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What to Watch: ’90s Edition

[IMG:L]Deception — Sunday at 10/9c on SoapNet 

Deception is one of those ‘90s movies you may have never heard of, but whose cast you most certainly have.

Such is the common bond between all of SoapNet’s “Sunday Night Movies,” which started its 12-week run on Dec. 2.

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Most of the movies featured are hidden gems of years past and of the romantic-thriller genre, which fits in perfectly with the Disney-owned network’s ever-growing, more-than-just-soap lineup.

And the casts of all Sunday Night Movies (better known as “SNM”) are loaded with stars of today; Deception is no exception.

The 1993 film stars Viggo MortensenLiam Neeson and Andie MacDowell as a liar, a good samaritan and a widow–all chasing the same fortune!

Mortensen, as we all know, has since gone on to Lord of the Rings superstardom and, more recently, a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Eastern Promises; Neeson would go on to star in the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List the same year Deception was released and is now set for the title ill-fated role in Steven Spielberg’s 2009 Abe Lincoln biopic; and MacDowell was at the height of her fame in 1993, coming off of Groundhog Day and a year before Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Below are some more (instantly recognizable) blasts from the ‘90s airing this weekend to tickle our nostalgia…

[IMG:R]Pulp Fiction — Friday at 10/9c on TMC
Quentin Tarantino’s instant classic didn’t just set the 1990s ablaze; it changed the entire landscape of filmmaking–and revived John Travolta’s career! The hyper-violent masterpiece, which earned seven Academy Award nominations, introduced us to stylization we’d never before seen and opened up a limitless world thereof for Tarantino’s peer directors. It also put to good use the distorted timeline, a device utilized ad nauseam and ineffectively almost immediately following Fiction. But most memorable about Tarantino’s crowning achievement–aside from the quotes and the music–remains his flawless fusion of every cinematic element, seemingly without effort.

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[IMG:L]Legends of the Fall — Friday at 8/7c on Flix
If there was only one snapshot to encapsulate 1990s pop culture, it might just be the one of Brad Pitt striking a Fabio pose in Legends of the Fall–the pose-turned-poster for girls everywhere. The movie wasn’t half-bad itself, even winning an Oscar for Best Cinematography, but was anybody really paying attention during non-Pitt scenes?

[IMG:R]Jurassic Park — Saturday at 8/7c on AMC
Much like the aforementioned Brad Pitt posterization defined ‘90s pop culture visually, Jurassic Park defined the decade’s films visually. Steven Spielberg’s made-for-theme-park movie quickly became the gold standard for both box office earnings (now held by Titanic) and special effects, making modern-day dinosaurs seem plausible with help from a little thing called “CGI.” Nowadays, computer-generated imagery is employed so often precisely because of the power Spielberg and his crew were able to evoke with Jurassic. It was without a doubt his King Kong.

[IMG:L]Mrs. Doubtfire — Saturday at 8/7c on ABC Family
Did any movie strike the public’s collective funny bone in the ‘90s more than Robin Williams’ cross-dressing romp? Comedies rarely catch on the way Doubtfire did, which explains why the studio has tried so hard and for so long to churn out a sequel–an attempt that has, alas, finally died. But that only further immortalizes the original, a true original featuring Williams in the (live-action) role he was born to play: dual personae. It racked up just under half a billion bucks worldwide and currently stands as one of the highest grossing comedies of all time

[IMG:R]Titanic — Sunday at 7/6c on ION
The statistics are there–or really just the one: Titanic is the highest grossing film of all time. But oddly enough, it’s still watchable–and, for many, cryable–after all these years (10). That’s just not supposed to happen, especially with grand-scale, three-plus-hour, tear-jerking epics. Of course, not every epic has the benefit of a James Cameron behind the camera and DiCaprioWinslet chemistry in front of it. Such ingredients explain a blockbuster, sure. But the biggest movie in history? Well, you just have to watch again and again to understand that!

[IMG:L]American Gladiators — Sunday at 9/8c on NBC
Talk about the ultimate nostalgia trip! Starting tonight, NBC cordially invites you to kick back and forget the 12-year hiatus ever happened. Gladiators ‘08 is apparently no different than the one that ran from 1989-1996. The lone exception: Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali replace Mike Adamle and his varying sidekicks as hosts of the competition. Gladiators, ready?!

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