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Now and Again, Cranky goes into a big rant about the difference between "movies" and "films". Film students can smoke Gitanes and chug all the cappuccino they want while they discuss the relevance of obscure references to films that decomposed in the can twenty years before they were born, Cranky prefers to be entertained: I don't care if it's laughter, crying, something touching or a characterization that makes me feel superior to the slug onscreen. I don't drink cappuccino. I eat popcorn, and here are the best popcorn flicks of the year . . .

The Best Movies of 1998

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©Sony Pictures Ent.

The Golden Globes split their nominations in two, drama vs. musical/comedy. Cranky splits his, serious film student flicks and straight out entertainment. Best movie of the year featured sexy stars, sweeping action, and scenery and weaponry rarely seen in these days of drive by shootings. That movie was The Mask Of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and the stunning, sexy Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Runners-up, in alphabetical order:

You can buy the "best of" and Cranky's highest ranking titles at deep discount, from amazon. com:


The Big Hit

The Butcher Boy

Dangerous Beauty

The Horse Whisperer

The Mask of Zorro

The Newton Boys

Primary Colors

Sliding Doors

The Truman Show

The Wedding Singer

Wild Things


  • The Big Hit had most reviewers holding their noses and putting the letter "S" in front of the last word in the title. This action comedy was so far beyond over the top that Cranky was giggling harder than he ever did when he was indulging in certain illegal weeds. A total and complete giggle starring Christina Applegate as a Jewish American Princess (and for a good Catholic girl, she had it nailed!)

  • Dangerous Beauty: if there's a standard "chick flick" than this is the one for guys. The stunning Catherine McCormack as a courtesan with bigger balls than any of the Venetian royalty of the Middle Ages had every guy I know raving.

  • Ever After surprised every critic I know. Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston in a variation on the Cinderella story. Absolutely charming.

  • The Faculty from writer Kevin Williamson and director Robert Rodriguez is the kind of edge of your seat terror flick that thankfully puts more emphasis on scary stuff and less on flying body parts. It's also packed with really cute babes of two generations -- something for Cranky, something for the teens kidlets. Brand new at Christmas and a helluva way to top off the year.

  • Home Fries, again starring Drew Barrymore in a black comedy about love and accidental murder and the prospect of more of the same, only premeditated. Drew landed real life boyfriend Luke Wilson in this flick. More important, a drop dead supporting performance by SCTV's Catherine O'Hara. More about that later.

  • The Newton Boys featured the true tale of bank robbers in the West in the earlier days of the century. Fun, funny, a good time in the dark with stars Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke, Skeet Ulrich and Julianne Margulies.

  • Sliding Doors: One set of stars in two interconnecting "What If" stories and the first glimmerings that Gwyneth Paltrow was a lot more than Brad Pitt's ex-toy (except, as per my Brit neighbor, for her accent, "which sucks").

  • The Wedding Singer gave legitimacy to Adam Sandler (whose previous moronic behaviors didn't exactly get him high marks in Cranky's book) and marked the start of the comeback of the year for co-star Drew Barrymore.

  • Waking Ned Devine is still in theaters. All the good stuff is there: Lust, nudity, a conspiracy to steal millions and millions of dollars, not to mention nudity. A Total Giggle. Go and have a good time.

  • Wild Things, as with The Big Hit, either you had the best time watching the most cleverly written sex filled murder mystery of the year, or you didn't get it at all.Two hot women. One cold bottle of champagne. One large bed. Ah, the memories. . . oh. yeah. It was sexy in the movie, too <vbg>


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