Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10 Best Movies of the 1990s

  The 1990s was a sobering, Debbie-downer of a decade.  Gone was the decadence of the guitar virtuosos and upbeatedness.  Poppy-fun was out, dreary, zombie-like trance and low-fi punk was "in".  Like the 1980s was a flashback to the 1950's in feel, such was the 1990s a flashback to the 1970's in feel, minus the soul, of course.

  The Soviet Union finally collapsed as the East Berlin Wall came down and became the Commonwealth of Independent States and it affected Russia heavily.  The entire decade for Russia was pretty poverty-stricken and, in a way, we won The Cold War (or at least, round 1 of it, anyway, as it's still going on for the unenlightened, else I wouldn't have a job).

East Berlin Wall is destroyed as Communism fails in Russia and East Germany marking an end to the "official" Cold War

  Rodney King was a victim of ongoing and notorious Los Angeles Police brutality.  In court, the LAPD was acquitted which sparked the LA Riots of '92 for a week and chaos ensued in California. 

Police are wrongly acquitted for the beatdown of Mr. King in Los Angeles

Looting and vandalism was rampant until the California National Guard showed up with freakin' tanks and that settled things down a quite a bit. 

LA Riots of '92 had several areas looted until the National Guard came-in Soviet-style and put things "back in order"

  A year later, OJ Simpson ex-football star was accused for double-murdering his ex-wife and her boyfriend.  He eluded LA police in a slow-speed pursuit down the 405 Freeway for an hour and a half after he refused to come in to the police station for questioning.  A ridiculously long and highly televised trial ensued for 2 years resulting in quite obvious evidence including DNA and blood in his Ford Bronco and on the dead bodies in-question, clothes, and the murder weapon, but despite impeccable evidence was deemed "not guilty".  This verdict was possibly made in desperation against another LA Riot situation and the subject of a lot of eyebrow-raising as being possibly unjust.

OJ Simpson is acquitted for murder despite stunning evidence using the catchy, audience arousing sing-song, "If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!"

  Lorena Bobbitt makes headlines by cutting her US Marine husband's dick off and then chucking it in the bushes down the street which was then recovered and amazingly reattached.

Lorenna Bobbit castrates her husband in this depiction

  Desert Storm happened when we smacked Iraq for invading Kuwait and then again once more for good measure.  USAF dominates the field.

The Gulf War (aka Operation Desert Storm) in Iraq was an easy victory.  Locals ignited oil wells to spark global economic terror.

  The Internet becomes widespread in 1993, opening the doors for knowledge and entertainment.  People all go "online" to the Information SuperHighway and "Surf the Web".  America Online bombards homes with CD-Rom discs of free-usage hours with signup.  People recognize the phrase, "You've Got Mail" as being a household sound. 

AOL snail-mail-spamming Americans with free initial trial hours on CD-Rom installation discs.

  Spammers arise for online commercial scams immediately, promising phallus enlargement and Nigerian "Prince" money schemes (despite Nigeria not having a royalty whatsoever). People enjoy chat-rooms and communicate with long-lost friends and family. Web-cams are installed and people like myself can communicate with loved-ones easily across the globe at 56K using dial-up modems. PC-based games become all the rage, and the Playstation takes over where Nintendo left-off as a CD-Rom-based gaming system. The stockmarket climbs due to Internet commerce. Computer viruses become commonplace and "slow down" people's computers who are not computer-savvy and don't install virus-checkers but open lots of executable attachments and install them to their PCs, then later blame Microsoft for shoddy operating systems such as Windows 95 (it wasn't Microsoft's fault).

Nigerian Prince scams run rampant via email, taking advantage of the dumb and elderly

  People buy digital audio players and the MP3 format of audio compression becomes commonplace.  NAPSTER software allows free sharing of files with other users.  Forums arise and information exchange becomes intense.  The Compact Disc or, "CD" becomes the audio format of choice for drivers and the Sony Diskman has an "anti-skip" and "bass-boost" option.  Cassette tapes become obsolete by 1995 for most except those who lived in the "sticks".

Sony Discman had several options, such as anti-skip, bass-boost, and a remote!

  The Digital Video Disc, or DVD with "5.1 Surround" audio becomes the movie-viewing of-choice at home.

Early DVD players were very expensive, often paired with 5.1 surround receivers in rich, 480p

  Princess "Lady" Diana, wife of Prince Charles of Britain dies in a car crash and America mourns as she represented to the US as a figurehead for hope that even the lowest school-teacher can become a real life princess.

