Now, the sixth in a continuing series in which I count down my favorites from a particular year in film. Previous entries:
1997 * 1991 * 1984 * 1988 * 2002 * 1993
I'm going to use Wikipedia to kickstart my brain, year by year, and I'll throw out a Favored Five here and there. If you want to refresh your memory in a similar fashion, just go to Wiki and type "[four-character year] in film." Here's the one for 1993. I won't pretend that Wiki is the end-all, be-all of filmic knowledge or that these yearly lists are 100% accurate, but they're an excellent place to start and a great resource.
If you were a historian looking for the year in which (lackluster) sequels took over, I'd hazard a guess that 1990 is the year you'd settle on. Have a gander at this motley crew:
Another 48 Hrs.
Back to the Future Part III
Child's Play 2
Die Hard 2: Die Harder
The Exorcist III
The Godfather Part III
Gremlims 2: The New Batch
Look Who's Talking Too
The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter
Three Men and a Little Lady
The Two Jakes
Young Guns II
Now, I've not seen half of these, so don't mistake inclusion on this list as a proclamation that all of them are terrible films - I'm sure each has their fans. That said, I don't think there's a single one of them that was/is hailed as being a great film in its own right. Even of the ones I've seen that I think are decent (Back to the Future III, for example), I'd have no problem if none of these films existed.
Basically, that line of thinking extends to the entirety of films from 1990. I've seen a lot of the flicks from this year, and I had a hard time coming up with even my top five, much less any honorable mentions, and from the ones I've chosen, though there are some that I really enjoy, I don't know if there's a one that I looooove. A shame - I was 13 for much of 1990 - I should love many of them. Beyond that, so many of the films that I've seen and can remember liking...I don't recall all that well, from Pump Up the Volume to Internal Affairs to Revenge to Miller's Crossing and so on, so it seems wrong to rank them here. What's left is comfort food, mostly.
Notable movies not yet seen:
Dances with Wolves
La Femme Nikita
The Hunt for Red October
Postcards from the Edge
Wild at Heart (currently sitting in my Netflix queue)
Mr. Destiny (I'm a sucker for this flick)
5. Kindergarten Cop - Really not a great movie, but it was just about the best example of a "fish out of water" that we could have hoped for in the 80s/early 90s. As a bonus, it produced line after line after classic line delivered by Schwarzenegger - enough to be the cause for more prank phone calls than you can possibly fathom.
4. GoodFellas - Stop it. I can hear you all right now, blasting me to shreds for either not having this at number one and/or for having Home Effing Alone above it. Well, tough. As documented ad nauseum, I'll take Casino over this one any day of the week. Sorry, I guess I don't like Ray Liotta nearly as much as I thought I did 20 years ago. That said, I am due for watching this one more; I've seen the likes of Casino and The Departed tens of times each; GoodFellas, not so much. Perhaps it will grow on me as they did (each of them gets better with every viewing, so why not this one?).
3. Edward Scissorhands - Ahhh, the gold old days, back when Burton's schtick was fresh and seeing John Depp play a misfit seemed odd. I long for that simpler time.
2. Home Alone - There's a reason it was a big box-office hit - it strikes all the right chords. Equal parts melancholy, funny, and Christmas-y, I seem to enjoy this one more and more each year as well. How can anyone watch this and not want to be Kevin (at that age)? The bumbling criminals bit has never wowed me, but the ingenuity of the kid and his pranks make it akin to The Goonies in that way, while the rest of it has that John Hughes/Chicago suburbs charms.
1. Total Recall - If this wasn't made for a 13-year old future movie geek, I don't know what was. What's not to love? Arnold kicking ass, a three-breasted prostitute, Benny, bulge-out eyes, Phillip K. Dick, Michael Ironside, "two weeks," topless Sharon Stone? It's got it all, and then some.