Saturday, May 06, 2006
This movie has it all: comedy, drama, action and sci-fi, all mixed into one! This combination makes it a classic Tim Burton film! Beetlejuice will forever be a part of movie history because it contains all that makes a movie entertaining!
And what a Cast! The A-list celebrities include: Alec Baldwin (Adam Maitland), Geena Davis (Barabara Maitland), Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice), Winona Ryder (Lydia Deetes), Catherine O’Hara (Delia Deetes), Jeffrey Jones (Charles Deetes).
Adam and Barbara Maitland are a young happily married couple living in what seems to be their dream home. On weekends, Adam has a hobby constructing a replica of their town out of small model homes in the attic while Barbara decorates their real home. One day the Maitland’s go out for a drive which results in a tragic car accident that kills them both. However, being dead was not what they thought it would be.
They end up trapped in their house as ghosts while another family moves into their dream home. They are forced to live with this new family consisting of a husband (Charles), a wife (Delia) and an adolescent daughter (Lydia). They are left with only three main guides to offer them advice as to what to do in their situation. One guide is a book called, The Handbook for the Recently Deceased which apparently reads like stereo instructions and is of no help. Another source is the Maitland’s case manager who is accessed by drawing a door on the wall and knocking three times! The final guide that presents itself (or should I say himself) is a bio-exorcist named Beetlejuice.
While living with the Deetes’, Barbara and Adam befriend Lydia. Lydia describes herself as being, “strange and unusual.” This is how, she claims, that she and no one else can see the Maitland’s. She states, “The living ignores the strange and unusual. I myself am strange and unusual.”
The Maitland’s, out of desperation to rid themselves of Delia and Charles, go against their case worker’s advice and enlist Beetlejuice’s help to get them out of the house. Beetlejuice pulls out every stop with the intent of either hurting or killing the family. He does this through a multiplicity of bizarre ways. All of them show the film’s creative side including makeup, costuming and special effects.
In the end, all works out. Strangely enough, it took Beetlejuice’s rampage of almost killing Delia and Charles, almost TRULY killing the Maitland’s and of trying to make Lydia his bride in order for the two families to unite as one.
This family really seemed to be packed with an underlying theme of dealing with life’s harsh transitions. It deals with: death, being married, coming of age and moving. While it does deal with these issues, it deals with them in a highly comical way that seems to momentarily take away the fear that is usually associated with them.
Truly an A-star cast: Shirley Maclaine (Aurora Greenway), Debra Winger (Emma Greenway Horton), Jack Nicholson (Garrett Breedlove), Danny Devito (Vernon Dahlart), Jeff Daniels (Flap Horton) and John Lithgow (Sam Burns).
This film touches me every time I watch it. It makes me laugh and it makes me cry. The movie definitely achieves the reaction that it wants to create in an audience (at least in me). This can be seen through the tagline that reads: Come to Laugh, Come to Cry, Come to Care, Come to Terms. I definitely did all of the above!
Aurora Greenway is a pushy and controlling widow who is left to raise her little girl, Emma. She is the epitome of a codependent interfering mother! Emma is a free spirit who has learned how to handle her mother’s overbearing nature.
Emma marries and moves away from home with a man called Flap, who her mother does not approve of. Aurora thinks that he is a loser and always will be a loser. She thinks that Emma deserves better than that however, I don’t think she would have approved of anyone being good enough for her Emma.
The movie involved a multitude of supportive and failing relationships. Aurora has quite a few men following her around. However, her interest lay with her next door neighbor-an astronaut called Garrett. He wasn’t scared of her controlling ways and wouldn’t take any crap from her. While this pissed Aurora off to no end, it also made her fall in love with him.
Emma’s marriage to Flap resulted in her having three children, two boys and a little girl. The marriage lasted for a little while (the honeymoon period). However, Aurora was proved to be right in that Flap was a failure as a husband. He constantly came home late or not at all from what is presumed to evidence of an affair-which is later proved to be the case. Emma also meets and has an affair with another man, Sam Burns. He’s a shy, married banker who seemed to worship the ground that Emma walked on.
