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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 18 Sep 2016 09:55
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30 From 91: My Favorite Films From 1991

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People who added this item 566 Average listal rating (383 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.5
The Rocketeer (1991)
Look! Up in the sky!
It's a bird! It's a plane!
It's the Rocketeer!
Okay, maybe the ol' Rockster doesn't have a snazy saying like Superman.
But still, as an old skool superhero, he still rocks.

What I like best about this straight from the comic-books movie is that it's just that; straight from the comic-books.
These days, comic-book properties are changed so much, that the comic version and the film version look almost like two different characters.
This film seemed to go out of it's way to make the characters look like the ones in the four-color pages. Current films of the genre don't even bother to get actors who look anything like the characters they're supposed to be portraying. Instead, they bank on getting whoever is the hottest name.
In The Rocketeer, every face looks like it sprout from directly from the magazine. Thus ensuring the the smiles of the standard comic-book nerd are just as wide as the average viewer.

People who added this item 1064 Average listal rating (571 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
My Own Private Idaho is a film that features two strong performances by then-rising stars with weird names, Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix. However, as good as the leads were, I found this story of two male street walkers embarking on a journey of self-discovery to be a bit more flat that alot of the film critics who praised it at the time. Written and directed by the usually more reliable Gus Van Sant, I would've like to have seen more depth in the script and the general concept, to match the Shakespearian premise that this movie is inspired by.
Now don't get me wrong, I still think Idaho is a good film, just not worthy of the higher rank that most other folks tend to put it in.

People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Proof (1991)
Agent Smith becomes friends with Gladiator in this tale of a friendship that gets caught up in a kind of triangle that gives a new spin to the phrase "love is blind" and validates the idea of "bros before ho's".

People who added this item 246 Average listal rating (164 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.6
Little Man Tate is Jody Foster's directorial debut about a mom (Foster) who is trying to raise her intellectually advanced child (some kid named Byrd) with as normal a childhood as possible but with enough support to allow his "gift" to actualize.
This is something that my mother never had to worry about when I was growing up. As a matter of fact, it was the opposite since her main concern about me was how much time I tended to lie around and waste time.
Which is something I obviously never grew out of considering the amount of time I spend nowadays on the internet, posting up girlfight videos on youtube, downloading free onion-booty porn and just plain emptily commiseratin' on this here site with my fellow Listalophiles.

People who added this item 230 Average listal rating (155 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.7
L.A. Story (1991)
A story in L.A. ( duh-uh.....!) about how life is constantly sending us signals about the directions of our lives, if only we pay attention.
Particularly when those signals are coming from a huge traffic conditions sign that appears off the side of the freeway.

New York may be the city that never sleeps, and Chicago may be the city with big shoulders,
but when it comes to love, Los Angeles is the city that wants to help you.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 847 Average listal rating (545 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5

Ah yes, the beginning of the nineties was a grand time for films. It was a time when Jeff Bridges was the prince of good quality, straight-forward acting, Amanda Plummer was the princess of quirky characters, Mercedes Ruehl ruled as the Queen of cleavage and when it came to the box office, Robin Williams was the King. Or in this particular case, the Fisher King.
Which I guess means that he was a king who was more fishy than the one who ruled before him (and I predict that that is a quip that will go over the heads of more than half the people who read this).
People who added this item 1713 Average listal rating (1161 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Cape Fear (1991)
Through the power of an extreme work-out regimen and a torso-full of tatts, DeNiro reaches the kind of potential of a really creepy villain that I always thought he possessed.
And yeah, I know he's played bad guys in other films, but in Cape Fear,
he proves that he can take the role to the down-scary end of the spectrum.
With a little directorial help by a certain partner-in-cinema-crime with the initials Martin Scorcese, of course.

People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.4
The Sandman (1991)
I don't do it often, but every once in a blue moon, I stumble upon a short film that, despite it's small running time, is cool enough to compete with it's more time-spanning cinematic rivals. Obviously, this is one of those times.
An animated short that lasts only nine minutes, The Sandman is an interpretation of the character based on an old German short story. While the folklore of the Sandman is that he is an entity who aids children to doze off to slumberland by throwing magic sand in their eyes, this version shows him as more of an aviaric type figure whose intentions seem focused on instilling nightmares moreso than dreams. Designed as though it were created by Tim Burton's evil twin, The Sandman's rougher stop-motion movements only adds the atmosphere of creepiness that is the center of this fear-based fable that is more likely to keep kids awake all night than put them to sleep.

