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Tony Goldwyn (#110 of 2)

Summer of ’90 Ghost

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Summer of ’90: Ghost

Paramount Pictures

Summer of ’90: Ghost

At first glance, Ghost appears designed as a manipulative crowd-pleaser, employing a dim-witted explanation of an afterlife, racial stereotyping as a means for lowbrow accessibility, and violent comeuppances for its villains that neglect to explore how eye-for-an-eye motivations could be viewed as standard procedure for heavenly prosecution. The movie’s view of death is perhaps “chintzy,” as Jonathan Rosenbaum says, and it’s easy to tell early on that Carl (Tony Goldwyn) is responsible for the botched robbery that leads to Sam’s (Patrick Swayze) death, which is a gripe that Janet Maslin had. However, neither of these perceptions account for director Jerry Zucker’s remarkably fluid narrative pacing, nor how impeccably cast all of the major roles are, with Swayze and Demi Moore, especially, acutely portraying beacons of idyllic, white-collar romance with physical, blue-collar appeal.

Summer of ‘86: Kidded to Death: Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, Take Two

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Summer of ‘86: Kidded to Death: <em>Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI</em>, Take Two
Summer of ‘86: Kidded to Death: <em>Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI</em>, Take Two

As far as frightful childhood figures went, to me the Boogeyman had nothing on Jason Voorhees. Partly due to the demonic hockey masks that seemed to forever loom in my local theater’s advertisement billboards and to my older cousin’s gleefully exaggerated description of their levels of gore—but mostly, I now realize, to the fact that my parents would not allow me to watch them—the Friday the 13th movies came to exude a distinctive whiff of forbidden fruit, of mind-rattling shocks. The idea of an extreme horror movie (or, rather, the outlaw sensations it embodied) was irresistible to my restless, nine-year-old self, so in 1986 I sneaked into an afternoon screening of Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI, my first scary movie, and waited for the game-changing frissons. And waited. And waited. The nudge-nudge James Bond spoof that kicks off the opening credits (a shuffling Jason hurls a machete at the lens and drenches the screen crimson) turned out to be all too fitting: I was like an Ian Fleming aficionado who had came for Casino Royale and instead gotten, well, Casino Royale.