Considered Classics in My Book (90s Teen Movies)

I’m a nineties (90s) teen through and through, I turned 18 (when you’re supposedly considered an adult) in 1999. So my entire teen-hood was in the 90s and during that time some of the best teen movies were produced! Sure, you could say that I’m bias because those movies were during my teen years or you could say that I’ve never truly compared teen movies from different decades. Both statements are true in a way, the only other decade of teen movies that I’ve seen plenty of are from the 80s, you know the classic John Hughes movies, Heathers, Can’t Buy Me Love, Just One of the Guys, Lost Boys, etc. That small sample list makes me think that maybe I’m wrong in saying that 90s teen movies are the best, but I think they have a slight upper hand because I was an actual teen during that time.

When I watch movies from my youth, I feel so nostalgic, I almost want to go out and buy a striped shirt, choker and some JNCO jeans. If I was to be completely honest I miss the fashion of the 90s too, but that’s another post for another time. Every now and then I get in a TV or movie funk and I fall back to watching what I call teen classics.

Here are a few that I always go back to:

Varsity Blues

When I was a kid, I loved all those kid sports movies. You know the ones, The Big Green, Sandlot, Mighty Ducks, Little Giants, Angels in the Outfield, and I could go on and on. I didn’t really like those movies because of the sports factor, but I liked the whole “coming together as a team” factor. When I got a little older I no longer cared to watch anything related to sports. I mean I would, but I didn’t purposely seek out these types of movies. Well during my senior year of high school, Varsity Blues was released. I was bored on a weekend, or maybe it was during the summer, either way I wasn’t in school that day and I was bored. So I decided to go to the movies and since not much was out I bought a ticket for Varsity Blues. Thinking even if it was a dumb “jock” movie, it at least had the handsome Paul Walker in it and Dawson (James Van Der Beek) not being very Dawson like.

So I settled down in the theater seat with some popcorn and drink and prepared myself for the worse. However, I was actually surprised how much I truly loved this movie. I don’t know what it was, the teen rebellion, the team building, the relationships or the music throughout the movie, but it was everything to me and when I walked home from the movie that day it was all I could think about it. I rehashed it over and over, and when it was released onto VHS I rented it to watch again, then I eventually just bought it. I honestly can’t explain why I liked and still do like Varsity Blues so much, but every time I watch it I get that same feeling I had when I first watched it. It will always be one of those classics to me.

Empire Records

As I  mentioned in past posts I lived in Japan for a while and my mom lived in Virginia. She would occasionally send me current popular favorites in America, so I could keep up with the times. One Christmas she sent me two CDs, one was No Doubts’ Tragic Kingdom album (which was phenomenal by the way and still one of my favorites) and the other CD was the soundtrack to Empire Records. I had never heard of this movie, so of course I had never listened to any of the songs from the soundtrack. When I popped in the CD and listened to it for the first time I was just blown away about how much I loved every song. And this was during a time where I mainly listened to R&B and Rap music, stressing the “mainly” part of the sentence because I listened to a lot of different music when I was a teen and still do.

The music was so great, but obviously I had no context of what the movie was about and because we had a single screen movie theater on the Air Force base where I lived, the theater was very selective on what movies it showed. So the movie was never in theaters, I had to wait until it showed up to rent at the Shoppette (mini mart type thing). My friend and I were immediately excited when we spotted it and popped it in the VCR as soon as we got back to my house.

It was everything that the soundtrack built it up to be. It was definitely a quissential teen movie, with everything from music, rebellion, romance and comedy. I still love this movie to this day. It was also the first time I saw the adorable Ethan Embry, who will be mentioned later.

The Faculty

Each decade seems to have a slew of teen horror films released and the 90s were no exception, we had the Scream movies, I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, Urban Legends, Disturbing Behaviors, Idle Hands and a bunch that I can’t name off the top of my head. My favorite out of all of them was The Faculty. A movie where the teachers are aliens and they try to infect all the students with parasites. As if high school teachers weren’t already super annoying, am I right? 

I don’t know what it is about this movie but I can watch it over and over. Like, I mean I still could watch on any day at any time. It had an all-star teen cast and it was just a thrill ride the whole time. I’m honestly surprised they haven’t remade this movie yet with what ever teen stars are popular nowadays. I’m seriously at a lost for words to describe the love I have for this movie. I will say that I’m not a huge fan of “horror” films, so I don’t know why this movie is one of my favorites. It just is.

Clueless

Clueless is my everything. When I was a teen I watched it probably hundreds of times. I used to be able to quote most of the movie, which is a feat for me because I normally don’t memorize dialogue. It’s also the first time I saw Paul Rudd. I was so in love with Paul Rudd that when I still see him to this day, I just picture him as Josh from Clueless.

