1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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colinr0380
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#451 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:23 am

Great reviews but after all of these erotic thrillers you know that you have to watch Bruce Willis in Color of Night now to complete the cycle! (Maybe follow it up with Presumed Innocent to bridge the gap between that and the courtroom dramas. I often wish Scott Turow had been the writer done to death in middle-brow drama-thrillers than John Grisham, but I digress!)

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#452 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:34 am

My main issue with Armageddon is the fact that Willis agrees to the mission on the condition he doesn't have to pay taxes anymore. I assume Bruce's right wing politics were the inspiration for that. Just seemed a weird thing to go into the script.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#453 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:35 am

colinr0380 wrote:Great reviews but after all of these erotic thrillers you know that you have to watch Bruce Willis in Color of Night now to complete the cycle! (Maybe follow it up with Presumed Innocent to bridge the gap between that and the courtroom dramas. I often wish Scott Turow had been the writer done to death in middle-brow drama-thrillers than John Grisham, but I digress!)
Haha, I should watch Color of Night again. It has Lance Henriksen AND Brad Dourif, how bad can it be? Perhaps we weren't ready for Bruce as an earnest psychologist. And poor Jane March, what happened to the sinner from Pinner?

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#454 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:06 am

thirtyframesasecond wrote:My main issue with Armageddon is the fact that Willis agrees to the mission on the condition he doesn't have to pay taxes anymore. I assume Bruce's right wing politics were the inspiration for that. Just seemed a weird thing to go into the script.
There's a whole long, unfunny scene of Willis reading out his crew's increasingly lunatic demands. The no taxes thing is something they all demand, and seems there only to get non-plussed reactions from NASA for comic effect. I was a lot more appalled at the scene where Willis hits golf balls at the protestors--not for political reasons, but because I've known people who've had eyes knocked out and worse from stray golf balls. That kind of wanton disregard for people's safety is shitty.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#455 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:11 pm

thirtyframesasecond wrote:Haha, I should watch Color of Night again. It has Lance Henriksen AND Brad Dourif, how bad can it be? Perhaps we weren't ready for Bruce as an earnest psychologist. And poor Jane March, what happened to the sinner from Pinner?
Color of Night happened to them! Don't forget a (brief) cameo from Scott Bakula at the beginning of the film!

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#456 Post by cdnchris » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:44 pm

I bought the Mill Creek Blu-ray a couple of years ago for Color of Night, which was double-billed with Playing God (Wal-Mart had a bunch of those double bill discs for $2 each and I ended up buying up each one they had). I hadn't seen it since VHS but recall it being pretty awful. It ended up being so much worse than I initially recalled. The plotting was stupid for starters but the directing and editing was so incompetent (I recalled <I>Hollywood Ending</I>'s one line: "It looks like a blind man directed this!") with the most ridiculous cutaways, and the sex scenes were some of the least sexy, most laughable scenes I've ever seen (not counting intentional unsexy stuff like the sex-in-the-car scene in The Ice Storm of course). I was really stunned by how genuinely awful it was. A lot of eye-rolling on my part.

Playing God wasn't particularly good, either. I really question the casting of Timothy Hutton as the villain and it really went nowhere. But at least it was competently made and had some fun parts.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#457 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 08, 2017 6:16 pm

To be fair, Jane March is so hot in it that I don't care how ridiculous scenes like "Let me sexily move a plate out of the way" are

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#458 Post by cdnchris » Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:36 pm

I don't know, I was way too embarrassed for her in that sequence that I had to look away out of shame.

Also, adding on to that, please tell me no one didn't see that "twist" about who one of the patients actually was. That was the crappiest "disguise" ever.

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1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#459 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:07 pm

I found myself humming the theme song to the Once Upon a Time in China movies one morning and realized it's been 15 years at least since I saw one of them. My American action kick having run its course, it seemed appropriate to cap everything by moving to Hong Kong. So I marathoned all the Jet Li Once Upon a Times.