While getting a flu shot for her daughter and herself, it is discovered that Emma has cancer. It is during her battle with cancer that everyone seemed to be able to set aside their differences and come together. Emma and her Aurora stopped fighting and Aurora’s love for Emma is displayed as true motherly love. There’s a truly touching scene where Aurora is screaming at the nurses to give her daughter her pain medication. You can feel her desperation. She knows that her daughter is in pain and she can’t do anything about it. This was a lack of control that Aurora was not used to. And, Aurora’s fling, Garrett, also proved to be a stand up guy in that he came to Aurora’s side when he found out that her daughter was sick.
I would truly recommend this movie if you’re looking for a touching story about relationships, family and all the whacky quirks that come along with them.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I decided to watch and rate the second Gremlins movie after having reported on the original. I have to say that my feelings are rather mixed on this one. While the movie still tries to maintain a highly comedic aspect, I think that it might have tried a little too hard. It was possibly a little too clichéd for my taste.
This movie is a follow-up to the original storyline. It begins by reintroducing us to Billy Peltzer, who was the young hero in the first movie. Billy is now living with the girl, Kate, that he had won over when he had first conquered the evil Gremlins in their town home. He now works in a large corporate building as an underappreciated struggling architect while, his girlfriend works in the same office building as a tour guide.
Little Gizmo is reintroduced into the mix by being shown to be held captive in a science lab in that same office building. The depiction of the corporate world in this movie is definitely shown to be corrupt and dog-eat-dog! This can be seen through the torturous scientist who uses animals as research subjects and through the cutthroat deceptive attitudes of the other business employees who work there (not including Billy of course)!
While in the lab, the same rules that had been broken in the first movie were yet again broken. Gizmo was exposed to water out popped a new batch of Gremlins! God old Billy had found Gizmo-or so he thought. He took home the wrong Mogwai!! However, he was eventually reunited with little Gizmo.
The Gremlins yet again began trying to take over the world, starting with the office building. However, this time they had new weapons: they had taken multiple chemical concoctions from the lab that gave them supernatural powers. For example, one Gremlin turned into a tarantula, another could fly and one had attained an enormous IQ. It was up to Billy (of course) and Kate to try and save everyone from these crazy little critters.
There were a lot of really hilarious scenes in this movie. Nothing is funnier than a bunch of Gremlins dressed up singing, “New York, New York!” The fact that the rowdy bunch was lead by a head Gremlin who had taken a chemical concoction that made him supremely intelligent and talk with a pompous accent was really funny! Also, the appearance of a female Gremlin who dressed almost like a drag queen was definitely laughable! However, it was a little creepy that she basically raped one of the human male business executives!
In terms of the movie going a little too far, I wasn’t quite sure what the point of having a wannabe news reporter who was dressed as a vampire! There were also a lot of extra scenes that tried to show the destruction that the Gremlins were creating in the building; I think that there were just too many.
My favorite scene in the whole movie had to be when little Gizmo turned Rambo. The Gremlins pushed him a little too far this time and he retaliated by “pumping up” and acquiring the much needed spunk that the little cutie had been lacking. It was nice to see that he wasn’t so helpless after all.
I would say that this movie is a pretty good recommendation if you want a mindless night. However, upon pressing play don’t expect a master piece to unfold before your eyes!
The Breakfast Club is just a classic 80s flick. It showcases the ever-talented "Brat Pack" starring Emilo Estevez as the jock Andrew Clark; Anthony Michael Hall as the nerd Brian Johnson, Judd Nelson as the juvenile delinquent named John Bender, Ally Sheedy as the crazy girl named Allison Reynolds, and Molly Ringwald as the "rich bitch" Claire Standish. These teenagers are all stuck in Saturday detention for different reasons and they all depict traditional high school stereotypes of the popular kids, the jocks, the nerds, the weirdos, etc. It is through this forced detention time together that their real personalities are revealed and the lines are blurred between social class distinctions. The nerds become friends with jocks, the freaks and the popular kids bond. They unearth hidden secrets about themselves, their family lives, the pressures their parents put on them, etc. ultimately forming friendship bonds with the other kids.
