We continue our look at 1994, the third best year of the '90s for movies. In some ways, 1994 was the Year of Jim Carrey. He burst onto the scene with three funny movies. I ask you in all seriousness: has any comedian ever had a year where they produced three movies funnier than ACE VENTURA, THE MASK and DUMB AND DUMBER?
1994 was also a big year for controversy, and before I go any farther I need to do a:
Dishonorable Mention - NATURAL BORN KILLERS – The film is savagely brilliant, and deserves to be on any year’s best-of list. However, I completely reject Oliver Stone’s assertion that the movie satirizes the Media’s obsession with making Criminals Celebrities. You cannot claim to sit in judgment of what you clearly are celebrating.
#10-6 contain four big budget Hollywood films, showing that occasionally they could get it right. I enjoyed such popcorn flicks as THE CLIENT, NORTH, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, THE GETAWAY, BLUE CHIPS, DISCLOSURE. WOLF, JUNIOR, FRANKENSTEIN, STARGATE and even MIRACLE ON
Well, without further ado, here are the next five from 1994:
#10 TRUE LIES – Arguably Arnold’s best non-travelling back from the future movie, TRUE LIES had the added bonus of being very very funny. Tom Arnold was so funny I remain shocked he couldn’t make a serious run at Buddy-film stardom (you’re telling me Tom Arnold wouldn’t have been funnier than Owen Wilson in those Jackie Chan films?) I’m also surprised they didn’t make a sequel, as Arnold and Jamie Lee Curtis had great chemistry, not to mention how hot Eliza Dushku turned out. Tia Carrerre, Bill Paxton and Charlton Heston have great smaller parts. The whole thing works, except for one small part: the anti-Arab bias is as embarrassing as those ‘40s cartoons that are now usually banned. Still, it was the times, I guess, and TRUE LIES has so much to offer.
#9 INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE – Continiuing the year’s theme of forbidden underage love, Brad Pitt and a then-11 year old Kirsten Dunst deliver some of the hottest most erotic scenes of the year (and it’s “okay” because they are both vampires, and therefore she’s not young). Pitt and Dunst are fantastic, Tom Cruise surprised everyone by how great he played the role, and we were introduced to Antonio Banderas (we’d soon come to know him better). INTERVIEW may not be the very best vampire movie ever, but it might be. Can anyone name one better?
#8 BULLETS OVER BROADWAY – Woody Allen’s best film of the decade. I know it was a down decade for him, but BULLETS is still hillarious. John Cusack, Rob Reiner, Chazz Palminteri, Jennifer Tilly and Jim Broadbest are fabulous, but Diane Wiest gives what is perhaps the best supporting performance by a woman in the entire decade. She owns the movie as an aging theatre star trying to make one more comeback. For those who hate Woody know that he isn’t in this. A remarkable intelligent comedy; so worthwhile.
#6 THE LION KING – Everyone has their favorite Disney film, but it’s hard to argue that they reached the pinnacle of production values, star power, music quality and event programming in THE LION KING. The first cartoon to be a “must see” opening night kind of thing, THE LION KING burst onto the scene and didn’t disappoint. Full of chills, thrills, laughs and gaffes (S-E-X, anyone?), THE LION KING had something for everybody, and is the one Disney movie that nobody hates. Still worthwhile.
Up Monday: The top five films of 1994