Pretty Woman

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Pretty-Woman

 

 

Release Date: March 23, 1990
Runtime: 119 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Touchstone Pictures (Disney)
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Richard Gere; Julia Roberts; Hector Elizondo; Laura San Giacomo; Jason Alexander; Ralph Bellamy

Do you remember where you were when Julia Roberts became a movie star? You were probably one of the millions sitting in the pre-stadium seating movie theater in the spring of 1990 watching a star being born. Garry Marshall’s modern retelling of “Pygmalion” is, when you break it down, a light and fluffy, if rather fair movie. But from the moment Roberts struts down Hollywood Boulevard on her way to snag a john in those thigh-high boots, we are under her spell and everything else plays second fiddle. Continue reading

Here Comes The Boom

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Release Date: October 12, 2012
Runtime: 105 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Frank Coraci
Cast: Kevin James; Salma Hayek; Greg Germann; Henry Winkler; Gary Valentine; Bas Rutten

Every so often a movie comes along that takes a marginal star and places them in a story that truly allows them to win us over. Jack Black in “School of Rock”. Anna Faris in “The House Bunny”. And now, Kevin James in “Here Comes The Boom.” This is a movie that has its heart planted firmly in the right place and truly gives James a chance to glow. Continue reading

Graffiti Bridge

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: November 2, 1990
Runtime: 95 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Warner Bros.
Director: Prince
Cast: Prince; Morris Day; Ingrid Chavez; Jerome Benton; Mavis Staples; Tevin Campbell

[SPOILERS]

Prince is an extremely talented guy. His music and his moves are hallmarks of the 1980s. “Graffiti Bridge,” his unofficial 1990 sequel to his seminal 1984 hit “Purple Rain,” will not dissuade anyone from thinking as much. His prowess as a filmmaker, however, is another story. Continue reading

Showgirls

Showgirls

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Release Date: September 22, 1995
Runtime: 131 minutes
Rating: NC-17
Studio: United Artists (MGM)
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Elizabeth Berkley; Kyle MacLachlan; Gina Gershon; Gina Ravera; Glenn Plummer; Alan Rachins

Let’s not bullshit each other, folks. You know you love this boondoggle of a flick from 1995, to date the most widely released NC-17 movie ever produced. Yes, it is far from a perfect film, the final print perhaps not representing what most of the actors, if not the production team, had envisioned when they initially signed on. That is arguably the precise reason why “Showgirls” has achieved the kind of rarified cult status that puts it in the same company as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Mommie Dearest,” “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” among others. Continue reading

An Unmarried Woman

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: March 5, 1978
Runtime: 124 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Paul Mazursky
Cast: Jill Clayburgh; Alan Bates; Michael Murphy; Cliff Gorman; Lisa Lucas; Kelly Bishop

You know the expression “to feel like a fly on the wall?” That’s pretty much how I felt while watching “An Unmarried Woman,” Paul Mazursky’s 1978 drama about a woman finding herself after her husband dumps her.

The late Jill Clayburgh plays Erica, a seemingly happily married woman. Her husband works on Wall Street, she has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, she lives comfortably on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she has a group of girlfriends with whom she regularly meets for drinks…a pretty normal, stress-free life. Then her husband drops a bomb. He is leaving her for a younger woman. What does Erica do now? Who is she if not a wife and mother? Continue reading

Jurassic Park 3D: A Reel Podcast

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Release Date: April 5, 2013 (original release June 11, 1993)
Runtime: 127 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Neill; Laura Dern; Richard Attenborough; Jeff Goldblum; Joseph Mazzello; Ariana Richards; Wayne Knight; Samuel L. Jackson

 

 

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Body of Evidence

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Body-of-Evidence

 

Release Date: January 15, 1993
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: MGM
Director: Uli Edel
Cast: Willem Dafoe; Madonna; Joe Mantegna; Anne Archer; Julianne Moore; Frank Langella; Jurgen Prochnow

Hoo-boy!!! This one’s a doozy! No one in this train wreck could possibly have thought that they were in a good movie. If they did, I have some waterfront property in Kansas to sell them.

In the wake of the success of “Basic Instinct” in the spring of 1992, the erotic thriller was a “hot” commodity. There was “Whispers in the Dark” in August of that year, “Guilty As Sin” in June of ’93, and William Friedkin’s “Jade” in 1995. Even “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone got back in the sack for “Sliver” in 1993. Most were lame excuses for big name stars to get naked. But none was more ridiculous than “Body of Evidence,” released in January (nuff said) of 1993. Starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe, this has to be one of the least intelligent movies ever put to celluloid. Continue reading

Side Effects

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Release Date: February 8, 2013
Runtime: 106 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Open Road Films
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Jude Law; Rooney Mara; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Channing Tatum

Instead of going out with a bang, Steven Soderbergh decided to go out with more of a tremble. While his latest, and purportedly last movie, is an entertaining enough social thriller, it is not the big, shiny, mass-market type of movie that has characterized his output in recent years (“Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” “Ocean’s Thirteen”). While it’s never a bad thing for a director, especially one as talented as Soderbergh, to flex his or her creative muscle and produce an eclectic mix of films, in my opinion, if this is going to be your last movie, why not go out with a grand, splashy piece of entertainment as a send-off?? Critics be damned! Continue reading

Duel

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Duel

 

 

Release Date: November 13, 1971
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Dennis Weaver; Jacqueline Scott; Eddie Firestone

This is the movie that put a young Steven Spielberg on the map. Originally produced for television (released theatrically in Europe), and based on a story by Richard Matheson (“I Am Legend”; “Stir of Echoes”), it has all the Spielbergian trademarks for which he would later become one of our foremost auteurs.

On the surface, this sounds like the dumbest movie ever: man is menaced by a maniacal big rig, driven by a faceless driver. That’s essentially it. Yet in the hands of a young and eager Spielberg, it ends up being one of the most intense movies you’re likely to see, and holds up beautifully in the forty-plus years since it was initially released. Continue reading

Oz: The Great and Powerful

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Release Date: March 8, 2013
Runtime: 130 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Sam Raimi
Cast: James Franco; Mila Kunis; Rachel Weisz; Michelle Williams; Zach Braff; Joey King; Bill Cobbs

“The Wizard of Oz” endures. Every few years, a new take on L. Frank Baum’s tales pops up. In 1985, there was “Return to Oz.” In 2003, the musical “Wicked” premiered on Broadway and became and international blockbuster (still running). Now, in 2013, comes “Oz: The Great and Powerful.” A prequel, of sorts, to the familiar movie, that dazzles with its visuals and provides an interesting back-story for how the Wizard got to be so, well, great and powerful. This film takes its cue from the Baum stories, and not the 1939 Judy Garland film, since there are copyright issues that prevent Disney (the studio behind this film) from getting its hands on too much of the familiar trademarks of the classic movie (distributed by MGM, but copyrights owned by Warner Bros. Continue reading