O.J. had his joy ride in his white Bronco and Tonya Harding became an American super villain. Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and The Lion King, ruled the movie landscape, while the Sony Playstation took another step to trapping kids in front of their TV screens. 1994 feels like an eternity ago, partially because I am only 20 and I wasn’t even a thought in my parents mind at the moment. I guess I missed a lot, but I’m sure you missed a monumental moment in movie marketing too.
In 1994 MGM released Stargate, an intergalactic, human origin story, blockbuster. Although it enjoyed major success at the box office 23 years ago, it’d be hard to find too many fans lauding it as a testament to the art of film. Negative critical reviews has pushed it to the back of the ever-popular sci-fi genre, but it did introduce a model that almost every movie today employs. As the first movie franchise to create a website, Stargate laid down a model for the future of how to get a view extra butts in seats.
Unfortunately, Stargate doesn’t have their original 1994 site up and running, but there are a few old school movies sites that are still free to be explored. Let’s take a nostalgic trip back to the 90’s, revisiting some classic movie sites that are still kicking.
As far as I know, Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) ran the 90’s cult classic fad. Existential thought in the regular day of the average young adult was somewhere that film thought was way too boring to go to in the past. After Smith’s critically acclaimed Clerks made waves in 1994, he followed it up with Mallrats, a simple story about two friends going to the mall to get over their relationship issues. Snootie Bootchies!
“Everybody get up it’s time to slam now / We got a real jam goin’ down / Welcome to the Space Jam / Here’s your chance do your dance at the Space Jam / Alright”. Michael Jordan saving the Looney Tunes universe with the help of Bill Murray and Newman. Need I say more? This site needs to be bookmarked by everyone with access to a computer.
The Jurassic Park sequel, certainly didn’t compare to the original, but at least we got another site for the list. However, they take a completely different approach than the others. You enter Ingen as a park employee, which is cool concept, until you realize that it also provides one of the most boring promo experiences possible. At least the dinosaur section reminds me why I will never attend any live-prehistoric animal based theme parks.
I’m tossing these together for one glaring reason. In a matter of months, from July to December, Tom Hanks goes from World War II Captain John H. Miller, on a mission to get the last of four Ryan son’s home safely in the middle of war-torn Europe, to Joe Fox, a bookstore chain executive that falls in love with a woman he’s about to put out of business. Over the internet. The range of this guy is astounding.
The You’ve Got Mail site is extremely well done, even allowing visitors to read the emails Joe and Kathleen send back and forth, which makes sense since it is a movie about the internet. In defense of the Saving Private Ryan site, it’s simple, but did they really even need to convince anyone to go see it?
Willard Carroll Smith Jr., can do no wrong. America has been proving that since he started rapping in 1986 and especially since 1990 when The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air first aired on NBC. We will all accept his shortcomings, mainly anything that involves young adult Jaden Smith (kid Jaden was great in Pursuit of Happyness), because he is a national treasure. Wild, Wild, West, and its oddly designed website have been blessed with a get out of jail free card because we all want to be as cool as that kid from West Philly.