Movie Rewind

Looking Back: If Looks Could Kill (1991)

It’s hard to defend a movie like “If Looks Could Kill,” though I’m sure going to try. To preface this, I should remind readers under the age of 30 that, once upon a time, there was a red-hot TV superstar named Richard Grieco. I don’t mean to sound snarky. In fact, I liked “21 Jump St.” but loved “Booker,” Grieco’s …

Read More »

Looking Back: Howard the Duck (1986)

My first encounter with Howard the Duck was, appropriately enough, in a pet store. While my Dad was looking for new additions to his massive aquarium, I found a crate of comic books, selling for less than a dollar each. Of the many rumpled comics jammed together, I was drawn to the second issue of “Howard the Duck”, in which …

Read More »

Looking Back: Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Alexander and Ilya Salkind knew how to shape epic movies with a twinkle in their eye, a grin on their face and a seriousness that gave it a genuine integrity. At least, they did at first, when they oversaw the making of the still magnificent “Superman: The Movie” and its superb sequel, “Superman II.” What followed was “Superman III,” “Supergirl” …

Read More »

Looking Back: One Magic Christmas (1985)

Readers of my Looking Back column know I have a soft spot for the early/mid-1980’s films released by the Walt Disney Company. Before Michael Eisner came in and fully reinstated Disney to its prior glory, with “The Little Mermaid” and the subsequent animated classics in the wings, the company was making and distributing some offbeat films. Call it The TRON …

Read More »

Looking Back: Star Wars Episode III- Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Before we either celebrate the release of “Star Wars- The Force Awakens,” I want to recall the last time a new, live-action “Star Wars” film was released in theaters ten years ago. While the release of the prequel trilogy, “Episodes I-III,” was met with mixed reviews and mostly contempt from longtime fans of The Force, the films don’t deserve to …

Read More »

Looking Back: Dancer in the Dark (2000)

The experience of seeing Lar Von Triers’ “Dancer in the Dark” on the big screen was so overwhelming, it left me numb and drained in my seat. I took my friend Jenn with me to see it, on a let’s-go-catch-a-movie whim. The experience left us both stunned. For some reason, we were both drawn to Von Triers’ deconstructive, knowingly post-modernist …

Read More »

Looking Back: Munich (2005)

Steven Spielberg has a habit of making two films back-to-back, with a commercial, summer-ready work followed by more serious, adult-minded drama. He followed “Jurassic Park” with “Schindler’s List,” “The Lost World” with “Amistad, and “Minority Report” with “Catch Me If You Can.” His 2005 blockbuster, “War of the Worlds,” one of the most successful films to date, was followed up …

Read More »

Looking Back: State of Grace (1990)

Why wasn’t “State of Grace” recognized immediately for its value as one of the finest mobster films ever made? I blame the studio. Coming out at the end of 1990, Phil Joanou’s drama had two giant obstacles to face: the competition and Orion Pictures, it’s distributor. To address the latter and to give them the break they deserve, Orion was …

Read More »

Looking Back: The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

I’ve never encountered a movie flopping with a louder, more surprising thud than Brian De Palma’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1990). Film buffs can usually detect these things coming, as the months leading up to release can often give red flags, leaked word of mouth or tell-tale trailers that the film in question is a turkey. With “Bonfire,” its …

Read More »