Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: August 1992

USA/USSR Around World Air Race begins at Santa Monica. The 4 officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, acquitted on charges of beating Rodney King, are indicted on civil rights charges. The US track team sweeps the medals in the long jump at the Barcelona Olympics as Carl Lewis wins gold (28 feet, 5 1/2 inches), Mike Powell silver and Joe Greene bronze. The Orlando Magic signs NBA No. 1 draft pick Shaquille O’Neal. Metallica band member James Hetfield suffers second and third-degree burns during a pyrotechnics explosion on stage at Olympic Stadium, Montreal. Canada, Mexico, and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). US Marshals move in on Randy Weaver’s cabin in Ruby Ridge, Idaho to apprehend him on firearms charges; an 11 day stand-off ensues. 1st structural steel beams are erected at Gateway (Jacobs Field). Screw magazine superimposed a gunsight over a picture of Larry Flint. Diplomatic relations are established between the People’s Republic of China and South Korea.

Ruby Ridge siege, 25 years later, a 'rallying cry' for ...



Music

Honorable mentions:

  • Sodom: Tapping the Vein
  • Uncle Tupelo: March 16–20, 1992
  • Blue Rodeo: Lost Together
  • Take That: Take That & Party
  • The House of Love: Babe Rainbow
  • Travis Tritt: T-R-O-U-B-L-E
  • Garth Brooks: Beyond the Season
  • Bobby Brown: Bobby
  • Fear Factory: Soul of a New Machine
  • Jude Cole: Start the Car
  • Lucinda Williams: Sweet Old World
  • The Wallflowers: The Wallflowers. Roots rock huh?
  • Mortification: Scrolls of the Megilloth

INXS: Welcome to Wherever You Are (3)

They managed to be enjoyable to me this time around. Heaven Sent may be one of the big hits, but I’m a bigger fan of Communications.


Gin Blossoms: New Miserable Experience (4)

Normally not my style, but there’s something about some of the tracks that appeal to me, just a bit. Particularly Mrs. Rita.


The Flaming Lips: Hit to Death in the Future Head (11)

They’re ok.


Damn Yankees: Don’t Tread (11)

One of my favorite discoveries from 1990 comes back with their second, and last, album. Short-lived but fun band (hey, at least they lasted twice as long as some one-hit wonders I’ve been coming across). They’re as good as ever. Particularly liked Don’t Tread on Me, and Dirty Dog.


Jackyl: Jackyl (11)

Good old reliable glam metal. Though this does stand out by having a track titled She Loves My Cock, and really milks those lyrics for all they’re worth. I think my favorite track is Just Like a Devil.


Motörhead: March ör Die (14)

Due to some backstage drama, this is considered the album that almost killed Motorhead. Thankfully, it didn’t. Plus they had some help from some influential musicians.


Luna: Lunapark (18)

No comment.


Bad4Good: Refugee (18)

Another solid hard rock, heavy metal album. And as seems to be common this year, this was another one-and-done band. Opening track is good, but the album is consistently solid. Slow and Beautiful convinced me this was a winner, and Tyre’ Kickin’ solidified it. This deserves a lot more recognition than what it got.


Warrant: Dog Eat Dog (25)

The band that brought Cherry Pie in 1990 brings forth their next album. There may be no track that’s as big of a hit as Cherry Pie, but this is still a very fun album. Plus the track The Bitter Pill really surprised me. All My Bridges are Burning is good too.


Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells II (31)

Interesting. Though this will probably seem normal to you if you regular the New Age scene.




Movies

Honorable mentions:

