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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 19 Sep 2016 07:27
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30 From 95: My Favorite Films From 1995

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People who added this item 2937 Average listal rating (1845 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.1
Casper (1995)
The supernatural world collides with the natural world when live action meets animation in this tale about a kid who can see dead people. But in a cute, heartwarming way, considering that this is a film for all ages and is centered on the friendliest ghost you know.*

*BTW, for you young'ns out there, that's reference to the tagline of the original Casper the Friendly Ghost cartoon series.
People who added this item 243 Average listal rating (149 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
During the early to mid 90's, when he was kickstarting his career, character actor John Turturro had a habit of popping up in alot of Spike Lee Joints.
Which was a good thing because whenever you saw JT's name on the credits, you knew you were about to watch a film that costarred an actor who took his craft seriously. He seemed like he was determined to focus his career on more relevant films.
Fast forward to the late 2000's, and now, you can see John Turturro in movies like the badly-written kiddie blockbuster Transformers franchises....
in scenes where he shows off his hairy thonged bare ass in extreme close-up (if there was a ever a scene in movie history I wish I could unsee, that one has gotta be near the top......).
I guess once you start getting paid the blockbusting dollars,
clocking in to show your least "sunny" feature just becomes part of the big paying job.

But don't let my ambling rant on JT's career distract from my rating on this film. Costarring Harvey Keitel (his flicks have always been cool with me) and as I mentioned earlier, directed by Spike Lee back when he was making movies which both socially and cinematically relevant (oh, don't get me started on the decline of Spike's career...!)

So the basic premise of this particular rom-comming chick-flick is all about falling in love with a woman like Sandra Bullock while you sleep.
Well, I just wanna say that this doesn't just happen in the movies.
I do this all the time.
But then, to my dismay,
I always end up waking up.

People who added this item 199 Average listal rating (115 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.4
The subject of addiction has been the theme to many movies. And so has the subject of vampires.
This one tackles both.
In lovely black and white with a few interludes into philosophy....
which, at certain points, kind of left me screaming for blood.
But in the end, the climax resolved itself in manner that found this story back into the genre of horror, with a dash of "brains" added into the mix.
Which was quite nice.
And when I say "nice".
I mean nice by vampire standards.

People who added this item 573 Average listal rating (360 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
The President of the United States is a widower and eventually finds himself "out there" in the field. The dating field as well as in the political field.
Now the Commander-In-Chief must find a way to mix the two fields together without having the two world's collide.
A story of modern romance in the White House that does not involve an intern.
only in the movies, I guess.

It is the ultimate dream of many music writers to someday write an opus that becomes lauded, conducted and renown throughout the world. In an effort to free up his time to compose such a piece of work, Glenn Holland takes up a position in a high school to teach music.
After years of showing his students how to perform at their best, both within and without the music classroom, he finds that the accumulated end result of his teaching efforts is his true magnum opus.

People who added this item 1844 Average listal rating (1248 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Desperado (1995)
Robert Rodriguez's "El Mariachi" goes from micro-budget indie to macro-budget hit as the traveling gunslinging guitarrero goes from looking like a Mexican everyman to looking like a Spaniard, well, Antonio Banderas. Who, even speaking as a straight-up hetero, you gotta admit.... is a really good looking guy.
Which is probably the main reason why the gal that the hero gets in this flick is played by the always insanely-beauteous Salma Hayek.
Kinda makes me wish I was good-looking.
Maybe then, I'd be spending alot more time outside of the house getting some action instead of being kooked up in a dark room putting lists like this one together on the internet.

People who added this item 134 Average listal rating (79 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 6.6
Ever have one those movies that as soon as you hear the title of said movie you think of a song that has that exact same title? And then the song with the same title ends up getting stuck in your head? And it's ends up getting stuck a lot longer than you would prefer?
Well, that's what happens every time I think about this movie.
Which is probably why this film didn't get a much higher spot on this list. It has nothing to do with the quality of the flick. It's just that it always makes me think of that damn song.
And if I don't want that damn song to get stuck in my head,
I should probably stop writing about it now....

People who added this item 2969 Average listal rating (1811 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.9
A movie that's about an Australian talking pig that lives on a farm. And to whom everyone refers to as "Babe".
Take out the Australian part, and you could be describing my last girlfriend. ('Ey, who do I talk to about having a "ba-dum-tish!" emoticon installed around here, anyway?)

Rarely does a short film make it onto my list of favorite films, but when it comes to Wallace and his dutiful dog Gromit, any feature with their names on it are gonna be included.
The third in trilogy of animated shorts (after this, the dynamic stop-motion duo move up into the big times with full length movies), the man and his "best friend" clumsily come across an illegal sheep rustling scheme and find out that it's quite the dog-eat-dog business.

