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Films of 1999

# Film Title Date Rating Frogs One Word Buy at Amazon.com
1 The Siege 14 January 1999 75% **** Terrorism Buy!
A well-chosen cast and fairly substantial plot, along with a bit of imagination and a moral thrown in to boot make this an interesting and enjoyable film.
2 Bulworth 22 January 1999 90% ***** Original Buy!
This film gives a hillariously cynical view of politics, while at the same time showing hope that things can be better. In an intriguing dichotomy, it is both cynical and optimistic. Throw in a very different, unconventional plot, and inspired casting, and you get one of the funniest films that I've seen in quite a long time.
3 A Bug's Life 5 February 1999 90% ***** Astounding Buy!
WOW! The computer graphics in this film are utterly unbelievable. It's a quantum leap past anything that has come before it. What is most amazing is that they have created such amazing effects without using any particularly new computer graphics methods. There are much newer, better methods available, so in a few years with more powerful computers and optimisations in the rendering algorithms, we should be seeing even more amazing results. For the time being, A Bug's Life exceeded expectations! Excellent CGI, amusing plot, funny characters and one-liners. A must see, especially if you're interested in computer graphics.
4 Very Bad Things 13 February 1999 85% ****+ Freakish! Buy!
Definitely the product of a warped, twisted mind, Very Bad Things is nonetheless absolutely hillarious in a rather nerve-wracking way. Not one for the overly squeamish, but if you can take it, it's very original, and well worth a trip to the cinema. Bought the DVD.
5 Meet Joe Black 18 February 1999 80% ****+ Enlivening Buy!
This is not a film about Death, but a film about life. The cast could not be better, and the story is a charming one. The most important thing about Meet Joe Black is the character interactions. They are utterly believable. Anthony Hopkins was excellent as ever. Brad Pitt has gone up a lot in my estimation due to this film. Claire Forlani was stunning. Expect to see her in many more movies. Excellent!
6 Shakespeare in Love 5 March 1999 75% **** Shakespearean Buy!
This movie was an excellent pseudo-biographical tale of the life of Shakespeare. Since so little is known of his life, they were free to take many liberties with the story, but they did so in such a way as to end up with a tale very much in the style of a Shakespearean comedy. Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes are both convincing and entertaining in the starring rôles, and it has a lively plot. Well worth seeing!
7 The Thin Red Line 20 March 1999 60% ***+ Contemplative Buy!
A war movie with a difference, if you go expecting action, you will be mostly disappointed. If you don't like films that last more than 120 minutes, you will also dislike this film. It is not fast-moving, and it is not what it was advertised to be, but that's the distribution company's fault (they couldn't resist marketting it as an action war film to rival Saving Private Ryan), not the director's. It contains some excellent performances, from a list of stars the length of your arm (if you have short arms, admittedly, but you get the idea), and from the surprisingly unknown actor in the lead rôle. It is set in an amazingly beautiful part of the world, and there is some excellent cinematography. I'm not convinced as to whether the film really succeeds in what it sets out to do, but I think it is a movie that is interestingly different from any other I have seen. Possibly the worst thing for this movie was being released in the same year as Ryan which was obviously the big annual Tom Hanks Oscar puller and a Spielberg effort to boot. It was destined to be measured against Ryan on Ryan's home field, and not judged on its own merits.
8 Payback 26 March 1999 85% ****+ Great! Buy!
Another brilliant film starring Mel Gibson. Payback is typical Gibson fare, with a story that draws you in and as usual is well cast. Great fun!
9 Arlington Road 1 April 1999 90% ***** Paranoia Buy!
...but is it really paranoia?!? A brilliant thriller involving the FBI, terrorism, and paranoia. It is brilliantly cast, with Jeff Bridges gaining much respect in my eyes. I had underestimated him as an actor. Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack are also in atypical rôles which they both carry of with the greatest of ease and skill. They are both completely believable in their characters. The plot, however, is the best bit! This is not typical Hollywood fare! It has quite a stunning twist at the end that you'll probably walk out of the cinema still not quite believing they dared use. Surprising and exciting to the last minute! Excellent film. Bought the DVD.
