Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Post: Secrets to Successful Living from Forrest Gump

This latest guest post is by fellow nostalgia enthsuiast miratemplen of! Be sure to check out and follow Mira's blog for even more 90s! Take it away, Miratemplen:

It gave me a jolt when someone pointed out to me that it has been 20 years since 1990. (Has it seriously been that long? Twenty years is a young adult’s whole lifetime!)

… So I’ve lived through a few decades now. As I go into another one, I think about how much things have changed in the past several years. There are some things that I miss … and quite a lot that I don’t miss at all. You can read about my musings and reminiscing in

That business of going in and out of different decades reminds me of this person we all met back in 1994. While history changed around him, he also changed history - that’s pretty cool, even if he is just a fictional character. There’s quite a lot of inspiration we could pick up from that guy. I mean of course the smartest dumb person the world has ever seen, from the most quotable 90s movie, Forrest Gump.

Secrets to Successful Living
as Learned from Forrest Gump

(Images and quotes property of Paramount Pictures)

My name's Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.

1. Remember that smarts don't secure success

Stupid is as stupid does.

You have to do the best with what God gave you.
- Mrs. Gump

I’m not a smart man… but I know what love is.

- Forrest

2. Have a good mentor

Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.

3. Have people in your life who will enrich, challenge, and look out for you

Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.

Jenny taught me how to climb. And I taught her how to dangle.


I'm gonna lean up against you, you just lean right back against me. This way, we don't have to sleep with our heads in the mud. You know why we a good partnership, Forrest? 'Cause we be watchin' out for one another. Like brothers and stuff. Hey, Forrest, there's somethin' I've been thinkin' about. I got a very important question to ask you. How would you like to go into the shrimpin' business with me? Forrest: Okay.

4. Seek a sense of identity and purpose

Jenny: Do you ever dream, Forrest, about who you're gonna be?
Who I'm gonna be?
Aren't I going to be me?

Forrest: What's my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself.

5. Know how to take instructions

Drill Sergeant: Gump! What's your sole purpose in this army?
To do whatever you tell me, drill sergeant!
Drill Sergeant: God damn it, Gump! You're a god damn genius! This is the most outstanding answer I have ever heard.

Lieutenant Dan was always getting these funny feelings about a rock or a trail or the road, so he'd tell us to get down, shut up.
Lieutenant Dan:
Get down! Shut up!
Forrest Gump:
So we did.

6. Have a good pair of shoes

Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.

My momma always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where the go, where they've been.

7. Maximize your assets
Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.

Lieutenant Dan got me invested in some kind of fruit company. So then I got a call from him, saying we don't have to worry about money no more.

8. Invest in something that will outlive you

Death is just a part of life. It's something we're all destined to do.
- Mrs. Gump

His name's Forrest.
Like me.
I named him after his daddy.
He got a daddy named Forrest, too?
You're his daddy, Forrest.

9. Be resilient

Shit happens.

My Momma always said you’ve got to put the past behind you before you can move on.

Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks.

10. Put your faith in perspective

Lieutenant Dan:
Where the Hell is this God of yours?
Forrest: It's funny Lieutenant Dan said that, 'cause right then, God showed up.

11. Keep things simple

Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off.

When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go… you know… I went.

I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.
Quiet, quiet! He's gonna say something!
I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now.

13. Adopt a good attitude

Jenny: Were you scared in Vietnam?
Yes. Well, I don't know. Sometimes it would stop raining long enough for the stars to come out... and then it was nice. It was like just before the sun goes to bed down on the bayou. There was always a million sparkles on the water... like that mountain lake. It was so clear, Jenny, it looked like there were two skies one on top of the other. And then in the desert, when the sun comes up, I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the earth began. It's so beautiful.

My Momma always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

14. Share and inspire

Momma said there's only so much fortune a man really needs and the rest is just for showing off. So, I gave a whole bunch of it to the Foursquare Gospel Church and I gave a whole bunch to the Bayou La Batre Fishing Hospital. And even though Bubba was dead, and Lieutenant Dan said I was nuts, I gave Bubba's momma Bubba's share. And you know what? She didn't have to work in nobody's kitchen no more.

In the land of China, people hardly got nothing at all.
John Lennon: No possessions?
And in China they never go to church.
John Lennon:
No religion too?
Dick Cavett:
Ah. Hard to imagine.
John Lennon:
Well it's easy if you try, Dick.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I hope you enjoyed revisiting some old friends from the 1990s! If you did, there are more of them (plus some stuff from the ‘80s) at, Like, for example, Back When Everything We Needed To Know About Life We Learned In "Clueless". Have an awesome life!


