Nightman’s Updated Favourite Films Of 1991

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

We start as always with a brief slurp over the froth dripping away from 1991’s bountiful cup. Backdraft is that rare thing – a fun movie about firefighting, complete with almost sentient flames tickling Billy Baldwin’s arse. It shouldn’t be good, but Ron Howard brings plenty of tension, action, and even emotion, and it has a damn god cast – Kurt Russel, Rebecca De Mornay, JT Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Scott Glenn, Donald Sutherland, and one Robert De Niro. An equally impressive cast elevates Oliver Stone’s controversial JFK from conspiracy-bait court drama to absorbing thriller – notable names include Donald Sutherland (again), Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ed Asner, John Candy, Joe Pesci, Michael Rooker, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Wayne Knight, Kevin Bacon, Sally Kirkland, and Laurie Metcalf.

Sticking with epics, we have two of the best coming out of Asia in 1991, the Martial Arts Historical opus Once Upon A Time In China, and Zhang Yimou’s gorgeous drama Raise The Red Lantern. Jumping over to France we were treated to Jean Pierre Jeune’s debut Delicatessen, the incredibly odd yet visually memorable tale. Marc Caro co-directs this post-apocalyptic version of Sweeny Todd. Cape Fear accomplishes the difficult feat of at least meeting, if not exceling beyond, the excellent original with Martin Scorsese bringing together the original cast in part roles and letting Robert De Niro go full tilt alongside Juliette Lewis, Jessica Lange, and Nick Nolte.

In keeping with much of the unsavoury material released this year, The Silence Of The Lambs became the year’s critical darling, picking up a bunch of Oscars and reminding critics that Horror and genre filmmaking was just as worthy of praise and attention as straight dramatic fare. Barton Fink saw the Coen brothers further cement their names as a partnership to watch, blending a number of genres together and unleashing a madcap John Turturro and John Goodman on the world.

In the Indie space, a series of lesser known names and films made a huge splash. New Jack City took a grimy look at the Drug war underworld while Boyz N The Hood saw John Singleton tackle gang and youth culture in South Central LA to devastating effect. My Own Private Idaho saw both Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix trying to break from their respective moulds, playing hustlers trying to find meaning and a future in their lives. My Girl, everyone’s favourite childhood tearjerker follows Anna Chlumsky as she struggles with coming of age in the 1970s, growing up in a funeral parlor and befriending nerdy outcast Macaulay Culkin. Often mocked now, it’s still an effective, thoughtful, and funny look at childhood. Finally, Naked Lunch is… well I still haven’t quite figured it out.

10: Drop Dead Fred (US/UK) Ate De Jong

Who Ate De Jong? I’ve no idea, but I hope he was tasty. The world suffered a massive loss when Rik Mayall passed. He made an indelible impact on British comedy, but is remembered for fondly for his TV work rather than his big screen outings. Drop Dead Fred was released around the height of his powers and is his most successful movie release. It was a modest hit, was critically panned (particularly in the US), and went on to become a cult film. Rik Mayall’s physical, anarchic style is perfect for British humour, but US sensibilities never had a widespread punk cultural movement and as such his antics don’t seem to translate. The humour is juvenile yet deals with sophisticated and progressive concerns, the film is silly yet emotionally touching, and while Mayall is unleashed, the likes of Phoebe Cates and Carrie Fisher give their own levels of grounding and sarcastic flair. It’s a film which speaks to both the child and the free spirit adult.

9: Double Impact (US) Sheldon Lettich

There was a joke about Double Impact when I was in school. It was a boob joke. If you’ve seen Double Impact, you probably have your own version of that joke. Outside of boobs, this is the most famous example of JCVD playing multiple characters. Here he plays two very different twins separated at birth a la Mary Ann Benedict, after their parents are murdered. They grow up and have very different lives, Chad runs a dojo and is a bit of a polite ladies man, while Alex is more of a thug. Things happen and the pair meet, clash, learn about their parents, and plot revenge. Then there are fights and guns and boobs. It’s fun. It’s not top budget Van Damme, but it’s among the best of the rest and remains a lot of silly, violent fun.

8: The Doors (US) Oliver Stone

All musicians and writers go through a Doors phase. We get into the music, the lyrics, the mystique, and if you’re like me, yo visit Jim’s grave in Paris. Oliver Stone’s biopic is one of his lesser seen movies of his most successful period, and focuses on the formation of the band, their success, and their demise following Jim’s death. It weaves an ethereal moody vision of the 60s, complete with the requisite music and fashion, and while it never feels exciting or revelatory, it’s watchable thanks to the stellar cast led by a flawless Val Kilmer. Elsewhere, Kyle Maclachlan, Kevin Dillon, Michael Wincott, Meg Ryan, Frank Whaley, and Kathleen Quinlan are all memorable, and it’s a vital, if inaccurate watch for Doors fans.

