Despite having the most participants of any Bro draft to date (20), the draft only took two weeks to complete (by comparison, the Historical Figure draft took almost two months). There were over 500 emails exchanged and only a few fights, most notably, an argument over an angry drafter trying to claim that he had already selected “Independence Day.”
Outside of that, there was the typical draft fodder: complaints about some of the categories (particularly the Cameron Diaz / Sharon Stone slot – seems guys in these drafts are always having issues with the female imperative), constant mockery of picks, begrudging respect for other choices (taking “Three Kings” at the very end of the draft is like stumbling upon the Heart of the Ocean Diamond at the bottom of the Atlantic), and baffling choices (“Airborne” in the first round?)
Most of the drafters grew up in the ’90s, so nostalgia played a role in many picks. That made the mockery so much more personal and hilarious. After the draft, the players had to program their team as they would a movie marathon. I’ve taken the liberty of slotting each of the movies into a time slot, and while I know it’s not going to work out perfectly in two hour increments, it gives you an idea of when in the day you would be watching the film, which is kind of fun to imagine.
A panel of judges will choose a winning team and award the traditional Bro Jackson trophy: an Applebee’s gift card. We strongly encourage you to tweet the drafters with your complaints and / or praise, or simply to comment. Hashtag #BroKnows90s.
Here are the results of the draft. Take a trip back in time with us and watch some great movies.
ROB RICH (@RobertRich)
Welcome to the dope show, folks. Let’s take a spin through the ’90s with so much quality cinema you’ll have to put down your yo-yo to take it all in. We come blasting out of the gate with a high-octane thrill ride in the form of ” Tremors, ” wherein Kevin fucking Bacon tries to save the desert (and the world) from a shit ton of big ass worms trying to take his ass out.
When that’s done, you’re like, hell, Kevin Bacon is awesome, let’s keep it going, so we go from the out-of-this-world surrealism of giant worms to literally out-of-this-world with ”Apollo 13. ” It’s a best picture nominee, and a movie I watched so many times on VHS my VCR started smoking from overuse.
We stick to the flight theme next and pop on ”Con Air, ” helmed by another glorious badass in Nic Cage (a true titan of the ’90s) with such a wonderfully mangy mane of hair you’ll stop taking a shower just to get something similar for yourself.
After that, we move into the horror block, starting with the flick that, for better or worse, started the found footage phenomenon. A bunch of kids take a camera into the woods, looking for a mythical witch, said witch shows up, but we don’t get to see much of it, because this is low budget, and yet we’re scared shitless. An innovative film that succeeded a little more in format than actual output, ”The Blair Witch Project” is nevertheless a 90’s classic.
More scare tactics next with “The Exorcist III,” included only to satisfy the Samuel L. Jackson category, but in actuality, it’s an underrated installment in the franchise. The first one’s great, we ignore the second one, and the third makes a pretty damn good sequel.
After all that doom and gloom, we need a palette cleanser, so we load up ”The Rugrats Movie.” No matter what age you are, if you’re not still down with the Rugrats, then suck it.
”The Mask” is next and we get all conflicted because that movie is kinda funny, but also goddammit that movie sucks. Moving along.
”Eyes Wide Shut” isn’t Kubrick’s best work, but if you have the chance to put him on a list, you take that chance. Plus, it’s always a blast to see just how short Tom Cruise is compared to Nicole Kidman.
We end our marathon with such a glorious Brad Pitt double feature that you wish the marathon was more than just these ten movies, because this is the greatest experience of your life. ”Kalifornia, ” an oft overlooked serial killer road trip gem starring Pitt and David Duchovny is a masterclass in comedy, drama, horror, and more all rolled into one, and ”Fight Club” is the cult classic that showed us a depth of talent nobody knew Pitt had plus introduced the world to the evil genius of David Fincher.
I don’t need to be all self-congratulatory here, but this is the best marathon on the list. Feel free to stop reading anybody else’s recap.
SHANE WILSON (@ShaneWilsonPhD)
You kids won’t remember this, but the ’90s were the decade that brought us the DVD. Until then, people didn’t own movies. Well, okay, they sort of did. I mean, you could buy VHS tapes. But they were terrible: bulky, taking up a ton of shelf space, easily damaged or warped through regular use, a hundred bucks a pop until they finally came to the Suncoast Video store. And then, all you got was the movie in pan-and-scan and maybe a bunch of terrible trailers that were a pain to fast-forward through. It was a garbage format, and not wanting them around your house is what made Blockbuster successful.
