Movie Diary 1990 previous • next

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January 1990 • Tremors • Haverhill, MA theater, where the Chunky's is now
Thoroughly enjoyable "B" movie, with a solid cast (Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and Michael Gross, aka the dad from 'Family Ties'). The night we went to see this, the film broke: right as the survivors are riding the bulldozer out of town, a big dark silouhette filled the screen. I thought it was the creature about the attack, but it was the film breaking. We all got free passes for another screening. NOTE: Somehow Tremors has spawned a passel of sequels and a TV show.
January 15, 1990 • Always
What does Spielberg get for trying something different and making a romantic film? He gets ignored and underrated. In any event, a Spielberg movie that does not revolve around children, the loss of innocence, absent father figures, et al, is appreciated.
February 1990 • Hard To Kill • Haverhill, MA theater, where the Chunky's is now
This movie makes my Top 10 Guilty Pleasures list. Actually, I don't have a Guilty Pleasures List, but I'll start one right now. Starring Steven Seagal at his peak. This movie, and Under Siege (aka Die Hard on a Battleship) are the reason you've heard of Steven Seagal in the first place. Also starring the "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" model, Kelly LeBrock. A quite good revenge thriller, considering Steven Seagal is the star!

Senator Trent: You can take that to the bank!
Mason Storm: I'm gonna take you to the bank, Senator Trent. To the blood bank!

To Be, or Not To Be Too Old To Play Hamlet
Hamlet is supposed to be the young Prince of Denmark. In his first scene, his mother begs him not ot return to school, but stay in Elsinore. I imagine Shakespeare wanted a young man 19-25 years old to play him. The highest-profile performances of the role have been by much older actors. Here's a list of famous actors who have played Hamlet. This list only includes performances listed in the Internet Movie Database. The names are listed alongside their birth year and the year the performance was released in theaters or home video. As a result, the age of the actor when the performance was made may be a year or two younger.

Ethan Hawke1970200030
Ian McKellen1939197031
Nicol Williamson1938196931
Mel Gibson1956199034
Kenneth Branagh1960199636
Richard Chamberlain1934197036
Christopher Plummer1927196437
Campbell Scott1961200039
Richard Burton1925196439
Laurence Olivier1907194841
Derek Jacobi1938198042
Kevin Kline1947199043

  February 3, 1990 • Hamlet
I remember watching Siskel and Ebert discussing this adaptation. Ebert gave this movie a "thumbs-down" because the shot composition, especially during the most famous monologues, gave this production a "Hamlet's Greatest Hits" feeling.
  HBO and the Non-Sequential Movie My good friend the Blues Cowboy, once talked about media he cannot flip past when he's watching TV or listening to the radio. He mentioned the movie Ocean's Eleven as a movie he watches through to the end when he comes across it on HBO. I have six channels of HBO, and before I bought my TiVo, I experienced a moviewatching phenomenon: The HBO Non-Sequential Movie. Because HBO shows movies over and over on their six channels using a schedule only they understand, viewers who browse HBO will tend to start watching movies from somewhere in the middle. My first experience with this was in 1992, when I lived for three months in an apartment with HBO. That summer I saw The Hunt For Red October so many times, my Russian pronunciation got a seal of approval from a native Ukranian. Ocean's Eleven is one of those films I have seen in thirty-minute chunks about fifty times. And to think I almost bought the DVD! My then-girlfriend and I once watched The Fugitive on HBO, her in Somerville and me in Watertown, neither knowing the other was watching, and we both started at about the same time. The next night we got together and watched the first half on DVD.
March 1990 • The Hunt For Red October • Revere multiplex
Three of my all-time fave action films are from director John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard, and this). His work on Die Hard 3 was OK, and a lot of people enjoyed his remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.
April 13, 1990 • I Love You To Death • General Cinemas Chestnut Hill
Supposedly based on a true story. The number of phony accents in this film is mind-boggling- Kevin Kline (American) is playing an Italian philanderer, Tracy Ullman and Joan Plowright (both English) play Eastern Europeans, and Miriam Margolyes (also English) plays Kline's Italian mother. From Lawrence Kasdan, the director of The Accidental Tourist, Silverado, The Big Chill, and Body Heat.
May 19, 1990 • Cadillac Man
Joey O'Brien's life is boiling over- he has to sell twelve Cadillacs in two days or he loses his job. Plus, he is surrounded by displeased women (two girlfriends and an ex-wife, played by, in no order, Pamela Reed, Fran Drescher, and Annabella Sciorra). Then Tim Robbins crashes into the dealership with a machine gun and takes everyone hostage.
June 1990 • Total Recall
My least favorite Paul Verhoeven film. The science in this science fiction action movie is alternately attentive to scientific possibilities and completely implausible. All the more frustrating is that it's based on a Philip K Dick story, so there's some kind of worthwhile premise buried under all the bad effects and silly set design.
June 1990 • Dick Tracy
I was eighteen years old, fresh out of high school. I had never read the Dick Tracy comic strrip, and I had never seen Warren Beatty in a movie before, and I barely knew who Al Pacino was either.
Big Boy Caprice: I want Tracy dead. What's the matter, you bums forgotten how to kill people? Have you no sense of pride in what you do? No sense of duty, no sense of destiny? I'm looking for generals; what have I got? Foot soldiers! I want Dick Tracy dead!

