Okay, I’m gonna go right ahead and say it: 1995 wasn’t a very exciting year for film. I mean, when a film like Braveheart wins Best Picture you know it wasn’t a good year. It is probably because I haven’t seen that many films from 1995 – this list of five is nearly everything I’ve seen. If we were talking 1994 or 1996, everything would have been much better. Jeez, Mum and Dad, why’d I have to be born in such a dull year? Here’s my top five, anyway:
5. Dead Man Walking
I watched this one a couple of nights ago and I really liked it. It is one of those interesting ‘good vs. evil’ movies that I like to see, but this one kind of melds the two together in a way that is always relevant and resonant, and particularly great to see on screen. Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn were great in their roles, too.
4. Before Sunrise
I prefer Before Sunset since it is a lot more mature and rhythmic, but it would be nothing without Before Sunrise. It is such a sweet and lovely film, leaving you wanting more but not needing it. Whoever said romantic movies suck obviously haven’t seen this or the sequel. Just the dialogue alone is enough reason to make you take back that statement, and then the lovely company of Jesse and Celine.
3. Strange Days
This was a movie I miraculously found at Blockbuster right in the midst of my Ralph Fiennes obsession, and I’m extremely happy to now have it in my DVD collection. Kathryn Bigelow’s cyberpunk sci-fi flick written by James Cameron is extremely awesome and kick-ass, plus, Fiennes is at his best (if we weren’t counting Schindler’s List, of course). Bigelow’s got mad talent, too. Most of the time I couldn’t believe I was watching a film directed by a woman. This is the kind of film I want to make.
It has been a while since I saw this, but like most of David Fincher’s films, it was completely awesome. Can anybody make a serial killer thriller as good as him? I don’t think so. I loved the ingenious blend of obsession themes, the seven deadly sins and the violent and graphic content, which is done how only Fincher can do it. And every film is instantly better off if Morgan Freeman is in it.
1. Toy Story
After all of those adult themed movies about serial killers and rape (and of course the adult romance of Before Sunrise), I’ve chosen to top my list with the sweetest little kids movie ever: Toy Story. Okay, so it isn’t nearly as good as Toy Story 3, but it is one of those great movies for kids that doesn’t try and patronise them with singing chipmunks. I blame this movie for making me wish that my toys came alive while I was asleep. Who knows...maybe they did? As an older child, though, I feel gguilty for leaving all of my toys behind. Only a Pixar film could do that.
I can’t really add three cool people who were born in 1995, since there are so few of them thus far, so how about a list of five interesting film-related things that happened in 1995?
Nicolas Cage’s Oscar winning performance in Leaving Las Vegas was released
I couldn’t really say that he won an Oscar since that technically happened in 1996, but how amazing is it to think that 16 years ago he was capable of a good performance? I admit, I’m quite harsh on Nic. However, his performance in Leaving Las Vegas, as an alcoholic looking to drink himself to death in sin city, is nothing short of amazing. Now you’re most likely to find him in crap-fests like Season of the Witch and Trespass, being far crazier than he needs to be.
Mel Gibson’s Oscar winning Braveheart was released
I find it funny that two actors who have their careers down the gurgler now both managed to win Oscars for their efforts in 1995. Mel Gibson didn’t win for his piss-poor Scottish accent in Braveheart (a film which I had to watch in class and became the only one who didn’t like it all that much), but his directing skills. And now what does he do? It would seem that he just yells at people.
Those kids from Let the Right One In were born
Hardly anyone who has achieved fame by now was born in 1995. In fact, probably the most famous 1995 babies were the kids from the awesome Swedish vampire horror Let the Right One In: Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson. Hopefully these talented young ones have some more projects lined up!
The highest grossing NC-17 film was released
I for one really don’t get the NC-17 rating that America has (the rules they have around it are so stupid, you guys really need to calm down), especially after the rating was slapped on Shame. One film that did better than any NC-17 film, though, was 1995’s Showgirls, which is also often said to be one of the worst films of all-time. Mind you, it is the only NC-17 to be given a wide release in America, ever. So there you go.
Michael Bay had his debut with Bad Boys
The explosions guy every cinephile loves to hate first touched cinematic soil in 1995. Just a question: did everyone hate him back then? Or was it my fault for coming into this world and bringing him into your cinematic universe? I don’t know, even though I do loathe his idea of a ‘film’ I must say, I enjoy taking the piss out of them. Apart from Transformers. I thought that one was kind of awesome.