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90s Week: John’s Lists

Sup y’all, time to bringeth you all of my favorite things from that bomb decade that was the 90s! My list will be comprised of my favorite movies, albums, TV shows, and Vidjuh games. I wanted to do a few more, “Most 90s athletes” (John Stockton) or something like ” best/worst catch phrases” and actually made a fads list but it made this post far too long, this is surprisingly a lot of work so let’s get crackin’.

Favorite Flicks:

I only have so many award heavy films here and still haven’t seen Schindler’s List even though I own it, but I’d say this list is a fair representation of my favorite films of the time and some of my favorite films in general

10. Edward Scissorhands (1990) – A dark gothic tale combined with a sweet love story, visually stunning and well acted.

9. Jurassic Park (1993) – Probably the first film I have a memory of ever seeing in theaters. The effects still blow me away and you gotta love the Goldblum.

8. Cannibal! The Musical (1996) – Not as widely known as some of these others (Probably cause it wasn’t theatrical) but probably one of my favorite comedies of the 90s. A non-sensical Pythonesque low budget film with some great tunes.

7. The Sixth Sense (1999) – A subtle yet thought provoking horror film, these are rare in the world of cinema.

6. The Usual Suspects (1995) – The ending to this excellently crafted story always hits me and in my opinion Bryan Singer and Kevin Spacey’s best movie.

5. Reservoir Dogs (1992) – Pure and raw Tarantino with great music, dialogue (of course) and especially performances. There’s an iconic hip quality to this gritty crime story and an almost timeless feel.

4. Goodfellas (1990) – An epic crime story filled with colorful characters all played marvelously. The dialogue is classic, the story and pacing is flawless and it’s even got a rocking soundtrack. This is one in a million and in my opinion Scorsese’s greatest triumph as a filmmaker.

3. Groundhog Day (1993) – A loving drama/comedy wrapped up in a unique paranormal package. Some of the best films have the ability to make you feel something special inside, and this always puts me in a good mood. I make sure to watch this gem at least once a year.

2. Ed Wood (1994) – The film that most inspires me to make my own movies. A hilarious and heartfelt tribute that unlike most biographical films actually focuses on the craft of the subject rather than being weighed down by subplots of drugs, bad memories or any of those other cliches. This film holds a special place in my heart.

1. Pulp Fiction (1994) – Not only do I love the humor and intelligence of this masterfully made crime flick but it really has influenced my life. I don’t think I can go to a single burger joint without thoughts of Jules chatting up a storm about burgers to a frightened Brett or even go to any restaurant without remembering the scenes between Mia and Vincent. I mean it’s got to be just about one of the most quotable films ever made and definitely one of the best of the decade, it’s certainly stuck with me all these years.

Honorable Mention: Other cinematic masterpieces like “Meet the Deedles” and “Star Kid”

The Tube:

This may of been the hardest list for me to put together. This list could of ended up in all sorts of different orders, especially because I’m not sure how I feel about including shows from 1999. Anyways, here are the picks that I settled on which for the most part I’m satisfied with.

10. Freakazoid! (1995-1997) – Some of the references still go over my head. One of my favorite moments was when Freakazoid scared a group of children around a campfire with a frightening tale about “Sinbad’s show never being cancelled” or something around the lines of that, it was just totally off the wall.

9. Kids in the Hall (1988-1994) – Kind of like the second coming of Monty Python except it’s Canadian.

8. Futurama (1999- 2003) I’d probably say the first season of Futurama was actually my favorite. It was a fresh idea and one of my favorite shows of 1999. I just hope they’d stop releasing these straight to DVD features and get back to the damn show again.

7. Friends (1994-2004) – Everyone had their favorite friend, mine was Joey, and just about aynone could find some humor in this light hearted sitcom which screams 90s right at you.

6. Frasier (1993-2004) – You wouldn’t think a show about an uptight Seattle yuppie would catch on, but by golly it sure did. Wonderful cast with some really swell episodes.

5. Batman the Animated Series (1992-1995) – I’m amazed how well this show holds up and am not surprised that this two time emmy winner showed a handful of episodes in prime time. With fantastic animation, plenty of adventure for kids and serious complex story lines for adult this show had it all.