Once Upon a Time in China (Tsui Hark, 1991): Turns out I had been watching the American edit all those years in high school. The chance to finally see the original cut was welcome indeed. Thirty minutes have been restored, making for a more expansive and developed movie. Characters are now given more complete introductions, and the historical background of much of the plot is filled in and better accounted for. Unfortunately, many of the new scenes are given over to that strain of goofy, child-oriented comedy so popular in HK martial arts films and that, to my sensibility, is at odds with the gravity of the narrative. I can see why it was trimmed for overseas markets. The movie is still wonderful, tho’. The music, sets, atmosphere, characters, and fights are alive and brimming with energy. The complicated story revolves around the influx of foreign ideas, customs, and armies into China. The movie is, in the end, nationalist (the foreigners, the Americans especially, are snarling villains out to profit off the Chinese, when they aren’t tricking them into servitude, and the local Chinese government is too enamoured with these foreign elements to function properly). Yet there are some complications, including hero Wong Fei-Hung’s beloved Aunt 13 having become westernized from a long stay in America (which the movie treats as awkward but not necessarily a negative) and one of his most talented medical students being a Chinese born in the west and knowing little of the language or customs of China. The movie’s thematic thrust is fundamentally melancholy, with Wong Fei-Hung coming to realize that China has to modernize; that its centuries of culture, including its martial arts traditions, are unequipped to deal with the incursion of the west and the power of its gun. The movie is ambivalent about this reality, but gives some potent and sad images to reinforce it (the fate of Wong’s primary antagonist is perhaps the saddest example of this, being almost a metatextual comment on the collision of the mystical, physics-bending martial arts hero and the power of western munitions—the martial arts fantasy film blown apart by the forces of history). As with any martial arts film, the final judgement has to be left to the fights, and those presented here are brilliant in their ever-increasing complications and stylistic extravagances, culminating in a boggling fight up, down, across, and between an endless series of ladders.

Once Upon a Time in China 2 (Tsui Hark, 1992): I was sad to see what looked to be an examination of the complicated politics of the period turn out to be simple nationalist propaganda. The film is set right after the cession of Taiwan to the Japanese. The fallout results in widespread political instability in Canton, with the upswing in nationalist, isolationist fervor begetting an ugly religious sect, The White Lotus, which uses the resentment boiling in the general populace to stir up anti-foreign sentiments and attempt to drive out foreign influence through superstition backed by violence. The local Cantonese government is spread too thin trying to quell political unrest, but increasingly sees The White Lotus as a convenient tool and cover for suppressing what they believe to be the far more dangerous revolutionary element lead by Sun Yat-Sen. So a complicated background for an equally complicated plot that looked to be willing to examine the effects of China’s interaction with the west. Except it becomes increasingly clear (especially following the introduction of Sun Yat-Sen as a character) that these complications are all short hand for the film’s own unreflective nationalism. The White Lotus sect are evil not because they represent the ugly extremes of nationalism and isolationism, but because they are beholden to the idolatry and superstition of religion; they are children who are tricked and deluded and who need to be woken up. The local government is not merely caught in a complicated situation that allows it to be pulled around by different motivations and ideologies, but simple corrupt counter-revolutionaries opposed to liberation. Enter Wong Fei-Hung, who is repurposed as a folk hero of the revolution (here helping Sun Yat-Sen evade the government while battling the White Lotus to protect his family). Yes, it’s all deliriously energetic and great fun, with some amazing fight choreography filmed in long takes and wide and or medium shots, when the camera isn’t zooming around anyway. It’s a treat to watch Jet Li and Donnie Yen battle each other, and as with the first one, the city itself seems alive, always crammed with people eating, drinking, and talking. And yet it’s too bad the film settles for crowd-pleasing propaganda over what promised to be a more complex set of themes.

Once Upon a Time in China 3 (Tsui Hark, 1993): Imagination begins to flag in the third entry. The series seems to’ve exhausted in the first two entries the little it wished to say about the effects of imperialism on China. That this film has political/historical themes at all seems mostly the result of habit, and amounts merely to a grafted-on subplot that contributes little the main plot and could (should) have been excised. The main plot will be familiar to even a casual viewer of martial arts films: Wong Fei-Hung must help his father’s school win a local competition against the dirty tactics of an unscrupulous rival school. Where the film distinguishes itself, and shows it is not bereft of imagination after all, is in its focus on Lion Dance competitions. There are still traditional fight scenes, including a magnificent fight involving floors slicked with oil; but the largest and most complicated scenes involve a gorgeous, chaotic pageantry of lion costumes dancing, leaping, and fighting. Not without merit, but easily the weakest of the first 3 Once Upon a Times.

