December 12, 1992

A Muppet Christmas Carol

I really enjoyed this movie. Their choice to adapt classic books (see also Muppet Treasure Island) really pays off. Casting the Muppets like a repertory company seems effortless: Kermit is the humble Bob Crachit; As Mrs Crachit, Miss Piggy can barely contain her frustration with her husband's boss; Waldorf & Statler are naturals as Jacob & Robert Marley (wink wink); and of course, who else should play Scrooge's old boss Mr. Fezziwig but Fozzie Bear? And just like a repertory company hosting a big star to play the lead role, Michael Caine is one of my favorite Scrooges of movie history. Rizzo the Rat and Gonzo act as co-narrators and comic relief, contributing charm throughout the movie. Rizzo appeared as a supporting player only in The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan; Christmas Carol is his starmaking turn.
The only real soft spot in the movie is the Christmas Past segment. The actors playing teenage Scrooge and Young Businessman Scrooge are dull and their scenes are lifeless. After the Christmas party scene at Fozziwigs, Scrooge's fiancee Belle breaks up with him by a frozen pond, sings a sad song about their lost love, and I could not care less. Letting Belle walk away is one of the critical crossroads in Scrooge's life- he had an opportunity to value love over money and let it slip away. It's dramatically important to make their love seem important. The movie must illustrate Scrooge's inner conflict over her departure to make him worthy of redemption instead of just a cold fish. Unfortunately this plot turn is smothered by a long and dull song, and my indifference over the actors playing Belle and young Scrooge.
So I usually fast forward through that segment (yes, I watch this movie on my wife's old VHS tape) and move onto the rest of the movie which is just swell. Michael Caine is terrific; he's convincingly mean at the beginning, and his Christmas morning revelation strikes just the right tone of levity without seeming crazy. I always get weepy when Beaker (as one of the charity solicitors) gives Scrooge his teeny Muppet-sized scarf. Scrooge's mini-prank on Crachit always cracks me up for its inventiveness:

Ext. Victorian Street - Day
Ebenezer Scrooge knocks on Bob Cratchit’s door.
SCROOGE
Bob Cratchit!
Bob opens the door slowly.
SCROOGE (CONT'D)
So here you are.
BOB CRATCHIT
Mister Scrooge...
SCROOGE
You sir, were not at work this morning as we had discussed.
BOB CRATCHIT
But, Mr Scrooge sir, we did discuss it. It’s Christmas Day sir. You gave me the day off.
SCROOGE
I? I, Ebenezer Scrooge? Would I do a thing like that?
BOB CRATCHIT
No. I mean yes, but you did.
SCROOGE
Bob Cratchit, I’ve had my fill of this.
Emily Cratchit comes bursting out.
EMILY CRATCHIT
And I have had my fill of you, Mister Scrooge!
BOB CRATCHIT
Emily, Emily...
SCROOGE
And therefore, Bob Cratchit...
EMILY CRATCHIT
And therefore, you can leave this house at once!
SCROOGE
And therefore, I am about to raise your salary.
EMILY CRATCHIT
And I am about to raise you right off the pavement... pardon?
BOB CRATCHIT
Pardon?
SCROOGE
Yes Bob. Raise your salary. And pay off your mortgage on this house.
Emily Cratchit laughs nervously.
BOB CRATCHIT
Please, sir. Come inside. Yes, yes.
SCROOGE
Bob Cratchit, would you and your family care to join us for a little turkey dinner on this fine Christmas Day?
Emily and Bob Cratchit both gasp.
SCROOGE (CONT'D)
Merry Christmas.
My Stub Hubby grade: A-minus

December 3, 1992

Aladdin

Funny and action-packed.

November 13, 1992

Jennifer Eight

I remember very little about this movie. Andy Garcia is wrongly accused of murder? Uma Thurman as a blind woman, and John Malkovich as some kind of federal agent?

November 1, 1992

The Crying Game

I saw this pretty soon after it came out, so the "secret twist" was not public knowledge yet. Remember this was before the Internet, so you had to buy People or Premiere to read about this stuff. I figured out that Jaye Davidson was a man pretty quickly- the "man hands" gave him away. (On a date, Church St Harvard Square)

October 23, 1992

Husbands and Wives

An incredibly dark Woody Allen film- Too depressing to see a second time!

