While writing up my review of Deep Blue Sea, I noticed that it was another great movie from 1999. The two main movies that stuck out for me that year are Fight Club, one of my all-time favourite movies ever made, and also The Matrix.
Last year, we did a series of videos about 1982, another great year for movies. You had movies like The Thing, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, E.T. Blade Runner, and Tron, to name a few. Dare I say it, I think 1999 is a better year.
I did a quick look at other movies that came out that year and I was surprised by the sheer quality. Here is a list of some of the best movies from 1999 that I think helped make it one of the best years for movies ever. This list is part one, with a second part on the way.
I’m going to say it, Fight Club is movie perfection. The cast, the direction, the script, everything about this movie works. I still remember the twist in the movie when I saw it in the cinema, it was so well done.
You had Brad Pitt, who is already pretty cool, playing Tyler Durdon, a soap-selling crazy person who is trying to right the world for all the underdogs out there. Some of his lines and monologues are amazing, and gripping. The whole movie still stands up today.
Another classic from 1999. This changed the landscape of movies. The Matrix. Made by the Wachowski brothers (lol), it is still one of the coolest movies ever made. The bullet time, the gun-fu, the sunglasses, it finally gave nerds a look they so desperately needed.
It also had a great, very deep story, that we are all just batteries for a super-computer. Are we in the Matrix? I still don’t know. It’s a movie that will be talked about for a long time to come.
I know that Kevin Spacey has issues, but damn the man can act. He plays Lester Burnham, a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown. The movie plays through the last few days of his life. His life is a drab existence, but he starts to focus on himself and things start to improve.
The downside is, we know this new lease of life doesn’t last for long. It’s still an amazing movie.
The Green Mile
The combination of Stephen King and Frank Darabont again, the first being The Shawshank Redemption, is a brilliant story. John Coffee turns up on the Green Mile, the last place a prisoner sees before his execution. John is not what he seems to be, he is a miracle of nature, with the power to heal people.
Another brilliantly told story, with an amazing cast of characters, including Mr Jingles. It’s a powerful ending and if you don’t cry, you’re a heartless monster.
The Sixth Sense
Probably the best of M. Night Shyamalan’s movies, and famously known for the ending, The Sixth Sense is a very clever story and really does get better with more viewings. There are subtle nuances of the story that you wouldn’t notice the first time around. Still a good horror movie, even from way back in 1999.
The Iron Giant
Back to the good old days of hand-drawn animation, The Iron Giant is brilliant. The simple story of a young lad who befriends a giant robot from outer space, it reminds me of the classic 1950’s B-movies. Starring Vin Deisel as the robot (pre-fame), the line “Superman” has more emotion in it than most other movies you can mention.
The Blair Witch Project
One of the first “found footage” movies, Blair Witch was a smash in 1999. Made on a budget of about $60,000, it made over $240 million at the box office. The directors, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez did a viral marketing campaign, getting people to believe the footage was real.
Lead actress, Heather Donahue, was listed as dead on the IMDb for a long time before anyone found out the movie was just a movie. When I first saw this, it genuinely scared me. The scene at the end, with one of the guys just standing in the room by himself, was chilling. Pity it sparked a lot of cheap imitations.
This is the best Star Trek movie ever. The story is just brilliant. What if aliens watched a show, like Star Trek, but believed it was all real? Historical documents. They kidnap the cast, I mean crew, to help them fight actual battles in space.
The cast in this is perfect, Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and Sam Rockwell as the “red shirt”. This movie really stands up, even today, and is still very, very funny.
Stephen Sommers makes summer blockbusters. They aren’t overly clever, but they are pure entertainment. The Mummy is easily one of his best, with a great cast, and some dodgy CGI, but you can’t help but get swept up in the story with a huge smile on your face.
The Phantom Menace
OK, so I know the actual story for The Phantom Menace is crappy, but for me, it takes me back to a time when I was excited about seeing a new Star Wars movie. I remember, in the early days of the dial-up internet, trying to stream the trailer through Real-Player.
It buffered and buffered and, in the end, I left the computer on overnight to download the 50 MB file, so I could see it in full glory. I saw The Phantom Menace nine times in the cinema. I am not as proud of that today as I used to be, but I still find the movie entertaining and a million times better than what we have now for Star Wars.
This is part one of my list of movies from 1999, part two is on the way. What do you make of the movies above? Some of the best movies ever made? Or can you not remember what happened in most of them?
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