This was one of the big cultural moments in my early childhood that I was aware of even as it passed me by. Everyone was talking about Free Willy for some reason. I dimly recall it being on in the same room at one point, but I think it was in the way that one dips in and out of a movie someone else is watching while at a family gathering.
There’s a good movie finding its audience, and then there’s a cultural phenomenon. The latter I can understand for a lavish tentpole movie like Titanic, but this doesn’t seem to be that kind of visual-oriented extravaganza. It kind of looks like it has a similar domestic plot to the original, before the franchise fatigue Air Bud, actually, like if you took all the basketball out of that movie and swapped the dog for an orca, you’d come close to this movie. While cetaceans were popular in the 90s, I would’ve thought that more came out of the popularity of this movie than contributed to it. Well, I guess I’m about to find out.
This looked like a bland musical in a setting I wasn’t very interested in until I recently heard it discussed as a unionization success story, which is pretty topical. I also have more understanding of the newspaper landscape of the late 1800s and the media dueling media empires of the day.
It also still looks like a kind of bland musical, but I haven’t looked too closely.
There’s really only one thing I can say about what I know about this movie. It’s pretty clearly meant to be a “Die Hard on an X” type adventure. There’s a single guy accidentally in the wrong place at the right time thwarting bad guys. Like Under Siege. Like Air Force One. Probably like other movies I’ve blogged and can’t remember.
However, it’s also Sylvester Stallone fighting the bad guys single-handedly, so it’s probably also meant to be like Stallone movies likeFirst Blood, or rather, like the Rambo sequels that dropped the main thematic point of the original.
All of that is to say that I don’t know what this movie is, but I’m pretty sure I know exactly what other movies they wanted me to think of by making it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 →
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.
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.