90s Movies .net: Revisiting and recollecting the pieces of childhood. Topics include: 90s movies, songs, television shows, commercials, cartoons, comics, photographs, old advertisements, toys, and video games that remind me of simpler times.
Of all the archetypes, cliches, and tropes of 90s kids films, the bumbling villain is by far my favorite. Because of the stupid complaints of overprotective parents and silly religious groups, the studios had to find a way to make the evil characters in films less scary and more family-friendly. This was where the bumbling villain comes in. Although their motives are always the kidnapping, harm, or destruction of the main hero in the story, they never come off as threatening. Their unending ineptitude lets them constantly get outsmarted, outwitted, and outplayed. They are often being hit in the face or crotch and having to answer to their superiors for their inadequacy.
Out of respect for all of their hard work and gratitude for their hilarious antics, I decided to make a list of five of my favorite bumbling villains, for your reading pleasure.
Edgar “Eddie” Mauser, Norbert “Norby” LeBlaw and Victor “Veeko” Riley are the three moronic would-be kidnappers who disguise themselves as newspaper photographers in order to abduct the titular character of Baby’s Day Out, Baby Bink Crotwell, but their klutzy nature makes their criminal plans a bit difficult to carry out. Getting hit in the crotch, falling off of buildings, and being accosted by a gorilla is all in a day’s work for these three dimwitted dudes.
Folks who aren’t fans of horror often cite the lack of believability in horror as their primary gripe. To me, the fake melodrama and idiotic decisions by the main character actually add to the attraction. However, it’s a nice change of pace once in awhile to turn the tropes of slasher films on their heads and shake up the genre a bit.
However, in terms of 90s horror movies, many of them presented a sort of paint-by-numbers scare experience and fell completely flat. Fortunately, one director decided to throw out the rulebook and start from scratch and seemed to have had one hell of a fun time doing it.
I wrote this essay for a college class in 2007, but I recently decided to pick it up again and take a look at it. The sentiment described within and the 1996 publication date of Fight Club made this all seem very “90s” to me. Counter culture was on the upswing and Chuck Palahniuk swooped in at the perfect time to grab a hold of the overwhelming apathy, cynicism, and nihilism that has become so ingrained in American culture since then. It seems appropriate to post the essay in its entirety and let you judge for yourself. Enjoy.
The worth and social status of human beings are determined by their possessions, but this over-reliance on material products may strip people of individuality and identity. People often define themselves by the products that they buy. These products include the cars they drive, the houses they live in, the clothes they wear, and the size of their respective bank accounts. It is this obsession with bigger, better, faster, and more expensive products that has turned human beings into nothing more than machines of consumption. From birth to death, human beings are taught that the only way to truly be happy is to buy more and never settler for what they already have. This endless cycle of upgrading and dissatisfaction only lend to the jaded and hopeless state of humankind. Even with the best and newest monetary distractions, there is still an overwhelming sense of unhappiness and a lack of fulfillment. Human beings have essentially lost any semblance of their true identities.
While some have commented on this unfortunate trend, one novel remains at the forefront of this movement against consumerism—Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club, in its own darkly humorous way, tells the story of an unnamed narrator who happens to be an ineffectual man unhappy with his job and his life and is desperately searching for a way out. His only relief comes in the form of a man named Tyler Durden who is the inventor and de facto leader of a series of underground boxing matches called Fight Club. These Fight Clubs are a place for the common working men of society to come and release all of their anger and frustration with consumer culture by physically abusing one another. Little does the narrator know, though, that these Fight Clubs are the doorway to a much bigger movement in which there are no rules, no boundaries, and no way to stop it. The narrator soon realizes that Tyler Durden is more than just an entity, but rather, he is a part of the narrator himself. This revelation violently shakes up the narrator’s quiet little world and forces him to come to terms with his own moral dilemmas and face the awful truth that he does not truly know who or what he is. Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is an inexorable commentary of humankind’s loss of identity by means of materialism and a society driven by mass consumption. Through the struggles regarding his own suffering, the dichotomy of his own psyche, and the burden of having his life defined by the covetous nature of society, the narrator is stripped of his identity and forced to redefine himself based on the confines of a rigid capitalistic nation as well as an anarchistic underground subculture while never truly finding fulfillment or oneness along the way.
Ah, memories. There’s nothing quite like remembering the movies you saw multiple times in theaters as a youngster and their long-lasting impact on your moviegoing life. The sticky floors, the dusty seats, and the crowded theaters stinking of popcorn, pretzels, and fake cheese spread. Those were the days.
Jurassic Park hit theaters in 1993 which would have made me roughly 7 years old. I distinctly remember being super excited for this film and begging my parents to take me on opening night. My parents even seemed enthusiastic about watching it and who could blame them? Summer “popcorn” flicks of the early 90s always delivered the entertainment they promised. Even in the case of box office duds, the showmanship and production quality was still there. These films were always more than enough to satisfy the pre-teen action junkie in all of us.
On a distant Costa Rican island way out in the Pacific, a rich philanthropist known as John Hammond and a small team of brilliant genetic scientists have found a scientifically-impossible method of cloning dinosaurs from the blood inside of ancient mosquitoes trapped in amber. Instead of showcasing this marvelous discovery for the scientific community and doing some real good in the world, Hammond decides to open up a theme park. How American of him.
It’s easy to gaze into the past and see things that you used to love as a child and to cherish them into adulthood because of your previous association and affection for them, but sometimes looking backwards in time through rose colored glasses doesn’t work. Maybe there are just some pieces of consumable media that, for whatever reason, you loved as a kid, but you grow up and realize that they’re absolute trash. Disney’s Blank Check is a perfect example of this duality of taste.
Blank Check, at its most stripped-down definition, is a film about a 12-year-old boy named Preston is given a blank check after his bike is destroyed. After doing the good, honest thing and forging the check to read $1,000,000, Preston has a ball spending the money until the gangsters he ripped off come looking for him.
However, what seems like a somewhat original premise is executed in the most paint-by-numbers, obscenely trite way onscreen.
The characters make absolutely no sense and their motivations are so muddled. Preston’s dad, for instance, is incredibly hard on the boy for not being an entrepreneur at 12 years old. His two older, meathead brothers have started their own business, but they don’t even know how to use a computer. Preston’s father lays on plenty of guilt for his lack of business savvy because, y’know, 12 year olds should be trading on Wall Street and shit.