Top Ten and Bottom Feeders

10) Joe Eszterhas. A one-man cottage industry of misogynist sleaze, Eszterhas reached new lows in 1995 with sordid scum such as Showgirls and putrescent junk like Jade. Pray that he's hit bottom.

I could go on and on. For every good film there was a turkey. On the one hand, you could make a case for signs of intelligent life in the moviemaking universe with the sudden popularity of classics by one author: Jane Austen. There was Persuasion, as well as Emma Thompson's wise and witty adaption of Sense and Sensibility, and the delightful social satire Clueless, which owes a debt to Austen's Emma. Meanwhile, you could bemoan the atrocities visited upon Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Mercifully, the promise of nudity, masturbation, Demi Moore's surgically enhanced cleavage, and a happy ending did not lure enough moviegoers into theaters to prevent that last-named abomination from receiving an F at the box office. It was that kind of year; plenty of good stuff out there if you knew where to look, appalling rubbish if you didn't.

That's where I come in. They pay me the big bucks to steer you right, and I take that responsibility seriously. Which brings me full circle to my top-ten list. It may not be the most comprehensive, but it comes from the heart. I can only hope fans of Buzz and Tricky Dick understand.

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