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1993

Shadowlands (1993)

Mar 11 · Free Movie - Shadowlands — Nextdoor

DIRECTOR: Richard Attenborough

CAST: Anthony Hopkins, Debra Winger, Joseph Mazzello, Edward Hardwicke, John Wood, James Frain

REVIEW:

Richard Attenborough’s Shadowlands, telling the true story of the romance between British author C.S. Lewis (best-known for his Chronicles of Narnia series) and American poet Joy Gresham between their meeting in 1952 and her death from cancer in 1960, is a stately, sedate, but tenderly heartfelt British period drama (steeped in oh-so-British reserve) that will surely strike some as too dry and slow to get into, but anchored by a quietly powerful performance by Anthony Hopkins and a restrained study in the gamut of emotions from joy to grief, may have much to offer for fans of these kinds of low-key serious dramas.

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Philadelphia (1993)

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme

CAST:

Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Joanne Woodward, Mary Steenburgen, Bradley Whitford, Charles Napier, Daniel von Bargen

REVIEW:

AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome) emerged as a major crisis in the early 80s but was largely ignored into the beginning of the 90s in the United States even though the US had more cases than any other nation. Educational programs were well underway in Europe, but US politicians gave it low priority, and President Ronald Reagan did not mention it in a speech until 1987. By that time there were 51,000 cases in 113 countries. Reagan’s administration resisted congressional efforts and the crusading of Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to increase funds for AIDS research and prevention. To many Americans, AIDS was a ‘gay disease’ and was not considered a subject for polite conversation due to its (exaggerated) association with homosexuality. Media treatment focused on the relatively few heterosexuals who had contracted the disease through blood transfusions. This partially changed in 1985, when archetypal Hollywood leading man Rock Hudson announced that he was gay and dying of AIDS. Hudson died in October of that year, leaving $250,000 to an AIDS research foundation, and while the revelation that a popular celebrity was infected prompted more coverage of the shamefully ignored plight of thousands of infected homosexuals, many Americans continued to inaccurately view AIDS as a disease which only pertained to homosexuals, who were largely viewed with indifference or even considered to deserve it. Despite its status as the worst epidemic of modern times, it was the subject of extraordinary ignorance and fear, with infected individuals ostracized and even attacked by others who believed incorrectly that you could contract it through casual contact. The epidemic peaked in 1993, the same year of a second step forward in AIDS awareness, director Jonathan Demme’s (The Silence of the Lambs) flawed but courageous and socially important drama Philadelphia. Continue reading

Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)

DIRECTOR: Walter Hill

CAST: Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Wes Studi, Matt Damon, Rodney A. Grant, Kevin Tighe

REVIEW:

While its title might be simply Geronimo, a more accurate name for this movie might be The Geronimo Campaign.  Walter Hill, not a stranger to the Western genre, directs this chronicle of the “Geronimo Campaign” in which famed Apache war leader Geronimo, with 34 men, managed to elude 5,000 US cavalry troops between 1885 and 1886 before his surrender in September 1886.  Continue reading

Carlito’s Way (1993)

DIRECTOR: Brian De Palma

CAST: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller, John Leguizamo, Luis Guzman, James Rebhorn, Viggo Mortensen, Adrian Pasdar, Rick Aviles, John Ortiz

REVIEW:

Carlito’s Way, an adaptation of the same-named novel and its sequel After Hours (combining material from both) is director Brian De Palma returning to the gangster trough he previously explored with Scarface and The Untouchables (reuniting with Al Pacino from the former). To that end, Carlito’s Way lacks the depth and epic scope of The Godfather, but is less cartoonish than Scarface, and provides a colorful and engaging two and a half hours for fans of the genre.

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A Bronx Tale (1993)

DIRECTOR: Robert De Niro

CAST: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato, Francis Capra, Kathryn Narducci, Taral Hicks

REVIEW:

For his directorial debut, Robert De Niro tells a coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of a Bronx neighborhood under the Mafia’s influence (the screenplay was written by Chazz Palminteri, who adapted it from his own one-man play partially based on his own childhood).  A Bronx Tale could be considered a “mob movie”, but that’s more the backdrop than the focus, and the movie avoids melodramatic stereotypes. Continue reading

Jurassic Park (1993)

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

CAST: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, Martin Ferrero, Bob Peck, Wayne Knight, Samuel L. Jackson

REVIEW:

Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, adapted from the book by Michael Crichton, is a tremendous special effects landmark, throwing up dinosaurs onscreen that are so realistic that at times it’s hard to believe they’re special effects creations. In fact, so impressive is the film on a technical level that it’s easy to forgive the serviceable but unspectacular narrative and thinly-drawn characters. At the bottom line, the story is just a vehicle to string dinosaur scenes together, and does an effective job of serving its purpose. Jurassic Park succeeds because it promises dinosaurs, and it delivers dinosaurs beyond anything ever before seen onscreen.

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