Kinker Korner’s Top 35 Movies Of 1998 NSFW

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Well then, we’re just flying through the 90s aren’t we. How many of these crackers would make your list? How many am I talking nonsense about?. Let me know by shouting at me in the street. Enjoy.

 

35. City Of Angels

A sickly sweet but still effective romantic drama about a surgeon played by Meg Ryan and an angel played by Nic Cage who falls in love with her and wishes to become mortal so he can be with her. It’s probably more famous for Iris by Goo Goo Dolls coming from the soundtrack since that was a smash hit worldwide and the movie while successful didn’t have the same critical appraisal. I enjoy it though because I’m a big sap. The score from Gabriel Yaried shouldn’t get overlooked, it’s beautiful.

Best Bit- Fallen angels

 

34. Bullworth

You may be wondering how Warren Beatty got roped into doing a movie where he plays a politician and acts like a rapper to appeal to the black vote. Well good sir or madame…..well he co wrote directed and produced it so….that’s how. It’s a bizarre one but somehow manages to work and there’s quite a few laughs. Oh and Halle Berry, always good to see Halle Berry.

Best Bit- Black leaders

 

33. The Replacement Killers

Man Mira Sorvino was so cute. Ahem, anyway this is a Hollywood attempt at a John Woo Hong Kong style movie and while it is just an off brand imitation it’s still enjoyable and it’s always great to see Chow Yun Fat. It’s Antoine Fuqua’s directorial debut and it’s a lot of fun with some slick action scenes.

Best Bit- Final shootout

 

32. Wrongfully Accused

Nielson was 72 at this point!. Much like Spy Hard from the 1996 if anyone else starred in this the chances are it would have sucked but there was just something so likeable about him and his dry delivery of terrible jokes. Mainly a parody of The Fugitive but plenty more get the Nielson treatment.

Best Bit- The bus

 

31. Wild Things

Wild Things showed there was still a little life left in the 90s erotic thriller genre and while it’s no Basic Instinct but it’s definitely dumb, entertaining fun. It’s really most famous for the lesbian kiss scene which is obviously incredibly tame by today’s standards but but hey we didn’t have strong internet back then!. Other than the erotic side of things, the thriller part is also good with fun performances from Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon.

Best Bit- ………c’mon

 

30. Pi

The directorial debut of Darren Aronofsky is a surrealist psychological thriller that I would be very surprised if it wasn’t influenced by the movies of Shinya Tsukamoto. It follows a man obsessed with mathematics, numbers and how they relate to everything and his paranoid spiral into madness as reality and make believe co exist. A brave and unique debut for a director who would go on to many great things.

Best Bit- The void

 

29. John Carpenter’s Vampires

As much of a twat as James Woods is he’s been in some damn good movies and this is action horror western is certainly a fun one. It’s far from Carpenter’s best work but it’s a really fun watch and some of the action is great.

Best Bit- The cardinal’s betrayal

 

28. The Wedding Singer

The last good Sandler movie before the absolute guff he started pumping out.It helps that Drew Barrymore is innately likeable and her adorable performance shines in this romantic comedy set in the 80s. Sandler plays the eponymous wedding singer who falls in love with Barrymore’s waitress character.

Best Bit- Love stinks

 

27. Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

As a huge fan of the franchise I was disappointed when this was first released as I thought it trying to be too hip  and it just all seemed a little Dawson’s Creek. Not just because of Michelle Williams’ involvement but it was all a little glossy. That said it has grown on me and there’s actually a fair bit to enjoy in the movie. It’s very cute to see Jamie Lee Curtis and her mum Janet Leigh acting together.

Best Bit- Sarah’s death

 

26. Whispering Corridors

This horror from South Korea is a really important stepping stone in the country’s development as a cinematic force. Censorship had been loosened after the military dictatorship that ruled South Korea for years and film makers were more free to explore their own visions. For instance this film is heavily critical of the authoritative educational system the country had. Mysterious deaths and ghosts fill an all girls school and all sorts of spooky things go on in this supernatural horror.

