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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: The Mist (2007)

In the opening scenes of Frank Darabont’s “The Mist,” an artist is creating his latest work on an easel as a storm crackles outside his window. The artist is David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane. Drayton creates movie poster art- this may the only instance where such an artist is a character in a movie. Drayton’s wife and son, Billy …

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Looking Back: Pet Sematary II (1992)

I don’t know how one of the scariest movies of my generation could inspire this, the “Caddyshack II” of horror sequels. We’ve all seen bad sequels, the type that undermine the value of the original and also kill any chance for an intended franchise or rekindling the story down the road. Follow-ups that flop and vanish happen all the time. …

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Looking Back: Under Siege (1992)

I could almost always tell if a movie was going to be a hit, depending on how long the line around the Maui Theater in Kahului was. The long-running, single-screen theater, which closed in 1996, used to house some of the biggest blockbusters of the day. On opening weekend, it was easy to tell that, for example, “Batman,” “Apollo 13” …

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Looking Back: Teen Wolf Too (1987)

Around the time “Teen Wolf Too” arrived in theaters during the fall of 1987, the franchise had already peaked and was ready for an infusion of new blood. The Michael J. Fox-starring sleeper hit of 1985 was in constant cable TV rotation and the Saturday morning cartoon spin-off was, likewise, a once-popular 80’s television staple. This is in no way …

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Looking Back: Throw Momma From the Train (1987)

As I sit here and begin to shape a retrospective article on Danny DeVito’s “Throw Mamma From the Train,” I can’t help but want to write: The night was….the night was….the night was…the night…the night was… This is also the wonderful opening scene that starts off Devito’s directorial debut (not counting his made for cable “The Rating’s Game” or his …

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Looking Back: Zodiac (2007)

Late into “Zodiac,” Robert Graysmith, the tireless cartoonist-turned-amateur-snoop, is having a red eye meeting at an all-nigh diner with Tochi, one of the key investigators of the lengthy Zodiac killer investigation in San Francisco. Jake Gyllenhall is playing Graysmith, who is explaining to Tochi, played by Mark Ruffalo, the close proximity in which the killings took place. To make a …

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Looking Back: The Invasion (2007)

It’s unfortunate that so many films are the victim of studio-tinkering, producer’s notes, creative indecision and alterations mandated by poor test screenings before their release. Some of these examples are atrocious, like “Suicide Squad” (which, strangely enough, managed to become a blockbuster in spite of its wall-to-wall wretchedness). Then there’s “The Dark Tower,” the would-be franchise starter, summer of ’17 …

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Looking Back: Solaris (2002)

I first encountered Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” when I was in college. A film periodical informed me of “the Russian ‘2001’” and my local library had one of those bulky, two-videocassette holding boxes that required commitment and not a casual watch. The 1972 film, which is based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem, is set in the near future and is …

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Looking Back: North Shore (1987)

I recently took an unofficial poll and asked my surfer buddies what their favorite surfing movie is. Before they answered, I would quickly add, “-not a documentary, but the best fictional movie ever made about the sport.” Suddenly, they’d get really quiet, think for a moment, then quickly say, “North Shore.” That was the most frequent answer I’d hear. Sure, …

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Looking Back: Encino Man (1992)

Here’s an odd and fairly useless piece of movie trivia I’ve been lugging around for 25 years: Regis Philbin and Kathy Lee Gifford turned down the chance to play the parents in “Encino Man.” Please, don’t hold in your collective ooh and aahs as you read this! During one of their morning show banter-fests, Philbin and Gifford recalled how they …

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