Later ignored by Prince Charles, she has relations with a bodyguard (possibly having a son with him) and dies in a car crash to America's disdain

  Osama bin Laden masterminds a bombing at the World Trade Center in 1993 causing 6 deaths and global impact.  Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury in a questioning of leud adultery but is saved by the Senate in the last minute despite his lie, "I did not have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky."  He later recants his statement the next year.  The justice system in the US comes in-question for letting villains get away with crimes throughout the decade if they're "popular" figures.

Ex-president Bill Clinton lying about relations with Monica Lewinsky to Americans and his wife

  The decades ends in fear of the Y2K bug in computer programs, particularly at Cheyenne Mountain where systems will crash.  Banks and other computer-based systems panic as the original COBOL programmers only made code to include a 2-digit year.  When the "99" would roll-over to "00" various "computer bugs" would create worldwide computer catastrophes.  Several programmers got employed for the next several years to fix such bugs.  I, myself was involved in fixing several Cheyenne Mountain Y2K and Y2K+1 potentially disastrous bugs.  Russia gets invited to the complex to verify no monkey-business is going on.  We later torture and interrogate them and eat their flesh for food (no, just kidding).

  Music is typically dreary and thick and low-fi brimming with wealthy teens mildly angry at nothing.  MTV stops playing music in favor of scripted and fake "Reality-TV"shows that the American public thinks is natural and real, unscripted events.  Bands of the '80s are eliminated utterly and Rap music makes a huge showing along with low-fi neo-punk of "Grunge" of such bands as Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Stone Temple PilotsAlice in Chains, and Korn.  MTV all but dies-off, calling "Grunge" as "Buzz" music which never catches on.  They still try to call it that now.  Not gonna work, MTV.  Quality and skill are replaced with repetitive, droning, muddy and thick music like that of the 1970's by way of rock.  Barbershop Quartet-style "R&B" groups such as Boys II Men, Snow, Salt n' Peppa, and similar, as well as "Hip Hop" dance music are the pop-music of the '90s.  The album series "Jock Jams" as a various top-10 annual hits album becomes incredibly popular.

Nirvana captures the pulse of Americana early with the song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", a slant on Teen Spirit deodorant.  The song well outlasted the product, awkwardly.

  Style is skateboarder grungy, often with low-hanging pants, '70s corduroy, flannel, baseball caps turned, unwashed shirts, and sweatshirt "hoodies".  The "homeless" look is popular as well, with ripped clothes and drab colors.

  TV shows no longer show the now-uncool messages of "good guys always win" to more edgy themes and court-based TV as well as scripted "reality shows".  Prime-time shows Friends, Seinfeld, and COPS as well as Beverly Hills 90210 and Home Improvement are all popular, though like the decade, the shows are about nothing much, really.  A few temporary gems like Chicago Hope, ER, and The X-Files make TV worth watching.

Why bathe?

  The media reflect the current style and pulse of America well:  lazy, sleepy, stinky, without holding any true value in anything whatsoever.  The '80s gave 'em everything they wanted with no suffering, no concern for life or limb, and relationships became empty shadows of intimacy without substance.

Another show about nothing.

  Hollywood drops the "nice guys finish last" with more anti-hero themes and darker, negative endings where the bad guys win.  The whole dark, edgy theme of the late '80s becomes commonplace.

  A lot of movies on this list are going to be predictable, and certainly a few will be left out to people's anger, of course. Now that I'm reaching into the more recent film bag, the next two decades are going to be more important to the younger crowd, mostly because they're too timid to look back into, say, the 1920s for film gems because I get comments at work such as, "That movie was made before I was born!!! Why would I want to watch that?" I consider this. I never considered turning my back on history, but I can see why younger folks are timid to do so, perhaps that if they find something more valuable than themselves in their generation, it might invalidate their generation! Sadly for them, the current film list of recent years is lacking, particularly the last 10 years or so, especially compared to the '70s or '80s, so I can see the fear that sure, their generation is lazy and devoid of heart.

Ludicrous special-effects, often for no reason.  In this scene, a car might have hit a fire hydrant, only to explode like an H-bomb, though people are thrown, no one is hurt in any way, impossibly.

  Special-effects in 1971 when a truck exploded for whatever reason was real. The director actually blew-up the freakin' truck! Insane car chases such as in Bullit were genuine, not CGI, and it required an amazing amount of skill that took years of practice to expert, something this generation is loathe.  A very special suspension of disbelief is required to choke down this swill.

