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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1990


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The new decade began with a year that saved much of the best things for late in the year.....

The first release was Downtown, a buddy cop film with Anthony Edwards, Forest Whitaker, and Penelope Ann Miller.

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The independent comedy pickup, A Matter of Degrees came next.

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Into the horror genre went Night Breed, a film that promised to make much use of the make-up department.

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Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, both robbers, disguised themselves as Nuns on the Run.

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Vital Signs was a comedy-drama involving medical students getting hospital training. Diane Lane was one of the leads.

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The Gods Must Be Crazy II was a belated followup to the sleeper hit.

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Dabney Coleman was going out of his way to get killed on the job so wife Teri Garr could collect in Short Time.

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The Adventures of Ford Fairlaine, meant to be a star-making vehicle for the stand-up comedian Andrew Dice Clay, landed with a loud thud and has never been heard from again

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Die Hard II was enough to rouse Fox from a stupor. The hit sequel typically received strong notices.

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Sequel mania remained in the air for a little while, first with Young Guns II, a followup to the youth western hit of 1988 (and featured Bon Jovi's hit song "Blaze of Glory")
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And with The Exorcist III which has had its reputation increase substantially in the intervening years. A recut vwersion also received raves.

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Miller's Crossing was a fine film about the Irish mob, with strong performances from Gabriel Byrne, Albert Finney, John Turturro, and debuting Marcia Gay Harden.

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Melanie Griffith and Matthew Modine were stuck with Michael Keaton's odious tenant in John Schlesinger's thriller Pacific Heights, costarring Laurie Metcalf, Mako, Dorian Harewood, Beverly D'Angelo, and Tippi Hedren.

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Steven Segal vs. voodoo was the theme of Marked for Death.

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Roger Corman returned to the director's chair one last time with Frankenstein Unboud, a future-set, high gore version of the horror classic.

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So Home Alone was a little gift package from Warner Bros., who had put it into turnaround. Fox took it instead and the family comedy grossed $476 million worldwide. WB refused to put a film in turnaround for a long time afterwards. Film has its moments, especially in its quieter more humane scenes.

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Predator 2 found the deadly creature unleashed on LA.

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Edward Scissorhands was a bittersweet fairy tale that was definitely one of the most interest Fox releases of the year, with its many offbeat touches, and its wonderful cast.

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The year closed with the horribly neglected Come See the Paradise, a glorious film and a must-see for anybody interested in the Japanese-American experience, as the tale dealt with the prejudice that they faced at the time of World War II, and how they were all sentenced to internment camps. Tamilyn Tomita was the beating heart of the film and delivered a beautiful performance, while Dennis Quiad did well as her decidedly non-Asian husband. it was Fox's best 1990 film.

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HOME ALONE was a huge crowd pleaser. It was high concept, with an easy to like kid and some funny bumbling crooks. 

Didn't care for EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. Typified what was "wrong" with a lot of Tim Burton's releases, in my opinion. Where the idea is to go out of your way to be weird, different, irreverent. It comes across as contrived. Like an art film for teens. I just despised it.

PACIFIC HEIGHTS was a memorable thriller with some nice on-location scenes.

MILLER'S CROSSING was way too violent. I remember seeing it in the theater and not being able to go to lunch afterwards. It turned my stomach inside out. I found the killing depicted on screen to be rather excessive. The actors were great and the cinematography was wonderful, but it's never been a film I wanted to re-watch.

Most of the others I've never heard of...except for DIE HARDER, of course. An above average sequel that doesn't deviate much from the winning formula of its predecessor.

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As usual, I disagree with TopBilled on a few of these. :lol:

My favorites:

  1. Edward Scissorhands
  2. Miller's Crossing
  3. Predator 2
  4. Nightbreed
  5. Die Hard 2: Die Harder
  6. Exorcist III
  7. Young Guns II
  8. Come See the Paradise

I've also seen The Gods Must Be Crazy IIThe Adventures of Ford FairlanePacific HeightsMarked for DeathHome Alone, and Frankenstein Unbound.

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