Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: July 1993

Magic the Gathering makes its collectible card gaming debut at the Origins Game Fair in Dallas, TX. 1 second is added to the clock. President Clinton fires FBI director William S. Sessions. Fire in the press box at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Israeli offensive against terrorist bases in South Lebanon. The first of four photos of Mars is taken by the Mars Observer, just under a month before the spacecraft failed in flight. Mafia bombs historical buildings in Rome, Milan and Vatican City, 5 killed. Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. is 3rd to hit HRs in 8 straight games. The Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts arrested for shoving 2 cops.




Music

Honorable mentions:

  • East 17: Walthamstow
  • Smog: Julius Caesar
  • U2: Zooropa
  • Tribe: Sleeper
  • Toni Braxton: Toni Braxton
  • Moxy Früvous: Bargainville
  • Tripping Daisy: Bill. Nice as background music, but lacks that extra energy needed to be a standout.
  • George Thorogood and the Destroyers: Haircut. Sounds dated, even for back then.
  • Vai: Sex & Religion

Björk: Debut (5)

Hah! I recognize that track Venus as a Boy from that movie Leon: The Professional. Anyway, this pretty good.


TR-i: No World Order (6; Phillips CD-i)

So this deserves a rather unique mention. When this was first released, it was released exclusively for the Phillips CD-i. As the first ever interactive music album, where the listener was encouraged to mess with the playback of the interactive tracks. It wasn’t until years later when a more song-oriented version of this got released.


Matthew Sweet: Altered Beast (13)


Cypress Hill: Black Sunday (20)

And somehow this stuff ends up getting listened to by metal heads. Insane in the Brain is the main standout, in my humble opinion.


Candlebox: Candlebox (20)

Just another grunge band. They’re alright. Nothing terrible, nothing outstanding. Just a decent listen.


Catherine Wheel: Chrome (20)


Tag Team: Whoomp! (There It Is) (20)

If the album title doesn’t let you know why this is a main highlight for album of the month, then you seriously missed out on a major 90s iconic track. This is on-par with I’ve Got the Power and Everybody Dance Now. Only thing left is who let the dogs out.


Headstones: Picture of Health (20)

Excellent.


Deep Purple: The Battle Rages On… (26?)

Aside from the titular track, Anya is also pretty good.


Fat Joe: Represent (27)

Just because it’s the debut of this other famous rapper.


Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream (27)

Cherub Rock is good. But Disarm is probably the more famous track from this album.




Movies

Honorable mentions:

  • Tom and Jerry: The Movie. What a piece of shit. A fucking disgrace to the original cartoon series. It does the one thing you’re never supposed to do for shows like this. Make the silent protagonists, who have remained silent throughout the entirety of the classic series, fucking speak, regularly, during this film. That is not the only reason this film sucks, but that’s all you need to know.
  • Son in Law. Pauly Shore’s big film (outside of Encino Man). It’s a typical romantic comedy with typical dumb humor and typical stereotypes. Typical everything. You’ll probably only enjoy this if you’re a Pauly Shore fan. Otherwise, it’s just meh at best. It does offer a couple laughs, including the last joke in the film (which you can’t really appreciate unless you watch the entire thing and catch the stuff that builds up to it).

Rookie of the Year (7)

Much better than A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.


In the Line of Fire (9)

A decent action-thriller with Clint Eastwood and John Malkovich.


Free Willy (16)

Yeah, this was one of the definitive 90s kid flicks, with an iconic poster showcasing the iconic moment in the movie. Today… I think the movie is just ok. It’s decent for what it is. In spite of that, I kinda have to give this film of the month simply because of the cultural impact it had at the time (it was a rather significant kid flick), even though I don’t believe this to be the best overall film this month on an objective level.


Hocus Pocus (16)

Now this is a fun film that didn’t do well upon release (this wasn’t released when it should’ve been, during the Halloween season). It built up a much deserved cult-following over the years, and has become a classic. Quite dark, given that it’s a Disney film (guess they still had some of that leftover from the experimental 80s decade).


Coneheads (23)

This is the movie Meet the Applegates wishes it could be. A comedy classic about conehead aliens adapting to American culture.