The one thing I loved about this movie was the fashion. Yeah it was a little extreme in some cases but I dreamed of having a wardrobe like Cher. Oh my goodness and that closet! I still dream about having that closet. It also had so many people that I loved in it, Alicia Silverstone, Donald Faison, Brittany Murphy and Breckin Meyer. It was such a great cast and the dialogue was hilarious and so well written. This movie will always be a classic in my book and one that I can always go back to and watch. I’ll probably still enjoy it when I’m in my 90s!

Can’t Hardly Wait

I saved the best for last. This is the movie that made me fall in love Ethan Embry and I still get giddy every time I see him. Along with Ethan Embry, it starred Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Facinelli, Seth Green, Sean Patrick Thomas, Freddy Rodriguez and Jaime Pressly. There were even small appearances made by Melissa Joan Hart and Donald Faison. It honestly was a better cast than Clueless and that’s kind of hard for me to say.

It was the perfect romantic comedy. This kind of outcast teen, Preston (Ethan Embry), decides to finally tell the popular girl in school, Amanda (Jennifer Kove Hewitt,) that he loves her. Of course there’s a big teen party with a bunch of different storylines going on, lots of high jinks and sentimental moments, then in the end the outcast kind of sort of gets the girl. They kiss in the train station right before Preston is about to leave. It’s all terribly romantic and one of my favorite scenes out of every teen movie in existence. I will never stop loving this movie,even if it gave me high hopes of some romantic declaration of love at the end of my senior year, which of course never happened. 

Honorable Mention of Sorts – 

I love the movie Mallrats! Some people may consider this a 90s teen movie, I don’t. The characters that were in school were in college and the rest of the characters were in their 20s. So while everyone in the movie seemed young, they weren’t teens. Mallrats is a Kevin Smith movie and all of Kevin Smith’s movies (well not some recent ones) have a separate file in my hearts filing system. One day I will hopefully write a post on why I’m such a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s! 

These examples of 90s teen movies that I believe are prime examples of why the 90’s produced some of the best teen movies. Do you think these should be considered classics? Do you think other 90s teen movies top the ones I listed? Let me know! 
Man, sometimes I miss the 90s. 

 

 

To Read or Not to Read

For Mother’s Day I went to Asheville (North Carolina,) to tour the Biltmore Estate with my mother. If you don’t know what the Biltmore is, it’s a very extravagant castle like mansion built by George Vanderbilt in the 1880s. George Vanderbilt was an avid reader and had over 22,000 books, so as showcase the Biltmore had Designed for Drama. They took some of Mr. Vanderbilt’s favorite books that were adapted into movies and then displayed the costumes of said movies. There were costumes from Portrait of a Lady (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Pride and Prejudice (1995), Anna Karenina (2012), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Finding Neverland (2004) and much more. This showcase inspired this new post.

I’ve been an avid reader since I was young. I’ve always loved to read, even though I may go through time periods where I barely read anything at all. This year I decided to set a reading goal, to read 25 books, and I was doing well in the very beginning but then came that reading wall that I normally hit. I just get tired of reading and end up just stopping. Well I stopped right in the middle of reading American Gods, which is a now a series on Starz. I’ve always wanted to read this book and when I found out that it was going to be a tv show, I knew I had to hurry up and read it. Unfortunately because of the reading fatigue and other hobbies,  I’ve only read 268 out of 742 pages, which saddens me because I’m very eager to watch the show but I want to finish the book first.

So here comes the dilemma, should I finish the book first and then watch the show. We have Starz On Demand, so the show will be there for a while, which means no hurry. I just really want to watch it. So do I give up on the goal of reading the book first and just watch it or hold on to that goal. In the end does it really matter if I read the book first or not?

I’ve never been one to be picky about books that become movies or tv shows. I don’t really nitpick at a movie that I’ve read the book for. I understand that it’s difficult to put everything from a book into a movie, it would either make a movie really long or maybe bore the viewers that haven’t read the book and wouldn’t care about specific scenes. So I never harshly criticize movies when they leave out things from the book. Unless it’s something that I feel was really significant and would have been easy to add. For example, in the third installment of the Harry Potter movies, Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry is at a lake and the Dementors are raining down on him and then he sees a glowing stag before a burst of light that scares off the Dementors. Later we find out that Harry goes back in time to alter things that happened and it his Patronus that is the stag, which ultimately he uses to save himself. In the book, it’s later explained to Harry that the probable reason his Patronus is a stag is because his father’s Animagus (the animal he would morph into) was a stag. He and his friends would transform into animals so they could be with Lupin (their friend) on full moon nights when he transformed into a werewolf. The stag was also James Potter’s (Harry’s dad) Patronus. To me this is a beautiful moment and such a wonderful thing to hear, it let’s Harry know that a part of his father is still with him. For some reason, this wasn’t in the movie at all. Which makes no sense to me because it is such a simple but significant thing that could have been easily added and only would have taken up one minute of the movie.

