A Decade in Film: The Nineties – 1993

This week Kate gives us her choices from 1993, when she was 12 years old, and didn’t know any better. You can also read her questionable picks for 1990, 1991 & 1992. Or the full Decade in Film list so far.

Wayne’s World 2

naked Indian

‘I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shopowner and his son… that’s a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes.’

I have a thing for sequels, particularly sequels which are better than the original. I know, as far as Wayne & Garth (and Bill & Ted, for that matter) are concerned, I am precisely the only person in the entire world who thinks that. But it’s my list, ok? Your list is allowed to be different. Email it to me, we can discuss it  while watching Naked Gun 33⅓ together.

Released just 22 months after the first film, the now famous duo return to put on rock concert, inspired by a dream apparition of Jim Morrison. Featuring the same mix of movie parodies, one liners and fourth wall breaking as the first film, but with the added bonus of Christopher Walken, Kim Basinger, Aerosmith, and lots of naked Indian. What’s not to love? Don’t answer that.

Malice

malice

‘You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.’

You think Alec Baldwin was arrogant as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock? You should see him in this. Dr Jed Hill is a brilliant bourbon fueled Harvard educated surgeon, who makes quite the impression on his new suburban town. Though it’s really all about Baldwin, he is joined by Nicole Kidman, Bill Pullman, Anne Bancroft and that creepy guy from the Saw movies. There’s also a cute cameo by Gwyneth Paltrow as a stroppy college student.

Fraught with red herrings, and the occasional Chekhov’s gun, Malice is a head fuck of medical drama, romance and cautionary tale. The late Roger Ebert described it as “the only movie I can recall in which an entire subplot about a serial killer is thrown in simply for atmosphere”. Co written by Aaron Sorkin (and we all know what that means), it’s almost impossible to mention the plot without giving something away. So I’ll just say that this year’s pick for sexiest thriller has way more naked flesh in it than my choice from 1992. You’re welcome.

Jurassic Park

jurassic park

Clever girl’

In which Spielberg builds a dinosaur theme park and then, instead of opening it to the public, selfishly decides to just make a film out of it. I’ve still not quite forgiven him for that one.

I can’t tell you anything about this movie you don’t already know. Featuring Richard Attenborough’s first acting role in 15 years, in the kindly yet slightly misguided Grandfather/King of the Dinosaurs role. Wayne Knight, even more infuriating than he was in Seinfeld, as the park’s sole computer programmer. And Jeff Goldblum, making maths sexy in his own inimitable style, while occasionally taking his top off to boot. Thankfully the book didn’t go to Warner Brothers, who wanted Tim Burton to direct. I’m not sure I could’ve coped with Johnny Depp doing his quirky take on ‘eaten by T.rex’. Jurassic Park IV is scheduled for release next year. Imagine.

The Fugitive

the fugitive

What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive’s name is Dr. Richard Kimble.

This film will always have a special place in my heart because the day I was due to see it at the cinema my boyfriend was ill, so got his older, better looking cousin to take me instead. Result. Based on the sixties tv show of the same name, The Fugitive is essentially a two hour long episode of 24. Set in the last few wilderness years before the Internet went mainstream, the old school technologies showcased in this film include VDU computers, line printers, photo booths, landlines, and photo negatives. Indeed, Kimble’s escape suffers from the fact that he has to use a payphone. He sure picked the wrong end of the decade to not kill his wife.

Tommy Lee Jones won the Oscar for his performance as the positively sprightly (honestly, I don’t remember him ever being this young) Deputy U.S. Marshal, with questionable jurisdiction over the manhunt for the wife murderer. There are cameos from Joe Pantoliano, Julianne Moore and the superb Jane Lynch. But the real star of the show is a whole heap of facial hair accompanied by Harrison Ford, as our train crash surviving, dam jumping, life saving, blind dusting hero. 

True Romance

true romance

‘Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record…’

Fuck Titanic, and other blockbusters of the same ilk, this is a proper love story. Surrounded by sociopathic drug dealers, gangsters, and cops, in what is a seriously violent film, culminating in a gigantic shootout, Clarence & Alabama are a one of cinema’s truly great romances.

Like Wayne’s World 2, True Romance features a protagonist driven by an apparition of a musical legend, and stars Christopher Walken. But this is where the similarities end. After Tony Scott’s untimely death last year, a lot of tributes focused on his work on Top Gun. I would consider this a more fitting showcase of his talent. Written by Pulp Fiction writers Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary, score by Hans Zimmer, and with a particularly strong cast list including Hopper, Gandolfini, Oldman, Pitt, Kilmer (ok, ok, I’ll stop saying names…) the film was the correct mix of box office flop and critical success to be forever labelled a cult classic. Look, I don’t normally care what you do. But I would urge you to watch this one.

Honourable mentions, in what was a truly magnificent year of film: PhiladelphiaDazed and ConfusedCool Runnings. Tune in next month, when I stand absolutely no chance of narrowing the films of 1994 down to a list of five.

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