Ed and his Dead Mother

Ed and his Dead Mother. ITC Entertainment 1993.

Before watching the movie:

This was not well-released, not well-received, and perhaps not well made. But it looks fun enough, unless they managed to choke the fun out of it in the poor execution.

Steve Buscemi seems to be intended to be the most normal character in the story, which is a strange concept to me. He’s long been leaning into the eccentric roles his features attract, but I think he might be the straight man here.

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We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story

We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story. Amblin Entertainment 1993.

Before watching the movie:

Despite definitely remembering a trailer, I couldn’t say anything more about what this movie is that isn’t on the poster. Cartoon dinosaurs in the modern day. There are a lot of names I recognize in the credits, but I don’t know what to expect other than John Goodman is definitely the lead dinosaur and Jay Leno’s character is probably a minor chomic relief player.

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The Beverly Hillbillies

The Beverly Hillbillies. 20th Century Fox 1993.
The Beverly Hillbillies. 20th Century Fox 1993.

Before watching the movie:

While it was never really a favorite, more of something not disagreeable between other shows I did like, I recall there was a period in my youth when I watched a lot of The Beverly Hillbillies. Boy, those yokels who don’t know how they’re supposed to use egregious amounts of wealth, right? Actually I recall it using both extremes to mock the other. The Clampetts may have been walking stereotypes, but they were also people of simple tastes who highlighted just how absurd the excesses of wealthy Southern California can be. They bought a mansion in a nice neighborhood, but they still lived simply. I recently spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with a massive windfall, and I think it’s smart not to change much about one’s habits simply because smoking cigars wrapped in hundred-dollars bills on a yacht becomes an option.

I don’t know what to expect from a reboot movie made 20 or 30 years later. The show was made in a media landscape that believed in a simpler world than what the 90s accepted. The plots that stick strongly in my mind are the time Jed decided that the “billiard room” was the place to have Thanksgiving dinner because it had the nicest table in the house, and if possible he should serve a “billyard” (a rhino, like the head mounted on the wall in that room) on it, or when their banker turned out to be the last descendent of a family feud inspired by the Hatfields and McCoys, until Granny found out and revealed she was from the other family. When I try to imagine the 90s equivalent, I see a lot of manic slapstick. “From the director of Wayne’s World” being a selling point does not sound promising.

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Coneheads

Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.
Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

Have I seen this before?  There’s something special in my memory about Coneheads, but I can’t quite place it. I’m fairly sure that I had a friend in Kindergarten or first grade who talked about it fondly, but the only concrete recollection I have is that there were a few clips of it in a Paramount promotional montage on a couple of tapes I liked to watch a lot. And more recently, I’ve seen some of the original sketches. Since my memories are so hazy, and there are a few alternative options, I’m going to conclude for now that I haven’t seen it before, and if I did, it was so long ago that nothing really stuck and my view will still be fresh. However, in the interest of transparency, I’m making this decision public.

While not as widely talked about as other Saturday Night Live spinoffs, this seems to have a pretty positive reputation. The concept certainly offers room for a full-fledged plot and lends itself to a higher budget. In fact, it may be so much more of a movie concept than a sketch concept that it becomes hard to remember it got its start on SNL, like Blues Brothers.

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Demolition Man

Demolition Man. Warner Bros. 1993.

Before watching the movie:

I get the sense that the 90s were a rough time for sci-fi movies, especially the early 90s. However, I can’t back that up with anything, and all the examples I can come up with are good.

I was never very interested in this movie as a killer vs. killer in the future action flick, but I’ve recently learned that it makes culture shock jokes about how society has changed, which is an interest of mine. I like to think about how the future will get us wrong, and otherwise how foreign it would probably be.

As an action sci-fi this never stood out. As a sci fi action comedy, Demolition Man might actually be a fun experience. Continue reading

Philadelphia

Philadelphia. TriStar Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

This is a big award-winning film. Tom Hanks’s first Oscar. Apparently he liked drama so much only Pixar can get him to come back to comedy anymore.

This feels like one of those safe messages that Hollywood likes to play with to net awards, but a lot has changed since 1993. The stance was more controversial at the time. Well, it’s still controversial, but the prevailing opinion is now more aligned with the film. I can’t really speak to how it was received because I was five years old at the time.

So much as I’m ever excited, I’m looking forward to starting something fun next week.

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Matinee

Matinee. Universal Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

I hadn’t intended to create a theme, but here’s another theater movie set during a historical time of unrest. This time the Cuban Missile Crisis, and somehow screening a movie too close to reality for comfort causes a plot to happen.

I’m mainly here for John Goodman, but I’ll probably find something good that the blurbs haven’t been able to express.

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