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Movie Rewind

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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Looking Back: Mars Attacks! (1996)

Tim Burton’s 1996 sci-fi send-up, “Mars Attacks!,” offered me a humbling example of the sometimes extreme difference between initial audience reaction and overall response to a film. In this case, Burton’s unapologetically weird throwback to 50’s B-movies, presented with a knockout cast and state of the art effects. It was one of the big curiosity items of 1996, as it …

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Looking Back: The Last Boy Scout (1991)

When Bruce Willis played Joe Hallenback, the fallen hero of Tony Scott’s “The Last Boy Scout,” his image was already as tarnished and beaten down as the character. Willis had survived the summer of 1991, in which “Hudson Hawk,” his treasure pet project, had become a high profile flop and a pinata for movie critics. Suddenly, the star of “Die …

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Looking Back: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

The journey of Bill and Ted as a movie franchise was such a surprise that even its studio didn’t quite know what to do with the sequel. The original “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” was shot largely in 1987 with modest expectations at best and belatedly released two years later. The comedy, a time traveling goof about two dimwitted teens …

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Looking Back: The Evening Star (1996)

Some sequels need defending and, from the day it opened, “The Evening Star” has always been one of them. Ostensibly “Terms of Endearment II,” this came a decade and three years later and no longer stars Debra Winger, whose Emma died at the end of the first film. The focus of the follow up film (and the Larry McMurtry novel …

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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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