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top ten 1999

Jeremy Blackman · 77 · 25424

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Reply #60 on: October 11, 2016, 08:01:00 PM
Awesome list JB! I think that's the 3rd time I've heard you mention 'Titus', I should finally see it.

Eyes Wide Shut
American Beauty
Office Space
The Blair Witch Project
Bringing Out The Dead
Felicia's Journey
Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai
The Virgin Suicides
Princess Mononoke

Good idea myxo, this reminds me of how truly terrific a year it was.. all of these movies have a very fond place in my heart and I think about them often. Princess Mononoke I hadn't even given a proper watch until recently and it might now be my favorite Miyazaki.

American Beauty and Office Space I quote to myself on a daily basis.. Whenever I'm debating where to eat out at work I remember John Goodman going "I had beef lo mein last night, I can't eat the same thing two nights in a row!" in 'Bringing Out The Dead'.

Blair Witch could be the best horror film of it's generation ( best found footage one of all time IMO). Felicia's Journey is the most disturbed I've ever been by a serial killer movie that wasn't grotesquely violent. Ghost Dog, probably one of the greatest films about being a loner.. Virgin Suicides makes you reflect back on your high school days in an entirely different, mythical way.

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Reply #61 on: October 11, 2016, 08:09:33 PM
Blair Witch could be the best horror film of it's generation ( best found footage one of all time IMO).

Also... The big secret of Blair Witch is that it's really just a movie about being lost in the woods. It captures that precise feeling better than anything else I can think of.

People should definitely check out All About My Mother. It's premium Almodovar. So evocative and meaty. Here's the trailer:

"Hunger is the purest sin"


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Reply #62 on: October 12, 2016, 05:27:08 AM
Well, let's try and do this:

- Magnolia
It was the first time I saw PTA on the big screen, and it still holds up to me, even though it's long, and operatic and over the top. Or precisely because of that, I don't know.

- Eyes Wide Shut
It was the first time I saw Kubrick on the big screen, and was hypnotised by the whole thing. The orgy creeped me out then, and it creeps me out now.

- Todo Sobre Mi Madre
It was the first time I saw an Almodóvar film on the big screen, and was quite engaged from beginning to end.

- Summer of Sam
It was the first time I saw Spike Lee on the big screen, and was so energized by his style. Saw this a lot since then, and love everything in it.

- American Beauty
Saw it three times in theatres and was amazed by the lighting and the writing and the acting. Even though I think it doesn't hold up, it still does something to me.

- eXistenZ
It was the first time I saw Cronenberg on the big screen, and it felt really bizarre and provocative. It was the more analogue version of The Matrix and I ended up enjoying it more than the Wachowski's.

- Fight Club
It was the first time I saw Fincher on the big screen, and it was so cool, right? I still appreciate the dark humour in it quite a bit, and I still think it's very well directed, even though I now prefer Fincher's quieter style of today.

- Sleepy Hollow
By this point I had seen a bunch of Tim Burton movies on the big screen, but now I knew what an auteur was. Remember when it was cool to like his movies? I still think this is visually his best movie (or maybe second best, behind Batman Returns) and it cracks me up every time I see it.

- Sweet and Lowdown
It was not the first time I saw a Woody Allen film on the big screen, but it was the first I saw one as a bonafide Woody fan. I still think it's the sweetest, most heartbreaking thing, and Sean Penn's best performance.

- Bringing Out the Dead
It was the first time I saw Scorsese on the big screen, even though I was a big fan of his by then, and it left a mark to see his style just attacking me as I was sitting down in awe.


Wow! Only when I was making the list did I realize that not only did I see every single one of these in the theatres, but most marked the first time I saw some of my favourite authors on the big screen. It was indeed an amazing year on that respect.


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Reply #63 on: October 12, 2016, 10:10:25 AM
Let's revisit this thread.

Are we still happy with our top ten list now that we're a little older? (Seriously.) Or does your best movies of the 90s list look different now? Maybe you've gone back and seen something which WAS on your list and don't love it quite as much anymore. Or you've seen something else since and gained a greater appreciation for it. I know I've seen Eyes Wide Shut since and it would make my list now but wouldn't have in 2000.