A teen show about rich teens doing nothing

Honorable mentions that didn't make the cut for various reasons but are still excellent and worth a watch:

Run Lola Run (1998),
Dumb & Dumber (1994),
Star Trek: First Contact (1996),
Schindler's List (1993),
Saving Private Ryan (1998),
Back to the Future Part III (1990),
Heat (1995),
Forrest Gump (1994),
Leon, The Professional (1994),
Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels (1998),
The Unforgiven (1992),
Breakdown (1997),
Ed Wood (1994),
Quiz Show (1994),
Good Fellas (1990),
The Boondock Saints (1999),
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997),
Strange Days (1995)
Total Recal (1990). 

  Yeah, that's right, I didn't include The Matrix (1999) because the story was already done in 1985 in the movie The Twilight Zone.  Cheap tricks of rotating camera angles and slow-mo impossible bullet-dodging make for cheese-factor-eleven.  Blah.

Now for..

The Top 10 Best Movies of the 1990s

1. Dances With Wolves (1990)
  Dances With Wolves is a long watch, weighing-in at 236 minutes making it an epic film.  It's a classic tale retold in the less-than-satisfactory film, Avatar which got away from bad acting by way of 3D IMAX effects to dazzle the audience.  I, luckily watched Avatar on a "small" 46" LCD TV at work in monaural so I wouldn't be dazed by effects, and it's lackluster.  People rushed to buy the BluRay release only to find at home it really was a pile of steaming crap, just in the same way The Matrix was.  Consider The Matrix's acting?  Wooden as a balsa-plane.  Costume design is ludicrous.  CGI seems cartoonish and the premise is redone from The Twilight Zone Movie (1985).  The only thing going for it was dazzling CGI effects and camera trickery and, well, that's it.
  This movie has none of that, except for sweeping scenes and grand vistas.  Story's about a Civil War soldier who gets involved with American Indians and finds the enemy has actually a better way of life and ends-up fighting the US soldiers instead.  It's a long tale and told expertly, though you'll find you'll start to fidget at the 3-hour mark, knowing there's still 16 minutes to go.  Interestingly, there's a bit of a rare, 4-hour version of it around somewhere, which almost qualifies it for a mini-series like James Clavel's Shogun.  I have not seen the infinity-hour version of it but I'm sure it's worth a watch.  I'll try to find it.  Sadly, there's no "Intermission" as far as I remember on the BluRay disc, but the theaters offered it, which is nice.
  The film is incredibly historically accurate.  People have tried to pick it apart for any inaccuracies but the entire film is plausible at the time of 1863 with the Sioux Tribe.  The languages used and every ounce of it is dead-on, which makes it a real winner.  I love it when directors do their homework! 
   The movie keeps the pace-up enough so you don't doze-off, and the music is top-notch.  Cinematography is vibrant and engaging.   A great watch, but be sure to pack a lunch.. and a dinner.  A+

2. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

  Originally, I had Titanic (1996) in this #2 spot, but I couldn't bring myself to add it.  Sure, it is the second highest-grossing movie of all time, next to The Avengers, but I cannot put a pointless film about an engaged trollop who wanted to bang a deck-hand and made up a fantastical story about him being a Rum Tum Tugger of a rogue/artist/hero who gave her a priceless sapphire necklace that no one ever found when in reality she was a dirty pirate hooker with a jonesing for Irish-ghetto b'cawk!  (Irish were the illegal immigrants of the era).

  Instead, I put a self-indulgent favorite.  It's arguably the best of the Star Trek franchise, smacking of prejudice, war, hatred, and criminal justice as a finale of the original 1964 cast who at the end have signatures for the credits which, if you watch all the original series and the previous 5 films (well, you can skip Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) and I won't tell a soul) and then this one crowns it.

  This tale's takes-off where the '80s trilogy left off, that is Star Trek II, III, and IV (Star Trek V is a bit of a non-sequitur and can be watched after Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (1979) easily). 

  Klingons up until this point have been the bitter enemies of The Federation, attacking at-will on defenseless outposts.  Captain Kirk's son was murdered by a Klingon crew and has harassed him throughout his career.  The Klingon's moon Praxis is destroyed due to over-mining and the Klingon homeworld's atmosphere renders them defenseless.  The Klingons offer a peace-treaty with The Federation.  This similarity coincided with the Russian Cold War and the destruction of Chernobyl Nuclear Facility.  The Federation sends Kirk as an emissary knowing full-well his extreme prejudice will botch the collaboration.  Kirk is considered a Hitler-like warmonger by the Klingons and for justice demand he be sentenced to Rua Penthe (which, ironically is a Siberian penal-colony in the novel War and Peace) to life-imprisonment and hard-labor, hoping the peace-treaty will be broken and all-out war will re-erupt.

