Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: What's Your Favorite Movie of 1991?

We're just one week away from F This Movie Fest! In celebration of this year's theme, we're kicking off an entire week devoted to the movies of 1991.

Help us get started by naming your favorite movie from that year! If you need some help remembering what came out, look here.

And if you're not already following us on Twitter, you better do it now so you can join as at Noon (CST) next Saturday.


  1. It's been a few years since I've seen either film, so I'll have to cop out and call it a tie between The Fisher King and City of Hope.

  2. The Fisher King. It's a movie that gets to me in a very personal way and I was lucky enough to see it for the first time at a point in my life where it was exactly what I needed to see. Honorable mention to Bugsy, which is one of those movies that I can't pass by if I'm flipping channels, I have to watch the whole thing. As great as Anthony Hopkins was in Silence Of The Lambs, that was a supporting role and as far as I'm concerned the lead actor Oscar he won belongs to Warren Beatty instead. He's absolutely mesmerizing as Benjamin "Don't Call Me Bugsy" Siegel, and he's surrounded by a stellar supporting cast as well. Has Annette Bening ever been foxier? I say nay.

  3. Tough call while '91 had some stinkers (Dear god almost forgot about Ernest Scared Stupid) they also had some really great ones. I know its the easy answer but for me its Terminator 2. Everything about that film just plays for me every time I see it and the T-1000 CGI effects still work to this day. Something I wish directors would realize more is that we don't mind so much that you are using CGI we mind the fact it doesn't feel real. In my opinion last movie to have creatures that felt real were the aliens in District 9, in the back of my head I knew they were CG but since they have all those imperfections on their bodies I was able to buy it more.

    Honorable mention has to go to King Ralph only because the day I saw that in the theatre I was granted free admission and King status by Burger King and sadly even at the young age of 11, greeted by what I remember to be some pretty hot ladies I still thought the movie sucked.

    I know its not horror movie month but I did want to post a quick review of the 91 classic Child's Play 3- Presto, it sucks!

  4. I was an 11-year old boy in the summer of 1991 and there's only one movie I could possibly pick: Terminator 2: Judgment Day. I hadn't even seen the first one at that point; it didn't fucking matter. I loved it - other than Jurassic Park a couple years later, it's the only movie I ever went to the theatre to see more than once. I was a Jaws freak until that movie came out and then I was a Terminator 2 freak and it's definitely the movie that launched my big action movie phase of the early to mid-90s and probably the movie that made me leave "kid's movies" behind for good. And it still holds up so well - dammit, I'm actually really feeling like watching it now, but will hold off for the F This Movie Fest!

  5. Barton Fink

    Wow, never realized how good this year was!

    Shout outs: White Fang, L.A. Story, Drop Dead Fred, What About Bob?, The Fisher King

  6. PART 1 (of 2)

    '...we're kicking off an entire week devoted to the movies of 1991.'

    "Robin Hood: Prince of Thives" podcast (or, minimum, 'Hollywood' Heath Holland column) coming right up! :-D

    Great topic, I think I'll make a weekend out of it (wink, wink). Before I talk about my favorite movie of 1991 though, let me do the top 10 countdown thing for the same reason "The Fifth Element" got 'F'ed with a podcast this past week: just because.

    Honorable Mentions: What About Bob? (underrated Bill Murray), The Doors (The Val Kilmer Show), Thelma & Louise (the original 'going over the fiscal cliff' minus the 'fiscal'), Queens Logic (well-observed and flawlessly-acted urban day-in-the-life drama/comedy).

    10. The Last Boy Scout: the crazy-cool aesthetic of Tony Scott's camera meets the self-aware voice of Shane Black's scriptwriting. Together with Bruce Willis and an ace cast of supporting bad guys (Noble Willingham, Taylor Negron) & sidekick (Damon Wayans in his only good film role, ever) the template action movie that will be remade over and over for 22 years takes form.

    9. Grand Canyon: Lawrence Kasdan pulls a Robert Altman (who saw this, said 'Aw, hell no' and did "Short Cuts" two years later) and makes a compelling ensemble movie about different characters' lives intertwined. Steve Martin's impression of a Joel Silver-type movie producer that experiences real-life violence stands out, but the entire cast is worthy of "Big Chill" comparisons.

    8. Naked Lunch: David Cronenberg's take on the "unfilmable" Burroughs novel. You won't see typewriters, Roy Scheider or alien/giant cockroach sex the same way again (and yes, I'm assuming you even know what a typewriter is).

    7. L.A. Story: Steve Martin's love letter to the city of angels is as shallow, romantic, maddening, deep or shallow as you want it to be (based on which character you're spending time with). SanDeE* (S.J. Parker) steals the movie.

    6. Once Upon A Time in China: Let's see: the best Wong Fei-hung ever put on-screen in Jet Li (and there have been as many as there have been Djangos), best martial arts fight with ladders (has to be seen to be believed) and most stereotypically-insulting American foreigners ever (which is either funny or payback for the way American movies have depicted foreigners since forever), etc. Yep, this Hark Tsui epic freaking owns.

    5. The Rapture: A year before Michael Tolkin teamed-up with Robert Altman to take Hollywood down a peg with "The Player" (in which Bruce Willis satirizes the same movie persona he's still playing 21 years later in three 2013 action flicks!) he wrote/directed on a shoestring what can be lovingly nicknamed "The Passion of Mimi Rogers." Like JB with "Hugo" I don't dare to soil the perfect memory of the one time I've seen "The Rapture," which at the time (mid-90's) shook me and has stayed with me like few movies have.

    4. Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear: the prequel is more beloved, but for my money this and "Airplane!" are the pillars on which the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker reputation rests. Leslie Nielsen and Priscilla Presley couldn't be cuter, Robert Goulet knows the movie he's in and the gags (two words: Whistler's Mother) pile and pile until you can't laugh more.

