There are always those big summer Hollywood blockbusters that go on to define a particular summer for years to come.
Case in point: 1995.
Unless you were too young to be in the theatre, odds are you took in one of these films on a warm summer’s night back in the summer of ’95.
At a time when junior high and high school lay in the future for most of us, Clueless was released to offer unrealistic expectations of what high school would actually be like. It did, however, provide most of us with an arsenal of new catch phrases (you know, “as if,” “I’m buggin,” and, of course, “whatever”).
When Pocahontas hit theatres in the summer of ’95, most of us were young enough to appreciate a good, old-fashioned, music-filled Disney flick (actually, we still do). That’s why the film was a must-see, especially when its title track, “Colors of the Wind,” became a Top 40 mainstay all summer long.
Not only did all of our young minds learn a thing or two about American history via the historical docudrama, Apollo 13 just may have been the first big budget “grown-up film” that many of us had seen. As you may recall, the film went on receive nine Academy Award nominations come award season.
Summers of our youth and Batman films are pretty much synonymous. What made Batman Forever especially intriguing back in ’95 (aside from the fact that it revolved around one of our favourite superheroes/Halloween costumes of all time) was the cast that included childhood funny guy Jim Carrey and former heartthrob Chris O’Donnell.
Rewind to Hugh Grant in his heyday. One film that always comes to mind is the rom-com Nine Months. In fact, it marked Grant’s first American role and solidified his place as a household name. The funny thing about Nine Months is that all of us young professionals who are either commitment-phobes or set to become new parents will probably appreciate the film a lot more today than back in ’95.
The medieval war drama Braveheart offered a lesson in history for those of us children and pre-teens with attention spans long enough to care. The film – directed and starring Mel Gibson – went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Back in ’95, Babe was the type of film you would see in the theatre once or twice, then at least a handful more times once it hit VHS. Seven years in the making, this family-friendly feature was a game-changer when it came to special effects, and an Academy Award nomination for Special Effects was among the seven total the film received.
Something to Talk About
While the subject matter (infidelity and married people) was beyond the scope of most of our grade school “relationships,” most of us likely saw Something to Talk About back in the day. The fact that Julia Roberts starred in it made it an automatic go-to in the rom-com department.
As the most expensive film to make of all time back in the day, the summer of 1995 saw people of all ages flock to theatres to see the post-apocalyptic sci-fi action film Waterworld. Not only did it feature the (much older than us) heartthrob Kevin Costner, it also opened our young minds to the whole concept of global warming – and the potential (albeit extreme) ramifications.
When it comes to technology, our world was quite a bit different 20 years ago. The Net, starring Sandra Bullock, offered a look at the influence of technology on culture in the digital world, along with an intro to basic HTML. Though most of us were too young to fully comprehend the plot, the futuristic action thriller was a must-see – even if we had pretend to understand it.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance
Remember the days when we all thought Bruce Willis was basically the coolest man ever? It was likely thanks to the Die Hard series of films. Though most of us were too young to take in the first two in the theatres, when Die Hard: With a Vengeance was released in 1995, many of us young action seekers could be found front and centre.
When Mortal Combat was released in 1995, you likely either had to sneak into the theatre (you know, by purchasing a PG ticket and walking into one that was “R rated) or wait for it to come out on VHS (and beg your parents to let you rent it). The film, of course, is based on the blood and violence-filled video game franchise.
Another classic of the summer of ’95 that you were probably forbidden to see was Desperado. When the film centres on a mariachi who seeks revenge on a drug lord who killed his lover, complete with nudity, it isn’t exactly one for a family outing. The film also marks the first time that the world really took notice of now leading lady Salma Hayek.