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Amph Film Releases & Trends of a Decade Retrospective: The Nineties A-Z. Now Disc: 1992 M-Q

Discussion in 'Community' started by The2ndQuest, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    This thread will be taking a look back on a particular decade of film, broken down by monthly pairings and groups, to take a look at the film releases of that decade's component years, both as a look back at films that may have been forgotten, overlooked, been hits, bombs, or otherwise notable in their release, as well as the evolving trends seen over the course of that decade.

    I'm going to kick things off with the current decade, for a few reasons- dwelling on this decade's releases was the inspiration for the thread idea, my taste and interest in film doesn't extend past the 70's (for the most part) and taking a specific direction of progression avoids selecting an arbitrary starting point, my personal knowledge/experience of titles is more concentrated in the 90's+ so I'll be able to better comment, recall and track the release info and, lastly, we'll probably finish this decade up by the end of the year or shortly after it (going by the intended pacing of updates), so it'll make a nice new years thing as well as this decade in film comes to a close.

    I'm using multiple web listings of film releases for some of these years, so if there's anything notable I fail to mention either intentionally or not, feel free to bring them up.

    So, without further adieu...

    The Naughties: 2000-2009

    Notable Trends: Reemerging popularity of the fantasy genre, establishment of the superhero genre as a dominant presence, reimagined franchises & simultaneously filmed sequels.

    Prelude: While 1998 saw the death of the Batman film franchise, rival asteroid movies and a surge in interest in World War 2 movies following the release of Saving Private Ryan (and a controversial loss at the Oscars by the film to Shakespeare in Love), 1999 saw not only the massive hype and marketing machine behind The Phantom Menace (and the subsequent controversial reaction to the film, despite massive box office success) but also the release of several films that would establish prominent franchise film releases in the ensuing decade, such as The Mummy, Austin Powers and The Matrix. It saw the death of Circuit City's horrendous Divx DVD-rival format, which finally allowed the DVD format itself to come into it's own and influence the production and popularity of many films- including The Matrix, which became the first movie to sell over 3 million copies on the format.

    January & February 2000

    Notable releases: (listed in release order)

    January:
    -Next Friday
    -Supernova
    -Eye of the Beholder

    February:
    -Scream 3
    -Snow Day
    -The Beach
    -The Tigger Movie
    -Boiler Room
    -Pitch Black
    -The Whole Nine Yards
    -Wonder Boys
    -Reindeer Games

    T2Q Comments: So, yeah, January 2000 suuuuuuuucked (such deep and insightful commentary, no? :p). Supernova was an awful film (the only highlights being the interesting method of FTL and a robot giving the bad guy the finger) with a neat cast (James Spader, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster and Lou Diamond Phillips) but with an interesting turbulent history- first developed by William Malone using H.R. Giger paintings, it was initially filmed by Walter Hill (though with a less than desired budget- the robot ended up being a guy with a mask and gloves in a bomber jacket or some such) who apparently delivered something the studio was extremely unpleased with, then had re-shoots done by Jack Sholter, and then they brought in Francis Ford Coppola to supervise the re-editing of the film into something they hoped would be releasable. Needless to say, he didn't really succeed ;) The film was actually released with the pseudonym of Thomas Lee for Hill's credit, since "Alan Smithee" had become too well known to use by that point.

    I never saw Eye of the Beholder, but with Ewan in it, it must have had at least some redeeming qualities. The Friday films were never for me either, though I know some people who did enjoy them.

    February has a very interesting mixture of films, though- Boiler Room, which includes Vin Diesel, comes out before Pitch Black, which was his breakout role, but probably benefits
  2. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

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    Its harder and harder to popularise the U.S. army in this period. This period has no Top Gun.
  3. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

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    Friends didn't end until at least 2003, Quest.
  4. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    Pitch Black seems to be the obvious winner out of those. A film I thoroughly enjoyed, though I didn't see it until years later.
  5. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    This is a really interesting topic. I agree on that the current decade is the decade of fantasy and superheroes. It will be interesting to follow this.
  6. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Pitch Black is also one of those films that benefited heavily from online hype from advanced screenings- probably the last time AICN was that influential in a movie's success or failure.


    Well, then poor Matthew Perry. Studio 60 was fantastic, though.
  7. Nrf-Hrdr Jedi Master

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    Let's not forget the historical epic revival that was pretty big in the first half of the decade.

