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Demolition Man

The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic made quite a few people remember the many outbreak films Hollywood has made.  It made me remember “Demolition Man”.

Of course, it wasn’t for the main plot point of the movie – a violent cop and a violent criminal are cryogenically frozen, and are brought back centuries in the future to discover the world is much different.

Police Academy

When a comedy has 6 sequels, each of which got progressively worse until the final in the series hardly even made it onto a theater screen, it’s hard to judge the first one fairly, especially since it never would’ve happened without the classic film “The Right Stuff”.

Heaven Help Us

Every once in a while, you find a film from youth that is full of great scenes with great actors who most people didn’t know at the time, but today has the makings of a classic.

Dead Man Don't Wear Plaid

In 1982, I was a big fan of movies I couldn’t possibly have seen from the 30s and 40s.  We actually had a VHS VCR in the house, but the small video store near my house had very few movies from that era.  But I read about them in tons of books at the library.  

When Harry Met Sally...

I became a fan of rom-coms because of “When Harry Met Sally.”  For once, the guy was a smart alec who didn’t look like a Ken doll.  One of those “He could be me” situations.

And Meg Ryan was everybody’s high-maintenance but sweet girl next door.

The Incredible Shrinking Man

I can’t tell you how many times I saw “The Incredible Shrinking Man” on television as a kid, but it was a lot.  This film is emblazoned on my childhood.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

How the hell did this cost $65 million?

That’s almost as much as it cost to make “The Rock” the same year, and that got us Sean Connery, Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris, and it got the studio more than twice that at the box office.

But darn it, I love “The Long Kiss Goodnight”.

Witness

There’s hardly any part of “Witness” I don’t love.  In fact, I wonder how a film like this even got green-lit.  Much of the supporting cast and the two writers were perennial television workers, the director had never directed an American film, and films about the Amish weren’t known to be blockbusters.

Class of 1984

I’ll admit it.  Many of the films I enjoyed as a child were supremely influenced by a PBS show called “Sneak Previews” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who left the show in 1982 and went to network syndication with “At the Movies”.  “Sneak Previews” continued without them and never really clicked with me.  Siskel and Ebert were it. 

Malice

The early 1990s were a good time to do husband and wife thrillers, and “Malice” is just about the best. Coming of his hit play-turned-movie “A Few Good Men”, Aaron Sorkin pens this story of intrigue, after which he veered off into politics with “The American President”, “The West Wing” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.”


 “Another Take on Film” -  Movies you may have seen before that are worth “another take” – watch them again and maybe notice some things differently the second time around.  I’ll be continuously adding reviews of films from my personal library of thousands and thousands of titles and sharing what I think is special about each one.  Every good film deserves another take.


The Poseidon Adventure

If there was a time when the world was turning upside down, it was the 60s and 70s.  The turmoil from Vietnam to Watergate made many question the things Americans relied on for decades.  That anti-establishment arc found its way into many films.  Sometimes it was overt, like in films like “Dirty Harry” and “Death Wish.”  Charles Bronson could do what the entire police force couldn’t – confront crime and defeat it.  Clint Eastwood had to defy police orders to get the bad guy, and he threw his badge into the river to put an exclamation point on it.

Wall Street

Oliver Stone make personal films.  He fought in Vietnam, so he makes “Platoon,” “JFK,” and “Nixon.”  His father was a stock broker, so “Wall Street” shouldn’t have surprised anyone.

I must confess an affinity for business movies and that has stayed with me through the years.  “Wall Street” was really my first.

Beverly Hills Cop

There was a time when Eddie Murphy was the single most talented new force in film. Although not my absolute favorite Eddie Murphy film, “Beverly Hills Cop” remains a great example of a film that is absolutely nothing without its star.

As the story goes, “Beverly Hills Cop” wasn’t even supposed to be a comedy. Picture Sylvester Stallone as Axel Foley.

Sly went on to do “Cobra” and the studio brought in Eddie Murphy, saving about $10 million and grossing over $150 million more in box office receipts.

Time After Time

Really good science fiction answers a really cool question that begins with “What If.”

Sadly, since Star Wars, science fiction his been thought to be spaceships flying through the galaxy or if we go back as far as the fifties, spaceships landing or attacking Earth.

Some really good science fiction doesn’t involve space, aliens or ray guns.

Time After Time takes off on two really great “What if” questions.

The first: What if H. G. Wells, instead of just writing “The Time Machine,” actually built one?

Saturday Night Fever

Norman Wexler, the reason I love Saturday Night Fever. He suffered from mental illness most of his life and was rumored to be the inspiration for Tony Clifton, Andy Kaufman’s stage alter ego.

But he turned a movie about nightclub dancing into a social commentary.

He was a screenwriter who twice was nominated for the Oscar for “Joe” and “Serpico”, two films dealing with the darker side of social commentary.  Then Wexler was tasked with turning a magazine article about Saturday night disco dancing into something more than a dance movie.