Make a list of what you think was the best movie from every year since you were born.
1971: Pretty Maids All in a Row
This one deserves a post on all its own. It was directed by none other than Roger Vadim (Barbarella) with a screenplay by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry! Even better, it stars Rock Hudson as a sexually deviant coach, Telly Savalas and the beautiful Angie Dickinson. Like the previous year's selection, this one hasn't been released on DVD - probably due to some highly irreverent and irresponsible plot points which I won't give away.
This was a very good year in film (and I'm not talkin' about the overrated The Godfather). Imagine my dilemma having to choose between Dracula A.D. 1972, Deliverance and The Last House on the Left. Well, let's just say Curtis Mayfield had a lot to do with my decision.
I can remember not being allowed to see this when it came out, but hearing my aunt and uncle describe scenes to my parents... and that gave me nightmares! Just the thought of this relentless and faceless bogeyman will stir the primeval scaredy cat deep within all of us. Perfectly executed by John Carpenter, this is the film that launched a thousand bad imitations.
1979: Phantasm and Rock 'n Roll High School
I told myself that I wouldn't have any ties on this list, and I'm not even out of the 70's and I've got a tie. I can't help it. To ask me to choose between the silver balls of death and The Ramones is asking the impossible.
1980: The Shining
I love every single millisecond of this film. This is the perfect picture - I wouldn't change one line of dialogue or a single camera angle (although, I hear Stephen King has a much different opinion). Note: It saddens me to not put The Empire Strikes Back on the list, but you just can't compete with Kubrick's nightmarish masterpiece.
Look, I know it's no Citizen Kane, but let me throw some names at you: Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, and Dom DeLouise as Captain Chaos. 'Nuff said.
1982: Fast Times at Ridgemont HighI realize there's not a lot of Oscar winners on my list, and Leonard Maltin's list would be a whole lot different. What can I say except "All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."
1983: National Lampoon's Vacation
I'd love to impress you with some obscure independent film from Brussels, but I've got to go with the Griswolds.
1984: This Is Spinal Tap
The Stonehenge segment has to be one of the funniest moments in movie history.
"In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, an ancient race of people... the Druids. No one knows who they were or what they were doing... "
Notice the great string of comedies in the early 1980's! (Note: Revenge of the Nerds came out this year as well.)
1985: Better Off Dead
Another incredibly funny movie from the early 80's. This one kind of got lost amid the flood of John Hughes films and other teen comedies like Porky's. But if you haven't had a chance to see it, you're missing out.
1986: River's Edge
A rather bleak look at teenage life as compared to its contemporaries (Pretty in Pink, Can't Buy Me Love, etc.) with Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover, Dennis Hopper and Ione Skye. A very enjoyable film... in a nihilistic kind of way.
1987: Evil Dead II
Ah, yes. The year of Ishtar and Dorf on Golf. I had to go with Sam Raimi's innovative horror film over Full Metal Jacket because the second half of Kubrick's film sucks (to put it bluntly).
I can tell I am getting way out of my "retrospace" element now because it is getting harder and harder to find a movie I really liked. Most of the horror films are lame sequels and I was never much of a Rain Man fan. Check out The Ten Best Things About Scrooged at I-Mockery.com. My favorite is the adaptation of A Christmas Carol featuring the Solid Gold dancers!
Here comes two back to back Stephen King adaptations.
1989: Pet Sematary
1991: Terminator 2: Judgement Day
This year's films really sucked. Hook, King Ralph, JFK - I hate 1991's movies! Smokey and the Bandit where are you?
1992: Bram Stoker's Dracula
Captain Ron, Sister Act, Stop or My Mom Will Shoot... help me!! I don't even really like Bram Stoker's Dracula! Please tell me there's a few good movies this year that I'm just missing. Of course Reservoir Dogs and El Mariachi stand out as a new breed of film in stark contrast to the blandness of cinema this year. Foreshadows of things to come certainly, but I just don't enjoy either one of these films no matter how hard I try.
1993: Dazed and Confused
At last, after a bleak few years, a movie that I can sink my teeth into! I have watched this film easily a hundred times and it gets better each viewing. I have an entire post devoted to this film, so I'll spare you any further ravings. Suffice it to say that Matthew McConaughey's character is my role model for life.
1994: Pulp Fiction
Things are certainly looking up at the ol' cineplex once again. Pulp Fiction gave Hollywood a much needed kick in the ass.
1995: Tommy Boy
I'm starting to feel really old at this point. It seems like only yesterday that Tommy Boy came out, and I've still got thirteen years to go!
1996: Bottle Rocket and Fargo
Another tie... sorry, but I wouldn't feel right leaving either of these amazing films off the list.
1997: The Ice Storm
An excellent depiction of where the hedonism and amorality of the 1970's ultimately lead you: depressed and alone. This was the year Titanic came out, but I've never been much of a fan of this movie.
1998: Buffalo '66
Independent films had become really popular by this point. This one, starring queen of the independents, Christina Ricci, is one of the best low budget productions to come out of the 90's. Another great independent flick to come out this year was Slums of Beverly Hills.
1999: Office Space
If you want to know what my life is like from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, look no further than this near perfect comedy. I mean it nails "the cubicle life" with its TPS reports and "two Bobs" perfectly. I would love to hatch a plan from Superman 3 like Peter, Samir, and Michael Bolton. Of course you just might wind up in federal "pound me in the ass" prison.
2000: Meet the Parents
There's probably something better than this, but I'm just not finding it. You have to admit though, the painfully awkward scenes between Stiller and DeNiro are fun to watch. Watching Gaylord Focker explain how to milk a cat is priceless.
2001: The Royal Tenenbaums and Mulholland Drive
Both, in my humble opinion, are works of genius. I'm tempted to put Donnie Darko on there as well, but having two on one year is pushing it.
2002: Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
2003: Kill Bill
2005: Sin City
2007: Planet Terror
2008: Iron Man
Whew! That took a lot longer than I thought it would (I guess I'm just old). At any rate, I had a lot of fun doing it, and look forward to looking at anyone else's movie meme. If I have a glaring omission on this list, or you can recommend something for me to drop in my Netflix queue, please let me know.