Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Direct Current #23/Box Office 1993

ITEM!  Comics Reader - Reading Comics #82 "Manny Trembley"
It only sometimes seems as if I only care about superheroes.  Manny Trembley does not do superheroes.  He specializes in awesome.  In this posting, I seriously compare him to some well-known names and projects, and specifically refer to his work on Hoss and Feffer.  Yes, he named a a couple of characters Hoss and Feffer.  It only gets better from there!

Read more here.

ITEM!  Comics Reader - Beyond the Fringe #1
I'm a big fan of the TV show Fringe, and this is one of the more recent comic books based on it, written by one of the stars (Joshua Jackson) and based on what happened to his character (Peter Bishop) after entering an ominous machine meant to reconcile one reality with its doppelganger.

Read more here.

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x23 "Regeneration"
Depending on how you feel about the Borg, you may either love or hate this episode.  It may also depend on what you generally think about Enterprise itself.  "Regeneration" is just one of those experiences that opens up all kinds of thorny issues, and not in the way Star Trek is best known for.

Read more here.


1993 was another definitive link in the march to today's blockbusters, boasting a popular movie that could not have been previously possible (unless you really like Ray Harryhausen's work).

1. Jurassic Park ($357 mil)
Steven Spielberg was no doubt pretty important as a filmmaker before 1993, but it may be argued that his legacy really starts to solidify here, proving that he has lasting appeal and the ability to capture the popular imagination in increasingly varied ways.

2. Mrs. Doubtfire ($219 mil)
Robin Williams in a lot of ways could never truly top this one, playing the replacement nanny after he's kicked out of his own kids' lives.  I mean, where do you honestly go from there?

3. The Fugitive ($183 mil)
I think you'll agree that audiences tend to strongly suggest their disapproval for Hollywood's regular interest in remakes.  This is one of the notable exceptions.  It was a pretty big deal when it was a TV show, and Harrison Ford (as well as Tommy Lee Jones) manages to make the concept his own, making a blockbuster interpretation of it.

4. The Firm ($158 mil)
Tom Cruise helps make John Grisham a lasting household name.  Although ironically few people probably remember this film.

5. Sleepless in Seattle ($126 mil)
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in a modern romantic classic.

6. Indecent Proposal ($106 mil)
There were so many movies like this...This one stars Demi Moore back before she was known as the ex-wife of Ashton Kutcher.

7. In the Line of Fire ($102 mil)
Clint Eastwood demonstrates that even in old age he can still get people to admire his action prowess.

8. The Pelican Brief ($100 mil)
Another movie based on Grisham, starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.  Like The Firm, it meant a lot more to the career of Grisham than to the stars who helped power success adaptations of his work.

9. Schindler's List ($96 mil)
Spielberg also landed a cultural milestone with this look at the Holocaust, and helped launch the popular careers of Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson in the process.

10. Cliffhanger ($84 mil)
Famously considered to be Sylvester Stallone's comeback.  Well, history proves that to be a more elusive goal for the iconic action star.

