In April 1992 I was living in a brand new city, Denver, for six months. I was still trying to find new friends, trying to figure out the dating scene and trying to figure out life in general. One of the main constants throughout the period was movies; going to movies or renting movies to watch at home.
Sometimes friendships were made solely based on liking the same types of movies. And sometimes they never developed for the not liking the same movie.
Finding people to go to movies with wasn’t always easy. Some of the movies I’d go see alone. Although I don’t really like going movies alone, I did it from time to time.
There are some good movies this month. Some I’ve watched over and over and some I only watched saw in the theater.
Movies from April 1992
A few years ago my family was looking to adopt a new puppy. One of the local pet stores hosts a shelter every month to show off the dogs needing a new home. We decided to check it out and see if we could find a new pet.
As we were looking at the dogs there was a big crate with a St. Bernard puppy. I nudge my wife and said, “You want to adopt Cujo?” She laughed and we moved on.
A few minutes later a young couple walked in. The lady turned to her husband and with joy in her voice said “Oh look, it’s Beethoven!”
My wife and I looked at each other and it was in that moment I knew there was a new generation of movie goers with a different image of St. Bernard’s.
My generation pictures St. Bernard’s as Cujo, the blood soaked, rabid, murderous dog; their generation sees St. Bernard’s as lovable oafs thanks to Beethoven.
I saw Beethoven in the theater one time. I enjoyed it but it didn’t make a great impression on me. There’s nothing bad about this movie, it’s funny and heartwarming. But for me, there was nothing that I needed to see again.
Beethoven was written by John Hughes, who is best known for his coming-of-age teenager movies. But he wrote several other movies that didn’t involve teenagers as the main story. Movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation, Mr. Mom, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Home Alone and Dutch.
Despite my single viewing, Beethoven was a box office success. The movie spawned four sequels, three standalone movies, a cartoon, a toy line and a video game.
Given a choice I’d watch Cujo over Beethoven any day.
You can watch Beethoven on Peacock.
I didn’t see this one in the theater. I rented it one weekend while browsing the shelves of a local video store.
It’s a cute story starring Dolly Parton and James Woods. Parton moves to Chicago from Arkansas and lands a job as a switchboard operator at the a local radio station. When she shows up to work she ends up in the studio and is mistaken for the new on air therapist.
She doles out advice and her show becomes a ratings blockbuster for the station. She offers good down-home advice to the city folk despite not being a doctor or a therapist.
If you like Dolly Parton you’ll enjoy this movie. Or if you like the TV series Frasier, you’ll also like this movie. There are lots of similarities with Frasier. Even the radio station set looks like it was used in Frasier.
Frasier hit the airwaves in 1993, one year after this movie. Maybe they did reuse some of the sets, or take inspiration from them.
Dolly Parton also sang the title song for Straight Talk.
I liked this movie when I saw it in theaters.
Thunderheart is the story of FBI Agent Ray Levoi investigating a murder on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. The Levoi is played by Val Kilmer, hot off his role as Jim Morrison in 1991’s The Doors.
The hook for Levoi is he is part Sioux, which is why the FBI sent him to investigate.
The movie focuses on Levoi’s stuffy character as he investigates the murder with tribal police officer Walter Crow Horse played by Graham Greene. Along the way Levoi rediscovers his heritage and is told he is Thunderheart, a Soiux warrior killed at Wounded Knee. Thunderheart was reincarnated as Levoi to help the Sioux with their current troubles.
Thunderheart is a fantastic movie with an excellent character arc for Levoi.
If you haven’t seen Thunderheart you need to add it to your watch list. Grab the free trial of Starz and watch it this weekend.
You can watch Thunderheart on Starz.
I’m always game for a horror movie and if you put Stephen King’s name on it I’m sure to go. Unfortunately this one didn’t live up to the hype. Kind of like last month’s Stephen King movie. At least this one he kept his name on.
It’s kind of a mix of horror mythologies. It’s a story about vampires who prey on the souls of virgin women. The vampires true form is a werecat…what? I don’t mind mixing things up but this made no sense. You’re either a vampire or a werewolf (cat), you can’t be both.
Vampires can take on many different forms, a werecat isn’t one of them. It ruined the movie for me. King, who is dubbed the “King of Horror”, should know better.
The movie did OK at the box office, doubling it’s money but it didn’t have lasting power. It knocked White Men Can’t Jump out of the top spot the week it opened. Then it started dropping fast.
