Heads-Up Reflection: Dogs! Cats! Cocaine! Murder! Bond! April showers us with a cavalcade of cinema goodness

Hey, Sergio here! This is the Heads-Up Reflection with a recap on the films of March and a look forward to the films that await us in the month of April!

Reflection on March’s Cinema Revue Lineup

March was true madness in 1992. This month started coming in strong with the well-known films from the year, but man was it a journey. Even writing this out, I still cannot believe March has come to a close. It was great to revisit three of the films with a more critical eye (or in one case, deeply critical). Yet, the first film was a wild show.

How a film like The Lawnmower Man came to exist is still bizarre. It’s still fascinating to think people thought virtual reality was going to change the world. As I said in the review, it’s still a novelty regulated to those willing to spend $300 on a VR system or add-on to a console. It’s one of the most batshit ventures I’ve embarked on film-wise. The Director’s Cut sounds even more insane. I’m tempted to buy the Scream Factory Blu-Ray to see that madness in all its glory. I’m glad that a bad movie was actually enjoyable to watch after the dregs of the other bad films so far.

My Cousin Vinny came at a perfect time. The film that kickstarted the series idea proper finally got its due. I do really have a big soft spot for this one (as if the 1000+ words on it weren’t enough). It’s upsetting that Fred Gwynne finally got recognition outside of Herman Munster, only to pass before he could do more work. That’s the only true shame of this film. That and the album. I mentioned it in the postscript, but oh boy, Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just for You is not a good album. My man cannot spit bars in the slightest. He can sing pretty darn well, but he could have been dunked on by B-Rabbit on stage.

The “fuck of the century” wasn’t quite that. Basic Instinct was not the revisit I was hoping for. I think in the past three years, my attitude and my own exploration into my bisexual identity did not resonate with the film. Its stereotypes are harmful and its portrayal of sexual assault is still foul. I watched it with my partner and she kept calling Michael Douglas a dumbass for the next few days for falling for her plans. That makes the rewatch worth it and she’s right. His character really is an idiot. I also didn’t mention this in the review, but I strongly recommend the erotic thriller by Lawrence Kasdan, Body Heat. It pairs nicely with Fatal Attraction.

1992 really disproved the title theory of White Men Can’t Jump. Billy Hoyle, played by Woody Harrelson, can’t make a dunk to save his life until it has to come into play. I see your Chekov’s Gun and raise you Jordan’s Dunk. This moment of film disproves Sydney’s theory. This and House of Pain’s “Jump Around” (released May 5, 1992) showed that white men can, in fact, jump. It was lovely to see the three stars reunite at The 94th Academy Awards this past month (that no other incident overshadowed). If you’re wondering, Rosie Perez remains fine as hell to this day.

Sequential Cinema came back after a delay with MATRIX MADNESS. The Matrix remains one of my favorite series, warts and all. It’s still something I can go back to and be enthralled by. There is a clear vision that standouts with heart and love for what inspired it and what came from it. It gets messy at times (like Season 4 of Six Feet Under messy), but it is worth revisiting. I divulge more in the review of The Matrix Resurrections, but MATRIX MADNESS was a rollercoaster ride worth jumping in on.

Here are the rankings for the films March 1992:

  • The Lawnmower Man – 3 out of 5 (★★★)
  • My Cousin Vinny – 4.5 out of 5 (★★★★½)
  • Basic Instinct – 2.5 out of 5 (★★½)
  • White Men Can’t Jump – 4.5 out of 5 (★★★★½)

APRIL 2022 LINEUP

I did a lot of behind-the-scenes rearranging to create a satisfying April lineup to watch and write about. Also, to help make sure readers don’t get bored by an endless parade of mediocrity. It was getting into the weeds a bit, but April is STACKED now with an impressive lineup. I had to rid of one film that sounded mid as hell with a film that has escaped my radar for literal years. April showers us with spoils.

4/5 – Beethoven, directed by Brian Levant

It’s not Charles Grodin’s finest hour, but I’m a sucker for this stupid movie. Beethoven is the loveable St. Bernard that managed to turn into box office gold. I still remember this poster being in the timeline of the film posters on the Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood for the longest time. I also remembered he had an animated show where he talked which kind of ruined the vibe, to be honest. Grodin though I know is gold in this film. It’s a shame he is no longer with us.

4/12 – Sleepwalkers, directed by Mick Garris

I wonder if my love of cats will diminish by the time the credits roll. Pet Semetary did not change my mind, but having seen screenshots and heard about this film for what feels like years, this might be it. Stephen King wrote the screenplay and he is hit-and-miss in the department. When he hits, we get the anthology classic that is Creepshow. When he misses, we get the miniseries Rose Red. I’m not going to make fun of Maximum Overdrive because that’s a bonkers-ass movie we should all love.

4/19 – Deep Cover, directed by Bill Duke

I saw Deep Cover released in 1992 and had to put it on the list immediately. This is another film I watched a few months prior to doing the Cinema Revue and let me tell you, this is a treat. There’s a reason this film is in the Criterion Collection which the art by Ngabo “El’Cesart” Desire above comes from. This is a stellar neo-noir that I cannot wait to revisit and one of the many standouts of Black cinema of the 90s. Laurence Fishburne is more than just Morpheus and this film proves it. And, if you are curious, it is directed by Mac from Predator.

4/26 – The Player, directed by Robert Altman

I have never seen a Robert Altman film. I should take my non-existent film critic card and throw it in the trash for that statement. This is the film that has been on my radar for about a decade. I’ve heard that it’s a fantastic satire of the industry at the time and has way too many cameos to name. I may watch two more Altman films before seeing this film to get a sense of his style. I’m excited though to finally get some Altman in my life.

Sequential Cinema – BOND AT 60: Connery’s First Five Outings

A decade ago this upcoming October, I wrote about the James Bond franchise for 23 days straight as Skyfall was about to release for the franchise’s 50th Anniversary. I had never seen a Bond film beyond the Brosnan era and challenged myself to get through them all. I have not watched a lot of the films since. I also was a pretentious self-absorb cinephile (aka annoying) during that time. I gave away the entire plot, went too long in the reviews and it reads like a film school reject wrote it (an actual one, not the website of the same name). A decade on out, I think it’s time to revisit the films in a more concise manner. And since it’s the 60th anniversary, the rest of the year will be devoted to…I’m just kidding, I’m pacing myself this time around. We will be reviewing the first five films in the series, but sticking to the bi-weekly schedule for Sequential Cinema now. This means there will be two Bond reviews in April, two in May, and one in June. Let’s see what the first two are.

4/14 – Dr. No, directed by Terence Young

This is one of the many that I have not seen since 2012. It’s the one that started it all on film. I do remember it sticking out like a sore thumb as none of the tropes are not quite in play yet, but offer insight into who and what James Bond is. The first Austin Powers borrows heavily from this movie the most in motif along with Goldfinger and Thunderball. I remember enjoying it, but waiting for the Bond I knew to seep in. Here’s the original review from 2012 – 007 in 23: Assignment #001 – Dr. No

4/28 – From Russia with Love, directed by Terence Young

From Russia With Love is one of my favorite films of all time. Find out more when the review comes up, but I wrote about it in 2012 growing fond of it since then. I once did an episode of a podcast on the film with my friend Patrick to introduce it to him. I think it’s also one of the few I gave a perfect score to because of how much a great spy thriller it is. Even those who may not like James Bond films I think would walk away happy seeing this. Here’s the original review from 2012 – 007 in 23: Assignment #002 – From Russia With Love

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