    I think in spirit the decade really began with 1999. A lot of the key films of that year, and the people who made them, went along way towards defining what the next decade would be.
  8. Sven_Starcrown Jedi Youngling

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    Oh yes, Eyes Wide Shut, good memories.
  9. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Well, I think any decade's first year is going to influenced by the preceding one- it tends to take a year or two for a decade to come into it's own. But that's why I touched on '99 in the prelude.
  10. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The Whole Nine Yards? Funny? I have never heard those two words in a sentence before.

    Pitch Black on the other hand was all kinds of awesome; utterly transcended its genre, if you ask me.
  11. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Pitch Black definitely was something unique unto itself. Scenes like the blindspot-staredown are really damn awesome.


    March & April 2000

    Notable releases: (listed in release order)

    March:
    -Drowning Mona
    -What Planet Are You From?
    -Mission to Mars
    -The Ninth Gate
    -Erin Brockovich
    -Final Destination
    -Romeo Must Die
    -High Fidelity
    -Price of Glory
    -The Road to El Dorado
    -The Skulls

    April:
    -Rules of Engagement
    -American Psycho
    -Keeping the Faith
    -U-571
    -The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
    -Frequency


    T2Q Comments: I often confuse Mission to Mars and Red Planet and which one is which- but MTM, while not great, does have some good moments, particularly the end inside the face on Mars. The Ninth Gate provided Depp goodness in an average movie, Erin Brockovich became the model example of why I generally can't stand Julia Roberts in movies.

    Final Destination was quite good- and though it's later sequels would lose the more serious and existenial dialogue, it's present here. Romeo Must Die is one of the better Jet Li american movies- and the x-ray damage effect used during fights was quite awesome.

    I never saw High Fidelity, though have been meaning to. Nor did I partake in The Road to El Dorado, which came across as a weak offering after Dreamworks excellent initial animated offering with the previous year's The Prince of Egypt. The Skulls was a decent rental movie- not great, but entertaining enough if nothing better's available.

    Rules of Engagement, while not a classic, was quite solid- and you can't really go wrong with Tommy Lee Jones and Sam Jackson in the same movie.

    American Psycho brings us Bale. This becomes quite the significant introduction. Though I confess I didn't realize it was set in the 80's during my first viewing until very near the end, which in retrospect would have made things make a lot more sense. ;)

    I saw keeping the faith and it wasn't bad, but again, nothing particularly noteworthy other than Ed Norton can do little to no wrong. U-571 is a pretty solid flick, though it draws comparisons to the superior Das Boot, as well as some criticism for tweaking history. Still, the second best WW2 sub movie, as far as I can recall.

    Flintstones was predictably horrible. Frequency was quite good, though. Neat concept.

    Overall Trends: Not too much yet- U-571 is still part of the wave of WW2 films post-SPR, even if it's aimed at a less deadly-serious audience. Final Destination essentially becomes the lead horror franchise for the early part of the decade, until the Saw franchise supercedes it and FD falls into self-parody (usually the last gasp of such franchises). Romeo Must Die is probably the first flick to the try and cash in on the guns-and-kung-fu-with-camera-tricks-style post-Matrix vibe. And Bale's splash impression here begins the tide towards him becoming one of the biggest and draw-worthy names in Hollywood.
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    I think The Ninth Gate is, good or not, a precursor to Depp's precipitious rise. He's always been a great cult actor, but at the time the Ninth Gate came out, he was still inching towards the big break with Pirates. And interest in him really hasn't flagged since then; it certainly seems that he's a bigger 'star' now, not that the word means anything to me. He's always been a great actor.
  13. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I think at this point his film success has been seen as Fear & Loathing, as well as Sleepy Hollow. And at this point he's occupying roles that fall somewhere roughly thereabouts between the two- but it takes until Pirates for larger audiences to really "get it". His performance quality was always there, though.
  14. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

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    Frequency is on the list of movies I will see again, I rather liked Erin Brockovitch and The Skulls was rather weird. Isn't Dubya a Skull?
  15. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    I enjoyed Romeo Must Die, I actually have it on VHS somewhere. :p The X-ray effect was, as you said, cool.

