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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 19 Sep 2016 11:27
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30 From 98: My Favorite Films From 1998

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People who added this item 2681 Average listal rating (1724 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.5
Antz (1998)
With the release of Antz and A Bug's Life, 1998 was the year of the computer generated insect genre. And the subject of lil' multi-limbed critters isn't the only thing the two movies shared. Both releases have been critically rated pretty much the same by both film critics and audiences alike (although, A Bug's Life did take in more in terms of the box offiice, but not so much that it would've considered a total squash).
And just like Bug's, Antz takes the idea of the macrocosm of the insect universe and transforms it into a cute, wonderful world of innocent anthropomorhic fun that was sure to entertain the elementary-level audience for which this animated adventure is targeted towards.
And with the inclusion of some Woody Allen-like mannerisms into the mix, the older fans of scintillian invertebrates could also be found swarming towards the cinema that year.

People who added this item 4588 Average listal rating (3061 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
A Bug's Life (1998)
  The late 90's were the early part of Pixar Studios with this movie being only their second entry into the world of motion pictures. A Bug's Life, along with it's sister computer-created crawlies cartoon Antz, was the next step in the advancing technology of 3D animation. However, the thing about these early computer animation films was that their level of tech had a very short shelf life. CGI was only get better, and at an accumulated rate. Therefore, these movies could not depend solely on their graphics to sustain them. They needed solid stories behind the then eye popping images to give ‘em some kind of longevity.

  And that’s what A Bug’s Life manages to do. Don’t expect Oscar material in this sophomore effort from Pixar, but its tiny tale of insects imitating a slice of life of human society is one that is well worth a sit-through, even today. The script manages to set up the premise with enough metaphoric wit and endearing characters to keep viewers invested, and the dated visuals pack enough charming exaggeration to allow one to look past the quickly antiquated elements that have been leveled up past eleven by this point. 

  Sure today’s 3 dimensional animation may be mountains when compared this 90’s anthill, but the life of this bug still crawls with the energy and enthusiasm that keeps it entertaining even to the most discernible eyes of any modern day millennial.

People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
Slam (1998)
Ray Joshua is a man who is always stuck. First, as a street kid who is torn between the hopeful potential of his talent and the confining bleakness of life in the 'hood. Then, after getting arrested for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, he finds himself a convict stuck between the rock of the prison system and the hard place of turning rat. His frustrations boiling over, Ray begins to "rap" his disgruntlement out towards his inmates with a poignancy that's both poetic and powerful enough to sway his fellow jailbirds.
And in the end he must decided between playing it safe in the slammer or voicing his opinions at the poetry slam.

People who added this item 811 Average listal rating (556 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7
Out of Sight (1998)
A bank robber on the lam with a the sexy U.S. marshall "hot" on his trail. From the get go, this makes Out Of Sight sound like a typical formula pic. But with a screenplay based on an Elmore Leonard book (whose books were also the basis for other films like Get Shorty and Jackie Brown), this is a romance story that goes beyond its basic description. Through the combination of Leonard's sharp script and Steven Soderbergh's steady direction, the wry dialogue, sly characters and not your typical situations, even for a cat and mouse type of manhunt, are all handled in an atmosphere of high "cool" confidence, that no matter what side of the caper they're in, everyone journeys their roles as though all of this was just everyday stuff.

People who added this item 1867 Average listal rating (1246 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Of all of Will Smith action themed films so far, this is definitely my favorite.
Though the story isn't exactly a rocket-science script, it didn't require that one completely leave one's brain at the door. There are so many freakin' of those types of films, particularly in the area of action and suspense movies, that it's really refreshing when a high-profile vehicle comes along that doesn't require a mindless state of thinking to the extreme extent that it has become in this genre.

The concept of Big Brother's eyes in the sky watching our every move is what really kept this movie's story interesting for me, and it's was a great foundation of suspense that flowed along a plot that didn't completely dismiss the mentality of the viewer. And I really think that Gene Hackman and Will Smith make a good starring duo with a solid chemistry that doesn't come off as forced as most marquee names that are usually paired for the sake driving a blockbuster film.
This movie is a good example of the type of escapism that though it might not actually enhance one's life, it's still not so empty that it's primary purpose is to kill a few hours just for the sake of killing a few hours.
People who added this item 1182 Average listal rating (724 ratings) 4.9 IMDB Rating 5.7
Here's an animalistic tale that's about an Australian talking pig that moves from small time lifestyle of the farm to the bustling streets of the big city. And to whom everyone refers to as "Babe".
Take out the Australian part, and you could easily be describing my last girlfriend. ('Ey, who do I talk to about having a "ba-dum-tish!" emoticon installed around here, anyway?)
An underrated and good intentioned sequel that never seems to get the kind of fair shakes that it deserves.

