My Movie Year: 1990

Total Recall

Just like the image above, if there’s a year I don’t recall squat about, is 1990. I know I lived in this year and did stuff, but mostly what happened in 1990 is a blank to me. I always think that stuff that happened in 1991 happened in 1990, so sue me. Nevertheless, let’s hop on the time machine, or on your closest IMDB page, and let’s review the year in movies for the forgettable 1990.

MY GUILTY PLEASURES: So bad, yet so good.

  1. Captain America. Remember those days when movie companies had to rush superhero movies just to not loose the rights to the property? Yep, seems ages ago. The original Captain America film had everything in set to bomb and it did. Heck, they consider the movie one of the worst movies ever made. I disagree entirely. The movie is bad, that’s a given, but is so bad in a cheesy way it is actually good. To illustrate this, Rotten Tomatoes had it at 0% in 2011, right now is at 8%, which means people are growing fond to it. It is very true to the comic, the villain is hilarious. And true to my rule of approving a movie if there’s an actor that I know…this movie has none of them!!! The only guy that resembles an F-lister at least is Ned Beatty. Excellent.
  2. Nuns on the Run. Now talk about a movie that I really enjoyed. The plot is simple: 2 mobsters are running away from their boss that wants to kill them, the only way to disguise themselves is seeking refuge as Nuns in a school…simple. The movie is British and stars Robbie Coltrane, or how many of you guys know him, Rubeus Hagrid, the hairy and beardy dude from the Harry Porter series. The guy was funny, when I saw him first time on the HPS I said:“where do I know this guy from?”. That’s where.
  3. Problem Child. I like both movies of this series. John Ritter was excellent in this movie and he’s completely ignorant of what surrounds him; Jack Warden as Big Ben is the highlight of the movie; Flo is great, and she doesn’t ages a bit; and Junior…whatever happened to that child actor. He was no Macaulay Culkin, but hey, nobody at that age was. But the kid had serious chops. But the most hilarious thing or person has to be Gilbert Gottfried as Mr. Peabody. That obnoxious voice is unforgettable. So was this movie.

MY MOVIES WATCH LIST:

  1. Air America. Remember the whole who’s acting in X movie I will see it? Peak Mel Gibson with up and coming Robert Downey Jr? I’m down with it. Though the critics did not like, this is a must watch for me. The whole Vietnam from a comedic stand point is very attractive for my movie experience.
  2. Days of Thunder. The whole A-List movie actor thing again. And the whole critics bashed this movie again. I gotta admit, I’ve seen parts of this movie, but I need to see the whole movie in order to like it. A young Cruise was faultless, and if you have young and gorgeous Nicole Kidman + Cars + Prick Michael Rooker. I’m on board!
  3. Flatliners. What’s with the critics and iconic 1990 movies? Joel Schumacher, he of The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Client, A Time to Kill…and Batman&Robin, was considered a great director. He directed this great movie, and for some reason I haven’t seen it yet. I gotta see it ASAP since a remake is coming out in 2017 and I have to find a way to wipe the floor with it. Same thing with the previous 2 movies, here we gout Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts, Oliver Platt…what’s not to like? Oddly, haven’t seen it yet, but gotta make amends.
  4. Jacob’s Ladder. Finally! A movie the critics liked. Another Vietman War related movie. Is this going to happen to Desert Storm 2? Anyway, Tim Robbins, one of the most underrated actors of All Time, nails this role. The movie has to do with dream sequences and stuff, enough to merit me watching it. Also, we got Danny Aiello in it, the very underrated Elizabeth Peña, a pre-Seinfeld Jason Alexander, a pre-ER Eriq La Salle and a pre-Everything Ving Rhames. I know I would enjoy this one.
  5. Mo’ Better Blues. Another Spike Lee joint. This one with Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes. Are there two different succesful african american actors like those two? Denzel went on serious movies, while Snipes went to action movies. Now Denzel is in action movies, and Snipes is nowhere to be seen. Anyway, anything that Snipes did pre-Reggie Miller draining that 3 point shot in front of his face was worthy of watching. I honestly believe that Reggie Miller had to retire from basketball in order fro him to do something decent again (Inside Man). In the meantime is really odd I haven’t seen this movie yet, so it’s in my cue list.

MY TOP 10 MOVIES OF 1990: Once again, I gotta acknowledge that this isn’t the best movies of 1990 list. These are the movies I enjoyed watching the most.

