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Showing posts from October, 2021

MMYIF: Kindergarten Cop

My Misspent Youth In Films... Kindergarten Cop Directed by: Ivan Reitman Starring: Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed Released: December 21, 1990 A tough cop must pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who may hold the key to putting him behind bars. What I Thought Then I knew Arnold primarily from Predator,   The Running Man , and Twins , and I remember this being an amusing fish-out-of-water comedy with some fun action beats and some memorable lines. What I Think Now Can we just take a moment to marvel at how weird Arnold Schwarzeneggar's career was? I mean, there was a stretch where this Austrian behemoth was routinely cast as an all-American everyman because he was the world's biggest action star and after Die Hard  came out every action film had to be about an everyman facing impossible odds in order to save his family or some such. Over the course of the 80s and 90s, we are led to believe that Arnold was

MMYIF: Home Alone

My Misspent Youth In Films... Home Alone Directed by: Chris Columbus Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern Released: November 10, 1990 An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation. What I Thought Then This was an unexpected hit that people just couldn't stop talking about. It was a wish-fulfillment fantasy that spoke to every elementary-school boy's desire to beat up dumb criminals while protecting their home. I guess. What I Think Now The biggest difference for me watching this movie now is that I relate a whole lot more to the plight of the parents. Catherine O'Hara's near-maniacal drive to get home to her son feels 100% authentic, whereas it seemed like background plot business that ate up time between set-pieces when I watched it as a kid. To be sure, this is a film largely framed around one big set-piece at the finale, in which Kevin McAlist

MMYIF: Ducktales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

My Misspent Youth In Films... Ducktales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Directed by: Bob Hathcock Starring: Alan Burnett, Christopher Lloyd, Terence McGovern Released: August 3, 1990 Scrooge McDuck takes Huey, Dewey, and Louie to Egypt to find a pyramid and magic lamp. What I Thought Then A feature-length version of one of my favorite "Disney Afternoon" television shows. Behind Darkwing Duck , obviously. What I Think Now For good or for ill, it really is just a feature-length version of the television show. Barely. At seventy-five minutes, it's technically a movie, though it features roughly the same level of animation that you'd expect from a television show. It makes zero attempt to catch new viewers up on the characters or the world. Are Huey, Dewey, and Louie even named in this? The story is functional--the plot is cohesive and there's a whiff of a narrative arc underpinning it all--but it still feels pretty derivative. You'd swear it was nothing but

MMYIF: Arachnophobia

My Misspent Youth In Films... Arachnophobia Directed by: Frank Marshall Starring: Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, John Goodman Released: July 18, 1990 A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill. What I Thought Then This was one of the first thrillers that I really glommed onto. It was on TV a fair amount and had some excellent humor. And besides, it's not like it was going to make me more  afraid of spiders than I already was. (True story: I once bug-bombed my entire apartment because I found a wolf spider in my laundry.) What I Think Now Jeff Daniels stars as Ross Jennings, a arachnophobic family practitioner who has relocated his family to the small town of Canaima to get away from the hustle and bustle (and earthquakes) of the San Francisco. However, two big problems meet him when he gets there: the doctor whose practice Jennings was supposed to take over has decided at the last minute that he's not ready to reti

MMYIF Grown-up Movie Double Feature: Bird on a Wire / Ghost

My Misspent Youth In Films... Bird on a Wire Directed by: John Badham Starring: Mel Gibson, Goldie Hawn, David Carradine Released: May 18, 1990 An old flame discovers her ex-boyfriend from the past is a relocated FBI informant out to stop the bad guys. Ghost Directed by: Jerry Zucker (yes, that  Jerry Zucker) Starring: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg Released: July 13, 1990 After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic. What I Thought Then These are two of the adultier movies in our collection that I was probably too young to watch but watched anyway and the rule in our house seemed to be "well if they've seen it once there's no harm in them seeing it again." I only understood the stories in the broadest senses, but I really enjoyed the set-pieces and tone, as well as the bits of humor. What I Think Now Both of these movies feel like throw-backs, in a way. They're mid-