It’s always sobering to think of a particular time and place, a frozen moment in time that seems so far away from your current situation. Ever since falling ass-backwards into eastern philosophy in my teenage years, I’ve come to accept fully the idea that “the greatest precept is continual awareness.” That’s why it’s so fun to think back to certain bygone years and imagine what it felt like to be that age again in that snapshot of popular culture of the times. It really puts things into perspective.
Every picture is the past and every memory is no longer real, so it’s much like flipping through an old, dusty photo album every time you think back on or find objects, songs, smells, or tastes that transport you back to latent thoughts you had completely forgotten.
The year was 1994. 8 years old and perpetually rocking out to the musical stylings of a still-breathing Kurt Cobain, I can remember vividly (maybe a little too vividly) how I viewed the world through my 3rd grade eyes. I dreamt of being a comic book artist, I spent my summers at the Jersey Shore, wasted hours on my bedroom floor staging massive action figure wars, and I absorbed popular culture like a sponge.
One of my earliest sources of cultural inspiration was my older sister, Rebecca. She was 4 years my senior and had her ear to the ground when it came to new trends. Much of my music and entertainment tastes came from stealing her CDs and VHS tapes.
I feel like I always start off these posts by saying that it’s been a long time and apologizing for my inability to keep up on my own posting schedule, so I’ll skip the formalities this time. Basically, I’m here to provide you with some much-needed, culturally irrelevant nostalgia and you’re going to enjoy every goddamn minute of it.
Recently, I’ve been scouring eBay and flea markets for different sorts of items that I can talk about because I feel like so many of my personal memories are of the same 10 subjects or so. It’s time to expand my horizons. Just recently, I even found a blue M&M dressed like Boba Fett and it sparked my interest in the more obscure promotional items.
As my search continued, I discovered a used, incomplete set of Bill & Ted trading cards that caught my eye. They were cheap, dated, and their subject material was little more than scenes from the movie, but I needed to have them. Movie trading cards are often really rushed and pointless, but they have a certain charm to their laziness the same way that children’s book versions of popular movies do. $5 later and these little beauties were in my possession. After picking out what I consider to be the 5 best subjects in the lot, I decided to write some beautiful fucking prose about them. Continue reading →
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.