Movie Diary 1995 previous • next

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My top five for 1995 would have to be: Babe, Braveheart, Sense & Sensibility, To Die For, and The Usual Suspects. During the summer of 1995, I was working weekend overnights in North Conway, NH. As a result, I went to a lot of weekend matinees to kill time. I doubt I'll ever see 75 movies in one year again- at least not until retirement!

January 13, 1995 • Pulp Fiction • Cabot St. Theater, Beverly
With Paris & friends, at the Cabot in Beverly. Paris has an aversion to the exact kind of visceral violence which pervades this movie- Paris's ability to empathize so closely with the characters onscreen is part of what makes her such a talented actress. However, it means she spent half this movie with her head between her knees, trying not to pass out during the adrenalin shot scene, the "shot Marvin in the face" scene, the rape scene, etc, etc...
January 14, 1995 • Immortal Beloved • Church St, Harvard Square
Gary Oldman is always a good reason to go to the movies. I don't recall much about this movie- I have not seen it again since then. I suppose I would have enjoyed it more if I knew more about Beethoven, although I really enjoy Amadeus without knowing anything but the basics about Mozart.
January 15, 1995 • Legends Of The Fall
Tony and Brad chew scenery. I was really turned off by the WWI sequence where Samuel (Henry Thomas) gets tangled up in barbed wire, chokes on mustard gas, and is riddled with bullets by Nazi soldiers. You can't torture and murder Elliott from E.T. and expect the audience to love you for it.
January 18, 1995 • The Last Seduction • Copley Shoebox
Dark, sexy, great noir. I went to the Copley shoebox expecting to see an entirely different movie. I must have gotten the title mixed up with another movie which I did want to see. Thankfully, I enjoyed the movie despite having no clue what I was getting.
January 31, 1995 • Pulp Fiction
Screening #4. Just a reminder that Quentin Tarantino would direct two feature films in the next decade: Jackie Brown (1997), and Kill Bill (2003). In that same timespan, Woody Allen, for example, has made: Bullets Over Broadway, Don't Drink the Water (for TV), Mighty Aphrodite, Everyone Says I Love You, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, Sweet and Lowdown, Small Time Crooks, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Hollywood Ending, and Anything Else.
January 31, 1995 • Bullets Over Broadway • Arlington Capitol Theater
Last Woody film I truly enjoyed.

David: You thought my first draft was cerebral and tepid?
Helen: Only the plot and the dialogue. But this...
David: Was there nothing in the original draft that you feel was worth saving?
Helen: The stage directions were lucid. Best I've ever seen... and the color of the binder. Good choice.
David: Thank you. I've always had a flair for stage directions.

