Just for fun and newfound 90’s nostalgia, I’ve been running down the best movies of every year in that decade of Jincos and Generation X anxiety. The rest can be found at my little upstart here: https://theitalianimposter.wordpress.com/
5. DUMB AND DUMBER
That sequel was entirely disappointing and twenty years too late, but the original pairing of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels remains a seriously potent comedic combination. Before the Farrelly brothers fell off a cliff, they gave us the smartest dumb movie ever made, a buddy flick and road trip adventure starring two of the thickest characters ever put on screen. “Dumb and Dumber” became instantly quotable and somehow managed to be clever in its various depictions of hilarious stupidity.
Pop quiz, hotshot: how many iconic movies must Keanu Reeves star in before he’s gained a little more respect? The guy just can’t catch a break when it comes to momentum. One minute he’s the shit, the next minute he is shit. Before John Wick, before The Matrix, but after Point Break and Bill & Ted…it was Speed that made him a temporary star. As a hotheaded FBI cad trying to keep his cool on a bus rigged with explosives, Reeves is at his white-bread, blue-collar best, and he’s amply supported by late legend Dennis Hopper and future megastar Sandra Bullock. One of the best action movies in recent decades.
3. FORREST GUMP
The now oft-derided drama packs an emotional wallop and memorable performances from an eclectic cast. I don’t care what the internet says, “Forrest Gump” is a great film. I’ll leave it to the cultural critics to parse out the film’s admittedly confusing message, but that doesn’t matter when you’re having a blast witnessing one peculiar man’s journey through the annals of history. In 1994, Tom Hanks added another enduring character to his long resume, and Robert Zemeckis continued his own trend of churning out American cinematic treasures.
2. THE LION KING
The greatest 2D animated film in my humble opinion and one seriously endearing tale of classic archetypes, likable characters, quotable dialogue, and memorable songs. It’s an immersive story that hit the spot without any CG animation or 3D bells and whistles. “The Lion King” came in the midst of a Disney Animation renaissance and set the stage for their continued dominance in the marketplace. Simba, Scar, Mufasa, Nala, Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa are indelible characters whose rivalries and camaraderie make for a kid flick more complex than your average multiplex matinee.
1. PULP FICTION
Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. A comedy, crime drama, buddy flick, and philosophical rumination all rolled into one bloody, rollicking ride. This is the movie that made non-linear storytelling cool again, at least in the states. So many iconic quotes, so many lived-in performances, so many surprises that aren’t just gotcha points for shock value. Actors like Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson either reinvigorated their careers or flat-out made their careers off of Tarantino’s small-budget sensation. It’s become a go-to college bro favorite since the early 90’s, but that doesn’t make it any less important as a cinematic milestone. “Pulp Fiction” was and is the filmmaker’s best film, as well as something that changed the indie game in Hollywood forever.
What was your favorite movie from 1994?