Poetic Justice (23)

Some argue this is the best film Tupac was in. I’ll admit, it’s not bad for a drama. Surprisingly solid acting all-around.


Robin Hood: Men in Tights (28)

Mel Brooks still managing to release comedies that are considering among his best. Enjoy it while you can, because this is his last good movie (the only other one he did after this is a guilty pleasure at best). Plus that tagline is interesting in a sort of relevant way, “The Legend Had It Coming…”


Rising Sun (30)

It’s good, but I’m still not sure how much I actually enjoy this espionage thriller.


So I Married an Axe Murderer (30)

Personally not my kind of film (and Mike Myers shows he’s still not a good actor; his range isn’t solid enough to work here). But regardless, this is also a cult comedy classic (though not up to par with Men in Tights in my personal opinion). If nothing else, it has a decent enough twist during the last act.




Games

Honorable mentions:

  • Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers (Game Boy)
  • Nigel Mansell’s World Championship Racing (Genesis, SNES)
  • Strike Commander (1993; PC)
  • Prehistorik 2 (1993; PC)

Samurai Shodown (7; Arcade)

Known as Samurai Spirits in Japan. Another classic arcade fighting game. Basically in a tier below Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, at least in terms of popularity. It did eventually get console ports, but none of them were as good as the arcade experience.


Mighty Final Fight (July; NES)

Well I’ll be. This may be the best Final Fight game to hit consoles. More on the obscure side, given that the NES was on its way out (the SNES had replaced it at this point).


Shining Force (July; Sega Genesis)

The other major RPG franchise on the Sega Genesis alongside Phantasy Star. In this case, this is more comparable to Fire Emblem (or to a different extent, Warsong). If Phantasy Star IV isn’t considered the best RPG on the Genesis, then this game probably is. Game of the month.


Mazin Saga: Mutant Fighter (1993; Sega Genesis)

Flawed but fun beat-em-up.


First Samurai (July 2; SNES)

It’s just ok.


Super Off Road: The Baja (July 2; SNES)

This is a little wild.


Goof Troop (July 11; SNES)

Easy, but not bad… for a Legend of Zelda knockoff.


Super Baseball 2020 (July 13; SNES, Genesis [March 1994], NeoGeo [October 1991])

This has some serious style points going for it. Robot baseball. If only technology today was like this. I think it’s cool that there aren’t Home Runs per-se, as the ball just bounces off of glass structures surrounding the field, meaning the batter has to worry about when the ball bounces back into the field.


E.V.O.: Search for Eden (July 15; SNES)

A grind-heavy masterpiece. While you do a lot of grinding, you have multiple choices on how you level up (ie evolve). Unique for the time period.


Super Air Zonk (July?; Turbografx-16)

Sequel to Air Zonk from late last year. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as the previous game. Still fun though.


Nomad (1993; PC)

It never ceases to amaze me how ambitious, creative, epic, and expansive sci-fi space sim games were during the early 90s. Comparable to Starflight.


Space Hulk (1993; PC, Amiga)

I prefer the board game, but whatever. It has its fans, and it’s certainly noteworthy if nothing else.


Warlords 2 (1993; PC)

You gotta get it with the Scenario Editor.


Return of the Phantom (1993; PC)

It’s the cheese.


SEAL Team (1993; PC)

Historically significant in gaming, more than it is fun.


SimCity 2000 (1993; PC)

This is not to be confused with the Network Version. This is still keeping the franchise in-tune with its “classic” status.


Space Quest V: The Next Mutation (1993; PC)


Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame (1993; PC, Mac)

Of course, this was bound to get a sequel. Better than the first (arguably), but harder too. Don’t bother trying this on either the SNES or Genesis, both are terrible compared to the PC and Mac versions.


Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet (1993; PC)

Probably the first decent Lovecraftian games.




Shows

Honorable mentions:

  • Brains & Brawn (July 10; NBC)

Danger Theatre (11; Fox)

Well, I thought it was funny.


Weinerville (11; Nickelodeon)

Jesus suffering Christ…


Politically Incorrect (25; Comedy Central)

The late night political talk show that put Bill Maher on the map. I guess I have to give this show of the month, as tempted as I am to give it to the Nickelodeon show.


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