So Orel's post yesterday got me thinking: what has been the best movie year of my (conscious) lifetime? Keep in mind, I'm not talking about the year with the best two or three movies; I'm talking about the best entire lineup, one through nine.
Also, it's based on how much I liked the movie at the time it came out, not how much I like it today. For example, today I might not enjoy Gremlins as much as I did back in 1984. It doesn't matter - what matters is how much I enjoyed it when it came out in 1984. Similarly, I don't think I would have enjoyed, say, Up In The Air much as a 13 year old as I did 3 weeks ago when I saw it as an adult. But it would get high marks in this context because, lucky for it, it came out when I was an adult.
So, after a little more thought and research, I hereby confirm my initial assertion: 1984 was the best movie year of my lifetime. The only real competition was 1997. Here's a side-by-side comparison of their respective batting orders:
|Romancing the Stone - I never really think of this movie as one of my favorites, but I really enjoyed it at the time. A poor man's Indiana Jones. Designated leadoff hitter.||L.A. Confidential|
|The Karate Kid - Solid, Jeter-like production from the 2-hole.||Con Air|
|Ghost Busters - MVP of the team. Must maximize at-bats by putting it #3.||Good Will Hunting|
|Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom - Although it was my least favorite of the trilogy (I guess now it's a four-logy), it still blew me away, and is thus awarded the cleanup spot. The PG-13 controversy from the ripping-the-heart-out-of-the-chest scene was a bonus.||The Lost World: Jurassic Park|
|The Terminator - Offers Temple of Doom formidable protection - who would dare pitch around it to face Arnold at his best?||Life is Beautiful|
|Gremlins - Phoebe Cates + Killer Christmas Tree + Phoebe Cates = 6-hole.||Titanic|
|Beverly Hills Cop - I'm not sure how this drops down to #7, but man the profanity was cool and edgy.||Austin Powers|
|This is Spinal Tap - To me, this movie has gotten better with age, but it gets the 8-hole because I'm judging it on how much I liked it at the time - which was still a lot.||Boogie Nights|
|Cloak & Dagger - I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much I liked it, but I remember seeing it and really wanting to be a spy.||Men In Black|
Interestingly, none of the 1984 movies are probably among my top 10 all-time. Part of that is because my tastes are different now, but I also think it speaks to the depth of field. And riding the 1984 bench are Top Secret!, Purple Rain, Nightmare on Elm Street, Sixteen Candles, and Hot Dog...The Movie, to name a few - films that would start on most other lineups.
So what do you guys think? Was there a better year than 1984?