THINGS TO CHEER AND JEER ABOUT LAST 365 DAYS OF CINEMA.Byline: Glenn Whipp Daily News Film Critic
During the gettin'-jiggy-with-it days of 1998, moviegoers kept trying to one-up themselves, and, in large part, they succeeded.
Blood and guts on Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the principal landing points of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6 1944, during World War II. ? Sign us up! Private parts private parts n. men or women's genitalia, excluding a woman's breasts, usually referred to in prosecutions for "indecent exposure" or production and/or sale of pornography. caught in a zipper zipper
Device for binding the edges of an opening, as on a garment or a bag. A zipper consists of two strips of material with metal or plastic teeth along the edges, and a sliding piece that interlocks the teeth when moved in one direction and separates them again when moved ? It hurts so good! A three-hour, horrific tale of slavery starring our favorite television personality? Um ... anyone want to see ``There's Something About Mary'' again?
OK, so we didn't embrace every very bad thing that came our way. Still, 1998 was a richly diverse year for movies where the dull (anything with an asteroid) and the disturbing (anything with bodily fluids) played side by side, often with equally good results.
And if you didn't want to see anything challenging or new, you could always count on sequels with stupid titles (``I Still Know What You Did Last Summer''), remakes (Gus Van Sant's shot-by-shot ``Psycho'' paste job) or the comforting reality that ``Titanic'' was still playing at a theater near you.
As for the the other memorable moments of 1998 . . .
Indelible images of the year
1. Storming Omaha Beach in ``Saving Private Ryan.''
2. Combing Cameron Diaz's hair in ``There's Something About Mary.''
3. Translating a German soldier's instructions for a little boy's ears in ``Life Is Beautiful.''
4. Sailing to the edge of the world in ``The Truman Show.''
5. Rapping with Warren Beatty Henry Warren Beaty (born March 30, 1937) is an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-winning American actor, producer, screenwriter and director, known as Warren Beatty. Biography
Early life and Education in ``Bulworth.''
Sequels we'd love to see
1. ``There's Still Something About Mary''
2. ``The Truman Show: The Early Years''
3. ``Shakespeare in Anger''
Sequels we'll have to be paid to see
1. ``Rush Hour 2''
2. ``Dr. Dolittle 2''
3. ``Deeper Impact''
Sequels we're glad to be rid of
1. ``Godzilla 2''
2. ``The Avengers 2''
3. ``Blues Brothers 3000''
4. ``I Know What You'll Do Next Summer''
5. ``Psycho 2'' (a shot-by-shot remake of the 1983 sequel)
Doubled our pleasure
1. Gwyneth Paltrow in ``Shakespeare in Love'' and ``Sliding Doors''
2. Bill Murray
William James "Bill" Murray (born September 21, 1950) is an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-winning American comedian and actor. in ``Wild Things'' and ``Rushmore''
3. Matt Dillon
Matthew Raymond "Matt" Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an Academy Award-nominated American actor. in ``Wild Things'' and ``There's Something About Mary''
4. Tom Hanks Noun 1. Tom Hanks - United States film actor (born in 1956)
Hanks, Thomas J. Hanks in ``Saving Private Ryan'' and ``You've Got Mail''
5. Ian McKellen in ``Apt Pupil'' and ``Gods and Monsters''
Our favorite couples
1. Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes in ``Shakespeare in Love''
2. George Clooney George Timothy Clooney (May 6, 1961) is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter who gained fame as the lead doctor in the long-running television drama, ER and Jennifer Lopez in ``Out of Sight''
3. Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser in ``Gods and Monsters''
4. Denise Richards and Neve Campbell in ``Wild Things''
5. Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones in ``The Mask of Zorro''
1. Matt Stone and Trey Parker (``BASEketball,'' ``Orgazmo'')
2. Ralph Fiennes Ralph Nathaniel Fiennes, (IPA: [ˈreɪf ˈfaɪnz], born 22 December 1962) is a Tony Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated and Genie Award-nominated English actor. and Uma Thurman in ``The Avengers''
3. Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler Liv Tyler (born Liv Rundgren, on July 1, 1977, at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, New York) is an American actress and model. She is best known for her roles of Grace Stamper in Armageddon and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. in ``Armageddon,'' which contained the year's stupidest love scene. Animal crackers Animal crackers are a popular children's snack, in which the crackers are shaped like zoo animals.
