In my very first post, I asked the question: What is the best film from 20 years ago? Well, after some time, and after finally getting round to writing it; I have managed to choose my list of the Top 5 Films released in 1998.
It was a tricky decision to make as all the films chosen are pretty good ones, but in the end, it came down to what for me stood out of the selection. As a result, there have been some casualties that have fallen. Now I am not saying these films are bad, it was just a tough choice to make out of several good films, and it was going to be a hard fight. So, before I begin, here are some honorary films of note from 1998:
So, with that out-of-the-way, here are my Top 5 Favourite films from 1998 – Enjoy!
5. Godzilla – Despite it not really being a Godzilla film, there is still quite a bit to enjoy about Roland Emmerich’s installment in the series. If you forget the name (call it Zilla, everyone else does) and move on from that, what you have here is a very good Monster Movie. The film is defiantly American with the film ending on the note of America Triumphs over Monsters in a similar fashion to how Independence Day ended. The creature is to a great degree a blown-up T-Rex with Iguana features, however the way the film has been plotted out allows for some good city destruction, awe at a big lizard, and great moments of military chases. The film’s weakness in all comes down to the Madison Square Garden bit with the baby monsters. Cut that out and you could have had a strong lead in for a future sequel and a shorter film. Despite this though, Godzilla 1998 is an enjoyable if generic monster movie, hampering itself by the choice of its title. The opening credits are awesome.
4. Armageddon – I really like Armageddon. To this day it still holds up as a good action blockbuster. It hasn’t felt like it’s aged, it still feels nice and crisp as it if it was just released. Carries the issue of America is the World and nowhere else is allowed input and has its patriotic moments of glory as such. The film for me though really exhibits a Michael Bay trademark in the form of ‘things can only get worse’. Moments in the film where it feels like an ending is coming and things look nice and bright, but; oh, whoops you didn’t see that coming! Has some wonderful action pieces, a rather patriotic soundtrack but also good drama to make a blockbuster unlike any other of its time. The Rocket launch scene I feel is one of Cinema’s greatest pieces of movie magic.
3. Blade – In many respects, this is the film where the current generation of Superhero movie’s kicked-off. Starring Wesley Snipes in his most iconic role to date, Blade is a dark hitting, martial arts kicking, super hero film which is rather unique compared to its more modern contemporaries. Blade is not the clean-cut superhero film of today but is a much darker beast that gives itself the room to go all out and do anything and everything it wants to do. Compare it to Batman and Robin (released one year earlier), which was more comic in its design and delivery, Blade took a more serious route and set itself in a more familiar world, a real world, a trait that all Marvel Films have continued since. All be it a very violent film, Blade is seriously good fun and still stands out (at least to me) as one of the best Marvel Films to date.
2. The Truman Show – There was a good joke on the radio recently, where a panelist on a panel show said that George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four, which depicts a life where the world has been ruined by Big Brother, was only 20 years out from being correct, although by Big Brother; they meant the reality show. Well, we’re not living in 1984, but we are living in a world run by Reality TV. The Truman Show’s setting and depiction of Reality TV is at a very similar level to where we are out now in our world. While the Truman Show is yet to happen, our desire to watch and critique other people’s lives in comparison to our own, is very much the same. The Truman Show is a film that may never age and while being over 20 years old, feels more real today, than the dystopian forward thinking of the film’s producers. It’s a film which features some great dramatic and emotional moments, all held together by an incredible and believable cast helmed by Jim Carrey and Ed Harris. In many cases, this is not a film; it’s a prediction as what we as an audience would and have become.
1. The Mask of Zorro – It wasn’t until many years after its original release that I got to see it, but over the years this has become a definite favourite for me. It’s an interesting story as Antonio Banderas embarks on a journey from rough humble beginnings to become the hero of Legend. Trained by his master in the form of everyone’s favourite psycho (not in this movie of course); Anthony Hopkins. Thrown into the mix is Catherine Zeta Jones as a lady of wealth with a mysterious past, and altogether you have a catalyst to create some wonderful chemistry and narration. The film is a fun adventure, a real swashbuckler; It creates scenes of drama, brings together moments of action and mixes in some wonderful storytelling to create something truly memorable.