Tombstone was the first shot fired in a double-barreled blast of Wyatt Earp movies in 1993 and 1994. While Lawrence Kasdan and Kevin Costner’s Wyatt Earp was too long, plodding and ponderous, George Pan Cosmato’s entry in the O.K. Corral sweepstakes was violent and operatic, a noisy revenge tale told at a fever pitch. It was also the better movie, even if its fidelity to the facts of Earp’s life was less than letter perfect. Movie audiences have never been that picky about historical accuracy in their westerns. Young Guns did all right and it was hardly a scholarly work on the life of Billy the Kid.
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James Cameron’s deep sea science fiction tale is one of those rare instances of a director revisiting a finished work and genuinely improving the film. The 1989 theatrical release was marred by an abrupt, confusing ending that was the product of Cameron removing almost an entire storyline to bring the film down to a more commercial 146 minute running time. This drastic surgery earned it some lukewarm reviews when it first hit theaters.
Four years later, Cameron re-released a 171 minute cut to theaters and then home video. Continue reading
Aliens represents a true rarity among movies, a sequel that not only equals or even surpasses the original, but also one that stands alone as work unto itself. You could see this movie without knowing the first ever existed. Knowing the original allows you to enjoy the sequel on other layers of course.