The Grifters (1990)
The last modern thing I liked was the miniskirt. With technology now, nobody understands it… and that’s the simple fact of the situation.
Barton Fink (1991)
We’re only interested in one thing, Bart. Can you tell a story? Can you make us laugh? Can you make us cry? Can you make us want to break out in joyous song? Is that more than one thing? Okay!
Barton Fink got probably the least fanatical following out of all the Coen joints. Thematically a bit different and a bit darker than many other Coen films but just as unpredictable and eccentric. It’s all about the characters: John Turturro as Barton Fink, John Goodman as Charlie Meadows and Judy Davis as Audrey Taylor among others. Set in the haze of 1940s New York it’s a Coen classic many have missed.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Your name is “you’re wanting”, and you can’t play the man’s game, you can’t close them, and then tell your wife your troubles. ‘Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fuckin’ faggots?
Yes, children, there once was a time when a Baldwin starred with the best of them: Pacino, Lemmon, Arkin, Harris, Spacey. Even though that time’s long gone now, we should all still wonder at the testosterone altar that is Glengarry Glen Ross.
Strange Days (1995)
See… I can get you what you want, I can. I can get you anything, you just have to talk to me, you have to trust me. You can trust me, ’cause I’m your priest, I’m your shrink… I am you main connection to the switchboard of he soul. I’m the magic man… Santa Claus of the subconscious. You say it, you think it, you can have it.
Future Oscar-winner Kathryn Bigelow depicts 1999 as an alternate 1999 featuring corruption, bad cops and future technology. Ralph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, the coolest of the cool, selling memories on disks to those who’re willing to pay the most. When he gets his hands on a disk containing a terrible crime the exciting events start to unfold. Angela Bassett shines in her best role ever. A bit plaqued by the 90’s trend of filming being really ‘trippy’ the solid stroyline and the surprising choice of Fiennes ad Nero has totally won me over.
Sling Blade (1996)
I like them French fried potaters.
For a while there I didn’t get the fuzz about Billy Bob Thornton, I’d seen him in a couple of films that he play good solid parts in, but when I saw Sling Blade, I got it. Working the triple-whammy, writing, directing and acting Thornton creates a complete storyline infused with a character that’s one of the most real ones you’ve ever seen. Thornton plays a ‘simpleton’, Karl Childers, a classic Of Mise and Men type character, that returns home after 20 years in a mental hospital for killing his mother. Seeing injustice in the form of an abusive man in a friend’s house Karl’s simplified morality kicks in and he struggles with his rudimentary sense of right and wrong.
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Where do they teach you to talk like this? In some Panama City “Sailor wanna hump-hump” bar, or is it getaway day and your last shot at his whiskey? Sell crazy someplace else, we’re all stocked up here.
I loved this as a kid, and still think it’s one of the best script ever put on film. Even though The Man Jack and Helen Hunt won their respective Oscars, As Good As It Gets has lost it’s household name status (See! I’m bringing it back.). Clever, heart-warming and with great performances by people (like the underrated Greg Kinnear) and dogs, it’s remained one of my all time favourites, even after 12 views.
Run Lola Run (1998)
The ball is round, a game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory. Off we go!
The gorgeous Franka Potente kicks proverbial ass in this German über-thriller that made strides in European con/crime/shabangs. Racing against the clock this German (directed by Tom Tykwer) thriller remains one of my favourite German films to date.
P. S. split reel broke 11,111 views today, thank you for reading!