Thanks to the wondrous “Andy” our friend from Fandango Groovers that you all may know from our excellent Groovers and Mobsters present has put together yet another epic blogathon.
1981-Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
My First choice was actually the easiest. The year I was born “Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark” was released. I probably didn’t see it for a few years after I was actually born but it immediately induced my love affair with action adventure, Harrison Ford, and appreciation for all things Steven Spielberg and even George Lucas.
The first year of difficult choices. I loved The Wrath Of Khan that induced my love for Star Trek, The Last Unicorn inspired affection for dark seeded fantasy, and Blade Runner, a staple of genius in science fiction, though it wasn’t until adulthood that I gained that respect. From my earliest childhood “Poltergiest” was a film that haunted me and taught me what true horror was. No jump and boo scare you tactics. Pure fury from humanity. Less being more, with a character driven horror thriller. It still remains my favorite scary film ever.
1983-Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi
I still hold War Games and Flashdance in high esteem of films that I connected with at a young age and enjoy on a different level as an adult, but ROTJ was the first Star Wars film released after my birth and the flick I remember most vividly when I was younger. ESB is still my favorite of the series, but it’s always going to be safe to say Star Wars pitted against any other film will always be ranked #1.
This was a tough year, but my heart belongs to “The Terminator”. I loved Gremlins, Neverending Story, and Ghostbusters from my youth. Romancing the Stone and Temple Of Doom are two of my favorite adventure stories, but Terminator is what bred love for science fiction into my heart and veins and became the catalyst for a life long obsession.
1985-The Color Purple
Another year of great conflict. Great adventure and pure entertainment oriented flicks like Goonies, Back To The Future, Beyond Thunderdome, and Return to Oz have stood the test of time. Legend is a film that I still adore for it’s theatrics, St. Elmos Fire and The Breakfast Club are my ultimate favorite the brat pack ever did, and Mask and Witness were unforgettable dramas with stellar performances, but “The Color Purple” was a film that drew me in even as a young girl and I appreciated more with each viewing. Another nod to Spielberg’s touch in film for me on this list.
I denounce this year. “Aliens” is obviously my favorite film of all time, but Labyrinth also is in my top ten ever, and Ferris Bueller makes my top ten comedies ever. Besides my adoration of those films, movies like “Howard The Duck” and “American Tail” were favorites of my childhood and their nostalgia hasn’t diminished. Lucas and Croc Dundee are still insanely enjoyable films, and even “Three Amigos”, my favorite comedy of all time can’t take the cake, because you just can’t EFF with James Cameron and Ripley. The creme de la creme people. Not only my favorite movie of all time, but I still consider it the best.
‘87 was a fun year. The Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing, Adventures In babysitting, Mannequin, Innerspace, The Brave Little Toaster, Masters of The Universe, and Robocop were all flicks of substantial funess. Wall Street, Lethal Weapon, and Empire of The Sun remain some really great movies as well, but this year my heart belongs to Arnie and the place where, “The jungle. It came alive and took him.” My love for action was relized and still remains at heart in this film. All the sequels and subsequent films since, still don’t hold up against it. John McTiernan is the man, and Carl Weathers is one bad mofo!
1988-Coming To America
Where I couldn’t honor my affection for “The Three Amigo’s” comes my adoration of “Coming To America”, still one of the rare films that makes me actually laugh out loud each time I watch it. Comedy is something difficult to withstand time, but aside from some great drama’s of the year, like Rain Man, Beaches, and Grave Of The Fireflies; or the superficial enjoyment of Die Hard, Big, Beetlejuice, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Willow, Bloodsport, Heathers, and Working Girl, I’d still rather be watching Eddie Murphy and his multiple characters and laugh my ginormous butt off.
I boast ownership to movies like Batman, When Harry Met Sally, The Little Mermaid, The Abyss, Parenthood, and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but none of those make my number one. I’m challenged by affection and nostalgia for Troop Beverly Hills, but this year Major League takes the cake for me. It’s more than likely my favorite sports flick of all time and packs together comedy, great dialogue, a true love for the game, and great acting. More importantly it never dulls or loses it’s punch with time.
Some really great movies this year. Goodfellas is one of the greatest ever, not to mention personal favorites. Dances With Wolves is a beautiful film. Pretty Woman, Mermaids, Home Alone, and Total Recall are fun flicks, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is youthfully fun, but Tremors is a great film, amusing, and even at moments scary. It was a far better film than it almost had a right to be, and may very well be Kevin Bacon’s greatest film ever. Of the films just listed, I would pick Tremors to watch over them time and time again.
