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Five Great Films From the 90s and 00s

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published July 14th 2019
Some films are so good you never tire of them
Five Great Films From My Childhood
Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards) trying to escape from a Tyrannosaurus Rex in the movie Jurassic Park.

I watched so many movies growing up as a kid. They all influenced me and helped to make me into the person that I am today. This list could have been so much longer. It was hard narrowing it down to just five. I could have included Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire, Unbreakable,The Fifth Element, The Sixth Sense, Gladiator and SO many more. I love a good film that you can watch over and over again and still be entertained. I have watched all of the movies in this list dozens of times and I will probably never stop finding them enjoyable.

1.The Mummy

The Mummy, Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz
Rick O'Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Evelyn Carnahan (Rachel Weisz) are attacked by the Mummy Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo).

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Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Screenplay by: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weis, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Jonathan Hyde and Kevin J. O'Connor
Release Date: 4 May 1999

Favourite Quote:

Beni: (after a shipwreck) O'Connell! Hey, O'Connell! It looks to me like I've got all the horses!
Rick: Hey, Beni! Looks to me like you're on the wrong side of the *river*!

The Mummy is a 1999 American fantasy horror movie loosely based on a 1932 movie of the same name. The Mummy was praised by critics and called one of the pivotal blockbusters of the nineties and is a very popular film among many of my generation. It stars Brendan Fraser as Rick O'Connell, an American swashbuckling adventurer, Rachel Weisz as Evelyn Carnahan, a librarian and passionate Egyptologist, and Arnold Vosloo as the resurrected mummy Imhotep.

In the film, Rick and Evelyn travel to the ancient city of Hamunaptra and accidentally awaken the mummy Imhotep after Evelyn reads out loud from a page from The Book of the Dead. Imhotep arises and goes on a rampage, killing numerous people and consuming their flesh to make himself whole again, and he brings the ten plagues back to Egypt. Rick and Evelyn must find a way to stop Imhotep before he can get his hands on Evelyn and sacrifice her to bring his lost love, Anck-su-Namun, back from the dead.

The Mummy is a fun, exciting, Indiana Jones inspired-film. Brendan Fraser channels Han Solo in his portrayal of Rick O'Connell and Rachel Weisz is adorable and smart as a whip as Evie. The film is a little bit cheesy in parts and the writing a little bit clichéd, with Rick acting as the Dashing Hero and Evie as the Damsel in Distress, but the movie also has a great ensemble cast, humour, horror, writing and special effects. The franchise was rebooted in 2017 with Tom Cruise, but the film did poorly, and failed to outshine the 1999 version of the film which many now consider to be a classic.

2. The Truman Show

The Truman Show, Jim Carrey
Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) pondering the nature of his world.

Directed by: Peter Weir
Screenplay by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Ed Harris
Release Date: 1 June 1998

Favourite Quote:

Truman: Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

The Truman Show is a 1998 American science fiction film about a man named Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), who is presented as an "everyday man" living a typical middle class life in a seaside town called Seahaven Island. Truman puts on a cheerful persona to those around him, but secretly resents his life. He doesn't feel an emotional connection to his wife, he's bored with his job and living in Seahaven Island and longs to drop everything and fly to Fiji to search for a long lost love from college.

What Truman doesn't realise is that he is the unsuspected star of a reality television show about his life. The Town of Seahaven Island is one giant set and all of his friends and family are actors. Truman was legally adopted and raised by the corporation as a newborn baby. His entire world is fake and every moment of his life since he was born has been monitored and controlled and broadcast around the world. The architect and puppet master of his world is Christof (Ed Harris), a television executive producer who watches over Truman inside a fake moon that looks down over Seahaven Island.

The Truman Show is a cinematic masterpiece. Jim Carrey is fantastic in the film and handles the role of Truman with the right balance of comedy and drama. I love the plot of this movie. It's such an interesting idea. The Truman Show does a good job of demonstrating how fake reality television can be and shines a light on how unhealthy celebrity obsession can be.

3. Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich
Erin Brockovich (Julie Roberts) walking with her boss and lawyer Edward L. Masry (Albert Finney).

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Screenplay by: Susannah Grant
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart
Release Date: 17 March 2000

Favourite Quote:

Erin Brockovich: Not personal? That is my work! My sweat! My time away from my kids! If that's not personal, I don't know what is!

