Prestige Best films of the 90’s year by year !!

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by theprestige, Aug 11, 2017.

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  1. theprestige

    theprestige
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    And we're back :)

    As I already explained in the previous best of year threads, the 90s is a very important decade in the development of film and is particularly of huge importance to myself a lot of other members on this forum. Most of the films I have seen that were made in the 80s I would have watched in the 90s and it was the decade where I slowly came to the realisation that the studio film was a cinema of consensus - in that there was something for everybody.

    There seemed to be somewhat of an unusual marriage between the blockbusters studio films of the 80s and the indie sensibilities of the 70s. Powerhouse filmmakers emerged with original and exciting stories that were incredibly well realised with the cinema experience still being the gold standard way to watch films.

    The very first film I had ever seen at the cinema was Honey I Blew Up The Kid back in 1992. Even back then I knew I was watching a piece of rubbish...however, I was seduced and hypnotised by the technical presentation, the dark room, the size of the screen before me and knew that there were greater cinematic adventures to be had that wouldn't feature Rick Moranis and co stinking up the auditorium, and great adventures I would go on to have.

    The decade is also notable for introducing a new generation of youthful artists who were making a name for themselves by wonderful works such a Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Danny Boyle, Toshiaki Toyoda, Darren Aronofsky, Guy Ritchie, Doug Liman, Shane Meadows, Ang Lee, Jan De Bont and Takeshi Kitano to name but a few. All these talents were emerging while older pros such a Scorsese, Spielberg and Kieslowski were at the full height of their powers and enjoying a career peak. What an exciting time to be going to the cinema.

    Thrillers, the rebirth of the slasher, action adventures, low fi, bearable indie romantic films, and engaging dramas are just a fraction of reasons as to why I think that the 90s is the best decade in film. Not even Baby Spice's thighs could get me off the way films from this decade could.

    RULES:

    Everybody is welcome to comment on this thread, that's most certainly encouraged. If you want to make picks, however, you must write a paragraph or two about it and add a picture of the film you are mentioning. You also need to pick a runner up, which you don't have to write about.

    What I don't want to see is people casually name dropping a couple of films they liked and leaving it at that. That's not contributing and will be considered a disruption of the thread if it happens.

    Now, with that out of the way, lets commence :)

    My pick is coming in very shortly..
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  2. Drax1

    Drax1
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    Best Film 1990
    Dances With Wolves


    upload_2017-8-11_12-11-46.png

    The simple story of a civil war soldier and his adventures at a remote outpost on the frontier manages to be a wonderfully stirring piece of modern cinema. Even seeing it way back in the early 90's, I figured it a shame that 'they really don't make movies like this anymore'.
    The John Barry score alone, is so affecting, it's almost like a character in itself.
    Kevin Costner manages the feat of delivering not only a first rate performance as the title character, but also bringing a fantastically assured directorial outing, that rivals that of the likes of Edward Zwick and Spielberg for a huge feeling of scope. Incredibly, this was his debut!
    The set pieces really are tremendous, and there's some gentle moments of comedy as Costner's John Dunbar and the inquisitive Sioux locals gradually display their human side to on another.
    Simply unmissable, and one of my favourite films of all time. And to think, my first impressions of this were just based on a VHS pan and scan rental!

    Runner Up
    Goodfellas


    upload_2017-8-11_12-29-57.png

    I can't quite believe that I'm putting Scorsese's finest movie at number two, but if I have to choose, DWW pips this for over all enjoyment, and the impact it had on my passion for cinemagoing. This is still an amazing piece of filmmaking, and it remains the finest example of it's genre.
    The cast are all at the top of their game, with no weak link among them. And there's that great soundtrack which immerses you yet further into the timeline of the 60's and 70's. Much mimicked, but never bettered, this is one of those films that even if it's subject matter is a bit rich for you, we can all agree it's a superbly crafted bit of cinema.