  The movie could be watched by itself in the same way The Empire Strikes Back could be watched solo, but it's so satisfying as a finale to the entire "Original Series" Star Trek franchise.  The story holds-up today, as do the special-effects which are satisfying and not overdone.  There's political intrigue and just the right amount of action to keep you watching throughout.

3. Braveheart (1995)

   A lot of folks forget this one, but it was pretty darn good one about Bill Wallace's battle against King Edward for the first Scottish Independence War of the 13th century.  It's an epic tale and the soundtrack did phenomenally and sprawling in scope.
  The Scottish historical film did a lot for tourism in the same way the mythical Loch Ness Monster "Nessy" did years earlier.
  Despite the NC-17 rating (aka Rated X) for violence, the film was toned-down for the theatrical release to a Rated R setting is still gory as all heck for shock-factor.  Once you wade through the blood and guts, it's actually a good story, and despite the shocking scenes of swordfights (Hollywood would have no blood on swords commonly beforehand) it's still a good movie, touching on the Scott's anglophobia nicely to the point of fanaticism.
  The unedited version is hard to find and there's some bootlegs running around with the X-Rating (or NC-17, depending on region).  Still, you don't need to quest for it, it doesn't enhance much unless you're a gore-hound.  The medieval warfare remains intact without the closeups of the carotid-artery splashing your screen as much.
  The movie is fairly historically accurate and a good, spanning, sprawling piece of Scottish pride.

4. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1990)

  Quite arguably better as a sequel than the original, in the distant future a cyborg comes back in time to protect the leader of "The Resistance" against "The Machines" from a shape-shifting liquid-metal robot who's more advanced.  Cards are stacked against the team against the more-advanced T1000 liquid robot that hunts them down.

  The music is rockin' and the action is top-notch with tastes of a dystopian future.  Arnold reprises his role with more personality and the opening scene of "The Future" is about as badass as the '90s can get.  Every nerd from New York to California and back were talking about the cool-factor of "The Hunter Seekers" attack-drone-flying ships in 1990. 

  The characters act cool without being too cheesy, something the '80s could almost never accomplish.  Linda Hamilton embodies the character acting of Sigorney Weaver from Aliens as the "strong mom" approach which helps kids relate as in the '90s, the divorce rate was 50% in the US, a huge climb from 20% in the 1980s.  This helped kids respect a single figure, and Arnold represents a "new dad" concept, again, allowing kids to accept a new father concept subliminally.

  The special-effects at the time were top-notch and still hold-up.  The T1000 was originally going to be used for a Silver Surfer film from Marvel Comics but later kept on a PC until this movie arose.

  The film did rather well in the theaters and opened the door for CGI to be a common term.  This is one of two films (the other being Jurassic Park (1993)) where CGI doesn't detract from the movie.  Almost all CGI is pretty horrible in the '90s and is very "roll your eyes" in the same way pets and puppets were used in the 1940's and '50s to create monsters on miniature toy-sets.  Not so with this film.  They got it right, and it works, and this robot-apocalypse movie's got heart.

5. Jurassic Park (1993)

  Classic tale of Mankind shouldn't play with Mother Nature.  Tale about a scientist collecting DNA samples from amber to restore dinosaurs on an island, creating a bit of a theme-park called Jurassic Park.  Spielberg directs for cinema gold (he hasn't gone insane yet as it's only 1993).

  There was heavy use of CGI in the movie to create some of the dinosaurs in spanning scenes to good effect, though getting a bit dated today it still works even now.  One of the interesting points was during a T-Rex scene, the use of subwoofers to give the movie that oh-so-needed rumble was becoming commonplace in theaters and to great effect!  I watched it once on a TV with "TV speakers" and it's not the same movie at all.

  People were buying DVD players around the time it was available for home-viewing in 1996, as well as Hi-Fi VHS tapes with 5.1 encoding and that sub really got some use!  I must confess, however that a "rumble track" now is a bit of a gimmick in the same way 3d films are a gimmick now (and in the late '50s and '80s).

  Things go awry in the Park and chaos ensues and the small team have to try to escape.  Acting is decent, though oddly Ariana Richards who gave a great "Hollywood-scream" and acted well as a child-actress didn't do well after the movie and was only in Z-grade films afterwards.  Shame; she was cute and seemed to have potential.

