I admit it: When it comes to movies, TV and comics, I’m more gourmand than gourmet.  There are a lot of fair-to-middlin’ things that I love with a passion, and for a time around the turn of the century, the ‘Charlie’s Angels’ reboot/remake was on that list.  (I am only a bit chagrined to admit that I was once a subscriber to ‘Maxim’, and even enjoyed it before it disappeared entirely up the hindquarters of the nascent DudeBro Culture.)  Recently, I caught a rerun of the movie on cable, marveling at bullet-time action, massive explosions, gratuitous use of Blur’s ‘Song 2’, Sam Rockwell AND Bill Murray chewing the scenery so hard it splintered, and the obligatory ‘girl-power-with-cheesecake’ shots of Lucy, Cameron and Drew.  Factoring in a Destiny’s Child theme song and the fact that the film was itself an unnecessary remake and we’re Johnny Depp cameo away from being the perfect distillation of 2000, right down to the self-aware reference humor.  I’m not entirely surprised nor terribly sad to find that I don’t have the affection for Angels 2.0 that I once did, but at least provides a springboard for today’s retrograde query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always found it a little difficult to take Drew Barrymore seriously as an action hero due to her adorable Cindy Brady lisp anyway, asking: What bit of pop culture most perfectly exemplifies the era from which it came?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. There are only a few eras for which I can speak. Besides Angels–Drew’s lisp is so adorable.
    Empire Records (1995) represents 1994/95 through and through. The fashion, the way they talked, the music (for the most part). As a full grown adult I want to slap half these characters now, and also think the Director should have fact checked some of the music references (there is a difference between the Misfits and Danzig!) that seem just derpy now. The soundtrack is so mid nineties: the Gin Blossoms, the Cranberries… Better than Ezra!?! Encompasses a lot of that ennui-fight-the-man-who-am-I’ness of the mid ’90s.
    Stigmata (1999). I watched that movie so many times… its re-watch-ability is amazing even though the fashion, music and lifestyle are so 20 something late ’90s. That doesn’t hurt it at all! That strange faux shaggy sheep jacket? I had one in black. All the funny hair do’s? The dark makeup almost up to the eyebrows and brownish purple lipstick. Yup, I did a Goth version of many of those! And lets take a moment to appreciate not only how hot Patricia Arquette is in this movie (girl crush big time then, every time I watch this movie and now) and she slayed this part. Whiny, self indulgent, totally focused on the present alternative party girl who must accept an unbelievable situation and goes through a spiritual transformation no one understands. And is a bigger and better person than those whose job IS to be the bigger better person. Its like they took the soul of GenX and said THIS is what you have created… AND boy can she scream!!! I still listen to this amazing soundtrack by Billy Corgan often and as I write this I have “Mary Mary (Stigmata Mix)” by Chumbawamba stuck in my head. “Identify” by Natalie Imbruglia is a heart breaking beautiful song. Bjork. Bowie and Massive Attack… I think I need to watch this again soon…
    I will have to think about 2000’s up… I am so behind on movies…

      • Which one? I know I lot of people hated Stigmata and Empire Records, you don’t have to love it. But that’s just it, both of these movies encompass a feeling that was very much so of that time. That was the question, not how amazing it was, is or isn’t now.

    • Oh geez, I couldn’t agree more with “Empire Records”. As much as I loved the movie back in the day, and still find the movie amusing now, I can’t help but notice it is so clearly a product of it’s time. I used to have the soundtrack (mostly for the “real” song version of “Sugar High”) and I don’t think I could listen to it all the way through like I used to. A few of the songs I still enjoy, but the rest just hasn’t held up as well with me.

      • I can’t believe that is was one of those movies “OMG I am SO gonna LOVE this forever!!!” So young… certainly spoke to something in that 15 year old me. Not anymore, except the occasional… damn I wanted that outfit so bad…

  2. Movies like “The Black Hole”, “Star Trek: TMP”, and “Battle Beyond the Stars”. They all got caught up in the Star Wars special effects “backwash”.
    The producers of the movies placed more emphasis on special effects than they did on characters or plot.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.