Brad Bird directs the animated feature based on the Ted Hughes book

‘The Iron Giant’ – A boy and his robot buddy – free on Hoopla

BThe giddiest moments of The Iron Giant (1999), a delightful throwback to the classic era of hand-drawn animated movies, deliver the most amazing little boy wish fulfillment fantasies. But there’s much more to Brad Bird’s cartoon fable in science fiction clothing and fairy tale trappings is a delightful throwback to the classic era of hand-drawn animated movies.

‘Topsy-Turvy’ – Gilbert and Sullivan reborn on Criterion Channel

Set in the world of London theater in the mid-1880s, Topsy-Turvy (1999) tackles the creative partnership between W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, the reigning kings of light operetta, at a turning in their career. Their work has become repetitive, their latest show a disappointment, and the partnership is under strain as composer Sullivan (Allan […]

‘Being John Malkovich’ on Peacock

Being John Malkovich (1999), a devastatingly funny portrait of unhappiness, desperation, desire, and the vicious things we do for love, catapulted Spike Jonze from music video wunderkind to visionary director and Charlie Kaufman from sitcom scribe to brilliant screenwriter. In 1999, when our obsession with celebrity was mainly fed by gossip magazines and entertainment programs, […]

Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy just want to put on a picture show in the affectionate Hollywood lampoon written by Martin and directed by Frank Oz.

Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in ‘Bowfinger’ on HBO Max

Bowfinger (1999), Steve Martin’s tribute to shoestring filmmaking and big-screen dreams, is a loving lampoon that gamely straddles the chasm between cynical con-artistry and benign innocence. Martin wrote the film and stars as commercial director and would-be filmmaker Bobbie Bowfinger, a Hollywood dreamer with more chutzpah than talent. When he stumbles upon the perfect, a […]

Reese Witherspoon in Alexander Payne's satire 'Election' with Matthew Broderick

‘Election’ – Vote Tracy Flick on Amazon Prime and Paramount+

Election (1999), Alexander Payne’s wicked satire of power and (social) politics set in the overheated incubator of a high school student body election, is as sharp and perceptive now as it was in 1999. Matthew Broderick is the passionately dedicated and somewhat condescending civics teacher Jim McAllister, whose extra-curricular involvement helps compensate for a passionless […]

Johnny Depp and Frank Langella in the 1999 thriller directed by Roman Polanski

Johnny Depp searches for ‘The Ninth Gate’ on Amazon Prime Video

The horror of Roman Polanski is not about spectacle and shock, but a goose-pimply sense of something evil lurking just outside the frame and hidden behind the faces of its slightly unsettling characters. At times The Ninth Gate (1999), adapted from the novel The Club Dumas by Arturo Perez-Reverte, recaptures the beautiful uneasiness of such […]

William Shatner in the film director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman

‘Free Enterprise’ – It’s a geek world on Amazon Prime Video

Free Enterprise (1999) is in some ways yet another Gen-X Peter Pan story of young adults living their lives through pop culture references while avoiding real world responsibility, but director Robert Meyer Burnett and co-writer Mark A. Altman definitely know their world of movie and media saturated SF geeks with dreams of making it in […]