Once Upon a Time in China and America (Sammo Hung, 1997): The sixth film in the series, and Jet Li’s return to the Wong Fe-Hung role after being replaced in 4 and 5. Set in America, the film is actually a western. It’s a strange movie that doesn’t quite work. The plot involves Wong Fei-Hung, Aunt 13, and Clubfoot going to America to visit Wong’s disciple, Bucktooth So, who’s opened up a clinic in a town whose mayor and populace are snarling anti-Chinese racists. On the way, Wong hits his head (seriously), gets amnesia, and becomes a native American. There’s a certain made-for-tv quality about many of the scenes here. The filmmakers seem to understand the Western mainly through its clichés, and so load the movie with as many as they can remember. HK genre films are notorious for casting poor actors (often non-professionals) as foreigners, which isn’t a problem when confined to a few supporting roles, but cripples a film like this that relies on a large non-Chinese cast. Plus I could’ve sworn one of the native americans was played by a black guy. This is not a good Western, nor is it really a good martial arts film (the fight choreography is able, but excessively undercranked and over-edited). Not a very triumphant return to the series for Jet Li.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#460 Post by Black Hat » Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:05 pm

domino harvey wrote:To be fair, Jane March is so hot in it that I don't care how ridiculous scenes like "Let me sexily move a plate out of the way" are
This movie has spent more time in my vcr & then dvd player than any other movie without being watched. Closest I came to watching the whole thing was on cable 12, 13 years ago while drunk and high off my ass eating pop tarts (the ones with the frosting and the s'more) in my boxers. Normally I'd say this is not worth sharing but I know I'm not the only one who went thru this phase. Jane March where have you gone?

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol

#461 Post by Lemmy Caution » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:08 am

How the pop tarts got in his boxers we'll never know ...

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#462 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:Hoffa (Danny DeVito 1992) I complained elsewhere a few months ago about how David Mamet's Lansky was undermined by a director who didn't know how to trust Mamet. No such worries here, and DeVito's choice treatment of Mamet's script keeps in all of the playwright's trademark colorful language and interplay-- this is one of the most "Mamet" sounding things you've ever experience, and Jack Nicholson seems to relish the opportunity to bellow out "cocksucker" every other minute. Mamet's script sticks almost entirely to the realm of Hoffa's ascension to leadership within the Teamsters, forgoing love affairs and personal interest stories in favor of double-crosses and violence. The film also has a Godot-goofing framing device that works because it like the rest of the film trusts the beats and the pacing of Mamet's best work. DeVito brings a surprisingly adept visual eye to the proceedings, but his fancy set-ups (lots of traveling shots and extreme foreground framings) don't undermine the patter.
Watched it this morning and despite the seemingly-daunting 2-hour plus run-time, it doesn't linger at all. Keeping the emotional focus on the Ciaro/Hoffa relationship instead of having unnecessary sideplots dealing with family issues like you noticed dom, works to it's benefit the most here. Also helps a lot the two actors could have spent 140 minutes reading Hallmark cards to each other and there'd still be some chemistry to work off of.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#463 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 20, 2018 11:51 am

I still have a ridiculous amount of unwatched films to get through, and I hope to spend this summer working my way through a significant portion of them. So I'll prob be bumping dead list project threads in order to discuss these viewings en masse. Up first, some 90s movies!

