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Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

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Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Old 01-09-15, 02:13 PM
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Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

An article on Screen Junkies ( LINK )

text of the article (in spoiler tags)
Spoiler:

"Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't"
(by Dustin Seibert)

When I was a teenager in the 1990s, New Jack City was, quite simply, the s***. It ushered in a glut of films centered around black American gang and drug culture, which were in full upswing throughout the 1980s and into the early part of the succeeding decade. Mario Van Peebles’ directorial debut managed to make Wesley Snipes’ Nino Brown simultaneously enviable and detestable, and the film employed a who’s-who of black acting talent (well, maybe rapping and stand-up comedy talent masquerading as “actors”) of the era.

Fast forward more than two decades, and the movie hurts a bit to watch. When compared to the superbly well-acted crime dramas in the aughts, the ham-fisted dialogue and formulaic pacing in New Jack City doesn’t hold up so well. It’s one of many movies from the 1990s that received critical and commercial acclaim at the time, but aren’t that good anymore thanks to elevated expectations.

There are quite a few movies from the decade of Malcolm X hats, high-top fades and rayon shirts that were beloved at the time but didn’t hold up very well…and, of course, there were several that are still worth watching today.

SCI-FI

Held up: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – I’ve gotten into a healthy amount of debates in defense of this being one of, if not the, greatest science fiction movie of all time. James Cameron actually managed to one-up the classic 1984 original by creating a flick that contains heart, awesome action sequences and then-bleeding-edge special effects. Props also to Cameron for documenting the last time anyone liked Eddie Furlong.

Not so much: Species (1995) – Looking at Natasha Henstridge was the very best thing about this movie — not the several Oscar-winning and -nominated actors in its cast. The premise: A gorgeous lethal lizard lady picks up and screws guys to become impregnated by them before killing them violently. And she must be stopped before she creates a killer alien brood! It was kinda cool at the time, but it’s incapable of being taken seriously in 2015.

BLACK GANGSTER FILMS

Held up: Menace II Society (1993) – I recently re-watched this as well. The authenticity of the portrayal of violent youth in Los Angeles is not hamstrung too much by Tyrin Turner’s non-acting ass, and 18-year-old Larenz Tate’s O-Dog is still a blast to watch as the F-bomb-slinging America’s Worst Nightmare. If you want a laugh, try to find the edited version on network TV somewhere.

Not so much: South Central (1992) – Though South Central got a lot of indie props back in the day, it likely doesn’t come up in conversations about memorable early-90s hood films. Maybe because the acting is that bad. Glenn Plummer, aka Tune Man from the Speed movies, heads a cast of players who are nowhere to be found on anything on IMDB from the past decade. The story of O.G. Bobby Johnson is a compelling one for its time, but it’s like the director took the first take of everything he shot and ran with it.

WHITE GANGSTER FILMS

Held up: GoodFellas (1990) – Still my favorite Martin Scorsese film, this heavily quotable masterpiece featured Bobby DeNiro and Joe Pesci at the beginning of their respective primes. Send me a tweet or something if you can find just one person who says, “Wow, I loved Goodfellas 25 years ago, but it sucks now.”

Not so much: King of New York (1990) – I’m interested in having this film play in the background while I’m doing something more important only so I can look up from time to time to see certain things, including a young Wesley Snipes and Larry Fishburne in a gun battle. Compelling as it is to see Christopher Walken’s Frank White ham it up, the movie as a whole is not memorable, despite having inspired The Notorious B.I.G.

EPIC DISASTER FLICKS

Held up: Umm... does Dumb and Dumber count?

Not so much: Everything – Armageddon, Independence Day, Deep Impact... the list of terrible movies that killed it at the box office thanks to fascinating trailers featuring the Statue of Liberty in tatters goes on and on. They were all interesting at the time and worth seeing on the big screen, but dusting off your old DVD collection to see Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum do the most incredulous crap in the history of movies to beat the bad guys is not the move.

ROMANTIC FILMS

Held up: Jerry Maguire (1996) - Tom Cruise has done a lot of movies both memorable and atrocious over his three decade-plus career. Jerry Maguire is my favorite Tom Cruise film of all time, and it gets better every time I watch it. Cameron Crowe peaked with this flick (or maybe 2000's Almost Famous?); while Jerry Maguire might not fit as neatly in the romantic category as, say, The Bridges of Madison County, it’s a love story at its core.

