Tag Archive: Dirty Dancing


Review by C.J. Bunce

Following up on The Toys That Made Us (previously reviewed here at borg), Netflix’s surprise hit documentary series leaning on viewers’ nostalgia with a look behind select high-profile toy lines of the past, this weekend the streaming provider added a new series based on the same formula.  The Movies That Made Us takes a four episode-per-season look at what someone somewhere thinks are important movies in the national consciousness.  The series arrives nicely timed, since season three of The Toys That Made Us already is showing signs the studio has run out of ideas.

Like The Toys That Made Us, the new series isn’t really about the subject of the series, instead taking viewers on a deep, dark dive into the business world of pop culture.  Like the first series, The Movies That Made Us has some fascinating gold nuggets.  It also has its problems.  The biggest issue being the odd introductory selection of movies, and the second, the glaring omission of key players viewers want to see interviewed for the stories.  As for the first issue, understandably the show is trying to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers.  But it seems highly unlikely any single person, whether a movie buff or casual moviegoer, would put the following four movies on their list of must-see films: Dirty Dancing, Home Alone, Ghostbusters, and Die Hard As for the second problem, part of the issue is the series is too late to the table.  So many of the key players behind and in front of the camera in these films have died, like Ghostbusters writer/actor Harold Ramis, Dirty Dancing director Emile Ardolino and co-stars Patrick Swayze and Jerry Orbach, Home Alone writer John Hughes, and Die Hard actors Alan Rickman and Alexander Godunov and writer Roderick Thorp.  But people die and that shouldn’t hold up a good story, except that so many players that could have been interviewed who are living also didn’t participate.  A documentary about Dirty Dancing without star Jennifer Grey?  Die Hard without Bruce Willis?  Ghostbusters without Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, or Rick Moranis?  And the clincher… they couldn’t get Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci, or Catherine O’Hara to say anything about Home Alone?

It really gets to the point of audience expectation.  Movie buffs will enjoy this series’ first season even if they didn’t care for the films, simply because it’s always going to be interesting for them to watch the wheeling and dealing of the studio machine told from the people who were there.  In that regard, the episodes about Dirty Dancing and Home Alone were entertaining by virtue of their tales of odd ideas that managed to emerge like the phoenix from dead deals to become major box office successes through a lot of luck and happenstance (told nicely in the episodes).  And the same was true for The Toys That Made Us, although after nine episodes an hour of the retired talking heads of Toyland has lost its luster.  To that end, the series should be called something more accurate, like The Making of the Movies That Made Us, etc.  But even that would set the expectation that you’d see more than talking heads interspersed with fuzzy snapshots from productions of the past.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark

Last year Cinemark Theaters created their own event series similar to the great Fathom Events limited re-releases of classic films.  Last year’s series included American Graffiti, Animal House, Back to the Future, Dirty Dancing, Grease, and Ghostbusters.  Spread out over five weekends, younger audiences have an opportunity to watch these modern classics the way they were meant to be seen, on the big screen, to–as the 1970s re-release of Star Wars advertised–“See it again for the first time.”

This year’s roster is a tad shorter.  Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing are returning (hey, there’s something for everyone).  Plus, John Travolta and an awesome Bee Gees soundtrack can be found with Saturday Night Fever.  Both The Godfather Part 1 and Part 2 are showing, too (make sure you’re well caffeinated for that six-hour double feature).

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back_to_the_future poster

Some of your favorite classic movies from the 1970s and 1980s are coming to a theater near you in digitally-restored editions this July and August.  Cinemark Theaters are presenting two-day, three showing, retro screenings of Grease, Back to the Future, Animal House, American Graffiti, Ghostbusters, and Dirty Dancing as part of the Cinemark Classic Series.

And you can purchase tickets to five movies for only $25 or all six movies for $30.  There’s something for everyone, with a great selection of movies that look great on the silver screen.

Click here for a list of participating theaters across the United States.  Here is a preview of the Cinemark program series:

Showtimes (local time) are as follows:

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