Then came the DVD, and suddenly you had commentaries, documentaries, letterbox format, deleted scenes, blooper reels, freeze-frame…there was a whole cinematic history contained on a single 12-centimeter piece of plastic. This made owning a DVD a very big deal, because you were no longer just a collector. You were a historian. You were creating an archive of the truly great films, just by committing to ownership. For years, my shelves of DVDs were the pinnacle of aesthetics, both as home decoration and as a signifier of cultural cachet.
The very first DVD I ever bought was ”Contact, ” so it’s fitting to have it on my list, because this roster is a tribute to making your own personal movie museum. I genuinely love and admire these movies. (Even ”JFK, ” which is factually and ethically bankrupt, but artistically brilliant.) The rewatchability factor of my marathon is enormous. Even the weakest of my picks is worth watching two-to-six times. And when put together?
To draw a quote from my own draft board, “I make this look good.”
JULIO OLIVERA (@ovnio)
We start with ”Reality Bites,” because it is THE quintessential ’90s movie. Just look at that cast: Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Ben Stiller, Janeane Garofalo, Steve Zahn. Funny story: in my native Perú, the translators called it “Generation X”. It’s a fun, zippy movie to start us off easy. Now we’re in the mood.
”T2” slams us into high gear. I’ll be honest, I don’t love it nearly as much as the original “Terminator,” but it’s impossible to deny what a benchmark it is when it comes to action movies, both in terms of sequel quality and special effects.
You gotta follow the intensity of ”T2” with a little bit of classic ’90s smut. ”Sliver” gives us Sharon Stone at the prime of her sexiness (if not the prime of her acting career).
You can’t represent the ’90s without Kevin Smith. ”Chasing Amy” is his best.
My centerpiece is one of my favorite movies: ”Magnolia. ” Yes, it’s three hours long, so it’s going to make our marathon a little bit marathon-ier. It’s also a masterpiece. We’ve built up to this, folks.
After all the ponderous drama in “Magnolia,” you need a palate cleanser. Woody Allen’s musical, ”Everyone Says I Love You” is the perfect candidate. There were several Woody options, but his musical is underrated and sweeter than most of his films (he made it four years post-Soon-Yi.)
Now that we’ve sung and danced for 90 minutes, we can get back to serious business. ”Quiz Show” was Ralph Fiennes’ first starring role and it might be the last truly great movie Robert Redford directed (sorry, ”Lions for Lambs” fans).
By now, we are all exhausted and loopy from intensity. It’s the perfect time to unleash the cheesy craziness of “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” which happens to be the first Friday the 13th movie I ever saw. If you’re itching for a nap, this is the time to take it.
Now that you’ve rested your eyes, let’s get you back into the flow of good movies with the help of Disney’s ”The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Not a perfect movie, but it does feature a priest singing about how horny he is for a gypsy.
Finally, the big finale: ”Out of Sight.” Perhaps the best Elmore Leonard adaptation to film so far. Witty, exciting, full of great performers … It’s also the only movie in the marathon I didn’t actually watch in the ’90s, which proves the ’90s is the gift that keeps on giving.
EVAN BARNES (@evan_b)
I am going to watch my marathon in exactly the order I picked them, because there is not a single weak one in the bunch (except “Antz”). They are all worth a prime time viewing (which is ironic because “Antz” falls right in prime time).
It was a no-brainer picking ”Goodfellas” to start this team. ”Lion King” is the greatest animated film of the decade. ”A Few Good Men” is a dark horse due to the quotables and how fresh it feels. ”Sleepy Hollow” hinted at the goodness we’d see from Johnny Depp in the coming decade and Christina Ricci was a perfect foil for him.
I think my first two picks would sell out any venue. Grabbing ”Blade” at #3 is a treat with and its cable rewatchability factor is the only thing that keeps Wesley Snipes being remembered for his film presence vs. his IRS foibles. Who doesn’t love a vampire hunter oozing with style and a killer sword? Fun fact in light of how much we all love comic book movies now: this was the movie that sparked a comic book movie revival before “Spider-Man” elevated it.
”American Pie” is the sleeper because while it’s not the best teen movie of the ’90s, it’s still funny you’re going to need to laugh amidst the entertaining dramas I have. ”Jackie Brown” is the meat of this gourmet sandwich. Quentin Tarantino’s underrated masterpiece has you enjoying Pam Grier and Sam Jackson play off each other as they move through Los Angeles.
Speaking of L.A … ”Heat.” C’mon. Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Ashley Judd, Val Kilmer in his mid-’90s prime. That shootout? The incredible acting? The cops-and-robbers plot being flipped on its head? Yeah. No explanation needed.