7: Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey (US) Pete Hewitt

For Metal and Rock fans in the 80s, the Bill And Ted movies were a rite of passage and watched on a monthly if not weekly occurence. I always preferred the original, but the sequel has Death. Both a ridiculous, stupid, but fun, and filled with references for young fans to spot or chase down. The sequel sees the pair being killed by a terrorist from the future and replaced by evil robots – the good Bill and Ted go to Hell and must defeat the Grim Reaper in order to return to Earth, win back their babes, and ensure that the Wyld Stallyns’ music survives. It’s weird.

6: Thelma And Louise (US) Ridley Scott

There’s no obvious reason why a young me should have enjoyed this movie, but I’ve loved it since day 1, and therefore had the benefit of growing up to not be an asshole (in some respects) and of knowing who Bradley Pitt was before he hit the big time. Naturally, it also gave me a lifelong crush on Geena Davis. It’s a perfect movie to me, from the lead 4-5 performances to Scott’s direction and Khouri’s script.

5: Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves (US) Kevin Reynolds

This film was a monster, and was accompanied by one of the biggest songs of all time. Kevin Costner was a leading man, Alan Rickman was at his hammiest, and standalone action spectacles were getting more grandiose. This is the most entertaining version of the Robin Hood story for me – sword fights, arrows, castle walls being scaled, terrible accents, romance, wizened old crones and creepy sub-villains, and lots of swinging about in trees. Plus they actually had people from Maid Marian And Her Merry Men in the film! It’s easy to ridicule now, but it’s still wildly entertaining and cheesy, complete with unnecessary cameos and breaking the fourth wall moments, and also features Christian Slater, Morgan Freeman, and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

4: Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (US) Stephen Herek

I always put this in the same bucket as Wayne’s World and Bill And Ted – it has a similar vibe, similar characters, but the humour is less juvenile, and the plot is less like a series of vignettes. It also features a young Danielle Harris, so it was a must see for me when I was young. It stars Christina Applegate as your typical teen on the verge of adulthood but somewhat directionless. When her mom goes away on business, rather than being left in charge of her 400 siblings, she is left with an elderly babysitter with tyrant syndrome. As the title suggests, the babysitter dies, and the kids decide to get on with life till mom gets home. This means a lot of partying, messing around, boyfriends and girlfriends; eventually, for Applegate this means a job and responsibility. Lots of great one liners, amusing famous faces popping up, good soundtrack, and it’s a seminal coming of age movie for me.

3: The Last Boy Scout (US) Tony Scott

I’ve covered this in my Top Ten Bruce Willis and Tony Scott movies. It’s wonderful.

2: Beauty And The Beast (US) Disney

It’s my favourite Disney movie of all time. Covered in my Top Movies of the decade.

1: Terminator 2 (Top Ten Of All Time) (US) James Cameron

Covered in my Top movies of the decade.

How Many Of My Films Were In The Top 10 Grossing Of The Year: Three (The Top Three)

How Many Of My Films Were Nominated For the Best Picture Oscar: One

Best Supporting Actor – 1981

Official Nominations: John Gielgud. James Coco. Ian Holm. Jack Nicholson. Howard E Rollins.

An interesting list of names this year, although the win still feels like a classic veteran win – did we really need another one of these after Best Actor and Actress? I suppose it was his only Oscar so I can’t be too angry, and given he’s an undisputed legend of Stage and Screen it only seems fair that he’d have one to his name. Plus, he’s very funny in Arthur as Arthur’s servant/handler/weary father figure. Out of all the veteran wins this year, this one feels the most justified based on the performance.

Elsewhere, Jack Nicholson racks up another nomination for Reds – a film I always forget he’s in, even though he’s good. He’s always good, which is part of the problem, and some of the films he made in the years around 1981 are simply more interesting than Reds. Ian Holm earned his only Academy nom for his performance in Chariots Of Fire – again, I don’t love the film but it’s one you feel you need to watch as a film fan and Holm is perfectly fine.

