Since it’s my birthday week, I got to choose what we post about today! Personally, I think that 1999 was such a great year for movies. There are so many fantastic movies in every genre, so I asked the crew to recommend a cool movie from 1999.
What’s a movie you love from 1999? We’ll share some of your favorites on the blog later this week.
Jordan – Dogma:
To be honest, this is a last minute change. I wanted to originally write about Being John Malkovich because it’s such a weird movie, and I want someone else to like it with me. But really one of my favorite movies from 1999 is Dogma. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play two angels, who have been exiled from heaven and are trying to find their way back in. If they ever return, it would overrule the word of God and destroy existence. A human named Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) teams up with an angel (Alan Rickman), an apostle (Chris Rock), a Muse (Salma Hayek), and Jay & Silent Bob. It’s pretty crass and pokes a lot of fun at religion, but I think overall it’s a hilarious movie with a sweet ending.
Morgan – 10 Things I Hate About You:
So I am completely and absolutely in love with this movie. I briefly considered writing about something else, but I couldn’t not choose 10 Things. Everything about this movie is so great. First off, Heath Ledger and young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Need I say more? Answer: no, but I will. 10 Things is also adapted from Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”, which I think makes it that much better. Basically, Bianca can’t date until her older sister Kat (Julia Stiles) does, so Patrick (Ledger) gets paid to take her out. It’s a fun, teen love story with an awesome, classic 90s soundtrack, fantastic one-liners and one of the greatest confessions of love scenes in the history of love confessions. It’s also probably one of the most quotable movies ever. “I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” Perfection in 97 glorious minutes.
Bryson – Magnolia:
Magnolia, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, The Master), is a film that displays a plethora of themes including that of loneliness, abuse, regret, and forgiveness. The film covers several, simultaneous storylines which leads to a chaotic yet amazingly smooth plot. Magnolia is a superb piece of directing, and as he said himself, may be one of Anderson’s best works. The remarkable screenplay this film offers is supported well by the entire cast; particularly Tom Cruise and Julianne Moore. Cruise who plays narcissistic, pick-up artist Frank Mackey was awarded a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role. Beautifully made all around, Magnolia is as ambitious as it gets and cuts deeper than it may originally suggest. P.T. Anderson knows how to make movies and this is no exception. Don’t sleep on this one, as it is both underrated and 3 hours long, because it is a true piece of art.
Kurtis – Stir of Echoes:
There’s a ton of great movies to choose from 1999, most of which you’ve probably already seen as they were so influential in changing the future of film (The Matrix, American Beauty, Fight Club, etc). So I really wanted to highlight an incredible film that I don’t think many of you have seen, and that movie is Stir Of Echoes, starring Kevin Bacon and Kathryn “Ducks Fly Together” Erbe. This one’s a mystery thriller with a really well thought out story woven through it. After being hypnotized by his sister-in-law to prove his point that hypnotism is bogus, Tom Witzky (Bacon) begins seeing visions throughout his days of a violent murder of a teenage girl. Witzky becomes obsessed with these visions and solving the crime. This puts himself and his family in danger as more details come to the surface about who might be involved in the crime. I remember this being one of the first movies that freaked me out and created a lot of suspense by keeping me on the edge of my seat. I appreciate that this is a mystery movie that holds up over time, and survives multiple viewings when you already know the end. Kevin Bacon absolutely slays his performance as a regular blue-collar worker thrust into the disturbing world of the supernatural, reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s descent into madness in The Shining. What puts this screenplay above other similar ghost stories is when it begins to shift from the sensational to the real-life tragic mystery going on in the quiet neighborhood. Stir of Echoes is easily one of my favorite movies ever, and stands out from one if the best years in movie history, even the similarly spooky The Sixth Sense.
[We also had a bonus post this week about the Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave]