Flashbacks to ‘93: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

I didn’t grow up with Tina Turner’s music. The first time I was aware of her was through her 1991 blockbuster Simply The Best collection, which swept up the highlights of the second phase of her career and seemed to be in every single CD collection I saw in the 90s. It was probably this that meant I didn’t see What’s Love Got To Do With It? for some years after it came out, because my overriding experience of Turner at...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Romper Stomper

I have been finding many of the more political films I’ve been watching for this series more relevant than I’d like, and Romper Stomper, sadly, doesn’t feel like an exception in that respect. Neo-nazism is again on the rise, enabled and encouraged by the so called Alt Right. Much of this rise is online, but we have seen it, in the UK, in Charlottesville, and in Dylann Roof’s attack in Charleston becoming an ever more present and dangerous issue on...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Super Mario Bros.

I was always a movie guy. We had consoles (a Sega Master System, followed by a Mega Drive) in the house and I did play them, and some PC games, when I was a kid, but gaming was my brother’s thing. Despite that, and despite the fact we never had a Nintendo console, I was very well aware of the Mario Brothers. I had played the games only briefly (and badly) at friends houses, but I knew Mario (played by...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Cliffhanger

In 1993, Sylvester Stallone was going through, shall we say, a challenging period. He’d had a few box office disappointments. The Rocky series seemed to have played itself out with 1990’s poorly received fifth entry, and Stallone had attempted to shift into comedy, making disastrous choices in Oscar and Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot! The latter is one of Hollywood’s great practical jokes, as Stallone’s longtime box office rival Arnold Schwarzenegger pretended to be interested in making the film...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Menace II Society

As opening statements in a film career go, the pre-credits sequence of Menace II Society is a powerful one. Two young black men, Caine (Tyrin Turner) and O-Dog (Larenz Tate) are carefully watched by the Korean husband and wife owners as they buy themselves beers in a convenience store. They’re pissed off by the implication that they are planning to steal from these people, but it’s only when the husband says “I feel sorry for your mother” that things turn....

Flashbacks to ‘93: Dave

Time is strange. To me, 1993 doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. The films I’m watching for this series are often clearly from an era that has passed, but they don’t feel old to me. Until today. In many ways, Dave is the quaintest film I’ve seen for this project, the one most redolent of a bygone era, specifically because of how precisely certain details of it mirror what is happening in the world as I type this....

Flashbacks to ’93: The Dark Half

Horror, as a genre, is steeped in metaphor. Horror can be about politics, sex, disease, but it’s usually - when you get down to the bottom of it - about fears more real and more universal than vampires or zombies. The Dark Half isn’t exactly like that, in fact it may be one of the most straightforward, face value horror films I’ve seen. Based on the novel by Stephen King, the film follows author Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton). Thad’s books...

Flashbacks to ’93: Benny and Joon

Mental illness has, over the past few years, become more understood and easier to admit to. I’ve suffered with it myself (anxiety and depression) and know many other people who have or had their own struggles with various forms of mental illness. How movies deal with mental illness still often leaves much to be desired, and that was at least as true, if not more so, back in 1993. Benny (Aidan Quinn) and Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) are brother and...

Flashbacks to ’93: This Boy’s Life

If you had been watching films as they were released in 1993, there must have been a fairly jarring moment when, within days of each other, The Sandlot and This Boy’s Life were released. As we discussed last week, The Sandlot idealises and romanticises growing up in the America of the early 60s. It’s about growing up over a summer, building a group of friends and overcoming some of the common challenges of being a kid. The subject matter of...

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