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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Evolution (2001)

You can’t blame filmmakers for trying to recreate the success and vision of Ivan Reitman’s “Ghostbusters.” In fact, Reitman himself tried to recapture the lightening in a bottle success of the franchise twice- in 1989, with “Ghostbusters II” and in 2001 with “Evolution.” The former is a hit and miss sequel but the latter is an intriguing, mostly forgotten f/x-driven …

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Looking Back: Lady in the Water (2006)

The circumstances in which I first saw M. Night Shyamalan’s “Lady in the Water” were so unusual, they match the outright strangeness of the film itself. I was living in Colorado at the time and nearly missed the screening, due to a horrible car accident. I was driving to the screening with my wife, Julia and my Maui childhood friend, …

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Looking Back: The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

One of my favorite sequels has always been “The Karate Kid Part II” and for a very simple reason. The creators of the original clearly knew what they had in the character of Mr. Kesuke Miyagi and wisely decided to base the sequel around him. The more obvious choice was to have the story move to New Jersey, Daniel’s old …

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Looking Back: Hudson Hawk (1991)

“Hudson Hawk” is a movie that lives on with infamy between my father and I. It serves as a secret handshake between us. Whenever we recount a movie that didn’t work, an experience in a movie theater that was bad or a film that disappointed on enormous levels, the conversation always drifts towards Bruce Willis’ “Hudson Hawk.” While the film …

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Looking Back: Hook (1991)

Steven Spielberg’s “Hook” is an easy film to defend and an even easier movie to enjoy. It seems this wasn’t the case in 1991, when the film’s widely reported, then-massive budget was a poorly kept secret and source of industry gossip. Other complaints were made that, both then and now, didn’t entirely make any sense. It seems most of the …

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Looking Back: William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

Baz Luhrman’s highly unorthodox adaptation of William Shakespeare’s most famous love story was a big deal for me and my acting buddies in college. I was a freshman in 1996 and deep into my theater studies when the film was released. Spending months in theater classes, constantly rehearsing new plays and reading up on actors like Marlon Brando and Kenneth …

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Looking Back: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)

The lesson learned from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” is that you can never go home. Specifically, you can’t go back to the year before and make a better movie than the 1990 surprise blockbuster directed by Steve Barron. There was something truly special and uniquely hip about Barron’s film. With its state of the …

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Looking Back: Children of Men (2006)

I was initially reluctant to see “Children of Men” and for an admittedly dopey reason. It was in early morning of November of 2006 that I was at the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado. The mall’s movie theater was showing a series of year-end Oscar contenders for the Colorado press and I was there for a 9am screening of …

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Looking Back: The Prestige (2006)

Fans of Christian Bale should pay closer attention to “The Prestige,” as it offers a window into his process as an actor more than any other role he’s taken. Bale has played an astonishing lot of versatile characters in many great films and demonstrated, time and time again, his utter dedication to his craft. Both chameleon-like and clever enough to …

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Looking Back: Rat Race (2001)

I first became aware of this movie after my brother caught it at a Hollywood test screening. He called me up, breathlessly describing a movie I had not heard of before. He told me it had Cuba Gooding Jr and Whoopi Goldberg in it, that the funniest scene involved a Kathy Bates and a sight gag involving a squirrel. This …

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