Box of chocolates photo nicked from::

Monday, August 8, 2011

Guest Blog: Top 5 sports films of the ‘90s; or, Those who can’t do, watch movies

Welcome to this first exciting round of Children of the 90s guest blogs! We are still reviewing applications, so if you are interested in contributing to Children of the 90s, shoot us an email to!

Now, please welcome our first guest blogger, Belle of Belle's Bookshelf! A little about Belle, in her own words:

I'm a 25-year-old writer, book addict, Disney nerd, 80s/90s aficionado and general pop culture junkie from Sydney, Australia. I blog about just one of my many obsessions (books) at Belle's Bookshelf (inspired by the Disney princess, of course), where I share reviews, book-to-movie comparisons, cool buys and other bookish fun. But I'm so excited to be writing about another obsession of mine - 90s movies - here at Children of the 90s!

You can find Belle at her Belle's Bookshelf blog here, or on facebook, twitter, or tumblr. Go check out her blog, stop by and say hi, and follow her on all of her so
cial media outlets for the full Belle experience. Without further ado, here are Belle's favorite 90s sports movies:

Top 5 sports films of the ‘90s; or, Those who can’t do, watch movies

1. The Mighty Ducks (1992)

Emilio Estevez distances himself from his Brat Pack beginnings by playing a drunken a-hole of a lawyer who has to do community service (and confront demons from his past) by coaching a PeeWee ice hockey team that’s comprised of a ragtag bunch of kids, including the loudmouth, the overeater, the geek, the girl and the natural leader. Between this movie and the two (inferior, but still fantastic) sequels, I spent many a weekend with the Ducks growing up (and, er, maybe one or two lately).

Memorable moments: The Flying V; Charlie scoring the winning goal; Charlie introducing Joshua Jackson to the world (and my young heart); any scene with Hans.

2. The Sandlot (1993)

Set in 1962, The Sandlot tells the story of Smalls, the new kid in town who connects with the local (ragtag, of course) group of kids – and later, his stepfather – through baseball. Everything is going great until the group loses a ball signed by Babe Ruth in the yard of “The Beast”. The myriad madcap ways they try to get it back, and their other misadventures along the way, makes for compelling viewing, even today – yep, it’s actually stood the test of time!

Memorable moments: The rollercoaster vomit scene; the insult exchange; the pool scene; Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (*sigh*).

3. Little Giants (1994)

A, er, ragtag group of kids (I’m sensing a theme here) don’t make the local PeeWee football team so decide to form their own. Their star players are a girl named Icebox and a kid named Junior who throws toilet paper down grocery store aisles in his spare time. Sadly, this movie doesn’t fare so well on adult viewing, which makes me realise how awesome my mum’s blocking out skills are, because she never once complained during the 247 times I watched this. I’d like to say it was the cuteness of ultimate ‘90s heartthrob Devon Sawa that drew me in (and sure, he was about 65 per cent of it) but I actually thought this was hilarious.

Memorable moments: “Intimidation”; the Annexation of Puerto Rico; the argument that you can have kids without kissing but can’t get a job; Rick Moranis and Ed O’Neill as the most unlikely brothers in movie history.

4. Angels in the Outfield (1994)

In possibly the cheesiest sports movie of the ‘90s (and that’s saying something), baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a foster kid whose dad promises him they’ll be a family again when the California Angels baseball team wins. So he prays to God for the team to win, and, naturally, his prayers are answered and a flock of angels led by Doc Al (Christopher Lloyd) descend upon the field to help pro players Matthew McConaughey, Tony Danza and Adrien Brody. I have to admit I haven’t revisited this as an adult; I’m kinda scared all the angelicness will make me vom just a little bit. But hey, it was great at the time.

Memorable moments: The team manager, played by Danny Glover, throwing the locker room tantrum to end all locker room tantrums; Al manifesting from a cup of Coke; the whole crowd flapping their arms like seagulls, I mean angels; did I mention baby Joseph Gordon-Levitt?!

