Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: November 1991

Three faculty, and one staff member of the department of physics and astronomy, were killed, along with one administrator, when physics graduate student Gang Lu went on a shooting rampage at the University of Iowa after being denied the Physics award (they actually made a historically inaccurate film about this titled Dark Matter in 2007). Russian President Boris Yeltsin outlaws Communist Party. The last oil fire in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops is extinguished. Magic Johnson announces he has HIV virus & retires from LA Lakers. Joint European Torus (JET) scientists in Culham England successfully harness nuclear fusion to produce the first large amount of controlled fusion power. Bomb destroys Dutch Labour party politician Aad Kosto’s house in a failed assassination attempt, he survives and in a famous image finds and cuddles his cat. American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103. 1st TV condom ad aired (FOX- TV). The Croatian city of Vukovar surrenders to Yugoslav People’s Army and allied Serb paramilitary forces after an 87-day siege. NY Knicks pay Patrick Ewing a record $18.8 million for 2 yr extension. Freddie Mercury, 45, confirms he has AIDS the day before he dies. Condoms are handed out to thousands of NY High School students.

Music

Honorable mentions: Gregorian: Sadisfaction, this foreign German album that is nice to listen to, but isn’t exactly a mainstream American release, so I can’t include it with the main features. Bonnie Tyler: Bitterblue. Lisa Stansfield: Real Love; people used to think she was black. Shanice: Inner Child. Tevin Campbell: T.E.V.I.N.. Keith Sweat: Keep it Comin’.

Nice music selection this month.

Nazareth: No Jive (1)

Tell Me That You Love Me is the only real standout, but there isn’t anything particularly weak.


Loveless: My Bloody Valentine (4)

Different. I Only Said was the main standout to me.


Enya: Shepherd Moons (4)


Iced Earth: Night of the Stormrider (11)


Yanni: In Celebration of Life (12)

This is something else.


2Pac: 2Pacalypse Now (12)

Debut of this famous rapper, whose name will also be spelled Tupac.


U2: Achtung Baby (18)

Interesting album, but the best track is definitely Even Better Than the Real Thing.


Teenage Fanclub: Bandwagonesque (19)


Michael Jackson: Dangerous (26)

The #1 album of 1992, released in 1991. While Black or White was the major hit from this album, Why You Wanna Trip on Me sounded groovy to me. So did Give in to Me.




Movies

Honorable mentions: Liebestraum; interesting mystery/drama, but try tracking down the uncut edition on VHS. And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird; seems to have a cult classic status, but I find it forgettable. Close My Eyes; a film about sibling incest where you see a lot of Clive Owen naked. The Little Engine That Could, a video release animated film that’s less than an hour; I grew up with it, but I’ll admit not even nostalgia helps this one. For the Boys, this film isn’t as good as it thinks it is. Prisoner of Honor, interesting film about the Dreyfus Affair (and starring Richard Dreyfus), but it doesn’t do a good enough job showing the division created from this in France, let alone how this resulted in basically the creation of Zionism, where the father of Zionism Theodor Herzl proposed that Jews find their own homeland, after seeing how mistreated the Jews were in France which was wrought with anti-semitism during this 1890s time period. Mark Twain and Me, made for TV Disney flick about this girl who hangs out with Mark Twain during the last years of his life.

Don’t let the stinkers fool you, this was a damn solid movie month.

Little Man Tate (1)

Not one of my favorites, but it’s a decent enough tale about how a kid genius shouldn’t progress too far in life too fast, lest he miss out on the joys of childhood, hanging out with and doing activities with others his own age.


29th Street (1)

Surprisingly solid Christmas film many don’t know about. Regarding this guy who has had nothing but bad luck his entire life, and has to consider how important his family is in his life compared to his other ambitions.


Billy Bathgate (1)

Another film that isn’t as good as it wants to be, but it’s still good enough to be worth a watch. Yet another gangster film going off the success of Goodfellas.


Highlander II: The Quickening (1)

I know this is nearly universally reviled, but I have too much fun with this so-bad-it’s-good flick to hate it.


