Sunday, November 18, 2012
Top 100 Films of the 1990's: Finale
4. Saving Private Ryan (1998) - I just recently saw Lincoln, and it is Spielberg's best film since this 1998 World War II classic, which still is raved about by WWII veterans who say that Spielberg presented the most realistic depiction of the invasion of D-Day ever seen on the silver screen. But that is just the first part of this film, and while it is the most talked about, it is only a small part of what makes Saving Private RYan such a great film. The rest shows a dedicated army unit braving the war-torn European countryside to find the third son for a grieving mother who has lost her other two. Spielberg manages to make both a beautifully shot, yet harrowing and suspenseful war epic, as well as a quiet and important movie that dissects the relationships that form between soldiers, the lengths they will go to save one of their own, and the bravery and heroism they display while fighting for their country. It is not only a well-acted, well-written, well-directed, and simply well-made film, it is also one of the most important films released in the 1990's. It finally gave us the most realisitic look at the most importnat and defining period in our history. And, as in all of his historical films, Spielberg's attention to detail and passion is evident, and exudes from every frame, turning this into something above the mundane, something extraordinary.
3. Goodfellas (1990) - The 1990's were not the best period for Martin Scorsese in terms of his films, but amongst some of his weaker efforts, lies one of his best and most dynamic films of his long storied career. Since the Godfather films of the 1970's and Scorsese's Mean Streets (excluding Part III which had premeired the year before Goodfellas), no one had been able to capture the mood and essence of gangster films. That was, until 1991, when one of the best directors working today took on the subject and nailed it. While Goodfellas may still lag behind the first two Godfathers (most films do for that matter), It succeeded in reviving the genre and bringing it to a new generation. It also proved that Scorsese had a knack for long gangster epics, making them incredibly gritty and violent, while also having a sheen of mainstream magic. It perfectly captures the rise and fall of a man who started young, and eventually saw his life crumbling around him. Scorsese also manages to blend in long-term characterizations, family life, and some humor the way Coppola did, which makes this a much deeper film and gives life and meaning as to why the mob does what it does. Goodfellas will always be remembered as a gangster classic, but because of the wonderful cast, and Scorsese's keen directing vision, it will also be remembered as one of the best, period.
1. Pulp Fiction (1994) - I have said so much about Pulp Fiction that I will not bore you again with another rambling diatribe about its greatness. It is pulpy, myterious, bloody, ridiculous, funny, and simply put, one of the most entertaining and original films of all time, cementing the unique and wild style of Quentin Tarantino as one to watch. So in the end, the 1990's turned out to be one of the best decades for film, particularly after the 1980's which simply doesn't compare to the ones sandwiching it. And at the of the pile is Tarantino's masterpiece, the best film of the 1990's, Pulp Fiction.