Not so much: Shakespeare in Love (1998) – I’d discuss this movie honestly and openly in this space, but I don’t think there is enough RAM on my computer to process all the swear-word gerunds and adjectives I have for it.

HORROR

Held up: The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – I didn’t appreciate this film very much as a 10-year-old, but dammit, I was 10. Anthony Hopkins’ best movie felt a decade older than it was when it came out, and it’s still every bit as compelling 24 years later. Too bad Ted Levine never did anything truly meaningful after Buffalo Bill.

Not so much: The Blair Witch Project (1999) – Let’s be honest: This movie was never actually that good. Why it got so much attention and basically served as the progenitor of “found footage” movies we’d all be better off without is still lost on me. Alas, it made a bunch of money, spawned a somehow less-enjoyable sequel and made me question humanity.

PRISON DRAMAS

Held up: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – The best movie of all time, still and maybe always. From every player’s immaculate acting to the booming score to truly loathsome villains to Morgan Freeman’s voice-over to a denouement that actually resonates instead of being overtly Hollywood, it’s a master class in filmmaking. This is the stuff on the curriculum of your otherwise lame-ass film studies class.

Not so much: Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor (1993) – ¡Ayyy carnaaaaaal! This three hour, 10-minute behemoth of a crime drama was epic and fun to watch when I was a teenager, and it’s still fun to watch right now….just not as an example of elite acting or filmmaking. The brutality in the film’s extended prison sequence predates many other sobering depictions of life behind bars in cinema, and it’s a great flick for you ladies to peep a young Benjamin Bratt. But it’s not like you need to see this before you die or anything.



Just the list of what held up (according to the article's writer, not necessarily me):

SCI-FI: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
BLACK GANGSTER FILMS: Menace II Society (1993)
WHITE GANGSTER FILMS: GoodFellas (1990)
EPIC DISASTER FLICKS: none (...unless Dumb and Dumber counts)
ROMANTIC FILMS: Jerry Maguire (1996)
HORROR: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
PRISON DRAMAS: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)


Just the list of what didn't hold up (according to the article's writer, not necessarily me):

SCI-FI: Species (1995)
BLACK GANGSTER FILMS: South Central (1992)
WHITE GANGSTER FILMS: King of New York (1990)
EPIC DISASTER FLICKS: Everything – Armageddon, Independence Day, Deep Impact, ...
ROMANTIC FILMS: Shakespeare in Love (1998)
HORROR: The Blair Witch Project (1999)
PRISON DRAMAS: Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor (1993)


Not a bad article. (The only pick I would loudly disagree with is the steaming dung heap Jerry Maguire - IMO, it is far, far worse than Shakespeare in Love and would be my pick for "Not Holding Up" while my pick for a '90s Romantic Film that does hold up would be Before Sunrise.)

So what do you think of the article writer's picks? Which ones would you change for these categories for '90s movies you think held up and which didn't hold up? (And add other categories if you can think of movies for both "did" and "didn't" hold up.)

(You can use the template below)

categories:

SCI-FI
BLACK GANGSTER FILMS
WHITE GANGSTER FILMS
EPIC DISASTER FLICKS
ROMANTIC FILMS
HORROR
PRISON DRAMAS

Last edited by dhmac; 01-09-15 at 03:32 PM.
Old 01-09-15, 02:16 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

King of New York still stands the test of time. So does Blood in Blood Out but you have to be Latino.
Old 01-09-15, 02:30 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

He talks about "not holding up" but when I saw the list and saw Shakespeare in Love and The Blair Witch Project I knew he hated them back in the 90s. Clicked on the spoiler tag and found I was exactly right. Since he clearly doesn't understand the very concept he's writing about, he's easy to dismiss.

Plus, he's 100% wrong about The Blair Witch Project spawning "found footage" films, because if there's one rule about copycat films, it's that you strike while the iron is hot (I.E., Italy did not start cranking out Road Warrior/Escape From New York clones in the late 90s...they did it mid 80s). There was at least 7-8 years between Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity and the other found footage films that flood the horror genre.
Old 01-09-15, 02:40 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
King of New York still stands the test of time. So does Blood in Blood Out but you have to be Latino.




