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Movie Rewind

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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Looking Back: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)

Back in January, I had the privilege of sitting in on “The Mike Rosen Show,” Denver’s #1 talk show. Rosen had me there to discuss movies. The topic of the woeful, forgettable “I, Frankenstein” came up. Rosen asked me who was my favorite Frankenstein (he meant which actor playing Frankenstein’s Monster did I prefer). Without hesitation, I answered, “Robert De …

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Looking Back: The Abyss (1989)

James Cameron is nearly unmatched in crafting limitlessly imaginative spectacle. His detractors could rightfully claim that the value of the story and accompanying dialogue didn’t always live up to the staggering imagery. Yet, when the imagery and film craftsmanship is this good, the storytelling succeeds in spite of the flaws. There are two titles in Cameron’s remarkable filmography that stand …

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Looking Back: Wolf (1994)

The introductory scenes of “Wolf” are so perfect, it feels like a slow build to the definitive werewolf movie. Even the titles are just right, as the beaming Columbia Pictures logo is suddenly engulfed by fog, then a full moon. The credits unfold over spooky sounds, Ennio Morricone’s playful score and imagery of a dark, sinister-looking night in Vermont. We …

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Looking Back: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Is there anyone alive who could resist the charm of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”? For a movie that was made in the late 1980’s, it holds up even better than I remembered. My adoration of this breezy, exciting family film hasn’t waned over time but I was amazed how well this still plays. It seems there’s something timeless about …

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