Breakfast Club is a highly entertaining film to say the least. It comments on the social hierarchies present in all high schools, even in this day, and mocks the stereotypes.
When I heard that my favorite Broadway film was an 80's film, I knew that I had to watch it.A chorus line is the story of dancers at an audition. We see how important getting this part is to each and every character. Each character has a story and as the audition progresses, we learn about each one and their life story. In show business, not everyone gets the part, and so it goes in the movie. At the end, we have grown attached to each character and it's hard to see some of them get rejected. Filled with music and powerful life stories, this film does the musical justice.
I personally like watching musicals become movies, because you get to see things that shows on the stage can't show you. For example, we get close up shots of the characters faces, which allow us to get personal with the characters and see their emotions. On Broadway, we can't get close and personal with the actors.
I have seen the show many times, but while watching this film I was able to create bonds with the characters that the show never allowed me to do. It was more emotional for me to see characters get reject
The only disappointment I had was many songs from the show were missing. I understand that it is a movie and it can't be as long as a Broadway show, but I still missed some of the familiar tunes.
I was surprised to see Michael Douglas play the character of the director. He did a wonderful job, portraying a harsh and cold character who can't let his emotions interfere with his job.
I recommend this film to anyone who loves a good musical! It is fun, smart and it is a story of life.
In Stand By Me, the story of four friends, Gordie (Will Wheaton), Chris (River Pheonix), Teddy (Corey Feldman) and Vern (Jerry O'Connell) is told through a series of flashbacks narrated by the adult Gordie (Richard Dreyfuss). One summer, the boys embark on an overnight adventure after overhearing Vern's older brother talking about a dead body on some far off railway tracks in the backwoods of Oregon. The film documents the ups and downs and life lessons that come to pass in this journey through the woods. We find out that all of the boys have personal issues at home- Gordie is mourning the death of his older brother who was clearly the favorite of his parents, Chris has an abusive alcoholic father and is tagged the "badboy" by everyone in the neighborhood, Teddy's father is in a mental institution, and Vern is thought of as a wimp and is made fun of for that throughout the film. The boys encounter numerous adventures: right off the bat, they find themselves sneaking through a junkyard only to be caught by the owner and his crazy dog and they have an upsetting and traumatic experience with a number of leeches. When they finally find the corpse of the missing boy, they also find themselves face to face with a group of Castle Rock hoodlums who challenge them because they want to be the ones credited for finding the body. This is the culmination of the coming of age aspect of the film as Gordie stands up for Chris and they triumph together.
Mystc Pizza is a film about two sisters, Daisy and Kat, and their best friend, Jojo, who work in a pizza parlor in Mystic, CT. Daisy is played by Julia Roberts, Kat is played by Annabeth Gish, and Jojo is played by Lily Taylor. Kat is getting ready to head off to Yale, Daisy thinks that she will be working at the pizza joint her whole life, and Jojo is engaged, but leaves her husband at the altar. Daisy is known as somewhat of a whore until she meets a wealthy guy, Charlie, who is on "vacation" from school. He shows her what the good life is like until she realizes that she doesn't quite fit into his world and she teaches him that it is okay to be honest with yourself and not to lie about things, like failing out of school. Daisy's sister Kat, is a prude who babysits for an architecht for the summer to earn some money, while his wife is away. She ends up falling for him because he is intellectual like her, he went to Yale, he is good looking, and has an amazing daughter. They have an affair but when his wife comes home, Kat realizes that it was just a fling for him and she is crushed. Jojo is engaged to Bill, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, who for all of you Law and Order: Criminal Intent fans, know as Detective Goren. In the opening scene of the movie, Jojo leaves him at the altar because she is scared of commitment. Bill then proceeds to tell his friends that she is a nymphomaniac and they write it on their fishing boat for all to see. Jo says that she will never be with a man like that, but in the end she realizes that she loves him and they get married. THroughout the film, the girls rely on Leona, the owner of the pizza parlor, who has a secret recipe that she wont tell anybody. When a high profile food critic comes to the restaurant, even he cannot figure out wha is in her sauce. Leona is the glue that holds everything together in this film and is the girls mother figure, who they talk to about their problems. In the end, Kat goes to Yale, Daisy ends up with Charlie, the rich guy, and Bill and Jojo live happily ever after.
