Are we having fun yet?…Actually, this decade was better than I thought…at least at the top.

At least if you don’t bring none of them boring old morals into it.

Still dreading the post-millennium.

1990 The Grifters (Stephen Frears) (and what a way to open a Decade of Decline!…over Bad Influence, Metropolitan and Pump Up the Volume)

1991 The Doors (Oliver Stone) (over Robin Hood (Patrick Bergin version), JFK (Oliver Stone’s one good year!) and Point Break (still Kathryn Bigelow’s best)

1992 The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Curtis Hanson) (over One False Move and The Player)


1993 Gettysburg (Ron Maxwell) (over Schindler’s List, The Fugitive, Groundhog Day, Matinee and The Wrong Man)

1994 Fresh (Boaz Yakin) (over Barcelona and Ed Wood (Tim Burton’s best…by miles))

1995 To Die For (Gus Van Sant) (over Mighty Aphrodite, Sense and Sensibility and Toy Story)

1996 Grace of My Heart (Allison Anders) (over Freeway, Jerry McGuire and That Thing You Do)

1997 Wag the Dog (Barry Levinson) (over Grosse Pointe Blank, Jackie Brown and The Peacemaker)

1998 A Perfect Murder (Andrew Davis) (over Shakespeare in Love, Croupier and The Mask of Zorro)

1999 The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella) (over Ride With the Devil and, by the thinnest of margins, Dick…if only because “the nineties” was not a decade that deserved to die laughing)

Next, the new millennium…feel my heart go pitter-patter.


The Bangles/The Bangles

Prompted by a combination of fondly recalled eighties-era MTV browsing (especially a certain combination of Vicki Peterson, a fringe-mini, a guitar and “Walk Like An Egyptian”) and a cheapie deal on Amazon, I finally found myself in possession of The Bangles Greatest Hits on video. Popped it in and found it all up to snuff.

Not much art in anything except the music (which I already had plenty of in various other formats). But the one-two combo of “Walking Down Your Street” and “In My Room” finally allowed me to put my finger on them.

They were the one great eighties’ band for whom the seventies need never have happened. I mean, you could have set them down in 1966 and they would have fit right in.

I think I missed the obvious for so long because so many people used to say the same thing about the Go-Gos. Since I knew that wasn’t really true (though I always understood how Charlotte Caffey’s occasional, mind-bending nods to classical surf guitar could create confusion), I think my mind threw up defenses that were almost bound to remain in place long after they were needed.

I might have cottoned sooner, except that I somehow missed the “Walking Down Your Street” video back in the day. In that one, they play a contest-winning garage band (long before That Thing You Do turned the concept into pure pleasure) who get to appear on some Shindig-style show with Little Richard–and then proceed to eat up his stage time while he frets back-stage.

After that, the hipster psychedelia of the “In Your Room” video–which was the other thing besides that fringe-mini that I really wanted to test my memory against–finally made sense.

All this in the midst of the chiming guitars, the perfect harmony and the tightly edited, high-class soft-core money shots gleaming forth one after another.

Totally awesome.