  • Single White Female. This movie sucks. I don’t know why people like it. The finale is so long and drawn out it’s ridiculous.
  • Freddie as F.R.O.7. There’s something missing from this animated film to make it genuinely good. It has crazy yet fun plot twists and events. I enjoyed the setup, and the whole brainwashing element. But there’s a little too much singing in the second half. The action sequences leave something to be desired (I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animated film like this where it seems like everyone is pulling their punches during the finale; it’s fucking weird). And there’s not enough adult innuendo, even when watching the uncut version.
  • Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. While I don’t think this movie deserves all the shit it gets (once you go into it knowing that it’s not historically accurate at all), it’s still not entertaining enough for me.
  • The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag. This fucking movie had me going there for a bit. I was expecting the typical pro-feminist bullshit promoting the “assertive woman” schlock that’s abundantly prevalent today (though at this point, I think it was becoming prevalent around this time). Then it dared to make me think otherwise. It had the husband who is a cop, who mentions he has to work late, she suspects him of having an affair when she sees his vehicle at a motel, only to see that he really is working his job investigating a crime scene. Then there’s that scene at the bar where he basically tells her she can go her own way, they’re through. And she deserved it. But then the movie throws on this typical bullshit of, “where were you when she needed you emotionally?” dialogue. He stated he was working his ass off to be worthy of her, to make her proud! What the fuck movie!? The film takes this guy, who by all accounts is a perfectly reasonable individual who sincerely cares about his wife, yet portrays him in a negative light in spite of all that because one day this bitch decides to become a self-pitying attention-seeking whore. Fuck this movie. This movie convinced me that the PC feminism surge had arrived in 1992 and was here to stay and get worse.
  • Laws of Gravity. I try to cut indie films some slack, and this one probably deserves more than an honorable mention considering it’s one of the earlier films to utilize this hyper-realistic style of film-making (that hand-held camera style with less “Hollywood” acting and non-traditional filming). But this film really isn’t my tempo. I don’t really find enjoyment in films about losers living low-lives, being assholes, and all that stuff. I tend to prefer films that are more enjoyable to me personally. That being said, this is held in some high regard in terms of being a cult-classic indie flick, so this my be more up your alley if this is your type of genre.
  • Citizen Cohn. Dangerously unhistorically accurate. One of those typical anti-McCarthyism type films, except it focuses on Roy Cohn who was considered to be a more extreme version of McCarthy. But it’s very difficult to take this bullshit movie seriously when it heavily implies that the Rosenbergs were not guilty of giving nuclear secrets to the Russians, when in fact they did. Typical, dangerously misinformed, bullshit. Makes it impossible for me to enjoy it.

3 Ninjas (7)

Oh God. I did watch this as a kid, and even then I didn’t particularly care for this too much. But it was one of the definitive 90s live-action kid flicks hat spawned a franchise. Aside from the final fight with that guy from the Karate Kid (who trained these 3 dipshit kids, who require a tremendous amount of suspension of disbelief for anyone to buy that they’re capable of wiping the floor with adults), this film isn’t all that memorable. The sequel is a bit better, if only because it had one decent fight sequence composed entirely of stunt doubles.


Raising Cain (7)

Believe it or not, there was a fan cut that the director enjoyed so much that he utilized it as a director’s cut in more recent times. This film isn’t half bad, and does screw with your head a bit (I like to think Perfect Blue took some inspiration from this). It’s even better if you watch this coming off of Dressed to Kill, because this director is clearly having fun teasing the audience, especially fans of his, toying with their expectations a bit. The film has a very dark tongue-in-cheek self-aware sense of humor about it.


Unforgiven (7)

Film of the month, easily. Maybe even film of the year. Easily one of the best of the decade. One of Clint Eastwood’s best films ever, and one of the greatest entries into the western genre. If you haven’t seen this film, you don’t know what you’re missing. One of the most tense and cathartic finales ever done.


Whispers in the Dark (7)

This is better than I thought it was going to be, but it’s still just a so-so erotic thriller (it’s only erotic for the first quarter of the movie, then it loses all its eroticism).


Diggstown (14)

Decent little B-movie boxing film.


Stay Tuned (14)

I didn’t like this as much as I wanted to. This had the potential to be great satire regarding film culture, but they played it too straight with not enough jokes landing. That being said though, the “Driving Over Miss Daisy” moment redeemed any and all faults I had with this movie. It’s worth watching just for that alone.


Rapid Fire (21)

Brandon Lee’s best movie next to Showdown in Little Tokyo, and The Crow. Dumb fun martial arts action flick.


Light Sleeper (21, limited)

Decent slow-burner drama. I particularly like the shades of grey to the morality of most of the major characters.


Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (21; limited release August 25 1989)

One of my favorite childhood animated flicks.


Johnny Suede (22, limited)

Early lead role for Brad Pitt. The pacing may be a little too slow even for this type of movie. It gets a tad bit monotonous. Most of the guys are losers. But at the end of the day, it’s ok. This isn’t for everyone. It’s just amusing seeing Brad Pitt in a role like this with that hairdo.


Pet Sematary Two (28)

Guilty pleasure. This movie isn’t good, and Edward Furlong plays a real asshole of a teenager. But I still find it entertaining with the violence and stuff.


Honeymoon in Vegas (28)

It’s Indecent Proposal before there was Indecent Proposal, and it’s much more lighthearted and typical compared to Indecent Proposal (which may make it better or worse, depending on your preference). The jokes didn’t land all that much, but I did find the film enjoyable enough. Plus it did have a decent finale that ended up being more grounded in execution than I thought it would be, which is refreshing as hell, because most movies would’ve upped the goofball slapstick dumb humor antics that could be utilized with skydiving Elvis impersonators. The finale ended up being more tender and sweet as a result, so I’ll give it kudos for that.


Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (28)

I just don’t get the love for this prequel movie. It’s monotonous as fuck. But whatever, it’s a part of the iconic (yet cancelled too soon) television series (which did have a sequel season that I found to be the best thing that ever came out of this show). You may want to watch the first season first (if not both seasons) before seeing this movie, as it reveals the heavy spoiler of who killed Laura Palmer.