    I've seen a fair number of these. Final Destination just recently- Not a bad premise, could have been far worse. High Fidelity also worth viewing; Cusack is enjoyable as always and Hornby books tend to make good films, I find. Ninth Gate, weird but interesting. Rest rather forgettable.
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    May & June 2000

    Notable releases: (listed in release order)

    May:
    -Gladiator
    -Battlefield Earth
    -Screwed
    -Dinosaur
    -Road Trip
    -Mission Impossible II
    -Shanghai Noon

    June:
    -Big Momma's House
    -Gone in 60 Seconds
    -Fantasia 2000
    -Shaft
    -Titan A.E.
    -Chicken Run
    -Me, Myself & Irene
    -The Patriot
    -Rocky & Bullwinkle
    -The Perfect Storm


    T2Q Comments: An interesting mix of genres, and a heavy showing of "trying to break the Disney 90's mold" animated fare. Gladiator is fantastic- I got to catch an advanced screening of it and still went to see it a couple more times after it hit normal release. One of the rare crowd pleasers and summer tentpole releases to win Best Picture, among other awards.

    Battlefield Earth is so awful, it's hard to even pick a place where to begin. One of the first films to blatantly try to cash in on aspects of ID4's structure and style, and do so poorly.

    Screwed, I never saw, but it has Norm MacDonald, Dave Chapelle, Sarah Silverman and Danny DeVito in it, so I think I'm gonna give that one a view sometime...

    Dinosaur was a nearly successful experiment for Disney...until the Dinos started talking ("Tarzan Syndrome"). It had the chance to be brilliant, but ends up only being ok.

    Road Trip is hilarious and spawned several unfunny knock-offs (with exception to Euro Trip), and makes DJ Qualls a surprise hit with viewers.

    Mission Impossible II seemed great on paper: take the flawed MI series, give it to John Woo to up the action, toss in an exclusive Metallica single and it seems like it'd be great. But, alas, the film becomes a dichotomous mess, with the first half being Tom Cruise being a James Bond ripoff and the second half switching over into a typical John Woo action movie.

    Shanghai Noon is amusing enough and launches Jackie Chan's second most successful US franchise after the Rush Hour series.

    Gone in 60 Seconds taps into the cars and chicks theme a year or two before The Fast and the Furious takes over, and gives a pretty good hit to Nick Cage and Bruckheimer.

    Fantasia 2000 tried to live up to the original ideal of what Fantasia would be, but only the Sorcerer's Apprentice remains out of the original mix.

    Shaft is THE MAN getting to be the badass persona everyone wants him to play, and goes on to be the inspiration for the Ultimate Universe's version of Nick Fury, which in turn ends up being why they cast Sam to play the character in the Marvel films of the future. Very unique inspiring a role that you then play in the adaptation of it.

    Titan A.E. is visually fantastic, but falls apart about 2/3rds through after the introduction of an arbitrarily inserted betrayal subplot. It's not quite the perfect epic it could have been- it fails to explore the motivations of the Drej enemy race, which could have led to a very spectacularly tense climax that ends up feeling empty in the film as it is.

    Chicken Run is amusingly quirky and keeps stop motion alive amongst it's fancier CGI and hybrid rivals.

    M, M & I, while not one of the best Carey movies, is the last really successful straight loonball comedy he does for the foreseeable future. In a way it's the last hurrah before his dramatic roles takes a more cenetr stage, while Dick & Jane or Yes Man end up being footnotes.

    The Patriot ends up being surprisingly good, despite it's slanted history, and is one of the first hit films to really start showing Heath Ledger's dramatic chops.

    The Perfect Storm solidies the star power of many of it's cast, and manages to be a hit film despite it's (admittedly very memorable) primary trailer and poster image essentially giving away the end of the movie outright. Kinda goes to show that some audiences just don't care if they have the film spelled out for them ahead of time. I call this segment of the audience "Zemeckis Idiots". ;)


    Overall Trends: Some interesting animation experiments that partially reflect efforts of the late 90's to break free of the Disney broadway musical structure, though with only mild success. Gladiator would kick off several historical epics attemptin
  17. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

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    Of all of these films, The Perfect Storm was all I saw at the cinema. Others I saw later on, with the exception of Screwed, Shaft and Gone in 60 secs which I haven't seen.