People who added this item 2897 Average listal rating (1906 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Rush Hour (1998)
Sure, a flick with the standard "two cops from different worlds must unite" storyline with alot of the formula bits solidly put into place, but I ended up enjoying this movie alot more that I expected to.
Can you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?
Or more specifically, the words that are coming from my thoughts as I type 'em down on this here keyboard?

People who added this item 1873 Average listal rating (1208 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.5
Pleasantville (1998)
Two siblings, a brother and a sister on the opposite side of the personality spectrum, find themselves trapped in another dimension that is of a 50's black & white television show. Unable to escape and in an effort to accept their new reality, they decide to try to make the most of it by introducing a little color to the set.
And of course, we're talking metaphorically here.

People who added this item 787 Average listal rating (521 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Rounders (1998)
Though the story of Rounders starts about about an ex-rounder trying to start a new life who finds himself falling off the wagon due to his lomg-time card-buddy, the movie eventually falls into the same plot device as in Rocky. Or in Vision Quest. Or in Rocky 2. Or in The Karate Kid. Or in at least one more of the other Rocky sequels. Except, in this film, the "sport" is Texas Hold 'Em poker.
Also, in his role as a mobster from the Eastern block, it's fun to listen to John Malkovich's slanted attempt at a Russian accent. "Pay heem. Pay det miy-an his mah-ney."
Plus, for anyone out there who likes Oreo cookies, there's a product placement in here for them that is essential to the climax of the story.
So, y'know....
there you go.

People who added this item 6093 Average listal rating (4145 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
Stephen Spielberg.
Tom Hanks.
Matt Damon.
A World War II epic.
You do the math.

People who added this item 4301 Average listal rating (2892 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
Los Hermanos Coen slap together a cult classic about some Dude who goes through alot of shit just to get his rug back.
And as anyone knows, the Dude needs his rug.
It's what ties the room together.

People who added this item 1671 Average listal rating (1072 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
A man awakens in a bathtub with no memory of who he is. He soon comes to discover that he is a man on the run in a city of darkness. A darkness that envelopes the people's will as well the sky. A darkness bought about by a group of "Strangers". A darkness that the man must bring to light if the city is to "awaken".
Dark City is a stylishly gloomy sci-fi quasi-noir that features cool comic book style plot-lines bought to the silver screen with a keen integration of bold visual designs with shadowy and suspenseful intrigue.

People who added this item 1873 Average listal rating (1119 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
After twenty years of silence, Terrence Malick is back behind the camera. His first full feature film since the critically acclaimed (although, at the time of the movie's release it had more mixed reactions) Days Of Heaven.
A fictionalized version of World War Two's Battle of Mount Austen. the plot follows the soldiers involved in the campaign, not just physically, but also mentally as throughout the pacing of the story, the script is interjected with the thoughts of various combatants.

People who added this item 511 Average listal rating (322 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5
A Simple Plan (1998)
While a solid performance is given by every major player in this film (Bill Paxton, Bridgette Fonda and Brent Brisco) my fave has to go with Billy Bob Thornton's.
This movie is another example of one of the roles that BBT has done in which he tends to approach the role with such a distinct character that, no matter what the quality of the film is, it's just interesting to watch as a vehicle for an actor who utilizes the diversity of his acting abilities to it's farthest extent. Therefore, with other films like Sling Blade, One False Move, Bandits, The Apostle and Monster's Ball, A Simple Plan comes off as just another quality flick that came out at a time when Mr. Thornton really seemed to be cruising on quite the cinematic streak.

