Don Hosek - Movies I've seen in 1999

Each movie's given with a quickie review and the date that I've seen it. They're listed from best to worst. 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 1999 release. It will, however, be a film I saw projected on a screen in a dark room filled with strangers. Titles in bold feature a cast member of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  1. Bringing Out the Dead. Dare I say it? Yes. I think it's even better than Taxi Driver. (10/24)
  2. Limbo. The first movie with an ending which utterly shocked me in a long time. (6/19)
  3. The Ogre. Wonderfully understated with the quality of a dream at times. (9/6)
  4. Sixth Sense. Not at all the film that I expected, remarkably intelligent and one that would bear re-watching. (10/25)
  5. Fight Club. Over the top and brilliantly acted and directed. I've got to check out Edward Norton's other films now. (10/16)
  6. Gods and Monsters. Not at all what I expected, which I suppose might have been Love and Death on Long Island. It is in fact a film about memory, aging, relationships, war and death. Brilliant performances all around. (2/16)
  7. American Beauty. Nothing is what it appears to be. Very nice. (10/21)
  8. Toy Story 2. In that rare class of sequels better than the originals. The dog animation, incidentally, is spectacular. (11/27)
  9. Being John Malkovitch. Some of the best sustained weirdness ever created. (11/2)
  10. Blair Witch Project. Delightfully different from everything else that's come out this year. Unfortunately, word has it that a sequel is being planned. (7/20)
  11. A Simple Plan. Who would have ever thought that Sam Raimi would produce a Hitchcockian thriller? (2/6)
  12. Cookie's Fortune. Another great Altman flick, although quite different from many of his other films. (6/26)
  13. Yellow Submarine. BLUE MEANIES! (9/11)
  14. The Muse. An Albert Brooks gem, a bit slow in places but the party scene was shear genius. (9/4)
  15. Bowfinger. Eddie Murphy was better than I expected, Steve Martin was worse than I expected. (8/20)
  16. Mystery Men. A brilliant film, staffed with underappreciated actors and the two women at the top of my list should I ever become a celebrity stalker, Claire Forlani and Janeane Garofolo. (8/7)
  17. Sleepy Hollow. Very stylish and entertaining, although occasionally incoherent and completely unconnected to the Washington Irving Story of the same name. (11/26)
  18. October Sky. Manipulative but inspiring. (3/27)
  19. Music of the Heart. Granted, I have a weak spot for the topic of music education in public schools, but I liked it a lot. (11/12)
  20. Rushmore. Bill Murray's best performance since Groundhog Day. (2/9)
  21. Dick. Box office poison, unfortunately. The combination of taste for teen comedy and enough knowledge about watergate to get the jokes is pretty rare and this lacks a naked Gwynneth Paltrow to bring in the viewers.
  22. Election. Another stunningly good film set in a high school millieu. Chris Klein is one to watch. (5/8)
  23. Midsummer Night's Dream. Well-done Shakespeare. Kevin Kline was a scream as Bottom. (5/14)
  24. Cruel Intentions. The more I think about this one, the more I liked it. The weaknesses in the plot belong to de Laclos and not the screenwriters who did a great job transforming the story to the 1990s. (5/31)
  25. Shakespeare in Love. Yet another movie in which I laughed at jokes that went way over everyone's head. The Twelfth Night stuff at the very end was unnecessary and annoying. (1/23)
  26. eXistenZ. It's been done before, but this was amazingly stylish and intriguing. (5/29)
  27. Dogma. Condemned by stupid uptight Catholics. Pity. On the other hand, Kevin Smith was overreaching his writing abilities putting this story together, but it was much more orthodox than Stigmata which was ignored by the stupid uptight Catholics. Oh well. (11/20)
  28. The Haunting. Fantastic visuals, a slightly illogical plot and weak characters. But the visuals were fantastic. Did I mention the visuals? (8/16)
  29. Analyze This. Very good, but a number of extraneous characters and occasionally obvious jokes pushed it a bit down on the list. (3/12)
  30. Pushing Tin. As long as you avoid thinking too hard, a rather entertaining film. (4/26)
  31. 20 Dates. I'm a bit puzzled at the near-unaminous negative reaction from film critics towards this movie. But I suspect that they're probably all married. (3/13)
  32. The Straight Story. I'd've enjoyed it more if I'd never read any of the reviews which describe almost every encounter of consequence in the film. (10/23)
  33. Summer of Sam. Frankly, I wasn't all that impressed. (7/4)
  34. Very Bad Things. Horribly offensive and terrifically funny. Picture There's Something About Mary meets A Simple Plan. (2/8)
  35. Happy, Texas. Standard-issue plot, but well-executed. (10/15)
  36. Mumford. At heart, the same plot as Happy, Texas, and equally well-executed. (10/20)
  37. Waking Ned Devine. Light, fluffy, and perhaps the funniest death scene I've ever seen. (1/3)
  38. American Pie. I almost walked out on this film a number of times, but it was funny. (7/10)
  39. You've Got Mail. Charming, but ultimately inconsequential. And why does Meg Ryan's character go to Starbuck's so much if she values independent stores? (3/28)
  40. Runaway Bride. If you can get past the sheer illogic of the plot, it's entertaining. At least, unlike Message in a Bottle, it's funny. (7/30)
  41. Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Overdone, although amusing at parts. I could have done without mini-me and fat bastard. (6/21)
  42. For Love of the Game. I suppose it was asking too much to hope Costner could make three great baseball movies. (9/24)
  43. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. Cute kid. Pity he'll grow up to kill zillions. (5/22)
  44. Spike and Mike's Festival of Animation (1998). Having only ever seen the festival in So Cal, I hadn't realized that Spike and Mike didn't travel with the fest. A few dull moments, and the new Aardman piece wasn't as good as I'd've hoped, but enough good stuff to keep me happy. (1/20)
  45. John Carpenter's Vampires. Some neat visuals, but largely a wasted concept. (2/7)
  46. Stigmata. Frankly, a ridiculous piece of tripe. A good concept wasted as people who know nothing about organized religion but what they've seen in other movies attempt to create a commentary on organized religion. (9/18)
  47. The Out of Towners. Why do the producers of remakes feel the need to make everything hyper and zany? This always ends up just making things worse. (4/9)
  48. Message in a Bottle. Needed more Paul Newman. And my God Robin Wright Penn's character had some serious ethical problems. (2/19)