The ’90s weren’t all just Tamagotchis, debating on who your favourite Spice Girl was and playing Snake on your Nokia. In fact, in retrospect, it’s clear that the 1990s had it down when it came to movies. Films like ‘Pulp Fiction’ and ‘Fargo’ busted indie directors like Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers out of the arthouse and into the Oscars.
So, dust off your Game Boy and get out your hair crimpers as we round up five ’90s-tastic movies for you to watch this week.
Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)
When ‘Snowflake’, a 500-pound dolphin and mascot of American football team the Miami Dolphins, is stolen on the eve of the Super Bowl, the only person with the animal instincts to solve the crime is Ace Ventura. Played by Jim Carrey, he’s a second-tier detective with a penchant for Hawaiian shirts and the hyperactive energy of a six-year-old. It’s Carrey at his most Carrey. Be warned: there’s a lot of toilet humour.
You might think ‘Clueless’ isn’t very realistic. But you’re missing the point. This teen classic starts with Cher (Alicia Silverstone) picking her outfit from a hi-tech digital wardrobe – it’s supposed to be over-the-top. In fact, it takes the plot of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ and uses it to paint the perfect parody of the pains of high school: popularity, drama and friendship. Plus, the script is full of LA sass: ‘Ugh, as if!’
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gangsters and cheeseburgers; Quentin Tarantino’s disorientating black-comedy masterpiece is a lesson in post-modern storytelling and one of the most iconic films of the ‘90s. Taking four of the most clichéd storylines from the ‘pulp fiction’ crime tales of mid-twentieth-century America, hacking them apart and churning them back together to create something entirely new, ‘Pulp Fiction’ is an intoxicating, thrilling ride, as trashy as it is refined, delighting and disgusting.
The Matrix (1999)
‘The Matrix’ became the first movie to sell one million copies on DVD – just one reason to argue the case for it being the most iconic movie of the ‘90s. We all know the story: Keanu Reeves is Neo, the software writer who discovers that the world doesn’t exist. Life on Earth as we know it is actually a form of virtual reality, created by intelligent machines who have enslaved the human race. Is Neo ‘The One’, who will lead the rebels to victory and the salvation of mankind? With ground-breaking digital effects, the techno soundtrack and Keanu looking all blank and pretty, this is the ultimate ’90s movie.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
This is the movie that practically invented the spoiler alert. On paper, ‘The Usual Suspects’ looked like a straight-up heist movie: five crooks meet at a police line-up and plan a robbery. Of course there’s more to it than that. It’s a cult classic, but the script was rejected by over 50 funders and studios, and was eventually shot in just 35 days. ‘The Usual Suspects’ went on to win two Oscars.