Top 5 Movies of 1991

Number 5.  –  Silence of the Lambs

So far, only two other films besides this one have the distinction of winning all five of the major categories at the Oscars (picture, director, actor, actress, and screenplay). This also has a reputation for being one of the all time best thrillers in general. And all that claim and praise is quite justified, Based on the best selling novel by Thomas Harris, this is the story of Clarice Starling, a young and talented FBI trainee who, despite her lack of experience, is deemed talented enough to help the bureau out with an investigation concerning a killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill who has a penchant for kidnapping and killing women, then skinning their bodies. Starling is tasked with interviewing the brilliant psychologist Dr. Hannibal Lecter who also happens to be a psychopath serving a life sentence due to various acts of murder and cannibalism. It is believed that he could give valuable insight into the FBI’s investigation, and would be willing to cooperate with Starling given that she’s an attractive yet tough female that he could find intriguing and trustworthy. While there are some grisly visceral thrills here, this is primarily an intense and complex character study of multiple people that are all quite fascinating. This is quite deep, intelligent, and engrossing stuff, and despite having less than twenty minutes of screen time, Anthony Hopkins cemented himself into cinematic and pop culture with his supremely chilling and memorable turn as Lecter. In fact, it was because of this movie that the Academy now makes it mandatory that a performer has to have more than twenty minutes of screen time to be considered a lead role. Its understandable why this is such a shocking yet superb masterpiece. With iconic performances and highly recognised lines and scenarios. Jodie Foster plays as the determined Clarice Starling. At the same time, the sophisticated Anthony Hopkins is Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lector. Finally, Ted Levine portrays the gut wrenching ‘Buffalo Bill’. While it misses out the side stories, this is a very strong adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel. This is possibly the best serial killer movie in film history.

Number 4.  –  Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

This movie is absolutely ludicrous, in the best possible way. The Heisei series rebirth of Ghidorah once and for all establishes an origin story for Godzilla—turns out he’s a “Godzillasaurus” dinosaur that was mutated by atomic radiation back in WWII. It also introduces another alien-fueled plot that involves time travel and gives us an origin story for Ghidorah, as well. We’ve learned so much about both monsters and even the human story building up to the fight between the two monsters were as well engaging! But really, it’s just the perfect combination of absurd human plot and ramped-up kaiju fighting action. After being initially defeated by Godzilla, Ghidorah is rebuilt into the cyborg “Mecha-King Ghidorah,” and that monster design is the high point of the series as far as I’m concerned. It’s the coolest monster Godzilla ever fights, in his finest cinematic outing to date.

Number 3.  –  Beauty and the Beast

The Disney Renascence is what makes the 1990s one hell of decade of film. A long time ago, I used to be so scared of this film because the Beast was so intimidating, but when I got older, I learn to appreciate this masterpiece. This is one of those movies that I don’t really need to explain why it is so good because lets face it, we’ve all seen it and we all know the reasons why its so good. The music is incredibly well composed by Alan Menken, the characters are all colorful and are all very fun, my favorite being Lumiere, the actors are well chosen for their parts and all do fantastic jobs, The story is great, and the animation is just flat out amazing. You can really feel the connection between Belle and the Beast for they are just one of the best romantic chemistry ever seen in film. The only thing I don’t like about it is Gaston, and I honestly think he is the most bland of the Disney villains and the most annoying. Other than that I can find no flaws with this film its just a masterpiece of a Disney film and it was well worth the Golden Globe for best picture.

