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November 1990
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Monthly Archives: November 1990

Misery (1990)

The Test of Time: Misery (1990)

DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner

CAST: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall

REVIEW:

Following 1986’s Stand By Me, Rob Reiner has now chosen to bring another one of Stephen King’s stories to the screen, this time Misery, an adaptation of King’s same-named 1987 novel. Misery delves further into the horror genre—well-traversed territory for King—than the coming-of-age story Stand By Me but avoids any supernatural elements. The horror here is of the comparatively banal variety but one suspects may be a fear sprung from Stephen King’s own imagination: the obsessed fan.

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Dances With Wolves (1990)

DIRECTOR: Kevin Costner

CAST: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant, Tantoo Cardinal, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Robert Pastorelli, Maury Chaykin, Charles Rocket, Wes Studi

REVIEW:

With Dances With Wolves, not only did actor Kevin Costner make an impressive directorial debut (arguably one of the most accomplished, and the most ambitious and big-scale achievements by a novice director in cinematic history), he also virtually singlehandedly breathed new life in the Western genre.  Once enormously popular, Westerns had been few and far between apart from 1985’s Silverado and Quigley Down Under only a month before Costner’s magnum opus, and both of those installments were far more conventional and stereotypical than what Costner has made here (Dances With Wolves could be considered a “revisionist Western” and isn’t interested in shoot-em-ups or stereotypical Cowboys vs. Indians action).  But Dances With Wolves isn’t just a Western (of sorts) or an attention-catching directorial debut, it’s a great, epic motion picture that transports the viewer immersively into its world and keeps them there for over three hours. Continue reading

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