    It was always a two horse race, but honourable mentions must go to Paul Verhoven's over the top Total Recall (my first cinema trip to an 18 cert no less), Misery (which represents one of those great screenings where I was the only patron), Tim Burton's spellbinding Edward Scissorhands (shame that lovely score has been dulled due to overuse on tv ads), the awkwardly titled Quigley Down Under, Awakenings, and the very underrated Godfather Part III. I'll go on record as saying I'm not the diehard fan of that trilogy like a lot of people, but I found this to be the most impactful. The scene on the opera house steps sure takes some beating for shear power, as demonstrated in the below image.

    Godfather III
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
  3. theprestige

    theprestige
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    1990: Trust (Hal Hartley)

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    "A family's like a gun, if you point it in the wrong direction, you are going to kill someone"

    If you squish Jim Jamusch, Kevin Smith, Jean-Luc Godard and Woody Allen in juice mixer, out will come Hal Hartley, who is arguably the most idiosyncratic auteurs to come out of the American indies in the 90s.

    Trust, his sophomore effort, represents all that's charming about The Hartley style - fast paced yet borderline monotonous delivery of dialogue, outsider double acts, existential crises and musings about love and the nature of relationships. This may all sound pretentious if you are have not yet had a taste of Hartley, but the result is quite an arresting study of our role in the world and how we make sense of it.

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    The story centres on Maria (Adrienne Shelly, instantly likeable) a 17 year old high school bubblegum student who finds herself pregnant by her jock boyfriend. He wants to concentrate on his football career so of course he dumps her but not before she is thrown out of the house by her mum. She eventually crosses paths with Matthew (an absolutely superb Martin Donovan) an older man who lives at home with his abusive father and is so discontent with life that he carries a live grenade with him every where he goes. Yes really.

    [​IMG]

    The relationship that develops between these two is touchingly propelled through some breathtaking dialogue exchanges between not only themselves, but each others fractured families. Those that know my tastes, know that my humour is pretty dark. While this isn't an outright black comedy, it certainly has hints of it and falls in line with the 'dramedy' that populated the American indies in the late 80s and 90s. The film is laugh out loud funny at times, and that's not always because of the line being said, but sometimes because of the reaction shots. Only other filmmaker that does reaction comedy as well as Hartley is probably Edgar Wright.


    It has to be said that this is not a cinematic production. It's lensed with normal glass and the lighting is for the most part naturalistic and flat, aside from some beautiful blue tint seen during night interiors in Maria's Mum's kitchen. It's an electric blue casts itself on a few characters faces, as if showing contradictions in personalities, and is pretty much as cinematic as Hartley gets, which is another point - Hartley is NOT a cinematic director. At least back then. His style is almost anti-cinematic and he relies heavily on the action beats of his direct dialogue. This is not a bad thing as it helps gives him a distinctive flavour and if you want a unique voice in cinema, very few are as unique as Hartleys.

    [​IMG]

    Hartley regular, Martin Donovan, it has to be said, is probably the star of the show. His reclusive, television hating, literature loving angry young man schtick is probably as close to an iconic character that Hartley has created, and yes, I include Henry Fool in that statement. It's as if he had been genetically engineered to recite Hartley's dialogue, he's brilliant. Additional welcome support also comes from a very young Edie Falco playing Maria's man hungry yet damaged older sister.

    Runner Up: King Of New York (Abel Ferrera) love this film too. Probably Ferrera's best. The BFI have written a fantastic write up on it.


    C'mon then, lets have ya's
     
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  4. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    Miller’s Crossing (1990) Directed by Joel Coen
    Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 13.50.33.png

    Its noir inspired themes and accents are nothing new but the pitch perfect execution behind the scenes is where the Coen’s really do come into their own, it’s such a brilliant crafted tale with its fast talking wise cracking dialogue and from its exquisite camerawork courtesy of Barry Sonnenfeld. Cast wise it also shines where each and every performer/character is given time to pull out such remarkable and memorable performances. Goodfellas gets all the acclaim but for me this is one of the greatest gangster pics of the big screen and definitely the best gangster film of the 90’s.
    123.jpg

    Favourite scenes…
    John Turturro pleading in the woods, the wind-blown fedora, Finney’s tommy gun and every time that glorious soundtrack rears its head.