1991-Terminator 2: Judgement Day
T2 takes the cake. Aside from my undying affection for “Drop Dead Fred” there was no real competition this year. T2 did what few films have successfully done before or since. It melded science fiction, action adventure, and the meandering question about the nature of man and humanities future. Cameron has always cited a theme in his films with his disappointment in humanity and his fear for it, but here he didn’t beat it over anyone’s head, and made not only an intelligent action film, but one that has maintained it’s relevance. T minus Skynet’s D date has recently passed, but the future is always changing.
Some heavy hitters came out this year. Resevoir Dogs, A Few Good Men, and Basic Instinct were a few dramas that still remain incredible. A League Of Their Own, My Cousin Vinny, Universal Solider, and The Bodyguard are all favorites of mine; and Aladdin is still one of the greatest animated Disney achievements ever. However, Wayne’s World was then and is now one of my favorite comedies of all time. It’s one of the rare flicks I can quote from beginning to end, and marks my entrance into adolescence.
I liked at lot of films in 1993, like Falling Down, Tombstone, The Sandlot, Mrs. Doubtfire, Kalifornia, and Robin Hood: Men In Tights, but none compare to the likes of Spielberg’s masterpiece: “Jurassic Park”. Inhabiting Crichton’s incredible book and using his penchant for effects and abilities to tell a story, it still remains the film I have seen the most in a theater and one of my most watched films of all time.
1994-Interview With The Vampire
Eenie meenie minie moe! ‘94 was a year of debate at the Oscars, but also amongst non nominated comedy flicks as well. Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura, and Clerks were all released this year. Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Professional, and True Lies all released. And my secret love for Don Juan Demarco was kind of swept under the rug due to these huge releases. But at the end of the day I’m inspired by talented writers, and half my favorite films have all been screenplays adapted by some of my favorite authors. Anne Rice, being my favorite also indulged me in making “Interview With The Vampire”. I love all these films and could interchange many of them at any given time, but Interview holds a personal place in my heart making my favorite fictional character of all time come to life: Lestat de Lioncourt.
1995 was a year full of personal favorites. Get Shorty, Billy Madison, Clueless, and Friday all grace my favorite comedy list. Bad Boys, Babe, 12 Monkeys, Toy Story, Heat, and The Usual Suspects are all films that I own and watch repeatedly, but Se7en is second in my all time favorite list, second only to Aliens. The first time I saw it, I was physically repulsed and vomited at the end. Watching it repetitive times over the years it only gets better. The darkness, the mood, the art design, and the characters envelope you into their world.
1996-From Dusk Til Dawn
When you travel from a year like 1995 that is full of such wonderful films, ‘96 is certainly underwhelming though there are a few that I am partial too. Trainspotting, Swingers, Primal Fear, and Scream were all great films, but I’m going to throw down and say “From Dusk Til Dawn” is definitely my favorite of the year. One of the most fun vampire flicks ever, and a gritty fun, strangely paced film that I just can’t get enough of.
1997 was packed full of great movies. Titanic crushed at the Oscars while Good Will Hunting made an incredible showing. Flicks like The Game, Gattaca, Chasing Amy, The Devils Advocate, Princess Monoke, The Rainmaker, Starship Troopers, and the hilarious Austin Powers all graced the screen, but this year what I felt was also the “best” film was also my favorite. L.A. Confidential completely enamored me with it’s reviving of film noir. Great acting, impressive dialogue, and an intense pace that you can’t deny.
1998-Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas
American History X and Saving Private Ryan were probably the most talked about films of this year, and deserved all the accolades and buzz achieved, but several other films struck a chord with me. The Big Lebowski, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells, and Out Of Sight really taped into very stylized flicks. Wild Things had a great twist and was powerfully sexy. Meet Joe Black is a personal favorite, and Half Baked remains one of my favorite comedy. Nonetheless my heart belongs to Hunter S. Thompson and Terry Gilliams tale “Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas”. It graces my top ten favorites of all time and is one of my favorite scripts ever written.
Do me a favor and go through the top 300 movies from 1999 on IMBd. Not only have I seen at least 90% of them, but the better portion of them range from good to decent, which is utterly insane. The Matrix, American Beauty,American Pie, Toy Story 2, Magnolia, The Virgin Suicides, Dogma, Austin Powers 2, 8MM, and The Thomas Crown Affair are all favorites of mine and merely hit the tip of the iceberg on a year that is an absolute dynasty of film making. Fight Club remains my favorite of the massive bunch, and connects to me personally in ways that most films don’t, but I can’t pretend it was an easy choice.