February 11, 1995 • Boys On The Side
As chicky flicky as they wanna be. I have not seen this film again since then.
February 8, 1995 • Nobody's Fool • Loews Janus Cinema
Delightful movie. Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith should thank their agents-- they both ought to make more movies as good as this..
February 12, 1995 • The Quick And The Dead
Amazing visuals, but the story did not grip me. Director Sam Raimi would not find his groove until Spider-Man and its sequel.
February 14, 1995 • Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
Good despite not being what anyone expected. Tom defeated everyone's expectations because he is the most determined movie star ever. He works harder to make a movie successful than anyone!
February 16, 1995 • The Lion King
Quality entertainment.
February 18, 1995 • Pulp Fiction • Fresh Pond Cinema
I was dragged to Fresh Pond to see Legends Of The Fall again, which I didn't really want to see anyways. When I discovered they were showing LotF on their tiniest shoebox screen, I snuck into Pulp Fiction for the fifth time. Pulp was also playing on a tiny screen, but at least I really liked the movie.
Pulp Fiction in Chronological Order? If you've ever been unemployed, you know the kinds of meaningless projects you'll undertake just to make the day go by. When I was vocationally challenged in 2001, I borrowed my friend's Criterion Collection laserdisc copy of Pulp Fiction and decided to copy it to VHS, but in chronological order. One of the devices Quentin uses to make Pulp Fiction interesting is to take the linear action out of sequence. After watching my VHS tape, you can make the argument that the non-linear storytelling is the whole reason for the movie's existence.
Jules & Vincent Whack A Couple Guys
Royale with Cheese • We open on Jules and Vincent, two black-suited hitmen, cruising through L.A. on their way to an early-morning hit, chatting about life in Amsterdam. They arrive at the apartment building, discuss Tony "Rocky Horror", foot massages, and "taking out" Mia Wallace.
Ezekiel 25:17 • Jules and Vincent confront Brett and "Flock of Seagulls". For some reason, Brett (Frank Whaley) is eating a Big Kahuna burger at 7:22 in the morning. The scene ends when Brett is shot...
Divine Intervention • We rejoin the Jules/Brett conversation ("You ever read the Bible, Brett?"), this time, from the perspective of the cannon-wielding, bathroom-using Fourth Man. The Fourth Man is in the bathroom (when in doubt, QT puts a character in the W.C.), pants unzipped, overhearing Jules' scripture monologue from behind the closed door. After Brett is shot, this fella runs out, then shoots and misses Jules and Vincent six times. Jules and Vincent shoot The Fourth Man, discuss divine intervention, then leave with Marvin in tow.
“I just shot Marvin in the face.” • This is why you put the hammer down and put your gun away- poor Marvin gets shot in the face.
The Bonnie Situation • Jimmie explains why they need to get the "Dead N***** Storage" sign off the front lawn so quickly.
Winston Wolf • He takes his coffee with extra cream and extra sugar, and he drives really f*ckin' fast. Sounds just like me!
Monster Joe’s Truck & Tow • Marvin and Jules' wheels get crushed, Winston advises the guys to "move out of the sticks, fellas"; Jules and Vincent call a cab and go for breakfast.
“Personality goes a long way.” • Jules and Vincent discuss pork products and Jules' resemblance to David Carradine.
Pumpkin & Honey Bunny • Meanwhile, at another table, this sequence from the beginning of the film gets spliced in: Pumpkin and Honey Bunny spontaneously decide to rob the restaurant they're in; Pumpkin (aka Ringo) learns some French.
“trying to be the shepherd.” • All hell breaks loose at the coffee shop. Vincent is taking a crap while this is happening. Thankully, Jules is in a "transitional period" and no one get shot.
Jules & Vincent at Strip Club/Butch Payoff • In the movie, this scene comes in right after Brett is shot. At one of Marcellus's strip clubs, Butch gets paid off to take a fall. Jules & Vincent show up in their t-shirts and flip-flops, with the Mystery Briefcase. Vincent taunts Butch at the bar.
Vincent & Mia Go On A Date
I was never clear whether this was the same day or the next day- I gotta watch it more closely next time.
Piercing: Vincent buys heroin • Vincent, back in his work clothes plus overcoat, learns more about Jody's (Rosanna Arquette) piercings than anyone needs to know. He also tries some of Lance's best skag. He is doped to the gills when he shows up at Mia's front door.
Vincent meets Mia • Vincent picks up Mia at her house. Mia takes a toot of coke for the road.
Jackrabbit Slim’s • Mia and Vincent go to Jack Rabbit Slim's, and John Travolta does the "I'm On Drugs" walk all the way around the restaurant.
Twist Contest • The funniest thing about this scene is the totally straight face on Vincent while he's doing all those silly dance moves.
Mia OD’s • Mia and Vincent arrive at her house, trophy in hand. Just when you think some shenanigans might ensue (QT has certainly led you to believe this), Mia (wearing Vincent's coat) mistakes his heroin for coke and snorts it. And where is Vincent while Mia is snorting the heroin? In the bathroom again, of course!
Adrenaline • The only thing worse than screwing Marcellus Wallace's wife (see Tony "Rocky Horror" Rockamora) is killing her with your dope. Vincent panicks and takes her to Lance, who luckily has a shot of adrenalin on hand.
Butch, Fabienne, and The Gold Watch
This story must take place at least one day after Vincent and Mia's date.
Captain Koons • Christopher Walken, in Butch's dream, explains where you wear a gold watch while in a POW camp (it's not on yor wrist, that's for sure). Butch wakes up and goes out to fight, and win, despite the payoff.
Esmerelda Villa Lobos • After the fight, Butch has one of those enigmatic and mysterious cab rides which only happens in the movies. We learn that Butch spent the payoff money betting on himself to win- the odds were against him winning because Marcellus laid down a lot of cash on (what he thought was) a sure thing. Marcellus, standing over the dead boxer's body, declares they will kill Butch no matter what. English Bob says he'll take care of it. We learn later what a half-assed job English Bob does.
“Donde esta la zapateria?” • At the motel, Butch and Fabienne make love, and then shower.
“Where’s my watch?” • The next morning. Fabienne is fantasizing about blueberry pancakes and pie, when Butch discovers she forgot to get the watch. Butch shows admirable restraint in not beating up Fabienne.
Pop Tarts: Vincent dies • Marcellus' crack team of assassins consists of Vincent, who is in Butch's bathroom (another potty break?) when Butch shows up. Butch shoots Vincent with Vincent's own machine gun. Vincent is unlikely to make it into the Hitman Hall Of Fame after this embarassing incident.
Crash at the Teriaki Donut • Just when you think Butch is free and clear, Marcellus crosses the street in front of him, a dozen Teriaki Donuts in hand. Butch runs him over, cracks up Fabienne's Honda. Marcellus is helped off the ground- bystander Kathy Griffin points out Butch. A chase ensues, and they end up in the basement of a couple sexual predators, and The Gimp.
“Bring out the gimp.” • Zed and Maynard have no idea who they've got tied up in their basement. In the movies, the hero is never tied to a chair properly. Being tied to a chair is the automatic signal that that person will be escaping soon.
Getting medieval • Butch escapes. The only thing worse than betraying Marcellus Wallace on a fixed boxing match, then running him over with your car, then punching him in the face a couple times, is doing all that then leaving him to be sodomized by a pair of maniacs.
“Zed’s dead baby, Zed’s dead.” • Butch steals Zed's chopper and picks up Fabienne, who never got her blueberry pancakes.

