It feels like just yesterday kids across America were rushing to movie theaters, cans of Surge and 3-D Doritos in tow, to see Robin Williams wreaking havoc in “Jumanji.” Weren’t cool older sisters and their friends just buying tickets to see “Clueless” a third time? And parents were first confirming to their children that, yes, Woody and Buzz Lightyear could make it back home if need be?
That’s why it’s hard to believe that some of the most popular movies in modern movie history turn the big two-zero this year. 1995’s film releases covered the whole of the genre spectrum, from animated adventures to real life dramas to edge of your seat thrillers. With release date anniversaries coming up, take a look back at some cinematic favorites that are just beginning their adult journey.
Release date: June 30, 1995
This drama, inspired by the real life, near fatal Apollo 13 mission of 1969, won 28 awards, including two Oscars. A 20th anniversary edition of the film was released on Blu-ray on June 2.
Release date: July 1, 1995
This comedy about a rich, Beverly Hills teen-turned-matchmaker made an international name of actress Alicia Silverstone and was the first major film role of the late Brittany Murphy’s career. The film’s soundtrack was re-released on vinyl by Universal Music Enterprises on April 7 for its 20th anniversary.
Release date: July 21, 1995
One of the most controversial films of its decade, “Kids” looked a day in the life of a group of New York City teenagers. It received an NC-17 rating for on-screen substance abuse and various sex scenes, but was unrated when it opened in theaters. In honor of its 20th anniversary, director Larry Clark partnered with clothing brand Supreme to release a capsule of skateboard decks, T-shirts and a hooded sweatshirt featuring scenes from the movie. The Brooklyn Academy of Music will also be screening the film on June 25, followed by a Q&A with Larry Clark, co-writer Harmony Korine, and actors Rosario Dawson, Chloe Sevingny and Leo Fitzpatrick.
Release date: August 4, 1995
Believe it or not, a total of 48 pigs and an animatronic double played the role of everyone’s favorite sheepherding piglet. That meant a team of 56 animal trainers were needed on set throughout production to care for not only the piglets, but the other farm animals as well. The animatronic double, a natural actor, required no on-set training.
‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar’
Release date: September 8. 1995
An instant box office success its opening weekend, this comedy starred Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes, and John Leguizamo as three cross-country travelling drag queens whose car breaks down in a small town en route to Hollywood. According to the actors, they burned their wigs and costumes when the film wrapped out of frustration with how long the “becoming a woman” process took.
Release date: September 22, 1995
As with “Kids”, controversy sat with “Showgirls” because of its NC-17 rating and excess of nudity and sex scenes. Despite doing poorly upon its release and being considered one of the worst movies ever released, this drama about a Las Vegas dancer doing whatever it takes to become famous showgirl has since become a cult classic and made over $100 million in video rentals.
Release date: September 22, 1995
Brad Pitt’s role in “Se7en” helped mark his self-declared transition from playing “pretty boy” roles. The transition proved fruitful; Pitt’s portrayal as a rookie cop searching for a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a calling card was praised, as was actor Morgan Freeman.
Release date: November 22, 1995
One of the highest grossing movies of 1995, “Toy Story” was the first full length, computer-animated movie of its kind. Following a toy cowboy’s and space ranger’s adventures far from their owner’s home, it is considered the movie that paved the way for future computer-animated films such as “Monsters Inc.” and “Shrek.” The series continued with “Toy Story 2” in 1999 and “Toy Story 3” in 2010, along with a collection of shorts and TV specials. “Toy Story 4” was recently announced for 2017.
Release date: December 15, 1995
Based on a 1981 children’s book of the same name, “Jumanji” starred Robin Williams as a man trapped in a board game for 26 years who is suddenly released by two children. It was 10th highest-grossing movie of 1995 and went on to inspire an animated TV series.
‘Waiting to Exhale’
Release date: December 22, 1995
Based on a 1992 book of the same name, “Waiting to Exhale” follows four female friends “holding their breath” as they try to seek love and comfort in their individual romantic relationships. It was praised for its all-African-American cast and was called a “social phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times. The film marked the feature film directorial debut of Forest Whitaker.
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