You can watch Sleepwalkers on Pluto TV.
Babe Ruth is more than a legend, he’s like a mythical figure in baseball. Every baseball playing kid (except maybe one) knows Babe Ruth. The problem with this movie is the creators didn’t seem to know Babe Ruth.
As a biopic ‘based on a true events” it should make sure the events are true. They play fast and loose with the facts and tend to lean more toward the legendary stories than the truth.
John Goodman plays The Babe and does a good job with the role. The only real issue is The Babe looks the same throughout the entire move, they do little to make him age.
One of my other gripes about the movie is they only focused on Ruth’s hitting. Ruth was a fantastic hitter, he fundamentally changed the way the game is played with his hitting. Until Ruth most (all) players would slap at the ball, like a swinging bunt and then run it out to first.
Ruth dug in and swung for the fences. It changed how hitters approach the game for decades.
While Ruth was an excellent hitter, he was also an excellent pitcher. You would never know that from this movie. Ruth was the Shohei Ohtani of his generation. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say Ohtani is the Babe Ruth of his generation.
As a pitcher Ruth went 94-46 (67% wins), modern day Hall of Famers wish they had a winning percentage that high. The only modern day Hall of Fame pitcher with a better winning percentage than Ruth is the great Pedro Martinez. None of the Hall of Fame pitchers hit over 700 home runs too!
The Babe is a missed opportunity to introduce the masses to Babe Ruth in a truthful way. Instead the movie retells all the myths and legends about the man.
You can watch The Babe on Starz.
A Midnight Clear
I don’t recall this one coming to a theater near me. I don’t even remember seeing previews for it. I came across it at the local video store. It’s a story set during World War II about an American platoon that stumbles on a German platoon wanting to surrender.
There are a few movie genres that I love to watch, World War II is one of them. My dad was a big World War II history buff. He read about the War constantly, it’s the only books he read and non-fiction only. For the fictionalized stories of World War II he would watch the movies.
I grew up reading the same books and watching the same movies. It rooted in me a deep love for history, one I still carry to this day.
A Midnight Clear features a great cast; Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise, Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon and Arye Gross. They are the soldiers in the American platoon. While out looking for intelligence they run across a German platoon who are mostly teenagers. The Germans want to surrender but want it to look like they were captured in combat so their families won’t be mistreated.
Both sides agree to the fake combat but things go wrong, fast.
This is a good World War II movie. It’s a bit of a slow burn, not all flash and action. If you enjoy watching movies based in World War II you will like this movie. If you like any of the actors listed above than you will like it too.
Deep Cover is a movie about an undercover DEA Agent on the grimy streets of Los Angeles. Larry Fishburne plays the DEA Agent, who partners with drug dealer David Jason, played by Jeff Goldblum.
Goldblum seems out of place but is fantastic as the drug dealer. Fishburne is always good, with his tone and his don’t-mess-with-me stare.
This is the last movie for Larry Fishburne. His next movie, What’s Love Got to Do with It, he starts using Laurence Fishburne.
This movie falls in the good category, not great, not bad, but good. If you watch it you won’t regret it.
You can watch Deep Cover on Tubi TV.
I remember the ads for this movie back in 1992. They were everywhere, on TV, in magazines, in the newspaper. It was going to be the next big crime movie. It didn’t quite work out that way.
I went to see White Sands in the theater based on all the hype leading up to the movies release. It’s an OK movie, certainly didn’t live up to the hype.
There’s nothing about this movie that sets it apart from other crime thrillers. Local Sheriff, played by Willem Dafoe, finds a body in the desert and suitcase filled with cash. Dafoe finds a note on the body and poses as the dead man to try and get more money.
It all spirals down hill from there. Dafoe get caught up in an FBI investigation. There are twists and turns along the way but nothing that really stands out. It’s all kind of basic crime thriller tropes.
Decide for yourself, you can watch White Sands on Amazon Prime.
Other movies released in April 1992
There were a lot of movies released in April 1992. The movies below I haven’t seen. After watching the trailers I don’t think I’ll be watching any of them.
Have you seen any of the movies below? If I’m missing out on a good one let me know.
Here’s a bonus video… An episode of Siskel and Ebert from 04 April 1992 reviewing some of the movies above.
What are your favorites from April 1992?
Don’t forget to check out Box Office 30! They are currently covering 1992 and some of the movies mentioned above.
Next week we’ll look at March1997.