Only weak link here is ”Antz” because somebody wanted a Sharon Stone / Cameron Diaz category. Think of like “One Time For Your Mind” of this 10-flick version of “llmatic.” But after that? You get one of the ’90s’ most underrated gems (”LA Confidential”) and a timeless courtroom drama that had just the right amount of Aaron Sorkin (yes, he wrote “A Few Good Men”) to be quotable and yet not be so irritating that it gives us both a cavity and a hernia.
Kick back and enjoy this greatness. Just thank me later when you find out I win this draft.
BRANDON CURTIS (@brando814)
My marathon kicks off with two films I personally prize, but sadly, they are the least enduring on the list. First, John Carpenter’s “In The Mouth of Madness.” It’s the other creepfest from the ’90s starring Sam Neill. It’s reflexive and fun in the same way that “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare” is. Next is the delightful “She’s The One,” a top shelf outing from the Golden Age of Ed Burns that bursts at the seams with talented character actors from film and television.
Following closely on the heels of those two films will be the thriller “Fresh,” about a youngster who pits rival drug dealers against one another to save the soul of his drug addled sister. Fresh learns chess from his alcoholic father (Sam Jackson). It’s a hidden gem, and intense as hell. As a tonal counterpoint, I’ll add the frankly amazing “Hot Shots Part Deux” wherein Sadam Hussein, “Terminator 2,” “Rambo III,” and “Apocalypse Now” are spoofed with equal relish. Miguel Ferrer and Rowan Atkinson provide some astonishing line deliveries that help cement this as the best comedy of the ’90s.
Another perfect zig and zag are next, as we watch”Leaving Las Vegas” and “The Iron Giant.” Despite differences in genre, both have cumulatively devastating effects and fondly remembered performances by people whose careers (Cage and Vin Diesel) have devolved into absurdity. Both, I suppose, are stories in which the protagonist shuffles off this mortal coil on their own terms. A brave feat in and of itself.
“The Rock” and “Hard Boiled” are perfectly situated next to one another. Let’s be honest, “The Rock” feels like something John Woo would make in America, which makes it a minor miracle that it’s a Michael Bay film. It also has the nice balance of sentimental, dedicated professional men and surprisingly noble bad guys. The death of Ed Harris might be the best American example of a Hong Kong phenomenon known as Heroic Bloodshed. But “Hard Boiled” has the better gun toting, swaggering hero and more cool character touches but they belong together.
Closing out the marathon are “The Last Boy Scout” and “Unforgiven” respectively, the best buddy action film and buddy western of the decade. Both films feature deeply conflicted characters with regret at their core, and yet they have an undying affinity for the violence and nastiness that makes them hard to live with. Both films can be heavy, both films demythologize their lead characters (who are referred to reverentially by both their real names and a nickname), and both are left empty by the love of a good woman gone too soon. I love these movies back to back, because William Munny is a perfect combination of Joe Hallenbeck and Jimmie Dix. Watch them and tell me I’m wrong.
No other line up in the draft better exemplifies the oscillating tones of the ’90s, nor does any other line-up evolve into something so complimentary and thematically resonant. I win.
EDDIE STRAIT (@eddie_strait)
The keyword here is FUN. If you’re plopping down for nearly 24 hours of movie watching, you want to know you’re going to have a good time. Anything over two and half hours need not apply. Long movies make your mind wander, trying to figure out the most convenient time for naps and bathroom breaks, while historical epics are useless outside of Oscar season.
Getting the Coen Brothers masterpieces was crucial, so that I could bookend this thing with fun movies full of dim-bulb characters, brilliant dialogue, and a wicked sense of humor. So “Fargo” starts it off, then we get the Wachowskis’ best movie, the slickly made “Bound.” If you can’t appreciate Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon outwitting Joey Pants and Chris Meloni then, my friend, you ain’t about this ’90s life.
“Very Bad Things” is an obvious punt on the Diaz / Stone category. I got sniped in the second and third rounds, so I waited until the very end. It’s better to test your audience early while they still have patience instead of giving them in excuse to tune out later.
“Face / Off” is everything ’90s action was about: Travolta, Cage, Woo, and face transplants.
No less than ’90s mainstays Siskel & Ebert sang the praises of “Eve’s Bayou.” It’s a Deep South drama and one of the ’90s best kept secrets.
Things ratchet up again with “The Frighteners.” Before Peter Jackson sold his soul to Tolkien, he favored the debauchery of horror comedies. It’s not as depraved as his earlier works, but it’s a blast nonetheless.