    Runners up….

    State of Grace (1990) Directed by Phil Joanou

    Another neglected gangster epic starring Oldman,Penn,Harris,Turturro

    The Reflecting Skin (1990) Directed by Philip Ridley

    A coming of age movie thats fully realised with such fantastic imagery and imagination

    Other greats of the year
    Misery,The Match Factory Girl,Begotten,Wild at Heart,Ju-Dou....
     
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  5. Drax1

    Drax1
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    That's 'Trust' added to my ever growing to do list. Walken delivers a fantastic performance in King Of New York, but my only viewing of it left me cold. Maybe it's time for a re watch
     
  6. dawson001

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    Home Alone
    Total Recall
    Ghost

    Possibly my favourite....Flatliners. Can't wait for the remake!!
     
  7. Drax1

    Drax1
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    I forgot all about that! There's one that really needs another viewing. I've been meaning to catch it again for the last 20 years or so! So many movies, so little time...;)
     
  8. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    As far as I'm concerned 1990 belongs to one film and that's Goodfellas. However since I imagine many people will choose that I'm gonna put that as runner up and choose this instead:

    Wild At Heart - David Lynch

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    Imagine True Romance, but on acid. Like that film, this too is a violent road-movie featuring an Elvis-loving wildman and southern blonde crossing the US in a cadillac pursued by hitmen, but instead of Tarantino's drug plot and snappy dialogue, Lynch serves up a pageant of bizarre characters, surreal encounters and a Wizard of Oz theme, set to thrash metal. That’s Wild At Heart; a strange odyssey along a yellow brick road littered with road kill. One of my earliest exposures to the world of Lynch and I'll always hold a soft spot for it, despite it rarely being seen as his best work. The most I've ever been entertained by Nicholas Cage, who plays snakeskin jacket-wearing ex-con Sailor Ripley, with support from Laura Dern’s sex bomb Lula Fortune; and a parade of grotesques including Diane Ladd's in-law from hell Marietta (the film's wicked witch), J E Freeman's merciless hitman Santos, and Willem Dafoe's unhinged ex-marine Bobby Peru, plus many others. Love all the flashbacks and anecdotes, often visualised during Sailor's vibrant post/pre-coital conversations with Lula (especially Crispin Glover's 'Jingle Dell'). Erotic, violent and sick; this film is wild at heart and weird on top; just the way I like my Lynch.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Wild At Heart - Slaughterhouse by Powermad




    Runner up:
    Goodfellas - Scorsese
    upload_2017-8-11_11-51-45.png

    It's got everything: engrossing story, gorgeous cinematography, fantastic soundtrack, a career-best performance from Ray Liotta, De Niro at the top of his game, and Joe Pesci as perhaps one of the most memorable film characters of all time. Excellent performances too from Paul Sorvino and especially Lorraine Bracco. It's epic, breathtaking and full of so many memorable scenes that- like Karen early in the movie- you feel almost intoxicated by it. It sets the standard for the immersive 'rise & fall' type movie, which later proved a perfect template for one of my favourite films: Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights. Seeing this family of characters act with total impunity only to implode into a nightmare of death and betrayal- is endlessly entertaining. I love Casino too but Goodfellas is king. An absolute and unequivocal 10/10.


    Other personal favourites from '90:

    Misery - Rob Reiner
    Another Rob Reiner King adaptation and this might be one of the best. Chilling story without any supernatural additives, with two amazing performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates. Absolutely wince-inducing, horrifying and nerve shredding. The film constantly kicks the chair out from under you and I find it utterly gripping right up to the satisfying and grisly finale. Reiner really was on a roll in those days.

    The Krays - Peter Medak
    The recent tepid Tom Hardy vehicle has nothing on Peter Medak's grim, violent 1990 version. Unlike the Reggie & Frances-themed 2015 film, this concentrates more on the bond between Ron, Reg, and their mother played by the amazing Billie Whitelaw. Lots of impressive and quite spectacularly nasty scenes really immerse you in the fear that gripped London in the 1960s as Gary & Martin Kemp play out the Krays' lives as they rise to power; while their family crumbles.

