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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: The Doors (1991)

The boldest touch in Oliver Stone’s film “The Doors” is that it never glorifies its subject matter, rocker/poet Jim Morrison. Rather than create a loving ode to the so-called “Lizard King” and celebrate his body of work, Stone’s film portrays Morrison as a vile monster, a wordsmith who tarnished every meaningful friendship he ever made. Morrison fronted The Doors, one …

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Looking Back: Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

How much you like “Bridget Jones’ Diary” depends on how endearing you find Rene Zellweger’s interpretation of the character. It came as a shock to many when Zellweger, a soft spoken Texan, was cast in the part of Jones, a British party girl and “wanton sex goddess.” Fans of Helen Fielding’s book had a clear idea of who Jones was …

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Looking Back: World Trade Center (2006)

The pain of 9/11 wasn’t something I was eager to revisit in a movie theater, not five years after it occurred and not even today. There were many in 2006 whose “too soon” mantra reflected how most felt about seeing a cinematic recreation of one of most horrible incidents to ever occur in this country. I was curious to see …

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Looking Back: Bound (1996)

When “Bound,” the directorial debut of the Wachowski siblings, first appeared in 1996, reporters always remarked about the film’s sexual content and novel approach to gender reversal. It seemed every time I’d come across on article on the acclaimed film, it was always noted that “Bound” was “the lesbian movie,” or “that lesbian crime thriller” or “the neo-noir crime drama …

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Looking Back: That Thing You Do! (1996)

Rock and Roll movies tend to focus on the self destructive tendencies of the artists in question and drown their audience in excess. I’m not really complaining, as I enjoy “The Doors,” “The Rose” and even “Walk Hard: The Dewy Cox Story” as much as any other rabid music drama fan. However, not every music bio needs to center around …

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Looking Back: The Golden Child (1986)

How do you top “Beverly Hills Cop”? That’s the question everyone at Paramount Pictures wondered after Eddie Murphy’s 1984 comedy smash became the most successful R-rated comedy of all time. In the mid-1980’s, Murphy was one of the biggest movie stars in the world and the promise of a follow-up movie promised big things. It also gave Paramount Pictures an …

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Looking Back: Vanilla Sky (2001)

Tom Cruise’s film career took an interesting detour in the late 1990’s. Rather than merely present himself as a dreamboat leading man of tailor made cinematic fantasies, his films began to explore the intimate world of dreams. Twenty years ago, Cruise’s initial turn as super agent Ethan Hunt once again proved he could open just about any movie. The complex, …

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Looking Back: The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

H.G. Welles’ classic novel became a 1996 film event, unintentionally in a way that reflects the cautionary tone of the book it’s based on. David Thewlis (a replacement for the more appropriate Rob Morrow) stars as Edward, a man shipwrecked on an island controlled by a mad scientist. Edward immediately discovers that the majority of the island’s population are genetic …

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Looking Back: John Carpenter’s Escape From L.A. (1996)

One of my favorite summer movies is also one of the least likely sequels to ever see the light of day. No one would ever deny the grit, charm and ahead-of-its-time pessimism of John Carpenter’s “Escape From New York.” His 1981 cult classic is undeniably great but the odds of it ever getting a sequel, even with healthy home video …

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Looking Back: Mobsters (1991)

The concept of “Young Guns” (1988) was so obvious and calculated, it was no surprise that it became a hit. Casting hot young actors in the roles of historical cowboys, outlaws and wanted criminals in the old west also led to “Young Guns II” and a televised variant, “The Young Riders.” The next step was inevitably “Mobsters,” made by different …

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