Avocado Weekly Movie Thread (2/21)

Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic? 

Today’s bonus prompt: What is your favorite movie of 1993?

Was 1993 Steven Spielberg’s greatest year? On one end, he directed what is likely the greatest special effects spectacle of the decade. Jurassic Park hit theaters and gave the world the modern day update of giant monster movies that have been around since the beginning of film. From the lineage of King Kong to Godzilla to the Bert I. Gordon films came what is the most polished version of that genre… and that counts all of the sequels. It is the ne plus ultra of giant monster movies.

And then that same year he also directed Schindler’s List, for which he won his first Academy Award.

That is a hell of flex, Steven.

At that 66th Academy Awards, Schindler’s List and Steven Spielberg had to face off with a frequent collaborator: Harrison Ford. For some reason, an action movie based on an old TV show, directed by…. (looks it up) … Andrew Davis? Whose previous movie was Under Siege? I guess that’s where Tommy Lee Jones comes from. Is The Fugitive being nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award just as surprising as Spielberg directing Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year?

1993 was sort of in the heyday of movie adaptations of TV shows. Also in theaters were The Coneheads, The Beverly Hillbillies, and one of the best Halloween movies of all time Addams Family Values.

Looking back at the movies of 1993, it’s world I just do not recognize. Look at this Top Ten list:

Do you notice something missing?

There are zero sequels. Despite the fact that Weekend at Bernie’s II came out this year!

Sure, there’s the Spielberg blockbuster at top, which was at this point to be expected. But this was also the year that Spielberg was going to transition from a blockbuster filmmaker to a prestige one whose films would be Oscar contenders. There are no superhero films, with maybe the most prominent one coming out in 1993 being The Meteor Man. The 80’s action boom was kinda done, with Stallone winding down in Cliffhanger and Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero. It was in this rare pause year between Disney films; 1993 exists in between Aladdin and Lion King.

At least six of the movies are filmed squarely at an adult audience, and the rest are also fairly adult leaning.

There are TWO John Grisham adaptations.

Remember when John Grisham adaptations were a thing? Is this how we’re kicking off the Clinton presidency? Maybe so. An interesting common line with a lot of these movies are the struggles of the white collar, something that would be a familiar theme in the 90’s. Or as we call it these days: First World Problems. There’s a sense that being in such an envious position is but a fragile place in the world, and one day it may all come crashing down. Perhaps this is best illustrated with Falling Down, a movie where recently unemployed defense engineer Michael Douglas goes on a rampage in LA. Incidentally… production on this film was paused due to the LA riots. Joel Schumacher, I do love you… but holy crap read the room.

That’s not to say 1993 was bereft of tales about blue-collar workers. After all, 1993 also saw a film about two Brooklyn plumbers who railed against a sleazy besuited businessman played by Dennis Hopper.

This ain’t no game.