    Total Recall - Paul Verhoeven
    More of a spiritual sequel to Robocop than Robocop 2 was. And like Verhoeven's 1987 film, Recall is another mega-violent sci-fi tale about a man struggling to reconnect with his past. My first 18 certificate film seen at the cinema (I was 17) and I was blown away; it even temporarily dethroned Aliens as my favourite film for a while (hey I was young). Rob Bottin's make up effects look very silly now IMO, but the film is still amazing fun and features one of my all-time favourite scores by Jerry Goldsmith.
     

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  9. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    @theprestige Ive only seen one Hal Hartley film (Simple Men) after hearing so much about him and to be honest I really didn’t get the love one bit in fact I don’t think I even got to the end, but your review of Trust really makes me think i should really give this guy another shot, so on to the watchlist it goes:smashin:.
     
  10. theprestige

    theprestige
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    I hope you like Trust, it's certainly the best introduction to Hartley you'll get. If you don't get on with Trust you can probably skip his other stuff but I have a good feeling you'll enjoy it :)

    I like Simple Men, but if it had been my first intro to Hartley, I too would have felt underwhelmed by it too. Trust is definitely the measuring stick, I look forward to hearing what you think!
     
  11. theprestige

    theprestige
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    @Drax1 King Of New York is a film that grew on me. Like yourself, I was a bit meh after the first viewing, but then I watched it when I was way too young to really consider what was going on. When I watched it again a few years ago via Arrow's excellent blu ray disc, it was a revelation.

    It was far funnier than I had remembered, it felt like it had more going on for it than just being another glorified crime drama and the cinematography is just astounding. I'd definitely give it one more go.
     
  12. theprestige

    theprestige
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    Laura Dern looks alright in that pic.

    I'd be willing to check this out even though i'm not much into Lynch. It was the True Romance on acid that got me curious :D

    Also, nice shout out to The Krays. Very underrated and long overdue for a blu ray release. I didn't even bother watching the Tom Hardy version.

    Definitely put it ahead of Goodfellas...which I do really like too. But yeah, Miller's Crossing is strong output from The Coens and probably my favourite film of theirs.
     
  13. theprestige

    theprestige
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    You need to write a paragraph and add an image about your first pick.
     
  14. J.J.GITTES

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    Pump up the Volume(Allan Moyle)

    [​IMG]

    Happy Harry: One day I woke up and realized I was never going to be normal, so I said "**** it", so I said " So Be it"

    Yes there are far greater films in the decade then this which are going to be picked by everyone else, but the year of 1990 in film for me is a very personal one as without this film in my teenage years i don't think I would have ever gotten through school and that is an Understatement to say the least. The teen movie may be for most, John Hughes sugar coated films which have dated in my eyes a lot but this is the real side of being a teenager, I watched it god knows how many times after getting home from school at around 4pm just to make me feel happy and alive again after eight or so hours of hell, yes I am rare, but I hated every single minute of school and to this day count it as the most wasted time of my life especially where I am in life now which is a rather great place.

    The story of Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) who has moved away from his home town and all his friends so his farther could take a new job as the dean of the local school where they have moved to, he finds it hard to talk to anyone, he is a loner and an outsider and is finding it hard to fit in, but at night he is king of the air waves as private DJ Happy Harry(can't use his full name as it is a bit rude), with a radio kit his Father brought for him so he could speak to his friends back east, Mark use the night life to express his views about the wrong doings at his school and what is wrong with American society, helping fellow students who write in to his show about issues they have which they find hard to talk to people about, he builds up quiet a cult following that starts to affect the school and the town, but when local girl Nora Diniro (Samantha Mathis) works out who Harry is in school and when the school and the local government want Harry shut down for expressing his views, Harry time is running out to show what life as a teenage really is like once you look at the world from there yes.