February 22nd & March 11th, 1995 • The Brady Bunch Movie • Fresh Pond Cinema
As the theme song began, I thought "I cannot believe I am watching this!". This film is definitely on my "Most Embarassed That I Paid To See This" List, along with Shanghai Surprise and Coneheads.
February 25, 1995 • Just Cause
A terrible serial killer movie, set amongst the sweat and alligators of Florida. Great talent (Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw, Blair Underwood, Ruby Dee, Scarlett Johansson, Ned Beatty, Lynne Thigpen) wasted. Ed Harris plays the Hannibal Lecter role, with a crazy haircut.
February 26, 1995 • The Shawshank Redemption
Wonderful. I loved the Stephen King novella and I love the movie.
Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs • Brattle Theater • March 1, 1995
Pulp for the sixth time, double - featured with Dogs, with Mike M.
March 1995 • The Wild Bunch: Restored Version • Harvard Square, Church St.
I don't know exactly when I saw this restored edition of The Wild Bunch. This edition debuted in the US in March 2005, so that's the date I included. I don't recall a lot about the movie, except for its violence, and the use of the "paint" blood, that especially phony blood substitute which was used by special effects artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Other famous movies to use this phony-looking blood include The Godfather (when Don Corleone is shot) and The French Connection (when Popeye shoots the Frenchie on the subway stairs).
Church Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138
The theater where Bruce Springsteen once performed (which inspired the quote "I have seen rock 'n roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen") was long ago chopped up into 5 movie screens: The balcony was divided into two theaters, the "orchestra" is another, the stage is a fourth, and the "fly loft" above the stage is the worst of the bunch, a narrow "shoebox" with a small screen. I have seen many movies at this theater, which has operated under several names, including Sony, Loews, and AMC. Here's an incomplete list of movies I have seen at this address:

