Don Hosek - Movies I've seen in 1998

Each movie's given with a quickie review and the date that I've seen it. They're listed from best to worst. I intend to see every movie featuring a cast member of The Friends that comes out this year so the bottom will likely be quite populous. Movies in Bold were set in Chicago. If a film has a number in brackets after the title, that indicates a film I've seen more than once, and which viewing I'm listing. I'd also point out that I do see revival and repertory stuff so not every film on the list will be a 1998 release. It will, however, be a film I saw projected on a screen in a dark room filled with strangers.

  1. La Vita é Bella. The best movie of the year, easily. (11/7)
  2. The Apostle. Robert Duvall was robbed. Probably because Hollywood doesn't really understand religion. (3/20)
  3. Taxi Driver. Wow. (8/18)
  4. A Clockwork Orange. Simply horrorshow, o my brothers. (5/8)
  5. Wag the Dog. Somewhere in Washington, an aide is wondering if it would work. (1/24)
  6. The Last Days of Disco. Whit Stillman's best yet. (6/13)
  7. Good Will Hunting. Robin Williams' best performance, I think. (1/10)
  8. The Manchurian Candidate. I think I'll pass the time by playing solitaire. (3/14)
  9. Mean Streets. De Niro, Keitel, Scorsese. A brilliant, complex film. (6/18)
  10. Wilde. Stephen Frye as Oscar Wilde was brilliant. (7/10)
  11. Pleasantville. A great film and excellent use of special effects to move the story. (10/24)
  12. The Trial. A brilliant evocation of a dream-like world. (9/19)
  13. As Good as it Gets. Charming, but I don't really think that Helen Hunt or Jack Nicholson were giving Oscar-calibre performances. (3/26)
  14. A Bug's Life. It was tough picking which was better of the two computer-animated ant films this year. This one edged out AntZ courtesy of the "bloopers" during the credits. (11/28)
  15. AntZ. Ignoring the problems with science, quite entertaining. (10/15)
  16. Everest. Forget the IMAX, this was just an incredible story about the dangers of trying to reach the top of the world. (9/13)
  17. There's Something About Mary. Unbelievably funny. (8/10)
  18. Snake Eyes. It falls apart at the end, but man that beginning. (8/7)
  19. Meet Joe Black. Could have been better by cutting out about an hour including the last 3 minutes. (12/5)
  20. The Wedding Singer. Maybe it was low expectations, but I thought that this was a fantastic film. (6/11)
  21. Celebrity. Kenneth Branagh's Woody Allen impression got occasionally annoying, but otherwise good. (12/19)
  22. The Big One. Essential viewing for all liberals. (4/23)
  23. Rounders. For some reason I kept comparing this film to Mean Streets and it kept coming up short. (11/27)
  24. The Truman Show. I'm not sure that it was worth breaking my Jim Carey embargo for this. (6/27)
  25. Deep Impact. There's not one scrap of comic relief in this film. I needed comic relief in this film. (8/12)
  26. Saving Private Ryan. Maybe I'd've liked it more if it hadn't been hyped as an anti-war war movie. It's not. (7/25)
  27. Titanic. The ending was predictable, but the final scenes on the ocean after the sinking will haunt me for years. (1/11)
  28. Great Expectations. I've seen a lot of people pan this film, but I'm stumped as to why. It's not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe they're upset that they don't get to see Gwyneth Paltrow naked? (1/31)
  29. Deconstructing Harry. It's a bit of a grab-bag, a lot of sketch ideas often uncompleted, but a great throwback to the 70s screwball Woody Allen. (1/25)
  30. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. You can't stop here: This is BAT COUNTRY! (7/23)
  31. Jackie Brown. Frankly I thought the Man from Hollywood segment in Four Rooms was better. JB just took too long to get started. (1/24)
  32. The Big Lebowski. Very funny, but it just made no sense at all. It should make a bundle from college students who watch it stoned (assuming that college students do that sort of thing any more). (4/11)
  33. Bulworth. Well, at least they point out that Warren Beatty could be Jada Pinkett's grandfather. (7/30)
  34. City of Angels. Awfully predictable--including the ending. I'd've liked to have seen more angel imagery. (7/15)
  35. The Spanish Prisoner. A near miss by David Mamet. His carefully constructed puzzle box was too predictable. Rent House of Cards or Homicide instead. (6/6)
  36. Godzilla. What? This high? Yes. I had low expectations and it more than met them. I do prefer the original Godzilla look though and don't go expecting a plot or characters. (5/23)
  37. Star Trek: Insurrection. Odd numbered curse? You betcha! (12/11)
  38. Primary Colors. It could have been so much better, but it ended up a bit of a mess really. If it weren't for Paula Jones & company I suspect no one would even bother going to see it. (3/28)
  39. Wild Things. Overdone noir. Tip to filmmakers: We don't need to see everything. (3/27)
  40. The Exorcist. It did not age well at all. (5/8)
  41. US Marshalls. Someday maybe they'll come up with a plot that makes sense. (5/11)
  42. Blues Brothers 2000. I was expecting it to be bad, but I wasn't expecting it to be THIS bad. (2/25)