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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Brainscan (1994)

I really had no plans to write about “Brainscan,” the CD-ROM (remember those?) themed thriller from twenty years back. My dear friend Lisa asked me if I’d write about it and she’s a hard person to say no to. I normally don’t take requests when I write a column, though the film in question came out in one of the …

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Looking Back: The ‘Burbs (1989)

A couple of years ago, I took my dog on a walk and caught one of my neighbors digging a hole in their back yard. I wouldn’t have thought much of it, except it was 11 o’clock at night and he was shoveling fiercely. My leashed dog was pulling me back to my house (even she seemed weirded out) and …

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Looking Back: The Last Starfighter (1984)

It’s both a relief and a real surprise that no one has gotten around to remaking “The Last Starfighter.” The premise invites itself to a reboot rather easily and still holds its Geek Cred appeal as much today as it did in 1984. Who wouldn’t want to see a movie about a teenage gamer, living in a trailer park, whose …

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Looking Back: The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)

All you need to know about “The Chronicles of Riddick” can be found in a brief but tasty section of Dame Judi Dench’s wonderful book, “And Furthermore.” Following chapters on how Ms. Dench rocked the theater and film world, we come to an odd passage of when she was wooed by an admirer, who came backstage to one of her …

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Looking Back: Stargate (1994)

The endearing quality of the films made by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin is that they so clearly love movies and want their audience to bask in the possibilities of cinema. Emmerich, the director, and Devlin, his producing partner, got their start crafting cheap but good looking B-movies before hitting it big. Their breakthrough into the mainstream was “Universal Soldier,” …

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Looking Back: Harlem Nights (1989)

I wonder what would have happened if Eddie Muphy’s directorial debut, “Harlem Nights,” had been one of the best films of its year. The lead up to its release promised big things, not just for Murphy but for the possibilities of African-American filmmakers. Around the time of its release in 1989, Murphy was at the height of his power and …

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Looking Back: A Nightmare on Elm St. 5- The Dream Child (1989)

The saying is that Evil Never Dies. Maybe, but there was a time when Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees both looked to have scared, slashed and terrorized their last teenager. Twenty-five years ago, there was a brief moment in pop culture where it appeared that both franchises had peaked and were finally hanging up the glove and machete for good. …

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Looking Back: Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

The “Friday the 13th” franchise remains one of the sturdiest ongoing successes of the horror genre. Cashing in on the success of both “Halloween,” “Carrie” and the grindhouse shocks of Craven’s “Last House on the Left,” the initial Jason Voorhees installment opened in 1980, during the summer season, alongside “The Shining” and “The Empire Strikes Back.” The film made an …

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Looking Back: Supergirl (1984)

On our NerdWatch podcast, the topic of super hero movies and TV spinoffs comes up on every single episode. It’s such a hot topic for film studios, who are currently running around and frantically green-lighting spin-offs based on every comic book character and property they own. The Marvel Studios set the bar absurdly high with their winning streak that began …

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