People were still trying to figure out Tim Burton in the winter of 1990. Having directed an unexpected hit with Beetlejuice and then taken the world by storm with Batman, everyone wondered whether he was for real, or if he was just some quirky hiccup. He responded with Edward Scissorhands, a modern fairy-tale that cemented his distinctive style, evinced a gentle shift away from the darkness of the Caped Crusader, and — oh yeah — made a giant pile of money. The director was here to stay and “Burtonesque” was officially a word. Edward Scissorhands opened today in 1990.
We also have a pair of less-than-brilliant-but-still-somewhat-notable science fiction movies that opened today. The first was Star Trek: The Motion Picture, hoping to capitalize on all that Star Wars moola by throwing the crew of the Enterprise against a baffling array of enormous concept art. Seriously. It took them 40 minutes to get out of space dock. Galaxy’s not gonna save itself guys! Get the lead out! (They did a little better with their second effort.) It hit theaters today in 1979.
Exactly 5 years later, Peter Hyams’ 2010 hit theaters. On its own, it’s actually a decent piece of sci-fi. There’s just the matter of the film it’s following up… the little one that Stanley Kubrick did. It’s not a bad bit of escapism, but watching it really makes you wish you were watching the first film instead. It opened today in 1984.