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Movie Rewind

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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Looking Back: Friday the 13th Part VI- Jason Lives (1986)

You have to have a sense of humor to see a film called “Friday the 13th Part VI- Jason Lives.” It also helps to have a sense of humor to make a movie like this. Thankfully, both the film’s writer/director, Tom McLoughlin and the film’s studio, Paramount Pictures, clearly find something very funny about Jason Voorhees. Not funny enough to …

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Looking Back: Dead Again (1991)

The first time I saw Kenneth Branagh was in “Dead Again” and, for a while, I believed that he and his co-star (and then wife) Emma Thompson were Americans. This was due to my missing Branagh’s breakthrough hit, “Henry V” and initially being unfamiliar with Branagh’s accomplished work on stage. Later on, particularly during my college years as a Theater …

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Looking Back: Hannibal (2001)

I get asked a lot if I ever change my mind about movies. Is there a movie that you once loved or hated but now have a different opinion about? For the most part, the answer is no. My opinions usually remain stubbornly intact. Movies I’ve liked have later become movies that I now love. Yet, I have no drastic, …

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Looking Back: Psycho III (1986)

Norman Bates is hardly a sympathetic character but the greatest achievement of “Psycho III” is that Anthony Perkins makes us care greatly about him. Despite the fact that Bates has mentally regressed,  murdered his aunt/mother impersonator and randomly kills anyone who upsets him, Perkins allows us to see the man struggling to ascend beyond his doomed state of mind. Perhaps …

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Looking Back: The People Under The Stairs (1991)

Every time I visit my brother Marty in Los Angeles, he always treats me to a tour of movie locations. He once took me to the homes featured in “Halloween,” “A Nightmare on Elm St.” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the diners and buildings featured in “L.A. Confidential,” the bank where the climactic robbery of “Heat” took place and even …

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Looking Back: Donnie Darko (2001)

The word visionary is defined as “a person with original ideas about the future will or could be like.” The first time I saw Richard Kelly’s “Donnie Darko,” I could only describe it as a visionary work. Kelly’s film absorbs the horror, sci-fi, teen high comedy and social satire genres and emerges as a work that won’t fit comfortably into …

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