Delirium starts to set it when we hit the superior sequel sojourn section with “Batman Returns” and “Toy Story 2.” At this point we’re not looking to be challenged intellectually. We want movies that will play off our basest emotions. Give us the hits and get out of the way. We’ll all be relishing Batman and Catwoman’s cat-and-bat game, then bawling over Jesse being left under a tree. All while rooting for the short, fat, squat dudes to get served up proper. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, but I do believe in watching “Twister” every time I come across it on TBS. Summer blockbusters were frequently as dopey, or dopier, than “Twister,” but they were never as fun to watch. Plus, when you think of the ’90s most iconic film images, what comes to mind faster than the whirling cow?
Ending where we started, The Dude puts a bow on things. When you’re on the verge of cracking, you spread your arms and welcome insanity’s sweet embrace. You’d already laugh at every line, but now you’ll be laughing harder. You’ll feel your brain twist and turn to keep track of the byzantine plot until you realize that nothing matters in this moment and everything is perfect.
JARED MINTZ (@JMintzHoops)
Oh man, did I draft a clunker of an all-day movie marathon. As much as I love eight of the ten movies I drafted (there wasn’t a good horror movie in the ’90s, and unless you took ”Something About Mary” or ”Basic Instinct,” good luck with the Cam Diaz / Sharon Stone category) I don’t know that even I would be able to sit down for 20 hours or so and be able to watch them, but nonetheless, here’s my lineup.
The morning starts with a bong rip and a showing of ”Event Horizon.” My final pick, ”Event Horizon” is about wacky things happening in space. It was kind of cool when I saw it (I was eight). We follow up a crappy Laurence Fishburne movie with an awesome Larry Fishburne flick, and go with my second pick in the two-hole, ”The Matrix,” which we all know and love for its sick action and totally believable Keanu Reeves “serious acting.”
I’m gonna keep the good movies rolling, and follow up the Matrix with ”Jerry Maguire” (my third pick) and ”Mrs. Doubtfire” (sixth pick), because adorable kids, lovable stars, and happy endings! But don’t get too happy, unless you’re tired, because ”The Last Action Hero,” and another bong rip, will be in the five hole of the marathon. This will give you a chance to nap and / or laugh at just entering “washed AF” Arnold Schwarzenegger, with the slightest of slight cameos from Stone (met my quota).
The Jaredthon picks back up with movie six, ”A Bronx Tale,” which in my opinion was the Aaron Rodgers of this draft, going in round eight despite having first round talent. If you disagree, I’ll put you in the bathroom.
We continue the theme of race relations by showing ”White Men Can’t Jump,” and following it up with “Juice,” to show that we can coexist, as long as we don’t gamble our entire life savings on things we can’t do, or become friends with people like Tupac, who literally shoot their best friends.
Like Vanessa Williams, I always save the best for last (’90s reference *snickers*), and will finish up my marathon by showing my top pick, ”The Usual Suspects,” and following it up with the “life sucks, deal with it and be less cynical” comedy ”Clerks.” These are, to this day, my two favorite 90’s movies other than ”Pulp Fiction,” and I hope you enjoyed my marathon.
RYNE HANCOCK (@RHancock19)
Editors Note: Ryne is so confident his draft speaks for itself, he declined to defend it in writing. You can discuss it with him personally at @RHancock19.
ERIN PAYTON (@erindpayton)
My three-month old usually wakes up first, and as the baby book tells me, his memory is currently all of seven seconds, I figure subjecting him to the amazing violence of ”True Romance” won’t do any lasting harm. It will also hopefully (hopefully!) jumpstart me for the day, as I am likely exhausted. “True Romance” is the film that stopped me of thinking of Brad Pitt as a pretty boy and starting me thinking of him as an actor. Plus Gary Oldman. You know who likes Gary Oldman in this role? Click here to find out.
Next up, ”It Takes Two” is little known outside of the early ’90s tween world. It stars, and I kid you not: Mary Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen, Kirstie Alley, and Steve Guttenberg. Aside from it being a blatant rip off of ”The Parent Trap,” it is perfect for my almost two-year-old daughter.
Third up, “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.” I beg of you – if the babysitter has died, please, oh please tell me. Also- young Christina Applegate, Josh Charles and David Duchovny. And QED reports. “I’m right on top of that, Rose.” (Please tell me if the babysitter is dead).
What better way to teach my daughter that life isn’t always fair, but sometimes you can escape jail with a dirty warden’s ill-gotten gains and find peace in Mexico than “Shawshank Redemption.” I don’t know if there is a more perfect film.
Nap time will allow me to watch “Three Kings,” a film that I saw in the theater. I went in with low expectations, and coming out with a “holy crap, have I been looking at every single person in this cast wrong?” This film has a certain magic to it, and I’m glad my kids aren’t up to see it, because it’s also pretty violent.