10 A Civil Action 9 April 1999 50% *** Fizzles Buy!
That is, it fizzles out at the end. It starts off very promisingly with John Travolta as a supremely arrogant and uncaring lawyer with a nice and promising plot line building up. Then, two thirds or three quarters of the way through, it suddenly looses the plot and singularly fails to have an ending. Most disappointing, especially because it started out promisingly. The fact that they flashed up text telling us what happened afterwards, telling us slightly indirectly that it was based on a true story, didn't really excuse this. Either they should have reinvented the ending like most films supposedly based on true stories do, or they shouldn't have based it on that story in the first place (picked a more interesting true story, perhaps!). Possibly worth seeing for the performances of Robert Duvall and John Travolta and a couple of others... but don't bother going for the plot.
11 eXistenZ 8 May 1999 75% **** Bizarre! Buy!
The dialogue's corny as hell, the acting's mediocre at best, the games consoles are ludicrous (although amazingly original)... but it gets 10/10 for astounding weirdness. eXistenZ (prounounced with a slight stress on "eX", no stress on "is" and a soft "Z" at the end) is the name of the film and the name of a VR game run on organic computers. While seemingly having little in the way of merrits, I must have enjoyed it. The just-under-2-hours went by without my realising it. The ending was very good. That, I can say without hesitation. It's the epitomy of B-movieness. I can almost see it becoming a cult movie. I find it very hard to rate or review. The best way I can sum it up is this: This is a really good bad film!
12 8mm 12 May 1999 60% ***+ Unpleasant Buy!
You might expect, based on the subject matter, that 8mm would be tasteless and vile. It was not. Most of the more unpleasant scenes were kept off-camera, perhaps to a greater degree than in films people wouldn't think twice about seeing. It's not the best film I've seen this year, but it was good, and it was somewhat thought-provoking. It is a chilling thought that the type of things either depicted (to a small degree) or hinted at in this movie may exist.
13 Forces of Nature 21 May 1999 85% ****+ Charming Buy!
A charming oft-dream-like tale of people, life choices, and love. The cast is lead by Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck, who both suit their parts (two very different people who get thrown together in their journey to Savanah) down to the ground. Their is great screen chemistry between them, and the clever special special effects used in various places create an amazingly magical, dream-like atmosphere (notably, driving through a shower of rain, running through a hail storm, and a swirling wind full of leaves at the end). On top of all that, it includes some side-splittingly funny moments. Well worth seeing!
14 She's All That 28 May 1999 65% ***+ Realisation Buy!
This was much better than I expected. It was at times funny or uplifting and at others poignant. Rachel Leigh Cook's character underwent an amazing transformation from introverted and not particularly noticeable to quite stunning. It wasn't a terribly new story by any means (boy makes bet, boy enchants girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl finds out about bet, girl gets upset, boy persuades girl he really loves her - says he was an idiot before but has changed now, then something happens -- the 'something happens' being the variable bit) but sometimes the old stories are the best stories, and told in a different way they make a very enjoyable film. It has a good soundtrack too. (Saw it again on 22/7/1999).
15 Notting Hill 4 June 1999 75% **** Hillarious Buy!
Notting Hill is not a remake or Four Weddings or anything like it. It is at least as funny as Four Weddings, with Hugh Grant again playing a rather ineffectual twit, but doing it so well! Julia Roberts surprised me by actually seeming capable of some degree of acting talent. Rhys Ifans was hillariously dreadful as the horrifically sub-human, abominably forgetful yet kind-hearted and well-meaning Welsh room-mate. Not only does the film have a great script, but a perfectly chosen cast.
16 Virus 7 June 1999 55% *** Plagiarism Buy!
An amusing if brainless "something alien runs amok and kills everybody, then unlikely bunch of humans improbably win in the end", Virus steals almost everything from some other film... but it's an enjoyable film if you leave your brain at the door!