5. Space Jam (1996)

I’ve saved the best for last. Because this one stars an actual sporting legend, which automatically makes it the greatest sports movie of all time, amirite? Yep, in a hilarious mix of reality and cartoonary, the Looney Tunes kidnap Michael Jordan so they can beat the alien Monstar team (word play FTW), who in turn want to kidnap them and force them to entertain tourists at an extraterrestrial theme park called Moron Mountain. What kid didn’t believe they could fly after this movie? I know I did. Thanks, R. Kelly.

Memorable moments: Um, the whole movie? Seriously, it’s amazeballs.

For more from Belle, don't forget to check out her regular blog, Belle's Bookshelf! And of course, if you want to be the next guest blogger to see your stuff in print (well, online) here at Children of the 90s, apply via email at!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Fictional 90s Bands We’d Still Totally Go See on Tour

Some of my favorite bands don’t exist. There, I said it, and I feel much better to get that off my chest. It can be a pretty embarrassing when you realize that a fair number of songs coming up on shuffle on your iPod were recorded by fictional characters, some of whom are actually cartoons. Note to self: take iPod off shuffle when I have company if I don’t want “Bangin’ on a Trashcan/Think Big!” from Nickelodeon’s Doug to blare loudly from my speakers.

Real or fake, I’d still pay to see these bands live:

Jesse and the Rippers

As someone who’s only slightly embarrassed to admit she bought the Uncle Jesse’s Photo Album from Scholastic book orders, it’s no surprise I was heavily into Full House’s fictional band Jesse and the Rippers. To be fair, John Stamos is actually fairly musically talented and has appeared in Broadway musicals and drumming on tour with the Beach Boys. Check out Jesse and the Rippers’ fantastically cheesy cover of the Beach Boys Forever above--it’s enough to make you jealous if you missed Stamos’s cameos on their tours.

Zack Attack/Hot Sundae

Zack Attack - Friends Forever by ray548

If Saved by the Bell was your thing, you have your pick of fictional music groups behind which to throw your fandom. Apparently the writers had a bad case of Days of Our Lives-grade amnesia and forgot that they had already used the “main characters form a band” storyline. Luckily, they managed to cover it up with some clever plot-changing details--in one case (Zack Attack) it was all just a dream, whereas in the other (Hot Sundae) we get to see Jessie’s classic caffeine pill freakout.

The Beets

With lyrics like “I need more allowance, yodel ay hee hoo!” and “Ahh eee ooooh, killer tofu!” the Beets’ catchy tunes probably made up for more of their appeal than did the content of their songs. A parody of the Beatles, Doug and the gang were forever trying to win tickets to their concerts and convincing this world-famous band to play a show at Bluffington Middle School.

The Wonders (formerly the Oneders)

They may not have been a real band, but That Thing You Do’s The Wonders had a real-life hit with “That Thing You Do!” The song made it to number 41 on the Billboard Top 100--not bad for a movie song performed by a group of actors. It is a catchy song, and of course, the guys look pretty dapper in those maroon suits.

Mystik Spiral

MTV’s Dara had a longtime crush on her best friend’s brother, the pitch-perfect 90s alt rocker Trent. As the frontman of the ever-struggling Mystik Sprial, Trent wrote some pretty deep lyrics, like in the video above:

You put me on a short leash/and threw away my hydrant! You ate up all my cable/now my coat’s no longer vibrant. My nose is dry and chapped/but this puppy’s here to stay/scratch my belly baby/every dog has its day. Awoooooooo!


This band from Can’t Hardly Wait kept us in suspense, gearing up for a hyped performance but never delivering on their promise. In this case, I have to agree with the band’s frontman: you probably shouldn’t wear the shirt of the band you’re in. Though, to be fair, if he gets to wear the shirt, I’d probably want to wear the hat, too. It’s a fair exchange.

Rex Manning

The day I realized Rex Manning from Empire Records was the kid from Grease 2, it blew my mind. Who knew there could be a single actor who could play both a cool rider and a washed-up 80s pop star? Unfortunately for Rex, love can’t turn back the hands of time like it did for Grease 2’s Michael. At least in Empire Records, Maxwell Caulfield can make fun of himself as a cheesy character. In Grease 2, he was absolutely serious.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Teen Witch

Some teen movies fail to accurately capture the coveted "cool" factor marketers are always trying to strain out of popular adolescents. This holds true especially in the cases of movies designed to be family friendly, presenting teenagers in a way that more often appears cheesy than realistic. When a studio attempts to release a movie that capitalizes on several major markets--supernatural themes, good-looking teen characters, a female protagonist, and package the whole thing as allegedly fun for the whole family--it can often end in box office embarrassment.