Mystic Pizza was Matt Damon's first movie ever. He plays Charlie's younger brother and his one line in the film is "Pass the green stuff."
All in all this is a great film, despite being a "chick-flick" and it was one of Julia Roberts very first. I would reccomend it to anyone who is in the mood for a good laugh.
After presenting on Top Gun, I had to watch this film. The movie has the same producers (Simpson/Bruckheimer) and the same director (Tony Scott) as Top Gun. Unfortunately, the movie also has the exact same plot. In the movie Cole Trickle (Cruise) must learn to control the reckless way he drives in order to win races and survive the deathly track of racing. A terrible injury in a crash with a rival driver brings the young racer to a road block and then at the end of the film he is able to come back from incredible odds and win the championship race at the Daytona 500. This movie had so many similarities to Top Gun it was nearly impossible to get over. Even in a scene near the beginning of the movie Cruise arrives at the race track on a motorcycle with a Top Gun guitar rift in the background. For a second I thought maybe they had just edited in his image from Top Gun, but the guys behind this movie actually said, “Hey this guy can only ride in on a motorcycle.” This movie was very cheesy but is worth seeing just to compare the similarities of it to its predecessor Top Gun. Another reason why you should see it is that it is the only thing more ridiculous then Tom’s recent behavior in the media. I recommend this movie because it is the best professional race car movie made in the last twenty years. In other words it’s better then Sly Stallone’s Driven.
I watched a clip of this movie in our buddy cop drama course and decided it looked worth watching. The movie depicts everything that an 80’s action movie would have. The cliché cop relationship: The gruff no-nonsense cop and the funny wise cracking guy. Also the non-stop action(including terrible shooting accuracy from the bad guys) and other loose ends of the movie. One thing that shocked me about this movie was the terrible ethic slurs used by Nolte’s character. He crosses the line drawn today, but obviously in the 80’s he could get away with such racist remarks. Another issue of the movie is Nolte’s typical bad cop way of getting things done. If a cop were to do some of the things he does then they would be thrown in jail. Nolte even allows Murphy to impersonate a police officer with a gun waving in the air. At the end of the film it is Eddie Murphy’s comedic talents that save this movie from crashing. Also the pair of Nolte and Murphy does not truly mess together I do recommend it for it's few funny jokes and hit soundtrack (The Boys are Back in Town), but it doesn't measure up to the other biracial cop buddy films of the 1980's, like Lethal Weapon.
Tom Beringer (AKA Mr. Quakerstate) is another star of the 80’s gone bad. This movie is about when he was on top of Hollywood (or at least the closest he got) and centers around Cleveland Indian baseball. I usually like sports movies even though then ending of most of them are extremely predictable so that was a big factor to getting me to watch this one. This movie does have so very comedic parts to it and overall I recommend it on a night when your watching t.v. with your buddies. The movie also has some star power to it: Berringer, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, and Rene Russo.
But why do sports movies have the most general characters? Snipes’ character Willy Mays Hayes “can run like Mays, and hit like Hayes.” But the truth is as his blue-collar manager puts it, “You run like Mays, but you hit like s***.” Also there is a guy who can not hit a curveball, a pitcher who can’t throw a strike, and a catcher who was washed up in the Mexican leagues. Some how this wacky group of characters is able to go on to the playoffs in glorified over-the-top sports cliché fashion. This movie is no Natural, but it does have some good laughs in it.