The People Under the Stairs (1)

A bit more entertaining than I thought it would be. This film isn’t sure if it wants to be a horror, a comedy, or a horror-comedy. It’s constantly juggling between those genres without snugly settling into either. Makes for an interesting viewing.


Cape Fear (15)

Surprisingly solid remake of the original classic, putting its own spin on the story making it stand clearly apart from the original. This is how to do a remake right (that 80s trend hasn’t faded away yet, Hollywood could still churn out good remakes), even if the finale got ridiculous.


Kafka (15)

Whew, now this is an interesting one. That’s all I’ll say. You should see this at least once.


The Addams Family (22)

It took a while, but this film eventually grew on me. It actually does justice to the original series it’s based on, which is a fucking miracle considering how often studios tend to fuck that up.


An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (22)

I’ll admit the previous Fievel film is the superior film objectively-speaking, this one is so much more fun all-around.


Beauty and the Beast (22)

As much as I hate to admit it, this is the film of the month. The film that made the Disney Renaissance era official, after the release of The Little Mermaid in 1989. Have to admit, this film is still pretty good, deserving of its classic status, and far better than the other remake shit that came out over the past few years.


My Girl (27)

If Beauty and the Beast wasn’t released, this would’ve been my pick for film of the month. Coming-of-age slice of life flick that deals with death. Have tissues at the ready for this one.




Games

Honorable mentions: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (NES). Uncharted Waters (NES), wait for the Sega Genesis and SNES versions. Dino Land (Sega Genesis); so-so pinball game with questionable physics. Shadow of the Beast (Sega Genesis); just play the Amiga version instead. Pit Fighter was also ported over to the Sega Genesis (which is far better than the port the SNES would get), and I say the arcade version is still the definitive experience. John Madden Football would get ported to the SNES this month too (after recently getting a release on the Genesis). RPM Racing (SNES); interesting, somewhat ambitious, and would inspire other games of the same ilk, but not as fun as it should be. Darius Twin (SNES), decent and all, but it’s widely considered to be the weakest in the Darius franchise. True Golf Classics: Waialae Country Club (SNES), for those who give a shit about a golf game that is decent (as one who normally dislikes sports games, if you’re to get me interested, it needs to be better than decent). The Addams Family (TurboGrafx-16), mainly worth mentioning because you play as the villain lawyer in this game rather than any of the members of the Addams Family.

Damn good month for games too.

Vice: Project Doom (November 1991; NES)

The NES was still alive and kickin’, and had some solid games left in it. And Jesus Christ, what’s up with their eyes?


The Bard’s Tale (November 1991; NES)

Originally on the PC. The one that started the franchise.


Eliminator Boat Duel (November 1991; NES)


L’Empereur (November 1991; NES)

The game that was overshadowed by Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Nobunaga’s Ambition.


Snow Brothers (November 1991; NES)


Space Shuttle Project (November 1991; NES)


Star Wars (November 1991; NES)

About as good as this franchise got on consoles back then. But it would get better. At least it was better than the Empire Strikes Back game that the NES would get. Otherwise, this is a game that’s too difficult for what it is. And considering how hard the SNES Star Wars games are, that’s saying a lot.


Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth (November 1991; NES)


Adventures of Lolo 3 (November 21, 1991; NES)

Final entry in this NES puzzler franchise. More of the same.


El Viento (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

For a decent underrated game that seems like a faster Alisia Dragoon, it sure does have a shitty cover.


Growl (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

This game is fun enough, but the arcade version is much better. The storyline to this is amazing.


Marble Madness (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

Before there was Monkey Ball, there was Marble Madness. Ported from the arcade.


Roadblasters (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

Another port of a classic arcade title.


Vapor Trail (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

Obligatory shmup for the Genesis.


Trouble Shooter; aka Battle Mania (November; Sega Genesis)

Hidden gem of a shooter.


Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (November 1, 1991; Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-CD [January 1992 SNES])

This game would be released on the Turbografx, Genesis, and SNES. The differences between the versions are slight, but from what I understand Genesis > Turbografx > SNES, but all are flawed in their own way. But the SNES version was the most well-known (when it was released in January 1992). Other that, this is considered good, but not as good as Ys 1 and 2.


