Balto

Balto. Amblin Entertainment 1995.

Before watching the movie:

When I was very young, I had a book about Balto, the heroic sled dog that saved the diptheria inoculation run from Anchorage to Nome that the Iditarod race commemorates.  I don’t really recall why Balto was particularly celebrated as the hero of the relay, and it looks like this movie will not be very concerned with that.

The summary seems to indicate that the main conflict comes from how the other characters treat Balto because he is a wolfdog, but that’s not a detail I recall from the history.  Apparently, the real Balto was a purebred husky, so I guess the movie’s main concern was a clumsy message about race.

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Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat. Threshold Entertainment 1995.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not a fan of fighting games. I don’t consider learning complicated button combinations to use against your opponent until all their health is drained to be all that fun, and the carnage Mortal Kombat offered as its selling point did not sweeten the deal.

I know so little about fighting game franchises I was thinking about Raul Julia camping it up when I selected this, but that’s Street Fighter. So all I have to go on for what to expect is mystic Orientalist action focused through a tournament. I’m not sure if it would be more fun for it to make sense or not make sense.

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Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd. Hollywood Pictures 1995.

Before watching the movie:

I expect this movie to be a lot like RoboCop. A police state dystopia set in the near future that is now both uncomfortably dated and also overly optimistic about technological advances.

I’m not sure if Dredd is a satire or just a warning, but I know the point of him is that the degree of force he and other law enforcement are allowed to use is meant to be far beyond excessive. I don’t know if that carried through into the movie, or into fan understanding of the comic or the movie. Starship Troopers is mostly loved for the hyperviolence it was meant to be satirizing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same happened to Dredd.

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The Net

The Net. Winkler Films 1995.
The Net. Columbia Pictures 1995.

Before watching the movie:

I first heard of this movie at least five years ago, and pretty much every time it comes up, it’s being mocked for confusing the Internet with Magic. However, that’s hardly unique in Hollywood, and the main examples I’m thinking of seem less implausible now that the Internet of Things is a trendy consumer electronics buzzword on the horizon.

Basically, Sandra Bullock gets on the wrong side of some Hackers for Reasons, and they use the power of the Internet to destroy her life. The drama comes from the fact that since the assault is Online, her antagonists are basically everywhere yet nowhere. At the time, this was clearly New Things Are Scary But We Don’t Really Understand Them, but I want to see if it’s any better now that technology has gotten its hooks into more things.

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Bad Boys

Bad Boys. Don Simson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films 1995,
Bad Boys. Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Films 1995,

Before watching the movie:

Action movie, probably some laughs but not exceptionally comical, though I think Will Smith and Martin Lawrence both have a comedy background. The main thing I know about this is that its sequel is widely considered the best action movie ever made, or something to that effect. But I’m not watching Bad Boys II right now.

There’s something in the summary about the two guys having to switch lives for some reason? Not sure how that works, but that should make things interesting. There’s a lot of room for comedy in them criticizing each other’s impressions. Otherwise, it looks like a pretty standard bit of fun with explosions.

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Tommy Boy

Tommy Boy. Paramount Pictures 1994.
Tommy Boy. Paramount Pictures 1995.

Before watching the movie:

I know this is a big cult favorite, but I was never very into Chris Farley. Maybe if he’d lived longer, he’d have done something that specifically interested me, but the main thing I think of for him is the “I live in a van down by the river” guy, which is not a character I find funny.

On the other hand, his costar is David Spade, whom I do like, and don’t see enough of. While I think I had my fill of Just Shoot Me, some slightly less abrasive Spade is a lot of fun. I’m not really sure that gets the idea a cross, since “abrasive” is what he does, but he was just too much there.

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Canadian Bacon

Canadian Bacon. Dog Eat Dog Films 1995.

Before watching the movie:

From the synopsis, I was expecting stereotypes and satire even before I read further and found that this is a rare (I think) non-documentary from Michael Moore.  So maybe it will be like An American Carol, only on the other side of the political spectrum. Regardless, I expect satirical stereotypes of both Americans and Canadians.

This is a satire of the first Gulf War, so I wonder if  I’ll see anything relevant to the second. I also wonder if this film can top South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut for silliest war with Canada.

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