Best. Movie. Year. Ever. How 1999 Blew Up The Big Screen by Brian Raftery (4 out of 5)

1999 was a great year. It was the year my pizza place managing gig came to an end. It was the year I started working in books. It was the year I left a toxic relationship; it was the same year I met the one who got away (3 times). That dude and I saw a shit ton of movies that year, many of which are profiled in this excellent nostalgia trip of a book. The book is out now in hardcover, published by Simon & Schuster. What’s even scarier is that my coworkers and I had recently had a discussion at work about 1999 and what a great year it was for movies and music. A week later, we get this book in. Most. Perfect. Timing. Ever.

The tagline “The year Hollywood exploded” is a guaranteed reaction right off the bat. After I got visions of Kardashians in flames hurtling through the air out of my cruel imagination, I settled in and got to the business of reading it. I got it read in a day. Once you start, you just can’t stop. With many interviews that I didn’t expect to see (Cruise and Kidman for Eyes Wide Shut) and chapters divided into films with a common theme or thread, it was a succinct reminder that it very well may have been the best year for movies (although 1984 should also be examined). Look at the list: Magnolia, American Beauty, American Pie, The Phantom Menace, Eyes Wide Shut, The Blair Witch Project, Election, Rushmore, Being John Malkovich, Election, The Virgin Suicides, Cruel Intentions, The Matrix…and many more! I wish American Psycho had been released in 1999; it would have been awesome to read more about that cinematic treasure. Raftery does a thorough job of not only presenting these movies, their stars, and their teams in interesting detail, but you also get some back history, as well. It’s obvious from the book that Raftery is a huge movie buff and also yet objective enough to deliver the good, bad, and the ugly about the whole business. It makes you want to revisit old favorites and check out ones you haven’t seen (The Wood). It also accomplishes taking you on a trip back in time 20 years ago, when we were all a lot younger, more idealistic. and all too willing to be taken along on this journey through a year that time could have forgotten. Instead, we were lucky enough to have seen some of, or all of, these classics the first time and many times since. What a great year it was; what a great treat to read and relive it again through Raferty’s pages.

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~ by generationgbooks on April 24, 2019.

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