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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Dutch (1991)

There’s always been an edge to the works of John Hughes and to a surprising degree. Most remember the Chicago-based screenwriter as the author of definitively 80’s teen comedy romances. He’s the man who gave us “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club,” “Weird Science,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Some Kind of Wonderful,” to name a few of …

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Looking Back: Novocaine (2001)

Steve Martin’s remarkable career needs no introduction but is a toy chest of wonders to behold. His achievements includes being a magician at Disneyland, becoming one of the most original stand up comedians of his generation, a celebrated art collector, bona fide movie star and celebrated author and playwright. I should also, for the sake of being thorough, mention he …

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Looking Back: Exit Wounds (2001)

Prior to becoming a beloved reality TV star, real life deputy and former 1990’s mega-movie star, Steven Seagal was once a man in need of a giant comeback. Seagal, with his pony tail, dark attire, whispery voice and intense presence, had a fairy tale career trajectory that would be too far-fetched for most films. After all, only in the movies …

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Looking Back: Sleepers (1996)

The recent success of Best Picture Oscar winner “Spotlight” motivated me to revisit “Sleepers,” the controversial 1996 thriller that covered similar thematic ground. The film’s controversial quality came from the film’s origin, the novel from Lorenzo Carcaterra. Reporters questioned the validity of Carcaterra’s novel, which was said to be based on a true story. The book was a #1 bestseller, …

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Looking Back: House Party 2 (1991)

Nostalgia doesn’t always reward those with a need to revisit the past. This is the cruel reminder of what happens when you give a footnote from your childhood another look, even as you recall it wasn’t so hot the first time. Anyone who knows me fairly well can attest that I’m a huge fan of Reginald and Warrington Hudlin’s 1990 …

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Looking Back: The Shipping News (2001)

I recently paid a visit to the Friends of the Library Bookstore, the one behind the sugar cane mill that represents so much of Maui’s past and uncertain future. The drive over there, on dirt roads past the mill, alongside where the abandoned church still stands and homes once were, overwhelms me with thoughts of Hawaii’s past and my place …

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Looking Back: Aliens (1986)

There are moments throughout James Cameron’s “Aliens” that visually bring “Rambo” to mind. It’s fitting, since Sylvester Stallone’s explosion-happy blockbuster came out the year before and was co-written by Cameron. Close up shots of “Aliens” star Sigourney Weaver strapping into the Power Loader and taping massive guns together will bring to mind similar moments from the Stallone film but here, …

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Looking Back: The Frighteners (1996)

Peter Jackson’s first big budget American film is one of those delightful oddities that was mismanaged by its studio and little seen in theaters. With its bizarre concept, brief run as a summer movie and Jackson’s overall body of work, a cult following was all but guaranteed for “The Frighteners.” Michael J. Fox stars as a Frank Bannister, a medium …

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Looking Back: The Others (2001)

In Alejandro Amenabar’s “The Others,” Nicole Kidman stars as Grace, a mother who is literally and figuratively living in darkness. Her two children (Alakina Mann and James Bentley, both exceptionally good and quite adorable) are photosensitive and must live in their home with the curtains always drawn. Grace’s husband is fighting in World War II, leaving her as the children’s …

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Looking Back: The Host (2006)

Joon-ho Bong’s brilliant monster movie snuck up on me, in the same way its eye popping monster creeps up onto a crowded shore of terrified onlookers. I caught the film in the fall of 2006, in the Midnight Movie slot at the Denver International Film Festival. The film’s lone American star, veteran actor Scott Wilson, introduced the screening and kindly …

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