The final two nominations are the least known – James Coco feels like another example of The Academy having to nominate someone for a Neil Simon piece – not a film most people will remember and the performance doesn’t stand out. Howard E Rollins was similarly more known for his TV work and in truth this has always felt like a strange nomination. Not because it’s a bad performance – it isn’t – but because there are so many bit players who are equally strong that you could make a case for any of them to have the nomination, and equally you could make the case that Rollins is the lead of Ragtime. For me it’s probably between Rollins and Gielgud, and am both happy with and conflicted by either choice.

My Winner: John Gielgud

Best Actor: Best Supporting Actor 1981: John Gielgud in Arthur

My Nominations: John Gielgud. Howard Rollins. James Cagney. Ronald Lacey.

Two make it to my list, and I add my own version of hate I can’t stand – the Veteran nomination. It’s my blog, I can contradict myself. I only started this Oscar journey for 1960 onwards, and Jimmy Cagney is one of the greatest performers of all time – he’d all but checked out by 1960. One of the biggest tragedies of that fact is that Cagney missed out on two of Hollywood’s finest decades – the 60s and 70s – just think of what he could have done had he worked with some of the writers, performers, directors who emerged in this period. So he gets a nomination, and he’s as good as anyone else in Ragtime. 

Sometimes you have to nominate someone purely, or mostly, based on the impact they had on you as an individual viewer. As you grow up you hear than many others felt the same impact. Ronald Lacey, as the scheming Nazi Toht (not Thot) in Raiders Of The Lost Ark is one such instance. Lacey exudes scum with charisma, and is the memorable villain of the piece over and above Belloq. Even with all of the boulders and booby traps and snakes which will live on in memory, Lacey’s sneering, sweating maw is one you’ll never tire of seeing being melted.

My Winner: Ronald Lacey

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1992!

Strictly Ballroom - Rotten Tomatoes

1992 is interesting in that most of the movies I saw – even the bad ones – were still enjoyable. There are not too many movies this year I wouldn’t actively avoid and even the ones below have something (however small) I can appreciate.

Far And Away

It’s Tom & Nicole! They are married in real life! They are a HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE! Their movie is shit!

Howard’s End

Merchant Ivory – no. British Period Drama – no. Romance – no.

Strictly Ballroom

Why do I do it to myself? Dancing. Romance. ‘Comedy’. Three things I don’t enjoy, three things which almost never go well together. The result? Tripe.

Toys

Yikes.

Told you I didn’t have man strong negative feelings about this year. Let us know your least favourite movies of 1992 in the comments!

(I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline

(I Miss The) Tokyo Skyline: 3

The band has always had a sweet relationship with Japan – in their early days some of their most ardent fans were from Japan, their good friend and photographer Mitch Ikeda is Japanese, and Richey had an affinity with many of the cultural norms. That it took this long to write a song that mentions Japan specifically may surprise some. Perhaps if that ‘City album’ that the band talked about many years ago had come around, then maybe it would have featured something related to Japan. Presumably this song and many of the other recent songs with a city name in the title were borne out of that concept.

Back to the song itself, and it’s another lonely, sad affair on an album filled with similar moments. However, the inclusion of the gorgeous Japanese strings is gripping and startling in its newness, not least because you don’t expect such things from the band, but because you never hear anything like this in modern Western music. That inclusion alone marks the song as one of the more interesting on the album for me. James whispers his way through the verses, and barely stretches beyond hushed words in the chorus, but the emotional core still manages to break through. It can’t quite escape the pervading dullness which seeps through the album. It’s simply another acoustic song with some interesting additions from the Japanese strings and  electronic backing.

The Story Of The Song: I can’t be arsed quote hunting for every track, but given the band’s prior affinity for Japan it seems quite obvious that Nick still holds the Country and its capital in high esteem, even if it’s mainly because he can become completely isolated and unknown in its bustling streets. Hopefully I’m not gaslighting, but it’s not a song about how weird/futuristic/cute the place is, but like Australia it’s more used as a proxy for Nicky’s own desires – to be away, to be alone, to be at peace.

Natwest-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds

A mostly pseudo Glam-Metal song packed with crushing guitars and little flourishes and riffs as the band takes apart the evils of Consumerism and banking.  The lyrics are exactly as you expect from the young band for a song with this name –  shouty slogans such as ‘death sanitized through credit’ and ‘the more you own the more you are’, though the ‘blackhorse apocalypse I’ve always found particularly apt and descriptive, comparing one of the bank’s mascots to Biblical imagery. The music is hardly innovative, but I do have a nostalgic fondness for much of Generation Terrorists which allows me to ignore what is otherwise a very plain song. The best moment though comes right at the end, with a fantastically creepy piano and guitar piece that doesn’t feel like anything else on the song, or on the album, a moment which (looking back) is filled with eerie, prophetic tones of doom, hinting at a future which has already passed us by.

