order to save them from execution. He risks his own head in doing so and is rightfully hailed as a hero. Ralph Fiennes plays the SS officer Amon Goth and is utterly terrifying in the role, more so knowing it’s based on reality. A culturally important film and not one that is in any way enjoyable but one that needs to be watched.
Best Bit-Highly inappropriate to name a best bit but in terms of memorable film making the girl in red stands out as a stunning visual.
3 (Tied). CB4
Well…..it sure does seem wholly inappropriate to put a movie parody about the rap scene aas the entry just after Schindler’s list but hey ho here we are. Chris Rock stars in this hilarious comedy directed by Tamra Davis (who married Mike D the same year) that parodies all forms of the hip hop scene up until that point, mainly focusing on the gangsta rap scene which was at it’s most commercially viable state but had also parodied itself with processed and manufactured “gangstas” so it was ripe for making fun of. From MC Hammer to C+C Music Factory, Nwa and more all get the treatment.
Best Bit-“I’m Black Y’all”
3 (Tied). Fear Of A Black Hat
See above……I could end it there really as it’s almost the exact same movie and it’s also hilarious. A mockumentary in the style of Spinal Tap with all forms of hip hop parodied. Rusty Cundieff directs this and also stars as a member of the main group NWH (Niggas With Hats) as the film follows their struggles in the music industry. Kasi Lemmons from Candyman plays the journalist following the group.
Best Bit-Glee club
2.Twin Warriors aka Tai Chi Master
What a handsome bugger Jet Li was/is and he’s in the form of his career here in this exquisite martial arts epic. The director of the previous entry Iron Monkey is at it again and the choreography is some of the best I’ve ever seen. The wonderful Michelle Yeoh, who was raved about earlier in Police Story 3 co stars with Li and they are great together. Much like Jackie Chan, it’s easy for some to forget, or indeed not even know just how unbelieveably good they were in their Hong Kong heyday as their Hollywood stuff, while good, just doesn’t have the same style and choreography that the HK industry delivered. Stunning stuff.
Best Bit-Friend becomes foe
1.Menace 2 Society
The Hughes brothers’ directorial debut is also my favourtie hood drama ever, even surpassing Boyz n The Hood due to it’s unflinching, grim and gritty portrayal of urban minority life in the poorer parts of the states. A group of memorable characters, some insane and some trying their hardest to escape the trappings of 90s ghetto life and some way too far gone with their addictions. A beautiful, young Jada Pinkett shows how good an actor she can be as the friend of the main character who is trying to set him straight. Tupac was meant to be play a main role but fell out with the directors. It’s a brilliant and brutal look at the dark side of urban life.
Best Bit-The ending
Done, done and on to the next one. You’ll never guess what year is up next……it’s 1994. Join me back here and until then catch me @swing_kinker