17 The Matrix 12 June 1999 99% ***** Mind-blowing! Buy!
WOW! If anything this year is more worth seeing than Star Wars (Note: now I know, having seen Star Wars Episode I, that there's actually a lot of things better than it), it'll be this film! I've seen it seven times now (also 20/6/1999, 30/6/1999, 4/7/1999, 9/7/1999, 23/7/1999, 2/9/1999). Who knows, I may even go again before it's finished (Note: it's finished in the cinemas now, but I've now got the DVD). The story's great, the effects are astounding and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat all the way through. The costuming is inspired, the casting too (yes, even Keanu Reeves was very good in The Matrix -- he can act if he's given a chance to, unlike in so many of the films he's appeared in). Lawrence Fishburn is excellent as always. Carrie-Anne Moss is similarly excellent as the beautiful and formidable Trinity. As for the gun-fights... John Woo eat your heart out! ... and the martial arts sequences are quite something else! If you haven't yet seen it... what on earth are you waiting for?!? This is a must-see if I've ever seen one!
18 Apt Pupil 15 June 1999 80% ****+ Chilling Buy!
A chilling film about a young boy's unhealthy obsession with the second world war and the nazis, and an old man, living a quiet life alone in America, who the boy discovers was a German officer during the war and commited attrocities. The boy (Brad Renfro) forces the old man (the formidable Ian McKellen) to tell him stories about what happened, and what it was like, threatening to go to the police with evidence he has collected about the old man if he refuses. The two end up changing each other, bringing out the sinister side in each, and having a hold on each other so that everything escalates, leading to a potentially disastrous situation towards the end of the film.
19 Cruel Intentions 21 June 1999 90% ***** Twisted Buy!
What can I say? It is sick and twisted, but in a delightfully obtuse way. A most surprisingly excellent film. Ryan Phillippe is the amoral disgustingly rich young Sebastian for whom seducing women is a way of passing time but who tires quickly of his conquests. Sarah Michelle Gellar is his dangerously seductive yet deceptively duplicitous half-sister who has everyone deceived and all the men in her life, including Sebastian, under her spell... and ruthlessly uses her power over everyone to get what she wants. I'd say more, but by leaving the rest for you to find out you will probably enjoy it all the more. (Saw it again on 11/7/1999 with friends who hadn't seen it -- good the second time too).
20 The Mummy 25 June 1999 70% **** Cursed Buy!
The Mummy steals openly from more films than I can count and it's a "leave your brain at the door" film, but it is great fun! The effects are very good, and it keeps up the excitement all the way through. John Hannah plays the inept, drunken brother (and does so brilliantly as always) of Rachel Weisz, the female lead, and Brendan Fraser plays the gung-ho American who leads them to Hamunaptra (if that is how it is spelled), the city of the dead. A most enjoyable couple of hours at the flicks.
21 Entrapment 2 July 1999 85% ****+ Trust Buy!
Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones lead a great cast in this unusually plot-filled movie. Connery is a "gentleman thief", the best there is, with an eye for art and Zeta-Jones is an employee at an insurance/security company who goes in under cover to catch him in the act... or is she?
22 Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace 16 July 1999 50% *** Disappointing Buy!
Star Wars should not try to be funny. Jar Jar Binks and Darth Vader saying "Yipee!!!" turn a film which should have been an epic story (or part thereof) into a bit of comic rubbish. It was alright, and if it wasn't for the fact that it was a Star Wars film I would probably have enjoyed it more, but it just did not fit at all with the rest of what we have all come to know as Star Wars. You have to see it for yourself, naturally -- not seeing a Star Wars film would be very strange indeed -- but it's not worth seeing more than once as I had expected it would be.
23 10 Things I Hate About You 20 July 1999 70% **** Amusing Buy!
An amusing light comedy revolving around the lives of a rather air-headed girl who wants to go to the prom and her sister who is rebellious and totally uninterested in fitting in.
24 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1 August 1999 75% **** Corny Buy!
Hillariously funny at times, but repeats far too many of the jokes from the first movie. At times corny as hell to the point of being groan-worthy rather than funny. Don't get me wrong, mind you; it was a very funny film, but I can't give it a reservationless thumbs up. Worth seeing.
25 Wild Wild West 13 August 1999 60% ***+ Bizarre Buy!
Wild Wild West is one hell of a weird film. It's like what you might expect if you asked Terry Gilliam to write/direct/produce a Western. Most odd indeed. Quite funny in places. Overall enjoyable if not overwhelmingly so.
