Bad Boys: And some Skittles

Join me, if you will, in 1995. I’m 11. Our household is quite heavily into basketball, Fresh Prince (even though we don’t understand half the sexy jokes), and beating each other up. Still.

So what do you think happened when we found out that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were gonna be in an action movie, with guns, bad guys, guns, swearing, fast cars, and guns? You guessed it. Meet me on the corner by the video shop, guys. Friday, 6pm, bring your Skeleton warriors glow in the dark pyjamas (so we can match, natch) and your special fried rice.

In a bizarre ritual of which I never understood the licensing loopholes, before you were able to purchase the videos for real, wrapped in cellophane, with a bunch of leaflets inside beckoning you to purchase a crappy tshirt (“IF YOU SEE THE POLICE – WARNER BROTHER!”) or some orthopaedic shoes, you were able to procur the VHS tapes as ex-rentals. Not much difference in quality, I’m not sure how many other people who lived in Abington, Northampton were renting the Ewoks cartoon, but they came in a different box. The massive, weird, heavy, and, as we discovered exercising some of our bottomless sibling-based rage, quite dangerous rental box. The questions surrounding this were endless. Where are the real boxes? Whose job is it to swap the covers out? What are they made of that doesn’t break when you throw them off the roof at your brother? None of this was ever answered, but it didn’t matter. I loved Bad Boys so much, that once again, to save herself money, my long suffering mother purchased this movie for us ex-rental, such was the cost of keeping us in bubblicious Friday nights. And once again, I watched it every Monday before school until the next big favourite came along/the tape was worn down to a macroscopically thin band, probably snapping in the machine.

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Street Fighter: Too Many Man, and Mike.

In 1994, I had no time for you. My whole life revolved solely around Point Horror novels and our Sega Megadrive. Had they only found some way to combine the two, there’s no guarantee I’d even be talking to you now, more likely living in a cave plastered with the pages of Call Waiting and The Lifeguard whilst engrossed in some 12 bit pixelated teenage murder mystery. To be clear; that is still something I’d be interested in if anyone has the capabilities. Teenage me has A LOT of ideas. Anyway, the Megadrive.

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Demolition Man: Simon Phoenix, A Love Story

I was never legally old enough to watch pretty much any of the films that I’ll end up talking about at the time I first watched them, but I’m certain I’m not alone in that. Watching from behind newspapers and through banisters after we were supposed to be in bed was the business in the Francois household. “No I’m not looking, Mum. No I haven’t ripped holes in this magazine, Mum.” Exposure to horror, action, and any combination of the two was drunk hungrily down into our emotional lexicon pretty early on, which is probably why my brother and I spent the first 18 years of our lives trying to murder each other with household appliances and wondering why it hurt our own hand and didn’t make a cool noise when we punched each other in the mouth.
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