The Grahammy's 90/90
Volume 4, Number 2
Tuesday, December 21, 1999
"Kinda like MTV 1515 on Mad Dog 20/20 but not really"
"Relying on mark for a definition of smart
satire is like asking Carrot Top to define
"I'm not going to say anything about the
crappy movies you have on there..."
"Must disagree with your choices..."
The raves are in! I'm a big hit! I'm a big, bright shining star!
Fo' real though, these are actual quotes from actual subscribers.
You take the bad with the good...one unnamed reader asked me to
father her children! One thing you realize when you're in a
position of influence (as I think all writers are) is that if you
can reach just one person out there, convince them to turn away
from a life of crime and redirect their hostile aggression
against Whitey by refocusing that energy towards doing something
productive like perhaps becoming an Email Marketing Project
Manager, you will have succeeded where The System has failed.
That is why I do this. That is why I endure the slings and the
barbs and the arrows of outrageous fortune. I'm in it for the
greater good. I'm a loner, Dottie, a rebel. I'm a bitch I'm a
mother I'm a child I'm a lover I'm a sinner I'm a saint I will
not be restrained. I'm a cowboy, baby. And I'm allllll-ready gone.
Without further ado, i'mma gon' hit you with this...
TOP NINETY FILMS OF
(PART II of III, Films 50 to 11)
Boiled" (`92, John Woo)
- Chow Yun Fat would whoop Jackie Chan's ass. Woo's kick ass
visual style has never been more fully realized.
Says I Love You" (`96,
Woody Allen) - A magical and wonderous musical. His last great
Effect" (`98, Jake
Kasdan) - Fresh, funny, smart, original. No wonder no one saw it.
Grave" (`94, Danny
Boyle) - Hugo smells, he's goin' off! Take his legs, take his
With Disaster" (`96,
David O. Russell) - A screwball comedy of the highest proportions.
A hilarious road comedy cum therapy session.
Eight" (`96, P.T.
Anderson) - This underrated debut demands multiple viewings.
Stellar ensemble performance from Gwynnie, John C. Reilly, and
Philip Baker Best Ever.
At Heart" (`90, David
Lynch) - According to Jim and Jeff, the French call it "Sailor
et Lula." Nick Cage's bizzaro Elvis impersonations alone are
worth the price of admission.
Dogs" (`92, Quentin
Tarantino) - Infinitely quotable. Supposedly a complete rip-off,
but who cares?
The Waves" (`96, Lars
Von Trier) - The first major Dogma 95 release broke the career of
Emily Watson, who may just be the best actress working today. If
Blair Witch's cinematography made you queasy, you might want to
skip this one.
Game" ('97, David
Fincher) - Fincher rules. Audaciously cool and the first (and
only) movie ever to pull an anti-"anti-sellout" finish.
Cuts" (`93, Robert
Altman) - Raymond Carver's short stories are updated and mixed
into one grand Nashville-esque tableau. Tragic.
`66" (`98, Vincent
Gallo) - Let's span time. Gallo is best ever.
Day" (`93, Harold Ramis)
- Neck and neck with Carl Spackler as the pinnacle role of Bill
Murray's career (sorry Rushmore fans). Should've been Oscar-nominated.
Ruth" (`96, Alexander
Payne) - The "Dead Man Walking" of abortion, but funny.
Laura Dern ties Reese Witherspoon (see #35) for best WT
For Bobby Fischer" (`93,
Steve Zaillian) - Chess and excitement. The best odd couple
pairing since you got YOUR chocolate in MY peanut butter.
35) "Freeway" (`96, Matthew Bright) - Little Red Riding `Ho.
Reese is fierce and dynamic in this firecracker performance.
& Confused" (`93,
Richard Linklater) - A virtual Who's Who of indie movies.
Positively hilarious and endlessly watchable.
Glen Ross" (`92, James
Foley) - A-B-C, Always Be Closing. The Glengarry leads. Coffee is
for closers. Best.
John Malkovich" (`99,
Spike Jonze) - Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich. With the benefit of
a few years of hindsight, it might become The Best Film Of The `90s.
31) "Scream" (`96, Wes Craven) - Kevin Williamson made
the world safe for postmodern self-referential dialogue. And
killing Drew off in the opening scene was, as David Spade would
say, Pure Balls.
2: Judgement Day" (`91,
James Cameron) - Hasta la vista, baby. Rent Cameron's director's
cut, if possible.
Weddings And A Funeral"
(`94, Mike Newell) - Hugh at his most foppish. Cor blimey Penfold!
28) "Se7en" (`95, David Fincher) - Dark, dank,
depressing. Makes you feel sick for days.
