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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1995


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Well, this is where I came in. My birth year. And also a year that had one element that would ensure some interesting things from Fox in the future.

Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog was a survival tale involving a boy and his dog lost in the wilderness.

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Bye Bye Love had Randy Quaid, Paul Reiser, and Matthew Modine as divorcees who had different feelings about the whole experience. Janeane Garofalo got what few good notices the film received for playing a catastrophic blind date.

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Another year, another remake of a 1947 film. This time it was Kiss of Death with Nicolas Cage trying on Richard Widmark's shoes.....

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French Kiss was an agreeable enough rom-com with two appealing leads in Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline and beautiful French scenery. Timothy Hutton had a thankless supporting role.

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Bruce Willis was fighting against terrorists again in Die Hard with a Vengeance. Jeremy Irons was the main scoundrel.

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Fox only handled Braveheart overseas, but by doing so, they had their first stake in a Best Picture winner since 1971. The film had beautiful cinematograhy, a stirring score, and good support from Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormick, and Brendan Gleeson.

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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was meant for the kids and they went for it.

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Star power can't disguise a subpar script. Hugh Grant, Julianne Moore, and Joan Cusack, likable performers all, struggled with the messy script of Nine Months and came up short. Some scenes play well, while others are wincingly, painfully bad.

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Bushwacked was meant for kids. It got a PG-13 rating, and ever since, the home entertainment cuts of this film about a criminal turned leader for a scout troup have been edited down to PG.

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The Brothers McMullen was a shoestring-budgeted charmer that dealt with three brothers and their relationships. A small film, but one that announced a big change for 20th Century Fox. After several quite dire years, Fox decided to dip their toes into the more thoughtful waters of independent filmmaking, and founded Fox Searchlight Pictures, mostly dedicated to the cream of independent filmmaking. This was the division's first release and the only one for 1995. It would become much expanded after this, and provided Fox with many of its best titles from this point on.

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A Walk in the Clouds was a glorious throwback. It was swooningly romantic, thematically rich, a truely luxurious time, all done mostly in the style of a 50s romance (well, minus two raunchy scenes). In short it was a treat. Keanu Reeves had his best part in the lead, and Anthony Quinn had one of his last appearances here.

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Ralph Fiennes, Angela Basset, and Juliette Lewis navigated a dystopian version of 199 in the disturbing Strange Days.

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Basset was back again in the year's final film, Waiting to Exhale, a popular release with many women that came with a hit soundtrack and also starred Whitney Houston, Loretta Devine, and Lela Rochon.

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I hated STRANGE DAYS. But several friends of mine loved it.

I went to see WAITING TO EXHALE when I was in South Korea, and while I don't think I was the target audience I did enjoy it. I don't think a bunch of Korean teens, who also saw this flick with me, were the target audience either. The soundtrack is what sold this movie.

I've never seen A WALK IN THE CLOUDS. However, I have seen THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN on the Fox Movie Channel (FXM Retro) and found it quite pleasurable.

NINE MONTHS is one of those subpar films I like. I remember seeing it in the theater. I thought Julianne Moore was fun, and I enjoyed the story's northern California setting. If I am not mistaken, NINE MONTHS was an American reworking of a farcical French film that had been a hit abroad.

FRENCH KISS is fun. I think it works because of director Lawrence Kasdan, not exactly because of the actors involved.

I was not aware there had been a KISS OF DEATH remake.

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