Best Bit- Teacher death

 

25. The X-Files: Fight The Future

Based on the immensely popular Chris Carter tv show and written by Carter himself, this sci fi horror movie is one of the rare tv to movie adaptations that are really good. It follows agents Mulder and Scully examining a building bombing and a government cover up that may involve aliens. It mixes horror with humour and gross out moments really well.

Best Bit- The swarm

 

24 Ronin

De Niro stars as an ex special ops member who leads a team on a mission to recover a mysterious briefcase but many factions have the same goal. The plot shifts all over the place and you’re kept guessing where each character’s allegiance lies. One of John Frankenheimer’s last movies before his death.

Best Bit- Car chase in Paris

 

23. Rugrats: The Movie

Me and my pal Ewan always loved Rugrats in it’s early years. It was such a fun show and had a certain charm that adults could enjoy too. When the movie came out I was in that middle period of outgrowing it but not being nostalgic for it yet so I never watched it until a few years later. It’s warm, well written and has that early season charm. It introduced the new character Dil Pickles, Tommy’s wee brother.

Best Bit- The lullaby

 

22. The Mask Of Zorro

Martin Campbell directed this ode to the old swashbuckling movies with Antonio Banderas playing Zorro. He’s charming and charismatic in the role with solid support from Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones. It’s fast paced, frenetic and lots of blockbuster fun with a good heart and plenty action.

Best Bit- Training

 

21. The Thin Red Line

Terrence Malick’s world war 2 drama takes a fictional look at the very real battle of Mount Austen. Malick hadn’t directed a movie since 1978’s Days Of Heaven and returned with this star studded epic which was critically lauded. It differs from many war movies as it’s very drama focused, contemplative and poetic with meditation on the futility of war and the destruction it causes to the body and mind. Great performances from …ugh…Sean Penn, Elias Koteas (from TMNT 1990 yasss) Woody Harrelson, Jim Caviezel, John C. Reilly and more.

Best Bit- Keck’s grenade

 

20. There’s Something About Mary

As much as I can’t stand Ben Stiller there are at least a couple of good movies he’s been in and this is definitely one of them. This charming romantic comedy from the Farrelly brothers was a pop culture smash mainly due to one particular scene….you know the one. Spunky hairdo. Cameron Diaz is effortlessly likeable as the hot girl that causes a group of men to go crazy over her and Stiller plays her old school mate who has decided to hire a P.I to look her up years after having last seeing her. Matt Dillon is brilliant as the sleazy P.I. It also features random Jonathan Richman cameos which is awesome.

Best Bit- The hitchhiker

 

19. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of the popular gonzo novel from Hunter S. Thompson that mixes reality with fiction follows two men played by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro as they travel to Vegas with journalistic intentions and end up taking loads of psychedelics and ruminating on the failings of 60s counter culture.. I never cared for Thompson when I was younger, I think I was put off by his fanatical fans being all “wow so cool he took a bunch of drugs huh huh” but I’ve come to appreciate the enigmatic writer over the years.

Best Bit- Failed hippy movement speech

 

18. He Got Game

I’ve talked about my love for the soundtrack in my best albums of 1998 list so go check that out. Spike Lee’s movie about a father (played by Denzel Washington) who is granted a weeks release from prison to convince his highly rated basketball playing son (played by nba star Ray Allen) to play for the governor’s team. If he can pull it off he’ll get a heavily reduced sentence. It’s a fine piece of work by Lee.

Best Bit- The ending

 

17. Pleasantville

What an ingenious wee delight of a movie this is. Artful direction from Gary Ross, now of Hunger Games fame make this a beautiful movie to watch and it’s instantly recognisable due to it’s use of black and white entwined with colour. A brother and sister end up sucked into a 50s sitcom where they have to deal with the social issues of the time like racism despite the characters being seemingly perfect. Slowly their black and white world starts to develop colour.

