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Today’s match focuses on two high-concept comedies that have’t held up as well as audiences might have expected them to. Twins was a massive hit thirty years ago. More than The Terminator, Twins was the movie that established Arnold Schwarzenegger as an A-list movie star. But as big as it was back in the day, the comedy hasn’t held up especially well. When was the last time you even thought of it? Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, on the other hand, is still pretty well liked I think. But it probably isn’t as highly regarded as we all thought it would be in the late 80’s when it was being hailed as an instant classic.
It’s Rachel McAdams’s 39th birthday today. The Canadian actress studied theater at Toronto’s York University. She made her film debut in a Canadian production titled My Name is Tanino, and then appeared in a film adaptation of Judith Thompson’s play, Perfect Pie. Although she was already in her twenties, her first Hollywood productions cast her as high school students. She first played a cheerleader who somehow swaps bodies with Rob Schneider in The Hot Chick, but her real breakout came when she was cast as Regina George in Mean Girls.
Danny DeVito was an unlikely movie star. Following the success of “Taxi”, you could imagine DeVito having a long career in television sitcoms. Not a lot of TV actors are able to make the transition to the big screen. That was arguably even more rare in the eighties than it is today. But DeVito not only made the transition, he became a successful director and producer as well. DeVito was the subject of the cover story of the July 1997 issue of Movieline magazine. At the time he was promoting the summer sequel, Batman Returns while also directing the upcoming holiday release, Hoffa.
Martin Scorsese, who turns 74 today, is one of the leading directors of the “New Hollywood” or “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” generation of American filmmakers. He began making short films while studying at New York University, and after graduation he made his first feature, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, his first time working with two long-time collaborators, actor Harvey Keitel and editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
After directing the Roger Corman production Boxcar Bertha, Scorsese and Keitel reunited for the critically acclaimed Mean Streets, which was also Scorsese’s first time working with Robert De Niro. His next film, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, was his first to receive Oscar notice, including a Best Actress honor for Ellen Burstyn. That was followed by Scorsese’s first collaboration with writer Paul Schrader, a film that was his first to receive a Best Picture nomination:
Steven Baigelman may have been the luckiest rookie in Hollywood in 1996. Not only did he sell his first script, the quirky crime comedy, Feeling Minnesota, he was also tapped to direct the movie despite the fact he had no prior experience. And then, big league Hollywood stars were cast in the lead roles! How does someone get so damn lucky? Michael Atkinson tried to figure it out in the Young Hollywood issue of Movieline Magazine.
We’re looking back at the movies from 1995. What was hot twenty years ago? Which movies dominated the awards? And which movies have stood the test of time? In the Movies of 1995 bracket game, we’re pitting 16 of the biggest and best-remembered movies of the year against each other. Readers will vote until only one movie reigns supreme.