10. Darkman. Remember when everyone said that Ben Affleck was getting ready to do Batman since his Daredevil days? Well, the same can be said of Liam Neeson action star. He prepared for his Taken roles since his Darkman days. This is a very good movie. Has all that you expect from a revenge driven action movie, with a disfigured hero to boot. And if things couldn’t get much better, Sam Raimi directed this movie in an excellent way. It also featured the strangely beautiful Frances McDormand. The villain of this movie, the late Larry Drake is also one of those famous “That Guy”.

9. Edward Scissorhands. Tim Burton — Johnny Depp, a match made in Hollywood heaven. People like to talk about Scorcese + DeNiro or Dicaprio, Woody Allen + Muse, but people tend to forget one of the most succesful joint ventures in movies, and it all started in this movie. At a time, there seemed to be a trio in the making if one might add Wynona Rider, but she decided to cut her hair and that was that. This movie also had one of my favorite Movie Moms, the always charming Dianne Wiest. I’ve always thought about movies that are timeless, that no matter when you make them you just have to sprinkle some of the technology traits of the time it’s been made, and bam, you have a masterpiece. This movie in my honest opinion is that. It can be considered Johnny Depp’s best performance, and he’s been making movies 26 years after this.

8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Is it me, or was the best TMNT movie the first made? Michael Bay’s TMNT remakes have been entertaining a bit, but lacks to much warmth and personality. This movie who’s prominent figure was Corey Feldman as Donatello’s voice, or Elias Koteasa as Casey Jones, was pinpoint on what people wanted to see from a comic book or cartoon movies in the late 80s, early 90s. It’s success spawned two sequels, musicals, concerts, merchandise…you name it. The movie was a dark movie with funny characters, and I find this interesting because the latest TMNT movie was “out of the shadows” and it was light as shit. I always wonder why when movies do remakes, they don’t take the same plot of the original movie and just change it a bit. When a remake does this, at least it pleases fans (See: World, Jurassic and Awakens, The Force for prime examples of this). The bread and butter of the movie is the plot, but NOOO, they just make up a silly plot and a lot of explosions and BAM!! expect us to like it. For my money, I take TMNT 1 above all the others.

7. Ghost. This movie had Demi Moore when she cut her hair in plain beutiful tears, just with that the movie makes my 1990 top 10, since people forget just how huge was short hair Demi Moore. I really don’t care about the plot that much, nor I care about crazy Whoopy Goldberg in her somehow Oscar winning role. Patrick Swayze had as great a 4 year run as any actor from 1987 to 1991. Ghost was in the middle, and he aid this movie in becoming the success, but he isn’t the strongest part of the movie either. Who stole the show? That Guy Extraordinaire Tony Goldwyn as the lowlife friend. I’ve always asked myself, have I liked (not loved) a woman that much that I might cherish the probability of getting her boyfriend (my best friend) killed? That’s the most villainous act in movie history, and it’s the main reason that this movie is on this list. Also, is there any information on how many people started doing pottery classes after watching this movie? You know, like the amount of people that busted a cap on their heads just because Kurt Cobain did it. I think it must be humongous. If the data is out there, I wanna know.

6. Tremors. The most underrated movie of the year. I placed that image, because NYC subway ads were filled with it when it came out. I remember the movie had to be terrifying. And you know what? It was!!! And it was great. Imagine Jaws in the desert x 3, with some comedy in between (Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward should have done like 10 of these only because the chemistry). You know how you have some movies that if by any chance you flip a channel you find it and don’ t change the channel ever again? That’s Tremors for me. Heck, the visual effects were top notch and the chick was hot ass — attainable, if you get my drift. This would have made #1 on sheer entertainment value, but I do value others. So it will have to stay put at #6.

5. The Godfather: Part III. No movie in history has had such and uphill battle as this one. The movie was not a bad movie, heck, it was nominated for Best Picture, it has, as I talked with a friend, probably the best scene in the Trilogy, and the movie was well acted, directed, everything. But, when compared to two of the best three movies of All Time, it had no chance. Yet the movie was very entertaining, was written by Puzzo and Coppola, so it was cannon, and had superb acting from Andy García, Joe Mantegna and Pacino himself. Also, it rid us of Soffia Coppola movie actress (she was the weakest link), and she started doing other stuff like directing, so it had that going. It’s the longest movie on this list, but it needed to be the longest in order for us to fully comprehend the epic. A fitting finale to the best trilogy of All Time.