Véronique is a teacher of music who lives in France. Weronika is a soprano singer in a Polish choir. Two women who have never met yet in the same manner that they share the same name just in different translations, they also appear to share the same "soul", thus causing them to share the same empathetically reactions to each other's individual experiences.
A unique story idea for a film, The Double Life of Véronique is "poetically" directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski, famed director of the highly acclaimed Three Colors Trilogy.

People who added this item 212 Average listal rating (138 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
Here is a movie about World War II that goes against everything that most WW2 movies go for.
Instead depicting the conflict and tragedy that other films of the same subject matter usually try to portray, Mediterraneo goes the opposite route and tells a tale of peace and serenity that comes from being abandoned by the worldwide war machine.
A band of soldiers who range from average to below average are assigned to a remote Greek isle to stand as a lookout for the enemy. After realizing that they have been forgotten, the small group soon find themselves integrating with their new surroundings and it's picayune community of people into a life more satisfying and fulfilling than even before the war began.

People who added this item 2425 Average listal rating (1496 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Two average women decide to take a break from the daily doldrums of their lives for a couple of days and drive out on a mountain vacation.
And this being a movie,
you just know that something is gonna go wrong along the way in a manner that it will bring 'em closer together and forever change their lives.
And it does.
A buddy bonding road trip movie for the gals.

People who added this item 1333 Average listal rating (770 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
Barton Fink (1991)

To this day, whenever I see John Turturro on screen, no matter what movie he's in, my first thought is "Oh look... it's` Barton Fink." I don't know if that's a testament to his portrayal of this character or if it's because of the very slight chill I felt in my soul leftover by the vague, sense of darkness of this comedy, or if it was just a result of watching for the very first time a movie that has been commonly labeled as retro-surrealism (yep...Fink is one of those type of films that is so artsy that it demands one of these kinds of labels).
All I know is that when it comes to the Coen Brothers' filmography, this is one of their works that captures best their off kilter brand of quirkiness.
People who added this item 76 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
Roujin Z (1991)
Here's an anime movie with a very conventional anime title but with a very unconventional plot. Written by Katsuhiro Otomo, most famous for Akira, Roujin's premise is set in early 21st century Japan, about the invention of a type of hospital bed that has been super-mechanized to provide all around care for the patients who are unfortunately targeted to lay in it.
It is a story that is told with a kind of originality that is usually reserved more for the graphic hardware of these kinds of productions (although there is enough of that to still meet the quota of the genre). What is missing are the post-apocalyptic destruction, fairy-tail folklore fantasy or female characters running around in schoolgirl outfits that usually tend to get in the way of the moral messaging mindset that Roujin Z atypically wraps itself around in.

People who added this item 362 Average listal rating (230 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
With it's long standing traditions of it's own brand of folk songwriters and music, Ireland isn't exactly the place to find any real solid R&B groups. So when a local Dubliner decides to form a band in the stylings of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, he expects to have his job cut out for him.
Only to find out that the real battle of starting a band together is not a lack of soul, talent or skin color, but a lack of "commitment" due to a big headed clash of egos that rivals any episode of Behind The Music.

People who added this item 3676 Average listal rating (2409 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.9
In this family, dysfunctionality is a form of functionality.
Stretching mom out on a torture rack or throwing the baby out of a third story window is simply a way of communicating "You're okay, I'm okay".
And that's just one of the advantages that comes with having the last name of Addams. Another one is that, no matter how many family-friendly games of tag you play,
your cousin will always be Itt.

People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.4
City of Hope (1991)
What are the basic elements that compose a City Of Hope?
Basically, when the inner workings of the city are made up of the three c's; crime, corruption and the worst of them all, compromise.
And of course, those are the main ingredients that are used only when the word "Hope" is bureaucratically tainted with a copious amount of social sarcasm.

