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VIDEO ESSAY: CRUEL SUMMER: BATMAN (1989)

Tim Burton’s "Batman" was a game-changer for summer blockbusters.
  • By Aaron Aradillas and Richard Seitz
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  • July 17, 2012 8:30 AM
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  • 1 Comment

CRUEL SUMMER: DIE HARD (1988)

"Die Hard" was something new, an over-the-top blowout its director made personal by injecting humor and humanity into its incredible action set-pieces.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • July 9, 2012 9:55 AM
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  • 5 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: ROBOCOP (1987)

"RoboCop"’s most lasting legacy is RoboCop itself. This film marks the first time moviegoers were made to identify with a machine.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • July 2, 2012 9:53 AM
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  • 5 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: TOP GUN (1986)

Tony Scott’s "Top Gun" is a visual and aural assault, a full-throttle “ride” that doesn’t stop for pesky things like story.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • June 25, 2012 8:54 AM
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  • 0 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE (1985)

The "Cruel Summer" series of articles examines influential movies from the summers of the 1980s. The previous entries in the series have covered THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980), STRIPES (1981), ROCKY III (1982), and WARGAMES (1983), and PURPLE RAIN (1984).
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • June 18, 2012 9:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: PURPLE RAIN (1984)

Albert Magnoli’s "Purple Rain" is a one-of-a-kind mix of rock concert, intense drama, romance, and comedy. A star vehicle designed to showcase the talents of rock-fusion musician Prince, "Purple Rain" was that rare vanity project that worked.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • June 11, 2012 2:24 PM
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  • 2 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: WARGAMES (1983)

The fantastic opening sequence of "WarGames" uses one of the most basic constructs of video games: just when you think you’ve figured out a level, it turns out to be part of a bigger scenario.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • June 4, 2012 2:41 PM
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  • 2 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: STRIPES (1981)

When Bill Murray came on the scene at the start of the 1980s, he represented a fundamental shift in comedy. He specialized in an utter emotional detachment from any and all situations.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • May 21, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 0 Comments

CRUEL SUMMER: THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980)

According to John Landis, "The Blues Brothers" was the last movie made under the old studio factory system. "The Blues Brothers" feels, indeed, like a transitional movie. It takes the form of a big studio musical, but its execution is all 1980s bigger-is-better filmmaking.
  • By Aaron Aradillas
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  • May 14, 2012 8:55 AM
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  • 4 Comments

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