People who added this item 6228 Average listal rating (4474 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
The Truman Show is certainly a sign of it's time. While these days, reality shows are just a regular part of entertainment programming, at the time of this film's release, reality based entertainment was new and huge and only getting huger. Combined with the onslaught of online services that allowed ordinary people to make it possible for world wide web "audiences" to view their lives for 24 hours a day, the 90's was "reeling" from all the "over-exposure".
So you know that eventually, someone had to use the subject as a basis for a movie.
Fortunately, the movie was a good movie and it was also a perfect vehicle for the pliable comedic actor Jim Carrey to step away from the zany antics of his more fruitful flavor of frenetic farce, and into something which provided him with the flexibility to tap into something that was centered more on "reality". That is, "reality" as it was captured by the zeitgeist of the 90's.

People who added this item 4341 Average listal rating (2919 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Yeah, there's something about Mary alright. And that something is in her hair. A scene that, while to most people is considered iconic, I honestly didn't think it was all that funny. Just gross. (And in my opinion, that scene set the tone for the kind of schtick that Ben Stiller goes for in his movies that followed.... not that I think he does disgusting humor, just the kind of gags that seem a little too obvious for me).
However, that doesn't take away from the fact that I found the rest of About Mary to be one of the best comedies to "come" out of the year of 1998.

People who added this item 933 Average listal rating (522 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
Here is a film called Happiness that is directed by indie film-maker and bon vivant Todd Solondz. This is the same guy who directed Welcome To The Dollhouse (which takes a look at the kind of dark realities of the coming-of-age stage of life), Palindromes (a runaway's dark journey through a series of "palindromes") and Life During Wartime (which follows up certain characters from this movie and depicts the dark paths that have transpired by the mundaneness of their lives).
In other words, Happiness is a film about anything but.
Not that I would could consider this to be a depressing piece of cinema,
it's just an acquired taste, even for the most ardent of art-house appreciandos.

People who added this item 354 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
James Whale was a director of cinema during the 1930's, most famous for his work on the first full feature film depicting Mary Shelly's Frankenstein Monster and on it's sequel, the Bride Of Frankenstein. Fronted with exceptional performances from it's major players, this movie is a story that focuses on a fictionalized version of his last troubled days before the director was found dead in his pool. Pigeonholed as a maker of mostly "monster flix", living an open life as a homosexual, and after suffering a series of strokes, Whale spent the end of his life painting as a way of dealing with his not-yet acceptable orientation, his weakened physical state and his constraining reputation as a creator of "gods and monsters".

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 184 Average listal rating (119 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
When living within the slums of Beverly Hills, you'll find that every once in awhile, you just have to pack up the family and move. Particularly, when the rent is due.
Oh, and when this does happen, as a courtesy to the next tenants,
please don't forget to remove the cat from the oven.

People who added this item 746 Average listal rating (410 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Over at a dynastically run hotel, a high ranking family is holding a celebration for their father's 60th birthday.
And one of the patriarch's major surprise gifts, "given" to him by his only son, is the unveiling news that he is responsible for the suicide death of his daughter as a result of a family history of sexual abuse.
Although, considering the other troubled revelations that reveal themselves as the party chugs along, it wouldn't surprise me if "Big Daddy" would have just settled on just getting a tie.

People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8.3 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 1998, they're up to the age of 42.

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 2888 Average listal rating (1961 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.1
Blade (1998)
  Did you know that there was once a time when there was no such thing as the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
 I did. Because, ever since I was a kid, I had wished that there was such a thing. But, realistically speaking, I thought that such an idea was too far away from Hollywood's ability to produce such a good movie based on a Marvel character, let alone a whole Universe.

(BTW, even tho on this particular list I have Blade ranked at #9 ,
as a vampire character, Blade definitely rates as #1.
So, for any vampires out there reading this, I don't care what your position is in the bloodsuckers' hierarchy, Blade would still kick all yo' asses.
All yo' asses.
People who added this item 750 Average listal rating (422 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.4
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Teenage tap dancing student Layla (played by Christina Ricci, who in my personal opinion, looks at her cutest ever in this film) gets kidnapped by Billy, a recently released ex-con.
Almost immediately, she finds herself attracted to her captor as he "forces" her to pretend that she is his wife-to-be in order to impress Billy's disassociated parents.
And thus a budding dysfunctional relationship gets it's dysfunction off the ground running.
Buffalo '66 is an indie flick about a kind of germinal romance that gives hope to even the most love-lorn maladjusted.

A sci-fi thriller that remains true as a chapter to the on-going television series yet with enough self-containment in it's story to allow non-followers of the TV show (a la me) to enjoy it as stand-alone feature.