People who added this item 20 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7
Now the guys's name whom this movie is based on was Alex Sanchin, but in the script, they renamed him Ivan. Why? Who knows. Maybe the producers of this film thought that audiences would feel more comfortable with a more stereotypical Russian name for a story set deep within the Soviet Union.
Also, Alex Sanchin (or Ivan as the character in this flick) was famous for being Joseph Stalin's private film projectionist. Now, why of all the people in Stalin's "administration" was the film centered around a person with one of the most obscure job titles in history?
Maybe because the producers thought that it would make for a unique perspective to see how the "deadly political machinations within the Kremlin" worked from the P.O.V. of one of the most loyal minions within the sinister Soviet leader's inner circle.
And the producers were right.

Alex/Ivan comes off as a citizen within Stalin's council who desperately wishes to believe in the kind of communism rule that his leader wields in order to run the wide Union of Soviet life. A fatalistic flaw of faith which prevents him from seeing the obvious signs that his Mother Russia in running under a system that is riddled with bureaucratic backstabbing, proletarian paranoia and deadly consequences for those who don't obediently tow the crimson line.
People who added this item 1282 Average listal rating (727 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.5
Delicatessen (1991)
It a post apocalyptic planet Earth, and in France, supposedly like everywhere else, meat is scarce. So when circus clown Louison comes to work at a local butcher shop, his hopes are high on attaining a steady means of living with the delicatessen's delicacies as a benefit of the job.
Only soon to find out that it could be the very opposite of those things that he may "end" up with.

Delicatessen is an "after the big one" small story that comes off a bit more charming that one would expect based on it's subject matter. Especially, if you're a vegetarian.
People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Up Series is a continual set of documentary films that literally lasts a life time. Started in 1964, it documents the lifespans of a select group of individuals, starting at the age of seven and constantly returning to their respective lives every seven years to update their progress in this journey that we all share.
Therefore, there's an updated installment released after the seventh year of the previous film, each titled after the age of the subjects involved in this long-running project.
By the time of 1991, they're up to the age of 35.

Personally, I found it almost spooky and universally telling on the kind of perspective that arises from being a spectator of some else's life other than my own.
After every incarnation of this series, I can't help but ask those deep kinds of questions that are much easier to ask from the outside looking in.
For example, taking the film segments of the various people of this project when they were just children and watching 'em up against the segments of them as adults, I found myself genuinely wondering at what point in life do most of us, as humans, lose the zest and free-spiritedness that naturally comes with being a child, and then have it replaced by the more restrained walking representative of a crushed spirit that we have as adults?
And I can't remember when was the last time any film had the ability to make me get that introspective.
People who added this item 214 Average listal rating (86 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 7.5
This is one of those artsy foreign flicks that takes the use of "artsy" both literally and allegorically, and utilizes it quite effectively and efficiently, on it's most basic level. Using all the methods that films like these use, it tells the story of a burnt-out artist who finds his muse thus reigniting his motivation for his art in a manner that affects his life and of those around him.
In other words, La Belle Noiseuse is the kind of cinema that will bore the mainstream escapist to tears and yet provide the thought-hungry connoisseur to his/her ecstatic fill.
In a movie season that saw one of the biggest blockbusters of the 90's (T-2: Judgment Day) and also featured the last film to sweep the Palme D'Or (Barton Fink), this is either one of the best films of the year or one that should be avoided at all costs, depending on which side of the theater screen you prefer to sit on.

People who added this item 565 Average listal rating (390 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.8
City Slickers (1991)
As a comedic actor whose star was rising throughtout the 80's, Billy Crystal reaches the apex of his film career with this film, his first critically approved major blockbuster.

In it, he stars as the head of a group of city slickers (hence, the title of the movie) who decide to relive the drive of the Ol' West in hopes of getting back to the basics of their manhood. And nothing helps to restore a guy's masculinity better than donning a cowboy hat and herding cattle on horseback. At least, that was the case back in the early 90's.
With events like rented military helicopters being called off during a scene of Apocalypse Now, so they can go engage in an actual combat for an actual war that was going on at the time and then Martin Sheen having a heart attack between shooting scenes, all happening during the filming of this movie, the true story of how this movie was made is almost as surreal and engaging as the actual movie itself.
A great companion piece to Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 "arty" war epic.