    1. Ooops, hit the 4096 character-limit already? OK.

      3. Whore: Ken Russell (who else?) deconstructs, nah, shatters the 'happy hooker' movie myth with a punch-in-the-gut NC-17 noir that is as cynical and dark as the 'happy hooker' myth is wishy-washy and sweet. Theresa Russell (no relation) gives such an intense and no-holds-barred performance I fell in love with her (!) and have been a fan since of her work. This, along with "Henry and June," put the NC-17 rating on financial probation before "Showgirls" killed it for good in '95.

  7. PART 2 (of 2):

    2. The Silence of the Lambs:
    Like "Lincoln" (my #2 movie of '12) this is a #2 I wouldn't mind seeing get Oscar recognition it deserves for creating memorable movie moments, characters and images out of Thomas Harris' amateurish prose (have you read it?). Jodie Foster's performance and Demme's depiction of FBI culture informs so much of pop culture since it came out ("The X-Files," "Criminal Minds," "Copycat," etc.).

    And, finally, my #1 movie of 1991 is also my new-to-me movie for today (huh?), 1/26/13:

    Oliver Stone's JFK: Director's Cut (1991) on Blu-ray (just finished watching it before I wrote these posts). I'd only seen the 189 min. theatrical cut before today.

    When he signed off his short-tenure hosting "The Tonight Show" on NBC, Conan O'Brien said this: "To all the people watching... All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism, it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere."

    "JFK" is the mother lode, the cinematic apex of conspiracy theories and socially acceptable cynicism (not to mention THE primary source of Kevin Bacon's 'Six Degrees' connections) brought to life by the best tools at the disposal of the Hollywood dream-making machine in supporting a filmmakers' POV. Forget CG or SFX, it's the conviction and skill with which Oliver Stone, his actors, his collaborators (John Williams amazing score) and his editors (who took home well-deserved Oscars) put forth a seemingly far-fetched conspiracy of who really killed JFK that pushes the motion picture model as entertainment, work of art and social tool for change. It's doubtful "JFK" can change anybody's opinions, but one can't help but admire (and, in my personal case, enjoy) not only that it was well-made but, like the ending of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," it comes on a definite side and has the courage of its conviction to point fingers at and name names.

    On a basic movie-enjoyment level there are just so many good actors giving great performances in big (Donald Sutherland making exposition dumps interesting) and tiny roles (blink and you'll miss Vinnie D'Onofrio, literally), not to mention all the big stars that broke out the few years prior (or were about to break) all gathering here. There's Joe Pesci from "Goodfellas," Kevin Costner from "Dances with Wolves," Michael Rooker from "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer," Tommy Lee Jones in a worse-than-Pesci's wig, and so on and so forth. Jay O. Sanders gives one of the best and most underrated supporting actor performances I've ever seen. Sissy Spacek (the Emily Watson of 22 years ago) has the thankless wife-of-the-lead role that, in this latest viewing, I appreciated more. She personifies the toll that Garrison's quest for truth has on their personal life.

    To Oliver Stone's credit though (we all know where he stands) he made "JFK" so that it's possible, if you so desire, to enjoy the movie from multiple perspectives besides the overt one he's pushing. This time I saw the movie from the perspective that Jim Garrison is wrong and/or misguided, and on that context his final speech in the courtroom feels slightly less nutty than something you'd hear on Fox News. Unlike a talking head on cable TV pushing an agenda that's a flat-out lie though, "JFK" lays all its story-telling cards and motives bare for you to then decide whether to a cynic and ask questions or be a non-cynic and accept the official story (not shown in "JFK" because this isn't a 'fair and balanced' TV news show). And with all due respect to Conan O'Brien, cynicism is a valid and worthy a POV of today's messed-up world as the alternative.

    It's also a very New Orleans movie with a cast of eccentric and colorful characters/accents (often overlooked). :-)

  8. Some notable favorites:

    Cape Fear
    The Silence of the Lambs
    Point Break
    Barton Fink
    Boyz n the Hood
    Thelma and Louise

  9. 1991 was the year before my birth and I'm including some of my favorites like:

    Father of the Bride
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
    Jungle Fever
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    The Rocketeer
    My Girl

  10. Incredible year when you look back.
    "J.F.K." was an amazing way to close out the year. It's amazing that in the spring, Oliver Stone premiered "The Doors" as well.
    Other notables were: "City Slickers", the underrated "Hudson Hawk", "Hot Shots" and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast".

  11. In no particular order

    Terminator 2
    The Rocketeer
    Beauty and the Beast
    City Slickers
    L.A. Story
    What About Bob?
    Barton Fin

    My list at the end of 1991 would be very different. I would probably have said "The Addams Family", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze", "Bingo" and "Suburban Commando". But give me a break, I was eight!!

    1. ^^^ I was 18 in '91 and, if I had included movies I'd seen that year or soon after, "Terminator 2" would so have been in my Top 10 (instead of #15 now). Without "T2" there would be no "Secret World of Alex Mack" puddle-of-water SFX, so I'll always be grateful to that movie for its ground-breaking SFX. Not to mention it's just a kick-ass action flick. I still hold my breath when that helicopter goes under the highway overpass even though I know the pilot makes it. :-P

  12. Movie I saw the most, I was in love with the movie "Toy Soldiers" probably saw it 20 times that year on video. Don't worry though, along with "T2" and "Rocketeer" I also say "King Ralph" and "Suburban Commando" in the theater.

    1. I saw Toy Soldiers twice in theaters in '91. Once on its own, once as the second half of a second-run double feature with Hudson Hawk.