    Directors Allen Moyles third film which he wrote with Slater in mind is still his best performance as Mark Hunter/DJ Happy Harry, yes in the world of the interweb, YouTube, Periscope and all the rest of social media malarkey it may look a bit dated but the themes that's in Moyles film is every bit as true then as they are today, along with some great quotable dialogue to one of the greatest soundtracks ever by a one Mr Cliff Martinez, it's a film that has a very special place in my heart and will always be with me, yes Goodfellas, Wild at Heart and so are better films in every aspect but they are easy films to picks for me from the year and I love them all immensely with a few others which have already been mentioned, but this saved me as Some Might Say from Going Nowhere in life and I owe Moyles and Slater a big debt for that.

    Talk Hard.

    Runner-Up The Hot Spot (Dennis Hopper)

    [​IMG]



    Again trying not to pick the obvious but films I champion away from the best of pack.

    Dennis Hoppers love letter to my most loved Genre, Film Noir, it is super sexy, hotter than any summer this country has every seen, the sweet drips of the screen when watching this , with great performances by Don Johnson as the good looking loner who strolls in to town, to Virginia Madsen super, super sexy Femme Fatale who I still have a crush on from this very performance , yes it may be a tad long but it's a great Neo-Noir by Hopper and real forgotten gem for me and just behind Easy Rider as his best film

    Honourable mention: Tremors , bloody ace creature feature
     
  15. theprestige

    theprestige
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    Love it, mate. Awesome picks. Seen both and adored them. 1990s has some heavyweights for sure. Sounds like Pump Up The Volume was a deeply personal film for you, and I can see why a lot of teens from that era would relate to it. I saw this back to back with Heathers ages ago and felt that they complemented each other well not just for the obvious Christian Slater casting but also thematically. Would you agree?

    The Hot Spot was always been one of those under appreciated gems for the 90s.
     
  16. domtheone

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    Winner
    [​IMG]

    As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.

    And so begins what is a strong contender for my all time favorite gangster movie.

    Everything about this movie just oozes class. Great story, direction, brilliant camera work, editing.

    Fantastic performances by De Niro, Liotta etc but Pesci steals the show (imo). When you watch him prancing around in something like Lethal Weapon, it’s hard to imagine it’s the same guy making you **** bricks with his “What do you mean I’m funny” scene. Incredible performance and a well deserved (the only 1 the movie won) Oscar.


    Runner Up
    [​IMG]

    I could have picked from 2 or 3 but I’m going with Red October.

    I love a good sub film and this one is right up there.

    As much as I love Harrison ford, Red October is hands down my fave Jack Ryan movie. Fresh from Die Hard, John McTiernan returns to direct this superb cold war sub thriller. Sean Connery – a Russian naval captain with a Scottish accent and Alec Baldwin - a CIA analyst, excel in their parts. Ably assisted by a great supporting cast of heavyweights, it makes for a terrific thriller.


    Honourable mentions go to:

    Total Recall. Verhoeven/Schwarzenegger – great fun.

    Misery. Superb book. Superb movie. Remember watching this at the cinema. Great experience. That scene on the big screen! OMG did the audience wince. The Blu-ray is great (fantastic transfer) too.

    Ghost. A monster at the box office in the summer. Saw it twice at the movies:eek: Not seen for over a decade so can’t remember how it holds up now.

    Tremors. Great B movie fun.

    Back to the Future 3. Decent final outing.

    Die Hard 2. Suffers a bit in the shadow of Die Hard but for me, easily the 2nd best Die Hard movie.


    Great start to another great decade.
     
  17. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    Thanks @J.J.GITTES i’m 99% sure I’ve never seen The Hot Spot if I have can’t remember anything about it so look forward to some unseen noir goodness.
     
  18. J.J.GITTES

    J.J.GITTES
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    Yes, a very personal film for me, I watch it once a year now and I still love it and along with a certain Manchester band from the 90s which everyone loves to hates who helped me just as much as that film to get on my feet, reminds me of where I have come from, the bottom of the pile while everyone one is claiming you have no hope in life and a waste of time, to what I have work so bloody hard for, a roof over my head and a rather great life and very happy, just wish Jennifer Aniston would have said yes to my question instead of that loser:D , life would be perfect then.

