1999 in Film

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

Best of the Best

If these are on, life stops

  1. Mystery, Alaska – A horribly underrated (and sometimes unknown) sports movie about a town in Alaska where people literally play hockey their entire lives. Russell Crowe stars, but it’s filled with recognizable faces.
  2. A Civil Action – If Erin Brockovich was rich, educated and a man, this would have been the movie of the same name. Instead Travolta takes up the cause of a town against two gigantic companies who are thought to be responsible for contaminating the water supply.
  3. American Pie – The high school movie for a generation of people who were in high school in the late ’90s. Doesn’t hold up as well as the sequel, but will always have sentimental value for me.
  4. Big Daddy – One of Adam Sandler’s best movies, this was hi Liar, Liar, a chance to play a more human role, but with plenty of funny moments anyway. The highs aren’t as high as his other movies, but it’s a more consistent experience.
  5. Office Space – A cult hit from this time. This movie looks especially dated 15 years later, but it’s still funny. It’s always weird to see this movie and think about how Ron Livingston never had a bigger career.

Favorites

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

  • American Beauty – Winner of Academy awards, and a superb performance by Kevin Spacey. When you look at this movie, The Usual Suspects and House of Cards, it’s hard not to wonder how he doesn’t have a much higher profile.
  • Arlington Road – This is a thriller about a professor whose ex-wife was an FBI agent who was killed in action. He becomes obsessed with his suspicion that his new neighbor is a terrorist. See the footnote for a spoiler-related comment1.
  • Any Given Sunday – Possible Al Pacino’s last good performance. One of the best football movies of this era. Great cast.
  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me – Heather Graham at her peak. As good as the first. Mike Myers last great performance?
  • For the Love of the Game – Underrated baseball movie. Definitely feels like a spiritual sequel to Bull Durham. Costner owned some of these sports movies.
  • October Sky – Early Jake Gyllenhaal. Chris Cooper solid as always in a supporting role. This movie always felt like it was a decade late since not a lot of movies like this were getting made in 1999.
  • Three Kings – Clooney and Wahlberg in a David O. Russell movie about the first Iraq war. Definitely a weird style in this one, but very entertaining.

Guilty Pleasures

  • Bowfinger – I have a soft spot for 1990s Steve Martin movies (Father of the Bride 1 and 2, *Sgt. Bilko) so this movie fits right in. Again, Heather Graham at her peak. Eddie Murphy looking like a revitalized mid–90s Dwight Gooden. Funny concept, plenty of funny lines.
  • Cruel Intentions – A twisted story of rich kids out to ruin people’s lives. Reese Witherspoon when she was starting to break out. I enjoy watching this one every few years. Plus it’s such a who’s who of late ’90s actors who never quite kept the momentum going.
  • Detroit Rock City – A period piece about a bunch of high school kids on their quest to see the rock band Kiss. Silly and fun, but not terribly great.
  • EDtv – Before they teamed up to solve murders in TexasLouisiana, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson played brothers in this movie about a guy who gets his own reality show. It was part of this trend of movies (like The Truman Show) that tried to show the downsides of reality TV. Apparently they didn’t scare people off.
  • Pushing Tin – A weird movie about rival air traffic controllers played by John Cusack and Billy Boy Thornton. Cate Blanchett is almost unrecognizable as Cusack’s wife. Angelina Jolie is very recognizable as Thornton’s though.
  • Three to Tango – This is one my wife likes, starring Matthew Perry and Neve Campbell when they were both bankable. It does a lot with Perry’s ability to act in awkward situations. It’s mostly forgettable though.

