Top 5 Movies of 1993

Number 5.  –  Groundhog Day

Picture this: You’re stuck in a time loop, waking up every morning at 6 a.m to Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe”; forced to re-live the same day in a seemingly endless cycle, with no one in the world to believe what you’re going through. Well, that’s precisely what happens to TV meteorologist Phil Connors (Bill Murray), who by some unseen magic enters a bizarre metaphysical situation, which ultimately leads him to discovering his true potential as a human being. This may sound like a fantasy film, but it’s also profoundly heartwarming romantic comedy, where Murray shines like never before, in a virtuoso performance that really cements his comical genius. Yet, it isn’t his film alone. Wonderful supporting actors like Andie McDowell, Chris Elliott and Stephen Tobolowsky, add their talent to the pot, making every little scene a total delight. To say that director Harold Ramis struck gold with this movie, would be the understatement of the century. The philosophy, humor and high concept storyline, is all flawlessly merged in a heavenly medley that you can’t help but love and be inspired by. If you get this on Blu-ray or DVD, there are some really fun interviews with Harold Ramis, where he fondly talks of the great impact his movie has made, among various spiritual and religious groups, all across the world. Everyone seems to take away something really meaningful from this film, whether it be in the attitude towards other people, or something beyond our physical reality. Either way, it shares with us some truly valuable lessons, which is what makes it so much more than a piece of stellar entertainment.

Number 4.  –  Schindler’s List

Shindler’s List is not only the greatest holocaust film ever made, its by far one of the greatest film in the history of cinema, and my 9th favorite film ever made. It stars Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland who sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis’ rise to power. He starts a company to make cookware and utensils, using flattery and bribes to win military contracts, and brings in accountant and financier Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) to help run the factory. By staffing his plant with Jews who’ve been herded into Krakow’s ghetto by Nazi troops, Schindler has a dependable unpaid labor force. For Stern, a job in a war-related plant could mean survival for himself and the other Jews working for Schindler. However, in 1942, all of Krakow’s Jews are assigned to the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp, overseen by Commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), an embittered alcoholic who occasionally shoots prisoners from his balcony. Schindler arranges to continue using Polish Jews in his plant, but, as he sees what is happening to his employees, he begins to develop a conscience. He realizes that his factory (now refitted to manufacture ammunition) is the only thing preventing his staff from being shipped to the death camps. Soon Schindler demands more workers and starts bribing Nazi leaders to keep Jews on his employee lists and out of the camps. By the time Germany falls to the allies, Schindler has lost his entire fortune and saved 1,100 people from likely death. This plot is too incredible to describe, but if I were going to try, I would tell everyone thats its the story of two men, one a hero, and another a monster, and its about the hero who tricked the monster so he could save hundreds of Jews from being killed by the Nazi army, and how this one man became one of the greatest people in the history of the world, and this movie spared no expense to show us that. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes play two of some of the greatest roles and history, the hero and villain, the man who saved and the man who killed, and they both play their part perfectly. Steven Spielberg has filmed three of some of my favorite films of all time, The Terminal, Saving Private Ryan, and this movie, and if I had to choose the best, there is no doubt in my mind this is on top. The horrors in this film will never be able to leave your head, no matter how much you try, my god what a phenomenal film.

Number 3.  –  True Romance

Romance movie really need to very exciting for their audience because you can do so much more than just kissing and building up love between two characters. When Bonnie and Clyde really proved that the genre can do so much more and it took several decades later we seen something like that again. True Romance is a stellar romantic crime film that is brilliantly directed by Tony Scott with a well written script by Quentin Tarantino. With a great cast of terrific actors, True Romance is a must see crime picture that is sure to delight movie buffs. This is an exhilarating and highly entertaining film from start to finish that illustrates the brilliant direction of Tony Scott and original writing style that has Quentin Tarantino famous. This is one of the best crime films that I have seen, and the cast itself is one that is sure to delight filmgoers everywhere. Every actor here gives something to the film to make it that much better, and the two leads were great as well. There are some darkly humorous parts here and there to compliment the serious tone of the film, and everything works well enough to keep you engaged from start to finish. Over the course of his career Tony Scott has made some great films. Forget Top Gun as being his best, it isn’t. This is his strongest effort. I feel that he really became a confident director with this movie, and he felt even more comfortable behind his camera. Top Gun was a decent affair, but quite overrated. But True Romance is his masterwork. This is simply put an effectively well directed picture that has a truly unique, crazy plot with a memorable cast of talented actors. Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino have created something great here, and it delivers a truly awesome film going experience that you soon won’t forget. If you come across True Romance, definitely give it a view, you won’t be disappointed. Tony Scott would direct much more exhilarating films in terms of pulse pounding action, but they would also be fairly hit and miss. But with True Romance, he uses the basics of a simple plot, and it makes for a much more convincing and enjoyable movie.