Animal Crackers may also refer to:
4. Edward Norton and director Tony Kaye Tony Kaye may be:
Inspiring or deserving of lament or regret; deplorable or pitiable. See Synonyms at pathetic.
lamen·ta·bly adv. messy ``American History X''
5. Documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield This article or section relies largely or entirely upon a .
Please help [ improve this article] by introducing appropriate of additional sources. and angry rocker-actress Courtney Love Courtney Love Cobain (born Courtney Michelle Harrison on July 9 1964) is an American rock musician and Golden Globe-nominated actress. Love is best known as lead singer for the now-defunct alternative rock band Hole, and for her two-year marriage to Nirvana from ``Kurt and Courtney''
Let's . . . not
1. Let's make a sequel to ``Babe,'' only we'll remove all the charm and whimsy whim·sy also whim·sey
n. pl. whim·sies also whim·seys
1. An odd or fanciful idea; a whim.
2. A quaint or fanciful quality: stories full of whimsy. of the first film, not to mention the pig. We could call it ``Mad Max: The Pork Warrior,'' but instead, we'll call it ``Babe: Pig in the City.''
2. Let's not edit out those naughty bits in ``Titanic'' and sell the ``family'' version of the video. Instead, let's keep the naughty bits and lose the rest of the movie. That way, it won't waste so much of our time.
3. Let's put Brad Pitt in a romantic movie. And to please all his fans, we'll have him talk really s-l-o-w and have him move through every scene at a snail's pace. And since Brad doesn't do this type of movie very often, we'll make it three hours long to tide people over until the next one. We'll call it ``Meet Joe Black.''
4. Let's make a monster movie. And to tease audiences, we'll make a really good 30-second trailer and follow it with a clever advertising campaign. That way, we'll manage to suck in to draw into the mouth; to imbibe; to absorb.
See also: Suck a few people before everyone realizes that we've made a monster movie completely devoid of fear, fun or thrills. We'll call it ``Godzilla.''
5. Let's make an Eddie Murphy movie starring Jeff Goldblum. We'll call it ``Holy Man.''
Best exercises in self-discovery
1. ``There's Something About Mary''
The entire two hours of ``Hurlyburly''
They Deserved Better
1. Chris Farley and his last film, the dismal ``Almost Heroes.''
2. Phil Hartman and his last film, the abysmal 90-minute toy commercial ``Small Soldiers.''
3. Unseen films like ``Gods and Monsters'' (although likely Oscar nods will help), ``Still Breathing'' and ``Next Stop Wonderland''
Please go away
1. Bruce Willis. Anyone involved in three stinkers like ``Mercury Rising,'' ``Armageddon'' and ``The Siege'' needs better career advice. (Demi?)
2. Asteroids This is a list of numbered minor planets, nearly all of them asteroids, in sequential order.
As of late September 2007 there are 164,612 numbered minor planets, and many more not yet numbered. Most asteroids are ordinary and not particularly noteworthy. .
3. Bad horror movies (``I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,'' ``Disturbing Behavior,'' ``Bride of Chucky.'' (We'll stop here for space considerations.)
4. Disco-era movies.
5. Forget Anne Heche and Ellen DeGeneres. (If only we could.) Heche and Vince Vaughn failed Screen Chemistry 101 twice this year in ``Return to Paradise'' and ``Psycho.'' Vince should give Jon Favreau a call. Anne should just go away for a year like she promised she would.
Movie quote of the year
``Is that hair gel?'' - Cameron Diaz to Ben Stiller in ``There's Something About Mary.''
Moment of silence of the year
``The message of `Titanic,' of course, is if the great ship can sink, the unthinkable can happen. The future is unknowable un·know·a·ble
Impossible to know, especially being beyond the range of human experience or understanding: the unknowable mysteries of life. . The only thing we truly know is today. Life is precious, so during these few seconds of silence, I'd like you to also listen to the beating of your own heart, which is the most precious thing in the world. (Brief pause.) Now let's party till dawn!''
- ``Titanic'' writer-director James Cameron
accepting the Best Picture Oscar
glenn whipp's top 10
1. Saving Private Ryan: Steven Spielberg combines visceral, gut-wrenching imagery with economic storytelling in a powerful reminder of a generation's honor and bravery. Proof positive that war, even a ``good'' one, is pure hell and that sacrifice is a principle that should never go out of style.
