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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Alien Resurrection (1997)

Late into Jean Pierre-Jeunet’s “Alien Resurrection,” Winona Ryder’s Call asks Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley this question: “Why do you go on living? How can you stand what you are?” It’s the key exploration of this movie, which adds another dimension and vital theme to the durable franchise. Ridley Scott’s 1979 “Alien” was about Ripley’s survival, James Cameron’s 1986 “Aliens” was …

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Looking Back: Alien 3 (1992)

They say, In Space No One Can Hear You Scream. It can also be said that, After Alien 3, You Can Hear a Pin Drop. This was my experience with David Fincher’s debut film, which I saw in a packed theater on opening night at the Wharf Cinema Center. The 1992 summer movie season was just getting started and it …

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Looking Back: Over The Top (1987)

It makes perfect sense that Sylvester Stallone, at the height of his powers as an 80’s mega-movie star, would make a PG-rated action movie for kids. Over time, Stallone would make a massive comeback, regain his status as an actor (and not merely a Movie Star) and, against all odds, become an Oscar contender. By the mid-1980’s however, Stallone’s career …

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Looking Back: Newsies (1992)

If you bring up Disney’s “Newsies,” most will note that it’s a beloved 2012 Broadway musical, a rousing stage show about the 1899 New York City newsboy strike. Following an acclaimed run on Broadway, the show continues to travel and appear in theaters to this day. There was even a recent Fandango event where a production of “Newsies” was broadcast …

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Looking Back: Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

In the late 1980’s, Steven Spielberg, the most successful filmmaker of all time, was moving past his “Peter Pan” stage. While helming more adult minded works like “The Color Purple” and “Empire of the Sun,” Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment hired clusters of The Next Spielberg to direct films that he would develop and produce. Although Spielberg was not the director of …

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Looking Back: Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

The problem with “Eight-Legged Freaks,” the 2002 summer blockbuster that wasn’t, is that is plays like a Mad Magazine parody of Robot Chicken’s parody of Joe Dante’s parody of an old 1950’s B-movie. This is the Dean Devlin-produced giant arachnid romp that sports great special effects but feels like such an overly-jokey spoof of itself, we never get a sense …

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Looking Back: Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Here is one of the few films from director John Carpenter where his name isn’t above the title. It’s also an unusual, big budget, mainstream studio assignment for Carpenter, whose prior films had been mostly (with a few exceptions) low budget, vision controlled indies. Since this isn’t “John Carpenter’s Memoirs of an Invisible Man” and is a seemingly out-of-place Chevy …

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Looking Back: Three Men and a Baby (1987)

I only had one moment in my life where I got to meet Leonard Nimoy. It was at the Denver Starfest, an annual sci-fi, fantasy and horror film/arts convention and the former Spock was there as pop culture royalty. There was something so regal, mysterious and composed about Nimoy, he always seemed to be tuned into his most famous character, …

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Looking Back: Unaccompanied Minors (2006)

How do movies like “Unaccompanied Minors” happen? If you assemble a cast of solid comic actors in a Christmas-set comedy, wouldn’t there be more comedy gold than coal to mine? Actually, this plays like a junior version of Nora Ephron’s equally baffling yuletide farce, “Mixed Nuts.” The biggest difference between the two is that Ephron’s movie has slightly more laughs …

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Looking Back: All I Want For Christmas (1991)

Sometimes a guilty pleasure can wear out its welcome and become an actual source of guilt. This was my relationship with “All I Want For Christmas,” a rotten yuletide comedy that I used to watch every December for many years. Why? Like a lot of sentimental movie goers, the Christmas season makes me want to re-visit films like “A Christmas …

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