26 Rushmore 22 August 1999 80% ****+ Quirky Buy!
A most unusual film with a story revolving around some pretty eccentric characters. Very funny in a refreshingly original way.
27 The Thomas Crown Affair 23 August 1999 90% ***** Inspired Buy!
The plot of this movie is truly inspired. There are plenty of subtleties and it keeps you guessing without confusing. It is well cast with leads René Russo and Pierce Brosnan both giving one of their best performances. So good I saw it a second time (28/8/99).
28 South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut 29 August 1999 85% ****+ Obscene! Buy!
South Park is probably the most vulgar, vile, obscene movie I have ever seen... and yet it was hillariously funny! Funny in an "Oh my $deity, how can I be finding this funny?" sort of way. Funny in the lowest possible way, but nonetheless hillariously so. The musical bits are especially brilliant. Who can forget such songs as "Shut your f***ing face, Uncle F***a", and "It's Easy, Mmmkay"?
29 Mickey Blue Eyes 31 August 1999 65% ***+ Mafia Buy!
Mickey Blue Eyes is a romantic comedy about an Englishman (Hugh Grant), auctioneer by trade, in New York who finds out, when he proposes to her, that his girlfriend (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is the daughter of a Mobster (James Caan). Things proceed to get complicated. It is a charming and amusing comedy with a good ending.
30 Go 8 September 1999 90% ***** Unexpected Buy!
I saw the trailers and thought, "That looks pretty mediocre." How wrong I was! Go is a brilliantly crafted story, or rather a set of intertwined stories (like Pulp Fiction ... or something by Shakespeare ;-). It is absolutely side-splittingly funny at times, intense at others. This is not a movie to miss. See it! Saw it again on 15/10/1999. Excellent the second time too. Bought it on DVD.
31 The 13th Warrior 10 September 1999 55% *** Bloody Buy!
Antonio Banderas is surprisingly believable as an Arab who gets dragged into a party of 13 men as the 13th warrior in a Viking war/rescue party who return to Norway to fight off somebody attacking some old doddering Viking king's little village only to find themselves facing a mythical army of evil who have a tendency to pull people's heads off -- and he's only a diplomat, not a warrior! He has an uncanny knack for picking up a language, curses and all, just by listening, and suddenly becomes a master-warrior when he fashions himself a sword more to his liking. Despite the somewhat silly story and the pseudo-mythology, the acting isn't half bad, with Banderas excellent as always, and it's an enjoyable hour or so at the flicks.
32 Never Been Kissed 11 September 1999 65% ***+ Disguise Buy!
Never Been Kissed is a touching and very funny comedy starring Drew Barrymore and David Arquette. Worth seeing.
33 Eyes Wide Shut 12 September 1999 50% *** Weird Buy!
A very odd film indeed, I have no idea really what to say about it or how to rate it. It leaves me with the impression that there must be fundamental depths which are not immediately obvious, but I can't figure out what they are or, with any certainty, if they exist. Even after seeing Eyes Wide Shut, I cannot decide whether it is a deeply intellectual Stanley Kubrik masterpiece or a film with little subtlety and little to say. In fact, I can't think of a satisfactory way to review this film at all. Perhaps the only thing is to see it and judge it for yourself, but I can't particularly recommend it. The 50% rating is almost a default given a lack of any inspiration as to how to grade it.
34 Ravenous 13 September 1999 80% ****+ Cannibalism Buy!
A bizarre and darkly humourous tale of murder and cannibalism. "Humourous?!?", you say? Yes, humourous in a horrific way. Robert Carlyle's performance turns a good movie into an excellent movie.
35 Drop Dead Gorgeous 17 September 1999 75% **** Satire Buy!
Drop Dead Gorgeous is a film made as a mock documentary about the contestants in a pageant. The pageant takes on a bizarre level of importance in the minds of those involved, resulting in several deaths. It's a cleverly scripted black comedy, and it really works very well indeed. There were places which left the entire audience in stitches laughing. A hillarious satire. (I got dragged along to see it again with a different group of friends the very next day [18/9/1999]. I didn't resist the idea much and it was hillarious the second time too).
