Movies – 1990s

Bad Boy Bubby (1993)

As a rule Hollywood portrays the mentally disabled as quaint, likeable, quirky and entirely benign people who occasionally say the wisest things. No wait, I’m thinking of Australians . . . Anyway, if you want to watch both conventions refreshingly shattered, see the Australian indy legend Bad Boy Bubby. It may seem like a Francis Bacon painting(…)

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Sodom here is the New York City of blood-splattered car hijacks and crack dens. Drugs, alcohol, spiralling debt and religious visitations are sending an NYPD cop off the rails. Harvey Keitel – the nameless lieutenant who does as much stealing, drugging and dealing as the creeps he busts – is first seen snorting coke in(…)

Barb Wire (1996)

Once upon a time, comic book films were not always expected to be sophisticated works of classy entertainment. Still, Barb Wire is totally inept and inert. Busting out with a tawdry introduction of soft-core striptease, the film takes a buxom bounty hunter from Dark Horse comics (home to Hellboy and Sin City) and lets pneumatic Pamela Anderson play her as(…)

Basic Instinct (1992)

Basic Instinct is a gimmicky thriller about a lesbian ice-pick killer on the rampage in San Francisco, although the plot is as illogical as the dizzying camera angles designed to keep the audience awake between sex mutilations. Scenes, situations and camera angles are stolen from so many sources, and the film has so many red herrings(…)

Batman & Robin (1997)

The movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze (“you ah not sendink ME to der cooler!”) which killed the Batman series for a decade . . . Batman & Robin was the third sequel to the 1989 Tim Burton blockbuster, which starred Michael Keaton. Both Burton and Keaton left the franchise at the same time and were replaced by Joel(…)

Batman Forever (1995)

Unlike the Tim Burton pictures, the Batman concept is treated here as a joke. The very first deadpan line from Batman (now a dead-faced Val Kilmer) is a lame one-liner about getting drive-through food. It’s as if the line was planned to be used in a later tie-in TV commercial. The Batcave, Batmobile, and other Bat-gadgets(…)

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman Returns pits the Dark Knight of Gotham City against a new gang of villainous fiends. Oswald Cobblepot (Danny De Vito) – alias The Penguin – is a beak-faced troll who lives in the underground sewers and commands an army of real penguins from the Arctic World Pavilion in the deserted zoo. Cat Woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) is a(…)

Being John Malkovich (1999)

When unfortunate street puppeteer Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) starts a job at a Manhattan firm he discovers a small door hidden behind a filing cabinet and a dark tunnel leading into the head of movie star John Malkovich. When he tells co-worker Maxine (Catherine Keener) about his new-found celebrity joy ride, they form a business(…)

Benny & Joon (1993)

Mechanic Benny (Aidan Quinn) has devoted his life to taking care of his younger mentally ill sister Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson). When their part-time housekeeper leaves, they acquire an eccentric replacement (Johnny Depp) with a love of silent comedy. You’ll either find this so-so romantic fable a whimsical joy or annoyingly eccentric, as beguiling man-child(…)

Big Lebowski, The (1998)

Jeff ‘the Dude’ Lebowski (Bridges) is an easy-going man. His life in LA is ultra laid back and his response to most of life’s problems is to go bowling . . . When his house is broken into by two gangsters who pee on his favourite rug he finds himself becoming quite angry. When he(…)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Wayne’s World (1992) heroes Wayne and Garth may have won at the box office, but Bill and Ted remain the original and best dudes. This time around the two airheads (played with enormous energy by Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves) are still trying to get their band together, when they are murdered by their robotic doppelgangers(…)

Bitter Moon (1992)

While on board an ocean liner bound for India, British couple Nigel (Hugh Grant) and Fiona (Kristin Scott Thomas) encounter the beautiful Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner) and her paralysed writer husband Oscar (Peter Coyote). Over the course of the voyage, Oscar tells Nigel the story of his relationship with Mimi – a tale of corrupt passion(…)

Blair Witch Project, The (1999)

Shot on video by its lead actors, and largely improvised, The Blair Witch Project looks like a student film. Yet not since Easy Rider (1969) has an independent film caused so many shock waves in Hollywood. Astute internet marketing propelled this quirky Sundance favourite into the mainstream. Made in just eight days for a mere $30,000, it earned more than(…)

Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

After nearly 20 years, Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) is anxious to put his group back together again. And now that his brother Jake has passed on, Elwood is forced to look for new band members. It took 18 years for actor Dan Aykroyd and director John Landis to “get the band back together” in this(…)

Bodyguard, The (1992)

Rock star Whitney Houston’s lamentable debut, savaged by the critics, applauded by the ticket buyers, and after the smoke cleared, as memorable as a high school geometry test. Written by Lawrence Kasdan (which means it’s tough, superficial and not always as sophisticated as he thinks it is), this outsider’s view of stardom under pressure was(…)