Flashbacks to ’93: The Sandlot

Summer holidays. Six weeks that, when you’re ten or eleven, seem to stretch out endlessly before you. The days are long, there’s no school and often not much to do, so you have to find ways to occupy yourself. For me, that often meant the cinema, or running around in the fields and building dens with my friends and my little brother. For Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry), a recent transplant to a small town, the summer of 1962 means learning...

Flashbacks to ’93: Indecent Proposal

High concept was a buzzword in 90s Hollywood, and they don’t get much higher than Indecent Proposal’s. David and Diana (Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore) are high school sweethearts who have been pretty happily married for seven years. Things seem to be going well; she’s in real estate, he’s an architect and they’ve just started building their dream house. Then the recession hits and, down to a borrowed $5000 and with the bank calling in the loan and about to...

Flashbacks to ’93: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

I was just the right age (8) when the cartoon series Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles started being shown on British TV (the word ‘ninja’ was removed from the UK version of the show, in one of many hilariously petty incidents of censorship that dogged the franchise on these shores). I quickly became an obsessed fan. I watched the show religiously, I had the toys, I would play Turtles with my friends and my four year old brother, my Mum even...

Flashbacks to ’93: Point Of No Return (The Assassin)

We film fans often complain about the lack of originality in what the American film industry puts out. One major focus of this irritation tends to be the Americanised remake. At times it can seem like whenever we see an interesting film in a foreign language it is only a matter of time before some studio will come along to reshoot it in English, often while ironing out all the things that made it challenging and interesting - all the...

Flashbacks to ’93: CB4

Sometimes Hollywood accidentally makes the same film twice in a very short space of time. Notable 90s examples include Armageddon and Deep Impact, Volcano and Dante’s Peak. CB4 came to US cinemas just a couple of months after Rusty Cundieff’s Fear of a Black Hat, another rap spoof featuring a documentarian telling the story of an NWA like group, played at Sundance 1993. That film would open in June 1994, but I’ll be referencing it here because the similarities and...

Flashbacks to ’93: Mad Dog and Glory

John McNaughton couldn’t have made a more auspicious debut film than he did with 1986’s Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer. An unforgiving, punishingly hopeless insight into the mind and crimes of a serial murderer, the film was well received at festivals in 1986 but struggled to find a distributor, apparently being passed around by industry figures on VHS until it finally found a release in 1990. I hadn’t even heard of his follow up film, a sci-fi called The...

Flashbacks to ’93: Falling Down

In 1993, Falling Down probably looked like a reaction to the LA riots, events which had in fact happened during its shooting and forced it to move and delay certain scenes. Today it’s a strange watch; of its time in casting as much as politics, but those politics can also be seen through a variety of contemporary lenses, depending on the audience. The film casts Michael Douglas as laid off defence contractor William Foster, initially known only by his licence...

Flashbacks to ’93: El Mariachi

Over the years, as it has accumulated two sequels and as Robert Rodriguez’ career has grown and diversified, El Mariachi’s backstory has arguably become better known and more important than the film itself. I had seen Desperado and Once Upon A Time In Mexico, but until watching it to research this piece, I had never seen El Mariachi before, but I was very much aware of the legend of how it was made, with Rodriguez literally selling his blood in...

Flashbacks to ’93: Groundhog Day

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today. It’s coooooold out there every day. On Friday we discovered that the winter of 2018 will continue for another six weeks, based on the fact that a Groundhog - a type of large ground Squirrel - saw its shadow. To be honest, it’s probably not the least accurate weather forecasting system we use. I’d wager that if you’re reading this anywhere other than the...

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