December 1, 1990

Kindergarten Cop


"If you don't stop screwing around back there,
this is what I'm going to do to you"
[snaps pencil in half]
This is the world of televised entertainment in 2015: between my cable television, my two-tuner TiVo, all the streaming options on my Roku, and my big DVD library, I can watch pretty much whatever I want, from whenever I want. So why do I channel-surf for movies on basic cable, the most retro of all my choices? I wish I could honestly say "it's refreshingly retro" or "I love the element of surprise" but that would be self-flattering and only half right: I'm also lazy and indecisive. Yes, movies on TV with commercials is retro, and the only concession to my 21st century tech is the dual tuner TiVo- instead of watching just one movie on cable TV, I watch two movies with the TiVo's two tuners. For example, last night I set Tuner 1 to Jurassic Park, then set Tuner 2 to Kindergarten Cop. When the first bloated commercial break arrived, I paused Kindergarten Cop, switched to Jurassic Park, and watched some of the movie saved in the TiVo's 30 minute digital buffer. If you're deft with the DVR controls, you can watch most of two movies without sitting through any commercial breaks.
I saw Jurassic Park in the sold out Cheri Theater in Boston in 1993, and since then I've seen JP at least once a year on home video (first I owned the JP laserdisc, after I sold all my laserdiscs I bought JP again on DVD with DTS audio), plus that summer of 1994 when it was on a continuous loop at the laserdisc video store where I worked. It's been nearly 20 years since I was hired at that video store, so I think it's fair to say I've seen Jurassic Park 25 times?
My history of Kindergarten Cop is much simpler- I saw it in the theater in December 1990 and I didn't see it again until last night, 24 years later.
Directed by Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Twins) and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of his superstardom, Kindergarten Cop is a sloppy mix of tone and genre which shows the limits of Arnold's acting ability while including some memorably funny and iconic moments.
The intention of the production could not be more clear- After starring in a string of nine action movies, Schwarzenegger made two comedies with Ivan Reitman -- Twins came first -- in order to expand his range, his audience, and his marketability. However, Kindergarten Cop is not a straight comedy so much as an awkward mix of PG-13 cop thriller, G-rated family comedy, and TV-movie melodrama.
This movie is so old, they still took on-set
publicity stills with black-and-white film.

Before Arnold strides into the kindergarten classroom like Colossus standing over Rhodes, he's narcotics detective John Kimble, obsessed with busting drug kingpin Cullen Crisp. Just after the opening credits end (remember opening credits?) Crisp shoots a street rat in cold blood to cover his tracks while the rat's junkie girlfriend witnesses the murder from the shadows. Already the movie is PG-13 and we're barely 5 minutes in! The first 15 minutes is all cop movie procedural, with plenty of gunfire, physical abuse, and drug references...and a small amount of levity sprinkled in.
More plot machinations get Kimble into the kindergarten classroom in Astoria, Oregon (yes, the same town as The Goonies and Short Circuit). While the children are busy saying the darnedest things, the movie is padded out with very contemporary observations on divorce, child abuse, spousal abuse, and dating into your 30s. All this is mild and unfunny. Mixed in with the silly children's jokes and the violent opening sequence, the movie's tone is all over the place.
This movie could have been called Arnold & The Divorced Moms: Kimble has to figure out which divorced mom is Crisp's ex-wife:

  • Cathy Moriarty is the obvious Mafia bride type;
  • Jayne Brook is hiding something while her son is withdrawn (Brook went on to a long career in TV, including 100 episodes of Chicago Hope)
  • Penelope Ann Miller's son lets slip some suspicious details. (1990 was the biggest single year in Miller's career- she also had a supporting role in Awakenings, and in The Freshman she also played a Mafia princess)

