Saturday, April 19, 2014

1993: Honorable Mentions

1993 was a fairly average, sort of mundane in a way, year for film with a solid enough cross-section of genres.  Lots of guilty pleasures, some legit awesome movies and of course, some stuff that was good but not enough to make the top ten.

 Let's kick things off with this gem of a kid's film produced by Tim Burton.  Chock full of fun songs and great moments (the stop motion f/x are great too), this ends up being both a great Halloween film and a great Christmas movie.  Good stuff.

 Steven Spielberg really outdid himself in 1993 with two fantastic movies.  Jurassic Park made the cut for the top ten but Schindler's List didn't, alas.  What can I say?  There were ten other movies I liked more.  Still, a stunningly moving film with good work from Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes.  Spielberg certainly earned his Oscar this year, though like Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, I can honestly say seeing it the one time was enough for me.

 Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau always made for a good cinematic duo and Grumpy Old Men is certainly one of their more enjoyable efforts.  Playing two old rivals whose kids end up falling for each other, they have plenty of hilarious moments as well as one or two bits of warm drama and the end result is a thoroughly agreeable comedy.

 I'm a Shakespeare fan and any time Kenneth Branagh takes on The Bard it's bound to yield positive results.  This adaptation of one of the better comedy plays the man wrote features funny turns from just about everybody from Branagh and Emma Thompson to Denzel Washington and Michael Keaton.  About the only real weak link is Keanu Reeves whose natural stiffness doesn't really lend itself too well to the material.  I also think the brief stretch in the middle of the play where it gets deadly serious sort of hurts the flow of the comedy but the film handles it pretty well.

 Not the best of Mel Brooks by a long shot but this is still an entertaining spoof of Robin Hood.  The snarky jabs at the 1991 movie are welcome and Cary Elwes makes for a fun Robin Hood.  You can sort of tell Brooks is running out of material but he manages to make some funny moments that make this one worth the time and effort.

 I've written about John Woo's American debut elsewhere and it certainly could have been better but this is still one of the better Jean-Claude van Damme films.  Great action, especially the extended finale and a fantastic Lance Henriksen performance make this one more than worth whatever flaws the film, may have.

 1993 wasn't just a great year for Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone also had a hell of a year, starting with this good old fashioned, smash mouth action movie that is quite simply "Die Hard on a mountain".  Great action and stunts, a nice villainous turn from John Lithgow and good work from Stallone and it's all held together by Renny Harlin's customary sense of over the top style.

 One of two action movie spoofs that came out in 1993 (the second one I'll get to in a future post), this sequel to the 1991 Top Gun spoof is a fun spoof of Stallone movies with Charlie Sheen funny as hell and remarkably enough, one or two actually good action beats.  I appreciate when a movie that is at its heart and soul a comedy still cares enough to make any action scenes that might pop up as good as they can while still keeping the jokes coming.  This one does it just fine.

If Tarantino had been given the chance to direct this one instead of Tony Scott, it may well have been one of his best.,  As it stands though, True Romance is still a fun, entertaining crime film with an awesome cast, the typical great dialogue you would expect from Tarantino and the stylistic violence you would expect from Scott.  It's actually a pretty damn good mix, honestly.  Gotta love a movie that has such a deep cast from top to bottom and all of the players handle the dialogue well.

Coming Soon: The Rest of 1993

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.