Monday, March 20, 2017
A Life in Movies
So here goes...
1975 -- Jaws
Many of you might say One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but c'mon, it's Jaws!
1976 -- Murder by Death
This is a year of many highly regarded classics that I myself do not hold in the highest regard. (The Omen, Rocky, Taxi Driver, Carrie, All the President's Men, Network.)
1977 -- Star Wars
1978 -- Halloween
1979 -- Alien
1980 -- The Empire Strikes Back
Airplane! actually gave Empire a run for its money here. I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.
1981 -- Raiders of the Lost Ark
Though History of the World, Part I was in the running.
1982 -- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
With The Thing also making a strong showing.
1983 -- The Right Stuff
Actual space travel edged out the galaxy far, far away this year.
1984 -- Ghostbusters
1985 -- Back to the Future
Still my favorite movie ever, but Clue is another beloved favorite from the same year.
1986 -- Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Though Little Shop of Horrors and Aliens demand a recount.
1987 -- The Princess Bride
1988 -- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
But ask me closer to Christmas, and the answer might be Scrooged.
1989 -- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
The Abyss is also excellent (the extended cut only, thank you).
1990 -- Edward Scissorhands
1991 -- Terminator 2: Judgment Day
But damn, it's hard picking between that and The Silence of the Lambs.
1992 -- Sneakers
I love a good heist.
1993 -- Schindler's List
Given the chances I'd actually sit down and watch Schindler's List again any time soon, I should also note that Groundhog Day and The Fugitive were this year.
1994 -- The Shawshank Redemption
1995 -- Apollo 13
This strong year for movies also included Se7en, 12 Monkeys, and The American President.
1996 -- Scream
Okay, this was a tight one, and nothing from this year made my Top 100. I maybe could have gone with Star Trek: First Contact, but the tightrope act of making Scream both a legit horror film and a bit of a satire of a horror film tips the scale for me.
1997 -- Gattaca
Good Will Hunting and The Fifth Element are also worthy choices, but Gattaca speaks directly to me.
1998 -- Rounders
Another movie that speaks directly to me. And I could offer up 5 more amazing movies before I'd get to that year's Best Picture Oscar winner (Shakespeare in Love): Pleasantville, Saving Private Ryan, Dark City, There's Something About Mary, and American History X.
1999 -- Galaxy Quest
J.J. Abrams once called Galaxy Quest the best Star Trek movie ever made, and he's kind of right. I'd also dub 1999 the strongest movie year of my lifetime. All of these are in my Top 100: American Beauty, The Sixth Sense, Office Space, Toy Story 2, Fight Club, The Cider House Rules, American Pie, and The Matrix.
2000 -- Memento
Though I'm pretty sure this wasn't actually in wide release until 2001.
2001 -- Moulin Rouge
Here's another strong year, which included Frailty, Ocean's Eleven, Monsters Inc., and The Fellowship of the Ring. (If you're saddened by the recent death of Bill Paxton and have never seen Frailty, do yourself a favor and check it out.)
2002 -- The Ring
2003 -- Love Actually
2004 -- Finding Neverland
But Team America: World Police is also great.
2005 -- Serenity
Though if Joss Whedon wasn't giving me closure here for Firefly, I would have picked Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
2006 -- The Prestige
2007 -- For the Bible Tells Me So
An incredibly powerful documentary about religious condemnation of homosexuality. But here's another year with a raft of options in my Top 100 -- Gone Baby Gone, Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, and The Mist.
2008 -- Doubt
WALL-E is a rather close second.
2009 -- Up
After coming close a number of times, Pixar finally gets the top spot for me.
2010 -- Toy Story 3
...and immediately goes back-to-back.
2011 -- 50/50
I know, weird choice. It disarmed me coming from people you wouldn't normally expect to nail sentiment. But I also kind of wanted to give the nod to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 for wrapping that saga up well.
2012 -- The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Cabin in the Woods is a close second.
2013 -- Bridegroom
Not that I'm the Academy or anything, but I'm not sure this documentary ever received a theatrical release. In any case, I was quite moved by it. If we're going a more "official" route, though, I'd praise Before Midnight -- though you probably have to have seen Before Sunrise and Before Sunset for it to land as powerfully as it did for me
2014 -- Whiplash
Nothing else even came close.
2015 -- Inside Out
Pixar does it again.
2016 -- 10 Cloverfield Lane
And there you have it. Tell me where I have it totally wrong... or totally right. Or better still, let's see your list.