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Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Insomnia (2002)

Christopher Nolan’s 2002 remake of the 1999 Swedish masterpiece “Insomnia” marked his first big budget studio film. It also put in plain view the themes and cinematic panache that would mark all of his work. While “Insomnia” (which came after Nolan’s intriguing, little seen “Following” and his delicious puzzle, “Memento”) is a police procedural thriller, it presents the Nolan trademark …

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Looking Back: Freejack (1992)

The question plaguing Alex Furlong throughout “Freejack” is, who transported me to the future and wants to steal my body for personal use? The real question any rational moviegoer will have while watching “Freejack” is, what in the world are Emilio Estevez, Mick Jagger and Sir Anthony Hopkins doing in the same movie? In the opening scenes of “Freejack,” we …

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Looking Back: Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” was a game changer for comic book movies, as its staggering success, high caliber as an adaptation and overt (but never obnoxious) efforts at world building and franchise set-ups established the model Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” would maintain six years later. If Richard Donner’s “Superman- The Movie,” Tim Burton’s “Batman” and Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” were colossal hits …

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Looking Back: Benji The Hunted (1987)

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk in silly animal voices while visiting a zoo. Apparently, it’s not enough to gaze at the magnificence of a gorilla in its habitat or watch a lion clean itself just a few feet away. Some people think its entirely necessary and possibly funny to provide the animal’s inner monolog. “He’s …

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Looking Back: Summer School (1987)

I recall a Colorado drive-in movie theater that once had both Paramount’s “Summer School” and “Back to the Beach” on the same bill. That might have been the greatest drive-in movie double feature, ever. While I won’t defend the Carl Reiner directed “Summer School” as a great American comedy, especially in comparison to the wonderful, under-looked “Back to the Beach” …

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Looking Back: Class Act (1992)

The term “rapper-turned-actor” has seen some highs but too many lows. The problem is infusing a talent from the music world into a film role worthy of their talents. Ice-T, Eminem and Queen Latifah are among the few who broke through and found roles that complimented their abilities. On the other hand, “Class Act” showcases how even an enjoyable, talented …

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Looking Back: Batman Returns (1992)

Tim Burton’s “Batman Returns” was the biggest summer movie hit of 1992. Its also one of Burton’s most peculiar, as it defies sequel-izing the first film in favor of exploring the darker shades of its disturbed protagonists. Many have noted how Burton’s 1989 “Batman,” while truly one of his signature films (and a terrific one at that), was reworked heavily …

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Looking Back: G.I. Jane (1997)

As of this writing, there are currently no female Navy SEALS. Although women are now permitted to undergo the famously grueling training course, potential applicants have yet to step up. Technically, the first ever female Navy SEAL is named Kristin Beck, though she served as Chris Beck before transitioning into a woman after her military service. While it is a …

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Looking Back: Blue Crush (2002)

In John Stockwell’s “Blue Crush,” Kate Bosworth (in her first starring role) plays Anne Marie Chadwick, a gifted surfer who lives in Hawaii and is still scarred psychologically from wiping out three years earlier. As a major surfing competition looms, she works as a maid in a hotel and shares a home with her sister (Mika Boorem of “Hearts in …

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Looking Back: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

When it was first announced that Disney was making a movie based on their Pirates of the Caribbean ride, it sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. Imagine, if you will, a movie based on a 36-year old theme park attraction, starring the always-game Johnny Depp, the star of “Bend It Like Beckham,” and the guy who played the blonde …

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