    Rocky & Bullwinkle was a disappointment, particularly when I grew on Rocky & Bullwinkle reruns. As for The Patriot, there was one French guy who I assume was Lafayette :mad:

    Gladiator was good, it is Richard Harris' last film before he died and Derek Jacobi is in it, predictably playing a Republican senator. As much as I like Russ, I did like Joaquin in this film. When will we see him play Nero or Caligula?

    I have had the misfortune to sit trhough Battlefield Earth.
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

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    Richard Harris must have come back from the dead so that he could play Dumbledore in two films released well after Gladiator.
  19. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

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    Sorry, got a little confused. I know someone died though.
  20. MarcusP2 Games and Community Reaper

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    It was Oliver Reed's last film.
  21. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Well I'm not such a big fan of Gladiator, but that's just me. Anyway I think Dinosaur is quite important for me, since that's the film that broke the Disney-tradition that I had had for 10 years. Me and my aunt always saw the new Disney in November/December (when they were released here), but both of us thought that Dinosaur was so boring that we stopped doing it. I also think that the notion that Disney had made a failure opened up our minds that there were other studios out there, and made me more ready to try out the animated films that would come in 2001/2002.
  22. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

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    I saw "Gladiator", but not much else.
  23. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    July & August 2000

    Notable releases: (listed in release order)

    July:
    -Disney's The Kid
    -Scary Movie
    -X-Men
    -Loser
    -Pokemon: The Movie 2000
    -What Lies Beneath
    -Thomas and the Magic Railroad
    -The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

    August:
    -Coyote Ugly
    -Hollow Man
    -Space Cowboys
    -Bless the Child
    -The Replacements
    -Godzilla 2000
    -The Cell
    -The Original Kings of Comedy
    -Bring It On
    -The Art of War


    T2Q Comments: Scary Movie brought back the spoof film after the death of the Naked Gun films, though while this one was quite good, spoofing Scream, I found the first sequel funnier.

    X-Men was solid, though some of it's content was a bit wavvy surrounding Magneto's plans, but the actors and characterization really pull the film off.

    I rather enjoyed Loser, relatively small film. Jason Biggs' reference to this movie in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back was pretty funny too.

    Pokemon The Movie 2000 was the last time anyone really cared about Pokemon movies- in fact, I think they stopped caring after the first one. The franchise really can't elevate itself above Mew Two.

    What Lies Beneath is ruined by Zemeckis' bad habit of spoiling his entire movie in the trailer intentionally. And before Zaz jumps in here about most trailers doing that, I'll say that most trailers don't even compare to the spoilage RZ likes to do.

    The Nutty professor II...Eddie Murphy cashing in on a surprise hit...and, sadly, his filmography actually foes DOWN from here.

    Coyote Ugly is a surprise hit with Bruckheimer oddly targeting female audiences for once- albeit strangely with one about hot chicks dancing on bar tops.

    Hollow Man- we hoped for another hit by Verhoeven after Starship Troopers. Sadly this came up short of the mark.

    Space Cowboys should have been a really bad movie, yet Clint Eastwood turns out a decently fun movie that does some good buisness.

    Bless the Child was awful, but I saw it anyways in the hopes Rufus Sewell could salvage it.

    The Replacements is another surprisingly fun movie that could have been awful. This ended up becoming a "Dads and family" mini hit.

    Godzilla 2000 appeased fans ticked off by the '98 movie, and was enjoyably cheesy and badly dubbed. "Maybe there's a little Godzilla in all of us." about sums it up.

    The Cell was stylish but had a bit too much Se7en-meets-Silence-of-the-Lambs.

    Bring It On is s surprise hit, while The Art of War takes the traditional b-movie action/thriller flick to close the summer out.



    Overall Trends: Scary Movie kicks off, for better or worse, a slew of spoof films in the decade from it's so-so 3rd movie to terrible 4th to the clones of Date Movie, Epic Movie, etc. X-men takes the pitch from Blade and brings newfound success to the superhero genre, building the momentum up for X2 nad the first two Spidey films to knock it out of the park. Eddie Murphy continues to make bad movies, which sadly seems contagious and infects his Bowfinger co-star, Steve Martin as well.
  24. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

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    I have had the misfortune to see the uncut version of The Nutty Professor. Eddie Murphy makes me angry sometimes, he's not a bad actor and make these awfuol movies.
  25. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Yeah, he sadly hasn't had a good movie since the aforementioned Bowfinger. Haunted Mansion had some potential but didn't really succeed.