Number 2.  –  Army of Darkness 

This has got to be some of the most entertaining movies I’ve ever had pleasure to watch! Army of Darkness takes place immediately after the events of Evil Dead 2. Our hapless hero Ash is sucked into a vortex that literally drops him in Medieval times. Ash is captured by King Arthur, who believes he is one of his enemies soldiers. He is taken to Arthur’s castle where he learns that the deadites that terrorized him at the cabin are plaguing both Arthur and Henry the Red. Although Ash is not one of Henry’s men he is sentenced to die in a pit that is inhabited by monsters. Ash kills both of them with his trusty chainsaw that he fashioned to his severed hand in Evil Dead 2. He orders Arthur to let Henry go and sets out on a quest to finish off the deadites. Along the way he hooks up with Shelia, splits from his bad self, and misspeaks ancient words while retrieving the Necronomican awaking the Army of the Dead! Remember, we didn’t have Lord of the Rings in the 1990s and there was no better fantasy epic than Army of Darkness!  Of the three of the Evil Dead movies, Army of Darkness was received least favorably by critics, but for the rest of us that adores cheesy flicks, scouring the shelves for the latest to watch and having no knowledge of the previous films, Army of Darkness was, and still is, fan-fucking-tastic. That’s not because it’s a brilliantly written script or that it’s technically impressive. On the contrary, but Army of Darkness will always have two things going for it, and no, it’s not Jack and Shit; it’s a fearless leading man and lots and lots of spunk. Sam and Ivan Raimi’s script is campy, silly fun with preposterous story elements that make it that much better, especially when Bruce Campbell is chewing up the scenery. I’ll say it again; the man is fearless. Ash fashions a fully-functioning prosthetic out of medieval armor. Ridiculous? Absolutely, but you never question Ash’s ability because Bruce’s confidence makes you believe. It’s that swagger the fair maiden Sheila (Embeth Davidtz) finds irresistible. That swagger makes Ash a formidable opponent to she-bitches, armies of stunt men clad in skeleton suits, a swarm of mini-Ash’s, and even Evil Ash. The man fights off an onslaught of fake skeletons and battles a carnivorous book, all without the aid of heavy duty CGI, just good ol’ fashioned gumption and special effects.  As a childhood fan of The Three Stooges and Looney Tunes, I recognize and appreciate their influence in Raimi’s storytelling and the humor it adds to an otherwise dark and ominous tale. Perhaps my favorite aspect of Raimi’s filmmaking is his skill at combining boisterous sound, clever camerawork, and his actors’ exaggerated expressions to make viewers feel as if they’re at the center of the action.

Number 1.  –  Jurassic Park

Words cannot describe how much I love this movie. It was one of the first films I ever saw in the cinema, and I remember that it scared me so badly that my father took me out of the theaters. But there’s something about Jurassic Park that is so damn special that kept in touch with my generation. You see, us kids in the 1990s are fucking in love with dinosaurs and no vision of dinosaurs felt more real than Jurassic Park. Not only does it brilliantly entertain my love and fascination for dinosaurs, but it’s such a magical viewing experience, that I can watch it a hundred times over and never lose interest. Here’s just a few of the reasons why it’s made such a profound imprint on me: * Steven Spielberg’s Directing: Flawless, wonderful and perfectly paced. The craftmanship of a true genius and visionary. * The Special Effects: Monumental and groundbreaking for their time. Even now, almost 20 years later, they still stand firmly against contemporary CGI films. * John William’s Music Score: Only surpassed by his soundtrack for the Star Wars movies, this is some of the finest, most goosebump-inducing work he’s ever done. I still listen to its themes for inspiration, whenever I work on my own artistic projects. * The Cast: Every actor involved, even the youngest ones, does an applaud-worthy job in making the story fully believable. Their reactions and performances – impeccable without question.* The Story: One of the most exciting (and original at the time) to ever be put on screen. I loved the book by Michael Crichton, and in the hands of Spielberg, the story became even better. I could go on all day with this, but the point I’m trying to make here is that this is so much more than just a movie about dinosaurs running amok. That may be true for the sequels, but this first film in the trilogy is nothing short of pure Hollywood magic. A spellbinding adventure story, that moves, entertains and invites you to a world unlike anything you’ve ever seen. So when I say that this is one of my all-time favourite movies, I really mean that with every fibre in my being.