I disagree about TBWP, which IMO is one of the greatest horror films of all time. I also agree with the OP about Jerry Maguire being a steaming dung heap.
Old 01-09-15, 02:56 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

TBWP held up fine, it's just a tired trend. Next to other movies in it's genre, it's still a solid example of how to do it right.

One movie I think has aged poorly is The Matrix. The posturing, outfits, and over-used-like-crazy-past-15 years slow mo are kind of cringe inducing these days.
Old 01-09-15, 03:03 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
One movie I think has aged poorly is The Matrix. The posturing, outfits, and over-used-like-crazy-past-15 years slow mo are kind of cringe inducing these days.
See, here's someone who understands the concept. "Not standing the test of time" means a movie was great way back when, but when you watch it now you say "wow...I can't believe I liked this". It happens. Naw, this guy (who wrote the original article) just hated some popular 90s movies, and wants another chance to slam on them again.
Old 01-09-15, 03:32 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Saturday Night Fever. God what a POS. Chick just talks to this guy for 30 seconds at the end and decides to become friends even though he tried to rape her just the night before.
Old 01-09-15, 03:42 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Stupid list mainly because the comparison films are so unlike one another. Jerry Maguire vs Shakespeare in Love? Kind of strange. Were disaster movies ever good, like the ones from the 70s? Not really. Species always sucked. I haven't seen South Central and a couple other flicks. I disagree with some others that Jerry Maguire is crap. It's probably one of the best Tom Cruise movies from the 90s, save for Eyes Wide Shut and his great role in Magnolia. His early 90s stuff doesn't really hold up that well (but are enjoyable enough simply because others like A Few Good Men and The Firm had great casts). I wouldn't list The Matrix either, and think its sequels are significantly underrated. Any American John Woo movie from the 90s, save for Face/Off (but still heavily used in it) used slo mo more embarrassingly. Bullet time was always silly, but it was very effective for the movie (black outfits are cringe inducing? I'm not sure what posturing means in film, is that like striking a pose?). My dad to this day still calls movies that have silly slo mo as having "a John Woo moment", and he's not even much of a film junkie (at least not since the 70s).
Old 01-09-15, 03:46 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

I haven't seen South Central in well over 15 years (Even when it became a permanent fixture in the early days of the Wal-Mart $5 bins) but I remember everyone I knew who saw it back then liked it. I'm sure it's acting & preachy screenplay will seem dated today, but I'd really love to see how the fx & makeup holds up. Because that movie contained THE most realistically shocking gunshot hit/wound from a 12-gauge shotgun that I've ever seen in a movie.
Old 01-09-15, 03:59 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by Brack View Post
Stupid list mainly because the comparison films are so unlike one another. Jerry Maguire vs Shakespeare in Love? Kind of strange. Were disaster movies ever good, like the ones from the 70s? Not really. Species always sucked. I haven't seen South Central and a couple other flicks. I disagree with some others that Jerry Maguire is crap. It's probably one of the best Tom Cruise movies from the 90s, save for Eyes Wide Shut and his great role in Magnolia. His early 90s stuff doesn't really hold up that well (but are enjoyable enough simply because others like A Few Good Men and The Firm had great casts). I wouldn't list The Matrix either, and think its sequels are significantly underrated. Any American John Woo movie from the 90s, save for Face/Off (but still heavily used in it) used slo mo more embarrassingly. Bullet time was always silly, but it was very effective for the movie (black outfits are cringe inducing? I'm not sure what posturing means in film, is that like striking a pose?). My dad to this day still calls movies that have silly slo mo as having "a John Woo moment", and he's not even much of a film junkie (at least not since the 70s).
Yeah, posing, like Trinity striking a pose after kicking ass. I know it's standard in martial art movies, but it just looks a bit out of place. I always thought the last 90 minutes of Matrix Reloaded was a really solid action flick. Hated Revolutions though.
Old 01-09-15, 04:11 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by EctoCooler View Post
Saturday Night Fever. God what a POS. Chick just talks to this guy for 30 seconds at the end and decides to become friends even though he tried to rape her just the night before.
The one thing you can say about Saturday Night Fever as a 90s movie is that it was definitely ahead of its time!
Old 01-09-15, 04:44 PM
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Species, though boasting a cool creature design, and all-star cast, and a few nifty sci-fi ideas, is basically just a movie for people too self conscious to rent softcore porn .
Old 01-09-15, 04:55 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Yeah, posing, like Trinity striking a pose after kicking ass. I know it's standard in martial art movies, but it just looks a bit out of place. I always thought the last 90 minutes of Matrix Reloaded was a really solid action flick. Hated Revolutions though.
Ah, like that and when Neo would pause after the beat down that was in the lobby gun fight. I can see that as kind of silly, but I always thought of The Matrix movies as live-action anime.

