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Movie Rewind

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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Looking Back: Die Hard With a Vengeance (1995)

When “Die Hard With a Vengeance” was released during the summer of 1995, there were some who remarked that the timing was off, that the film should have been held back. Opening not long after the Oklahoma City bombing, the stunning explosion that opens the film (set to The Lovin Spoonfuls’ “Summer in the City”) made some uncomfortable. Now, looking …

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Looking Back: Waterworld (1995)

The ordeal the heroic Mariner suffers throughout “Waterworld” seem minuscule compared to what star Kevin Costner suffered during and after the release of his movie. Growing up on Maui, I was riveted by the stories that were leaking out from the famously troubled set of “Waterworld,” as much of production took place on the Big Island. My favorite tidbit: apparently, …

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Looking Back: Shaft (2000)

The casting of Samuel L. Jackson as John Shaft was so on-the-nose perfect, it made movie buffs shout “right on.” Once the announcement came that Jackson was playing the role, the movie practically played in my head, as I could easily imagine the star of “Jackie Brown” strutting around New York to Isaac Hayes’ legendary score. To an extent, that’s …

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Looking Back: Return to Oz (1985)

There was something about the poster to “Return to Oz” that provided me with an unspoken warning. I stood in front of it with my mother, outside of a movie theater in Riverdale, New Jersey. My Mother asked me, “do you want to see that?” I knew that, were I to say yes, we’d be inside and sitting on the …

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Looking Back: Ghost Dog- The Way of the Samurai (2000)

Forest Whitaker is no one’s first choice to play the role of a samurai, which is why it works so well. To describe Jim Jarmusch’s “Ghost Dog- The Way of the Samurai” is to court ridicule and disbelief that the movie could be anything other than a campy disaster. Whitaker plays a silent but commanding figure who lives in a …

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Looking Back: Weird Science (1985)

Anthony Michael-Hall once stood on a stage in Denver, addressing the fandom of the annual Starfest convention. He was there promoting “The Dead Zone,” his TV series, and was taking questions regarding his impressive, lengthy list of past roles. “Weird Science” came up, not in the form of a question but a declaration. A guy in his mid-twenties took the …

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Looking Back: Species (1995)

Science Fiction has always delved into the lure of sex, either as subtext or as a central theme. For a film genre so famous as a means of exploring the possibilities of the human experience, pushing the boundaries of scientific discovery and, as a result, showcasing the most extraordinary special effects available, sex has always been a sci-fi staple, if …

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