1998 In Film

Check out the other year’s in film I have covered.

Best of the Best

If these are on, life stops

  1. Rounders – A candidate for “favorite movie of all-time”, so an easy choice for #1. Great poker movie, made right before the boom hit. I am sure this has gone from a cult favorite to a mainstream gem.
  2. Saving Private Ryan – Legendary WWII film by Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks, Ed Burns, Barry Pepper, Matt Damon. The gritty Omaha Beach scene at the beginning is one of the best movie scenes of all-time.
  3. A Civil Action – I am not a John Travolta fan, but this film has a great supporting cast. It’s about a lawyer who takes on an environmental case for a town with a lot of sick people. Very similar to Erin Brockovich.

Favorites

These are movies that I like and still watch if the opportunity arises.

  • American History X – Ed Norton bulks up to play a reformed neo-Nazi. Some very graphic scenes, but Norton is fabulous. Didn’t make the top section because it’s a tough watch.
  • Enemy of the State – Underrated Will Smith film, where he plays a lawyer that gets caught up in a government conceived murder cover-up. A-List supporting cast of Jon Voight and Gene Hackman, plus cameos from Jack Black, Barry Pepper, Jamie Kennedy, Jake Busey, Scott Caan, Gabriel Byrne, Seth Green and Tom Sizemore.
  • The Siege – Denzel plays an FBI counter-terrorism guy battling terrorism in NYC. This movie was made pre-9/11, which makes it a tough watch now. It’s really tremendous though.
  • The Truman Show – In the argument for best Jim Carrey movie ever (along with Liar, Liar, and note I said best not funniest). Tremendous premise, especially considering how big reality TV became.
  • U.S. Marshals – The sequel to The Fugitive. Like The Siege, a movie that was on a lot during my late-teen years, so I have seen this one a whole bunch of times. Not really that great of a movie, but I liked it anyway.
  • The Wedding Singer – Second only to Big Daddy as what I consider the best of Adam Sandler’s movies. Hilarious 80s references and music.

Guilty Pleasures

  • Armageddon – As many times as I have seen this movie, it’s hard to admit it’s really any good. Because I was in high school in the late ’90s, all of these movies will be significant for me, but upon re-watching this one, it’s just not all that great.
  • Can’t Hardly Wait – A modern-day cross between American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused. Not on the same level as American Pie for late ’90s teens, but still funny. It’s amazing how dated this movies makes 1998 look though.
  • Major League: Back to the Minors – The third movie in the series. By far the worst. But with baseball movies, it’s hard to look away.
  • A Simple Plan – Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton are brothers who find a bag of cash in the woods. But in the process of keeping the secret they get themselves into trouble. Good, not great.
  • Snake Eyes – Nicholas Cage and Gary Sinise star in this thriller about the murder of a politician while ringside at a boxing match in Atlantic City. The story is really great the first time. Not so much on repeated viewings. Cage plays the scumbag cop well though.
  • You’ve Got Mail – Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at the end of her run of successful romantic comedies. It capitalizes on people who met through AOL before the web really took off. That makes it a little dated.

List of Shame

Movies that I have not seen

  • Blade – Vampires aren’t my thing, but I always heard good things about this one and it made a lot of money.
  • City of Angels – Meg Ryan again. This time Nic Cage plays an angel who comes to earth and falls in love with Ryan. Sounds like a sappy one.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Not a huge fan of Hunter S. Thompson or Johnny Depp so this one never really hit the mark for me.
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – Another one with a cast that doesn’t jump out at me. I feel like most people have seen this though.
  • The Man In the Iron Mask – Anytime I come across a Leonard DiCaprio I figure I probably should have seen it.
  • Out of Sight – Soderbergh, Clooney and J-Lo. Sounds like an excellent supporting cast. I have to get this one on my radar.
  • Rush Hour – The first in the series. Big movie for Chris Tucker and Brett Ratner. Never saw any of Tucker’s movies.
  • Rushmore – Significant for launching Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzmann’s careers. Also considered by some to be the start of Act 2 of Bill Murray’s career. I am turned off by Owen Wilson’s involvement. I should probably give it a chance.
  • Shakespeare in Love – It won 7 Oscars. That should make anyone feel guilty.
  • There’s Something About Mary – I always catch flack for not seeing this one, but other than Dumb and Dumber I haven’t been into any Farrelly brothers movies. No real compelling actors for me either. Probably should see it someday though.
  • The Thin Red Line – The other WWII movie from the year. Tons of recognizable names in the cast but never really heard anyone talk about it.
  • Wild Things – Known mostly for one explicit sex scene. Neve Campbell and Denise Richards at their “peak”. Not sure if I should have this on the list or not.