Best Bit- “Look at her, dad”

 

16. Hitman aka The Contract Killer

Another year, another Jet Li entry onto the list. When he stops making brilliant action movies with stunning choreography and performing feats of immense athletic physical skills then I’ll stop putting them in the lists. Taking a page out of Jackie Chan’s book there’s a lot of physical comedy in this one.

Best Bit- Final fight

 

15. You’ve Got Mail

Ok I admit I’m a total sucker for a good romantic comedy as you’ve probably guessed by now and this one really hit home with me for some reason. I remember when I was in Florida with the family in 2001 I watched this …….sigh…..five nights in a row. Why on earth did I admit that?. It’s directed by Nora Ephron who specializes in the genre and it’s about cyber dating in the early days of that practice. It’s cute and Tom Hanks is always likeable.

Best Bit- First meeting

 

14. Lethal Weapon 4

Richard Donner is back for the fourth installment of the much loved buddy cop film series and yes that man Jet Li is in it. Not sure why he’s not on the poster as he’s the main villain and it was his long awaited American debut. I remember watching a feature about this when it was coming out and Mel Gibson was talking about how Li had to pretty much perform in slow motion he was so fast at the choreography. Could have done without all the lazy Chinese food jokes though.

Best Bit- Problems with phones

 

13. Mulan

Disney are at it again this time based on the legend of Hua Mulan, a young woman who posed as a man to fight for the Chinese army against the Hun. The songs are pretty good and the story is great with a very good villain and a loveable protagonist. The Chinese aesthetic is pretty and the animation as always is great.

Best Bit- Final battle

 

12. Blade

Back when Marvel movies were usually absolute guff, Blade came out and blew them out of the water. Super violent, stylish, slick and clever casting as Wesley Snipes is great as the titular half vampire antihero. A fresh soundtrack and the aforementioned stylish presentation made it such a cool movie and one that can be watched several times.

Best Bit- Nightclub scene

11. Rush Hour

Another buddy cop flick, this time starring Li’s buddy/rival Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker as two cops hired to rescue a Chinese consul’s daughter. Their chemistry is actually excellent and Tucker’s loud mouth arrogance coupled with Chan’s easy going but supremely talented fighter character are a blast to watch. It’s the same as most mismatched buddy films but when they are done right they are excellent.

Best Bit- Restaurant fight

 

10. The Truman Show

One of Jim Carrey’s finest performances is in this funny and sad movie about a man adopted as a baby by a corporation to be the unassuming star of a reality tv show. His entire life is on view to the world and everyone in his life is an actor. It starts off very funny as the theme lends itself to some absurd situations but when all becomes clear to him it’s deeply sad and Carrey sells his pain so well.

Best Bit- Talking to the creator

 

9. Dark City

Alex Proyas’ excellent follow up to The Crow proved he wasn’t a one hit wonder with this insanely stylish cyberpunk noir thriller. It follows an amnesiac on the run from the police as he’s suspected of murder but has no idea if he’s done anything wrong. He must discover his past while another group called The Strangers also take interest in him. It’s an incredible looking movie but also has a solid plot.

Best Bit- Meeting The Strangers

8. What Dreams May Come

Based on a novel by the brilliant horror fantasy author Richard Matheson but differing in many ways, What Dreams May Comes is a heart wrenching testament to the power of love and how far someone would go to save their soulmate. In between all the goofy and annoying movies Robin Williams did he would occasionally pop up with a powerhouse performance like this one and show what a truly gifted actor he was. It’s a beautiful movie set on earth, heaven and hell and the cinematography from Eduardo Serra is top notch with good direction from Vincent Ward. It’s stunning to look at.

Best Bit- Trip through hell

 

7. Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?

Again the superlatives that I haven’t already used escape me when it comes to Chan’s physical grace, athleticism, creativity and the punishment he puts himself through for the purposes of entertaining us. This comedy martial arts film sees him fall from a helicopter in a village in Africa and forgets who he is.  When he asks “Who am I” the villagers think that’s his name and refer to him as such. He must make his way back home and figure out his original mission.