Nat West – Barclays – Midlands – Lloyds: 3/good

The Story Of The Song: The song takes its title from four major British banks and discusses how much power they wield in society – it doesn’t really matter which one you turn to and as an individual you’re beholden to them from birth. There’s maybe something in there about how financial institutions have become the new religion, the single authority governing society and individuals, though that may be me reaching. Many have suggested the song was written because Nicky was refused a loan – way to get one back!

Misheard Lyrics: Economic fuckers

2. Oh to beat in Asia

3. Apathy is secrecy (I like this one better)

4. Lifeless automatons

Actual Lyrics: Economic forecast.

2. Words of Euthenasia

3. Apathy of sick routine.

4. Life as automatons

TTT – Top Ten Paul Verhoeven Movies!

Paul Verhoeven filming Benedetta - Cineuropa

Paul Verhoeven was one of my favourite directors before I knew what a director was. Thanks to a spell of hits which I watched a lot in my youth, he was one of the first Directors whose name I knew and whose films I would hunt down. I admit I was always disappointed that the films I found weren’t outlandish, bloody action movies like the ones I loved, but when I got more into my teen years and became a more dedicated film lover I found a new appreciation for all of his work.

I think the best terms to use to describe Verhoeven’s work are ‘sleazy’, ‘controversial’, and ‘over the top’. Even in his early work pre-Hollywood, there was a dedication to depicting violence and sex in certain ways, blown out of all proportion once he landed in the US, but there has always been a tongue in cheek approach to it all which many critics have outright missed if not denied or dismissed. He has of course had more streamlined, subtle films but even those use action or violence or satire in a certain fashion.

10. Hollow Man.

One of the many revisions of The Invisible Man which has appeared over the years, this one took the 90s Blockbuster approach, merging horror, action, nifty effects and make-up, and dollops of sleaze. It’s an inevitably voyeuristic film which was a hefty success and basically allows Kevin Bacon to go Terminator on everyone, while occasionally stopping to have a spy at ladies getting undressed. If that sounds like your sort of thing, and it absolutely should, give it a go.

9. Basic Instinct.

Verhoeven took soft-core porn, sleazy thrillers, bedroom aerobics, and crazy white lady films to new artistic heights with Basic Instinct. Underneath all the iconic uncrossing of legs and gyrating searches for ice picks, it’s a sweaty, up close, ice cool thriller which shook suburbia and allowed all of our dirty secrets to bubble up to the surface. It’s silly, it’s Sweat Noir, and it made a star out of Sharon Stone. Basically every 90s softcore movie took its inspiration from this.

8. Flesh And Blood

Flesh And Blood is a film which never found its audience, yet it’s clearly ripe for re-evaluation now as a cult film. This should be streaming everywhere – it’s 80s, a mix of action, history, and romance. It’s stars Rutger Hauer. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the love interest. It was shot be Jan De Bont. The score is by Basil Poledouris. It has the Orion seal of quality. The plot is all over the place and you half expect it to be a swords and sorcery movie – it’s not, but it is a lot of fun for those viewers always on the lookout for a forgotten 80s movie.

7. Spetters

This was the first non-US Verhoeven movie I saw, having read reviews of it in some Must See European Cinema book I had in my teens. It mentioned motorcycles, graphic violence – that was really all I needed at the time. Even in the liberal Netherlands, the film was controversial enough to cement Verhoeven’s desire to head to the US where he could explore different types of movies, and the film’s notoriety led in some part to helping Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbe become more established worldwide. It’s somewhat similar to something like Y To Mama Tambien, a coming of age of sorts as three young men encounter a sexually aggressive woman who wants escape as much as they do. It’s an uncomfortable watch, not necessarily due to the sex and violence, but due to the depictions of masculinity which may be too close for comfort even now.

6. Elle

He doesn’t make very many movies any more, hardly a surprise given his advanced years, but when he does they always make an impact. One of Verhoeven’s gifts has always been in finding a strong female lead and getting a powerful performance out of them. That, and never shying away from tackling or courting controversy head on. In Elle it’s rape which takes centre stage, and one woman’s reaction to her ordeal. That woman is Isabelle Huppert, giving a performance which saw her receive a deserved Academy nomination. The film tows the line between disturbing and funny, and while it may be advertised as a rape revenge thriller, it’s not as seedy or horrible as those movies tend to be, instead finding Verhoeven using the subject and character to examine triumph. Nothing is ever as it seems in a Verhoeven film and Elle is no different.