36 Instinct 18 September 1999 75% **** Illusions Buy!
Instinct stars Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Jr. in a cleverly worked psychological drama/thriller about a man who has rejected society in favour of a more basic existence (Hopkins), put in a psych wing of a jail after being returned to (extradited, deported or merely released to, we are not told) America from a Rwandan prison, and a psychologist (Gooding) who is sent to evaluate him. In the scenes with Hopkins and Gooding, there is a very believable and tangible connection between their two characters, building and changing over the course of the movie. Well worth a visit to the cinema or video library!
37 The General's Daughter 20 September 1999 65% ***+ Deception Buy!
A young woman has been murdered on an army base in very strange circumstances, and an investigator (Travolta) with the Criminal Investigation Division is called in to try to solve the case before the FBI become involved. The woman is the daughter of the general in charge of the base, and the plot thickens. It seems everyone is a suspect. A clever thriller, slightly unlikely premise aside, The General's Daughter is well worth seeing.
38 Analyze This 24 September 1999 80% ****+ Breakdown Buy!
Robert De Niro is a mafia boss who thinks he's losing his mind and Billy Crystal is a family therapist who finds himself involved with the wrong sort of family. Crystal and De Niro work brilliantly together, and this, when combined with a clever script and excellent acting from others like Lisa Kudrow, results in a wonderfully funny comedy with plenty of one-liners. Never a dull moment.
39 Big Daddy 25 September 1999 85% ****+ Juvenility Buy!
Adam Sandler is one of those comic actors who people tend to either love or hate. I tend towards the former, with occasional reservations (he's done some pretty mediocre films), but there are not two films of his which I think are brilliant. The first was The Wedding Singer. Big Daddy has joined it. Sandler plays a 30-something guy with a law degree who works one day a week in a toll booth, acts like a kid all the time, and doesn't see any reason why he should do anything differently. His girlfriend disagrees, and threatens to dump him. He thinks he's found the solution when a kid turns up on the doorstep. It's hard to say who acts more like a little kid, Sandler or the actual kid. This just makes it even funnier. It has the obligatory happy ending, but that's fine because it's a good one. All in all, a very enjoyable flick. Bought the DVD.
40 A Midsummer Night's Dream 27 September 1999 75% **** Infatuation Buy!
This version of Shakespear's fantastical play has the obvious initial advantage of the bard's great scripting and storytelling, but it adds to this a perfectly chosen cast, good directing and an attention to detail in location choice, set decoration, lighting, camera work, and special effects. A most worthy tribute.
41 The Haunting 29 September 1999 55% *** Effects Buy!
The Haunting really didn't deserve the terrible reviews it got here. I actually thought it was most enjoyable. Admittedly, it wasn't truly scary most of the time, but it provided the occasional bit to make you jump. The special effects were outstanding, however. They were both flawless and hugely impressive. They would, of course, have been far less impressive without clever use of sound, which this film uses often. That said, the acting was good but not brilliant, and the premise and plot were a bit silly. Enjoyable enough, nonetheless.
42 American Pie 2 October 1999 90% ***** Side-splitting Buy!
American Pie is absolutely side-splittingly rolling-in-the-aisles funny in an "I don't believe they just showed/said/did that!" sort of way. It's both original and censor-taunting in a way similar to in There's Something About Mary. A hillarious comedy. One of the funniest I've seen this year, and this is a good year! Saw it again in the cinema on 24/10/1999 and have since bought the DVD.
43 Runaway Bride 9 October 1999 65% ***+ Mundane Buy!
Runaway Bride is quite funny in places, and Julia Roberts and Richard Gere actually work quite well together, but this is nothing special. It's got a few good one-liners (the best is also a blatant advertisement for FedEx -- well done to them; should be good for sales!) and an alright if sketchy and predictable plot, so not a mis-spent evening at the cinema. Fun but not overly memorable.
44 Deep Blue Sea 16 October 1999 65% ***+ Sharks! Buy!
A fun no-brainer thriller starring, as well as a few unknowns, Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J, and the wonderful test sharks! Quite a ludicrous pseudo-science premise, but it really doesn't matter. It's good fun, and it's actually not predictable! If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean when I say: "Samuel L. Jackson, eh? Who'd've seen that coming?". LL Cool J is actually very amusing as the religious cook. Don't take it seriously, but enjoy!