Erin Brockovich is a 2000 American autobiographical film about a single mother named Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts) who gets a job doing filing at a law firm and becomes famous for being instrumental in building and winning a law case against the energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) for poisoning the water of a small town with chromium. Erin Brockovich is one hell of a feminist film. Julia Roberts absolutely smashes it. I love this movie. Erin has a level of confidence I wish I had. She wears what she wants and says what she wants and isn't intimidated by anyone or anything. When she is told to wear nicer clothes to work she says 'I think I look nice' and when she is told she is being emotional she isn't afraid to raise her voice to call out her boss for being sexist. Erin Brockovich is full of excellent writing, memorable quotes, and is one of Julia Roberts' finest films.

4. Billy Elliot
Billy Elliott
Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) practising ballet with his teacher Sandra Wilkinson (Julie Waters).

Directed by : Stephen Daldry
Screenplay by : Lee Hall
Starring : Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Bell, Jamie Draven, Adam Cooper
Release date : 29 September 2000

Favourite Quote:

Tutor 1: What does it feel like when you're dancing?
Billy: Don't know. Sorta feels good. Sorta stiff and that, but once I get going... then I like, forget everything. And... sorta disappear. Sorta disappear. Like I feel a change in my whole body. And I've got this fire in my body. I'm just there. Flyin' like a bird. Like electricity. Yeah, like electricity.

Billy Elliot is a 2000 British drama film about a boy from a working class neighbourhood who is torn between his family and his dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer. The film is set in County Durham in North East England during the 1984-85 coal miners' strike. Billy Elliot (Jamie Bell) is an 11-year-old boy who lives with his widowed father (Gary Lewis), older brother (Jamie Draven), and his grandmother (Jean Heywood).

Billy is a sweet boy who cares for his grandmother and is neglected by his father and brother who are both miners caught up in the strike. Billy takes boxing lessons but doesn't enjoy it. When he stumbles across a ballet class being held in the same hall as his boxing lessons, he joins the class and quickly becomes a star pupil. When his father finds out he has been taking ballet lessons, he forbids him from going again because he thinks that ballet is not meant for boys. But Billy, passionate about dancing, disobeys is father and secretly continues his ballet lessons with the support of his ballet teacher, Mrs Wilkinson (Julie Waters). As Billy's talent as a dancer grows, his father and brother find themselves torn between supporting the miners' strike and supporting Billy's dream to become a professional dancer. His family fear that if they let Billy pursue ballet people will think that he is a homosexual. It takes a lot of time for them to slowly come around to the idea that is ok to let him dance and express himself.

Billy Elliot is a charming, delightful film. I love Billy's confidence in himself and his passion for dancing, how he challenges gender stereotypes and stands up to his family, and his determination to follow his dream. My favourite scene is when Billy runs out of his family home after an argument and expresses his anger by dancing down the road, kicking and slapping at walls, spinning in circles and punching at the air until he is finally stopped by a wall. It's such a good scene. Billy is so desperate to escape his working class life, but is stopped by a physical wall preventing him from dancing out of town.

5. Jurassic Park

Jurrasic park
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), Dr Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) study a dinosaur as it emerges from an egg.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by: Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, BD Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards
Release Date: 9 June 1993

Favourite Quote:

Dr. Ian Malcolm: No. I'm, I'm simply saying that life, uh... finds a way.

Jurassic Park has been called one of the greatest and most influential films of all time. This iconic American science fiction thriller was made in 1993 and directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Gerald R. Molen. It was based off the 1990 novel of the same name by American author Michael Crichton.

The film follows the adventures of a small group of visitors who are invited to visit the island of Isla Nublar and take a tour of a wildlife park called Jurassic Park that has been populated with dinosaurs that have been genetically engineered back to life. The trip turns into a nightmare when an act of industrial sabotage cripples the park and all of the dinosaurs escape their enclosures. The visitors must then find a way to survive and escape the island and get back to the mainland unharmed.

Jurassic Park was the biggest film of my childhood. When it came out in 1993 it was ground breaking and all anyone could talk about. The dinosaurs looked so real and the movie was terrifying. I can still remember watching it in the cinema with my parents for the first time and turning to bury my head into my Mum's hair when the T-Rex stepped into view and let out a ground shaking roar. What's amazing about this film is how well it still looks 26 years later. The dinosaurs in the film were created using a combination of computer generated special effects, puppetry and animatronics. It's astonishing what they were able to achieve at the time. The dinosaurs look and act and move so realistically the introduction of the T-Rex is still as terrifying today, in 2019, as it was in 1993. Jurassic Park is a masterpiece from start to finish.

Do you agree with the movies in this list? What are some of your favourite childhood films?
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Why? The 90s and 00s was a time that brought us a number of great science fiction, fantasy, and drama films many of which are now considered classics and cinematic masterpieces.
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