Movies are a part of childhood. The first movie we saw in the theater, the first one we tried to watch when our parents weren’t looking, and the ones that moved us or even shaped who we are are all memories. Most of their movie memories from their impressionable years were made in the ’90s, but those films don’t always hold up well today.
A funny thing happens. We grow up and not all the movies we loved when we were kids hold up today. Would you go for Independence Day now that it’s back in the day? When did one of your friends suggest a Blair Witch Project evening? You can see what we’re getting at.
Don’t be a hater, a lot of the movies on the following pages still have their defenders. Vote it down instead of up. The movies you feel don’t hold up are the ones hovering near the top. Is there a childhood favorite on the list?
1. Madonna: Truth or Dare.
The behind-the-scenes documentary Madonna: Truth or Dare came out in 1991. Madonna was a megastar and the movie purported to give some insight into what she was really like.
We’ve grown tired of Madge’s desperate plays for attention in the decades since, so when we see her making fun of Kevin Costner after he gives her a compliment or watches her acting like a spoiled child backstage, it just comes across as obnoxious. This isn’t someone you want to spend time with.
2. Inspector Gadget.
Matthew Broderick is the security guard in the live-action version of Inspector Gadget that Disney created. If you were still high on the fumes from the cartoon, you might have given this a pass back in the day. Most of the gags fall flat and this live-action update is charmless. Over a decade later, they don’t get any better.
You can still name a Spice Girls song. A few of you can sing. Spiceworld was made for fans of the British pop tarts. Pop stars rarely last for long, so when they reach the end of their short shelf life, their films end up in the bargain bin.
When Jodie Foster’s movie Silence of the Lambs came out, people paid attention to the woman who played Clarice Starling.
Foster plays a mountain hermit who says profound things like chicka, chicka, chickabee and other nonsense. At the time, it seemed avant-garde and brave, but now it elicits giggles.
5. Godzilla (1998).
When you found out that America was making its own film, you were very excited. The ads showed a glimpse of the creature’s foot. After seeing the movie, you realized that the giant lizard looked wrong and he/she/it laid eggs and hatched little baby Godzillas.
If you wanted to see the King of Monster’s eight minutes of screen time in the recent remake, you would have to go back to the days of the Japanese movies.
6. The Blair Witch Project.
The marketing of The Blair Witch Project was genius. Since the movie used actors who were unknown, it was presented to the public as a documentary culled together from found footage after the disappearance of its participants. The public ate it, the found-footage craze began, and people talked about how frightening the theater experience was.
The Blair Witch Project is what you see when you watch it now. A scare documentary about young people lost in the woods with shaky cameras that build and end in an abrupt conclusion. There is no Blair Witch to be found.
7. Batman Forever.
Tim Burton was the perfect director to make Batman and Batman Returns. It was the beginning of the end for Batman as we knew him when the new Batman and Robin were introduced.
Even though the movie made a lot at the box office, can you imagine firing up this neon-colored, homoerotic mess after seeing Burton’s films and Christopher Nolan’s trilogy? Batman went from the Dark Knight to some kind of fetish cosplayer with a bulging codpiece and a sidekick to match.
8. Wild Wild West.
The film cost $170 million to make and made about $114 million at the box office. It was supposed to be a big hit for Will Smith, but even his star power couldn’t save it. You wouldn’t watch this today but admit it. Smith’s theme song from the film is still something that people work out to.
9. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
George Lucas was going to do the Star Wars prequels. A new generation was ready to go to a galaxy far, far away after everyone got in touch with their inner nerd. They realized what it was about. trade agreements? Treaties? Something? Bueller?
Darth Maul was cool, but you had that kid playing an obnoxious alien named Jar Jar Binks who spoke in a sort of Rastafarian baby talk.
The movie’s defenders are hiding in the jungle. We were on board for this romp about a high-tech African expedition featuring an ape named Amy who could use sign language. If it wasn’t obvious at the time, we can see that all the apes in the movie are men in suits or worse.
11. The Net.
In 1995 there was a new internet with all kinds of computers sharing information. In the techno-thriller, The Net, which was directed by Alfonso Cuaron, the actress starred as a programmer whose life and identity get messed with via the Internet. The ’90s version of WarGames is what this movie is about now that we have access to the Internet on everything from phones to watches.
12. The Flinstones.
The 1994 live-action remake of the classic cartoon featured John Goodman and Rosie O’Donnell. Don’t pretend you didn’t see the movie because everyone loved the cartoon and it made $131 million. It’s almost impossible to have fun in this version of Bedrock because it’s so transparent.