BalconyOrchestraStage or Fly LoftI've Forgotten
  • Backbeat
  • Gosford Park
  • Love Actually
  • The Crying Game
  • The Producers (2005)
  • The Usual Suspects
  • Braveheart
  • Good Night, and Good Luck.
  • Master and Commander
  • Natural Born Killers
  • Sleepless In Seattle
  • The Aviator
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Down With Love
  • The Good German
  • Lost In Translation
  • The Wild Bunch
  • A History Of Violence
  • Full Frontal
  • Immortal Beloved
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Sexy Beast
  • The Golden Bowl
  • The Thin Red Line

  • March 5, 1995 • Billy Madison • Arlington Capitol Theater
    It wasn't my choice, believe me.
    March 15, 1995 • Hideaway • Fresh Pond Cinema
    Terrible movie, based on a Dean Koontz novel. check out this outline: Hatch Harrison (Jeff Goldblum) has a terrible car accident. He dies for more than two hours, but Dr. Nyebern (Alfred Molina) successfully brings him back to life. Harrison has some weird premonitions and becomes able to see through the eyes of a psychopath serial killer: Vassago (the squirrely Jeremy Sisto), killed his own mother and sister, and committed suicide, but was also brought back from death. When Harrison foresees that Vassago is trying to capture his daughter (Alicia Silverstone), Hatch tries to find the criminal first.
    March 19, 1995 • Little Women
    I have not read the book, but the movie was OK.
    March 20, 1995 • Jaws • Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Boston
    One of my all-time favorite movies, on the biggest screen in New England, with Laurie Michaelson.

    Quint:Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycocks. This shark, swallow you whole. No shakin', no tenderizin', down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.

