The Greatest Year for Film: 1999 - 7/16/2021
Every once in a while we are blessed with a year full of memorable films. 1999 could be considered one of
the best years for movies ever. Here are some of my thoughts and memories on the remarkable films that hit
the big screen that year.
Office Space - February 19th
Like most people, I completely missed seeing this movie in theaters. Instead, I discovered it years later
on home video. Now it has become a cult classic. Starring Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen
Root and Gary Cole the film was written and directed by Mike Judge the creator of "Beavis and Butt-Head". So
many great lines of dialog have become catch-phrases. And I want a red Swingline stapler.
The Matrix - March 31st
I'm really sorry that I missed seeing this movie on the big screen. It is now one of my favorite films of
all time. To me, this is one of those Hollywood game-changing films in the vein of Star Wars. This
groundbreaking action movie starred Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Hugo Weaving.
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - May 19th
It was sixteen years since the last Star Wars movie, so the anticipation was huge. The hype for this film
was in overdrive and people just couldn't get enough. I remember recording Entertainment Tonight just to see
the world premier of the trailer. And the music video for "Duel of the Fates" debuted on MTV's Total Request
Live and lasted on the countdown for 11 days. The movie starred Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman,
Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Frank Oz. Of course it was a huge hit and I
loved it. But I never felt it was up to the level of quality of the original trilogy. At the time, I
kind of felt guilty for not liking Jar Jar Binks. But yeah, I really don’t like that character.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - June 30th
At the time, I wasn't a diehard fan of South Park. But for some reason I wanted to see this poorly animated
film on the big screen in all of its terrible glory. This film was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and
is just crazy stupid fun.
The Blair Witch Project - July 30th
The buzz and mystery around this movie was quite unique. It was like no other movie I had seen before. I
remember seeing it at Movies 10 and the auditorium was filled beyond capacity. Some people were sitting on the
floor in the isles. The movie starred unknowns Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams and Joshua Leonard. Inventive,
creepy and scary. And it's internet marketing also added to the movie's allure.
The Iron Giant - August 6th
This animated adventure passed me by in the theater, but I discovered it years later on home video. Starring
the voices of Eli Marienthal, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick Jr., Vin Diesel, Cloris Leachman and John Mahoney, this
film is very original and a great watch. It has become a cult classic since.
The Sixth Sense - August 6th
In the years since it’s release this film, or it's plot twist has become a cultural touchstone or even a
punchline. But at the time of it's release the movie had great word of mouth advertising, yet the wrist was
kept quite secret. Luckily, I was able to see the movie without any knowledge as to the plot details and was
able to fully enjoy the great ending. Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment are great in this film that also
introduced us to writer and director M. Night Shyamalan.
American Beauty - October 1st
I found this movie on cable years after it's release and after I had earned eight Academy Awards nominations. It
went on to win five Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best
Cinematography. The movie starred Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Allison Janney, Peter Gallagher,
Mena Suvari, Wes Bentley and Chris Cooper. The film was full of characters with various eccentricities. When
I finished watching, I realized that the only normal people in the movie are the gay couple who live nearby.
Fight Club - October 15th
I found this David Fincher masterpiece on home video years after its theatrical release. Starring Brad Pitt,
Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf and Jared Leto this movie has become a cult classic. So much so
that in 2009, on the tenth anniversary of the film's release, The New York Times dubbed it the "defining cult movie
of our time." This is one of my most re-watching movies I own.
Being John Malkovich - December 3rd
Wow, this is a headtrip. The plot is best explained by the main character, Craig, a frustrated New York City
puppeteer and filing clerk played by John Cusack. He says to his office crush Maxine (Catherine
Keener), “There's a tiny door in my office, Maxine. It's a portal. And it takes you inside John
Malkovich. You see the world through John Malkovich's eyes. And then, after about 15 minutes, you're
spit out into a ditch on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike.” The movie also stars Cameron Diaz and of
course, John Malkovich. Interestingly, the character of John Horatio Malkovich is played by the actor John Gavin
Galaxy Quest - December 25th
Yet another cult classic was released during this year. I have become very fond of this science fiction
comedy. I think this is a must watch movie for any Star Trek fan. The movies starred Tim Allen,
Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell and Daryl Mitchell. This film has even been
called a better Star trek movie than many of the actual Star trek movies. It was also the feature-film debut
for both Justin Long and Rainn Wilson.
As impressive as this list is, there were still other amazing films released during 1999; including Boys Don't
Cry, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Three Kings, Magnolia and Eyes Wide Shut.
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