October 16, 1992

The Public Eye

I didn't know anything about the photographer Weegee (on whom this film was based). I believe this was one of Barbara Hershey's early post-collagen-lip-injection roles.

October 14, 1992

Sneakers

sneakersA fun gadget-filled thriller, sort of a cross between The Sting and Ocean's Eleven: Robert Redford is the leader of a freelance counter-security outfit: Redford's gang of oddballs are hired to break into high-security banks, laboratories, etc, for the purpose of testing the quality of your security systems. At the end of the day, they return the heist and explain how to fix your security lapses. He's hired by the NSA to steal the ultimate codebreaker/MacGuffin: a mathematician has solved the puzzle of unsolvable codes and hard-wired it into a chip which can break into any computer system. As Sidney Poitier says, "There isn't a government in the world that wouldn't kill us all to get their hands on this thing." Soon people start dying, they're in way over their head, and they have to steal back the box from a impregnable fortress to save their lives and save Redford from prison.

The final adventure is an elaborate heist, very similar to the schemes in Ocean's Eleven movies: techno-gadgets combined with simple con games, riding on top of elevators, hacking into security cameras, stealing ID badges, etc. Rewatching the movie 15 years later, it's still a fun ride, despite half the technology being improbable, and the other half hopelessly outdated. The cast is very odd: Redford's team consists of Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, David Strathairn, River Phoenix, and Mary McDonnell. (While watching McDonnell and Redford's scenes on TV, my wife said "is this the most cold fish couple you ever saw or what?") The antagonist is Ben Kingsley, with a "Silicon Valley entrepreneur" ponytail and a bizarre American accent.

In a flashback, we see the Redford character in college in 1969, played by veteran TV actor Gary Hershberger. It's always hard to cast younger versions of movie stars, because we know the star's faces so well, but this was a special challenge, because Redford was already famous in 1969 (Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid), so everyone knows exactly how the character should look: like Sundance. They found Hershberger looks like Gary Busey with a blond wig, but he's pretty convincing anyways.

October 1, 1992

Wind

My girlfriend snuck me into a screening at the Cambridge St theater where she worked. I may not have seen the whole movie.

Mr. Saturday Night

I heard this movie was a pet project of Billy Crystal. It had potential to be really good, but too much of the movie was rooted in the "framing device": Buddy Young and his brother (Crystal and David Paymer) as old men. All that bad latex was a real distraction, when the scenes set in Young's good old days were quite effective. David Paymer was nominated for an Oscar for his role. Costarring Helen Hunt, right before she broke out into stardom on Mad About You.

September 1, 1992

Bob Roberts

I went with a date, and I can only assume she picked this movie? At age 20 I was not very political, and I did not get any of the Beltway jokes. (At the old Janus cinema, on JFK Street, Harvard Square)

Singles

Steve [in a phonebooth at a club]: Linda, uh, it's me. I had to call you. It's about midnight. I was just having many beers. And, uh, I just wanted to say what I should have said at the dock. I f---ing chickened out when I acted casual, like Mr. Casual. I should have said it. You... belong... with... ME! We belong together. And what really pisses me off is that, now that we're really talking, you thought I proposed to you only because you were pregnant. What's that about?! I mean... [aside] hey, this is not the bathroom! And you know maybe if I had said some of these things at the dock it would have made a difference because, but I think we made a big mistake because, we had good times and we had bad times, but we had times. And I would like to start over. I would like to be new to you. I want to be new to you. I want to be Mr. New. So call me back if you want to. But this is the last time I'll call. And, if you really needed to know how I feel, how I really feel, that's how I feel. I love you. And that's something you should know, so I won't bother you again. So, good night. And good bye. And call me back. Good bye.[answering machine eats tape]

August 22, 1992

Death Becomes Her

Academy Award nominee Bruce Willis, with Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, all acting very silly. Zemeckis's fetish-ization of special effects continues.

