Being in lockdown has meant that many of us haven’t been able to get our regular fix of new movies, and we’ve had to resort to nostalgic thrills to satisfy our film-watching needs. Summer 2020 is unlikely to see many huge releases, so, instead of going to the cinema, you can have a throwback film party in the comfort of your own home. You can experience these high-action, 90s’ summer blockbusters, whether for the first time, or the fiftieth time!
Clearly the 90s had a thing for watching chaos on the big screen, as the majority of top grossing films of the decade were doomsday and disaster movies. Now, many of these films have had multiple sequels and spin-offs, which just goes to show how influential these movies were. Today, any box office records these films had set have been blown out of the water, but at the time, they were bringing in figures that had never been seen before in the history of cinema. The 90s helped shape our perception of the Hollywood blockbuster into what it is today, with these five game-changing movies proving particularly pivotal.
Patrick Swayze steals our hearts once again in the romance-fantasy-thriller megahit that is Ghost. The highest grossing film of 1990, Ghost witnesses the murder of Sam Wheat (Swayze), who has to seek the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg) to save his lover Molly Jensen (Demi Moore). Everyone is familiar with the iconic pottery scene, which has cemented itself as a classic romantic movie moment, and is recognisable to anyone, regardless of whether you have seen this 90s’ classic or not.
In a universe where aliens exist on earth, but must be hidden from the public, the Men in Black are the only people for the job. Starring iconic duo Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, Men in Black was the third highest grossing film of 1991, and was a staple of nineties cinema. With a further three movies, and an animated series in the Men in Black franchise, there is no doubt that Men in Black’s legacy has spawned many other fantastic films.
This legendary tale was the second highest grossing film of 1991, earning its place as one of the best summer blockbusters of the nineties. Starring Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman, Christian Slater and established Alan Rickman as one of our favourite people to watch on screen. Whilst the film was a roaring success, its soundtrack also had a huge impact. The film’s hit song, written and sung by Bryan Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK charts.
Will Smith fights aliens again! Independence Day was the highest grossing film of 1996, breaking the opening records set by Jurassic Park three years earlier. This sci-fi action film also starred Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum and kickstarted what we now know as the Hollywood blockbuster, inspiring a string of other nineties disaster movies. With its climax on the fourth of July, Independence Day was a summer release that exaggerated Americans’ patriotism.
Jurassic Park was one of the biggest blockbusters of the nineties, becoming the highest grossing film at the time, with Titanic stealing its place in 1997. The movie is set on the soon-to-be theme park island, Isla Nublar, where genetically engineered dinosaurs roam free. With CGI being a relatively new technology in the early nineties, Jurassic Park successfully emulated realistic dinosaurs on the big screen for the first time. With some dinosaur scenes taking up to six hours to render, Empire voters said that the first time we see these magnificent creatures was the 27th most magical moment in film. Now a huge, established franchise with five instalments, and another to be released in 2021, Jurassic Park hasn’t been off our screens for 20 years.
What do you think of these summer blockbusters? Let us know or share on social!
Images via IMDB.
Review by Caitlin Hall.
Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @caitonfilm.