One Sentence About Every Movie I Watched in 1998

I’m pretty sure this list is from 1998. The original list was hand written by me in an old notebook I kept. There are plenty of films from 1997 and 1998 and no films from 1999 on the list, so my deduction is it’s from 1998.

This was a period of serious film-geekitude for me, so the list clearly reflects my interests at the time.

So, here’s one sentence (or fragment) on each of those films. I’m trying to do this without much editing or research so expect to see some weirdness follow :) I linked to full reviews of the films where applicable if you want to follow up and see how my original appraisal and my later recollections match up.

Who Am I?
A great finale and some memorable stunt-work make this one of Jackie’s last good films.
Tokyo Drifter
One of my favorite movies of all time by one of cinema’s great, lurid stylists, Seijin Suzuki
Blade of Fury
I remember some blurry, super-powered kung fu hi-jinks at the end, but little else.
Duel to the Death
The finale of this film, featuring two combatants fighting it out while falling for several minutes, is one of the most glorious exhibitions of wuxia flavored, super-powered kung fu in the history of the genre.
Dark City
This Alex Proyas directed film is underrated, if you ask me.
Mr. Nice Guy
Not Jackie’s most memorable film.
Volcano
I can’t believe that, in the middle of all this Hong Kong flavored awesomeness, I found time to watch this piece of doo-doo.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I know what I did when I watched this movie…
Sphere
I distinctly remember that this was a piece of crap.
Deep Rising
I remember absolutely nothing about this movie.
Mercury Rising
This title is absolutely meaningless to me, must have been a real winner.
Invincible Armor
Great fight film featuring super-kickers Hwang Jiang-Lee and John Liu.
Branded to Kill
While I don’t agree and prefer Tokyo Drifter, many people think this is Seijun Suzuki’s masterpiece.
A Chinese Ghost Story III
I burned neurons at a furious pace trying to come up with something about this film and I came away with nothing.
Dead Alive
I want to sit behind fans of the Lord of the Rings movies who just stumble upon this particular horror/comedy gem.
The Jackal
Bruce Willis?
The Producers
One of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen.
Hush
I actually saw this!?
Jesus Christ Superstar
I’m never going to get over how bad of a singer the guy who plays Jesus is in this version.
The Chinese Feast
Tsui Hark made the best kung fu movie ever that featured no kung fu (just cooking!)
Star Wars
I’m old, do I really need to call it "A New Hope?"
Babycart at the River Styx
The movies are good, but the manga is the best sequential art ever, in the history of the world.
Kickboxer’s Tears
I’m pretty sure this was a crappy movie.
Half Baked
A funny pot movie.
Nightwatch
I remember nothing about this movie other than the fact it starred Ewan McGregor
High and Low
While most of Kurosawa’s films are worthy "film studies" films, the structure of High and Low makes it particularly ripe for picking apart with a critical eye.
Once Upon a Time in China V
I think this is the one that’s basically a Lion Dancing movie?
Once Upon a time in China III
Sadly, I don’t remember any specifics of this entry in the excellent OUATIC series.
Sonatine
TAKESHI KITANO, suckers.
Butcher Boy
I have an unhealthy fascination with this movie.
Suicide Kings
No clue.
Species 2
I ask, why on Earth did I watch this movie?
Wutang Master
I’d have to research what this movie actually is, so I’m not prepared to comment.
Crazy Shaolin Disciples
A bad film from the the end of the "classic" kung fu era.
Hell’s Windstaff
You can never go wrong with Hwang Jiang Lee.
Millionaire’s Express
Yuen Biao jumps off of a 3 story building in this movie.
Laputa
It’s tough to choose a "favorite" anything from Myazaki, since he’s a complete genius, but if I were to pick a favorite character design from all of his films I might pick the robot from this movie.
Totoro
Then again, I might just have to pick Totoro.
Mononoke Hime
One of my favorite movies of all time.
Crystal Hunt
Donnie Yen kicks a lot of ass in this movie.
Shaolin Drunken Monk
I remember this being an abomination, but I could be wrong.
Rashomon
Rashomon is a brilliant and wildly important film.
Yojimbo
Is there anything more fun in cinema than watching Toshiro Mifune in this "bodyguard" role?
Nausicaa
It’s early in Myazaki’s cinematic career, but that doesn’t stop Nausicaa from being an unqualified masterpiece.
Enter the Fat Dragon
The single best Bruce Lee impersonation in the history of imitators is this humorous one by Sammo Hung.
No Regrets For Our Youth
In most cases, early Kurosawa is still good Kurosawa and this is one that lands in the positive column.
Do’ Des’ Ka’ Den
A mind-boggling film (in a bad way.)
Godzilla
I want to apologize to civilized society for having seen this movie.
Dersu Uzala
A movie full of unmatched beauty.
Red Beard
It’s sad to think that this film, of all the films they worked on together, would be the one to split Kurosawa and Mifune.
Boogie Nights
I wasn’t the fan of this movie many of you were.
Sword of Doom
Kihachi Okamoto’s Sword of Doom is a high point of 1960s Samurai cinema.
The Magnificent Butcher
Sammo Hung made a damn fine movie about Lam Sai ("Butcher") Wing, student of the famous Wong Fei Hung, and patriarch of a strong, Hung Gar lineage that continues to this day.
Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail
A short, formal film from Kurosawa that features some camerawork that evokes his later Forest work in films like Rashomon.
Dragon Inn
I have a feeling this was the later remake, n which case it’s pretty good and notable for being riffed on in The Phantom Menace.
King of Beggars
Stephen Chow is the mack.
High Risk
A whole movie centered around dissing Jackie Chan.
Shaolin and Wutang
One of the greatest examples of the 1970s style kung fu movie intro.
The Lower Depths
I remember this being a bit too much Gorky and not enough Kurosawa, if that makes any sense.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Just the thought of this movie brings a smile to my face.
Rushmore
I don’t care what you think, I love Wes Anderson’s movies.
Pi
Aronofsky is way too smart for American Cinema.
Too Many Ways to Be no. 1
The film that made me a lifelong fan of Lau Ching Wan.
Task Force
If I remember correctly, Task Force features a great performance by Eric Tsang.
The Storm Riders
The Storm riders is one of my favorite Hong Kong movies of all time and simply don’t care what anyone thinks about that little fact.
The Odd One Dies
The Odd One Dies, a moody classic, is one more piece of evidence towards the argument that the Milkyway Image Group has the strongest run in the history of Hong Kong cinema.
Crippled Avengers
This is a classic, impossibly lurid Shaw Brothers film.
Royal Warriors
Michelle Yeoh is one of the greatest screen fighters of all time and this film is ample evidence of that.
Project S
"Iron Monkey" Yu rong Guang is in this which is alll you need to know about this particular film.
47 Ronin Part 1
This Kenji Mizoguchi film is the better of the two tellings of the story of the 47 Ronin that I’ve seen.
Return to Paradise
I have no idea whatsoever what this movie is about, who’s in it or even what country it’s from, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s a disaster.
Out of Sight
I have a strange affection for this movie.
There’s Something About Mary
Undeniably funny.
Sanjuro
If you want to talk about the origin of the blood geyser in Japanese Cinema, you start with Sanjuro.
Organized Crime Triad Bureau
I remember this being a very typical move of the time period.
47 Ronin Part II
The excellent conclusion.
Story of a Prostitute
Have I mentioned that Seijun Suzuki is a mad man (in a good way?)
Fighting Elegy
All I remember is fights, fights fights.
Doctor Mack
A surprising and sweet movie that I had no expectations for whatsoever.
From Beijing With Love
Not my favorite of Stephen Chow’s films.
Tai Chi II
This was okay.
Gates of Flesh
What a lurid title.
Shaolin Temple III
Even watching one of the worst quality transfers I’ve ever seen couldn’t stop this movie from having a real impact on me.
Thundering Mantis
Another memorable, powerhouse kung fu movie from the 1970s.
the Magnificent Ambersons
The greatest tragedy in the history of American Cinema is the sad fact that Welles fell so far from grace that no one blinked when he turned into a fat bastard shilling wine.
Chinese Ghost Story
A Chinese Ghost Story is one of the great triumphs of Hong Kong cinema.
Prodigal Son
I’m a sucker for Sammo Hung’s movie and Prodigal Son is no exception.
Conspiracy Theory
I can’t believe I really watched Conspiracy Theory.
Shall We Dance
A lovely, memorable film.
Raiders of Wu-Tang
I’m pretty sure this was a repackaged, re-edited piece of doo-doo.
Peking Opera Blues
Simply reading the name to write this one sentence has got me seriously jonesing to watch this film again.
Blade
In hindsight, this was where comic book movies started to be Good.
Fifrth Element
While I’m confused by the fact that this wasn’t based on a Metal Hurlant story, this film sticks with me to the point I still can’t help but say "Moooltipass" when I see signs for New York’s EZ Pass.
Encounters of the Spooky Kind
Sammo Hung is the greatest single talent in the history of martial arts movies.
Spawn
Poop.
Ikiru
Just seeing stills from this film can wet my eyes.
Stray Dog
It’s interesting that I write my one sentence about this film on a sweltering night here in Boston because the single clearest memory of this film is one of heat.
Hidden Fortress
Star Wars.
A Better tomorrow III
I think this Tsui Hark effort is an underrated entry in this seminal heroic bloodshed series.
Five Fingers of Death
A surprisingly good, early, Kung fu movie.
God of Gabmblers Returns
YEAH, Wong $##$@$@ Jing!!!!!!!!!1111!
Sanshiro Sugata
Like Athena, Kurosawa sprang fully formed onto the world stage.
Lazerman
I have no clue what this film is or why I might have seen it. .
Last Hurrah for Chivalry
It wouldn’t be for another 30 years after this forgettable genre picture that John Woo would make a period piece worthy of his considerable talents.
Winners and Sinners
I’m an unabashed fan of the Lucky Stars movies.
My Lucky Stars
Take the cast of Winners and Sinners and add in the brilliant Eric Tsang and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Eastern Condors
A remarkable action film from the king of Hong Kong action, Sammo Hung.
East is Red
I wasn’t quite as obsessed with Asia the invincible as some folks were so, while I enjoyed this film, I can’t say it was a favorite.
Even Horizon
My god, I watched some crap in 1998.
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