Bonfire of the Vanities (Brian de Palma 1990) For a director I don’t much like, I somehow keep watching de Palma’s movies. This one’s opening says a lot about de Palma’s oeuvre at-large: a complex, intricate opening shot filmed in one take following Bruce Willis from a parking garage up through several floors of a convention center until he arrives to greet an adoring public. The craft that went into this scene is impressive. The reason for this scene needing to be this complicated, or even in the film at all, is non-existent. It exists solely to be praised by virtue of being there— insert that Jeff Goldblum quote from Jurassic Park. I haven’t read the source material, but one of the problems of this film as a satirical product is that Tom Hanks’ protagonist is a rather likable schmoe whose actions are understandable and relatable. Wouldn’t it have been funnier if he was racist and/or was the one driving his car when it hit one of his would-be muggers (or better yet, did it on purpose)? I can tell you what isn’t funny: every last second of Melanie Griffith’s godawful perf as the one-note braindead bimbo (though I can blame the script for some of this— there is no possible way to be tasked with sincerely purring out the word “poontang” and coming out unscathed). Just a spectacularly dumb movie, with nothing new to say (Shameless opportunists will use tragedy for their own financial gain? NO WAY) and while I know Morgan Freeman’s speech at the end is widely seen as the film’s worst misstep, I’d vote for the actual last scene of the film, in which nearly every character from the film on both sides is shown applauding Bruce Willis’ character, which makes no sense based on anything we’ve just seen but I guess Seems Deep.

La ardilla roja (Julio Médem 1993) A musician has his suicide interrupted by a motorcycle accident. He ingratiates himself into the life of the victim because she looks like Emma Suárez and tells the amnesia-striken gal he’s her boyfriend. He then proceeds to give her the name of his ex-girlfriend and absconds from the hospital with her willingly in tow. Sounds a bit like Overboard, but this movie is far more ambitious than falling back on laffs laced with icky sexual politics. Rather, Médem is interested in how those in romantic relationships not only reinvent themselves every time they date someone new, but also revert to their true default and constantly measure the new experiences against the old memories. This is a beguiling film, one that remains surprising throughout, especially in the last twenty minutes when the movie seems to think it’s somehow been complacent and starts getting really bonkers. I also give the movie credit for having one of the few dream sequences I’ve ever sat through that actually positively contributed to the film at-large. This is a weird and wonderful movie. Highly recommended.

La Classe américaine (Michel Hazanavicius and Dominique Mézerette 1993) Hazanavicius delivers literal pastiche in this overdubbed re-edit of various Warner Brothers properties mashed up to make a film about Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, and Paul Newman searching for answers in the death of John Wayne. This kind of thing has never, ever been funny, and with its focus on gay jokes and bathroom humor, this film has no aims of even trying to change that. I imagine it wasn’t easy to find the film clips to use, so why not take that same level of effort and make what’s here amusing? Take the character “played” by John Wayne. He’s named the “Classiest Man in the World,” even though Wayne’s character here is foul and vulgar like everyone else. That’s not a very good joke. Wouldn’t it have been funnier to tweak Wayne’s image and make him overly accommodating and polite? But see, I just spent more than ten seconds coming up with an idea, so I’m disqualified from overdubbing this movie. To be fair, there is one funny moment involving a non-sequitur delivered by Charles Bronson in indian regalia that made me laugh pretty hard, but nothing else in the film has that kind of unexpected comic inspiration.

La Désenchantée (Benoît Jacquot 1990) Maurice Pialat-lite peek at a young woman who tries to bed an ugly man to spite her boyfriend, among other unlikely non-events. Some periodic moments of interest here and there, such as a harmless suitor with a penchant for throwing knives, but this feels entirely too familiar.

La Fille seule (Benoît Jacquot 1995) Virginie Ledoyen spends her first hour at her room service job in more or less real time while debating whether she should break up with the father of her unborn child. This movie is a mess, with not nearly the level of formalist rigor or purpose one would need to excuse the premise. If the film had bothered to just capture something approaching a hands-off view of the day to day working conditions and how a not particularly responsible or personable young woman navigated her first day, this might have been something. Alas, it’s a lot of nothing in the end. I also found the extremely graphic sexual insert midway through the film bizarrely miscalculated and unnecessary.

