Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '99 - Kristina Dijan ""

Friday, May 17, 2019

Underrated '99 - Kristina Dijan

Kristina Dijan is a movie fan who blogs sometimes (https://hqofk.wordpress.com/ ), writes regularly for The Dark Pages film noir newsletter, and tweets at @HQofK (https://twitter.com/HQofK),

Check out her other RPS lists here:
http://www.rupertpupkinspeaks.com/search/label/Kristina%20Dijan

In The Winslow Boy, a son’s insistence about his innocence and his wrongful expulsion in a minor matter of theft and forgery leads to a famous legal case and a father’s (Nigel Hawthorne) obsession about clearing the family’s name. The spectacle makes the Winslows household names, drains their fortune, divides many, and ignites surprising passions for suffragette daughter Rebecca Pidgeon and the barrister played by Jeremy Northam.
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Cookie’s Fortune is Robert Altman’s light, wry ensemble of Southern eccentrics, a small town full of quirky characters, grudges and secrets shaken up after a matriarch’s suicide is staged to look like a murder by her melodramatic, meddling, narcissist niece Glenn Close. Handyman Charles Dutton was friendly with his boss Patricia Neal but now he looks like the prime suspect; luckily people in Holly Springs know him too well to jump to conclusions.
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More quirky folks in the delightful Mumford, which is both the name of the mysterious psychologist (Loren Dean), and the town to which he’s moved to listen to people’s problems and dispense advice. Doc’s therapy is the cure until someone starts digging for dirt about Dr. Mumford and his credentials. “Far out,” heartfelt, romantic comedy about the burden of secrets, fears of exposure and the power of being heard.
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Supernatural thriller Stir of Echoes was overshadowed by 1999’s other hit horrors, Sixth Sense, Blair Witch, even The Haunting remake and monster-crocodile movie Lake Placid made more money (fun and gory, I almost put it on this list). Based on the Richard Matheson novel, Stir of Echoes has Kevin Bacon playing a blue-collar skeptic who connects with the dead after a hypnosis session; his “gift” turns out to be hereditary, and his visions of a dead girl and her demands, lead to an obsession that threaten to ruin his family (and his teeth, in a memorably grisly bit of self-dentistry).
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A Johnnie To double feature: Running Out of Time, a hit in China, is a fun, cool, and ultimately moving face-off between a brilliant supercop and a dying villain who wants to go out drawing the lawman into a game designed to take down a gangster. Also from 1999 is To’s The Mission, a sleek and gritty action movie wherein five guns are hired to protect a triad boss, and they bond during gentle “regular-life” moments and thrillingly choreographed shootouts (one in a mall is especially good).
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Bringing Out the Dead often gets overlooked when people list the best Martin Scorsese or Nicolas Cage movies. It’s a haunting adaptation of the Joe Connelly novel about a burned-out, guilt-ridden night-shift paramedic and a spiritual meltdown during his Hell’s Kitchen route, playing God, compassionate and tormented, a “grief mop” able to find beauty in people’s worst days.
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Arlington Road, a domestic terrorist thriller where professor and widower Jeff Bridges has good reason to be suspicious of his shifty neighbours (Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack). Untangling their true identities and sinister intentions only makes Bridges look increasingly paranoid and unhinged, and thanks to his own losses and grudges and obsession with death, he’s easily dragged into tragedy and a surprise ending.
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The Limey, Steven Soderbergh’s lean, sharp, incisive crime drama with an impressive performance by Terence Stamp, as a broken Cockney gangster in L.A. on a mission to avenge his daughter’s death. Flashbacks (using Stamp footage from Ken Loach’s 1967 movie Poor Cow) plus flash-forwards, fragments and dialogue overlaps show us thought process, the nature of memory, reasons for blame and regret, and how the past shaped and set the course for Stamp’s “Wilson” and his target, smarmy record producer Peter Fonda.
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2 comments:

KC said...

Love the list Kristina. Lots of titles I remember from back in the day that I didn't get around to seeing. Especially need to get on Stir of Echos, didn't realize it was based on a Matheson book!

Kristina said...

There were so many good horror movies that year and this one got lost in the shuffle, worth a look for sure. Thanks for reading!