The beauty of a film like ”There’s Something About Mary” is that sperm can be hair gel if you let it be, and so it would be just fine-ish to show to children when they’ve woken up from their naps? I don’t always love Ben Stiller Cameron Diaz, but they work together great here, and Matt Dillon is amazing.
After dinner, ”Sense and Sensibility” is a film I can re-watch endlessly. Emma Thompson wrote the beautiful screenplay, so I can forgive how poorly cast (read: ancient) she is as Elinor. And it is an appropriate way to show my children that if you have sense and sensibility (and wear bonnets,) life will turn out just grand.
Black comedies are so hard to do well, but ”Election” nails it. Even Chris Klein looks good. This was during Reese Witherspoon’s risk-taking days (basically everything up to Four Christmases) and she gets my vote here for best high school sociopath.
There is only one ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and it stars Kristy Swanson. Paul Reubens proves he isn’t a one-trick pony as Rutger Hauer’s right (or left?) hand man (who doesn’t remember his death scene?) It is also the perfect film to fall asleep on the couch to.
Rounding out the night, I will watch “Dead Again” when my son wakes me up for a late night diaper change. This is the only film that I have seen twice in the theater (albeit at the dollar theater). It is brilliant. I wrote a paper on it in college, comparing it to ”The Long Goodbye” (1973). I’m sure I got an A+ and I’m sure I didn’t write it 90 minutes before it was due, swearing up a storm because the dot matrix printer in the computer lab was printing so slowly. Robin Williams has a cameo in it and has one of my favorite quotes ever in a film. No, I’m not going to tell you it- watch the movie!
In reality, I will be watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from 8am to 8pm. But if I had my way, this would be a perfect marathon movie day.
MEL EVANS (@mel_evans)
What movie is the definition of the ’90s marriage of big budget epics and sweeping romance? For women who grew up in the ’90s, nothing better defines how we view romance and sacrifice–and Celine Dion’s career – like “Titanic.”
What movie defined our views of the hooker with a heart of gold (if you exclude “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which had a great ’90s resurgence too thanks to Deep Blue Something) Most likely, it’s “Pretty Woman.”
What movie defined the Hot Topic crowd? “Nightmare Before Christmas,” in its experimental artwork and herd of misunderstood despondents.
What defined irrational, terrifying stalkers like “Misery?”
What defined female camaraderie and the rules of when you could or could not cry like “A League of Their Own?”
What movie defined the pain and guilt of the Holocaust for a generation that truly didn’t understand or relate to it like “Schindler’s List?”
What movie defined how we laugh and then jump at horror movie trope likes “Scream”?
What movie defined the rise of the truly “indie” filmmaker like “Desperado,” Robert Rodriguez’s gritty telenovela, a sequel to a film he made for $7000?
These movies (and “Pulp Fiction”) are definitive Generation X movies. They taught us how to watch and define movies and genres. At least in the ’90s.
JOSH KLEIN (@joshkleinrules)
I’m sure all of these other knuckleheads are going to write five hundred word treatises on why they’ve chosen to situate “Last Action Hero” in the four slot of their movie marathon, but I’m going to focus on what counts:
OUTSMARTING YOUR FRIENDS. Watch these movies in whatever order you like, I promise, you will finish the experience thoroughly pleasured. Meanwhile, here is a snippet of a text exchange I had with fellow drafter Geoff Doyle:
XANDER KOPROVNIK (@xkoprivnik)
We start off with a classic Keanu performance in ”Speed.” Nothing better to get American blood pumping that a bomb-laden bus that can’t go below 50 mph. Or Sandra Bullock.
Next we stay on the streets of L.A. with ”Menace II Society” as my Samuel L. Jackson movie pick. It may not be the first movie you think of when you hear his name, but I couldn’t pass up on selecting such a powerful and moving film that fit the category.
Next is a movie I remember thinking was the coolest damn thing ever with ”Boondock Saints.” Irish dudes reciting prayers in Latin before they assassinate people? Willem Defoe in drag? Absolutely ridiculous shootouts? Pure gold.
We’ll slow things down with one of my go-to movies growing up as a kid, ”The Little Rascals.” What boy didn’t want to be part of the He-Man Womun Hater’s Club? No friend of mine, Jack. Alfalfa.
On deck is a movie I KNEW was one of the coolest movies ever, and an O.G. first-person shooter: ”GoldenEye.” I don’t know how many hours I spent playing that game on Nintendo 64 with my friends, and the movie was a staple in the video collection. Pierce Brosnan may not be the best Bond, but damn was he smooth in this one. And Xena was straight fire (insert flame emoji here).
