Top 10 Movies of the 90’s

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Welcome to the second act of my three part decades series – the top 10 movies of the 90’s.

The 90’s had many classics that have come to define the landscape of film history.  With the success of the newly-founded summer blockbuster, studio executives began to invest more and more into mega-budget films. The average cost was now roughly 53 million dollars contrasting from the 18 million dollar budget average of the decade prior.

Addressing this matter Tim Dirks of FilmSite.org hits the nail on the head:  “There still existed an imbalanced emphasis on the opening weekend, with incessant reports of weekly box-office returns, and puffed-up reviews and critics’ ratings. The belief was sustained that expensive, high-budget films with expensive special effects (including shoot ’em-ups, stereotypical chase scenes, and graphic orchestrated violence) meant quality. However, the independently-distributed film movement was also proving that it could compete (both commercially and critically) with Hollywood’s costly output.”

With this rise of studios like Miramax erupted production and distribution of some of the most remembered and influential films of all time sparking the birth of the indie film movement. For those of us that were children in this decade, we were blessed with the continuing nostalgia factor of 80’s film-making, but the rise of future of visual effects, CGI and the beauty & grit of Guerilla film-making became more prominent.

So without futher ado here is my list of my 10 favorite films of the 90’s.

***Forest Gump will not be on this list.  I hate Forest Gump.  Sorry in advance.***

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3 True Crime Stories That Were Turned Into Movies

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Murder mysteries and true crime stories have always caused a buzz in the cinema world. Films that are shocking and gruesome tend to grab the attention of viewers and critics alike. Yet, there may be stories you’ve seen that you didn’t know were based on real events. Although many of these stories have been slightly altered for Hollywood effect, here are the actual facts of 3 spine-chilling stories that you won’t believe made it to the silver screen.

Warning: Spoilers!

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Top 10 Movies of the ’80s

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The 80’s had some spectacular movies. As I sit here writing this post, I look back on my life with a love for cinema, but now my news feed is our current political climate. I think what happened to the love of our neighbors.  We live in a constant state of apology and open bigotry.  We march, we complain, we are given participation awards and have never been more divided.

Don’t worry…this is not a political rant or a cry for us to unite.  As a matter of fact, this is a distraction from these very  issues.  Having now been around for nearly 4 decades, I’ve built quite the love for the cinema.  I studied cinematography in college, I’ve produced shorts, I’ve worked on 200 million dollar mega budget films and I’ve even tried my hand in documentary production.  During all of this time, I’ve found that the film arts are my salvation. With that being said I figured I would give a subjective look at my 10 favorite films of each decade: The 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.  

These lists are meant to be my personal favorites that I watch often, or they’re movies that changed the landscape of the industry through storytelling, production, acting, etc. I hope you enjoy!

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The 80’s…As Tim Dirks of FilmSite.org eloquently says, “The decade of the 1980s tended to consolidate the gains made in the seventies rather than to initiate any new trends equal to the large number of disaster movies, buddy movies, or ‘rogue cop’ movies that characterized the previous decade. Designed and packaged for mass audience appeal, few 80’s films became what could be called ‘classics’. The era was characterized by the introduction of ‘high-concept’ films – with cinematic plots that could be easily characterized by one or two sentences (25 words or less) – and therefore easily marketable and understandable.”

 With this mentality we were introduced to a slew of teen angst films, sequels galore and the birth of the modern day “Hollywood Blockbuster.”  Here are my personal favorites.

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My Favorite Things About Scrooged

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Robin over at Write Out of LA is hosting a Christmas Movie Advent Calendar series throughout December highlighting one holiday film per day. My contribution to the series is the 80s-inspired modern retelling of A Christmas Carol, Scrooged.

Scrooged is undoubtedly my favorite Christmas movie of all time – it’s a tale as old as time without the gimmicks or seriousness. It’s got one hell of a cast with the most memorable Scrooge himself, Frank Cross, played by the legendary Bill Murray. The film was actually a resurgence for Murray who had taken an imposed four-year exile from Hollywood and what a joyous return!

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Murray was an A-list movie star by the time Scrooged hit theaters, but up until that point he had always been part of an ensemble cast (Caddyshack, StripesGhostbusters). This was his first opportunity to shine solo on screen. Director Richard Donner admit this little gem about shooting the final scene of the movie: “On the last take I saw something happen to Billy. I saw Billy Murray become an actor.”

Here are my five favorite things about the movie.

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7 Great Actress Roles Oscars Forgot

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Welcome to 7 more gloriously under-looked excuses to have a good old moan. This time the ladies. The years and years of the Academy’s illustrious history in rewarding great work in cinema has generally been very kind. But boy do they forget about a lot of terrific performances. And I am talking every single year. Below are 7 performances I am particularly fond of, and I know I am not alone here. These are not necessarily my all-time favorites, but they are certainly plucked from the very best that missed out on Oscar nominations. I know, three of the actresses derive from France – what can I say, I am something of a French cinema fanboy. It could easily have been all 7. Hell, 100. For now, get acquainted with these Oscars-neglected, but extremely talented women. Enchanté.

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7 Great Actor Roles Oscars Forgot

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As we hurtle towards the film industry’s awards season beyond the festival circuit, I tend to fall deep into the heartbreak of those that don’t make it to the Oscar nominations. I know, the Academy Awards are miles away, but those in the field of reporting and predicting the Oscars are already talking about it. Not all can make the final cut of course amidst the politics of preferences, and I am never short of choices that didn’t receive AMPAS recognition. It’s impossible to choose set favorites, but I picked 7 actresses and 7 actors from the array of many that the Oscars seem to have forgot. Let’s save the dominant of the species til last and start with the men.

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7 LGBT Films You Haven’t Seen… But Will!

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I’m spreading the word about the LGBT film experience, and I’ve picked 7 little wonders of the film world that delve into transsexual lifestyle, forbidden love, secret affections, identity crises , homophobia, etc. Spanning the corners of the world, from Canada, France, and England, to Sweden and Greece, then Iran and over to Cuba. The stories told here on celluloid are great ones, enlightening reflections on the human spirit and depictions of romantic, sensual bonds. So dig out your watch-lists and make room for the following seven:

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2016 So Far: Revisiting 7 Movie Scenes

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With the awards season ebbing towards us we ought to pay some respect to the films gone by in 2016 before they get swept away. More specifically, then, with an array of cinematic moments to choose from I plucked these 7 indelible scenes from 7 very different movies, which have all left their mark on me in various ways. By no means my favorite moments, or my favorite movies (though some are), but certainly deserve their pin in the 2016 map. In no particular order…

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