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The Big Lebowski (1998)
I just recently saw this movie for the first time, and it is now one of my favorite films. This movie is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Everything is just so on in this picture. Jeff Bridges is gold as "The Dude", but it's John Goodman, in my mind, that steals the show. Walter is one of the funniest characters I have ever seen. I can't remember laughing as hard as I did when he pulled the piece in the bowling alley or when they go to the kid's house about the stolen money. Plus, every time he tells Steve Buscemi to shut up...it just gets funnier.
Also, John Tuturro as Jesus was great. I just wish he would have had more screen time. Goodman's deadpan delivery about his sex-crimes was just too damn funny.
All hail the Big Lebowski! I now suggest you all go out and drink a white Russian.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
Plain and Simple: Henson's Masterpiece
Like I just said, plain and simple, The Dark Crystal is Jim Henson's masterpiece. Frank Oz also deserves a lot of credit as well. The overall ambition and idea of this film is just extraordinary. For those who don't know, the project took five years to complete as Henson and Oz, along with an extremely talented crew of nearly every type of craftsmen and performer, pour their hearts and souls into this film. Henson represented a rare breed: A film maker who wanted to do things different and didn't really care what others thought. Sure, The Dark Crystal wasn't a financial success, but for Henson, it was an artistic and creative success(something Labyrinth didn't achieve). All in all, if you respect the art of film making and the concept of creativity, watch this film. Also, if you can get the DVD, watch the documentary on how the film was made. You will have a new found respect for the process.
American Graffiti (1973)
The movie that started it all
Simply put, American Graffiti is the UNDISPUTED king of teenage oriented movies. George Lucas' masterpiece started the ball rolling for such gems as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Breakfast Club, and Dazed and Confsued. In my opinion, those three movies in addition to American Graffiti are the best teenage movies ever made because, simply put, they are as REAL as it gets.
Even though my favorite movie of all time is Dazed and Confused, I am happy to honor American Graffiti as the king of the teenage movies. Dazed and Confused borrowed a lot from American Graffiti and, in a way, it was kind of fitting. American Graffiti was about a generation that was still innocent. Dazed and Confused, 14 years later, pretty much shows the generation that came about after the assasination of President Kennedy and Vietnam. Even though they are set in completely different times, both sets of teens still cruise their towns at night, hang out at the local gathering places, think about the future, and even show the next generation a good time: Dazed and Confused did it with the character of Mitch and American Graffiti did it with the character played by MacKenzie Phillips.
And, if that wasn't enough, American Graffiti has Wolfman Jack in probably my most favorite scene of the movie. Seeing it made me want to go find old copies of "The Midnight Special".
I might only be 19 years old but I can relate to what happens in American Graffiti. George Lucas made a movie that will stand up throughout each generation of teenagers in this country.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
The GODFATHER of 90's Teenage Films
It's official...Dazed and Confused is THE GODFATHER of all teenage films made in the 1990's. It is on such a higher plain than movies like She's All That, You Drive Me Crazy, Clueless, and all of the other cheaply produced PG-13 teen flicks. Note: You cannot make an accurate teenage movie with a PG-13. High School life is at least Rated R and most of the time it is NC-17.
What sets Dazed and Confused apart is that it takes a time that has come and gone, the 1970's, and it proceeded to make the viewers feel like they were living in that era. With the music, the costumes, the car, the dialogue, and the characterizations, Dazed and Confused used the 1970's to its advantage while, in the process, keeping it real and giving people a chance to feel like they were living the movie.
I saw the movie back when I was about 12 and then saw it again when I was about 15 or 16. From there, I was hooked. My favorite scenes became the part where "Free Ride" starts to play and then the whole initial "Emporium" scene. Wooderson was priceless and he is everyone's example of a super senior. Slater was everyone's stoner friend and the list goes on.
What makes Dazed special to me is that it inspired me to go into screenwriting. I saw Dazed and then I saw all the poor teen films coming out so I figured I needed to get off my rear and come up with real life stories like Dazed and Confused. I have Richard Linklater to thank for that.
In essence, Dazed and Confused is one of the three best teen films each represented a different decade but kept it to where anyone could relate. The other two films are American Grafiti for the late 50's and early 60's and Fast Times at Ridgemont High for the 80's.
Throw in The Breakfast Club and Varsity Blues(a distant second to Dazed and Confused this decade) and you have a slice of the past 4 decades of teenage life represented in film.
In closing, I quote Wooderson: "You just got to keep livin... L-I-V-I-N!"
Pokemon has earned my respect as being one of the best cartoons of the 1990's! The story lines are continuous, the characters are diverse and humorous, and it is actually one of the better cartoons made from a video game, if not the best. The pokemon are hilarious at times, especially Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Meowth, Charmander, and, my favorite, Psyduck! I don't play the game but man is the cartoon making me want to run out and buy a gameboy!
Varsity Blues (1999)
Most Accurate Teen Movie Since Dazed and Confused
It's official: Varsity Blues can rightfully earn the title of most accurate teen movie since Dazed and Confused. It can also earn the title of most accurate portrayal of small town American high school life. Every part of the movie-the drinking, the parties, the football games, the parents, hit the nail on the head. Watching the movie, I was sitting there thinking of people I knew from my high school who fit the characters of Mox, Tweeder, Billy Bob, and Kilmer. This by far was MTV Films' best production and most accurate. Thumbs up for painting a true picture of small town high school life.