As much today as in the 90s, it’s quite rare for a sequel to live up to the expectations set by the original. It always seems like a rehash of gags, exposition, character types and plot does little to raise the bar or tread new grounds of storytelling. More often than not, it’s just a complete copy and paste of the first movie in a new locale.
There are the rare occasions, however, when the sequel actually outshines the original. The Godfather: Part 2 is the first one that comes to mind, and I believe this against-all-odds hockey-centric kid’s movie is of the same caliber.
I’m obviously talking about the legendary D2: The Mighty Ducks.
The first part of the formula that Disney gets extremely right in this film is raising the stakes. Abandoning much of the cutesy bullshit from the original film, D2 brings to the table a more interesting and higher-stakes story concept that involves an international event instead of a quaint, small-town regional championship. This time, Coach Bombay and his quacktabular members of the Ducks dynasty are off to the City of Angels to compete in the Jr. Goodwill Games. Rather than just representing their small-town underdog pride, they’re representing AMURRICA against a star-studded stable of racist stereotypes.
In the 90s, Robin Williams’ career really started to take off and land him roles beyond the typical comedic romps and propelled him to legendary status as both an improvisational comic and a dramatic actor of the highest caliber.
I was extremely dismayed to hear of his passing earlier this week as a result of self-inflicted asphyxiation and I felt compelled to write an article about one of his movies. I want to pay tribute to a man who brought smiles and entertainment to so many people over the years. There are so many great titles in his catalogue of work from the 90s that are worthy of recognition that it was hard to choose just one.
Hook is a great example of a film that defied genre expectations for a childrens’ movie and successfully mixed a fairy tale story with a live action movie. This type of film paved the way for many more fantastical movies to come and it still stands as a fun, unique, and ultimately satisfying film in its own right. Williams’ acting ability was brilliantly complemented by Dustin Hoffman’s iconic performance as the lead villain and this cinematic duo rallied a fervent following behind this awesome film.
While there are many 90s sports movies that left a huge impact on my childhood, there are no other series I remember quite as fondly as The Mighty Ducks.
Although hockey has always conceded and played fourth fiddle in America to the other big sports, it’s always been my personal favorite. I love the speed, the intensity, the finesse, the precision, and the bloodshed associated with Canada’s national pastime. Despite the fact that the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since the 70s, I’ll always be a die hard puckhead. It is for this reason that the Mighty Ducks film franchise holds a special place in my heart.
The film chronicles the exploits of one Gordon Bombay, a shamed Pee Wee Hockey failure who missed a penalty shot that could have won his team the championship. Fast forward to his adult life and he’s a sleazy, cutthroat Minneapolis lawyer with a chip on his shoulder. After winning a case in a particularly slimy fashion, Bombay is chastised by his boss for his antics. In a moment of weakness and depression, he chugs beer and drives around carelessly in a snow storm, attracting the attention of local police.
It’s been nearly 2 months since I last updated the site, and I sincerely apologize for depriving all of you of 90s cultural goodness for such an unacceptable duration. Real life has a habit of getting in the way of my more meaningful pursuits like watching shitty movies and spending way too much money on toys and cereal bowls on eBay.
Anyway, today is Memorial Day and all and, besides being a time for remembering and honoring fallen soldiers, it’s a weekend that feels like the unofficial start of summer for most people. There are BBQs, beach trips, and lots of outdoor fun, booze, and grilled meats to be indulged in.
Besides all of the classic summer weekend nostalgia, however, it also reminds me of one of the fundamental pieces of childhood comedic entertainment: 90s SUMMER CAMP MOVIES. Kids in these movies get to live fantastical lives full of romance and debauchery simply because they’re sleeping in bunks in the woods away from competent adult supervision. The owner of the camp is too busy worrying about the business end of things and the counselors are too busy fucking each other for any of them to give a damn about what the kids are doing. Oh, the beauty of summer camps.
The 90s was such a cultural melting pot of hip-hop, grunge, teen angst, heroin, and apathy, so it’s no surprise that it lead to many inside phrases that could only be properly understood by those who grew up in that wonderful generation. From movies to TV to popular music, kids all over the world were picking up descriptive phrases and new bits of language that they could take to the schoolyard and spread to their friends.
While some of this vocabulary is still heavily in use today, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at some of the best words from the 90s, complete with definitions and sentences presenting their proper usage in everyday speech.
“I admire people who dare to take the language, English, and understand it and understand the melody.” – Maya Angelou