More notable releases: Free Willy ($77 mil; far fewer Star Trek actors, same general movie, the start of another franchise), Philadelphia ($77 mil; Hanks and Washington score a more resonating hit with this one), Groundhog Day ($70 mil; one of Bill Murray's iconic movies), Grumpy Old Men ($70 mil; Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau hilariously reunite), Cool Runnings ($68 mil; Jamaican bobsledding!), Dave ($63; Kevin Kline in one of his iconic movies), Rising Sun ($63 mil), Demolition Man ($58 mil; Wesley Snipes stars in these last two movies, but I bet you only remember one of them, and Sly Stallone laughs right in Sean Connery's face, while Michael Crichton swears he was responsible for the year's biggest hit), Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit ($57 mil; even I've never seen this one, but that's no indication that Whoopi pushed her luck right out of stardom with this franchise alone), Tombstone ($56 mil; Kurt Russell plays Wyatt Earp), The Three Musketeers ($53 mil; responsible for that awesome "all for one" ballad, but not All 4 One), Rookie of the Year ($53 mil), Beethoven's 2nd ($53 mil; giant dog, not famous composer), Dennis the Menace ($51 mil; inspired by Macaulay Culkin, but does not star Macaulay Culkin; does, however, feature Walter Matthau), Last Action Hero ($50 mil; Arnold attempts to be generic action star again), Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas ($50 mil; Burton being awesome again), Addams Family Values ($48 mil), Wayne's World 2 ($48 mil) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III ($42; apparently feudal Japan is not an adequate substitute for New York as far as giant mutant turtles go), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey ($41 mil), Hocus Pocus ($39 mil; amok! amok!), What's Love Got to Do with It ($39 mil; nothing much, though Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne feel it after appearing in this film; not so much Ike Turner), Hot Shots! Part Deux ($38 mil), Carlito's Way ($36 mil; Al Pacino in his latest gangster flick, co-starring Sean Penn, before he transitioned from being known for something other than Jerry Spicoli), Robin Hood: Men in Tights ($35 mil; Mel Brooks with his last great spoof), Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story ($35 mil), The Joy Luck Club ($32 mil), Hard Target ($32 mil; JCVD at it again), The Sandlot ($32 mil; kids started staring in a lot of movies thanks to Macaulay Culkin), Menace II Society ($27 mil), The Man Without a Face ($24 mil; around the release of The Passion of the Christ, some misinformed fans thought this fictional movie represented Mel Gibson's real life), Rudy ($22 mil; prior to becoming Samwise Gamgee, this was Sean Astin's main claim to fame), Much Ado About Nothing ($22 mil; Kenneth Branagh hits his Shakespearean stride), Coneheads ($21 mil; in which Dan Ackroyd discovers that the Coneheads are no Blues Brothers), Super Mario Bros. ($20 mil; in which Hollywood starts a long process of never figuring out that video games are not reliable sources for blockbuster movies), Another Stakeout ($20 mil), Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday ($15 mil; not likely!), Weekend at Bernies II ($12 mil), True Romance ($12 mil; Tony Scott achieves brilliance with a little help from Quentin Tarantino), Army of Darkness ($11 mil; sometimes cult hits really do start cult-sized), Gettysburg ($10 mil; I always thought this one had to be a much bigger hit), Robocop 3 ($10 mil), Look Who's Talking Now ($10 mil; yeah, no longer a viable franchise), What's Eating Gilbert Grape ($10; a giant mouth?), Leprechaun ($8 mil), The Meteor Man ($8 mil), Dazed and Confused ($7 mil), Six Degrees of Separation ($6 mil; Will Smith's first "hit"), Heaven and Earth ($5 mil; from Oliver Stone, looking at the native perspective on the Vietnam War), Batman: Mask of the Phantasm ($5 mil; based on the famed animated series), Surf Ninjas ($4 mil), Mr. Nanny ($4 mil), The Snapper ($3 mil; perhaps Col Meaney's finest film), Son of the Pink Panther ($2 mil; move along!), Kalifornia ($2 mil; pretty awesome), El Mariachi ($2 mil; say hello to Robert Rodriguez!), Ernest Rides Again ($1 mil; right out of the movies?), The Thing Called Love ($1 mil; River Phoenix and Sandra Bullock as aspiring country stars), Romper Stomper ($100 thou; say hello to Russell Crowe!)

Source: Box Office Mojo


PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Was your description of "Free Willy" supposed to be for Star Trek Generations or something?

Anyway, I think the lasting impact of "Mrs. Doubtfire" was it opened the door for Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry to make movies about cross-dressing guys in fat suits.

"Last Action Hero" is one of my favorites. A really underrated movie I think. Somewhere I have a couple of action figures that should still be mint in the box. I joke those are my retirement fund because someday they'll be worth tons of money because by now all other Last Action Hero figures have probably been melted down to make women's shoes or something.

I actually think I saw "Rising Sun" and "Demolition Man" in the theater that year. 1993 was about the time my brother got his license and access to a car so I'd get to tag along sometimes to movies like that.

Tony Laplume said...

It was a reference to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, A.K.A. the one with the whales.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Oh, that makes sense now.


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