Now we really ramp up the absurdity with “Army of Darkness.” Who has time for a cohesive plot when you’re watching blood, guts, and limbs flying every which way? Some things are more important than others. Plus, Bruce Campbell is the man.
We’ve now reached the Amen Corner of my lineup, and it starts with “Casino,” a classic Scorsese and one of the best gangster movies of all time. There’s nothing better than Robert De Niro cracking skulls and throwing around the F word. And Sharon Stone was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for this movie, making this (in my opinion) the strongest Stone movies available.
The next movie is another favorite of mine, and in the fourth round, I couldn’t pass up on a potential “Best Picture” pick as my Drama: ”American Beauty.” One of the best Kevin Spacey performances of all time, this movie really is beautiful in the way it depicts a downtrodden suburban man going through a mid-life crisis and deciding he doesn’t give a shit anymore. That sounds simple, but it’s so much more than that, and so damn good.
We lighten up with one of the driest, smartest, funniest comedies of the 90’s: ”Office Space.” The absurdity of office life is turned up to 11, and it is one of the best satirical depictions of the life of a cog in the corporate machine (which I definitely relate to … because I am one). The fax machine beat down is one of the most recognizable scenes in cinema, and the first time I’d listened to Geto Boys. Bonus points because I went to high school with Mike Judge’s daughter.
And finally, the pièce de résistance: ”Saving Private Ryan.” Arguably the greatest war movie ever filmed, this movie will never cease to be as emotionally and visually powerful as it was the first time I watched it. I can’t think of a movie before it with such an insane opening scene as the storming of the Normandy beaches. And the cast! So many current-day stars. As my Best Picture pick, I couldn’t be happier to end the marathon with this amazing piece of work.
ERIN SEPHEL (@erinsephel)
My movie marathon opens with a jacked up shirtless man fighting. Why? Because that’s. What. Sells. Tickets. What grabs your undivided, groin-warming attention more than pre-Christ-movie Mel Gibson swinging around a sword, his Sampson-like man-hair wisping in the wind. ”Braveheart” is 177 minutes of pure, visceral, sexual pleasure.
The rest of my marathon actually plays like one single glorious super-movie. Enter the scene with the adorable child. The heart-tugging, eye-welling child who you feel feelings for. Real feelings. You see him “Home Alone” and really connect to this child. You’re rooting for him.
Then you see something lurking in the corner and in your theater seat you think “HOLY SHIT! He’s not alone!” And the thing moves. You see a brief glimmer. And then you think “LOOK OUT KID! There’s a man behind you with sharp hands! He must be *GASP* “Edward Scissorhands.” God, that guy is creepy. He probably hangs out with that pedophile at the end of the street. The one with the fannypack. “Candyman.”
The boy sits obliviously in an over-sized lazyboy with a heaping bowl of ice cream while the gangsters circle outside. Those dogs. But they’re not very bright. And one gory gangster at a time, you get the chance to find out how much blood is actually in the human reservoir. Hence the name, “Reservoir Dogs.” Stay in school, kids.
Night falls and you wonder how the kid will make it to morning. Then–that clever kid–you see him rig up some Michael Jordan life-sized cut-outs and (WHOA!) out of nowhere, some Looney Tunes cut-outs too. And he cranks his favorite soundtrack, which is, of course, “Space Jam.” It’s a mad house. Do animals run this place? The answer is yes, they do. Some knucklehead knocked ”Jumanji” off the bookshelf.
The next morning the cops show up (of course.) There’s the typical, approachable white cop with the friendly demeanor. His badge reads “Hanks” .He sticks out his arm, in introduction and says, “I’m Tom Hanks.” And the camera pans in slowly on that damn reassuring smile. ”The Green Mile.” And there’s the black cop too. Introduced himself as Samuel L. Jackson. He looks out of place. Like he doesn’t normally do house-runs. He’s probably usually ”The Negotiator.” Ba-da-tisssk.
Years later, the boy moves away. He drives off one sunny afternoon in his convertible. His mom waves proudly at the doorstep. His dad would have been there, but he forgot about his son. Again. When the boy is out of sight, he lights up a blunt. And he smirks. Because he’s goin’ to Vegas. And he’s about to experience ”Fear and Loathing.”
And now the popcorn is gone. But you’re not even salty about it. Because you just sat through the most epic movie marathon ever.
GEOFF DOYLE (@gmdoyle9)
”Varsity Blues” – On the short list of quintessential ’90s movies. The clothes, the hair, the music, everything. Plus they really nailed the teenage angst aspect.