Le bossu (Philippe de Broca 1997) As someone who’s enjoyed none of de Broca’s output from the sixties, I can’t even begin to tell you how little I wanted to see a swashbuckler made well over thirty years after his prime. Imagine my surprise when I found myself entertained throughout by this enjoyable lark about an avenging swordsman seeking revenge against the villain who felled his mentor. While it remains an absolute truth that in the wake of George Sidney’s Scaramouche, there is no need for another swashbuckler, if we must, this is the best we could hope for. I loved all the cheesy extravagances, such as the entirely unlikely sequence in which the “daughter” our protagonist has raised as his own enacts a complicated fencing move against a would-be rapist solely by reciting the instructions to herself. The film even makes the creepy conceit that a girl raised as a daughter would fall in romantic love with her father seem acceptable— this isn’t in the spirit of that Decalogue episode, but it does show what a less complicated happy ending there would have felt like! Recommended.

Pas de scandale (Benoît Jacquot 1999) The third Jacquot film I’ve now seen finds me no closer to understanding or caring about him as a director. This is the least of the three, a weird mishmash of half-considered ideas concerning a jailed CEO who returns to his old life changed in strange ways. I know there is a proud history in French cinema of beautiful young women throwing themselves at homely middle aged men, but good lord this film really pushes credibility into never before explored corners of eye-rolling.

Sleep With Me (Rory Kelly 1994) There are six credited writers on this piffle of interlocking vignettes depicting a quasi threesome between Eric Stoltz, Crag Sheffer, and Meg Tilly, making this the Flinstones of the Sundance set. There is no real narrative other than one dude loves other dude’s wife, and the whole endeavor seems to have been an excuse for actor pals to hang out together. As these things go, I’ve seen worse (hello Highball), but that’s feint praise. If this movie is remembered at all, it’s for Quentin Tarantino’s cameo as a party guest talking about Top Gun’s homosexual subtext, but I didn’t really get much out of that either.

Tierra (Julio Médem 1996) An exterminator finds himself torn between two women in this peculiar film, which is somehow weirder (!) than the two previous Médem movies (all three of which share starring cast members). There are lots of bizarre touches here, namely Carmelo Gómez’ accompanying angel, which enables him to see the recently departed, among other bonuses. I’d rank this one between Vacas and La ardilla roja, as it has a more cohesive structure than the first but lacks the overall bow-tying wallop of the latter. However, I could see this being a movie that grows in stature in memory or on revisit, so I still give it a solid recommendation. Médem’s been a great discovery for me with this round of viewings, hopefully there’s at least a few more interesting films lurking in the rest of his oeuvre.

Vacas (Julio Médem 1992) Peculiar generational study following sixty or so years in the lives of two families with an affinity for chopping wood barefoot. There are stark and memorable moments here— a coward douses himself in the blood of his dying fellow soldier and plays dead and later crawls naked out from under a pile of corpses, an image I’m unlikely to ever forget— but also a lot of alternately strange and familiar touches that don’t quite gel into a satisfying whole for me. I got the feeling while watching that there was quite likely larger metaphorical importance relating to the wars depicted in relation to the film itself that whooshed over my head as a non-Spaniard, but it may just be an incomplete-feeling film regardless.

Wild Orchid (Zalman King 1990) I think most softcore porn is so earnest it is embarrassing (and most aren’t made to be graded on the strength of their narrative or characterization), and this benchmark in the genre is no different. I’m not unsusceptible to the pleasures of good eroticism, but this movie is never in danger of being sexy. Carré Otis frankly embarrasses herself as a polylingual contract lawyer (uh huh) who falls for Mickey Rourke’s whispering asshole. Otis recites most of her lines like she stayed up all night reviewing them on 3X5 index cards, and Rourke, who can act, opts not to here. The sex scenes are scored in the style of David Copperfield’s magic tricks, and are about as hot.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#464 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Mon May 21, 2018 2:35 pm

Wolfe's novel is so good and De Palma's film so bad that I might just re-read The Devil's Candy again to remind myself of this.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#465 Post by knives » Mon May 21, 2018 10:44 pm

I like the film, and book, despite some pretty fatal flaws in the casting and opening shot.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#466 Post by Rayon Vert » Tue May 22, 2018 12:03 am

Didn't think it was very good but on the other hand not quite deserving of the critical trashing it received. It had some enjoyable moments but never reached much beyond average, and became mediocre in the too-long last stretch. Going by how the novel was described, it seemed to have suffered from having some or much of its satirical edge taken out. The big budget ambitions probably didn't help either.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#467 Post by John Cope » Tue May 22, 2018 12:27 am

I would defend it too. Though I would defend Wild Orchid as well. More actually.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#468 Post by domino harvey » Tue May 22, 2018 1:29 pm

I'm sure we'd all love to hear these defenses!

