Welcome to 90 from the ‘90s; the movie-related post in which I watch, discuss and debate a film from the 1990s – a film that I’ve NEVER SEEN. Posting on a semi-regular basis, I aim to work my way through 90 movies that I’ve previously missed/avoided, recording my thoughts along the way.
I’m going to watch good films, bad films, forgotten classics, Oscar winners and everything in between. Some of these films you’ll be surprised I’ve never seen, others you’ll completely understand why I’ve avoided them for 20+ years.
The rules are as follows:
- The film must be from the 1990s (1990-1999)
- The film must be a movie I’ve not watched before
Today’s unseen ‘90s movie is…
And back into another ’90s movie today (having just watched The Pelican Brief). This is the Jodie Foster-starring film, Contact!
I know very little about this movie, other than it stars Foster, it is a sci-fi movie and the story has something to do with the lead character’s dad. I’m not quite sure where the dad comes into this, but I believe his role is important.
As for the reason I never watched Contact? I’ll be honest, back in ’97 when it came out I thought it looked boring. Aliens & space were all the rage in the ’90s, thanks to the likes of The X-Files and Men in Black etc, but this movie just looked dull.
*Checks running time*
Wow, this movie is almost two hours and 30 minutes long – it had best not be rubbish.
*Clicks the play button*
4mins – A rather bizarre opening. Shots of space… kind of like the opening to Superman: The Movie, only without the John Williams score or the big star names whooshing about the screen.
10mins – We’re now with Jodie Foster; she’s a scientist interested in extra-terrestrial life. I presume she’s going to try to make contact with life outside of Earth.
17mins – So far, she’s made ‘contact’ with Matthew McConaughey, if you know what I mean. Maybe this film should be called The Hook-up.
19mins – Actually, now it should be called The Brush Off. Foster is a player.
21mins – We’re now in flashback territory and I think Foster’s dad has just died. Hang on, is this film really about making contact with aliens or will she be trying to make contact with her dad? Is this a supernatural film? Have I been duped?
33mins – Matthew McConaughey is some kind of spiritualist – this has got to be about the afterlife, right?
35mins – Jodie Foster may have made contact with something. The music has got very dramatic, she’s raising her voice which suggests something significant is happening.
40mins – Well it’s a very different kind of ‘making contact’ to what we got with Independence Day or Mars Attacks. It’s basically three people stood in a room looking at computer screens. This is making contact on a budget. Either way, there’s a signal.
43mins – Apparently, this signal has been transmitting for 26 years. Hmm… how old is Foster and what age was she when her dad died?
47mins – The signal is Hitler?!
48mins – Oh, the signal is just in the form of an old TV broadcast that just happened to feature Hitler. Phew. Hitler isn’t in space. Although… that would have been an interesting movie.
48mins 30secs – President Clinton is addressing the nation about the signal. He’s not taking any questions from the press… presumably because they might go off topic and ask him about other things going on in his life.
1hr – John Hurt has just turned up to remind Jodie Foster about her past – this includes reminding her about the death of her parents. Nice one, John, that’s just what you want to be reminded of.
1hr 11mins – Matthew McConaughey is back and he’s trying it on with Jodie Foster again. Someone needs to tell him to give it up.
1hr 19mins – He’s trying it on again. Jeez… look, McConaughey, she’s willing to go into space/another dimension where you can’t go – what does that tell you?
1hr 25mins – Matthew McConaughey has just ruined Jodie Foster’s chances of going into space. What a jerk. Just download Tinder or something, leave Foster alone. Oh wait, this is 1997 – what was the Tinder equivalent back then? Late night chat lines? An ad in the paper? Abstinence? Just pick one McConaughey!
1hr 32mins – Oh… a suicide bomber has just blown the space/dimension ship up! Bugger.
1hr 42mins – Everything is fine, there’s another ship/machine thingy and Jodie Foster is set to make contact. Hurrah! Screw you, suicide bomber!
1hr 52mins – Jodie Foster appears to be travelling through some kind of wormhole. The effects look like a combination of the sliding tech in Sliders and the opening credits to Highway to Heaven.
1hr 57mins – So this other dimension seems to be a beach, where here dad lives? I presume she’s made contact with the otherside? Quick, ask him a bunch of questions about death. Ask him what happens when you die? Ask him if there’s a god? Ask him why ghosts insist on banging about and scaring the shit out of people?!
1hr 58mins – Oh… it’s not her dad. He is an alien. Yeah, don’t ask him any questions about ghosts, he’ll start thinking you’re mental.
2hrs 9mins – Well it all turns out to be a moot point as no one really believes Jodie Foster and they all think she’s a bit mental anyway. Except McConaughey!
2hrs 12mins – Somehow Matthew McConaughey has ended up with Jodie Foster. That b@st*rd never quits, does he?
2hrs 13mins – It turns out that the government knows Foster is probably telling the truth, but they don’t want to admit it. This seems like a job for Mulder & Scully.
Hmm… I didn’t dislike Contact, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it. My fear that it would be a bit dull kind of turned out to be true.
I get that Contact is a more philosophical movie than some other films about aliens, but that doesn’t change the fact it was pretty slow. That said, it was OK and I like the ‘hope’ angle that the movie offers – that better things are on the horizon.
Would I watch Contact ever again? Probably not.
For past entries in the 90 from the ’90s series, check out: The Pelican Brief (1993), Natural Born Killers (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1998), A Perfect Murder (1998), Quigley Down Under (1990), Of Mice and Men (1992), Friday (1995), Mannequin on the Move (1991), She’s All That (1999), Double Dragon (1994), Stay Tuned (1992), Murder at 1600 (1997), Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993), My Own Private Idaho (1991), Wagons East (1994), In the Line of Fire (1993), Postcards from the Edge (1990), Universal Soldier (1992), Passenger 57 (1992), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), The Client (1994), Good Will Hunting (1997), Pump Up the Volume (1990), Mr. Nanny (1993), Fargo (1996), Hudson Hawk (1991), So I Married An Axe Murderer (1993) and Timecop (1994).