A Decade in Film: 1994

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A chronological list of releases can be found here.

1) Best of 1994 or top five?
2) Most disappointing of 1994 (or bottom five if you want to go that route)?
3) Most underrated or underseen? (Example: “reviews weren’t great, but it’s genius because) OR (“No one saw it, but this is why they should…”)
4) Favorite performance(s) of the year?
5) Favorite scene/sequence of the year?
6) Most memorable (good or bad) theatergoing experience of the year?
7) Most influential film/performance/style/director?

Obviously feel free to answer only the questions you’re interested in or to write/respond to something else entirely. The lists themselves are just a starting point to foster discussion.

4 responses »

  1. Looking over the list, while some definite high points this looked a fairly blah year for films.

    Most significant: Goes without saying Pulp Fiction, probably the most significant film of the 1990s.

    Special mention for Ace Ventura Pet Detective which made Jim Carrey from a minor comic in America to a worldwide phenomenon before the end of the year. In Australia at least I reckon the impact of Ace Ventura was on home rental.

    Also, while not a big hit at the time the long-term impact and popularity of The Shawshank Redemption (massively popular on TV in Australia for years) is noteworthy

    Underrated :
    The Paper

    Underseen: Greedy

    Best: Pulp Fiction, Dumb & Dumber (funniest film of the 1990s), Ed Wood

    Worst: Cops & Robbersons, North

    Overrated: The Mask (easily the weakest of the three breakout films Carrey made this year)

    Experience: Remember renting ‘Natural Born Killers’ and it being one of the very few films I didn’t watch to the end because I found it so repellent. Would be interesting to see if I could take it a bit more now, although I think it would still be just as heavy-handed and obnoxious.

    Special mention: Considering how big it was at the time in more ways than one (and it got a fair bit of criticism as well), I reckon Forrest Gump has faded in terms of cultural impact to a surprisingly large degree in the years since.

  2. Pulp FIction, Ed Wood, Vanya on 42nd Street, Quiz Show, The Lion King, Little Women.

    I think Forrest Gump has received a very unfair backlash. I haven’t seen it all the way through since the first time, but I was very moved by it. Maybe it wouldn’t stand up to a second viewing.

  3. Top picks: Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Clear and Present Danger, Dumb and Dumber, Speed, True Lies, The Hudsucker Proxy, Bullets over Broadway, The Lion King, The Professional, Stargate, Quiz Show

    Most disappointing: Star Trek: Generations, Beverly Hills Cop 3, Prêt-à-Porter.

    Underrated: The New Age, Body Snatchers, Gunmen, The Ref, Surviving The Game, Before the Rain, The Puppet Masters, PCU all have their moments.

    Favorite performances: Jackson, Thurman and Travolta in Pulp, Oldman in The Professional, Judy Davis and Peter Weller in The New Age, Joaquim de Almeida in Clear and Present Danger, Jeremy Irons in The Lion King, Daniels and Carrey in Dumb and Dumber, Depp and Landau in Ed Wood, Chazz Palminteri in Bullets over Broadway

    Most memorable (good or bad) theatergoing experience of the year:
    – Seeing a preview of Speed with a audience a week or two before release and recognizing it was going to be absolutely massive
    – Standing behind Jason Robards as he bought popcorn during a screening of Ed Wood
    – Weekend of hell: The Shadow, Blown Away and Baby’s Day Out…ouch.

    Most influential film/performance/style/director: The age of Tarantino begins.

  4. I am such a different person than I was when watching the films of this year. That said, True Lies is stil far-and-away the greatest movie of the year (still decrying no more R-rated James Cameron), and Forrest Gump is still terrible.

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