The 1990s were a unique decade. The Cold War ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the analog world transformed into a digital landscape with the passage of the Telecommunications Law in 1996. Among all the changes the world was going through, the film industry has undergone its own radical overhaul as practical effects have given way to computer-generated imagery (CGI). Hollywood hasn’t been the same since.
The 90s were a unique decade for cinema. The internet, social media, and technological advancements in cinema created harsh realities for films of this era. It’s always a great time to explore filmmaking in the last decade of the last century.
ten Last decade of malicious marketing
Thanks to the internet, production studios have multiple ways to promote films. Whether it’s through targeted ads, algorithms, or social media posts, there are plenty of ways to get the word out when it comes to selling tickets. Everything changed after the 90s.
When The Blair Witch Project was released, it came with an advertising campaign that pushed the film as a true documentary. Even after its release, people were convinced that the movie was real. Without the help of social media, the film made $250 million on a budget of less than $1 million. No film studio could make so much profit with an oversaturated media market.
9 The Best Comic Book Movies of the 90s Were Inspired by Horror
The superhero movies of the 1990s weren’t the colorful, action-packed spectacles fans know today. Flashy comic book movies didn’t gain much traction until x-men (2000) and Spider Man (2002). The box office hit stories were gritty and inspired by the horror genre.
Tim Burton dominated the genre with Batman (1989) and its dark sequel Return of Batman (1992). Batman: Mask of Phantasm continued the Caped Crusader’s path through film noir. Plus, the movies that brought audiences to theaters were inspired by horror. The crow (1993) and Demonic Spawn (1997).
8 1990s Teen Movies Had Similar Plots
Movies aimed at high schoolers in the 90s had similar plots. A coming-of-age tale about a nerdy protagonist who has a crush on the campus idol. They overcome adversity by employing the services of the cool kids to aid in a physical transformation and win their crush’s heart.
The synopsis sounds familiar as it matches the plot of the decade’s most popular teen movies. look She is all that (1999), I can not wait (1998), 10 things i hate about you (1999), college blues (1999), and parody comedy Not another teen movie (2001) for some examples.
seven The 90s were the last decade of good irreverent comedy
Sure, some comedic gems came out in the 2000s and beyond. But the comedies of the past were of a different breed. In the late 70s, a comedic revolution took place on movie screens across the country as national pamphlet dominated the box office with animal house (1978) and Holidays (1983).
Irreverent movies like Porky’s and Grooves in the 80s gave way to Billy Madison and Ace Ventura in the 90s. Around the turn of the century, comedies started playing it safe. A movie without outdated ideas or gags is still funny, but it’s just not the same.
6 Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan dominated romantic comedies
The romantic comedy genre is so popular that it has earned the abbreviation “rom-com”. The plot is generally quite simple; two people meet, overcome a series of common ordeals and fall in love. In the 90s, there was a good chance that these two people would be played by Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
Insomnia in Seattle (1993) is one of the most beloved romantic comedies of all time, while You’ve got mail (1998) became the first romantic comedy to feature internet dating. Joe against the volcano (1990) is an understated cult classic. Hanks even refused the lead alongside Ryan in When Harry Met Sally (1989).
5 Tom Hanks was a box office king
When it comes to famous actors and their award-winning masterpieces, there’s only one person who sits on the throne of 1990s cinema; the incomparable Tom Hanks. Over the decade, Hanks appeared in 14 films which grossed a total of over $3.5 billion.
In addition to his hit romantic comedies, Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor for philadelphia cream (1994) and Forrest Gump (1995) and was nominated for Saving Private Ryan (1999). He also made his directorial debut with That thing you do! (1996) and helped put Pixar on the map with toy story (1995).
4 Last full decade with Sam Winston
Creature designer and visual effects mastermind Sam Winston frequently collaborated with some of the industry’s top filmmakers. Winston won Oscars for his work in Terminator 2: Judgment Day and jurassic park and received nominations for his work on Return of Batman.
Some science fiction and fantasy projects still use practical effects, and Winston’s animatronics can be seen at Universal Studios. With his passing in 2008, the 1990s became the last great decade to experience Sam Winston’s creatures on the big screen.
3 CGI growing pains
The phrase “to make an omelet you have to break eggs” has never been truer than when it comes to computer generated imagery (CGI). In the 1990s filmmakers broke a lot of eggs and horror movies like Lawn mower (1992) and The Mummy (1999) are proof of this.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and jurassic park (1995) are two of the few examples of amazing CGI from the 1990s. There are even questionable graphic choices in films today. Today’s amazing graphic design wouldn’t be possible without the films of the 1990s.
2 The last decade in an analog world
90s scriptwriters had to be more creative than their 2000s counterparts. Communicating in the last decade of the 20th century required a few steps for a character to find a landline or payphone. Today, a simple mobile phone in the pocket will do.
Additionally, films today can rely on characters communicating via social media posts and on-screen text messages to simulate dialogue. With the advent of the Internet, the communication style of the 1990s has become almost obsolete. Except, of course, for movies set in that decade.
1 Last decade of the original film
Throughout the century since the invention of celluloid, films were completely original. Even movies based on books were basically the first attempt at adaptation. As Hollywood reached the end of the 20th century, originality became rarer.
Almost every movie today is a reboot, remake, sequel, or adaptation of a book. The days of originality are over. To be fair, hundreds of independent films are released every year. However, since the 90s, the major studios and distributors no longer seem to have any interest in promoting new ideas.
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