Other Films of Note

Films that jumped out at me or have significance that I haven’t seen or don’t have particularly strong feelings for

  • 54 – More Neve Campbell. This one is about the famous NYC nightclub from the ’70s. Mike Myers towards the end of his peak.
  • Almost Heroes – Chris Farley’s last movie. He died during the filming. It’s terrible.
  • Antz – One of two CGI insect movies of the year.
  • BASEketball – Trey Parker and Matt Stone use their South Park stardom to star in this filthy comedy about a a new sport combining basketball and baseball. Has some highs, but overall not great.
  • The Big Lebowski – I need to re-watch this one. I have only seen it once and didn’t like it. I know that it’s a top 5 movie for most people my age.
  • Blues Brothers 2000 – Horrible attempt at a sequel to the classic 1980s film. Felt cheated by it.
  • A Bug’s Life – The other CGI insect movie.
  • Deep Impact – Another “theme” of 1998 was asteroid movies, this was the “other” one to Armageddon. I never saw it.
  • Dirty Work – Norm McDonald’s first starring role. All you really need to know is that it was also his last.
  • Dr. Dolitte – This launched the point in Eddie Murphy’s career where he made a bunch of kids movies. I never saw any of them, but this one made a lot of money, and some sequels.
  • Elizabeth – The first of two times Cate Blanchett played Queen Elizabeth. Considered to be her breakout role. It’s very likely she would make the short list for best actress of the last 15 years.
  • Godzilla – An attempt to revive the famous franchise. Made a lot of money, but not considered good.
  • Great Expectations – A modern adaptation of the famous novel. Mixed reviews despite a solid cast.
  • Half Baked – Dave Chappelle’s first starring role. It’s a stoner movie with unsuccessful SNL alum Jim Breuer.
  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later – 7th movie in the series. Jamie Lee Curtis was back. It was not well received.
  • He Got Game – Denzel and real NBA player Ray Allen in a father/son basketball movie. Spike Lee directed. Good, not great.
  • I Still Know What You Did Last Summer – An attempt to capitalize on a slasher craze of the mid-90s. Somewhat a “Who’s, Who” of mid-to-late ’90s hearthrobs
  • Lethal Weapon 4 – Amazing that they got 4 movies out of this series. This one made a lot of money, so they clearly knew what they were doing. I never saw any of them.
  • Lost In Space – Adapted from the 1960s TV show. Pretty horrible reviews.
  • The Mask of Zorro – The first American Zorro movie in quite some time. Spielberg produced. Probably Catherine Zeta-Jones’ breakout role. Not my thing.
  • Mercury Rising – Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. Not a bad action/thriller, but not great.
  • Mulan – The big Disney movie of the year.
  • A Night at the Roxbury – A bad spinoff of a thin SNL skit. Significant for being Will Ferrell’s first starring role.
  • The Object of My Affection – Significant because it stars Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd before either will really movie stars.
  • The Parent Trap – Remake of the 1961 film of the same name. Significant for being Lindsay Lohan’s debut.
  • Pi – Darren Aronofsky’s first movie. Things seemed to have worked out for him.
  • Pleasantville – Interesting concept early in Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoons’ careers. They are brother and sister who get sucked into the TV and are part of a 1950s TV show before they start changing it.
  • Psycho – Remake of the 1960s movie. Directed by Gus Van Sant. Vince Vaughn’s first post-Swingers movie. One of his few serious films. Anne Heche, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Viggo Mortensen and Phillip Baker Hall are here too.
  • Ronin – Robert DeNiro plays a thief in this movie that is mostly known for it’s car chases.
  • Run Lola Run – A German movie about a girl’s attempt to save her boyfriend from kidnappers. The movie shows three different scenarios that could have played out. The star, Franka Potente would later play Matt Damon’s girlfriends in the Bourne movies.
  • Six Days, Seven Nights – Ivan Reitman directed this one with Harrison Ford, and Anne Heche when she was huge. Not well received.
  • The Waterboy – Some people liked this Adam Sandler football comedy. I thought it was the horrible, and in retrospect, the beginning of the end.
  • What Dreams May Come – Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. star in this fantasy film about a man’s trip through Heaven and Hell to try and keep his wife from committing suicide.
  • The X-Files – Based on the massively popular TV show of the same name. I never watched it.