The Mighty Ducks

The Mighty Ducks. Walt Disney Pictures 1992.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not exactly sure how I missed the Mighty Ducks phenomenon of the 90s. I knew it was a thing, but not only was I not interested (it’s a sports movie, and there aren’t any real ducks), it was never foisted upon me. I do recall noticing it (or one of the sequels) on a muted TV across the room once in the orthodontist’s office, but that’s it.

The spinoffs this movie had were ridiculous though. Two sequels is one thing, an in-name-only animated adaptation about superpowered hockey-playing cartoon ducks is another, and creating an actual NHL hockey team off the success of a movie is bizarre.

I didn’t intend to do two Disney movies concerning ducks in a row, it just happened. They’re so far apart in time and subject that I didn’t realize until I was set on this movie.

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Movies of My Yesterdays: Jetsons: The Movie

The Jetsons. Universal Pictures 1990.

I believe I have been told this is the first movie I was ever taken to see. Of course, I was young enough that I don’t remember that at all. It was always a part of our home collection in my memory, one of the Beta cassettes that got run into the ground.

I always understood The Jetsons as having been a 60s series that the movie had revived, but I eventually learned that most of the episodes were produced over 20 years later. I’d thought that was either to justify or follow up on the movie, but some quick research right now informs me that the movie came years later, after the show had done well in syndication. I have no doubt the main reason for the 80s episodes was so there would be enough episodes of the property to sell in syndication.

As a kid, I didn’t pick up on much of a difference between the movie and the episodes I’d seen. Longer of course, and a big deal is made about moving the family to a new location, but pretty much the same. Oh, and the interminable song breaks, that I can now appreciate as pretty good MTV music videos that still don’t belong in the movie. As I got older, I came to recognize the CGI, and the cultural shift that had happened underneath the surface.

The last few times I watched this movie, I saw it as the wholesome 60s family uprooted to place them in a setting more relatable to contemporary audiences, but they’re slightly modernized themselves, Judy’s starstruck melodrama (it was just a date with a touring celebrity, not a long-term boyfriend she’s torn away from, come on) aside. Their roles within the family unit are slightly less regimented and clean.

The environmentalist and coexistence message might be a little pat today, but it’s a movie made when those messages were at their most popular in the industry, especially in children’s media. And it certainly wasn’t an overused message for me as a kid. Star Trek taught us that we can make the future better, but it seems very distant next to The Jetsons, which shows us that in the future, we’ll be much like we are now, but with better technology. And this movie asks us to consider what that kind of lifestyle might cost, and if we can do better than that. Sometimes, that just seems possible.

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat. Threshold Entertainment 1995.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not a fan of fighting games. I don’t consider learning complicated button combinations to use against your opponent until all their health is drained to be all that fun, and the carnage Mortal Kombat offered as its selling point did not sweeten the deal.

I know so little about fighting game franchises I was thinking about Raul Julia camping it up when I selected this, but that’s Street Fighter. So all I have to go on for what to expect is mystic Orientalist action focused through a tournament. I’m not sure if it would be more fun for it to make sense or not make sense.

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Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect. 3 Arts Entertainment. 1997.

Before watching the movie:

I know pretty much nothing about this movie. I am informed that the premise involves the main character faking a fiance for apparent life stability to get promoted at work, which I hope gets a little more justified, because anywhere else will look at your job as the sign of how stable your life is. Interesting to note that this 90s boss wants a female employee to be engaged though, since only a few decades earlier marriage was seen as a career-ending move for women.

I will also note that the handwritten-style title, particularly when displayed in white, strongly reminds me of Friends, which I wouldn’t doubt was intentional, this being a late 90s movie starring a Friends alum.

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Heavyweights

Heavyweights. Caravan Pictures 1995.

Before watching the movie:

How did I not know about this movie until right now? It came out in the mid-90s with Disney backing and it’s about put-upon fat camp kids taking over the camp. Why was I not all over this as a kid? Where was the hype?

Sure, it’s hardly a tentpole movie. Ben Stiller and Judd Apatow are the biggest names on it, and both near the beginning of their careers. I don’t expect it to be to modern standards of body positivity, but how often do you see the plump kids as the heroes?

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The Legend of Drunken Master (Drunken Master II)

The Legend of Drunken Master (Drunken Master II). Paragon Films 1994.

Before watching the movie:

I was very close to reviewing this a few months ago, but then when I started to get ready to, I quickly learned that not only was it a foreign-language import, it was also technically a sequel. Its original Chinese title is “Drunken Master II”. However, it is described as a “reboot” of the original movie from sixteen years earlier, with “little in common with… its predecessor”.

And what’s different? Well, I was hesitant even when I found out it wasn’t originally in English. But I’ve crossed that now. After a tough month, I want to review something silly, and since this is only spiritually connected with the movie that gave this one its II, I’m not that concerned by it. I’ve reviewed adaptations and remakes, and I’m given to understand this is essentially a fresh take.

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Blue Streak

Blue Streak. Wintergreen Productions 1999.
Blue Streak. Wintergreen Productions 1999.

Before watching the movie:

This came up in automatic recommendations, and I know very little about it. Apparently, it concerns a jewel thief trying to recover his stash, which had a police station built over it while he was in jail. I’m expecting something of a heist, but there are indications he spends a while posing as a police officer to get inside, which implies a deeper level of infiltration than I usually think of for a heist.

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