Time has a way of rolling on doesn’t it? The 1990s were a great hodge-podge of 1980s leftovers and a the future all rolled into one. So it stands to reason that some of the movies we got from that time, even though they were completed, sort of felt incomplete upon their release 20 years ago. In fact, it seems to take something like a 20th anniversary for certain films to be deemed important. It might lead one to ask if the 1990s had any classic or iconic movies?
It would be easy to write a lot of these films off. Lord knows many a critic did, however, when you take a solid look at this list, many of these films have stood the test of time. Some of have even become iconic movies. The mere fact that they are even on a list of this nature is a testament to this.
What made the 1990s the fun, semi-easy going decade it appeared to be? Was it really even that way at all? Lets be honest, many of the problems we faced then we still face today. The biggest issue is that most of them are bigger.
And that speaks to something else. We need the movies to give us respite from all this. Looking at this list, titles like Boogie Nights, Good Burger, the Star Wars Special Editions, all offer this brief reprieve in their own little ways. Yet, those films, and the rest of the movies on this list are very much “of” their time. However, classic movies are not a dime a dozen and that is what some of the films on this list are, which we’ve completely plundered thanks to IMDB.
1997. It seems hard to believe that it was 20 years ago. Even harder to believe is the way the motion picture industry has changed since then. The fact that some of the films on this list might not even get a theatrical release today is very telling. So, sit back, put on your favorite multi-colored button-up shirt and rolled up jeans, and enjoy 20 Films Turning 20 in 2017. Now some of these are not the best movies of 1997, but they were memorable for other reasons. You might laugh, you might cry, but you’ll most certainly have memories!
This, in fact, was one of the best movies of 1997. Titanic is an iconic movie. It also falls into the category of being a classic movie. Was it 20 years ago that we all fell love with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet? This tale of true love being met with tragedy aboard the R.M.S. Titanic was no easy feat for director James Cameron to pull off. There were some major health issues on the set that ultimately culminated with the director needing to take a siesta for a bit. Titanic is a big, bold film. It recalls such movies as Gone With the Wind and Wuthering Heights. And sadly, 1997 would mark the last year that such a film was released. Sure, there have been big movies since, but they were generally genre movies. The costs of making films has skyrocketed. It’s ironic that the last guy to make a true cinema classic, is the guy leading the charge to create bigger genre films today. The 20th anniversary of this film is bound to be big indeed.
Men in Black
While not what most people would consider a seminal franchise, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones sure did seem to be having a great time together, right? This tale of a police officer (Smith) being recruited by Tommy Lee Jones’ special agent, really hit all the right notes. Also, the effects in this movie don’t really seem like they’ve been marred by time. Sure, most sci-fi films with big budgets would probably look better than this but this was 20 years ago. This may not be an iconic movie but its subject matter is iconic… the men in black. They would go on to make two more films after this first one. The second one, Men In Black II was good, but these three films really do realize the point that the sequel is almost never as good as the original. They certainly wouldn’t fall on someone’s classic movies list. Still, Men In Black always works when you watch it, and that reason alone is enough to keep it on this list.
After being in cryofreeze since the 1960s, Austin Powers (Mike Myers) is thawed out and resumes battling those nefarious entities that wish to do the world harm. Truthfully, I so un-enjoyed this movie when I first watched it, that I literally forced myself to sleep in the movie theater. I did not think it was one of the best movies of 1997. It also didn’t burn up the box office and seemed to be quickly forgotten. However, the 1990s was a very special time in filmmaking. Independents were making one film with a bolex, and then shooting for a studio on their follow-up. Austin Powers sort of died in theaters but it got resurrected on home video. Due to that, it spawned 2 more films and made nearly $700 million at the box office! In the era of streaming would that even be possible today? Here’s hoping that the 20th anniversary of this film might give us something of an answer today.
This iconic movie from Nickelodeon Films essentially launched the careers of Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson. The fact that it featured such actors as Sinbad, Abe Vigoda and Shaquille O’Neal, has only bolstered its credibility throughout the years. Ultimately, Good Burger is a 1980s tale that found its way in the late 1990s. Kel and Kenan play two workers at (where else?) a burger shop. When their shop is threatened with going out of business, these slackers kick in to high gear to try and save the place. Good Burger is fun, light hearted, and the kind of film that Brian Robbins loves to make from the 1990s and beyond. That it’s on this list, celebrating it’s 20th anniversary only underscores how important this film was.