Games

Honorable mentions:

  • Capcom’s Gold Medal Challenge ’92 (NES). One of those multi-mini-games game that’s at the Olympics.
  • Might & Magic: Secret of the Inner Sanctum (NES). If this is to be played at all, do it on DOS.
  • Side Pocket (Sega Genesis; also an arcade version). I mean, it may be considered good, but it’s still just a virtual pool game.
  • Super Play Action Football (SNES).
  • Ka-Blooey (SNES). It’s honestly a decent puzzle game, but compared to the other games that came out this month, it’s not all that memorable.
  • Splash Lake (Turbografx). Ditto.

Kirby’s Dream Land (August 1; Game Boy)

This is just a mediocre Kirby game, imo.


Out of Gas (August; Game Boy)


Deadly Moves (August 14; Sega Genesis)

Decent Street Fighter-ish game.


Evander Holyfield’s “Real Deal” Boxing (August 30; Sega Genesis)

Actually a decent boxing game. Some would even say great (though the sequel could be better).


Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (August; Sega Genesis)

One of the better D&D console games. Music is great, Thief is overpowered. And the dungeon-crawling portion of the game is done in real-time.


Super Smash TV (February; SNES [1991], Genesis; Arcade [1990])

The game is fine and all on console, but the Arcade is still the definitive experience for it.


Soul Blazer (August; SNES)

Nice action game, that would inspire others. Also pretty cool with how the world changes the more you progress through the dungeons, which makes up for the slight monotony of how you would permanently deal with enemy spawn points. Certainly one of the best RPGs ever put to console; it’s just that it’s overshadowed by others. Very much worth playing, and a contender for game of the month.


Magic Sword (August 14; SNES, ported from arcade)

Another fun action game, except this is more beat-em-up (ala Golden Axe) than RPG.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (August 15; SNES, also on arcade)

An SNES classic that’s just as famous as the arcade version it’s adapted from. One of the definitive TMNT games (and superior to the Reshelled remake). Game of the month.


Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu (August; Turbografx)

This game’s a lot of fun. One of the better Jackie Chan games out there. That may not sound like it’s saying much, but there is at least one other noteworthy Jackie Chan game out there (aside from the NES original).


Neutopia II (August; Turbografx)

Sequel to the famous Turbografx game mostly known for being “that Zelda game rip-off.” They’re solid games in their own right.


Alone in the Dark (August 3; PC)

The game that made survival horror a genre. Honestly, I found it to get repetitive after a while. But considering the trend it started, not to mention one of the first real 3D graphics games, it’s good. Better played with the music off (not that the music is bad, just that the game is less scary with it on). If not for TMNT IV, this would be game of the month.


WaxWorks (August 10; PC, Amiga)

The horror genre gets another entry this month. And it’s got plenty of gruesome deaths.


Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (August; PC)

Continuing the classic adventure series.


The Legend of Kyrandia (August; PC)

The start of a point-and-click adventure trilogy.




Shows

Honorable mentions:

  • Secret Service (NBC). Gerard Ford’s son supervising recreation of actual secret service cases.
  • The Heights (Fox). Didn’t last very long. It’s primarily known for having this original song How Do You Talk to an Angel? Which was a hit song for a while. But once that song’s popularity faded, so did the series.

The Larry Sanders Show (15, HBO)

A classic comedy show where celebrities often played exaggerated versions of themselves. A (mock) late-night talk show, that is the most influential one since Johnnie Carson. In all seriousness, I’d rather watch this than The Office.


Are You Afraid of the Dark? (15; Nickelodeon)

Another classic show, this time on Nickelodeon. Horror for kids (like Goosebumps). In fact, you could say this started the whole “horror kids show” trend, if you don’t count Eerie, Indiana. Show of the month.


Roundhouse (15; Nickelodeon)

Now this just makes me sad. This is one of those shows that completely passed me by back in the day. I never experienced this one as a kid. A teen sketch comedy show. Probably because there was a different Nickelodeon sketch comedy show I grew up with. Such a pity, because this stuff puts a smile on my face.


Covington Cross (25; ABC)

A higher-than-average budget medieval series that only lasted 13 episodes before getting cancelled (because of the budget). It has that 90s silliness to it, but it’s rather fun. It’s got that typical cliche of “the girl wants to do manly things and not traditional womanly things,” but it’s not as bad as that animated show Prince Valiant in that regard.


Martin (27; Fox)

Like Cosby, like Seinfeld, Martin Lawrence got his own comedy sitcom named after him. And it lasted for a respectable amount of time. Not my kind of show (and he’s not exactly one of my favorite comedians or actors), but he and the series has fans. And, I’m not going to lie, there were moments that did get a chuckle out of me.


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