I am a pretty huge fan of Pink Floyd, so I decided to watch a cinematic film inspired by one of their hit albums, The Wall. The movie was absolutely bizarre. First off, the movie centers around the bands music, so if you are not a fan of Floyd or the rock genre of music then I do not recommend this movie, but if you do enjoy their music then it is worth a look at. The movie centers on a young, disillusioned rock star named Pink. The character of Pink is actually based off of the bassist and leader singer of the band, Roger Waters. Waters also is the writer of most of the songs lyrics.
Pink is an unappreciated, unhappy man who due to the World War II death of his father never had a proper role model growing up. Pink grows up to be a drug abusing rock star who spends most of his time sad and alone, missing his estranged wife. The movie also takes a wacky twist every once and a while, where the filmmaker uses animation and visual creations to describe the chaotic feeling Pink is experiencing in his troubled mind. I think the filmmakers probably added this effect to the film to satisfy the more drug-oriented cult of Floyd fans that might buy the movie. Overall the movie is very confusing to watch because of the strange montages, but the editing of the scenes ties into certain moments of the music. Also English actor and star of Who Framed Roger Rabbit Bob Hoskins has a small part in the film. The movie focuses on issues of stardom, depression, parenting, and even Nazi Germany.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
A Stephen Spielberg Film (1984)
If you are looking for a movie with a mind blowing plot and technically advanced visual and audio effects then this probably isn’t the movie for you! If you are looking for a simple movie that’s amusing, a little clichéd, kind of gross, yet pretty catching then you’ve found your movie!
The movie is centered on a young man called Billy Peltzer who receives a Mogwai, an adorable furry little creature with big eyes, for a Christmas present from his father. The father acquired the Mogwai while away on an inventor’s conference in Chinatown. The old man (who was depicted through every Chinese stereotype-much like Mr. Miyagi in the Karate kid) that had originally owned the Mogwai refused to sell it to the father. Nevertheless, the old man’s grandson decided to sell the dad the Mogwai behind his grandfather’s back because they needed the money. Looks like grandpa’s morals weren’t passed on through the gene pool!
This cute and cuddly little fuzz ball that was later named Gizmo by Billy came with a few warnings: Keep it out of the light, don’t ever feed it after midnight and never get it wet. Well, with obscure warnings like these the viewer has to expect that all of them will be broken at some point yielding some kind of catastrophic result! And, what do you know! They were all broken repeatedly and all hell breaks loose! When little Gizmo accidentally gets soaking wet his body spits out other Mogwai’s. However, these new replicas are no ordinary Mogwai! After have a feast past midnight (breaking a rule), they go into a cocoon and come out as Gremlins! Fuzzy and cute no more, these evil little creatures terrorize the city. It was up to young Billy Peltzer to save the day.
Yes, the plot is predictable in that good old Billy saves the city from the evil gremlins, gets the girl and little Gizmo is returned to his original owner. Yet it is just so entertaining to watch! I laughed my whole way through it--mostly at how corny is was-but I found it to be mindless fun!
In this 1988 film, Danny Devito and Arnold Schwarzenegger play long lost brothers, twins actually, who were seperated at birth. An exeperiment was conducted where the zygote was split; however, the experiment went awry and one twin got all of the good genes, while the other got all of the bad genes. Devito plays Vincent Benedict, a short, fat, stupid, guy who is involved in some unsavory business and is about to be whacked by a loan shark. Schwarzenegger plays Julius Vincent a lovable big guy whose naivete is extremely charming. The boys were seperated at birth because Vincent was sent to live in a foster home, while Julius was sent to live overseas with a good family. Julius seeks out Vincent, and in the beginning Vincent does not believe that they are brothers. In fact, he uses Julius's size for his own advantage. He uses him as a intimidator to the people he is involved with. When Julius shows Vincent a picture of his mother, and he realizes that it is his mother too, he finally sees that Julius is telling the truth. They embark on a journey together to find their mother, whom neither of them have seen since they were born. They finally find her and she is overjoyed that her boys at found each other at last. Vincent and Julius despite their opposite looks and attitudes learn so much from each other and end up becoming great friends in the end. Vincent teaches Julius all about love, women, and clothes while Julius teaches Vincent how to live a good and moral life.