Number 2.  –  JFK

JFK is an amazing look at a possible conspiracy to kill the president. It is painstakingly well made. Anybody who complains about the running time did not watch the movie close enough. There is so much material in this film, I’m suprised it didn’t run 4 and a half hours. Just like Jim Garrison, the film never slows down. The film does open up a lot of ideas about what really happened, but the great thing about this movie is that it can be enjoyed no matter if you believe parts of what they are saying or not. The cast is absolutely amazing in this movie. It’s scene after scene of recognizable faces and big names. Costner, Jones, Oldman, Spacek, Pesci, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Grubbs, Jay O Sanders, Vincent D’Onorfio, John Candy, and Donald Sutherland, and the list goes on, but thats who I remember. It’s an amazingly well shot film and it won the Best Cinematography Oscar. It still remains as one of the best edited movies I’ve ever seen. Multiple times it pops to our leading character and the surroundings around them as there’s someone watching and a reminder of who were these American citizens that all together creates impeccable tone and emotion. Kevin Costner is electric in his role and his last speech during the trial of Clay Shaw is powerful and really well executed. The film shows us glaring faults in the investigation of JFK and then basically tells us to go find the truth. The film is dedicated to the young who seek the truth. This is Oliver Stones best film ever and the guy has made some really good movies; Platoon, Wall Street, Salvador, and the always overlooked Talk Radio, but JFK remained his strongest because it is his most passionate message to the world. The subject definitely deserves thought and this film gives us a point to start at. A conspiracy theorists dream, that may take some criticism for being hypothetical or one-sided but there’s no denying Stone’s bravery or his skill in encapsulating the paranoia and unrest at this time in history.

Number 1.  –  Terminator 2: Judgement Day

This is the best movie sequel of all time! It far surpasses The Terminator by a milestone. The first one, strange as it seems, was more B-horror-movie than action movie, a sort of slasher film with sci-fi trimmings. The second sees Cameron pull the same trick he did with Aliens, switching genre, upping the ante and producing something entirely different (the bad guy’s now the good guy!) while still feeling like part of the same franchise. This time around, a young and rebellious John Connor (Edward Furlong) is pursued by the T-1000, a liquid-metal cyborg that can morph into anyone or anything it comes in contact with. In a surprise plot twist, the original Terminator (Arnold “Governator” Schwarzenegger) becomes the lovable hero, spitting out memorable lines like “Hasta la vista, baby” while protecting John and his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton, also reprising her role from the first film). The movie, which marked the first time human motion was used for a computer-generated character, which is why our main villain, the T-1000 still looks so amazing to this very day. The T-1000 is an amazing villain; one of the most memorable in movie history. It seems the trend that sequels find a great villain or supporting character who steals the audience away from the protagonist the first film spent so much time exploring. Such is true of Terminator 2.  I can’t imagine how hard it was for moviegoers in 1991 to believe anybody could top the Terminator, but Robert Patrick’s T-1000 not only instilled fear in the viewers, James Cameron’s CGI villain was unprecedented from an effects standpoint. Cold, calculating and relentless, the T-1000 still remains one of the coolest bad guys ever. But it isn’t the villain, or even the Arnold back as the T-800 that elevated T2 to glory. Instead, Sarah Connor is the essence of of the film. The scared-but-tough woman puts on the vest and provides the firepower of the film. There are endless amounts of toughness in this second installment, but it is somehow balanced with an uncanny amount of heart. I can list all the great things that made Terminator 2 just the best movie of all time – the epic opening, the future war scene, the reverse father-son-relationship between John and the Terminator, lighting and cinematography, the viaduct chase, the best biblical quotes Arnie has ever said, T-1000 transformation, it’s philosophical, the character development, tying up loose ends, intelligent action, dark humor, the best climatic ending, so hundred of reasons more! This is the best narrative, production, and experience I’ve ever had with a singular film. Everyone should see this film, but for me, it’s perhaps the most re-watched film ever. I lost count of all the times I’ve watched Terminator 2 and I still can’t get enough of it. Even with the Extended Cut version I still want more of Terminator 2 because it sucks so much ass that the sequels are so inferior to the original two films that makes wrapping your entire life obsessing Terminator 2 to feel so fulfilling. Terminator 2 was at its most insane with their effects, action, direction, and storytelling that the there is no other film that is marginally equivalent to its sheer level of awesomeness. By the end, no matter how tough and badass the characters and action really are, it can still make a grown man cry towards the end. Thumbs up to you Terminator 2 for being not only the best movie of the 1990s, but the best movie of all fucking time!!

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