People who added this item 4847 Average listal rating (3290 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
Braveheart (1995)
In Braveheart, American born but Australian raised Mel Gibson portrays a legendary Scotsman by donning loincloths, skirts, a blue-face and a sword.
All in the name of FREEE-DOMMMMMM!!!

An "epically" presented biopic, Braveheart is based on the true story of William Wallace, landowner turned historic rebel leader during Scotland's struggle for independence. A war of swords type of modern classic, which, even though I enjoyed watching it, and despite it's Oscar nab for best picture, I'm not sure that it was the best film that I saw back in '95. But, of course, it was still good enough to warrant a spot on this list.
People who added this item 4220 Average listal rating (2836 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8
Looking to receive a pardon for his crimes, a convict from the future agrees to let scientists send him back into time in order to collect information that would hopefully help to prevent the world from a planet scale of diseased destruction. Information about a terrorist organization known as the Army of the 12 Monkeys.
A task that proves that when dealing with an extremist group from the past via a not-so-perfect method of time-travel, 12 Monkeys is no barrel of monkeys.*
With good performances by the then over-used Bruce Willis, the then ultra-popular Brad Pitt and the always under-appreciated Madeleine Stowe, this production is a valiant effort for those who prefer their bleak sci-fi thrillers to be a bit more on the cerebral side.

* Sorry... but I just couldn't resist such an obvious pun.
People who added this item 2975 Average listal rating (1916 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Apollo 13 (1995)

A detailed depiction of that fateful day when Houston realized that it had a problem. A big problem.
Ron Howard once again teams with Tom Hanks (who also celebrates a second pair up with Gary Sinese), this time in an outer space drama depicting the circumstances that led to the most famous aborted lunar mission in NASA's history. An event that had the potential to be, at that point, the worst disaster the U.S. space program had ever faced. But in the end, turned out instead to be, in the words of Flight Director Gene Kranz, their finest hour.

People who added this item 7759 Average listal rating (5530 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.3
The first computer movie that showed how sophisticated graphics can be integrated into a really top quality and solid story.
Toy Story took the third dimension of the still burgeoning technology and upped the ante in what was possible when it came to motioning pictures, with the end result being a technical achievement in cinematic entertainment. It's an animated feature that was a hit both behind and in front of the silver screen with a story whose "out-standing" visuals matched it's plot in emphasizing the vibrant warmth and color that was starting to become more and more "faded" in the tired 2-D animated family films that movie producers had seemed to be tiredly cranking out at the time.

People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.6
The Brothers McMullen are three brothers, Barry, Patrick and Jack, who, as their "Christian" name implies, are of Irish-Catholic descent.
They each have a particular set of circumstances in their lives that have brought them to temporarily move in together in what was once their parents' home.
And it is here where they come to their individual crossroads of life, love and direction.
A simple quaint dramedy that takes a look at the typical little bumps of life and makes it atypically entertaining to watch.

People who added this item 630 Average listal rating (420 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Sure, there have been a lot of movies lately that have allowed movie-going audiences to peer into the inner dynamics and secrets of the 'hood. But this one was probably the first one ever that revealed that, in the dope ridden, bullet blasted concrete canals of the inner city, you can't have no Kool-Aid if you ain't got no sugar.
It was also the first role for Ice-Cube that a gave a hint as to how a career that started out as a hardcore street gangsta was on a path that eventually would lead to Are We There Yet.

People who added this item 395 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
I've always been a fan of anthology movies, and an even bigger fan of anthology animated movies. But even more, I'm a big fan of anthology animated science fiction movies, like Heavy Metal and The Animatrix. And just like those two films, Memories is a set, in this case, a trio, of animated shorts tied together by the fact that they are all based on short manga stories authored by Katsuhiro Otomo, creator of Akira, both it's printed and film formats.
I really enjoy the format of an anthology, because, as it is demonstrated here in Memories, it allows for a wider choice ideas of stories that probably wouldn't be big enough to fill up an entire movie.
It also allows for a bit more risk in the creativity of the plot, without having to commit all the time of work that it would take to make a full length feature that is dependent on the tastes of a wider audience.

People who added this item 1085 Average listal rating (624 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
Kids (1995)

  Back in the 1990's, I lived in a very hipster neighborhood just north of the downtown area of Chicago. One of the things I liked best about that area was the amount of movie theaters that focused on different types of cinema. There was one particular theater that showed mostly independent films of the time. One day, on a whim, I walked in to a film that was showing that night called "Kids". I had no clue what it was about but I was down to watching anything that was an alternative to the over-budgeted blockbusters that were raging at the time.
  Not only did I walk into this film not really knowing anything about it but also several minutes late into it. By the time I sat myself down, the movie was at the part in which the scene kept switching back and forth between the dialogues of the two boys walking down the street and of the group of girls who were commiserating about sex. Because of this, my initial impression was that what I was watching was a documentary. The way the people in this film were talking came off more like real dialogue and not written discussion. That is, until I caught onto the camera work how it would go from a close up and then to an angle and then to an establishing inthe same manner as movie that is being directed to follow a scrpited story instead of a camera that was set up just to record the natural goings-on of real life. After noticing this for quite awhile, that's when I realized that this was obviously a movie that was intended to come off as a doc. 
   As someone who grew in an incredibly poor and tough neighborhood, for me, the presentation of "Kids" in this movie was  one of the "realest" depictions of a"wake-up call" to older adults that I had seen up to that point in time. 