At a time when warlords still ran the feudal lands of "modern" China (the early 1920's, to be exact), palatial households of power were filled to the brim with concubines. And each concubine was a wife whose place on the tier was determined by the amount of attention she received by the master of the house. A system of status that led to continual competition for the sake of that night's privileges.
Raise The Red Lantern is an epic piece of domestic drama that uses the vastness of it's sets and the vibrancy of it's colors to depict the kind conniving counteractive universe that females of that particular part of the eastern world had in compete in just to "domiciliary survive". All in order for the chance to experience even a slice of importance in a high class society where women were still nothing but second class citizens.
People who added this item 120 Average listal rating (74 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.9
Grand Canyon (1992)
Intersecting stories that deal, coincidentlly enough, with coincidences, luck, the decisions we make, the ones we don't, fate, responsibility, societal fears, love, perspective, racism, hate and overall, just the fact that depending how you look at it all, sometimes, it's not all that bad.

People who added this item 1078 Average listal rating (648 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7
When it comes to Fried Green Tomatoes, I like mine with a touch of salt and a dash of tabasco sauce. No fava beans or chianti. That's a combo that goes with something else. Something.... meatier.

Even though I respect the fact that in this movie, Hannibal Lector came along, with his fava beans and Chianti, and brought a certain level of high class to the concept of cannilbalism,
I must admit that, when it comes to having someone for dinner, I'm still a meat and potatoes kind of guy myself.

People who added this item 1346 Average listal rating (841 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 8
JFK (1991)
While I don't really believe in any of the conspiracies of this event, Oliver Stone unravels the various "secrets" and clues that drive the "purpose" of this story in almost an ordered manner that makes this an excellently thrilling and very enthralling film (despite how confusing a lot of the actual "facts" themselves tend to get at certain points).
As a "fictional" political-drama that seems to build and build up to an accumulative effect, JFK is movie that works exceptionally well on that level, and features more actors than theories on what really happened, with Kevin Costner providing a stable and reliable lead role to carry such a large ensemble cast.

People who added this item 268 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.8
Bugsy (1991)
Bugsy is a mob flick that doesn't even try to compete with other mob flicks. And therefore, it succeeds as a gangster movie that stands out on its own. It almost completely removes the realistic-type dialogue and the grittiness that is usually associated with this genre. I can almost sense the same sheen that the old black & white mafia films used to use to screen over the mobster characters & give em that "romanticized" look that they became famous for back then. For all their ruthlessness, the major players in this story come off as very likable people.
And along with Warren Beatty and Annette Benning, you just can't beat the acting by the supporting cast of Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliot Gould and Joe Mantegna.

People who added this item 875 Average listal rating (574 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
In my opinion, Boyz is by far, the best in the genre of the modern street gangsta genre.
Directed by John Singleton (remember when he was considered a director to look out for?) and starring Cuba Gooding Jr. (remember what a good actor he was before anyone showed him da money?), Ice Cube (remember back before he went all Hollywood and was actually hardcore?) and Lawrence Fishburne (before he entered the Matrix wearing shades and a philosophical attitude that didn't make any sense and then came out looking like a beached walrus).

People who added this item 5379 Average listal rating (3806 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6

What does pure badassery from the future look like?
A big, muscular humanoid who likes to steal biker clothes, swing his shotgun on a high speed motorcycle, wear his sunglasses even at night, and is programmed to speak with a heavy-@ss Austrian accent.

This movie is one of those rare times where an original that was already pretty bad-ass is followed up by a sequel that is even more bad-asser.
As someone who enjoys the category of science fiction probably more than any other genre when it comes to films, I seriously think that Judgment Day, along with his efforts on Aliens, shows why there should be a law that states that James Cameron should be in charge of directing all sequels from now on.
After a going thru a summer recently that was epitomized by listlessly plotted blockbusters such as the other movie known as T-2 (Michael Bay's), this T-2 is a reminder that even though a certain degree of suspension of belief is required from one's brain in order to accept a movie about battling robots, you do not have to completely revert to the mind level of a five-year old in order to enjoy it.

I wish I was made outta liquid metal.

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