The Thursday List: My Shelf Edition (Pt 3)
"Apollo 13" (1995)
It was a rough year at the Academy Awards that year, and as cool as "Braveheart" was, for my money this was the Best Picture. Superbly directed, visually stunning, with a top-notch script and near flawless cast, "Apollo 13" is a master class on how to put together an historical drama for film. It also put into pop culture the saying I hear several times a year: "Houston, we have a problem." I believe this film was tops in what was truly a good year for movies.
"Army of Darkness" (1992)
While relying more on slapstick comedy than the violence and gore of its two predecessors, "Army of Darkness" is a fun comedy-horror, and Bruce Campbell is in top form. Critics generally panned it when it came out, comparing it to the first two Evil Dead films, but that was a mistake. On its own "Army of Darkness" holds it own and has a distinct style and tone, and it's good stuff.
With all the hubbub over Christopher Nolan's two Batman film installments and Heath Ledger's Joker, many people look back uncharitably on Tim Burton's film, and that's a shame. It's a good script with a good story. It has very good, stylized art direction and a distinct, dark feel. Its Batman, portrayed by Michael Keaton, and its Joker, portrayed by Jack Nicholson, don't disappoint. It's just cultural tastes have changed. "Batman" is a very good film, and I recommend it.