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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Best Movies of the 90s (as chosen by me!)

As a child of the 90s, movies from this era are like comfort food for me.  Familiar, funny and no surprises.  I know that this decade had lots of intense films like Schindler's List and The English Patient, but when I was nine years old that wasn't exactly where my interests were.  These movies are perfect to watch when you're feeling grumpy, just got dumped or battling off a cold and a bad case of the "woe is me" disease.  I defy you to watch these and not feel like a giddy pre-teen afterwards.

Empire Records (1995)
This lands very high on my all time list of favorite movies.  I kind of can't even watch it with other people any more because I turn into one of those annoying fans who pre-laughs at the jokes and says every line along with the cast.  I've always enjoyed movies that just focus on one awesome day from start to finish.  You can watch Liv Tyler strip for an aging pop star, drool over Johnny Whitworth's spot on portrayal of an angsty 90s boy with a crush (AJ) and memorize every clever thing Lucas (Rory Chocrane) says to annoy your friends with later.  Oh, and you'll also be dying to quit your job to work in a music store.  I've done it, it's not exactly like the movie.  You spend all day trying to convince people not to buy Nickleback albums, not dancing to Gin Blossoms.  Which reminds me....the soundtrack is a perfect collection of amazing 90s indie.  Ten out of Ten.  If you don't watch the movie, make sure you catch the soundtrack.  PS: I am so obsessed with this Empire inspired editorial Erin Wasson did.

Wayne's World (1992)
I used to watch this, rewind it and watch it again.  Over and over and over.  Why my mom allowed me to waste entire days watching the same movie is beyond me, but I suppose when you're watching Wayne's World it's never really a waste.  This film single handedly reintroduced Bohemian Rhapsody to an entire generation, and if that's not a good enough reason to watch it, I don't know what is.  In fact, let's watch that wonderful scene now.

Ah, wasn't that magical.  It's just two guys who are best friends having fun with their stupid TV show, we should all be so lucky to have a friendship like Wayne and Garth have.  It's so much fun watching your favorite movies years later so you can understand all the "adult" jokes that flew right over your head as a kid.  "Chinese huh?  I'll have the cream of sumyoungguy"  Heh.  Also, soundtrack on this one is killer as well.  Seven out of Ten.  That might end up being a note on every movie....the 90s had awesome soundtracks.

Now And Then (1995)
Yes, a 90s movie set in the 70s.  A coming of age story featuring an all star cast including Christina Ricci, Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnel, Thora Birch and loads more.  There is nothing quite like the bond among thirteen year old girlfriends.  The girls are trying to raise money for their tree house and in their attempt to collect the money, wacky hijinks ensue.  Imagine That.  It's cute, fun and will give you the burning desire to call up your middle school friends and ask her to make a scrapbook with you.  Then you'll remember that she was probably a bitch who sent you notes in class telling you that you bell bottoms and squishy gel flower shirt didn't match.  Just me, then?  Shut up, junior high was a rough time for me.  I didn't have Christina Ricci!  Soundtrack full of cute 70s hits?  Eight out of Ten.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Oooooh, Leo is so dreamy.  Kiss my hand, Leo!  Me too!  No seriously, that was me shouting at the TV the entire time I watched this movie, and I don't even like guys with long hair.  What I do love is modern adaptations of Shakespeare and this one especially because they manage to completely update the story while retaining the original dialogue.  Educate the kids a bit, but put lots of guns and cute boys in so you can hold their attention.  Fantastic.  I wouldn't suggest this one after a break up, for obvious reasons, although it might cheer you up to know (spoiler alert) they both die at the end.  Yaaaaay romance!  (PS.  Soundtrack = awesome, obviously.  Garbage, Radiohead and The Cardigans?  Ten out of Ten)

Idle Hands (1999)
I really, really love a good stoner comedy.  This one featuring a stoner who is so damn lazy that his hand get posessed by the devil and starts killing people against his will.  It features Seth Green at his hilarious best, and Jessica Alba before she got all famous and insufferable.  Well, she's still kind of insufferable but she looks really good so we tolerate her.  Wow, I think I just summarized her entire career.  Devon Sawa stars as our high satanic hero and his acting is amazing.  No, really, it is.  You try and pretend like your hand is moving without your control and see how believeable you can make it!  All in all, it's hilarious, easy-watching fun.  The so-so but it still has Rob Zombie, The Ramones and Sublime so I'll give it a six and a half.

Clueless (1995)
You didn't actually think I would forget Clueless, did you?  Oh where to begin?  Cher's amazing outfits, Brittany Murphy as a scruffy, grungy loser or Dionne, who will always be the coolest woman ever!  This movie pretty much defined my generation.  Every girl at school wanted to be Cher Horowitz.  Wanted to dress just like Dionne, and I love that fact that in the above photo she is wearing a velour, collared sweater in California.  Oh, 90s fashion, how you make me giggle.  The soundtrack features both Coolio and Radiohead, so naturally I'm giving it an eight out of ten.  It was also how I started my enormous, painful, ongoing crush on Paul Rudd because....really...look at him.
He is such a Baldwin.

Dazed and Confused (1993)
Another stoner comedy that focuses on the last day of school in 1976.  This movie makes me envy my parents SO much that they got to grow up during this era.  It focuses on Randy "Pink" Floyd, a jock who secretly hangs out with the stoners and slackers much to the disapproval of his football coach.  It touches on all the classic high school cliches: the geeks trying to fit it, the nervous freshman, bitchy senior girls and creepy older guys who love high school girls because "I keep getting older, they stay the same age."  Gross.  It also features Ben Affleck as an absolute jackass named Roy.  He plays it so well, it kind of makes you wonder if he's a dick in real life.  The soundtrack is the ultimate classic rock collection.  Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Kiss, Foghat, Alice Cooper and loads more.  It's a ten out of ten, for sure.  

Ever After (1998)
I don't like romantic movies and even I'm not immune to the shmoopy romance of Ever After.  Drew Barrymore was a 90s queen and her characters are just so darn relate able.  It's another update on an old classic, this time re-telling the classic Cinderella story, only this one is a bit feistier than her Disney counterpart.    Her father dies and she's left with her evil step mother, but she's a strong willed little shit and manages to snatch the princes heart away from her step-sisters.  It's a feast for the eyes and has a genius twist of Leonardo Da Vinci as her fairy godmother!  So clever.  The soundtrack, unfortunately, sucks.  It's all score music and Enya, a complete bore.  Stick with the movie and you'll be covering yourself in glitter and speaking in a crappy english accent in no time! 

Right, I still have more movies to review but I have to go to work so.....stay tuned for part two!

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