  I'm sure religious zealots will scoff at the Darwinism concepts a bit but perhaps they can choke it down for 90 minutes of this mild horror film? 


6. Apollo 13 (1995)

  Fantastic tale directed by "Richie Cunningham" Ron Howard starring Tom Hanks about the Apollo 13 moon mission.  Excellent depiction of astronauts and the US failure of a moon-landing where the crew nearly died.  The engineers are the real heroes though barely credited to save the team's oxygen supply, "We've gotta make this. (drops junk on table)  Outta this."  Great scene. 

  Very good acting and special effects.  No cheese to be found, it's a great watch, albeit a bit sad.  All-star cast keeps the ball up and Ron Howard proves to be a brilliant director.  The whole movie is fairly technically accurate as well with only very minor changes in dialogue.

  Even though I'm biased about "sci-fi" and "space" movies, any armature can appreciate the film, and the soundtrack is very good as well.  Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97% fresh as well, and it won and was nominated for just about every award possible that year.  Good watch.  Enjoy.

  Even history buffs will appreciate the tension in their survival!

7. A Few Good Men (1992)

  I don't like court films in general; 12 Angry Men being an exception.  Having been to court on numerous occasions in my life I find the whole process one-sided and dull.  There's really no Grande Quest to find Justice ala some Ultima VI Codex.  Indeed, I find it more cruel, this Lawful-Neutral concept more akin to Judge Dredd without mercy, and sometimes a random lunatic becomes a judge.  Indeed,one time after opting to wait until last before sentencing, seeing every other traffic violator for speeding get the axe despite some rather good (and rather bad, ie. "My dad knows the mayor..") excuses, I got to my turn and pleaded, "Nolo Contendere."  The judge asked if I knew what that plea meant and I said I did, that there was "no contest" because despite anything I say, I'd be guilty as all the other 200 that day and that though I felt my speeding was in error, I didn't want to plead guilty or not-guilty because it was pointless.  The judge grinned and agreed with me, and let me go with no fine.

  This film is a court-movie about a military training facility commander who is in question for allowing students murder another for falling behind and ruining a US Marine quota.  Tom Cruise plays the young whipper-snapper excellently though Demi Moore is about useless, she can get through to the students with a motherly, compassionate tone required for confessions.

  The film works and Jack Nicholson shines as what you'd expect a Marine to be.  Who hasn't heard the famous line, "You can't handle the truth!"  So many people love his performance and are so entranced, they cannot fathom what's being said, but then again, that's typical for Americans who watch thinly disguised versions of The Gong Show these days.  I challenge the viewer to consider his speech and why you might like it, and more importantly, what is said.  I won't help you with this one.  You're on your own.  Yes, I challenge you to think!

8. Silence of the Lambs (1996)

  One of the last good horror-flicks about a serial killer who's skinning his victims, FBI agent played by Jodie Foster consults cannibal-in-jail Anthony Hopkins for potential clues.

  The killer nicknamed, "Buffalo Bill" plays a whack-job pretty well as an unpredictable murderer and the movie is based on a best-seller book from a few years prior.   Who can't remember the famous line, "It puts the lotion in the basket?"

  The Hollywood awards it received are second only to The Exorcist (1973) for a horror film of such honors, though not half as frightening though as it's more of a detective film with some dangers involved of psychological distortion.  There's no real shock-factor going on, it's just a nice, long ride.

  The film gets a bit dry at times but pulls you back in at the right places and tugs at your sensibility for the perverse.  The film did amazingly at the theaters spawning several not-so-well-received sequels focusing on the cannibal character, "Hannibal Lecter" and Jodie Foster wasn't interested reprising her role as, "Clarise", though the final film of Hannibal's origins is actually well-written as a prequel.

  The movie is frightening enough without making people pass-out or vomit, and the creepiness of the villains are enough to get your tense and concerned for Jodie's innocence.  Though not a must-watch film in the genre, some would disagree.  I place it in the top 25 horror films of all time, though it doesn't try to be.  Give it a try and tell me what you thought.

9. Fargo (1991)

  Having lived in North Dakota for 2 years this movie makes a lot of sense.  Though an independent film, it did rather well, costing only $7M to make but grossing almost $70M is pretty darn good.  Frances McDormand does a fine job portraying the Columbo-like police with a casual calmness to amazing horrors which warms my nostalgic heart a bit.  Brilliant work.