People who added this item 2518 Average listal rating (1714 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Casino (1995)

Goodfellas, Las Vegas style.
Well, not really, but close enough.
What director Martin Scorcese reveals of the inner-workings of the mafia lifestyle in Goodfellas, he now sheds light onto in this film about the relationship between the casino & the Cosa Nostra.
And just as we saw in "Fellas", the manner in which a mobster's greed and violence will cause him to jump into a situation without much regard to the consequences, we now see in this movie how that same greed and violence can affect a good hand in what should've been the only safe bet in of all of Vegas.
In short, a story of how the mob had a good thing, but ruined it with same characteristics that helped them to get it in the first place.
Because, in the City of Sin, even with connections to "La Familia", the only way a gambler can hope to stay in the game is to know when to hold 'em,
and know when to fold 'em.

People who added this item 1838 Average listal rating (1130 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
A love story that indulges in the idea of the kinds of bonds that can form if two people actually tried to communicate in a manner mired in bared-boned honesty (to which, I must confess, the "come-down-to-reality" part of my male brain wants to smirkly say "yeah....rrriight...") and with an intention of true understanding.
Never-the-less, the end result is movie of that reflects the way romance between two should be like, instead of the fairytale process that the standard Hollywood machine likes to force feed general audiences.

People who added this item 759 Average listal rating (490 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.9
Get Shorty (1995)
After becoming cool again with his role in Pulp Fiction, John Travolta follows up as a gangster turned movie producer in Get Shorty.
A movie about movies in where there really isn't anybody called Shorty that needs to be "get", but the main character is a shylock called Chili Palmer, a guy that proves that you can be both a huge movie nerd and a totally hip bad-ass at the same time.
maybe I should change my screen-name here on this site to "Chili Palmer".........

Seriously speaking tho,
Just like "Kids", "Get Shorty" is another example of a film that, on any other given year, would've easily made it to the number one spot of my annual film faves.
The fact that on this list it barely cracked the top ten, reiterates to what a great year of cinema 1995 was.

People who added this item 6489 Average listal rating (4580 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.6
Seven (1995)

Okay, so when it comes to serial killing with a theme, this is one that I really really like alot.
I'd get into more detail why, but right now, I'm numbingly sunk in a mood that can best be described as a comfortable state of extreme sloth. And if any of you consider that a sin, well,
what are you gonna do about it?
Kill me?

   The 90's was a decade when things seemed to get more "real". In art, in music, and of course, in film. Taking the realism of the coming of age teen life themes that a film from this same year, "Kids" started, writer/director Todd Solondz takes a dark comedic twist to the trend by adding his particular brand of misanthropic satire.  Welcome to the Dollhouse, IMO, has so many sharp edges in the way ir presents suburban life for those who are in that emotionally turbulent stage of life between cjildhood and adulthood, particularly those under the kind of adult supervision that prefers to either look the other way or is too ignorant to know better. Because of this, I find Solondz presentation of this kind of subject matter (or any other matter, to be honest) to lean much more towards the black than the comedy when it comes to movie like this that is widely considered as a black comedy. 
  That's not to say that I think of that as a fault. I feel that Todd has an inate ability to make the sardonic tones in his tales of individual struggles an effective vehicle that reveals an earnest desire to make sense of the rules that come from a societal structure that in truth, is not only unsatisfying, but also, failing. Especially, in the case of Dollhouse, if you're a kid tryin' ta grow up.

   This movie is a very good example of the peering sensibilities that cinema was aspiring to in the middle of the 1990's, and under the helm of it's director, a hard-nosed depiction of those who are quietly and easily overlooked while everyone else is trying a make a go at a succesful "normal life". And who tend to make up a larger percentage of the student school population than many of us want to or even care to notice.
People who added this item 1079 Average listal rating (689 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
An alcoholic arrives in Las Vegas with the expressed purpose of leaving it through a boozed binge of suicidal proportions.