45 Bowfinger 23 October 1999 75% **** Pretence Buy!
Funnier than expected comedy flick starring Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy. Steve Martin is Bobby Bowfinger of Bowfinger Films, a broke, low-budget movie director/producer and Eddie Murphy is Kit Ramsey, the biggest star in Hollywood. Bowfinger persuades some big-time Hollywood backers to back a movie he wants to make from a new script he's got...but on condition that he gets Kit Ramsey to star in it! Here begins the frantic madcap attempt to make a film where the star doesn't know he's in the movie.
46 The Blair Witch Project 30 October 1999 90% ***** Unique Buy!
It's not terribly uncommon for a film to be fairly original, but a film which is utterly unique and totally unlike anything that has ever gone before is an extreme rarity -- almost everything has been done before to some extent. The Matrix and The Blair Witch Project are both utterly unique, quite amazing in one year. Some people were of the opinion that Blair Witch was nothing special, and that it wasn't really scary. I couldn't disagree more. I think it was truly amazing. A most unique film, and likely to stay that way. The acting is way beyond mere brilliance (perhaps because a significant amount of the emotions shown by the characters were real -- the method of filming was most unorthodox, throwing actors into the woods without a complete knowledge of what was going to happen), and the way in which the tension, fear, and desperation build throughout the movie, from start to finish is... well, it's something I've never seen a movie do before. The usual idea in a movie is build up suspense for somewhere between a few seconds and a few minutes, then give a sudden shock, then build it up again. It's all based on short attention spans. Blair Witch, doesn't pander to this standard idea -- the tension is maintained throughout without respite. It's great to see movie makers do what they want and not what they think the audience want. I also think that the fact that you saw what the characters saw (i.e. if they saw utter pitch blackness you actually _did_ see utter pitch blackness, not a low-blue/red/green-lit scene); the fact that you didn't know any more than the characters meant that you felt much more like you were actually there, and thus feeling, to some extent, the same emotions as the characters. I think that, if you let yourself become immersed in the film, it is indeed scarier than any other movie I can recall. Far scarier than any slasher flick. Scary enough that even the occasional very funny line didn't result in anything more than a nervous laugh -- and that is a good thing, in my opinion! It means that the film really did make the audience uncomfortable and nervous. The end of the film gave me quite a chill, and it was obvious that most of the audience experienced the same thing. Most of them were silent or quiet leaving the cinema, except for a few, the bravado showing in their voices, saying how useless they thought it was. I think a lot of people went along with expectations which were far too rigid, and didn't like it when it didn't conform. In my opinion, the total lack of conformation to traditional film standards made it all the more impressive and effective.
47 Pushing Tin 2 November 1999 70% **** Stress Buy!
A clever and often very funny comedy about a group of air traffic controllers in New York, starring John Cusack and Billy-Bob Thornton, it surprises by pointing out what a tough job air traffic controllers have and how they cannot afford to make a single mistake. The relationship between the at-peace, non-reactive Thornton and the outwardly cool and together but hyperactive Cusack, who both push themselves to the limit and beyond, is excellently depicted. Quite a thoughtful and psychological comedy.
48 John Carpenter's Vampires 5 November 1999 55% *** Hillarious Buy!
Not in the slightest bit scary, but quite grotesque. I found much of it hugely funny, especially the attempts to be scary and the ludicrously graphic dismemberment which goes massively over the top. Amusing anyhow, in a laugh-at-it-rather-than-with-it sort of way.
49 Fight Club 12 November 1999 95% ***** Inspired! Buy!
An unusual and anarchic thriller on the surface, Fight Club has a lot more to say than is initially apparent. Certainly one of the best movies of the year, I would have said the best film of the year in any normal year, but this year is far from normal. The number of truly brilliant movies this year has been quite out of proportion to the usual. You will get much more from Fight Club on the second viewing (I saw it a second time on 16/11/1999), and I would imagine based on a second viewing that there's probably even more hiding in there to be discovered on subsequent viewings. The first viewing, nonetheless, is unique in that you do only really find out what the film was about at the end, so the earlier parts of the movie have a different impact once you've seen it before. Pitt and Norton both give tour de force performances. Excellent!!!
