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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Tremors (1990)

The key to why “Tremors” works so well is that it never forgets it’s a comedy. Yes, there are giant, worm-like creatures in the ground that pull you under and lots of scary moments but the movie never loses its sense of humor and forgets what it is. In the same way “An American Werewolf in London,” “Ghostbusters,” “Tucker & …

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Looking Back: Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

Keanu Reeves is so robotic as the title character in “Johnny Mnemonic,” it comes as a surprise when we learn he isn’t a robot or android. Johnny is a high-tech courier in a futuristic world where, rather than send something via e-mail on the internet (concepts the film seems aware of but doesn’t fully broach), he inserts information into his …

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Looking Back: Fantastic Four (2005)

The first big-budget adaptation of Marvels’ “The Fantastic Four” came ten years ago and serves now as a warning and a sign of things to come. The 2005 “Fantastic Four” isn’t offensively bad, as some claim, nor a misunderstood classic worthy of defense. The result is a comic book movie in capital letters, a jokey, cornball “event movie” with good …

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Looking Back: Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985)

It’s very fitting, perfect really, that the first thing we see in this sequel to “First Blood” is a large scale explosion. We watch a bunch of prisoners working outdoors, with Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) now literally a part of chain gang, banging his hammer against rocks as armed guards keep a close watch. Rambo looks the same as he did …

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Looking Back: Total Recall (1990)

The pairing of mega-superstar Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dutch madman filmmaker Paul Verhoeven seemed like an odd match at first. Actually, if you look at the early attempts to get “Total Recall” made in the decade before it, the surprising matches of actor and director are consistent. David Cronenberg famously tried to get a highly cerebral version made starring William Hurt. …

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Looking Back: Heat (1995)

I remember the moment when Michael Mann’s “Heat” won me over the first time I saw it. It comes during the first twenty-five minutes and takes place in a bookstore. We see Neil, played by Robert De Niro, sitting alone. He’s reading and trying hard not to stand out in one of those bookstore/cafe combos that are rare but still …

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Looking Back: Battlefield: Earth (2000)

I was first drawn to “Battlefield: Earth” in Denver of 2000, which I guess is ironic, since the movie is set in Denver and takes place exactly a thousand years later. I was a college student at the time and had never been to a sci-fi convention before, though movies like “Galaxy Quest” gave me an idea of what they …

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Looking Back: Predator 2 (1990)

Once the filmmakers behind “Predator 2” realized that Arnold Schwarzenegger was not returning for the sequel, I suspect they came up with a plan. Rather than make a follow up to the 1987 smash that was smaller in scale, I suspect they regrouped and decided, if we lose the biggest star in the world for the lead, then let’s make …

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Phormat’s Movie Flashback: The FP (2011)

“What’s a town with no ducks?!” The 245 and the 248 feud for control over a rural wasteland known as Frazier Park (‘The FP’) in the deadly arena of the competitive dance-fight video game, “Beat-Beat Revelation.”   “The FP” follows JTRO (Jason Trost) after his brother, hometown hero BTRO (Brandon Barrera), dies in a dance battle against rival gang leader, …

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Looking Back: White Nights (1985)

Among the richest gifts cinema has provided audiences is the preservation of great performances for the enjoyment of future generations. While I’ll never see Sandra Bernhardt give what has been historically referred to as the definitive Hamlet on stage, I have the Laurence Olivier interpretation of the role on film, which he originated in the Royal Shakespearean Theater. Great stage …

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