August 1, 1992

N's Music Mix #6

SIDE A
  1. "Train in Vain", aka "Stand By Me", the biggest pop chart hit for The Clash.
  2. "No Surrender", Bruce Springsteen
  3. "Undercover of the Night", The Rolling Stones most New Wave single.
  4. "Bullet the Blue Sky", U2
  5. "This & That", Michael Penn's debut album March included a novel combination of acoustic guitars and drum machines, and/or heavily processed drum sounds.
  6. "Talk About The Passion", R.E.M.
  7. "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic", The Police
  8. "She Blinded Me With Science", One of my favorite novelty songs of the New Wave, from Thomas Dolby.
  9. "Perfect World" is from the Huey Lewis & The News album Small World, their first album after they peaked with the one-two punch Sports and Fore!
  10. "Glamour Boys", Living Colour
  11. "Hard to Handle", The Black Crowes
  12. "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", Billy Joel
SIDE B
  1. "Games Without Frontiers", Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush
  2. "I Can't Dance", Genesis
  3. "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)", Hall & Oates
  4. "Join Together", The Who
  5. "Should I Stay or Should I Go?", The Clash
  6. "You Can't Always Get What You Want", The Rolling Stones
  7. "After Midnight", Eric Clapton
  8. "I'm Goin' Down", Bruce Springsteen
  9. "Bloody Well Right", I bought Supertramp's Classics Volume 9 (see image, right) sometime late in high school when classic rock dominated my life and I wanted to buy CDs to play songs on the radio. My friends hooked me on Supertramp, but they were so uncool (my friends and the band too), I basically shunned Supertramp once I hit college, and I eventually dumped the CD at a yard sale circa 1999.
  10. "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around", Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Originally recorded without Stevie Nicks, this song was converted into a duet by stripping out some of Petty's vocals and replacing them with Nicks'.
  11. "Tusk", Fleetwood Mac, featuring the USC Trojans Marching Band
  12. "You're Only Human (Second Wind)", A wildly overproduced Billy Joel song, with extremely contemporary synthesizers and drums. This track was one of two new songs added to Joel's first "Greatest Hits" package.
(100 minute Maxell cassette)

N's Music Mix #5

SIDE A
  1. "Smells Like Nirvana", is one of my favorite "Weird Al" Yankovic parodies, because Yankovic is parodying the song itself. Many of his parodies are not about the song he's singing. Other Yankovic songs like this include "(This Song Is) Six Words Long" (a parody of the endlessly repetitive "Got My Mind Set On You", and "Achy Breaky Song" (a parody of the awful "Achy Breaky Heart").
  2. "Rock and Roll", Led Zeppelin
  3. "Janie's Got A Gun", Aerosmith
  4. "Under The Bridge", Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. "Superman's Song", Crash Test Dummies
  6. "That Would Be Something" [unplugged] Paul McCartney
  7. "Let Me Roll It", Paul McCartney & Wings
  8. "Losing My Religion", R.E.M.
  9. "Stand Back", Stevie Nicks
  10. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", Tears for Fears
  11. "Right Here Right Now", Jesus Jones
  12. "Slap and Tickle", Squeeze
I covet this pop art Squeeze poster from Sixteen Candles!
SIDE B
  1. "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Nirvana
  2. "I Know What I Know", Paul Simon
  3. "D'yer Maker", Led Zeppelin
  4. The 7" remix of the B-52's "Roam" is nearly identical to the album version, with a much better introduction.
  5. "Spirit of Radio", Rush
  6. "Jack & Diane", John Cougar Mellencamp
  7. "Behind Blue Eyes", The Who
  8. "Dream On", Aerosmith
  9. "Sultans of Swing", Dire Straits
  10. "When We Was Fab", George Harrison (featuring Ringo Starr on drums)
  11. "King's Highway", Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  12. "Figure of Eight", Paul McCartney
(100 minute Maxell Cassette)

Unforgiven

I am not a big fan of Westerns. At the time, I hadn't really seen any Westerns, as the 1980s were a low valley for the genre. However, despite not having seen any of Clint's Westerns, I loved this movie. I think I went a second time, with a date, but maybe I just went this one time, at the old theater on Cambridge Street in Boston, near MGH.

Raising Cain

Director Brian DePalma could crank out uninspired ripoffs of Hitchcock movies every week if necessary. This was the middle episode in John Lithgow's Evil Antagonist Trilogy (Ricochet, Raising Cain, and Cliffhanger).

July 19, 1992

Batman Returns

Did we really need three bad guys? It would have been sooo much better with just Batman and Catwoman. Not that Christopher Walken isn't entertaining! But bring on more Michelle Pfeiffer! Me-ow! (July 19, 1992, and twice more in July 1992.)