Of Sight" (`98, Steven
Soderbergh) - Cooler than the other side of the pillow. One
drawback, it launched the singing career of Jennifer Lopez. Never
mind, I forgot it also launched her music video career.
Born Killers" (`94,
Oliver Stone) - Inspired by Tabloid TV and a shitload of acid,
Stone created the most controversial mainstream movie of the `90s.
Exploitative or not, it's revolutionary filmmaking.
Insider" (`99, Michael
Mann) - Haunting & powerful in the questions it raises about
the obligations and honor men are bound to. Total guy movie.
Romance" (`93, Tony
Scott) - Tarantino's influence is all over the Top 90. The Walken/Hopper
confrontation is a modern classic.
23) "Titanic" (`97, James Cameron) - The biggest event
movie of the `90s, it somehow lived up to all the hype and then
some. But what can he/will he do for an encore?
Cable Guy" (`96, Ben
Stiller) - I can hear the groans. Go back and re-watch and you'll
appreciate the statements the film makes about loneliness,
despair, and America's umbilical attachment to television.
Beauty" (`99, Sam
Mendes) - The "Wall Street" of the `90s. A coda to the
decade where the boomers turned 50 and realized that suburban
life ain't all it's cracked up to be.
20) "Swingers" (`96, Doug Liman) - All the beautiful
babies know this film is so fuckin' money. Vince Vaughn busted
out of nowhere and gave the Most Charismatic Performance of the
decade. And remember what Trent told Mikey, there's nothing wrong
with letting girls know you're money and that you want to party.
Club" (`99, David
Fincher) - This film is Kubrickian in the fact that it's at least
five years ahead of its time. Has an enormous amount to say about
the emasculation of white males in today's IKEA culture. Ed
Norton is the most talented actor to hit the screen since Pacino
appeared in "The Godfather."
18) "Heat" (`95, Michael Mann) - Mann has the corner
on guy movies. The epic 15-minute gun battle that splits the
movie into halves is a virtual Vesuvius of testosterone. And it's
damn near impossible to score a casting coup greater than having
Pacino & DeNiro appear in the same film.
Player" (`92, Robert
Altman) - Altman's grand "Fuck you" to the traditional
studio system. You'll see more stars on display here than at an
observatory. Tim Robbins' portrayal of the slimy, hotshot
producer Griffin Mill took Gordon Gekko from Wall Street to
Brown" (`97, Quentin
Tarantino) - If this wasn't the follow-up to "Pulp Fiction",
critics and theater goers alike would have been shouting the
praises of QT from on high. Unfortunately, though, it was;
consequently he was unjustly slagged and this movie dropped out
of theaters instantly. If you give it a second chance, however,
you'll find an incredibly cocksure (and fabulous) film that is
one part blaxploitation homage, one part caper flick, and one
part star-crossed love story.
15) "Fearless" (`93, Peter Weir) - Jeff Bridges is a rare
talent, an all-American movie star with an atypical blend of
incredible looks, Everyman appeal, and acting chops. He's so
dreamy...Uh, where was I? Oh yeah. Fearless is brilliant and
heartbreaking and uplifting all at once.
Ice Storm" (`97, Ang
Lee) - Metaphors collide with reality in this 1998 Grahammy Award
(tm) Winning Film. Mixing a real, physical ice storm with the
metaphorical ice storm of 1970s Northeastern suburban ennui,
confusion and hedonism is, in a word, stunning. The acting is
remarkable, the cinematography majestic, and the wonderful
direction of Ang Lee drives the film into perfection.
Sunrise" (`95, Richard
Linklater) - In "What Happened Was...", we learned that
first dates can be difficult. But this film reminds us that every
now and then when the stars align just right, you can be struck
like a bolt of lightning by love. The rapport and chemistry
between stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke is electric, and the
improvisational nature of their relationship and dialogue is pure
Big Lebowski" (`98,
Joel Coen) - As Sam Elliot's character The Stranger so eloquently
puts it, "The Dude abides." Jeff Bridges' portrayal of
The Dude goes down as the Best Character Performance of the
decade. This movie doesn't have a whole lot to say about anything,
but it sure as hell is fun. So many classic characters (Donny,
Walter, Jesus, The Nihilists) and so quotable! And the Busby
Berkley/porno/bowling dream sequence (to Kenny Rogers!) is the
most surreal five minutes of cinema this decade.
11) "Trainspotting" (`96, Danny Boyle) - Choose life. Choose a
job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big
television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players
and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol,
and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments.
Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear
and matching fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you
are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching
mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into
your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing
your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment
to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.
Choose a future. Choose life...
TOMORROW: Top 10 Films Of The `90s
See you tomorrow...
Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.