Not quite as prolifically talented as 1999, but still a very impressive showing. Films like Memento, Requiem For A Dream, The Beach, Almost Famous,Gladiator, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were released. Movies like The Beach, Boiler Room, Dude Where’s My Car, Snatch and American Psycho are personal favorites, but Pitch Black is still my favorite. A twisted mix of science fiction and horror with possibly my favorite Anti-Hero ever Riddick, I absolutely love this film.
2001-Black Hawk Down
Not an easy choice this year. LOTR, Harry Potter, Donnie Darko, Spirited Away, Rat Race, and Shrek? Fellowship is easily one of my favorite films ever, but Black Hawk Down also finds it’s way into that club. In a Labyrinth/Aliens moment I have to make a choice, and each time I watch this film it personally moves me. It makes you care about each individual in a huge cast, and exploits the violence of man and war. I believe it’s Ridley Scott’s greatest achievement, and is one that connects with me in a very personal way.
2002-Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, of all the LOTR’s films, The Two Towers is by far the most watchable and the battle of Helms deep alone is worth sitting through. It’s emotional, intense, and yet still totally action packed. Perhaps not the best of the three films, but certainly my favorite movie of this year, which included some personal favorites such as Hero, Reign Of Fire, 28 Days Later, The Bourne Identity, and Minority Report.
2003-Kill Bill Vol. 1
Return Of The King or Lost In Translation? Pirates Of The Caribbean, Finding Nemo, Oldboy, The Last Samurai, and Underworld? A year for smart and fun movies, but what my happiness factor boiled down to was a blonde bride in a yellow bikers jumpsuit. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is still one of the most fun action filled revenge flicks ever. I’m Buck………
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind was the best movie in 2004, but other enjoyable films were also released. Harry Potter and The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Dawn of the Dead, and Collateral. Troy isn’t the best movie of the year, not even close, but I can’t help explain my enjoyment of the fantasy adventure. I love the actors in it, some of the dialogue is actually impressive, the action is epic, the fight scenes are graphic and intense, and I’m totally infatuated with the melodrama of it.
Sin City, Batman Begins, Kingdom Of Heaven, Constantine, Lord Of War, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang? Yeah, a year full of substantially entertaining movies, but one takes the cake for me. A film that brought science fiction back to relevance in this decade where it seemed all but forgotten. Serenity was by far my favorite movie of this year.
The Departed may very well be my favorite film of this decade. A few other good flicks came out this year including Running Scared, Blood Diamond, The Prestige, 300, and Children Of Men, but The Departed is a film that literally left a pit in my stomach for nearly a week after I saw it. The first film to affect me so profoundly was Se7en and The Departed was the second film to resonate so deeply. I’ve read the script several times and it gets better each viewing.
2007-Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
This year had a lot of movies that I really liked, but it’s difficult to narrow down one I love or that is my favorite. Eastern Promises had some incredible performances, Zodiac was brilliant, and Paranormal Activity was surprisingly scary. Hot Fuzz, Transformers, Superbad and Ratatouille were all incredibly entertaining, but really the film I think I enjoyed the most was Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix. It was one of my favorite books in the series, and while not even the best paced and put together of the Harry Potter films I loved what happened with the story, the characters, and it had an intense and emotional climax. So, not the best of the year, but I do believe it’s my favorite.
2008-The Hurt Locker
The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Cloverfield, and Wall-E all made impressive showings at the box office. Step Brothers,In Bruges, and Burn After Reading all really made me laugh, and Body of Lies and Gran Torino were excellent dramas, but The Hurt Locker was leaps and bounds better than any film I saw in 2008 and also my favorite. Like “The Departed” it lingered with me for days after. I was unable to get the film out of my head and I’m completely enthralled by Jeremy Renner’s performance.
A year ago I probably would have claimed Avatar was my “FAVORITE” movie and claimed Inglourious Basterds as the “BEST” of the year. After several viewings of each movie since their subsequent theatrical releases I’ve changed my mind. Avatar is fun, entertaining, and utterly beautiful, but Inglourious Basterds gets better each time I watch it. Huge props on the reboot of Star Trek, I loved Zombieland, and District 9 was incredible. Watchmen and Up were also great achievements in film and entertainment. But this year Tarantino stole my heart again.
2010-The Social Network
Like 2009 I feel the best film of the year is also my favorite. The Social Network blew me away, another incredible piece of work by David Fincher, with a powerful score by Trent Reznor, and enigmatic performances from Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake. What could have been a deadpan tale about the creation of Facebook with the protagonist an unlikable guy, this film is impossible to turn away from. I haven’t seen all of the main movies of 2010, but it was a solid year with Black Swan, Inception, Kick Ass, The Town, and a close second place for me, “Shutter Island”. The Social Network proved it didn’t matter what the story was about, it mattered how it was told, and together Sorkin and Fincher delivered.