Has it really been 20 years?
1995 was a great film year, a really great one. A couple of the movies on this list makes me feel fairly old, to be honest. Then again, I know my age, so there’s really no reason why a movie should make me feel old. That should be a privilege given only to my birth date. Anywaaaaay…
Here are a couple of great movies that, despite being released 20 years ago, has stood the test of time.
It’s a classic cat-and-mouse movie with the cop chasing the bad guy, in this case Al Pacino as the determined, smart and temperamental Lt. Vincent Hanna chasing the smart, no-nonsene bank robber Neil McCauley. This movie is actually a remake of ‘L.A. Takedown’, also directed by Michael Mann, but this time around, the director brought in the big guns, and I’m not talking about the bank robbing equipment, but the actors. In addition to the aforementioned pairing of Pacino and De Niro, which for most would be enough, ‘Heat’ also has the following names in its credits: Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Tom Sizemore, Mykelti Williamson, Ted Levine, Amy Brenneman, William Fichtner, Dennis Haysbert and Danny Trejo.
L.A. is beautifully shot, the infamous bank robbing scene is still considered one of the finest heist scenes in cinematic history, and the film is still one of my favourites from the 90’s.
The Usual Suspects
Another classic from ’95, this crime film has most of the ingredients locked down for becoming a cult movie. The intriguing story that keeps you guessing, the quirky characters, the humour and the witty dialogue. Add to this the brilliance of actors like Kevin Spacey and Benicio del Toro (who’s pretty hilarious in this movie), and solid performances from Kevin Pollak, Gabriel Byrne, Pete Postlethwaite, Chazz Palmintieri and Giancarlo Esposito, and you’ve got a great flick you’re almost destined to watch another time once you’ve first seen it. I sure did.
I’ve talked about this movie before, but it’s definitely worth another mention here. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman carry this film throughout, and they do it brilliantly. Probably one of the darkest mainstream thrillers out there, it is centered around the 7 deadly sins, namely lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. The movie is extremely dark, only giving us a couple of chances to take a sigh of relief in the few moments where the characters of Pitt and Freeman, Mills and Somerset respectively, share some banter. Need a thriller that will definitely have you engaged throughout? Look no further…
It’s weird to think that this movie is directed by the same person who wrote ‘The Meaning of Life’, ‘Life and Brian’ and in general had a huge impact on the Monty Python group. Or maybe it isn’t? Either way, this is one of my favourite science-fiction movies (I’m not a huge sci-fi fan). The story is interesting enough. Bruce Willis plays James Cole, a convict sent back in time to gather information about a virus that has wiped out basically all human life. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Brad Pitt really showed what a talented actor he is in this movie, playing the bat s*** crazy Jeffrey Goines, and Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe made for an interesting pair. One of my fave performances from Brad Pitt, who had a great year in 1995.
Other honourable mentions:
Casino – Fantastic movie from Scorsese, featuring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci. Whenever the trio of De Niro, Pesci and Scorsese get together, you know it’ll be good. It’s basically totally random that this movie is mentioned here and not at the top of this post.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance – John McClane (Brad Pitt) teams up with a Harlem store owner, played by Samuel L. Jackson and hell breaks loose. Jeremy Irons is perfect as Simon Gruber, seeking revenge for what happened to his brother in the first movie in the Die Hard franchise.
Friday – Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Regina King and Nia Long star in this comedy classic from the 90’s.