4. House Party. Now that was a mood breaker. In the early 1990s, Kid-n-Play were the coolest thing in the world. Kid was the nerdy guy who didn’t know much but when push came to shove, had the nastiest lyrics of all. Play was the player. This duo made 4 movies and a TV series together, and the movies were off the hook. Just like American Pie 10 years later defined the need for getting laid ASAP that teenagers had, in the early 90s teens just wanted to partay!!! Funny thing, Kid (Christopher Harris) and Play (Chistopher Martin) didn’t do much after this three movie franchise, but another african american comedian came into his own, stole the show and now is a household name: Martin Lawrence. This movie gave us Martin, so I think that speaks for itself. One might wonder what the world would be if we could still party like it was 1990.

3. Home Alone. As I mentioned in my Problem Child paragraph, there was nobody like 9 year old Macaulay Culkin. Abigail Breslin was great in Little Miss Sunshine, Tatum O’neal won an Oscar for Paper Moon, Mary Badham was phenomenal in To Kill a Mockinbird. Those were all supporting characters, nobody under age 10 has been able to command a scene quite like Culkin. That’s why is so sad what has bestowed upon him after he grew up. But back to the movies, if you name 2 Christmas movies to watch, the obvious choices HAVE to be Die Hard and Home Alone. Forget the whole Santa Claus or Christmas Carol BS. We want wholesome entertainment, and Home Alone just made us crack. Masterful comedic performances from “The Wet Bandits”, Joe Pesci (more on him) and Daniel Stern. John Heard is a That Guy HOFer, and Catherine O’Hara reminds me of my mom. I actually almost cried in the final scene of this one and part 2. To boot, it has the best showing of how actual families are when they are going out on a trip.

2. Goodfellas. Martin Scorcese is a genius. The Oscar for the best movie in 1990 was for Dances with Wolves, Oscar voters are not geniuses. In my previous column I wrote that there are some years when several movies about a same topic come out oddly competing among themselves. In 1990 Francis Ford Coppola did a movie about the mob, and it wasn’t the best movie about the mob of that year. Take your time to digest that one, since Scorcese did a better Godfather movie than the OG. Peak Scorcese and Peak DeNiro is something we will never see again (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear and Casino). Now he has DiCaprio, who instead of being viewed as the next Jack Nicholson should be considered the next Robert DeNiro, but that’s besides the point. This movie has Ray Liotta in it, so it is obligatory to say my wife loves Ray Liotta in movies. Heck, my wife loves Mafia movies (I don’t know how to feel about this) and she loves Ray Liotta’s movies, so there. But the star of this movie is no other than the most important actor of 1990: Joe Pesci. The best scene of the year is without a doubt his “Do I amuse you scene”, and it’s not even close. Joe Pesci is 5'4", is there a more frightening 5'4" person in the world than Joe Pesci in the movie. I rather fight Mad Dog of the Raid, or Jet Li from The One, or even Rorschach of Wathcmen (Jackie Earl Haley), than find myself in front of Tommy DeVito in a bar, that’s a sure bottle to my head no matter what I do. This movie did not make me want to be gangster in no shape or form.

1.Total Recall. I gotta stop posting those images on top, since they give away the best movie of the year. Next time, I’m going to put a movie of 1951 in the review of 1991 just to confuse readers. In the previous paragraph I glossed over Scorcese, now I’m doing it over Paul Verhoeven. From 1987 to 2000 (his apex), Verhoeven directed only six movies: Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Showgirls, Starship Troopers AND Hollow Man. This has to be a record, six great movies (Showgirls is so bad is good, thanks Jessie Spano), that’s almost Christopher Nolan territory. The best of the bunch? Total Recall. This is truly Arnold at his peak, with Sharon Stone entering her peak, plus Rachel Ticotin at her only peak. What’s not to like from this movie? Betrayal, special effects, plot twists, mars colonization, treacherous taxi drivers and best of all…opens your mind. Did I mention Sharon Stone is sexy as ever in this role, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character name is Douglas Quaid…that’s not one, but TWO last names, like Michael Douglas and Dennis Quaid…where did they get that name from? This movie was so entertaining, it didn’t spawned any sequels (thank god), but a REMAKE, with Colin Farrell of all people in the title role, and as Sharon Stone, the equally hot Kate Beckinsale. The best part of all is that it was a very good movie as well. Kudos for Arnold, with the best movie of 1991, I mean 1990. I think we’re going to be hearing more from him.

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