Clifford

Clifford. Orion Pictures 1994.

(no, not that one)

Before watching the movie:

This is another random find I don’t have much background on. It looks very much like something nobody cares about beyond squeezing some extra residuals out, and it appears that it was considered a disaster. Which I can kind of see. What caught my attention was “Martin Short plays a ten year old menace”. What makes me wonder who came up with it and thought it was worth filming is “Martin Short plays a ten year old menace”. I suspect the concept grew out of a bit that Short was already trying to find a home for.

Also Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen are probably good choices for the types they seem to be playing, but even for the early 90s (this got shelved for a few years because Orion couldn’t afford to distribute it) I’m not really sure “Martin Short, Charles Grodin, and Mary Steenburgen” are the extremely marketable combination you want to attract audiences with.

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Captain Ron

Captain Ron. Touchstone Pictures 1992.

Before watching the movie:

Full disclosure: I went and found this movie because it was mentioned on an episode My Brother, My Brother, and Me. I don’t recall what question led one of the brothers to bring up “when Martin Short inherited a boat and knew nothing about sailing in Captain Ron, he went out and found Kurt Russell”, but all I needed to hear to be interested was “Martin Short inherited a boat knowing nothing about sailing”.

I wasn’t entirely prepared for the personality clash set up here, but it’s not terribly surprising. Martin is a straight-laced man dumbfounded by Ron’s party animal ways. That’s a pretty standard setup, and those are types they slot into well.

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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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Innerspace

Innerspace. Amblin Entertainment 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I don’t recall at the moment if this started as a direct remake/sequel to Fantastic Voyage, was merely inspired by it openly, or just has a similar concept, but I do know that I was first made aware of the existence of Innerspace when researching Voyage. I have dim recollections that it might be a “suggested by” treatment of the novel sequel to Voyage?

Anyway, I also just discovered it has Martin Short as the hapless fellow who doesn’t realize he’s got a tiny explorer inside him, which ramps up my interest in it. Also, the idea of cutting back to comedy sequences outside caused by what’s going on inside reminds me of Osmosis Jones, only with live action/VFX instead of cartoon animation.

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A Simple Wish

A Simple Wish. Sheinberg Productions 1997.
A Simple Wish. Bubble Factory 1997.

Before watching the movie:

I’m not sure if Matilda is intentionally being invoked by the posters, or if it’s more of a coincidence of starring Mara Wilson and having a 90s “whimsical fantasy” aesthetic. The story isn’t much like Matilda at all really.

Anyway, the poster design wouldn’t have gotten me interested (I think I liked Matilda, but if I wanted to see it again I could just see it again. Actually, I ought to see it again), but it’s again in the big, cheap collection of movies I recently got, and the description on IMDB shows potential. But what really got me interested was the tagline. “Anabel made a wish. Murray made a mess.” That’s almost certainly an oversimplification, but it suggests a fun, haphazard style of accidental magic.

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