Perhaps there is no better example of this phenomenon than the 1989 movie Teen Witch. MGM was eager to ride the coattails of the success of the 1985 hit Teen Wolf starring Michael J. Fox, seeking to cast a female lead character in a similar teen-geared film.

Just in case you also think this sounds like a good idea, try watching the following trailer. It should be more than enough to change your mind on this ill-advised filmmaking venture. Plus, you’ll also get some killer late 80s dance move inspiration paired with a stellar makeover montage. You’ve been warned:

The movie is, if possible, worse than it looks in the preceding preview. It performed incredibly poorly at the box office, earning just under $28,000 throughout its wide release period in the spring of 1989. Instead of simply retreating in shame, however, Teen Witch producers seemed to think the best method of reaching a broader audience was to simply bombard us nonstop with the film, playing it in continuous loops on cable TV channels like Cinemax, HBO, and more recently ABC Family. The movie gained a loyal fan base, morphing it from a box office disaster to campy cult classic over the course of the 90s.

Teen Witch’s plot is made up of equal parts lazy rehashed plot points of similar films in its genre, bizarre revenge fantasy enactment, and ultimate heartwarming lesson learned. The writers also inexplicably felt strongly that it should sort of be a musical, creating a slew of inexcusably corny song-and-dance numbers.

Occasionally Teen Witch tries to work songs in the plot, like demonstrating a cheer to the high school cheerleading squad, but mostly they were just lazily thrown in as a cheesy afterthought. “I Like Boys”, below, is one of their more creative attempts. I will give them some extra credit for the innovative uses of towels as dance props in the locker room sequence.

Other times, the movie randomly inserts a musical number, like this one in which main character and eponymous teen witch Louise fantasizes about being the most popular girl:

For those who still didn’t think that was that bad, if you’re out there, the “Top That” rap should probably be enough to set you over the edge:

And, just for fun, here’s Kenneth from 30 Rock performing the same number. I personally prefer his version:

For those who managed to miss this gem during its many airings on television, here is a woefully abbreviated synopsis of the plot. Already beautiful but unfortunately hairsprayed 80s-mall-banged protagonist Louise is a nerdy teen who is unlucky in love. If that weren’t bad enough, she has a horrifically irritating younger brother who sort of weirdly looks like Tori Spelling and terrorizes her daily. Anyone who’s not into subtlety or nuanced pop culture references may also appreciate Dick Sargent as her father--as the second Darrin on Bewitched, these mortal-to-witch switcharoo plotlines are nothing Sargent hasn’t seen many times before.

Our girl Louise innocently stumbles in the home of the mysterious and fun-sized Madame Serena (Zelda Rubenstein), who you may recognize as that little lady from Poltergeist and the voice of all of those Skittles “Taste the Rainbow” commercials. Madame Serena conveniently immediately places Louise as reincarnation of her old witch buddy, hooks her up with a power-producing amulet, and sends her on her bewitching way.

Louise casts a spell to make herself the most popular girl in school and to gain the attention of her love interest, Brad, which we all know will work out exceptionally well. She plays tricks on her teachers, gains the unwarranted love and adoration of those awesome cheerleaders we met in the “I Like Boys Video” above, and makes Brad as interested in her as he could possibly be against his own free will.

To squeeze in a heartwarming life lesson at the end, Louise eventually realizes that believing in and loving herself for who she really is trumps magical powers. Those of us who met the original magic-free Louise at the beginning of the movie may beg to differ based on how much cooler and prettier she seemedpost-powers, but we’ll just have to go with it to ensure this story does indeed contain a moral, no matter how vague and haphazardly presented it may be.

Few would argue that Teen Witch was a substantial or even worthwhile film, but many of us lost several hours of our lives to watching it regardless. If you somehow managed to miss it, you can watch it in segments on You Tube or download the full movie or music on iTunes.. Bonus tip: some of us may even have “Top That” and “I Like Boys” on our iPods. If you don’t yet, I highly recommend it--it’s a great way to break the ice when your iPod in on shuffle during a party. Warning: this tip is not for the easily humiliated.

Monday, April 25, 2011

All I Ever Really Needed to Know about Classical Music I Learned from TV and Movies

While heading out on a driving trip this weekend, my fiance and I thought it might be nice for a change of pace to listen to some classical music. In this misguided and clearly halfhearted attempt to feel more superficially cultured, I was surprised to find how many of the songs to which I could hum along with ease. When had I found the time to learn so many of these treasured pieces of classic music?