Arnold has to fall in love, and confess his love to Miller, but his big emotional scene is beyond wooden- this scene begins with his emotional reveal that he's estranged from his own son, and the fake tears they sprinkled in Arnold's eyes are pathetic. It completely fails as drama. I can barely determine what emotion his character is expressing. He follows this by professing his love for Miller and her son, but you'd never know it by looking at him or listening to his voice. As a fan of Arnold's action movies, witnessing these limitations is profoundly odd- his action roles are so well tailored to his strengths, that watching him woodenly flounder in a simple love scene is striking.
The movie concludes with more action violence- Crisp abducts his son, then briefly holds him hostage at gunpoint. Crisp and Kimble are both shot, in front of the kid, and then Crisp's mother is beaten unconscious with a baseball bat by Kimble's partner (a hilarious Pamela Reed.)
So it's not a family movie- it's a PG-13 movie that bolts together a find-the-witness detective story, a bunch of sappy divorce and abuse subplots, and it happens to have some family-friendly jokes in the middle.
CAST NOTES: Arnold and Ivan Reitman get to cast great talent: I already mentioned Oscar nominee Cathy Moriarty, who has two scenes; Oscar winner Linda Hunt is wonderful as the principal; Apparently Angela Bassett (four years away from an Oscar nod) is the stewardess who asks Arnold "is your wife alright?"

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.

August 1, 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.

July 18, 1990

Arachnophobia

All I remember about this movie is stepping out to go to the bathroom, and when I returned, my friend Mark told me I had missed the scene where a teenage 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. Sometime early in the "second act" of a movie, there will be a scene which telegraphs to me "this scene is not vital to enjoying the movie", and I hoof it out to the Men's. Perhaps this is my superpower? Indeed, when I see a movie for a second time, I often remember "this is when I left to go to the bathroom last time". Even after I've seen a movie more than twice, after I have seen the "bathroom break" scene at least once, I often remember it as the "bathroom break" scene. The fact that my bathroom break is the most memorable thing about Arachnophobia should tell you something about the quality of the film. (Danvers multiplex, across Rt 128 from Liberty Tree Mall)

July 1, 1990

Jetsons: The Movie

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. (the multiplex in downtown Salem)

Die Hard 2

Includes the obligatory "bad movie" Death By Impaling, in this case, an icicle in the eye socket. Yuck.

Ghost

Who touches their face like that?
Reviewed October 29, 2015 Cable TV tries very hard to keep us watching after our chosen program is over, and they succeeded with me this weekend- I finished watching The Soup on E! and the moment Joel McHale stopped talking Ghost started up, and my wife and I ended up watching the whole thing.
Emily and I were teenagers when we saw Ghost in high school and we both fell hard for the romance, but does the movie still hold up? Yes, yes it does. The romance and drama is strong, the thrills and ghost scares work fine, the 25-year-old effects are modestly effective. I am still impressed with Patrick Swayze- he spends a lot of the movie observing, especially observing the men who conspired to betray and murder him, and his determined, glowering passion and outrage is palpable throughout the film.
Eighties Test: The costumes and music mostly pass the timelessness test. The banking software Swayze and Goldwyn use is ancient but appropriate for the era. Making a banker an amoral scumbag - Goldwyn is a banker who's helping the mob launder $4 million - makes the plot as relevant as ever. The real estate, on the other hand, is a slice of history that shall never return. Swayze and Moore rehab a loft downtown - I think it's the same apartment Josh Baskin rents in Big? There are no lofts left on Manhattan for anyone to rehab. It's possible Swayze's banker character is a millionaire, but the era of "discovering" abandoned apartments is over.
Ghost is 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 New York City 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 The 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.

June 24, 1990

Back to the Future, Part III

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.

June 15, 1990

Dick Tracy

I was eighteen years old, fresh out of high school. I had never read the Dick Tracy comic strip, 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 14, 1990

Total Recall

I originally went to see this with my girlfriend Meridith at the Assembly Square Mall in Somerville. However, she had to go home at the last minute- she was 16 or 17 at the time (I was 18) and she belatedly called her mother to check in. Her mother ordered her home, so we had to reschedule. Her mother and I knew and liked each other- It's possible Mom didn't want her daughter watching a very violent and swear-laden movie?

In 1990 I was a big Schwarzenegger fan. Terminator, Predator, and Commando were three very important movies to teenage me, the most exciting (non-Lucas/Spielberg) movies I loved. Even in 1990, Total Recall felt like an overdone, overproduced production to capitalize on Arnold's superstardom. Terminator, Predator, and Commando all had a no frills, lean and mean patina. In Total Recall, you could almost hear the air conditioned trailers and smell the chilled shrimp cocktails just off-screen.