List of Shame

Movies that I have not seen

  • The Cider House Rules – Didn’t know what this two-Oscar winning film was about. Doesn’t sound super interesting, but it has a good cast.
  • Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick writes and directs Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. I have always watched this many times, but have never really heard anyone talk about it.
  • Girl, Interrupted – Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for this one. Also has Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy, Elisabeth Moss, Jared Leto and more. I should probably check this one out.
  • Go – I only vaguely remember this movie, but since no one has ever talked about it since, maybe there isn’t much to see. But it’s on my DVR right now and has an OK cast.
  • The Hurricane – Denzel Washington plays real-life boxer Rueben Carter who is wrongly accused of murder during racial turmoil. This is on my DVR right now.
  • Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – I have a friend who loves this one, but the cast doesn’t do a lot for me os I have never seen it.
  • Man on the Moon – Jim Carrey stars in this biopic about comedian Andy Kaufman. Carrey is one of the best choices for this role, but I never was a huge Kaufman fan and never saw this.
  • Rushmore – I am not a huge Wes Anderson fan, nor the actors that tend to run in his circle. But this movie is well liked enough that I should probably see it at some point.
  • The Sixth Sense – Not really my kind of movie, and once you know the ending it’s not really worth watching, maybe. I should probably still see it.
  • The Thin Red Line – Terrence Malick’s Oscar nominated WWII film that had the unfortunate problem of coming after Saving Private Ryan. The cast is loaded though. And I really need to check it out.
  • Toy Story 2 – I saw the first, but none after. I don’t hear #2 mentioned as much as 1 and 3 so maybe I am not missing much.

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

  • 8MM – Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en) seemed more important then. Interesting cast. Back when Nicholas Cage was slightly more than a punchline.
  • Analyze This – A Harold Ramis movie starring Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro in a movie that might have been much more significant had The Sopranos not done such a superior job around the same time.
  • The Blair Witch Project – The movie that put the “found footage” genre on the map. I don’t like horror movies so I never saw it. It was a cultural phenomenon at the time, I don’t know if it still holds up though.
  • Boys Don’t Cry – Hilary Swank’s Oscar winning performance as a woman who adopts a male identity. Remember when it looked like Hilary Swank was going to be a star?
  • Dogma – Low on my Kevin Smith movie rankings. By this time Smith was a big name and roped in a ton of big names. It’s just not as funny as other Smith movies.
  • Election – Now that I know who Alexander Payne is, maybe I should revisit this movie. The screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, but I remember not liking it way back when.
  • Fight Club – Mosts guys around my age loved this movie. Brad Pitt has always been uneven for me. This movie was OK, but I don’t go out of my way to see it again.
  • The Green Mile – Another Oscar nominated film that I haven’t seen since my first viewing. It’s probably better than I remember. A lot of people still like this movie.
  • The Insider – I want to see this again. Michael Mann, Russell Crow, Al Pacino. So much goodness in this movie.
  • MagnoliaBoogie Nights is one of my all-time favorite movies, but I haven’t loved his other movies. This one was just too weird for me.
  • The Matrix – A cult classic that I always found to be vastly overrated. Other than cool-at-the-time special effects, this movie is filled with horrible acting.
  • The Mod Squad – Remake of an old TV show. Starred three people who were “it” at the time. Amazing to see where these three are now.
  • The Mummy – These movies were liked better than one would expect, but I never saw any of them. Brendan Fraser doesn’t really do it for me.
  • Never Been Kissed – Smack dab in the middle of the Drew Barrymore revival. Another one of those classic late ’90s teen movies.
  • Notting Hill – As much as I appreciate Julia Roberts, I am not a Hugh Grant fan.
  • She’s All That – Another classic teen movie from the time. Freddy Prinze Jr. and Paul Walker starred. Doesn’t hold up super well.
  • Sleepy Hollow – Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Really doesn’t do anything for me.
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – One of the greatest letdowns in movie history. So much anticipation just slaughtered by a horrible movie. Part of the problem is that the original Star Wars were filled of bad dialogue and acting, but their cult status overshadowed that. People saw that come to life here.
  • Stuart Little – The book gets adapted for the screen and Michael J. Fox does the voice. I was a little too old for this.
  • Superstar – One of the many failed Saturday Night Live movies of the late ’90s. They were churning them out at this point. This one was a disaster.
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley – A movie we own that I have only seen once. Matt Damon is my boy. It got nominated for five Oscars. No excuse for not watching this again.
  • Wild Wild West – A remake of a TV show of the same name. Will Smith could get people to see anything back then. This movie is terrible.
  • The World is Not Enough – I was never a big Bond fan. And I don’t like Brosnan. So this was never on my radar.
  1. This movie is so great because it’s one of the few movies ever where the bad guy wins []