Monday, July 17, 2017

Episode 200: Bat and Hammers Quintessential 90's and 00's movies

For our 200th episode we wanted to visit one of our favorite topics. Teenage ensemble movies from the 90's and 00's. With the help of a few podguests, we came up with our quintessential top ten list. The movies must fit into this criteria. 1. Have a teen or mostly teen cast. 2. Must be an ensemble piece. 3. Had to survive the 5 man & woman panel. So without any more delay, welcome to the list.

Editor's note. The list in not in order. There's not enough time in the world.4

1. 10 Things I Hate About You
From the very start of our debate, this movie was a unanimous choice to be included. This modern telling of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" features a cast of mostly no names that would go on to achieve stardom throughout Hollywood. With up and coming stars, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Heath Ledger, and a pretty killer soundtrack, this masterpiece hits on all levels.

If you meet someone and they do not like this movie, remove them from your life immediately.

2.American Pie.
The raunchy teenage movie had been relatively dormant for some time until American Pie came along. The plot of teenage boys trying to lose their virginity before graduation isn't a new one, but the way American Pie executed it made it feel that way. With lines that are still quoted to this day ("this one time, at band camp" "MILF") American Pie has found it's way to many "best of" lists from the 90's, and of course we had to have it on ours.

3. The Craft.
Take 4 angsty teenage girls, sprinkle in some goth and a killer soundtrack and you have the perfect recipe for success. The Craft is a wonderfully told story of High School from the perspective of 4 girls. The characters are relatable for males and females, and even if the ending is a bit campy, the movie takes the inclusion of witchcraft seriously.

4. Mean Girls
A fresh portrayal of a fish out of water, Mean Girls brought more heart than most teen comedies. Lindsay Lohan plays a foreign student getting her first taste of not only school life, but high school life. With a fantastic supporting cast (so fetch) Mean Girls adds depth to a genre that sometimes doesn't see much of it.

5. Scream
Like American Pie, Scream reinvigorated a genre that was nonexistent. Adding humor, and mystery to the standard teenager slash flick was just the right combination. Like most ensemble movies, Scream lists an absolutely incredible cast, and just enough twists and turns to keep audiences guessing as to who the killer is.

6. Empire Records
Bridging the gap between adolescence and adulthood is something everyone must learn, but few movies have given such a fantastic interpretation as Empire Records. Featuring a top notch cast, a soundtrack of Indie and Popular artists, and of course, Rex Manning Day, Empire Records illustrates how life, love, career and happiness change from our teenage years to our adult years.

7. Varsity Blues
Underage drinking, promiscuous sex and football. These things are the backbone of high school, and no other movie understood this like Varsity Blues. Featuring a story that showed what it's like to be the popular kid with parents that have unrealistic expectations of you and continue to live their lives through their children, Varsity Blues sets the standard for high school football movies, if not sports movies.

8. She's All That
Few movies have gotten the Ugly Duckling story (remember Rachel Leigh Cook was ugly because she wore overalls and had glasses) as right as She's All That. There was a string of movies in the 90's with Freddie Prinze Jr. (co-starring Matthew Lillard) with She's All That being placed at the top of the list. The school's most popular kid takes a bet from dude that races cars that he can turn any girl into prom queen. The plot is predictable as "inner beauty" for both characters shines, and they discover for themselves they are more than just their high school persona's.

9. Clueless
Another movie focusing on the popular kids in school, Clueless takes the viewer on a journey of self discovery for Cher and her ultra elite friends. Alicia Silverstone got her breakout role from this movie, and her portrayal of Cher is paramount to the heart of Clueless. Making the ultra elite vulnerable is difficult, but this stellar cast of characters makes it easy to care for them,

10. Bring it On
Why should you care about the perfect high school cheerleader? That's the question Bring it On asks the viewer. And while I was overruled on the inclusion of Bring it On, I cannot argue it's inclusion to this list. Focusing on the head cheerleader trying to help her squad win it's 6th straight championship, Bring it On is a tacky, cheesy, yet heartwarming story of friendship, competition and teamwork.

So there you have. Our top ten 90's and 00's ensemble teen movies. What do you think of our list? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

Remember, to be included in this list the movie must

- Be an ensemble piece focusing on teenagers
- Been released between 1990-2009

Below you will find this week's most recent podcast.  But fear not, you can click these links to listen to this and past week's podcast in iTunes or Sticher.  We also have the past 2-3 episodes available on SoundCloud.

Embrace your geek - Bat

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