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#469 Post by knives » Tue May 22, 2018 1:40 pm

I've actually written a few here. Though based on your feelings on the film's satire I expect you'd disagree with me. The search bar isn't working for me though unfortunately so I can't find to link.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#470 Post by Dr Amicus » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:32 pm

When Bonfire came to have its UK release, there was an episode of The South Bank Show to tie in with the release. IIRC it covered De Palma in general but was primarily about the new film. And yes, there was a lengthy discussion of the opening shot - but I can't remember if it was on any level besides "this is how we did it and wasn't it complicated".

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#471 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:28 am

Cruel Intentions(1999) is currently in a 20th anniversary re-release. I hadn't realized this was a cult movie deemed worthy of such attention. The writer/director Roger Kumble made two obscure sequels and otherwise went on to anonymous tv work. Gellar and Phillipe didn't quite become major stars, but I suppose hearing Buffy say fuck, and watch her screw around with her equally loathsome step-brother had perverse appeal.

The excoriation of white privilege is of course even more relevant today. The movie itself is trashy, amoral to the max in ways that would probably not be green lighted today, and played as clumsy comedy up until the end. None of it rings true but I admit to being entertained, it is an oddity.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#472 Post by tenia » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:01 am

It's indeed a surprisingly entertaining movie considering how obviously corny and mediocre it is. Still, it manages to remain interesting enough all along, I always suspected it's just well paced.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

#473 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:50 am

And of course Cruel Intentions is based on Dangerous Liaisons, part of a run of teen movies at the time based on classic literature (Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About Her, etc) until the Young Adult trend kicked off in earnest with the Harry Potter series in the 2000s, which start young and then age up into all the teen stuff (and on if young audiences jumped straight from that to Twilight). The angle that Cruel Intentions brings is mostly that privileged private school class angle, along with the dangerous 'barely legal' gameplaying frisson. In some ways I bracket it in with much more pointed films about private school privilege from the 2000s: The Rules of Attraction and that rather underwhelming sequel to American Psycho.

Though even better adaptations of Dangerous Liaisons were to come in the next decade: the Catherine Deneuve, Rupert Everett and Nastassja Kinski mini-series, and the South Korean film Untold Scandal, both from 2003.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#474 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 5:40 pm

knives wrote:
Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:25 pm
CopLand
It's a bit sad that the film's goals aren't exactly met due to a lack of ambition. There's a lot of truly great elements presented which could have lead under any number of great roads but they're all kept low key and not particularly looked into. That said while the potential Bonfire of the Vanities level film is missed Mangold still crafts a lot of interest for a worthwhile film. Particularly the use of star helps build the world in a way that is far too rare nowadays. He really builds three different worlds of cops that match and mix in occasionally surprising ways thanks to the expectations that come from the actors. The corrupted cops can be totally low key and surprisingly similar to Stallone, friends even, because having Liotta and Robert Patrick there makes them corrupt enough. There's a few other things brought in that don't work entirely like the Stallone dream sequences, but the film moves fast enough despite the slow tone that they don't become much of a bother.
The last 30 minutes or so is great at least starting as far back as this scene. I went into it rather cold, flipping around today and I still got a jolt from the shootout (itself a rather memorable scene, but to be outdone the following year by Spielberg's own hearing-impaired action scene in Saving Private Ryan). It's kind of terrifying when Stallone is stalking towards Keitel's suburban house like a wounded animal, with NYC in the background. It's honestly not a great film as a totality (about the only moment I can remember beforehand is when he's listening to Springsteen on the couch), but it comes to a great climax.

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