Movie Essentials: 1998

In 1998, Bill Clinton denied having "sexual relations" with Monica Lewinsky.  Liar!  Europeans agreed on a single currency: the Euro.  Microsoft became the biggest company in the world, valued at $261 billion on the New York Stock Exchange.  Google was founded, revolutionizing search engines everywhere.  The FDA approved Viagra as a treatment for male impotence.  Matthew Shepard was killed in Wyoming, in a horrific act of homophobia.  Sonny Bono and Batman creator Bob Kane died.  Aerosmith ruled the radio with "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" from the Armageddon soundtrack.   Sex and the City, Felicity, and Sports Night all premiered on television, while Seinfeld ended its astonishing nine-year run.
Movie-wise, in the end, it all came down to Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare in Love.  Miramax and Harvey Weinstein would ultimately eke out a Best Picture win for Shakespeare in one of the more upsetting upsets in recent memory.  Even more upsetting, however, is the fact that the true best picture of '98 wasn't even nominated (see No. 1 below).  This year's honorable mentions include Armageddon, Pleasantville, Rush Hour, Life is Beautiful, American History X, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and, for some strange reason (I love it, nobody else seems to) - Meet Joe Black.  Other notable films of '98 include A Bug's Life, Deep Impact, Lethal Weapon 4, A Civil Action, Babe: Pig in the City, Blade, Bulworth, Enemy of the State, Elizabeth, Can't Hardly Wait, City of Angels, Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Happiness, Gods & Monsters, The Mask of Zorro, The Negotiator, The Opposite of Sex, The X-Files, and You've Got Mail.
And here are your Essentials:


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  • This was a great year. Forgot about Out Of Sight and how even Jennifer Lopez was good in that. Will also need to see The Truman Show again off your praise, I didn't really like it that much when I saw it in theaters.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    Yeah, I was surprised by how well Truman Show has held up. I'd definitely recommend checking it out again. And yes, Out of Sight is probably J-Lo's only good movie. Maybe if she stopped doing lame romantic comedies, she could get back in fighting shape...

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    John, I love you, your must sees are great your honorable mentions, some can afford not to be.

  • In reply to JimmyGreenfield:

    I could easily drop The Wedding Singer from this list and add in Last Days of Disco. I don't think they make it into the list, but the world must look back and fondly remember Velvet Goldmine, Happiness, The opposite of Sex, The Croupier and (guilty pleasure) Can't Hardly Wait. Okay, forget that last one.

  • Wow. 1998 contained more good movies than I'd thought. I'm gonna have to disagree with the inclusion of Rounders on this list (and I almost want to ix-nay There's Something About Mary, but I think that's just because of all the derivative drivel that has come after that film), and add Life Is Beautiful and American History X.

    But I just went ahead and made this list 20% more depressing, so whatever.

    O'Doyle rules!

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