”Good Will Hunting” – We are going to crank things up a notch here and go with an actual good movie. While I could have used more batting cage scenes, this is one of the best dramas of the decade. Also, the main character was loosely based on my life. Not sure if you knew that.
”Dumb & Dumber” – As the resident draft newbie, I had to come out strong. Picking the funniest movie of all time in the late first round is exactly how you do that. If you haven’t watched it recently, I can’t encourage it enough. Timeless. Samsonite.
”Patriot Games” – It’s a pretty good movie and has Samuel L in it. I admittedly botched this category. I had ”True Romance” all lined up and the villainous Erin Payton snagged her one pick before me. I choked. They can’t all be home run picks guys.
“The Sandlot” – Speaking of home run picks, how about the best kids movie of the decade? If you didn’t want to play baseball with Benny The Jet when you were growing up, then I care about you less than Bud Kilmer cares about assistant coaches.
”The Quick and the Dead” – Filling that horrible Sharon Stone / Cameron Diaz category. A young Leo really kills it here.
”Demon Knight” – I’m sure you guys are getting tired, so here’s something to scare some life back into you. Every horror movie made in the ’90s not called “Scream” was terrible, so just concentrate on the genius known simply as Billy Zane acting.
”Rounders” – More Matt Damon? Sign me up. This movie introduced America to the gross world of poker and it was STILL awesome. Plus, who doesn’t say “payyyyyy heeeeem” like Teddy KGB every once in a while?
”Kindergarten Cop” – Arnold. GOAT. It’s not a ’90s movie marathon if he’s not included.
”Swingers” – Going to Vegas with Trent is what this movie marathon is all about.
VAROON BOSE (@varoonbose)
In any draft, it’s always important to draft either the best player available, or the most versatile player available. I’m playing my movie marathon in exactly the order I drafted it. Frankly, it’s watchable in any order, because I have the most versatile draft board in the league.
Case in point, I drafted a movie that fit both these criteria to kick off the draft: “Pulp Fiction.” With its non-linear storytelling and memorable dialogue, it’s arguably the most iconic movie of the ’90s. But while I drafted it in order to fill in my “Best Picture” roster spot, I later realized the good Samuel L. Jackson movies were flying off the board, and pivoted to making it my “SLJ” movie pick.
After drafting the LeBron James of the draft, I realized that my strategy could go many directions. I basically just patiently waited, and drafted the best movies available. Somehow Boogie Nights and Any Given Sunday (Cameron Diaz’s best ever performance) fell to me at the 2nd/3rd round turn. And sure, I may have reached out of fear as I saw horror movies fly off the board, I think it’s safe to say that any movie draft that ends with “A Goofy Movie,” “Mortal Kombat,” “Rush Hour,” and “My Cousin Movie” is impossible to deny as the overall winner of the ’90s movie draft.
BLAKE HURTIK (@bhurtik)
My marathon is patterned after the legendary ’90s Seattle Mariners lineup, which means it’s built around the Ken Griffey Jr. of ’90s movies: “Independence Day.” Universally loved by all and owning such cable replayability that it is practically absolved from objective criticism. Just like Griffey’s smile.
“Being John Malkovich” is the oddball intellectual who probably has the best swing on the team (Edgar Martinez).
“Boyz N the Hood” is Randy Johnson, the most imposing and emotionally-rattling movie on the roster.
“The Truman Show” is Jay Buhner, an underrated slugger.
“Toy Story” is a rookie Alex Rodriguez–a true revolutionary for its category and an all-time great that has enhanced its look over time (A-Rod used steroids, Pixar used better computers) while earning hundreds of millions.
“Dazed and Confused” is Tino Martinez, a heavy hitter just getting its start, just like Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck as Wooderson and O’Bannion.
I’m not going to try to make a case for how “Fluke” is the Mike Blowers of my team, but I’ll just say that Samuel L. Jackson as a talking dog is better than most Samuel L. Jackson movies not directed by Tarantino or called “Jurassic Park.”
“Scent of a Woman” essentially launched Bill Hader’s career by giving him his prime Al Pacino “HOO-AH!” impression.
“Arachnophobia” nets me a John Goodman role while being a movie that could never be made today: a whimsical horror/comedy that was tailor-made for Blockbuster shelves.
I can’t wait for my team to lose in the ALCS.
SHANE MORRIS (@iamshanemorris)
When I finished the ’90s movie draft, I knew I had won. No one walked away with a better collection of films, especially when balance is considered. Some of us walked into this with “Best Film Available” as a strategy, but I think it was the incorrect approach.