50 The Sixth Sense 13 November 1999 85% ****+ Ghostly Buy!
A very clever and often chilling thriller starring Bruce Willis as a child psychologist and Haley Joel Osment as a child who sees real ghosts. Osment's acting is particularly outstanding. The film also has a very clever twist at the end.
51 East is East 14 November 1999 75% **** Religion Buy!
A very funny comedy set in 70's England about a mixed-race family -- Pakistani father and English mother. While very funny it is also depicts a hellish family situation where the Pakistani father terrorizes the rest of his family, desperately trying to force them into a totally Pakistani mould as a way of compensating for his own transgression in marrying an Englishwoman, embittering his children and pushing them to rebellion against him in doing so. Ironically, the father is as much a victim, in some ways, of his own inability to accept reality as the rest of his family are. Despite the bitterness and the terribly unfortunate situation, the film manages to be light-hearted for the most part while still presenting its message. Very good.
52 Ride with the Devil 15 November 1999 65% ***+ Discrimination Buy!
Ride with the Devil is a US civil war drama, not a type of film I usually watch, but it had good acting (especially notable are Tobey Maguire as Jake Roedel and Jewel -- obviously not just a pretty face and a good voice -- as love interest Sue Lee Shelley) and quite an interesting plot. Worth watching if you haven't else anything terribly pressing to do.
53 EDtv 20 November 1999 75% **** Late!!! Buy!
Why did EDtv only just come out here? Never have I seen a release date so ludicrously far behind the US release. My theory is that they realised, after the US release, that is had been a very bad move releasing it so soon after The Truman show and so suddenly at the last minute decided to push the non-US release dates back to avoid the same happening elsewhere. Absolutely unprecedented was the fact that the cinemas here (Ireland) were showing trailers for EDtv almost a year ago which suddenly, mysteriously, and unexplainedly stopped. Nothing more was mentioned about it until a few weeks ago when they started showing trailers for it again. Absolutely bizarre. I think they made a bad decision, since EDtv has been given the smallest screens in the multiplexes when I believe it would have got a bigger and more publicised release had it not been put off. Anyway, what about the actual movie? I thought it was very good -- not as good as Truman, but really quite a different movie anyway. The cast was well chosen, with excellent acting from Mathew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Jenna Elfman, the three main characters, notable cameos from Jay Leno, Bill Maher and RuPaul, and a rather one-dimensional (but intentionally so, perhaps) small part for Liz Hurley. Worth seeing.
54 The World is Not Enough 26 November 1999 80% ****+ Bond Buy!
Brosnan excellent as ever as 007, but this time in a better Bond film. The last two seemed somehow mediocre, but this is real Bond as it's meant to be: plans for world domination, explosions, death-defying skiing and boating, super-human baddies, nuclear weapons, innuendo, corny puns and all!
55 Random Hearts 30 November 1999 35% ** Tedious Buy!
It has two great stars. It has what sounded like it might be a somewhat promising plot (from the trailers). Perhaps it's believable, as some reviews I've read say (and seem to consider terribly important; more important than whether it enthralls viewers or has them looking at their watches). The problem is, it moves at the speed of congealing molasses! It's a shame to have to say it, but it's just plain boring.
56 End of Days 11 December 1999 80% ****+ Satanic Buy!
Arnold Schwarzeneger's good-guy-on-the-edge battles Gabriel Byrne's Satan. A clever plot, clever casting, and a better than usual plot with hidden subtleties. All round good fun too!
57 Dogma 30 December 1999 70% **** Irreverant! Buy!
A very funny, hugely quirky film from Kevin Smith. It will appeal to the irreverant with a bizarre sense of humour. The evilness of some characters inspires a sense of glee; especially the characters played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, two angels who would be at home in Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. A great cast headed up by the current favourites Matt, Ben, Chris Rock and Salma Hayek as well as less new on the scene Linda Fiorentino and a truly excellent stalwart, Alan Rickman (who deserves more fame than he has). Saying much more would spoil it for you. This movie definitely isn't for everyone, but if it's for you you'll love it.


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