Stub Hubby & Batman

July 1, 1992

N's Music Mix #4

Re-reading these cassette track lists is reminding me of my process back in 1992. A few minutes ago I was thinking "why do I keep repeating the same artists on a mix?" Now I remember: Making a mix tape in 1992 is a lot different than clicking and dragging an iTunes playlist in 2008. In 2008 I literally have 13,000 songs at my fingertips. In 1992, I would load a pile of CDs in a bag and head to the recording studio at school, so I could use more than one CD player, plus a mixing console and a professional quality cassette recorder. If inspiration struck mid-way through a mix, I couldn't just grab the CD or MP3 I wanted, I was stuck with what I had on me.
I think I would even intentionally repeat an artist on both sides of a tape. There are also some cases where an artist shows up early on Side A, then near the end. This was because I'd have some tape left over after my planned playlist, and I would fill out the side with a repeated artist. This was the way it worked back then!
NOTE: Some of you may think "professional" and "cassette" don't belong in the same sentence, but trust me, there's a big difference between pressing "REC" on your boom box with dual tape decks, and using a professional deck with input level dials, VU meters, and an expensive mechanism. I am listening to this cassette on my PC's internal tape deck right now, and it sounds great, 16 years later.
SIDE A
  1. Good Stuff, The B-52s (this song was also on mix 2. It's not even that good. What was I thinking?)
  2. You Make My Dreams, Hall & Oates. One of my all-time favorites. Must pace myself!
  3. Can't Get There From Here, R.E.M.
  4. I Won't Back Down, Tom Petty
  5. Blue Sky Mine, Midnight Oil
  6. "Lightning Paul" is a song from an Irish band called The 4 Of Us. When I was a DJ at my high school radio station WBMT, we were on the mailing list for Columbia Records, so we received the LP and CD of The 4 Of Us album Songs for the Tempted in 1989. I randomly listened to and liked the songs enough to include a bunch of their songs on mixes. Naturally, I never heard from them again and I feel like I must have dreamt the whole thing.
  7. Rattlesnake, Think Tree
  8. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellencamp
  9. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, Sting
  10. Sunshine Of Your Love, Bobby McFerrin
  11. Stay Up Late, Talking Heads
  12. Watching The Detectives, Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  13. Say It Isn't So, Hall & Oates
  14. When I saw the title "Tape Decks All Over Hell" typed on the cassette insert, I remembered the song but totally forgot the band until I Googled the song title and there they were: Boiled In Lead, the self described "Rock’n’reel. Punk-folk. Country music from many countries...BiL play fiddle, guitars, bass & percussion with loads of power and emotion." "Tape Decks All Over Hell" is from their CD Orb.
SIDE B
  1. Drag My Bad Name Down, The 4 of Us
  2. Good Lovin' Bobby McFerrin
  3. Runnin Down A Dream, Tom Petty
  4. Who Do You Love? George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  5. Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac
  6. Love Is The Seventh Wave, Sting
  7. Listen To The Music, The Doobie Brothers
  8. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby & The Range
  9. Radio Free Europe, R.E.M.
  10. Check It Out, John Cougar Mellencamp
  11. Kiss, Prince


N's 3rd New Mix

Between my sophomore and junior years of college, this mix feels trapped between my high school tastes and my new college tastes. Bands that are lingering on this mix, but soon to be old news: Supertramp, Rush, Yes, INXS, and The Eagles. New music which I was just discovering: the new Red Hot Chili Peppers single, more music from Shockra, and the new U2 album.

SIDE A

  1. Lucky Town, Bruce Springsteen
  2. Dirty World, Traveling Wilburys
  3. Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane
  4. Already Gone, The Eagles
  5. Gun, Shockra
  6. Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
  7. Yesterday Girl, The Smithereens
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
  9. You Talk Too Much, George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  10. Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
SIDE B
  1. 57 Channels (and nothin on), Bruce Springsteen
  2. Cannonball, Supertramp
  3. New Sensation, INXS
  4. The Body Electric, Rush
  5. Give It Away, Red Hot Chili Peppers
  6. Even Better Than The Real Thing, U2
  7. Love Will Find a Way, Yes
  8. Middle Man, Living Colour
  9. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey, The Beatles
  10. Bad To the Bone, George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  11. Rebel Rebel, David Bowie
(Maxell 100 minute cassette)

N's 2nd New Music Mix

Subtitle: "Good Stuff To Drive To"