Nineties movies need to work as a team; this is a picture of the ’90s, after all. Films like “Cable Guy” defined how odd and out of place the ’90s were–when the cable guy really could give you extra channels for free. When people thought it was acceptable to let Ben Stiller direct Jim Carrey films.
I grabbed “Sphere,” mostly because its cast is so quintessentially ’90s: Queen Latifah, Samuel L Jackson, Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, and others come together to find an alien spaceship in the middle of the ocean. It’s a movie about making contact with aliens, and make no mistake, we had a fascination with that topic back then. “Mars Attacks” (undrafted free agent, Tim Burton sci-fi), “Contact” and “Sphere” are all movies covering making first contact with an alien life form. So was the hotly-contested “Independence Day,” which almost dissolved some friendships here at Bro Jackson.
I grabbed “American History X,” not just for Edward Norton, but for the washed up shell of the ’90s that is Edward Furlong. That poor, poor man. What the fuck happened to him?
“Lock, Stock” was probably Jason Statham‘s big shining moment, but it’s actually my second favorite British film in my own draft. This draft, for me, was all about “Human Traffic” – a sleeper film that needs to gain cult status.
Right now in America, EDM is booming. The whole music scene among 20-somethings seems to be wrapped around flashing lights and distorted bass. “Human Traffic” follows a group of friends around the Cardiff club scene of the late ’90s, in England. At surface level, it should end there, but it doesn’t.
The people and characters in this film seem like people I know. The way they try to be bleeding edge, the ways DJ’s gain cult-cool status, and how promoters arrange everything. Or the moment when the protagonist Jip tries to talk his way past a bouncer for free club entry. You know, he “knows” someone who will get him in.
“Human Traffic” could have only been made in the ’90s, period. Some films just feel that way.
RAMON RAMIREZ (@athousandgrams)
There was flagrant disregard for the roster (“Amistad” is the closest thing to a Best Picture nominee to be found here), and even more flagrant disregard for the picks of others (the already mentioned “Independence Day” debacle that nearly derailed the draft). But that’s what the ’90s were all about. You couldn’t count on the government to fix things it should, so boom, enter “The Meteor Man” to cure D.C.’s ills. Remember how the series of Ernest movies was a beloved joke in the ’90s, and then lung cancer took Jim Varney away from us before he could complete the vision that surely was the inspiration for all cinematic universes to follow? Now we look back and see a character who went to jail, the army, camp, school, Africa, and the NBA. Oh, and he saved Christmas. Marvel has made an unseemly number of movies at this point and still hasn’t had a single character accomplish as much as Mr. P. Worrell. The rest of the draft was pretty simple; grab prominent Diaz, Stallone, Pierce Brosnan joints or GTFO. Oh yeah, and “Blank Check?” No, not the Damon Wayans superhero movie, the one with the kid who steals a million smackers… that one’s only here because I forgot about “Krippendorf’s Tribe.”
I am the trashman, collecting the cultural detritus leftover from the storm of ballooning budgets and freewheeling lunacy.
NICOLE SERRAT (@SCORENikki)
It’s the kind of upset that makes people remember you and forget about your competitors (does anybody even remember the actor from that war movie Roberto Begnini beat out for Best Actor)? The only way to top that start is to close out this marathon with “Dances with Wolves,” which, yes, isn’t technically a horror movie, but the fact that it beat out “Goodfellas,” “Ghost,” and “The Godfather Part III” makes it scarier than anything Kevin Williamson could ever imagine. The real strength of this marathon, however, is in the “Clueless” and “Die Hard” choices. One is a seminal comedy and the other has Paul Rudd. Everything else is just gravy that reminds you of how fun it was to be a kid in the ’90s.
Between “Aladdin” and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” anything was possible back then, and with this marathon, anything is possible now.
CHRIS MARLER (@CMarlerComedian)
If the computer doesn’t force you fill all of the categories, why would you go out of your way to live up to the arbitrary standards of some other person? This marathon is a celebration of individualism. Everyone took all of the good Cameron Diaz movies, so that slot goes to “Ghost” because if you squint and cover one eye and imagine Diaz with brown hair, you can convince yourself she’s in it. Or, you can just believe that Cameron Diaz is a state of mind and lives a much happier life. One in which “Heavy Weights” is a drama and “Hocus Pocus” is scary. This draft is all about the hakuna matata lifestyle, which is what you’ll need after watching “A Time to Kill.” Growing up in the ’90s meant recognizing “D2” is about more than hockey and “The Little Giants” is about more than football. They’re about life, man, and celebrating it. So come back in time to a place where Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze are still around, to a time when “Forrest Gump” is still more revered than mocked. Let’s be carefree.