June 24, 1990 • Back To The Future Part 3
Very silly, but entertaining.

Mad Dog: (to Marty) Then let's settle it, right now!
Gang Member #1: Uh, not now, Buford. Marshal's got our guns.
Mad Dog: Like I said, we'll finish this tomorrow.
Gang Member #2: Tomorrow, we're robbing the Pine City Stage.
Mad Dog: What about Monday? Are we doing anything Monday?
Gang Member #1: Uh, no, Monday would be fine. You can kill him on Monday.

July 1990 • Ghost • Danvers multiplex, with my high school friend Chad
What Hollywood types like to call a "unreproducible event", a fluke hit which made over $200,000,000 in 1990. Patrick Swayze, bizarrely miscast as an cold fish stockbroker (?!) who doesn't appreciate the love for his artsy-fartsy wife (Demi Moore) until he dies. He comes back as a ghost (with help from Academy-Award winner Whoopi Goldberg), to save his wife from the murderous stockbroker who betrayed him (Tony Goldwyn).

Ghost was nominated for five Academy Awards: Film Editing, Original Score, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress, and Best Picture. You might think making one of the biggest hits of the year, and one of the most beloved tear-jerking romances of all time would lead to superstar success and a wide array of lucrative and high-profile projects? Let's look at the cast and crew:

  • Director Jerry Zucker is better known for his Airplane! and Naked Gun movies, and has only directed two more films in the last two decades.
  • Patrick Swayze made Point Break the following year, and cross-dressed in To Wong Foo... (1995), but he had already fallen from the A-list by then.
  • Demi Moore made the most of her brief stay on the A-list: Her credits for the five years following Ghost include A Few Good Men, Indecent Proposal, Disclosure and the famous flop Striptease (1996), where Moore was paid $12,000,000 to show her surgically enhanced breasts. After Tony Scott's G.I. Jane (1997), she retreated to Idaho and has only starred in one movie since.
  • Whoopi Goldberg won the Supporting Actress Oscar, over nominees Mary McDonnell, Lorraine Bracco, Annette Bening, and Diane Ladd. As of 2006, Goldberg has yet to decline a project which is offered to her. She has fifty-six TV and movie credits over that sixteen-year span, not counting nineteen voices for animated projects, including Lion King.
  • Bruce Joel Rubin won the Original Screenplay Oscar for Ghost, over nominees Woody Allen, Barry Levinson, Peter Weir, and Whit Stillman. Since winning the golden statuette, Rubin has five screenwriting credits, including Jacob's Ladder, Deep Impact, and Stuart Little 2.

July 1990 • Die Hard 2
Includes the obligatory "bad movie" Death By Impaling, in this case, an icicle in the eye socket. Yuck.
July 1990 • The Jetsons: The Movie •  In Salem, with my girlfriend
Probably the film I am most ashamed to admit seeing on this whole Web site. I really don't know what I was thinking- was this my girlfriend's idea? I don't know. All I remember is how terrible it was.
July 18, 1990 • Arachnophobia • In Danvers, with a school friend.
I remember stepping out to go to the bathroom, and when I returned, my friend told me I had missed the scene where the girl takes a shower (hubba hubba) and nearly gets spider-bit. Over the years, I have developed a knack for picking the perfect scene for taking a bathroom break.
August 1990 • Presumed Innocent
What a great twist ending! It's fascinating to watch this film a second time, to see how Harrison Ford plays his role. The audience does not know he's innocent, and he makes it easy to believe he could be guilty while not betraying the character.
December 1990 • Awakenings
I was late for the screening, so we ended up sitting in the front row. Robin and his white coat were like Mt Rushmore, rising above us.
December 1990 • Kindergarten Cop
Favorite line: "It is not a tumor!"
Second-favorite line: "Bring the gun."

Movie Diary 1990 previous • next

This Movie Diary has migrated to Blogspot. Visit Stub Hubby for current reviews!