  This one's about a car salesman in Fargo, ND, who needs a little extra cash so has two thugs kidnap his wife so he can split the ransom with his wealthy father-in-law to pay off his gambling debts.  Things get out of hand, however and don't turn out as planned.

  Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare play appropriate creeps and the whole movie is a fine look at the culture of the mid-far-north of the US to include upper Minnesota.  Some people found this movie to be a comedy though I didn't see it as such having lived there at the time, the attitudes, a bit cow-chewing-cud-ish blankness is extremely common.  The accents were pretty correct and not goofed-up unlike a lot of Boston-based movies (there's no such thing as a "Southie" friends, it was made-up by the movie Good Will Hunting (1997)).  I found the film dire and horrific as a deep, deep horror film, a "wolf out in the lambs" kind of setting.  Living there, again, I found it not funny, but accurate.  Once you can get over the unusual attitudes of the people, you can settle-in to the darkness of it, and it descends low and cruel. 

  Part of the movie was filmed just 5 miles from where I lived.  You can see it in the movie poster above, actually.  It's barren there, yes.  Great filmography putting the landscape on the letterbox release low to the screen is well-done directing by Joel and Ethan Coen.

  Interestingly, the movie claims it's based on a "true story".  It is not.  It's a ruse, though both directors defend their position by saying that individual occurrences happened across the US, though not all at the same time.  Kind of a cop-out.  The infamous "Wood Chipper" scene was actually a murder in 1986 in Connecticut, not Minnesota in 1987 for instance.
  So when you watch this film, perhaps for the second time if you already have, remember that the caricatures are accurate in personality!

10. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

  Who knew Stephen King could write such a fine story?  A lot of his stuff is really poor, just like the band Metallica, his bad stuff now far outnumbers his good stuff, but, like Metallica, when he writes good stuff, oh, it's goooood.

  Story's about a banker in the '40s who's imprisoned for the alleged murder of his wife based on circumstantial evidence for 20 years and tries to escape while befriending Morgan Freeman's character "Red" for similar crimes.

  Symbolism is in-yo-face.  Even the poster of the "ablution of sins" is Christian yum-yum-for-all, and the payment one must endure on Earth as a symbolic Purgatory or Hell.  Great stuff.  Great acting.  Great drama.  Much better than Papillion (1973) on many levels, though I think the novel was based on it, as it's similar in many ways, it's not as "hopeless".  Tim Robbins gives an ACE performance, and Morgan Freeman becomes THE narrator of this generation because of his work here.
  Like several movies that didn't do all that well in its time, the movie has a bit of a cult-status for being so gosh-darn excellent.  GREAT film.


So, I hope you liked my list of the '90s.  Soon, the millennium will commence!  People were all akimbo about that, end-of-the-world stuff.  Thankfully it didn't happen.  It's nice to see that the '90s wasn't a barren-wasteland of film after all!  See you in 2000!  The year of the FUTURE!


  Yup.  I did it again.  There's an 11th.  Purely self-indulgent, this one.

11. Office Space (1999)

  This movie barely broke-even as a comedy.  You can see some of the similarities in Terry Gilliam's Brazil in the poster, but it's not so clever.  A sataristical view of office-work environment of the time it shows three software guys trying to get-by and deal with office drama.  Cliche'ing on several late '90s white-collar issues, the creator of Beavis and ButtHead makes an excellent comedy about dealing with the office environment and how nerds fight-back.

  Passive-aggressive bosses dominate in a world of competition and laziness, "Yeah, I'm gonna need you to go on ahead and come in on Saturday.  Yeah..." or taking away anyone else's sense of power such as Milton's red stapler so they can be the top-dog, all done quietly and calmly with subversion.

  It goes out of the realm of the office to poke fun at restaurant chains, showing this passive-aggressive leadership is everywhere in the sake of Jennifer Annistion's boss demanding she wear gaudy buttons to show off "flair" as a demeaning gesture as well.

  Rather an intelligent film despite comedic elements, it succeeds on every level and calls to anyone who deals with paperwork in any fashion.  Those who read the comic strip, Dilbert will have this Cupid's Arrow of a film hit home and maybe even a pressure-valve as a sense of relief.

  The film is hugely now a cult-status movie and just about everyone I've ever known has seen it a dozen times.  The movie spins on the concept of antiestablishmentarianism in the same vein as Rush's album "2112" or the film, Take This Job and Shove It (1981).  For anyone who's been controlled by buffoons, this one's a winner.

So, this time, that's it.  Finished.  See you in 2000!


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