Retrospective — 1999

1999

The Website
Norm @ the Movies (Norm is what most of my friends call me; it’s a long story)
http://members.xoom.com/nemours (defunct)
Website still half-assed, but reviews getting better-
at least the Online Film Critics Society seems to think so, as they accept me into their ranks.

The Movies

We laughed with horny teenagers in The Wood and American Pie and all-out spoofs like and The Spy Who Shagged Me and Bowfinger. A lot of people resented overblown popcorn flicks like Star Wars- Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Wild Wild West and The Mummy, but I found them harmless and entertaining enough even though they obviously pale in comparison to something as visionary as The Matrix. M. Night Shyamalan became a household name (sort of) with the very influential The Sixth Sense (a more potent horror film than the overhyped Blair Witch Project) while Tom Tykwer blew the roof off arthouses with Run Lola Run and David O. Russell deconstructed war flicks and action comedies in Three Kings (which feels even more actual now that we went through another war with Iraq).

There were also thought-provoking pictures about sex (Eyes Wide Shut), religion (Dogma) and life on the edge (Bringing Out the Dead). In a more traditional, “Oscary” vein, audiences enjoyed The Insider, The Green Mile and The Cider House Rules. Last but not least, there were some great guilty pleasures, notably Cruel Intentions and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.

Considering that none of the movies mentioned above made my Top Ten, it’s clear that 1999 was the best film year in recent memory.

Here’s what did make
My Top Ten:

01. MAGNOLIA 100
02. FIGHT CLUB 94
03. AMERICAN BEAUTY 93
04. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH 93
05. BOYS DON’T CRY 92
06. THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY 92
07. THE IRON GIANT 92
08. MAN ON THE MOON 91
09. ELECTION 91
10. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT 94 yeah, in retrospect this should have placed higher– it’s grown into one of my favorites.

The rest of my life
I read most of Réjean Ducharme’s books, moved out of my folks’ house, graduated from film school, worked a few months at the Paramount multiplex then quit after the anti-establishment one/two punch of American Beauty and Fight Club.

NEXT: 2000

( previously: 1998 )