Friday, May 23, 2014

1994: Honorable Mentions/The Rest

1994 was a very good year, though to be honest there are more films from this year I just sort of like than love.  Let's begin...

Honorable Mentions:

Solid drama based on the 50's quiz show scandals that is nicely directed by Robert Redford with a good cast and script.  I'm a big history guy and this sort of movie is right up my alley.

Jim Carrey had a hell of a 1994 with three releases, all of which made money.  His first was this engagingly silly comedy that is utterly stupid but also utterly entertaining.  Seriously, was there a kid alive in 1994 who didn't love this one?  I sure as hell did!

Pretty damn good adaptation of a Robert Heinlein novel (though not exactly faithful) about an alien invasion by mind controlling slugs in a small Midwestern town.  Donald Sutherland is good in a rare heroic turn and the alien f/x are pretty neat.

With slightly better execution, this would have made the top ten easily.  I love this take on the 30's radio legend and Alec Baldwin is just great in his role.  Fun action, a fun cast, it's just entertaining as hell.

Pretty damn funny Jim Carrey movie from the Farrelly Brothers about two supernaturally dumb guys.  I kind of like Jeff Daniels' performance a little more, though.

Solid enough action thriller with Jeff Bridges as former IRA guy turned Boston bomb squad cop and Tommy Lee Jones as his deranged former friend who comes looking for him.  The lesser of the two mad bomber films from the summer (Speed is the other one), this is still a watchable enough flick with a fun climax and an enjoyably hammy turn from Jones.

Outside of Bloodsport, this may be Jean-Claude Van Damme's best movie.  Based on a Dark Horse comic, it's fun time traveling action flick with good action and some nice funny bits.  Ron Silver is also good as the bad guy.

The Rest:

Brandon Lee's final movie is an acceptable supernatural revenge flick, hampered only by the unfortunate death of its star which makes it a little hard to enjoy.  Still, Lee was a damn fine action hero and this would have been another step for him to greater things.

A great Quentin Tarantino script is more or less buried under Oliver Stone's rewrite and overbearing direction which is a visual assault on the senses that ends up making the film just about as senseless as it gets.  It might be the most visually annoying movie I have ever seen and the only reason it's not on my worst list is the skill it took to make it is quite visible.  Considered shocking in 1994, Natural Born Killers is a rather obvious satire of the media, hitting points that have been hit with more accuracy and originality before and since.  The cast is good, though.  Can't take that away from the film.

A solid cast and some good Stan Winston f/x make this adaptation of the Anne Rice novel worth a look, though I have to say I much prefer my vampires to be along the lines of the ghouls in From Dusk Till Dawn.

The story is predictable, the cast is solid but the real reason to seek this out is one simple reason: How many times can you say that you saw Meryl Streep in an action movie?  Seriously, that alone makes up for whatever shortcomings the movie has.  Hell, the poster is all the plot summary you really need and if you can't tell Kevin Bacon is the bad guy then you need to watch more movies.  This one is pretty damn enjoyable.

I am not the biggest fan of this one,.  Tom Hanks and Gary Sinise are good, there are scattered moments here and there that are quite effective but for the most part I think this is an overly long, somewhat annoying slog to get through.

Coming Soon: 1994 Guilty Pleasures

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About Me

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