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It's More Than Just a Number, Isn't It?
by Jon Schuller

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Sometimes it takes me a little longer to come up with a movie column concept. Needless to say, there are literally thousands of films to choose from and I want to delve into so many. I have found that writing about what I've dubbed "anniversary years" helps me cover more pictures at once. It has been said that 1939 was the greatest year for movies in history, but I disagree with that claim. I have taken the time to look into past years to see which ones produced famous and, in some cases, immortal films. There have been quite a few because the movie business inspires people to be creative, thoughtful and, sometimes, inspiring for us, the audience. Films fill many empty spaces in life, one of which is to address and discuss problems and their solutions. I recently watched Money Monster, with George Clooney and Julia Roberts; I hadn't seen it when it came out in 2016. It was marvelous and its message was powerful and truthful. This week's column is
about 1999, just 20 years ago. I was pleasantly surprised and reminded of how many great movies came out that year.

The Top Ten Money Makers in 1999 were:
1Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace$924,317,558
2The Sixth Sense$672,806,292
3Toy Story 2 $497,366,869
4The Matrix $463,517,383
5Tarzan $448,191,819
6The Mummy $415,933,406
7Notting Hill $363,889,678
8 The World Is Not Enough 361,832,400
9American Beauty $356,296,601
10Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me $312,016,858

As I like to point out, the variety and subject matter are wide-ranging. The actors are among the best; direction and music follow right along. Some of these films will be around forever.

Movie awards abounded in 1999.
Best Picture: American Beauty
Best Director: Sam Mendes, American Beauty
Actor: Denzel Washington, The Hurricane. Jim Carrey, Man on the Moon.
Russell Crowe, The Insider
Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
Best Actress: Janet McTeer, Tumbleweeds Hilary Swank, Boys Don't Cry Annette Bening, American Beauty
More than 200 movies premiered that year and I must admit many of them are truly great and are always worth another look even 20 years later.
October Sky true story
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels a Cockney delight
True Crime Clint Eastwood does it again
Pushing Tin you may not fly again
Entrapment Catherine Zeta-Jones and Connery
Notting Hill romantic and charming
Muppets from Space gotta be fun
The Sixth Sense scared the health out of me, I admit it
The Thomas Crown Affair good re-make
Mickey Blue Eyes what's your problem?
Jakob the Liar Robin Williams at his best
The Bone Collector great cast, great story
Cider House Rules thoughtful
Any Given Sunday inside football
The Hurricane a true story told truthfully.
Galaxy Quest continuous fun. I love Sam Rockwell
Being John Malkovich you decide
The Matrix ground-breaking tech
Runaway Bride romantic comedy

The movie debuts of several good actors and actresses were in 1999:
Amy Adams
Zoey Deschanel
James Franco
Hugh Jackman
Melissa McCarthy and
Colin Farrell, a personal favorite

Every year, hundreds of films are made and many of them go from obscurity to fame in hours, if not days. Here we are in 2019 and so many new movies have done exactly that. I, of course, leave the decisions about like or not like to you, my dear reader. But there is one constant we can rely on from pictures on the Big Screen or at home: there will never be a lack of variety, plots, fiction or non-fiction and the actors and actresses will keep pleasing us and showing us what real talent is all about.

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Cinema Savant
Every other Thursday

My views on an eclectic mix of films and personalties, past and present; emotional interpretations; some laughs, some cries.

Other Columns
Other columns by Jon Schuller:

Have You Been Spying On Me Lately? For How Long?

But Can She Act? That's What I Want to Know

They're Not the Same People They Used To Be

Time Does Fly When We Watch Movies

Before Minimum or Maximum, There Was Only Prison

All Columns

Jon Schuller
I am a former New Jersey native, living in Charlotte, N.C. for almost 30 years. I am a lifelong movie lover with lots of movie trivia knowledge and soundtracks in my CD collection. I enjoy sharing my love of films with everyone and have so many fond memories growing up in darkened movie theaters. I have been married 50 years (as of December 22, 2018) and we both share a passion for film (and each other of course).

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Jon Schuller by clicking here.

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