4. South Park (1997-Present) – Sure it was crude in the beginning, but there really wasn’t anything quite like it. I just wish Trey and Matt still made as immature episodes as they used to. I get a little tired of so many episodes these days that have to address their own personal agendas.

3. The X-Files (1993-2002) – One of the creepiest yet at the same time wittiest and funniest dramas ever to air on TV. Scully and Mulder are a classic team and I could watch them solve mysteries of the paranormal variety all day long.

2. Seinfeld (1989-1998) – I haven’t seen every episode yet but god is this show funny. It’s relatable, memorable, quotable and masterfully written. It’s nothing short of sheer brilliance.

1. The Simpsons (1989-Present) – Half of the things I say are just ripped off from The Simpsons. If my friends watched reruns as religiously as I do they’d probably see that I’m really not that funny after all.

Honorable Mention
Ren and Stimpy: Pushed the bar of what you could see in a children’s cartoon, gross but memorable.
Rocko’s Modern Life: A more mature yet silly cartoon program that ended far too soon.
Beavis and Butthead: Uh huh huh huh huh huh
Family Guy:Though Family Guy got it’s start in the 90s it didn’t really start to pick up until the new millennium.
The Sopranos: Same deal as Family Guy, I associate it more with the 2000s, but either way it’s one hell of drama.
Superman The Animated Series: Quality writing of Batman, just a step down in the animation department.
Myster Science Theater 3000: Great concept and wacky show.
And many more…

Rad Tunes:

Unlike Sean, I probably don’t have enough albums to allow only one per artist. Perhaps I should delve deeper into the 90s someday but for now this is what I got and this is what I like.

10. Green Day – Dookie (1994)
: Normally I wouldn’t consider this to be my kind of music, but damn so many of these songs are just too catchy. It’s basically one of those albums where every song had single potential and man did it rule the airwaves. Not only that but I remember being very aware of Green Day back in the day, at least in my household. I actually have memories of getting excited whenever the “Basket Case” video came on, I guess I used to really like it…. Come to think of it my mom strangely enough had a copy of Dookie… What a time to be alive for anyone.

9. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication (1999)
: Flawless funk and excellent musicianship, my favorite Chilly Willy album. Everything came together here with John Frusciante’s return to the band and it’s really a swell collection of tunes. This was my first experience listening to this band, after buying the CD in a Half Price Books, and for that it will always be my favorite work of theirs. Why I remember years after it’s release sitting in my room for hours learning how to play the title track on guitar. Remember the video game music video for “Californication”? That was legit, why they never actually made that game will always puzzle me.

8. Blur – Blur (1997)
: A nice transition from Blur’s Brit Pop sound to a more experimental and alternative style. Damon Albarn’s lazy British delivery is classic and Graham Coxon’s guitar work is always inventive. On this album you can never tell what’s coming next with no two songs sounding alike. I think Blur is kind of cast aside these days as just the number 2 band to Oasis regarding British rock in the 90s, but I think they’re definitely worth holding in high regard… Plus “Song 2” is like the most 90s song ever written.

7. Radiohead – Ok Computer (1997)
: I’ll admit there are a couple of numbers that kind of bore me, but some of the songs here are truly materpieces. “Paranoid Android” is a rock epic and “No Surprises” is probably one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Thom Yorke’s presence is as usual haunting and some of the instrumentation and production on this album is definitely a standout for this era of music. A completely unpredictable collection of unique sounds, textures and feelings. It may not be my favorite Radiohead album, but it’s definitely a close second.

6. Oasis – Definitely Maybe (1994)
: The birth of that Oasis music craze in the 90s was all concieved with this first great album. A totally sweet mix of Beatles inspired pop with heavy, distorted guitars. Noel Gallagher was probably one of the best songwriters of the time and his ego maniac brother Liam was one of the most entertaining frontmen you could ever ask for. Definitely Maybe was as excellent as a debut that you could want from a band and I’m always game to pump it up and rock out when the situation calls for it.

5. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York (1993)
: With the amount of of covers and new material, this was like getting an entirely new Nirvana album. A nice look at Nirvana’s softer side and a pleasant showcase of a classic band with some talented guest musicians like Pat Smear and The Meatpuppets. I mean you wouldn’t think that The Meatpuppets would add much but their songs are actually some of the best here. This also makes an impact as one of the last times anybody got to see Kurt performing. He really puts his heart into it and you can feel it.

4. Weezer – Weezer (The Blue Album) (1994)
: Perfect blending of chunky guitars and pop song-writing. I mean the video for “Buddy Holly” was so popular it was included on Windows 95. Their offbeat nerd rock wasn’t quite like anything else at the time and everyone loved them for it. There are a lot of memorable hits on this album, but overtime I think I’ve come to enjoy some of the lesser known songs better. “Surf Wax America” generates a great amount of excitement and “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” is sharp blending of acoustic and electric “In the Garage” ain’t half bad either.

3. Weezer – Pinkerton (1996)
: Rivers Cuomo masters his melodies on this Power Pop classic of the 90s. There’s a slick, hip flow to this excellent follow up album with it’s punchy running time of 34 minutes. It’s here that Weezer takes their truly original sound to an all new level. I love a lot of the material on this album and it constantly inspires me as a songwriter. “Getchoo” and “Pink Triangle” are definite highlights for me while “The Good Life” may be my favorite Weezer song in general. It may not be as famous as Weezer’s debut but it’s somewhat more straightforward composition, leaves the song-writing and musicianship as the main point of focus and I’m all about that.

2. Oasis – (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
: This is like the third time I’ve written about this album on this blog, I think you get the idea that I like it. Songs like “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” were staples of the 90s MTV generation and truly bring me back to the days of Bill Clinton saxophone solos and uhh… Furby I guess. It’s Beatlesesque pop wrapped up in dirty, pure unadulterated Manchester Rock! Basically every song here had potential to be a hit and I just love em all. Not a dull moment on the whole album and the best piece of music this band has created… Period!

1. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)
: It defined a generation, now that’s an impressive feat. Where music was still trying to recover from the damage done by hair metal, Nirvana became the saviors of rock even becoming the frontrunners in the new genre of “Grunge”. Their songs were heavy, intense and most often melancholy but ultimately moving and totally memorable.

Honorable Mention: Odelay I guess and anything by Weird Al

Extreme Gaming:

A handful of the games that I loved growing up and still have a soft spot for today.

10. Sonic Adventure (1999) – The best game I’d ever played on the Dreamcast. The graphics blew me away back then but the gameplay was something magical.

9. Final Fantasy VII (1997) – I just slipped write into this and never looked back, an epic steam punk-fantasy based game with all the trimmings.

8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999) – I remember having a demo about a year before I had the game. I played that thing to death, something about that game was just addictive I mean when I finally did get the game I don’t recall putting it down.

7. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) – My favorite game on the genesis, me and my bro would play this colorful side scroller for hours on end.

6. Super Smash Bros. (1999) – Totally changed the way anybody thought about fighting games, this series has come a long way.

5. Pokemon: Red Version (1998) – Live Pokemon Red, die Pokemon Red. I liked it so much I was playing it even before it came out with some crappy bootleg version and then when everyone was playing it really became a phenomenon. I remember Jason Olivas calling me at home asking me how to beat Lt. Surge, what a strange time that was.

4. Resident Evil 2 (1998) – The Resident Evil games pretty much wrote the book on horror video games and this one is still my favorite. Creepy atmosphere and plenty of replay value.

3. Shining Force (1992) – Definitely stands out from any other Strategy game I’ve ever played. It was a truly unique experience when I bought my used copy at a Video Update back in the day.

2. Donkey Kong Country (1994) – I’ve never ever gotten tired of playing this addictive Snes classic and never will. Good graphics, good soundtrack and overall great gameplay.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) – A vast and beautiful epic fantasy game, especially considering when it came out. It definitely blew me away and still does.

That’s all folks I hope you enjoyed what took me far too long, Otteni out.

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