Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Reel 20



This Blogger was very pleased to attend his 20-year high school reunion recently, and as any good movie-based mind should do, turned his thoughts to the films that were entertaining us way back in 1991. A look back not only jolted some fond memories and nostalgia, but also revealed just how important ’91 was in film history; with a lot of benchmark films and classical performances.

Starting with the moolah, James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY was the biggest earner of the year; its $565 million at the box office is still good for no. 84 all-time in the worldwide rankings. The film was also a benchmark in CGI effects; ILM’s eye-popping work paved the way for a generation of digital wizardry. Other notable big-money makers were Oliver Stone’s controversial, yet Oscar-winning JFK, this Blogger’s favorite of the year in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, Steven Spielberg’s HOOK, Jonathan Demme’s THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST…which became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. BEAST’S nomination proved that animated films were not just for kids anymore; a trend that continues today with Disney’s collaborations with Pixar.

Speaking of the Oscars, ’91 was a competitive year, with LAMBS, BEAUTY, JFK, BUGSY and THE PRINCE OF TIDES duking it out for Academy gold. LAMBS wound up dominating the awards; pulling off the coveted sweep of the major categories, including Best Picture, Best Director (Jonathan Demme), Best Actress (Jodie Foster) and Best Actor (Anthony Hopkins). Hopkins' chilling performance of Hannibal Lecter was a memorable one for the ages; he will always be remembered for it and movie-buffs quote the character daily. The ceremony was also memorable for Jack Palance’s set of celebratory one-handed pushups after winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in CITY SLICKERS.

Other notable films of 1991 include THE ADDAMS FAMILY, BACKDRAFT, BOYZ N THE HOOD, CAPE FEAR, THE DOORS, THE FISHER KING, HOT SHOTS!, JUNGLE FEVER, MY GIRL, NEW JACK CITY, THE ROCKETEER, THELMA & LOUISE, and WHAT ABOUT BOB?

Come to think of it, 1991 was one hell of a year.

What say you? What was your favorite of 1991?

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