My favorite aspect of this movie is the fact that it was never fully explored why Nick Cage's character wanted to off himself via alcoholism. The viewer is almost forced to come into the character's life with the same info that Elizabeth Shue's character and get to know him from that vantage point. It's a reminder that, many times, the addictions of those who are addicted tend to become bigger than whatever got them addicted in the first place. And instead of being analyzed or even understood, sometimes all they need is to be approached, from the very beginning with a caring and accepting face.
People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 8.1
Probably my favorite documentary ever. Not so much for any kind of "craftsmanship" as a film, but more on the scale of the message that can result from seeing how this real-life situation unfolded.
As with everyone else, sometimes, it gets pretty easy for me to forget how good I really have it in life. Every time I watch this movie, & hear the part when Anne writes in her diary of her waiting for things to get back to normal, as a viewer who knows that for her it never will, it serves as a great reminder to me that not taking things for granted is an act of appreciation that should never wait until tomorrow. And watching the only existing moving-figure footage of Anne that is included in this documentary, truly serves to enhance the importance of this lesson of gratitude.

People who added this item 421 Average listal rating (282 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4

Dolores Clairborne is a film that I pretty much ignored when it was first released. I watched on When it first got an airing on TV, I decided to give it a watch and I literally couldn't believe at how good it was. So just to be sure that it was as good as that first viewing, I went out and rented it. And yep, I was right. It's that good.
For my money, it's one of the best Stephen King adapatations out there, with a dense story that is solid from beginning to end. After winning an oscar for her role in Misery five years earlier, Kathy Bates returns for this, another King vehicle, and once again shows that playing the "heavy" with ease is an inate talent for her. The plot may tend to come off as a bit complicated some times, but the movie does a great job of walking the viewer thru the intermingling flashbacks and various plot points that show the uphill emotional steps of the main character's redemptive journey. A journey which includes a mother's fight against against a man's world to save her daughter from the father's "parental indulgences" and how that struggle can lead one to find strength in the most unlikely of places.

People who added this item 2610 Average listal rating (1750 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.3

Al Pacino having a cup of coffee with Robert DeNiro. Nuff said.*

* Actually, since I first posted up this movie entry, there is now more to be said.
This power from this scene came from the fact that these two seasoned actors were still in their respective primes and each had a screen presence that could barely be contained when they were both put together.
However, since then, the careers of DeNiro and Pacino have not aged too gracefully since both actors seem to put the discernment of their role choices on neutral. Righteous Kill, in which Bobby and Al spend alot more time sharing screen time, has proven that there's a time and place for everything. And the time and place for the pairing of these two thespian icons has most likely passed.
People who added this item 3648 Average listal rating (2477 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

A really cool mystery crime drama featuring a really cool cast of crime characters.
Particularly Kevin Spacey as one of the coolest names for a villian in a long time, Keyser Söze,
Also of particular interest is Fred Fenster, one of my favorite unique sub-characters in recent cinema. IMO, Benecio Del Toro's handling of the role is one of those instances where an actor portrays a character in manner so distinctive, that he makes it completely his own. Del Toro plays this criminal con-man in a such a way that even tho the majority of the time you don't what he's saying, you still know where he's coming from.
People who added this item 858 Average listal rating (522 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
Excellently directed by Tim Robbins, Dead Man Walking is a movie with a story that purposely and effectively shows both sides to the issue of the death penalty but without taking either stance. And it does so without compromise to it's emotional impact.
With a no-holds barred look into the situations that leads to an act of the most heinous nature, the plot weaves in and out of the repercussions of a crime that affects both the victim's and the perpetrator's lives (and loved ones) and then reveals the kinds of mindsets that challenge one's views, no matter which side people decide to take a stand on.
For example, I don't want to give too much away, but the dialogue exchange in which Susan Sarandan's character, Sister Helen Prejean exposes to convicted murderer Matthew Poncele (played by Sean Penn) the real extent of his racism "... so it's lazy people that you don't like...?"
and later on when she finally has him take responsibility for his sins as a "true son of God", those two scenes from this film are two of my favorite scenes in any movie, ever.

People who added this item 983 Average listal rating (579 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.6

A truly romantic story of how the escapist fantasy high/feeling that initially results with falling in love must eventually be realistically dealt with, as the conditions and responsibilities of one's current situation come quickly creeping back in. This movie always reminds of something I heard once: that couples pairing up for the sake of true love is still a relatively young concept in the context of human history. That we as both a society and a species over-all, have not evolved enough yet to be able to deal and accept each other in a manner that would be considered as total unconditional love (which is the only real love). And it is because of this that the world population has yet been unable to formulate an effective means of discussion that would truly begin a process of unity between it's racial, social and in this case, gender factions. Maybe, like this film depicts, this is why so many make decisions more for the sake of a security based on social and financial reasons than what is right for us on an emotional level. And as they impeded on Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) and Francesca Johnson (Streep), decisions which may impede on our ability to follow our hearts and therefore sway us, individually and socially, from a path that would lead to true love before it's too late.


- Clueless

- Nixon

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