I re-watched this movie on TV in 2011 and was appalled, amused, and surprised. Released in 1990, it's the swan song for 1980s-style "action": fights with lots of crotch abuse, dismemberment, and ridiculous gun battles. Everyone shoots dozens and dozens of bullets at each other, and no one reloads, In contemporary action movies, bullets leave a tiny hole in the front of the victim. In Total Recall, Robocop, Starship Troopers, and other Paul Verhoeven films, bullets apparently explode on impact. Verhoeven tries to make the movie seem "futuristic": everyone drives electric cars, and there's nifty videophones (which still haven't happened yet), but I was struck by the cheap plasticky feel of all the gadgets. Arnold should be the "object" of the movie, he's all the visual gimmickry we need, but instead we're distracted by all the junk surrounding him- it's like Arnold stumbled into a Sharper Image store.
totalThe receptionist at the "Rekall" clinic changes her fingernail polish with the click of a stylus (a very neat effect) but she also has what appears to be an electric typewriter + CRT monitor. Very embarrassing!
The worst is when Arnold is strapped into his memory implant chair, and the doctor showcases his vacation options- on a 19" tube set mounted on a giant steel articulated arm. She grabs a giant handle and yanks it over, like she's installing a dashboard in a Toyota Celica. I literally laughed out loud when she swung in this 100 pound monster.

The prosthetic heads are all terrible. Arnold is replaced with a latex head at least three times: when his face explodes in the thin Mars atmosphere, when he pulls the "bug" out of his nose, and when he removes the "fat lady" mask at the spaceport. All are equally fake-looking.

This is all a shame, because the premise is terrific: Arnold is the ultimate mole: a evil secret agent who had his personality replaced so he could sneak into the underground Martian resistance. Ancient Martians built a atmosphere-generating reactor under a mountain, but the evil CEO of the Mars government (Ronny Cox) won't let go of his power over the planet. I hear they're filming a remake. This is good news- I always say it's better to remake bad movies than good ones.

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.

April 13, 1990

I Love You To Death

Supposedly based on a true story. The number of phony accents in this screwball comedy is mind-boggling- Kevin Kline (American) is playing an Italian philanderer, Tracy Ullman and Joan Plowright (both English) play his Eastern European wife and mother-in-law, and Miriam Margolyes (also English) plays Kline's Italian mother. Also starring River Phoenix, William Hurt, and Keanu Reeves. From Lawrence Kasdan, the director of The Accidental Tourist, Silverado, The Big Chill, and Body Heat.

March 1, 1990

The Hunt for Red October

huntThree of my all-time favorite action films are from director John McTiernan. Predator is arguably Arnold Schwarzenegger's best movie* (without the word "Terminator" in the title). Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever. The Hunt For Red October is the best of the three: A world-class Cold War action-thriller. Exciting, clever, brainy while not complicated, great cast, faithful to the novel, technically accomplished, Red October has it all.
J.J. Abrams didn't invent deliberate lens flare!
I have seen Red October way too many times, but I was flipping through the cable channels the other day when Red October appeared, about an hour into the action. I watched for maybe 5 minutes, then said "Damnit, now I have to start from the beginning." I pulled out my laserdisc, and started from the top. My wife saw me doing this and said "well, if you're gonna start it from the beginning, I gotta see it too."
The next time I saw Red October on cable, I played the "Spot The Edited For Length Splices" Game. Poor Jeffrey Jones. Half his monologue got cut out!

"...lurking at the bottom of the
ocean like an addled schoolboy."
  The movie is endlessly quotable, but my favorite is Captain Tupolev (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd) as Captain Ramius's protege/rival Soviet sub captain. When I see him in Good Will Hunting or Pirates of the Caribbean, I just imagine him barking orders through his cigarette "accelerate to flank!" grumbling "I'll shake him loose". (March 1, 1990, Revere multiplex, with my Mom, I think.)

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.