    March 22, 1995 • Heavenly Creatures • Brattle Theater
    Two teenage girls and their surreal Kiwi adventures. From director Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings).
    March 25, 1995 • Dolores Claiborne
    Incredibly depressing, but Kathy Bates is always good. Based on a Stephen King novel which I did not read.
    March 26, 1995 • Bye Bye Love
    A boring, pointless divorced-dad comedy. It's entries like this that make me wonder about my low standards? Notice that the next day I went to see one of the best movies ever made...
    March 27, 1995 • Lawrence Of Arabia • Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Boston
    I took my Mom with me, as she always told me how much she loved this film as a kid. Wonderful on the big screen. Unwatchable on TV. I appreciated that the film opens with the motorcycle crash which killed Lawrence in 1935: This allows the moviegoer to watch the movie assured that nothing they see in the following three hours will kill Lawrence.
    March 30th and August 9th, 1995 • Circle Of Friends
    Quality Irish chick flick.
    April 3, 1995 • Tank Girl
    Silly, weird comic-book movie.
    April 8, 1995 • Don Juan DeMarco
    Don't recall much of this one.
    April 20, 1995 • Vanya on 42nd Street • Arlington Capitol Theater
    I had no expectations for this movie- I had never seen the play before, but I enjoyed it anyways. NOTE: This would be my last visit to the Capitol Theater for over ten years. I lived in Maine from late 1995 to early 2001, and I didn't return to the Capitol until I moved to Arlington in 2005. See Mad Hot Ballroom.
    April 24, 1995 • While You Were Sleeping
    I have no memory of this movie. Every time it comes on cable TV I watch for 30 seconds and cannot recall it.
    April 29, 1995 • The Basketball Diaries
    May 1, 1995 • Destiny Turns On The Radio
    It was not a good year for bad movies. I'm trying to say this sucked.
    May 7, 1995 • French Kiss
    Apparently Billy Crystal can't do a French accent, so Kevin Kline obliges.
    May 18, 1995 • Crimson Tide
    May 19th, June 6th, and June 10th, 1995 • Die Hard With A Vengeance • At the Cheri (where the Kings Bowling Lanes are now)
    Muddled, frantic, and confusing. But it moves so fast you don't notice. Jeremy Irons does his fake German accent no better than Alan Rickman did.
    May 21, 1995 • Forget Paris
    Billy goes to Paris with Debra Winger; they run into Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline?
    May 24, 1995 • Braveheart • Church Street, Harvard Square
    Blew me away. Still have not watched the 'drawn-and-quartered' finale a second time.
    June 4, 1995 • The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill but Came Down a Mountain • Loews Nickelodeon
    June 5th (Loews Janus Cinema) and September 28th (Conway, NH) • The Bridges Of Madison County
    Weeper. Never imagined a turn signal could make me cry (if you've seen it, you know what I mean).
    June 10th and June 11th, 1995 • Congo • North Conway Theater
    Yes, that's Dylan Walsh and Laura Linney, both slumming. But it's got Joe Don Baker (Mitchell), Tim Curry, and Ernie Hudson!
    June 21, 1995 • Batman Forever
    Ugh. Why, Val Kilmer, why?
    June 25th and July 23rd, 1995 • Pocahontas
    July 2nd and 14th, 1995 • Apollo 13
    July 4, 1995 • Smoke
    Dim memories, but I remember liking it?
    July 9, 1995 • First Knight
    Richard Gere as Lancelot? Why?!? I have only seen two Richard Gere films in the theater, First Knight, and Chicago.
    July 12, 1995 • Nine Months
    July 28, 1995 • Species • Fresh Pond
    Incredibly hot day. Several women in the theater were shouting at Forest Whitaker onscreen.
    July 24, 1995 • Living In Oblivion • Loews Nickelodeon
    Very funny. James LeGros in the 'Brad Pitt' role is wonderful. Dermot Mulroney with the eyepatch is great.
    July 30th and August 16th, 1995 • Waterworld
    An entertaining mess.
    August 16, 1995 • Babe
    Wonderful. Costarring Hugo Weaving as the alpha sheepdog Rex.
    Hugo Weaving: Xenophobe? Has anyone else noticed that Weaving's three most well-known roles are leaders who do not tolerate other species?
    • In Babe and it's sequel, Babe: A Pig In The City, Weaving voices a sheepdog who refuses to accept a pig as a sheep herder, and believes strongly that each species has its role in the world and should not try and be something else.
    • In The Matrix and its two sequels, Weaving plays a computer program who hates all humanity and looks forward to destroying all humans not living in slavery.
    • In three The Lord Of The Rings films, Weaving plays the elf leader Elrond who believes "men are weak" and (fairly) blames a Man (Ilsidur) for not destroying the One True Ring when he had a chance.

