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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: The New World (2005)

When “The New World” had its wide opening weekend (after a limited, Oscar-baiting run in December of the following year), a peculiar thing happened. I was there on opening night and couldn’t wait to see the latest film from Terrence Malick. His prior film, “The Thin Red Line,” left me awestruck and in eager anticipation of his follow up. This …

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Looking Back: Smooth Talk (1985)

Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is one of those short stories that truly haunted me when I first encountered it. I read it while I was a college freshman, taking the first of many classes that supported my English minor. My instructor, Dr. Woodruff, was one of those teachers who has become legendary to …

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Looking Back: Die Hard 2 (1990)

Seeing “Die Hard 2” the day it opened at the Lahaina Cinemas was a rite of passage for me, cinematically speaking. It was the first time my father had ever taken me to see an R-rated movie in the theater before and, being 13-years old, I felt like the gates of adulthood had swung open for me. I realize how …

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Looking Back: Teen Wolf (1985)

This is the year everyone will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of “Back to the Future.” Really, why wouldn’t they? It holds up beautifully, remains among the best of many films directed by Robert Zemeckis and is one of the definitive films of its era, yet, transcends its decade. Then there’s “Teen Wolf,” the other hit Michael J. Fox movie …

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Looking Back: Hamlet (2000)

Concept Shakespeare is nothing new to theater, though it’s an unusual quality for a motion picture. There are a few examples of motion pictures that tackled William Shakespeare’s work in an unorthodox, novel or gimmicky manner. Jean-Luc Godard’s bonkers 1987 “King Lear” is barely interested in the source material, offers none other than Woody Allen, Molly Ringwald, Burgess Meredith and …

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Looking Back: The Witches (1990)

Roald Dahl’s 1983 novel, “The Witches,” was the first I ever read cover-to-cover. My younger brother, Marty, innocently handed me the book one morning, saying, “You should read this, it’s really good.” While Marty ran off to play at a friend’s house, I sat down on my bed and found my Saturday morning seemed to magically transform into Saturday night. …

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Looking Back: Bad Influence (1990)

There is nothing more irresistible in a thriller than the dynamic of the young, impressionable and fearful young man who befriends someone who isn’t afraid of anything. In Curtis Hanson’s stylish, truly nasty and thoroughly entertaining “Bad Influence,” a successful but timid yuppie has the misfortune of making the wrong kind of friend, someone whose initial encouragement becomes a seduction, …

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Looking Back: Arachnophobia (1990)

The only thing about “Arachnophobia” that never caught on was the studio’s insistence that was a “Thrill-omedy.” That odd, unappealing juxtaposition of two words were unnecessary (seriously, we have the time to call it a Comic Thriller). Being the first Disney film to be distributed by their newly minted studio and production label, Hollywood Pictures, the Mouse House may not …

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Looking Back: Mask (1985)

Eric Stoltz probably hates how he’s become best known for being the guy who was fired from “Back to the Future.” Considering how impressive his body of work is, I share his presumed disdain for being discussed at length as The Actor Formerly Known as Marty McFly. By now, we all know the story: Stoltz was originally cast as the …

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Movie Flashback: To Be Takei (2014)

“Oh myyy.” I’m not a Trekkie. Sure, I enjoy Star Trek and was a huge fan of The Next Generation in my youth, but I don’t think I’ve ever been into it enough to qualify as a Trekkie. Not really. I didn’t even like the original series much. Sure, I tend to like it now, but when I was young, …

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