February 3, 1990

WBMT Playlist

Sep 24, 1987
My high school, Masconomet Regional High School, has a FM radio station: WBMT 88.3 FM. At the time WBMT had a 740-watt transmitter, so it wasn't just an in-school project- the whole North Shore of Boston could hear WBMT. I joined the station when I was a sophomore, played the 45 of "Say It Isn't So" by Hall & Oates as my first song, and I was hooked. I stayed on WBMT, playing "The North Shore's Best Rock" all through high school. I would occasionally begin my show by playing the theme to "Mister Rogers Neighborhood", only to "blow up" the record into Van Halen's "Panama".
The format was AOR, which stands for "album-oriented rock". AOR is basically classic rock, plus new rock music. This was the format of WBCN in the 1980s, for example. This playlist is pretty typical- I transcribed this from a recording I made (on eight cassettes) of an eight hour double-shift I pulled one Saturday. I had just turned 18, and I was about to graduate in 4 months. Eight hours is a brutally long shift, so I played "double-shots" all day to make the song selection a little easier. I also mixed in stand-up comedy throughout.

"The Star-Spangled Banner"
NOON: Sign On Announcement
Underwriters List
Community Calendar
Concert Calendar
"Permanent Waves" Introduction
  • "Mr Rogers Neighborhood" Theme
  • "Panama/Jump" Van Halen
  • "Live and Let Die" Paul McCartney
One of my music clip montages
  • "My Brave Face" Paul McCartney
  • "The Long Run" The Eagles
DJ Break
  • "Already Gone" The Eagles
  • "Nobody Told Me/God" John Lennon: I think "Nobody Told Me" was one of the songs Lennon had not released when he died; Yoko released it one one of his posthumous albums. I only knew the song because I saw a video for it (composed of old home video footage) on the local UHF video channel V66.
  • "God Part II (remix)/Pride" U2: Oooh, how clever of me (and Bono) to play U2's sequel song right afterwards!
Bobcat Goldthwait: "Childbirth"
  • "Kickstart My Heart" Motley Crue
  • "Who Are You" The Who
  • "You're Only Human/That's Not Her Style" Billy Joel
Dennis Miller: "National Enquirer"
  • "You Shook Me All Night Long" AC/DC: Say what you will about the uncoolness of the song selection so far, but I did play two AC/DC songs!
Promo: "Lazy Bum"
  • "Back In Black" AC/DC for Paul Schricker
1:16pm: DJ Break
  • "Things Can Only Get Better" Howard Jones
My love for pop art tee-shirts hasn't changed.
Long live Commander Salamander!
DJ break
Promo: Ferris Bueller
  • "No One Is To Blame" Howard Jones
  • "Sldegehammer" Peter Gabriel
PROMO: Talk-free radio
  • "Shock The Monkey" Peter Gabriel: My first-ever concert was Peter Gabriel, on the So tour, in the summer of 1987 at Great Woods. Youssou N'Dour opened.
  • "Dirty Laundry/All She Wants to Do is Dance" Don Henley
1:43pm: DJ Break
  • "Head Over Heels/Turn To You" The Go-Go's
  • "Freeze Frame/Rage In The Cage" J. Geils Band
  • "Bank on Your Love/Missed Opportunity" Hall & Oates
  • "Radio Free Europe/Superman" R.E.M.: I don't know where WBMT got all the R.E.M. vinyl, perhaps I.R.S. Records also had us on their list, but we had Eponymous and the "Superman" 12-inch single (with the drawing of a baby on the cover) in the library.
  • "Abacab/Paperlate" Genesis
DJ Break