2. Life Is Beautiful: Roberto Benigni walks a mile-high tightrope in this masterpiece about a father's all-encompassing love for his child. A powerful fable of exquisite grace and beauty in horrific conditions, ``Life Is Beautiful'' equates comedy with genius in a completely unforgettable fashion.
3. Shakespeare in Love: The year's most dazzling romance would please the Bard to no end in that it contains all the elements - wit, wordplay, passion, adventure - found in his great work. In that respect, this wonderful movie is a superb continuation of four centuries of sublime, joyous creativity.
4. The Truman Show: This subversive treasure deftly amuses us while quietly indicting our growing desire for mind-numbing entertainment. Director Peter Weir brilliantly constructs Truman's real/imaginary world, showing how the lines between reality and make-believe have become hopelessly blurred. And then he implies we're all to blame for this mess. Mea culpa.
5. Bulworth: Warren Beatty pulls off a cinematic rarity, giving us a political movie that's actually about politics. As the despairing senator on a truth-telling, death-wish jag, Beatty (who co-wrote the script) shreds the American landscape - political, socia`l and otherwise - in a movie that's as sobering as it is funny.
6. Gods and Monsters: The fictionalized look at the last days of ``Frankenstein'' director James Whale weaves the themes of his monster movies into a poignant look at desire, devotion and mortality. Ian McKellan delivers a heartbreaking performance playing the haunted, gay director, while Brendan Fraser provides superb support as the confused object of his affection.
7. Out of Sight: Steven Soderbergh's crackling caper caper, common name for members of the Capparidaceae, a family of tropical plants found chiefly in the Old World and closely related to the family Cruciferae (mustard family). movie contains some of the year's most memorable character actors (Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn) and some sizzling siz·zle
intr.v. siz·zled, siz·zling, siz·zles
1. To make the hissing sound characteristic of frying fat.
2. To seethe with anger or indignation.
3. screen chemistry between George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. Filled with vibrant language and inventive filmmaking, this was the little summer movie that couldn't but that should have scored big with audiences.
8. There's Something About Mary: The year's most influential film and its grossed-out greatness will reverberate re·ver·ber·ate
v. re·ver·ber·at·ed, re·ver·ber·at·ing, re·ver·ber·ates
1. To resound in a succession of echoes; reecho.
2. (for good and, mostly, bad) for years to come. Gleefully glee·ful
Full of jubilant delight; joyful.
glee trampling the constraints of political correctness, Peter and Bobby Farrelly created a movie every bit as brave as ``Private Ryan,'' spilling bodily fluids instead of blood.
9. Pleasantville: When two modern-day teens are zapped back into a 1950s TV sitcom, glorious technicolor erupts in this inventive look at whether Father really did know best. Joan Allen and William H. Macy deliver wonderfully layered performances as the emotionally repressed re·pressed
Being subjected to or characterized by repression. parental archetypes whose wholesome lives begin to crack.
10. Mulan: In a year that gave us a lot of good animated movies (``Antz,'' ``Prince of Egypt'' and ``A Bug's Life), the folks over at Disney again demonstrated why everyone aspires to be like Mickey. ``Mulan'' boasts gorgeous animation, heartfelt storytelling and catchy songs, making its Chinese legend a story for the ages. Plus, it contains the only Eddie Murphy turn this year suitable for those over the age of 3.
7 Photos, Box
PHOTO (1) ``Saving Private Ryan'' lands two spots on movie critic Glenn Whipp's list of memorable` screen moments: the scene in which troops storm Omaha Beach, and the work by Tom Hanks, left, as the captain in charge.
(2) Like Cameron Diaz's hairdo, ``There's Something About Mary'' shows bravery.
(3) Gwyneth Paltrow's performance in ``Sliding Doors'' and ``Shakespeare in Love'' provide a double treat.
(4) ``The Truman Show'' has us watching Jim Carrey and looking at ourselves.
(5) Warren Beatty's ``Bulworth'' is a political movie about politics, for a change.
(6) Roberto Benigni's ``Life Is Beautiful'' is a masterful story about a father's love.
(7) Adam Sandler is no genius in the comedy hit ``THe Waterboy.''
BOX: glenn whipp's top 10 (See text)