Drop the New DVDs and Look Back at the Genius of Stan Winston

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Are they kidding with these DVD releases:

Fool's Gold, starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in what still gets my vote as the worst romantic comedy of the year.

Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, another career crusher for the once-funny Martin Lawrence.

So I Married An Axe Murderer, a special edition of the laugh-free1993 farce that has no other purpose except to prove that Mike Myers once made a movie as bad as The Love Guru.

My suggestion is that we all pay homage to Stan Winston, the special effects master who died on Sunday at 62, by grabbing a few DVDs that represent his best animatronic creations. You could start with the movies that won him his Oscars. That would be Aliens in 1986, Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1992 and Jurassic Park in 1993. Winston's T-Rex in that blockbuster made movie history. But it might be more of a tribute to watch a Winston film on DVD that never won the attention it deserved.

That would be Pumpkinhead, the 1988 horror film in which Winston made his directing debut. In it, a new kind of Frankenstein monster turns on the master who created him. No surprise. Winston's creations always took on a life of their own. That was his magic. Winston's work with models and makeup set the gold standard, from aging actress Cicely Tyson into a 110-year-old woman in the 1974 TV film The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman to creating the crystal skeletons for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the huge Iron Monger in this summer's Iron Man. Winston always kept the fantastical real.

"I rode his cutting edge from teddy bears to aliens to dinosaurs," said director Steven Spielberg, who spoke for us all when he added, "my world would not have been the same without Stan."

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