  • "Money For Nothing" Dire Straits
Dennis Miller: "Hotel Rooms"
  • "Tainted Love" Soft Cell
  • "Always Something There To Remind Me" Naked Eyes
  • "Mexican Radio" Wall of Voodoo
  • "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" Georgia Satellites
  • "You Got It" Roy Orbison
  • "I'm Not Your Man" Tommy Conwell & The Young Rumblers: This is one of those songs that I only knew about because we WBMT was on the mailing list of Epic and Columbia Records. They sent us the LP and a 12-inch single of this song too. Has anyone else heard of them, or was I their only fan?
  • "Midnight Blue" Lou Gramm: A few years later, I bought Lou's LP, Ready or Not, from the cutout bin at HMV Records in Harvard Square. I assume I paid only a few bucks, I honestly don't remember. I do remember I also bought The Cars Heartbeat City that same day.
  • "Closer to Fine" "Indigo Girls: We also had all their vinyl thanks to Epic Records.
  • "Locomotive Breath" Jethro Tull
  • "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" Joe Jackson
 3:02pm: DJ Break
  • "I Don't Like Mondays" The Boomtown Rats
  • "F.I.N.E." Aerosmith: I had just seen Aerosmith ring in the new decade at Ye Olde Boston Garden a few weeks earlier. I waiting in the freezing cold, along with hundreds of other fans, outside the Garden to buy tickets, and ended up in the balcony behind the stage. Skid Row opened.
  • "Edge of Seventeen" Stevie Nicks
Dennis Miller: "Big Gulp"
  • "Jack & Diane/Pop Singer" John Cougar Mellencamp
4:57pm: DJ Break
  • "In The Air Tonight/Another Day In Paradise" Phil Collins: If you're counting, that's two Genesis songs, two Phil Collins solo singles, plus a song he produced, sings backup, and plays drums on ("No One Is To Blame"), all within 4 hours. Yikes!
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go?/Rock The Casbah" The Clash
  • "Lay Down Sally/She's Waiting" Eric Clapton
  • "My Best Friend's Girl/You Might Think" The Cars
The console (May 16, 1988) The all-steel turntables
were rock-solid and played great.
 5:29pm: DJ Break
  • "Our House" Madness: I have always loved this silly little song, but never owned a copy, until the summer of 2012, when I purchased a Best Of Madness CD at a yard sale for $1.
DJ Break
  • "One Vision/Under Pressure" Queen
  • "Gimme All Your Lovin/Velcro Fly" ZZ Top
Bobcat Goldthwait: "I Don't Know Any Jokes"
  • "Rock & Roll Is King/Don't Let Me Down", ELO
  • "Rock This Town" The Stray Cats
Promo: WBMT Is Rock And Roll
  • "Stray Cat Strut" The Stray Cats
  • "Anyway You Want It" Journey
Promo: You. Are. Listening...
  • "Send Her My Love" Journey BY REQUEST to Reading
  • "Somebody" Bryan Adams
Promo: "Lazy Bum"
  • "Summer of '69" Bryan Adams BY REQUEST to Reading
6:19pm: DJ Break
  • "What It Takes" Aerosmith- Request for "the wonder twins of Boxford" (I don't remember who this is)
DJ Break
  • "Start Me Up/Sad Sad Sad" The Rolling Stones: I still remember the day The Rolling Stones Steel Wheels LP arrived at the office in it's 13" square cardboard mailer. I really like the LP. Is it because everything sounds better when you're 17 years old?
  • "Everybody Wants You/Don't Say You Love Me" Billy Squier
  • "The Heart of Rock & Roll/Perfect World" Huey Lewis & The News
  •  "Peace of Mind" Boston
6:54pm: DJ Break
  • "Foreplay" /  "Long Time" Boston
  • "Sunshine of Your Love/White Room" Cream
WBMT Station Logo
  • "25 or 6 to 4" Chicago
WBMT Station Logo
  • "Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?" Chicago
  • "Roseanna" Toto
Promo: "Lazy Bum"
  • "Africa" Toto
7:27pm: DJ Break
  • "State of Grace" Billy Joel (Request for Betsy Hopkins)
  • "Everyday I Write The Book / Veronica" Elvis Costello
  • "Seven Wonders / Hold Me" Fleetwood Mac

Hamlet (Mel Gibson)

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.

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 to 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.

ActorD.O.B.MovieAge
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 1, 1990

Hard To Kill

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!

(at the cinema in Haverhill, later replaced with a Chunky's)

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.

January 1, 1990

Tremors

Thoroughly enjoyable "B" movie, with a solid cast (Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Michael Gross, aka the dad from 'Family Ties', and an adorable Reba McEntire).
Kevin Bacon seems completely in his element as a near-simpleminded handyman/underachiever.
That first night in Haverhill, MA, the film broke: right as the survivors are riding the bulldozer out of town, a big dark silhouette filled the screen. I thought it was the creature about to 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.