Words By Dr. Hip HopJust like people and rap albums, films also have anniversaries. And in 2014 there are a ton of groundbreaking and memorable films that are celebrating some pretty important anniversaries of their initial theatrical release.
Some of those films are still teenagers, kicking at 15 and still pretty fresh in our collective consciousness. Others are either entering or half way done with their twenties, but still feel as fresh as ever. And then there are those that, like myself, are entering the real grown up years of their lives. But unlike me, these film classics still got a lot of life left in them.
So let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at ten films, released over the course of 30 years, that will be celebrating a birthday this year. In the words of the great Kanye West, “I’d like to propose a toast. I said toast mutha******s!”
Released: May 28, 2004 (10 Years)
Alright, something positive to say… Well the movie was Kevin Hart’s first major starring role. So without this film movie fans would probably not see him currently dominating the cineplex with the “interesting” (read: mediocre) Ride Along. Take that how you will.
Released: June 23, 2004 (10 Years)
I’m sure somebody out there likes this film 2004 vehicle for Shawn and Marlon Wayans to live out all the “best” white woman stereotypes. And so for them I show love for this decade old film. The gender-bender showed us all the power of Vanessa Carlton and made Terry Crews look incredibly creepy. Incidentally, the film also seemed to mark the end of Shawn Wayans’ career (I mean has he been in anything big after that? And don’t you dare say Little Man!).
Released: March 31, 1999 (15 Years)
It revolutionized the action film genre for the new millennium and gave dance choreographers a new move to expand their repertoire. To say The Matrix wasn’t a groundbreaking film is akin to suggesting that Rakim didn’t change the rap game. There were “smart” action films before The Matrix, but none of them became as popular within the zeitgeist as this Warner Bros./Wachowski Bros. smash.
The Iron Giant
Released: July 31, 1999 (15 Years)
You probably know the director of this animated film, Brad Bird, as the guy behind Pixar’s The Incredibles (AWESOME) and 2011’s Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol (ALSO AWESOME). In 1999 he helped bring to life this sleeper animated hit that was as heart-wrenching as any live action drama and fun as any of Disney’s best. Hell, I’ll admit it: a young thug shed a few tears at the climax. Don’t judge.
Released: Oct. 15, 1999 (15 Years)
Fight Club featured Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in rare form, David Fincher at his directing best, and in many ways the culmination of the ‘90s postmodern world. It was a film with many interpretations, but I think one broad understanding is that it documented the maturation of Generation X.
Ed. Note: Also a phenomenal book by Chuck Palahniuk, as deranged an author as modern literature has today.
The Best Man
Released: Oct. 22, 1999 (15 Years)
Yes, we got a pretty good sequel to the film last year, but it’s always important to show appreciation to the original. The cast was a who’s who of popular African American actors and actresses at the time (and a few who would blow up even more) and the story of friendship, love, and betrayal was as universal as a Shakespeare play. Even after 15 years, the movie still stands as a great.