    Agree also with it working really well with Heathers as I have always thought of them as a great one-two even without the Slater connection, rumour is Arrow have Heathers coming soon, of true it will be a day one purchase.

    Good to see more love for The Hot Spot:smashin:
     
  19. J.J.GITTES

    J.J.GITTES
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    I have it on Blu if you want me to stick it in the post for you, it's has a second film on it that is so bad its laughable.
     
  20. systemsdead

    systemsdead
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    Thanks for the offer J.J very kind of you but i’ll stick it on my never ending paradiso list.
     
  21. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Very different film really, but the parallels are obvious on paper. If you like a bit of Laura Dern you get to see plenty of her doing sexy-time.

    Agree don't bother with the Tom Hardy one, felt very average to me and goes the odd (and frankly stupid) route of having Frances be the narrator. Which doesn't make much sense considering... Tom Hardy's method acting also completely took me out of the film.

    Me and my brother are contantly quoting Medaks version though. Say thank you!


    Nah you're both mental, I could watch Goodfellas on a loop, anytime, anywhere. It's what cinema was invented for. I liked Millers Crossing but don't feel the need to ever watch it again.


    Just realised all 5 of my picks are characterised by multiple scenes of really ****ed up violence. Not sure what that says about me :D.
     
  22. Drax1

    Drax1
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    I've already called out my 'honourable mentions' post runner up, but having looked again at the IMBD list, these should also have been included -

    Internal Affairs - A brilliant Richard Gere performance as the slippery cop Dennis Peck
    Pacific Heights - Michael Keaton convinces us of his dark side.
    White Palace - James Spader has a whale of a time with Susan Sarandon's cougar.
    Quick Change - Spot on comedy perfectly tailored for Bill Murray.
     
  23. domtheone

    domtheone
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    ^^^
    I almost added Pacific Heights to my honourable mentions. Very decent movie from memory.

    I don't think i've seen half of the winners so far for this year:blush:
     
  24. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Same here.
     
  25. Drax1

    Drax1
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    I'm staggered, but also pleasantly surprised, that we only have one number one slot (so far)given to Goodfellas. Who knew that the AVF members had such diverse taste!
     
  26. Drax1

    Drax1
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    Am with you on that. The Hardy version (an admittedly ok watch) was all gloss, and of a polished nature, whereas the cold grit of the original told a far more convincing story.
     
  27. domtheone

    domtheone
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    Tbh, I was gonna start with the words, I know everyone has picked it already....

    Most have probably omitted it thinking I don't want everyone to pick the same film.:D
     
  28. theprestige

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    Lol, 'you've got nothing to say and you are saying it too loudly'.

    It says that like the good ol' blood 'n' guts :D or in Misery's case, blunt trauma. Still have to look away when that scene comes on.
     
  29. theprestige

    theprestige
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    Yeah, I expected it to dominate too. I guess it feels like such an obvious choice in hindsight that people figured it would get loads of nominations. It's a very good film, though, so I totally get the love for it and I enjoy watching it every now and again myself.
     
  30. Rawschach

    Rawschach
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    As a huge fan of Don Johnson and Jennifer Connelly I would also give a mention to The Hot Spot which is a quality film. I like Goodfellas but I am going to nominate a sequel almost as good as the excellent first film :

    upload_2017-8-12_10-1-6.png

    Gary Busey and Bill Paxton - i love it already! A quality cast, King Willy the voodoo chap, the excellent chase scene at the end, some decent humour... I love this film for how easy it is to watch, i have seen it numerous times but it still entertains.

    Honourable mention to Robocop 2 which i think is far better than it's reputation suggests. Yes it is not a patch on the brilliant first film but it is entertaining and has a few good ideas kicking around. Watch Robocop 3 and then 2 rather than 1 and then 2 and it looks even better.

    Tremors was great too.

    90 was not a great film year for me but 91 is miles better!
     

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