SIDE A

  1. Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You, Led Zeppelin
  2. 25 or 6 to 4, Chicago
  3. Philosopher's Song, Third Estate
  4. Good Beat, Deee-Lite
  5. The Globe, Big Audio Dynamite II
  6. Who? Where? Why? Jesus Jones
  7. We'll Be Together, Sting
  8. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, P.M. Dawn
  9. Where Did You Go? The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  10. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong, Spin Doctors
SIDE B
  1. Good Stuff, The B-52s
  2. Getting Better, The Beatles
  3. Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith [album version]
  4. It's The End of the World As We Know It, R.E.M.
  5. Jumping Jack Flash, The Rolling Stones
  6. Don't Let Go, Jeff Lynne
  7. Rock This Town, The Stray Cats
  8. Take The Money and Run, Steve Miller Band
  9. Get It On (Bang a Gong), The Power Station
  10. Underground People, Shockra
  11. Near Wild Heaven, R.E.M.
(Maxell 100 minute cassette)

N's New Music Mix

My first mix in a continuing series, my "Good Stuff To Drive To" mix is very rough around the edges. As time went on and I got better at the song selection and sequencing process, I made some rules for myself. Some of those rules are broken here:
  • Don't put the same artist on a mix more than once
  • Don't put an artist (The Beatles) and a solo act from the same band (McCartney, Lennon) on the same mix
In the summer of 1992, I was working at WERS Radio at Emerson College, and the influence of my time there is showing: Shockra was a world-music influenced local funk-rock band whom I became a big fan of. I hope this is the last mix on which I include "Start Me Up"!

SIDE A

  1. Middle of the Road, The Pretenders
  2. Ob La Di, Ob La Da [alt version], The Beatles
  3. Question Air? Shockra
  4. Squeeze Box, The Who
  5. And She Was, Talking Heads
  6. Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.
  7. Fool In The Rain, Led Zeppelin
  8. Everyday I Write The Book, Elvis Costello
  9. Let My Love Open The Door, Pete Townshend
  10. Cool For Cats, Squeeze
  11. Modern Love, David Bowie
SIDE B
  1. Channel Z, The B-52s
  2. Helen Wheels, Paul McCartney & Wings
  3. Nobody Told Me, John Lennon
  4. Would I Lie To You? Eurythmics
  5. Monkey On My Back, Aerosmith
  6. Closer To Fine, Indigo Girls
  7. Ticket To Ride, The Beatles [no fadeout]
  8. Love Shack, The B-52s
  9. Into The Great Wide Open, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  10. La Grange, ZZ Top
  11. Sweetest Thing, U2
  12. Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones
(100 minute Maxell cassette)

June 6, 1992

Patriot Games

They took my favorite Tom Clancy novel and ruined it. Any film that ends with the bad guy being impaled to death on something is a recipe for disaster (Sean Bean is impaled on an anchor, I think). While Sean Bean is wonderful, his character is less interesting than in the novel. The actor playing the balding bookstore owner isn't balding- you can see where he shaved a bald patch (which always looks phony). Also, since they could not put the real Prince Charles & Lady Diana in the movie (as they are in the novel), they had to substitute some anonymous royals, which lessens the dramatic impact.

May 22, 1992

Alien3

Some interesting ideas, but killing off Newt and Hicks during credits alienated (pun intended) everyone in the crowd. I have rented the director's cut DVD, which included many scenes which were refilmed by the studio to be included in the theatrical release.

Also On Memorial Day, Through The Years

I have been to the movies on Memorial Day Monday 13 times in 24 years, but it's not a great track record. 

April 11, 1992

Basic Instinct

Delicious and provocative. Director Paul Verhoeven enjoys making bold, visceral, unexpected choices.

March 5, 1992

Memoirs of an Invisible Man

The best invisible man movie until Hollow Man comes along.

March 1, 1992

The Ballad of Issur Danielovitch

Issur Danielovitch was born December 9, 1916, to Jacob and Channa Danielovitch, who emigrated from Russia to America in 1912. Danielovitch became an actor and changed his name to Kirk Douglas. His son Michael Kirk Douglas was born September 25, 1944.

Michael John Douglas was born September 5, 1951. When he became an actor, he had to change his stage name, as Michael Douglas was already in the Screen Actors Guild (there cannot be two actors with the same screen name in the Guild). I don't know if he considered it, but he couldn't shorten his name to Mike Douglas, because of the TV talk show host Mike Douglas. Of course, Mike Douglas the TV star was born Michael Dowd. On a whim, Michael John Douglas saw a picture of actress Diane Keaton and chose the name Michael Keaton.