Besides things like that I’m usually really good about not judging a movie or tv show based on the book. To me they’re two separate entities. There are times that I’ve even watched adaptations and I would become curious how the book differs. This is the case with the new Hulu show Handmaid’s Tale. I actually considered reading the book before I even knew it was going to be a show, but I had so many other books to read that I just couldn’t fit it in. The show is so dark and creepy but intriguing at the same time. I want to read the book just to see what’s different.

So should I finish reading American Gods before watching the show? That way I don’t end up wondering about the differences. Or if I do read the book first will it affect how I feel about the show, even though I’m pretty good about keeping filmed adaptations and books separate in my mind? Will it be the first time that I really judge. It’s a tough decision.

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Small Tea Review:

While I was at the Biltmore I found tea! So of course I had to buy some. Along with the tea, I also go a lovely new mug and my mother got me an early birthday gift, a beautiful teapot! The tea I bought was a black tea with blackberry leaves. It smelled just like blackberries and the taste was heavenly. I loved how smooth it was and the blackberry flavor notes were just the right balance. I don’t think I would ever buy it again just because the price tag was a little high considering the amount you get. But to be honest that’s to be expected since it’s a tourist spot, things always cost more.

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There will be another tea review soon. I know I said it would be a while but I’ve learned to never say that again because I always end up getting more tea. So expect a new Whistling Kettle review in the next week or so.

Till next time!!

 

 

 

Television Betrayed Me and Gave Me Nightmares

The trailer for the It remake was recently released and I barely could watch it. I had to hold the phone as far away from me as I could and keep one eye closed, all while I screamed, “NO! NO! NO!” The trailer gave me the idea for this post, because it made me realize that my three biggest fears are all attributed to either a movie or a tv mini series!

First we’ll start with my fear of CLOWNS and the original mini series It, since that’s what inspired this blog. I never had issues with clowns before I saw It. Before they were just lovable funny looking people trying to make others laugh and now they are the face of pure scary evil. I can’t remember how old I was when I saw the mini series but I know I was in the later years of elementary school. My father was a Stephen King fan, we had many of his books on the bookcases in the house and because of my father’s fandom I had also already watched the movies Pet Sematary and Cujo. While those movies did scare me, it did not prepare me for the fear that would be with me forever once I watched It. I can’t look at clown now without wanting run away screaming. I actually had a friend who was a professional clown for a time and I could barely look at her when she was in makeup. Pennywise was the most monstrous creature to ever haunt me in my nightmares and he made simple everyday things hard to be near, like sidewalk drains or sheets on a clothesline. The funny thing is, I love this mini series! I’ve watched it more times than I can count. I don’t get as scared as I used to when watching it because I know what to expect and when to expect it. However I still have to cover my eyes during certain scenes. 

Next up is my fear of BIRDS and obviously this is due to the Alfred Hitchcock film Birds. My father and mother attribute a lot of my fear to this incident:

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While in Italy, at St. Mark’s Square, I fed some pigeons. My tiny self had a little seed and the pigeons decided I was their friend and they could swarm me. I obviously don’t remember any of this but there are pictures to document the beginning of what would be a life long fear.

I can’t remember how old I was when I saw Birds but I believe I just randomly caught it on TV and I’m sure I wasn’t older than 10 years old. I couldn’t draw my attention away from this movie and I just kept watching the horror of these every day creatures raining down pain and torture among people in a small town. I think this must have brought back memories from that day in Italy. Now I can’t have birds near me without having a slight panic attack. I don’t trust their empty dead eyes and their sharp beaks. They will forever be the mortal enemies that I can’t fight because of the fear I’ll be pecked to death. I’ll add that I do love the movie Birds, just like I love It. I must be a glutton for punishment.

The last fear is DEATH and yes I know that pretty much everyone is scared to die, but it actually gives me anxiety talking about it and I can only hope that I make it through this last paragraph without freaking out. My fear of death came from the most unlikely place, Anne of Green Gables. This adorable, lovable and light-hearted mini series introduced me to death at the age of five or six. I had seen death many times in other movies and tv shows, but I don’t think I ever really acknowledged what happened, not until Matthew Cuthbert died on Anne of Green Gables. While watching it, I turned to my mother and I asked her what it meant when someone died. She explained it to me in the best way a mother could and I immediately began to sob. I didn’t realize there was going to be an end to my existence. My world was shattered and I would forever be in fear of when my day would come. I don’t remember much at that age but that entire scene is so vivid in my head. It was inevitable that I would learn about death at some point in my youth, unfortunately Anne of Green Gables was the thing that broke the news to me. I do still love the books and the mini-series, but for the rest of my life I will associate it with death.

So there it is, my three biggest fears and how they came to be because of some tv mini series or movie.