I could have done without the Zion scenes (in both sequels) in the way they were written. I just didn't care about any of those characters. I still get more enjoyment out of the trilogy as a whole than most franchise series.
Old 01-09-15, 05:00 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
TBWP held up fine, it's just a tired trend. Next to other movies in it's genre, it's still a solid example of how to do it right.
Yes. Count me among those who think Blair Witch... was ground-breaking, bracing, and close to, but not quite, superb. There were those who were made sick by the jittery camerawork, and it's understandable that they hated it, but I just don't see how anyone could find it lame, except for those who went in expecting a gorefest or traditional scare pic.
Old 01-09-15, 05:59 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

The most dated fucking movie of the 90s...

Old 01-09-15, 06:01 PM
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I haven't seen it in years, but if my memory serves me what I found most problematic about it was how annoying I found the central characters.
Old 01-09-15, 06:03 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by hanshotfirst1138 View Post
I haven't seen it in years, but if my memory serves me what I found most problematic about it was how annoying I found the central characters.
That too.
Old 01-09-15, 06:28 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by Norm de Plume View Post
There were those who were made sick by the jittery camerawork, and it's understandable that they hated it, but I just don't see how anyone could find it lame, except for those who went in expecting a gorefest or traditional scare pic.
Ways that The Blair Witch Project completely sucks:
- Too much shaky-cam
- 3 annoying idiots as the leads (so annoying and so stupid, they had me cheering for the witch by the end)
- Not enough plot to justify its 81 minute running time (it's about twice what it should be)
- Not scary at all (it amazes me that anyone finds this movie remotely scary)

(And, yes, I saw The Blair Witch Project again recently - just back in October - and it was much worse than I remembered)
Old 01-09-15, 06:31 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

The Matrix still holds up to me, but then again I really enjoy it and is one of the movies that I find to be always rewatchable.
Old 01-09-15, 10:02 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Titanic is a pretty epic disaster movie that holds up.
Old 01-09-15, 10:08 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

I'm pretty sure the only reason anyone really cared about "Species" is that Natasha Henstridge gets nekkid.

"Independence Day" doesn't, but "Men In Black" does. The ying & yang of the Will Smith superpower era.
Old 01-09-15, 10:09 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
The Matrix still holds up to me, but then again I really enjoy it and is one of the movies that I find to be always rewatchable.
The thing that hurts The Matrix is its sequels. Do a mindwipe of those and just watch the original as a standalone movie and it holds up well. (Not in a mindblowing way, but just holds up well.)
Old 01-09-15, 10:19 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

I can watch Species as the cheesy sci-fi/horror B-movie it is. Nothing more, nothing less.

But its sequels... those are completely unwatchable.
Old 01-09-15, 10:46 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Seven Movies That Still Hold Up
1. T2
2. Pulp Fiction
3. 12 Monkeys
4. The Sixth Sense
5. Dumb & Dumber
6. Disney Animation (The first half)
7. Toy Story

Movies That Don't Hold Up
1. Forest Gump
2. The Matrix
3. Titanic
4. Independence Day
5. Jurassic Park
6. Kevin Costner Movies
7. Twister
Old 01-09-15, 10:54 PM
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Re: Seven '90s Movies That Stand the Test of Time... And Seven That Don't

Titanic and Jurassic Park absolutely hold up.

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