It’s time for some seriously nostalgia-fuelled homework as STACK and JB Hi-Fi celebrate the movies and television series that defined the 1990s.
PRETTY WOMAN (1990)
Pygmalion received a winning makeover in director Gary Marshall’s beloved rom-com, which launched the then 22-year-old Julia Roberts to the top of the A-list and became the third highest grossing film of 1990 in the US.
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
Jonathan Demme’s superb adaptation of Thomas Harris’s best-seller delivered an iconic movie villain in Hannibal Lecter and won Academy Awards in the five major categories – Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay.
RESERVOIR DOGS (1992)
This quirky, dialogue-driven heist flick got tongues wagging at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992, announcing the arrival of a former video store clerk turned filmmaker named Quentin Tarantino.
A FEW GOOD MEN (1992)
Packed with powerhouse performances and a few good lines worth quoting, Aaron Sorkin’s stage play was successfully adapted to the screen by director Rob Reiner. One of the best legal thrillers of all time gave Jack Nicholson one of the best roles of his career, as the venomous Col. Nathan R. Jessep – and that’s the truth!
JURASSIC PARK (1993)
Steven Spielberg pulled off the impossible – a knockout adaptation of Michael Crichton’s best-seller complete with authentic looking dinosaurs. The CGI revolution had truly arrived, and movies would never be the same again.
FORREST GUMP (1994)
“Run, Forrest, run!” And he did, right into moviegoers’ hearts and off with a swag of Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Best Actor (Tom Hanks) and Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth).
TOY STORY (1995)
Toy Story ushered in the arrival of computer generated animated features and studio Pixar. It was also the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Screenplay Academy Award – Adapted or Original, and would go on to spawn three sequels. ‘To infinity, and beyond!”
MEN IN BLACK (1997)
Based on the Malibu comic book by Lowell Cunningham, director Barry Sonnenfeld’s smart and genuinely funny sci-fi comedy featured a winning double act from Smith and Jones, and fantastic creature designs from Rick Baker, who received an Oscar for Best Makeup Effects.
Near, far, wherever you are, it’s likely you went to see James Cameron’s romantic epic – the first film to reach the billion-dollar figure in global box office, making it the biggest motion picture of all time until Avatar claimed the top spot in 2010.
“Whoa!” The Wachowskis’ mind-blowing cyberpunk epic reinvented sci-fi and filmmaking for the new millennium. It also made us question our own reality, coined the VFX term “bullet time”, and spawned a devoted fan following and three sequels.
The misadventures of neurotic New York stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld and pals George, Elaine and neighbour Kramer was a self-declared “show about nothing” that had something for everyone. One of the greatest – and most quotable – sitcoms of all time.
TWIN PEAKS (1990–1991)
David Lynch and Mark Frost changed the landscape of television with their surreal mystery series that revolved around a central puzzle – who killed high school homecoming queen Laura Palmer? Watch parties and office ‘water cooler’ discussions were born.
The one about Manhattan friends Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross. Premiering in September 1994, this beloved ensemble were there for you for the next decade – and beyond – with viewers sharing the ups and downs of their lifestyles, loves, relationships and careers.
THE X-FILES (1993–2001)
Creator Chris Carter’s procedural sci-fi series offered fresh and clever variations on popular genre tropes – aliens, UFOs, faith healers, evil children, monsters, etc. You name it and Agents Mulder and Scully have probably investigated it. The Truth was out there – and it still is!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997–2003)
A rare example of a TV series that’s better than the movie that inspired it. Sarah Michelle Gellar ruled as the high school student who moonlighted as a teenage Van Helsing in Joss Whedon’s girl-powered cult classic – one of the most beloved series of the ’90s. You can even study ‘Buffyology’ at university!
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR (1993–1996)
A streetwise dude from Philly is sent to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins in the swank LA neighbourhood of the title. The show that transformed rapper Will Smith into a thespian saw him basically playing a fictionalised version of himself, and the rest is history.
THE SIMPSONS (1989–)
First broadcast in December 1989, Matt Groening’s animated sitcom and its much loved dysfunctional family has permeated pop culture for over 30 years, making some eerily accurate future predictions along the way. The ’90s seasons are considered by fans to be the show’s golden era.
BEVERLY HILLS 90210 (1990–2000)
Created by Darren Starr and produced by Aaron Spelling, this teen drama boasted a winning cast – Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Gabrielle Carteris, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty and the late Luke Perry – as the gilded youth who resided in the posh postcode. TV’s most famous zip code also spawned spin-off series Melrose Place, which went on to dominate the ’90s television landscape for eight years.