Best Bit- Rooftop fight

 

6. Gods And Monsters

A biopic looking at the last days of James Whale, director of Universal monsters classic movies like Frankenstein, The Invisible Man and Bride Of Frankenstein Whale was a tortured soul, haunted by memories of his involvement in world war 1 and that plays a big part in the movie as well as his homosexuality. Ian McKellen plays Whale who develops a friendship with his gardener played by Brendan Fraser. It’s an upsetting but warm film chronicling Whale’s deep depression.

Best Bit- Filming Bride Of Frankenstein

 

5. A Bug’s Life

Ahhh Pixar you’re just very good at making movies aren’t you? The movie follows Flick, a brilliant protagonist ant who leads a colony of ants against the bullying grasshoppers who are threatening their life by stealing their food. A good old fashioned underdog story and being Scottish I just love those. Great voice by the likes of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey , Denis Leary, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more.

Best Bit- Final battle

 

4. American History X

Boy oh boy is this more relevant now than ever. Tony Kaye’s brutal look at neo nazis stars Ed Norton (who looks hard as nails….movie magic)as the older brother of Ed Furlong who are a couple of nazis who are a big part of the rising movement in the states. Norton’s character ends up serving time for murder and his hatred of blacks after his father was murdered by a black drug dealer is challenged as he meets a black mentor in prison. He then desperately tries to get his brother to change his ways and avoid his mistakes. Brutal, sad and deeply disturbing, the rising right wing movement across the western world right just makes this movie more upsetting as we spiral towards our pathetic doom.

Best Bit- The ending

 

3. Baseketball

It feels very weird putting this ahead of so many emotional epics but I’ll be damned if I didn’t nearly laugh my balls off when I watched this. I’ve watched it about a hundred times since and still laugh every time. It’s the kind of movie that wouldn’t work if the stars didn’t have the chemistry to pull it off but luckily it’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker who are best friends and nail the banter perfectly. After the poor reception it got the duo sadly denounced the movie and have since made fun of it’s failure on South Park which is a shame as I love it…..I can’t help it.

Best Bit- Squeak’s new bed

 

2. Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg’s brilliant world war two epic still has some of the most incredible and pulse raising battle scenes of all time. The Normandy landing scene is still mind-blowingly disturbing and visceral. I remember all the hype about the movie at the time focusing on real life ww2 veterans crying and thanking Spielberg for the movie such was it’s impact. I went to the cinema at the age of 14 to see this and was so moved at one point that I shouted at the screen. I thought I was about to get into trouble but people joined in….I couldn’t believe it, it was a completely impulsive and involuntary action. True story. Anyway you know this one, it’s Tom Hanks leading a group of soldiers to find Matt Damon who is being sent home after his brothers have been killed in action.

Best Bit- The opening

 

1. Ringu

Hideo Nakata’s masterpiece based on the great Koji Suzuki novel is one of the best horror movies ever made in my opinion. I understand if it’s not yours though as it has to be seen in the right context for it to fully work. If you saw the remake first, it probably won’t work as well as it relies on the ending twist, if you saw it after seeing the numerous parodies then again it’s not going to work. I stumbled across it on channel 4 whilst knowing very little of it other than it was a scary movie so I was completely hooked. The cursed videotape that promises death to those who watch it seven days later terrified me and I was glued to the screen wondering what the hell was going on. I was utterly captivated and the famous ending just blew me away. An astonishing piece of tension building as hardly anything even happens in it and I was biting my nails the entire time. A wonderful and terrifying experience. One I will always treasure. The American remake is often cited as the better movie…..it’s not. It’s good though.

Best Bit- The ending.

 

Next up is the last year of the 90s so join me back here for a wonderful send off. We’ll party like it’s….well you get it. Catch me @swing_kinker until then.

 

 

 

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