Diane Keaton was born Diane Hall. Diane Hall changed her last name to her mother's maiden name Keaton as a result of a Diane Hall already being in the Screen Actors Guild. Diane Hall has one screen credit to her name- Jethro's Daughter in Cecil B. Demille's The Ten Commandments.

What does this teach us? Issur Danielovitch should have renamed himself Kirk Daniels!

February 14, 1992

Wayne's World

The 21 Years Later Amazon Prime Review

This movie was big when in came out, but I had forgotten what an epic impact on pop culture Wayne's World had in the early 1990s. The Saturday Night Live sketch was your basic "two metal dudes" formula, much like Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Dave & Chainsaw in Summer School, and Jesse & Chester in Dude, Where's My Car? but Wayne's World invented a whole universe of slang and catchphrases which blew up like crazy.
Seeing Ed O'Neill on  Modern Family
for the last few years, it's novel
to see him from 21 years ago.
The movie throws everything at the wall to see what will stick. The plot is actually pretty solid, although the movie has no ending (or three endings, depending on how you count.) Is it ironic that the Wayne's World movie feels like an el-cheapo Paramount Pictures "cash in on a hot trend" backlot quickie, but the plot illustrates the dangers of artists signing a contracts with a big companies, leading to soulless corporate weasels will exploiting you and destroying all that made your work special in the first place.

I was also surprised, and happy to discover, how much music is in the movie, and how music plays an integral part of the movie- Wayne's lovestruck gazes at Cassandra are set to "Dreamweaver", and Garth's daydream seduction of "Dream Lady" Donna Dixon is set to "Foxy Lady". The headbanging "Bohemian Rhapsody" lip sync was even funnier than I remember. We can thank director Penelope Spheeris and her impeccable rock pedigree, for keeping this movie rockin'.
NOTE: How big a phenomenon was Wayne's World? Sixteen years after "Bohemian Rhapsody" peaked at #6 on the US charts in 1976, the single re-entered the charts in 1992 and peaked at #2.

Party Time (In Name Only) Except for a glass of champagne at Rob Lowe's bachelor bad, Wayne and Garth never drink in the movie- their TV crew pals do, barely, and their buddy Phil - the one who might "hurl" in the back of the Mirthmobile - is apparently drunk, but for all their talk of partying, no one ever talks about drinking or getting drunk, or getting stoned.
Rob Lowe and Tia Carerre may be the two finest specimens of humanity. Period.

Theater Notes

I don't actually have a stub for Wayne's World, but I know for sure I saw it in the theater, because there's a joke which was only shown for US theater audiences: When Wayne tries out the vintage Fender Stratocaster at the music shop, he begins with the first three notes of "Stairway to Heaven" before the clerk stops him, pointing to their "NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" sign. I distinctly remember this joke. In the home video version, they had to replace those three notes with some generic guitar music due to a legal dispute over the actual song.

February 1, 1992

Shining Through

Melanie Griffith in a World War II drama? Playing some kind of pseudo-secret U.S. agent in Nazi Germany? Who thought this was a good idea? Check out this dialogue, which sounds swell coming from Ingrid Bergman, but no so much from squeaky Melanie:
"This is all so civilized, Edward. That's what you like, isn't it? Civilized people, polite ladies with pedigrees who look good at the opera, and never make you laugh too hard, and never make you feel too much. I've had a lot of time to think about this, and don't tell me it's the war, when I've been waiting for six months to hear whether you're dead or alive and you waltz into a nightclub."

January 12, 1992

The Prince of Tides

I have no idea why I went to see this Best Picture nominee. It does not seem to be the kind of movie that I would want to see? I don't recall ever seeing another Barbra Streisand movie.

January 1, 1992

Freejack

A race-car driver (Emilio Estevez) is snatched by time travel, a split-second before he would have died in a fatal crash, by Mick Jagger's 21st-century team of techies, who plan to sell his healthy body to an ailing, wealthy Anthony Hopkins, for a mind transfer. Estevez escapes and attempts to revive his relationship with his fiancée Renee Russo, now 15 years older, who's one of Hopkins's executives. Just imagine Anthony Hopkins brain in Emilio Estevez's body, and you'd think this was a horror movie! (At the old Cinema 57 in Boston)