5. Soldier Of Orange

The first of several War films Verhoeven made, this saw him become a huge name in his home and made the rest of the world aware of his abilities. It’s one of his most grounded films and one of those great coming of age type war movies which follows a group of friends pre, during, and post-war. It’s a great gateway movie into European cinema because it will be familiar to fans of films such as The Deer Hunter and it has a few familiar faces to not make the transition from US to non-US so alien.

4. Black Book

One of the finest all round movies of the 21st Century. I’ve written about it elsewhere on the blog, but it’s another WWII based drama which sees The Red Woman working as a Resistance Spy in the midst of Nazi horrors, a mature and twisting film largely free from the usual Satire and cynicism which put many people off Verhoeven’s films.

3. Starship Troopers

One of the most bonkers, all out fun movies of the 90s – it pits muscle-bound grunts against big-ass bugs in a giant space war. Great effects, hilarious violence, top notch action, all topped off by a memorable score and tonnes of one-liners. It feels like Robocop 2.0. 

2. Total Recall

Arnie. Verhoeven. Ironside. Cox Stone. Mars. Aliens with three breasts. If I’m not me, then who the hell am I? Get ready for a surprise!

  1. Robocop

Arguably the greatest movie ever made. Unquestionably the most quotable. It’s in my personal Top Five movies of all time. It’s flawless in my eyes. If Verhoeven had only ever made this movie, he would be a legend – thankfully he made all of the others above, and a few more besides.

Let us know your Top Ten Verhoeven movies in the comments below!

Little Girl Lost

A rambunctious, stiff little rocker, this B-side to Your Love Alone Is Not Enough hits the ground running and doesn’t let up. There’s nothing new or surprising here, it’s just a plain, old fashioned rock song with nifty vocals and summery melodies. Nothing special, but fun nonetheless. I like how every second is squeezed for detail – there isn’t a moment to breathe or a moment wasted, no pauses between transitions. James is going full pelt on guitar and in his vocals, with some of his finest snark in their post Rock days. There’s a cool bit of shredding in there for the solo – he doesn’t get a chance to whip out the shred much these days so you can tell when he’s enjoying himself – the extended little string bend right at the end of the solo for example, there’s no need for it but fuck if he’s gonna do it anyway. It’s barely over two minutes long, so even if you don’t enjoy it it’s before before you know.

Little Girl Lost: 3/Good

The Story Of The Song: It takes it’s name from the title of a William Blake poem, apparently. I don’t know if it’s based on anyone in particular, but it feels like another fan service/fan slapping song – both a dedication to and a loving critique of a particular listener.

Misheard Lyrics: 1.Hold you there till there’s nothing left

2. You’ve been looking to hop so soon.

Actual Lyrics: Hold you there till there’s no pain left.

2. You’ve been looking for hope so soon

The Lowest Rated Movies I Like – IMDb Edition!

I warned you. I really did. It’s time for (probably) my final post on this topic, as I work through the lowest rated movies on IMDb in search of those movies I like, or even love. My last post on this was in 2019 and I wrote this one at the same time, but my backlog continues to grow and this got lot among everything else. I realise I haven’t been posting much about movies recently, so this was the easiest fix for that problem. I’ve already shown how Rotten Tomatoes has a tonne of movies I love categorized as some of the lowest rated movies ever, but that hasn’t taken away any of my love. Lets see what the good voters at IMDb consider to be the worst.

Battlefield Earth; Man I remember when this was released and the mauling it received. I ridicule Scientology as much as the next sane person and while there’s no doubting the movie is very silly and a huge waste of money… I still liked it. Maybe because I’d been so prepared to find it terrible, that I was surprised when it wasn’t as bad as people said it was. Or maybe I have a low threshold for crap. I’ve only seen it once, many years ago, but I thought it was okay. I don’t think it deserves the hate and ridicule it still gets, ignoring all of the background faff and simply taking it on its own ‘merits’. It’s not good, and while I’m not an advocate of films so bad they’re good, I will hold my hands up and say I enjoyed it more than a tonne of films I’m supposed to like more.