    August 21st and September 15th, 1995 • The Usual Suspects • Balcony at Church St, Harvard Sq.
    This film blew me away. Like everyone else, I thought the twist would be Dean Keaton=Keyser Soze, but boy, did director Bryan Singer play us!
    August 22, 1995 • A Walk In The Clouds
    Keanu is so bad in so many movies! This "love amongst the grapevines" movie feels transplanted from the 1940s.
    September 8, 1995 • The Prophecy • North Conway Theater
    Christopher Walken is a delight. He can save any bad movie.
    September 22, 1995 • Se7en • Hoyt's Cinemas South Portland
    Only saw this movie once, and likely never will again!
    October 8, 1995 • How To Make An American Quilt • Maine Mall Cinema
    I don't really remember much about Quilt, except it's in the middle of Winona's Wilderness Twenties. Ryder made thirteen movies in her twenties, when, to be blunt, she struggled to find an identity in Hollywood. Much of the time she seemed determined to make movies of all her favorite books (Age of Innocence, House of the Spirits, Little Women, How To Make An American Quilt, The Crucible, Girl, Interrupted). She made two movies which barely got released due to studio problems (Boys, Lost Souls). She was horribly miscast in Alien: Resurrection. She was 22 years younger than Richard Gere in a movie nobody wanted to see, Autumn In New York. That leaves her appearance in an unremarkable Woody Allen film (Celebrity), and her two unqualified successes: Reality Bites and Bram Stoker's Dracula. So what does this tattered trail of movies leave us? Ryder clearly would have been content to make period movies for the rest of her life, but she was born in the wrong era for that. She made a series of good comedies in her teens, but (except for Reality Bites) totally gave up on comedy in her twenties. All of her other choices are almost non-choices. I get the feeling that she made whatever movies came her way, agreeing to make movies not because she liked the material, or she was well-suited for the role, or it would advance her career. She never really made a "paycheck movie" in that span. Based on what we know about her personal life, she seems to be a profoundly sad woman who doesn't like this business at all.
    October 14, 1995 • To Die For
    I remember first learning about this movie from a movie poster (see photo, left). It said NICOLE KIDMAN and TO DIE FOR, and the tagline "All she wanted was a little attention." The combination of the title, the tagline, and the photo (Nicole intensely opening her blouse) made me think the movie would be some kind of sexy black widow thriller, or maybe a Fatal Attraction-style sexy stalker movie. There's plenty of sexual manipulation going on in the movie, but it's really about a crackpot in the woods of New Hampshire who believes she's the next Katie Couric. Kidman uses her sexual wiles to convince three teenagers (Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck, and Alison Folland) murder her husband (Matt Dillon). An edgy breakout performance from Kidman, who steps out of her husband's shadow and becomes more than That Australian Actress. Creative (of financial) freedom has allowed her to star in plenty of artistic and critical successes (Portrait of a Lady, Moulin Rouge!, Dogville) and fewer paycheck choices (Batman Forever, Practical Magic, The Peacemaker). There's no explaining her ill-advised attempts at comedy (The Stepford Wives, Bewitched).
    October 15, 1995 • Strange Days • Maine Mall Cinema
    In the not-too-distant future, a former cop-turned slimy hustler (Ray Fiennes, surprisingly effective) stumbles into a Rodney King-style police murder coverup in the days leading up to the millenium. In the mid 1990s, a slew of films included "virtual reality" or "cyberspace" elements--The Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity, The Thirteenth Floor and The Matrix spring to mind. Strange Days features a skullcap-mounted video/audio recorder which perfectly captures an individual's experiences: When played back with the same skullcap, you see what they saw. A pretty cool concept, well rendered and included in the film. A great cast, including Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D'Onofrio, Richard Edson, William Fichtner, Josef Sommer, and Nicky Katt. Not a perfect film, but there is lots to recommend it.
    November 1995 • Carrington • Exchange St, Portland
    The story of the relationship between painter Dora Carrington (Emma Thompson) and author Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce). I haven't seen this movie again. All I remember is the sex scene on the sailboat...
    November 15, 1995 • Mighty Aphrodite • Maine Mall Cinema
    Playing a dim-bulb hooker with a funny voice didn't help Mira Sorvino's then-rising star much, even though she won the Oscar. It's too bad this Harvard grad who speaks three languages hasn't done any work half as good as this since then.
    November 1995 • Get Shorty
    Barry Sonnenfeld cut together an quick, funny, clever comedy. Lots of world-class character actors (Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini, David Paymer, Martin Ferrero, Miguel Sandoval).
    November 19, 1995 • Goldeneye
    A smart and sharp renewal of the Bond franchise. Brosnan has been on the double-0 waiting list since 1987, when he could not escape his Remington Steele contract. I believe he's better as Bond at age 42 than he would have been at age 34.
    November 24, 1995 • Nick Of Time
    If memory serves (I haven't seen this film since then), Nick of Time takes place in real time, probably the only reason I went to see it. A dumb, lousy film. When asked by Vanity Fair why Serious Actor Depp was doing an action movie, Depp was quoted as saying "Well, if Keanu Reeves (Speed) can go to the gym..."
    November 25, 1995 • Casino • Maine Mall Cinema
    Pales next to GoodFellas, but still great.
    December 17, 1995 • Heat
    It's really good, but too long.

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