Flashbacks To 93: Hard Target

Hollywood has, from its very beginnings, been importing talent to serve both in front of and behind the cameras. John Woo had made his directorial debut in 1974 with the martial arts movie The Young Dragons (featuring action choreography by one Yuan Lung Chen, you may know him as Jackie Chan), but it was only with his 1986 film A Better Tomorrow that he came to greater international prominence. A Better Tomorrow was a film that cemented Woo’s personal style,...

Flashbacks to ‘93: The Fugitive

In my article for the BANNED! Series on The Toolbox Murders, I talked about how, when I was a kid, I wasn’t able to watch many films that I wasn’t supposed to be seeing. That was why I considered the 12 certificate - which came in in 1989, the first release being Tim Burton’s Batman - a great innovation. There had always been such a wide gulf between PG and 15, and it was ridiculously easy to fall into the...

Flashbacks to ‘93: So I Married An Axe Murderer

It seems that every comedian with a movie or two under their belt turns pretty quickly to the romantic comedy, and with good reason. The rom-com is a fascinating genre, at once rigid in its long established rules and structure, yet infinitely malleable in the genre hybridisations that can be created within it. Mike Myers’ attempt at this most mainstream of genres, So I Married an Axe Murderer, its title might suggest, falls on the darker end of the spectrum....

Flashbacks to ‘93: Free Willy

I remember Free Willy less as a film and more as a playground joke. Willy, you see, is British children’s slang for penis. The many jokes inspired by the potential misunderstanding of the title of - get this - a KIDS film were clearly the very apex of sophisticated humour. I eventually saw the film on video, I imagine it was rented at the behest of my brother rather than me, and that I dismissed it at the time as...

Flashbacks to ‘93: The Thing Called Love

Peter Bogdanovich got off to a filmmaker’s dream start. Between 1968 and 1973 he made his first four films. Targets was a highly promising debut; a tense thriller, a triumph of ingenuity to use a few days of filming that Boris Karloff owed to Roger Corman. Then he made The Last Picture Show; a beautiful elegy for a small town that is maybe my favourite film of all time. He followed that with the glorious screwball comedy What’s Up Doc?...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Hocus Pocus

Most of us cinephiles have formative films, the ones that turned us from consumers into viewers and began the process of forming a lifelong love of movies. Mine was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I confess I’m surprised by the fact that, for more than a handful of people, Hocus Pocus was the gateway drug, or at least part of it. I’m confused as to why I’m writing about this film now. Well, I know WHY, it’s because this...

Flashbacks to ‘93: In The Line Of Fire

The 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy cast a long shadow over the second half of the 20th century and as its 30th anniversary approached there were several films that looked, some more directly than others, at its lasting echoes. In 1991 we had Oliver Stone’s conspiracy fueled JFK, late 1992 brought the still underseen Love Field, and with it an Oscar nomination for Michelle Pfeiffer. In The Line Of Fire isn’t directly about the assassination, but it figures...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Sleepless in Seattle

Last week I talked about Jurassic Park and how, at 11, it felt like my movie. Sleepless in Seattle isn’t that. It’s my mum’s movie. I honestly don’t know where I got the movie bug, none of my family are cinephiles. My parents, generally speaking, like their movies safe. I used to have to assure my mother that a film would have a happy ending if there was even the tiniest bit of suspense during it. My folks are great,...

Flashbacks to ‘93: Jurassic Park

When I was very little I wanted to be a paleontologist. By the age of 11 this had changed, because I had become obsessed with movies, but I was still very interested in dinosaurs and would pick up fossils whenever we went to a (British) beach on holiday. I had quite a collection of Ammonites. This, along with that obsession with movies I mentioned, meant that the looming release of Jurassic Park was one of the most important moments of...

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