Everything I just said, aside from the Scientology stuff, could be applied to Barb Wire. I don’t know what it is, but I still enjoyed Barb Wire. Now, I know what you’re all thinking – it’s because Pamela Anderson frolics about half naked for most of it, and yes that’s part of its charm for whatever supporters the film may have. I’ve always though Pamela Anderson was an interesting actress and I’ve sort of enjoyed any number of her crappy softcore movies. She never got the more dramatic serious role she wanted. Maybe if she did, I could have seen how bad she is like everyone else says she is, but she never got the chance. Barb Wire is in no way a good film, but it remains kind of unique – a female led throw back to a lot of the male dominated action movies I loved in the 80s. It’s unfortunate they focused on the wrong assets of its star.

The original The Wicker Man is one of my favourite films. The remake is not. But it’s still wonderful because it’s an absolute state. You all know the quotes, you all know the memes, but watching the whole thing in a single sitting is a different experience. You’ll laugh at how silly it all is, and even if you’re the most devout fan of the original you’ll probably get some sort of odd and uncomfortable kick out of watching Cage beat the shit out of people in bear costumes. Interestingly, my wife saw this (with me) before she’d ever seen the original or knew anything about the story – she was horrified by it and the ending in something approximating the way most first time viewers feel upon watching the original.

Superman IV was the first Superman movie I ever saw, and is the first movie I remember seeing at the Cinema. Nuclear Man was pretty scary back then. This is an example of nostalgia completely completely overshadowing critical thought. I like it because I liked it, and I value nostalgia. It’s not good in any conventional sense or otherwise, and it’s a sour note to end the Reeves saga on, but I’d much rather watch this than some po-faced Zack Snyder bullshit.

Speed 2 is a film I’ve only seen once. I knew it was going to rubbish, or at least not as good as the original which I rate higher than most. It has a tonne of flaws, not least its setting and the fact that it’s entirely unnecessary. In truth I can’t remember much about it beyond the fact that I watched it going ‘yeah it’s a crappier Under Siege but it’s still silly fun’.

Prom Night is actually fine. I’m not a big fan of the original and I’m not a big fan of the remake, but I tend to care less when a crappy cult movie is remade rather than something genuinely good. Slasher moves were popular and overdone, then went away and came back to be subverted, then went away and came back to be remade with fresher faces but no purpose. Still, pretty people run around and get killed, you can enjoy it for what it is.

There are other movies here I’ve seen and… did not enjoy. Dungeons And Dragons I saw upon release, Jaws 3 and 4 I’ve put myself through numerous times. While those movies are bad, boring, laughable, I can’t say I hate any of them. They’re not offensive to me. They featured many cast and crew members just trying to do their jobs. They’re likely much better than any number of low budget, amateur indie movies, or even more soulless corporate cash-ins. Well, maybe not much better. Out of the bottom 100 movies there isn’t one I truly liked, let alone loved, and I can’t say how many people would feel differently. But maybe you do. Maybe one of of your favourites is in there? Let us know in the comments!

Foggy Eyes

An entirely lackluster cover for the Indian Summer release, I haven’t heard the original but based on how inane and boring this is I have no interest in seeking it out. It’s another song with a silly filter on the vocals, the guitars are drivel, the band sound like they are playing in their sleep, the melodies are terrible, the lyrics are fine but their delivery is irritating as hell. The majority of the song is based around a very simple riff which repeats and repeats – that wouldn’t be so bad if the riff was remotely interesting or if the verse melody didn’t mirror the riff. There really isn’t anything positive to say about this at all, unless you have a particular affinity for James shouting ‘bang, bang, BANG’ at the end. A low point.

Foggy Eyes: 1/Crap

The Story Of The Song: It’s a cover of a song by Beat Happening (no, me neither). At this point in their career they were chucking any old shite on their B-Sides – lots of instrumentals, covers, and experimental fannying with no real direction. Fair enough.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

The second Manics cover song I ever heard. The first was Bright Eyes, which is both a better song and a better cover. It’s another idiosyncratic cover of a classic song, you’d almost think the band were a bunch of hipsters for covering something like this. Then again, they’ve always liked Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid – the film being name checked in popular B-Side Sepia. This was the band’s first recording after Richey’s disappearance, contributing to the War Child Charity album. It’s an authentic, touching cover and depending on the day I like it more than at other times. I don’t have anything bad to say about it, it’s just one of those songs that I’m too familiar with that I feel locked in by it’s all pervading fame and therefore want nothing to do with it. James does a great job belting out certain phrases with typically Manic phrasing, and it has some sweet horn play in the middle to hint at what would come in their next album. It’s a decent cover, but not one I particularly want to hear again.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head: 2/Okay