Such nostalgia. We always reference back to 1999 as one of the greatest years of American cinema in recent memory, don't we? It was right around the time I had my true cinematic awakening, so there's a lot of films from this year that are very special to me and much of the top half of my list is right around what my list probably would have been 15 years ago (though Fight Club would probably have been a lot higher back then.)

Here we go:

1. American Beauty
I still don't entirely understand the criticism this film has received in the years since, though I will admit it's lost a little of it's magic over the years and countless viewings. This was one of those films that really kicked down the door for me in terms of realizing what film could do, so it will forever have a special place in my heart because of that. Even as a spotty teenager I deeply empathized with Lester Burnham and his desire to live a life that made him happy, not a life that society told him he should... I don't know, I guess I still do.

2. Magnolia
The movie that introduced me to PTA, and consequently this website. I really didn't know what to expect going into it, and the experience was all the richer for it. Clearly, a film that set me on the cinephile path I continue to tread. Fucking frogs falling from the sky, Philip Seymour Hoffman, everything about it is amazing.

3. Cruel Intentions
The definitive film of my teenage years. Part guilty pleasure, part genius, I still love this film. It's actually been a few years since I last saw it. Time for a rewatch!

4. American Movie
Borrowed the DVD from the library at uni. It depressed me so much I had to stop it halfway through and resume it later. Wow. Such a powerful film. I've watched it dozens of times since then. There are only a handful of documentaries that have truly struck a cord with me. This is top of that list by a wide margin.

5. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Such a well-made film in every regard. Practically perfect. Again, this was one of those films that just arrived at the ideal moment for me to appreciate its combination of cinematic artistry and storytelling. Finally got around to reading the book and it's sequels a few years ago and Patricia Highsmith instantly became one of my favorite writers.

6. Fight Club
I'm not going to make the obvious joke (for once.) I remember catching the last 20 minutes of this on TV one night. A few nights later, I turned it on with about a hour left. Finally I watched it from the beginning. You know that marquee we have, "we like asshole movies but for different reasons?" This is the movie I always think of. Ever since then, I've always been interested in whatever Fincher put out, but this remains in my top three films of his.

7. The Straight Story
Bizarrely, this was my introduction to Lynch. All I knew was this was a film about a old guy who drives his mower across the country. I think I was curious as to how they could possibly make a compelling film out of that. Lynch once described the film as his "most experimental" - and it's absolutely true. Still one of his best, too.

8. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
I was so glad to see others include this in their lists as I scoured this thread. It's brilliant, isn't it? Hilarious songs, razor-sharp satire, and, y'know, an actual story tying the whole thing together. One of my favorite comedies of all time. And boy does it hold up.

9. The Iron Giant
The film on this list I saw for the first time most recently. It was either on HBO or Netflix, and I stuck it to watch with my kid one day. For a few months it was the only thing he wanted to watch. So we watched it a lot. And I enjoyed it so much I had to sit down and watch the entirely of it whenever I walked in the room and he had it on.

10. Eyes Wide Shut
I love Kubrick, but his movies aren't always the easiest/funnest to watch are they? Hence, EWS is a solid anchor to what I like to think is a fairly respectable (but definitely heartfelt) list rather than ranking any higher. Also, this feels long in a way that Magnolia never does. But there's so much going on here, it is captivating. I seem to recall the first time I watched it was on DVD early one summer holiday morning with a bowl full of cereal. My little sister (she must have been 14 at the time) came in about an hour in then sat and watched the entire rest with me.

Honorable mentions to The Sixth Sense and The Blair Witch Project, both of which were instant pop-culture touchstones for a generation.

The only films I know for certain I saw in the cinema are Cruel Intentions, South Park, and Blair Witch. Maybe Talented Mr. Ripley too, but I can't say for certain. Everything else was on a TV screen.
He held on. The dolphin and all the rest of its pod turned and swam out to sea, and still he held on. This is it, he thought. Then he remembered that they were air-breathers too. It was going to be all right.