Road Rash (November 1991; Sega Genesis)

Simple racing bashing fun. I played my fair share of this back in the day. Great beer and pretzels gaming right here.


Final Fantasy Legend II [aka SaGa II] (November 1, 1991; Game Boy)

Despite the title, no relation to Final Fantasy. It should be called SaGa II.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Back from the Sewers (November 15, 1991; Game Boy)

Better than the last one on that system.


ActRaiser (November 1, 1991; SNES)

An SNES classic. Play as God and smite shit.


Super Tennis (November 2, 1991; SNES)

A classic among Tennis-lovers.


Final Fight (November 10, 1991; SNES)

As one who grew up on Streets of Rage, and because Streets of Rage came first, I see this as a wannabe Streets of Rage clone, that’s missing stuff from its arcade version (at least Streets of Rage was made for the Genesis), and it doesn’t even allow for 2 player co-op like Streets of Rage does. Still, it is a classic on the SNES, and an alternative to Streets of Rage. An inferior alternative, but an alternative none-the-less. That being said, keep an eye out for Final Fight CD that would come out years later. Or just play te arcade version, which is probably better than the first Streets of Rage game (but has nothing on Streets of Rage 2).


Final Fantasy II [aka Final Fantasy IV in Japan] (November 23, 1991; SNES)

My favorite of the SNES Final Fantasy games. That being said, the Game Boy Advance version is the superior way to play it nowadays, due to certain censorship issues, translation problems, and stuff.


Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts (November 28, 1991; SNES)

The Sega Genesis already got its own port of this in 1989, with its own quirks and such (and a superior poster/cover). But honestly, the SNES version is the definitive way to play this. I stand by this even with the brief slowdown moments, if only so that you’re encouraged to get good and efficient at this game more through trial and effort rather than through chugging the quarters into the arcade machine. This game is legendary, primarily for being hard as fuck. You beat this game, then you’re a true gamer.


Raiden (November 1991; TurboGrafx-16)

Considered one of the best shmups of all time. Had many ports on several consoles (let alone the arcade).


Catacomb 3-D: The Descent (November 1991; PC)

This is it. The FPS-style game franchise that would inspire the creation of Wolfenstein, which would inspire the creation of Doom.


Out of This World, aka Another World (November 1991; SNES, Sega Genesis, Amiga, Atari-ST, DOS)

#Another World from Byte Sized Classic Games

This game has a hell of a legacy. It’s for that reason that I have to give this the Game of the Month title, even if it isn’t my personal favorite from the month. And this had a release on several platforms. And for a console release, the graphics were pretty damn impressive at the time (they blew me away back in the day, as a Sega Genesis player). It’s basically a trial and error game similar to Dragon’s Lair, but requiring more critical thinking to get through.




Shows

The Muppet Babies last episode aired November 2; originally started airing in 1984.

A good month for shows too. One solid show that’s an adaptation of a popular comic serial (toned down a bit for the kiddies), and one incredible show for adults.

The Adventures of Tin-Tin (4; HBO)

Considered the most faithful adaptation of the little mini-comics.


Silk Stockings (7; CBS -> USA)

Certainly ran long enough.


Liquid Television (30, MTV)

Now this isn’t exactly a television series per-se anymore than Adult Swim is a series on Cartoon Network. It was a certain time in the day when special creative animated shorts would be played on MTV. And one of those shorts is…


Aeon Flux (30; MTV)

This is an animated show that is a cult classic, but should be considered a legend. Each episode is basically stand-alone, and the first season of shorts is entirely different from that of the later seasons which had more semblance of a plot. It’s so stylish and unique, and completely subverts expectations so hard and so effectively and ingeniously that it puts anyone else who tries to shame. What western animators are capable of if they are just given a chance. And is not to be associated with that piece of shit live action adaptation.


Edit (1-5-2021): Added Out of This World (aka Another World) to Games.

Edit (1-9-2021): Added Trouble Shooter to Games.

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