After reveling briefly in what I assumed must be my well-trained classical ear, I took a quick break from patting myself on the back to consider where exactly I had previously heard these tracks. Summer concerts in the park? Excursions to the community symphony? With all the reality TV watching and daytime napping that goes on at our place, these seemed to me like highly unlikely scenarios.

Suddenly, it occurred to me--childhood movies and TV! Of course. By mindlessly engaging in unspeakable amounts of passive entertainment as a child, I had accidentally gleaned a lifetime’s worth of classical music knowledge. Well, a lifetime for someone who knows nothing about classical music. But, I digress. I knew there must be others like me: others whose sole knowledge of classical music and opera stems from hours spent during our formative years parked in front of a glowing television screen.

This list is by no means comprehensive, nor is it completely exclusive to kids who grew up in the 90s. However, it is just pretty thorough for everything I could think of in a single sitting. As always, feel free to add your own favorites or bash my glaring omissions in the comments section.

Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King--Inspector Gadget Theme Song

Film nerds (and, let’s face it, regular nerds, too) may also recognize this music from its presence in last year’s acclaimed movie The Social Network. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” served as the basis for the music playing during crew rowing montage. While others left the film pondering the larger implications of social networking in our increasingly technological world, I was far more concerned with why the team was rowing frantically to the theme song from Inspector Gadget.

Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2--Donald and Daffy Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Now that I think about it, “Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2” has a more musical ring to it than “that dueling piano song played by popular cartoon ducks in a combo live-action/cartoon feature film.” I doubt that was Lizst’s runner-up title, yet it’s all I’ve ever known this piece to be.

Mouret’s Rondeau--Intro to Sesame Street’s Monsterpiece Theater

Some might argue it is also the theme to PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, but these regular installments of the Sesame Street versions are probably more memorable to those of who were children when it aired. Sesame Street does a lot of parodies that I can only assume are more for the benefit of parents forced to watch along. Just in case the children have a sliver of a chance of catching a reference, though, the parodies are always very literal--like in this case, creating an intro that looks almost exactly like the real Masterpiece Theater.

Largo al Factotum from Barber of Seville--Mrs. Doubtfire

The opening scene of Mrs. Doubtfire captures Robin Williams’ voice talents and general craziness in a focused way: by allowing him to fittingly channel his cartoonishness into an actual cartoon. Williams provides the semi ad-libbed voice-over for the animated footage, beginning with the well-known “Largo al Factotum” (many of us think of it as the Figaro song) from Barber of Seville. His operatics leave something to be desired, but he makes up for it with enthusiasm.

Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever--”Be Kind to your Web-Footed Friends” as seen here in Wee Sing in Sillyville

Most of us are familiar with Stars and Stripes Forever on its own, but the second version it has the added bonus of hosting alternate, nonsensical kid-friendly lyrics. Those of you who were fans of the Wee Sing series may recognize the above clip from Purple Sillyville resident Pasha’s home.

If you have no idea what this means, I suggest you watch Wee Sing in Sillyville immediately. I would love to say you won’t regret it, but that’s not a lie I’m willing to put in writing. Let me say instead you might regret it, but if you can sit through the above clip, you could probably manage to sit through the full 58 vaguely racially-conscious minutes.

Tchaicovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies--Original Tetris Music Number 1

This one is more popular on a mainstream level, so it’s safer to venture some readers may also recognize “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies” from a family Christmas outing to see the Nutcracker ballet or at least a viewing or two of Disney’s 1940 hit Fantasia. However, if for some reason you managed to not encounter it in one of those areas, you probably know it as Music 1 from the NES version of Tetris.

Verdi’s Anvil Chorus--Tiny Toon Adventures

If the title alone doesn’t ring any bells, try watching the video to jog your latent Tiny Toon memories. The second I saw an anvil make hilarious yet undoubtedly painful contact with a cartoon child audience member, it all came back to me.

And for our cross-generational readers, you may also enjoy:

Barber of Seville--The Bunny of Seville

Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours--Fantasia’s Dancing Animals (Or, for the less cultured and summer camp joke-prone, Alan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah”)

Cross generational runners-up: Rossini’s William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme), Dukas’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Disney’s original Fantasia), and Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (Looney Tunes’ “What’s Opera, Doc?”)

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