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Reply #64 on: October 12, 2016, 12:11:24 PM
In no particular order:

Fight Club
The Matrix
American Beauty
Eyes Wide Shut
Office Space
The Insider
Princess Mononoke
The Green Mile

Something Spanish

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Reply #65 on: December 16, 2016, 06:52:28 AM
Top 10:

1. Magnolia
2. Fight Club
3. Eyes Wide Shut
4. The Matrix
5. Three Kings
6. Being John Malkovich
7. South Park
8. American Beauty
9. Bringing Out the Dead
10. Dogma
11. The Insider
12. All About My Mother
13. Sweet and Lowdown
14. Election

Honorable Mentions:  Blair Witch Project, Run Lola Run, Toy Story 2, Man on the Moon, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Green Mile, The Cradle Will Rock, Liberty Heights, Sleepy Hollow, The Messenger, Boys Don’t Cry, The Limey, Bowfinger, The Sixth Sense, Arlington Road, Payback, 8MM

All these titles still hold up beautifully 17 years down the line.

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Reply #66 on: February 05, 2018, 10:14:48 PM


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Reply #67 on: February 06, 2018, 09:25:33 PM
Eyes Wide Shut
The Matrix
American Movie
Julien Donkey-Boy
Fight Club
Being John Malkovich
The Virgin Suicides
The Limey

Three Kings is a big favorite here? I need to see that one.


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Reply #68 on: February 06, 2018, 09:38:15 PM
I think every list in this thread has Eyes Wide Shut and Magnolia, and probably Fight Club too.

No one saw Kikujiro?


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Reply #69 on: February 06, 2018, 10:13:17 PM
seen kikujiro.  the score is iconic.  i remember it being fucking hilarious and charming but it's been a very long time since i've seen it.  would definitely be in the honorable mentions for me.

1. eyes wide shut 
2. the straight story
3. topsy-turvy
4. being john malkovich
5. rosetta
6. magnolia
7. all about my mother
8. the iron giant
9. the insider
10. fight club

has anyone rewatched american beauty recently?  i put it on about a year ago and found it to be unwatchable.


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Reply #70 on: February 06, 2018, 10:35:22 PM
shit, forgot about the insider.  changed my list. 

yea it's pretty nuts how poorly its aged.  i remember loving it so much back when it came out, too.  i didn't get that far when i started watching it last but even thinking about the third act now makes me cringe.


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Reply #71 on: February 06, 2018, 11:38:55 PM
Last re-watched American Beauty in 2009 and I was shocked to see how poorly it had aged then. Can only imagine now. And I loved it circa 99. Friend of mine also had the same experience: big fan when it came out, watched a bunch of times over the next two-three years, then revisted around the ten-year mark and couldn't understand what his past self was thinking.

Did the wider culture just leap-frog over it? Like, was it a stepping-stone to greater things? Was it simply marketed well? I was pretty young; did any critics see it the way we see it at the time?

I will say, for all its faults, the movie's got some strong iconography. Many potent images and a massively influential soundtrack. Good performances too. It's not an abomination or anything. But I can't think of another movie that was so revered in its day that soured so much, so quickly.


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Reply #72 on: February 07, 2018, 12:39:57 AM
American Beauty is absolutely justifiable and you guys are being very harsh. this is totally unlike the situation when Reelist and i bonded over the movie after i watched it 2 years ago. you see, if you're willing to consider the world as some serious overall bullshit, the narrative works perfectly fine. but if you're not in that mood the movie is way off. i believe the original Blade Runner is like this as well. the movie will always be the same but how you look at it can be different, this is classic movie stuff and as far as Hollywood movies go i think American Beauty is a keeper, i think it's Billy Wilder good. i mean Billy Wilder was better, but you know what i mean. Reelist and i at the time didn't agree over whether Spacey was experiencing lasting change or suffering a temporary delusion.

i went to make a list but i think this year is overrated. s/o to the seven i would've mentioned for sure, and just imagine your favorite movie was one of them so we'll be fine.


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Reply #73 on: February 07, 2018, 07:49:34 AM
American Beauty is absolutely justifiable and you guys are being very harsh.

Fair. 2009 was certainly a more judgemental time. I should really re-re-watch in my current, woke incarnation and see. Maybe past me was wrong, and past past me was right.


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Reply #74 on: February 07, 2018, 08:10:09 AM
American Beauty is a movie written by a very angry and frustrated man, and I like it. Its spite doesn't make it a beloved movie for me, but I have a hard time seeing what's wrong with it. Maybe it didn't deserve all the awards in 1999, but that hardly matters now in 2018.