I didn't appreciate how good 1995 was in 1995. There were plenty of movies that I liked, sure, but I didn't really appreciate how the tides were turning, how a new kind of indie was springing up, how the blockbusters were playing with formula in new and interesting ways, and how many cool movies existed on the fringes. With hindsight, I'd take 1995 over most years of the 2000s. Programming this marathon gave me new respect for a movie year I now know I'll keep coming back to.
You know, for kids. This cult Disney comedy written by Judd Apatow and future Happy Madison company man Steve Brill and directed by Brill centers on a group of kids sent to a summer camp that's recently been taken over by a fitness guru (Ben Stiller in full "Ben Stiller" mode). None of it is especially funny and a lot of the jokes about being overweight have not dated well, but the majority of the cast is very winning and it has a pleasant '90s vibe that Adam Riske can love.
Let's get some mid-'90s action going sooner than later. Rewatching Money Train recently, I was struck by how '70s it feels: the movie is in no hurry to get to its central conceit (cops rob train full of money), instead content to just hang out and observe flawed characters for most of its running time. Plus, Robert Blake shows up! If this had come out in 1975 people would still be clamoring for a Kino Lorber Blu-ray. Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson have great leftover White Men Can't Jump chemistry and Jennifer Lopez makes a major impression in one of her very first feature leads. The '90s sheen and general dopiness might keep people underestimating this one, but they're wrong. Plus it's a holiday movie!
1:30 pm - Safe (dir. Todd Haynes)
3:30 pm - S.F.W. (dir. Jefery Levy)
5:15 pm - Crimson Tide (dir. Tony Scott)
7:30 pm - Waterworld (dir. Kevin Reynolds)
9:45 - Shallow Grave (dir. Danny Boyle)
The UK's answer to Blood Simple, Danny Boyle's feature debut remains a solid neo-noir about a trio of awful flatmates (Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor in a real "Holy shit, who is that?" breakthrough performance) living together in Edinburgh whose lives and relationships begin to unravel when they come into a large sum of money provided they're able to dispose of the corpse that left it behind. Pitch-black and nasty while still being flashy in that early Danny Boyle style, Shallow Grave is the perfect sort of mid-'90s indie gem that no longer exists.
11:30 - Se7en (dir. David Fincher)
1:30 am - Tales from the Crypt Presents: Demon Knight (dir. Ernest Dickerson)
3 am - The Mangler (dir. Tobe Hooper)
4:45 am - Tales from the Hood (dir. Rusty Cundieff)
6:30 am - Congo (dir. Frank Marshall)
8:30 am - Now and Then (dir. Lesli Linka Glatter)
10:15 am - While You Were Sleeping (dir. Jon Turteltaub)
Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate, and Happy Week to those who don't!