This is a movie that I feel very lucky to have not just on this list, but more specifically, within the top ten of my faves of 1998.
Because, now, whenever I play any kind of "Name your fave flix from A to Z" games and the letter "x" comes up, which usually causes other participants much pause, I have The X-Files: Fight the Future fastidiously at the ready.
Oh sure, I guess I could use either X2: X-Men United or X-Men: First Class,
but the truth is,
as much as I liked those two films,
they still didn't make within the top ten of their particular years.
And with X-Files, now I can answer with a bit more X-uberance in my enthusiasm.
People who added this item 1373 Average listal rating (926 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
The always reliable Robert Deniro, cool french actor Jean Reno, the ever beautiful Natascha McElhone and a kick-ass car chase, all directed by John Frankenheimer.
An action and suspense spy thriller with a MacGuffin so prominent to the story-line that I couldn't help but wonder,
what was in the case?

People who added this item 315 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.6
The plot hook of this "anthological set piece" is one that follows along the lines of those "follow the history" of a dollar/coin/object that is continuingly passed from one person to another, each involving it's own unique story-line, and each centered upon the object of focus in some angular manner. It's a technique that I've always had a liking for, and probably b'cuz , I've been lucky enough in that almost all of the films I have seen that have used this storytelling technique have been pretty well above average. Each story set in a different time period of the violin is of a high quality and solidly crafted in it's individual linear structure.
And even though Samuel Jackson is probably the most famous of the ensemble cast, he is still but one in an ensemble cast. Each separate story entry is strung together to flow with a such a great sense of harmony, that no matter which character role any of these actors have in The Red Violin,
the movie is strong enough for any of 'em to be proud to have this work included in their filmography.

People who added this item 2267 Average listal rating (1426 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
Run Lola Run (1998)
After watching this movie, a viewer's movie-enjoying senses can easily feel depleted, but in a good way. Because just when the story seems like it's about to slow down, it picks up it's velocity again, for one more lap around the track. A plot-line whose simplicity can appear to be much more than it actually is due to the layered formula in which it is energetically executed. It is a result that can make one appreciatively smile with a sense of satisfaction that such a tense & thrilling film could've been made from such a simple idea.

People who added this item 4634 Average listal rating (3158 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
My favorite of Ed Norton's performances in his career so far. The only thing that kept this movie from making it to the number one spot on this particular list is that while the story did a fair job of getting it's intention through, is still came off a bit clunky & broken in some parts (which may due to the editing that got this film into so much trouble with it's director). With its glaring look into the world of radical racist organizations, American History X is a tense piece of captivating cinema accompanied with the contradictory feeling that in the end, it still had the potential to be even more than it was.

The British try their hand at imitating some of the Tarantinoisms of Pulp Fiction. Or maybe Reservoir Dogs. I dunno. But what I do know is the way that my smile tends to crook as a result of listening to the way Lock Stock's script manages to continually weave up, down and sideways to finally coalesce into an English flavored "duck soup", full of chunky bits of quips, guns and sometimes-almost-hard-to-decipher-yet-humorously-satisfying East End slang. This film proves that despite their pasty skin pigment, drab skies and even drabbier food,
even the English can have style.

Not to mention that among the vast cast is included a small but solid bite-strewn and really cool role for Sting (the former Police-man, not the clown-faced wrestler .....you buncha nerds). The singer who, after filming was done, supposedly was responsible for introducing Guy Ritchie to Madonna.
Which later would result in a relationship 'tween said director and material girl.
Which later would result in marriage.
Which later would then result in the movie Swept Away.
Which later would then result in the conclusion that Sting needs to learn to mind his own business.
People who added this item 264 Average listal rating (161 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.6
Primary Colors is somewhat of a satire based on the real life behind the scenes shenanigans that can go on when one in occupying The White House. The kind that can get a Commander In Chief into trouble no matter how close he is to the constituents or how closed the doors of the oval office may be. Featuring some really solid performances from a really solid ensemble cast of some really solid actors (including John Travolta, B.B. Thornton, Cathy Bates, Paul Thompson and Larry Hagman).
In fact, the solidity of this upstanding political drama is so dense that it almost has a feel that seems like could it be more solid than Travolta's big ol' Clinton-like tummy.

and he doesn't dance in this movie, either. Which, considering the state of physique these days, is always a plus.

Runners up:

- Mulan
- The Negotiator

Haven't watched yet:

- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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