This film was extremely funny even though the plot is highly unrealistic. There is no possible way that these two men could come from the same egg, it is just not biologically possible. Even though it was not very believable the movie was very enjoyable to watch, and I so thankful that my own brother reccommended it to me.
For Keeps is a film where Molly Ringwald plays Darcy Elliot, a straight A student about to graduate from highschool, with plans to go to France for the summer and college in the fall. She and her boyfriend, Stan Bobrucz, have been dating for a while and they finally decide that they are ready to have sex. Surprise, Surprise, Darcy gets pregnant!! Her mother is extremely overbearing and had to raise Darcy on her own; therefore, she wants her daughter to have an abortion so she does not have to give up her life. Stan's parents are not that much better. They don't want to see their child have to give up on all of his hopesand dreams. I mean they are only in highschool and there is no way that they are ready for a baby right? Wrong. Darcy and Stan decide that they love each other so much and they want to have this baby. They get married and get their own apartment. Stan is the manager of his father's shoe store and so Darcy has to get a job so they have money to raise a family. After the baby is born, Darcy goes through post-partum depression and does not want anything to do with the baby. She and Stan go through some tough times, but in the end everything works out for the best. They stay married and raise their child on their own.
The film was made in 1988 when casual sex and AIDS were a huge issue. At one point in the film, when Darcy and Stan's parents find out about the baby, Stan says that they could always get an abortion and Darcy says, you mean adoption. Abortion is a heated issue currently and is one of the big ticket items on for presidential candidates. Nearly twenty years ago abortion was something that not many people talked about regardless of if it happened.
In general, the film was a good film to watch, a typical 80s movie with Molly Ringwald as highschool student where everything works out for the best in the end.
I would put this film into the horror genre. It is extremely disturbing and the character of the grandmother is frightening. She is a monster. The whole time you really feel sorry for these children, who have done nothing to deserve this treatment. Even worse, throughout the film they all defend their mother's actions. You as the viewer know what she is up to, so you wish they wouldn't have so much faith in her. The film does a great job with Mis-En-Scene. Especially with makeup.Because the children have been locked in a dark room in the attic, they slowly begin to lose pigmentation in their skin. They become pailer and pailed until they become white as ghosts. You really see the affect this is having on them. They begin to almost dissapear. This is symbolic because this is what the mother wants; for them to go away.
I have to critisize this film for it's acting. The children's acting, especially Chris and Cathy, who are the two oldest, was terrible. It is very unnatural and over the top, almost like they were from a different time then when the movie takes place. It was very distracting and comical, and believe me, this movie is not supposed to be funny.
I do reccomend this film. It does evoke emotions from the viewer such as being disturbed and having sympathy for the kids. Is it the best 80's film? Not even close, but it is still worth going to blockbuster for in my opinion.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Ok so i watched this movie on thursday and someone else posted on the same movie but here's my take. This film by Stephen Spielburg was produced in 1984. It was written by Christopher Columbus who some of you might know as the first director of Harry Potter. A man goes into Chinatown to look for a gift for his son. There he find Mogwai a little critter that is too cute for words. He ends up getting this little guy when he's not supposed to and he learns the 3 rules. His son loves the little Mogwai but names him Gizmo. He sings and is all cute but then water is spilled on him and he multiplies. Let's just say that other things go wrong and these cute little gremlins get nasty...i mean green, ugly, ferocius, nasty. They try to take over the town and the boy must stop him. I first watched this movie as a kid and i hated it. It scared the crap out of me, although i thought gizmo was wicked cute! I wanted one. Now, rewatching it, i thought it was hilarious...it wasn't scary at all and my two friends that watched the film with me, they wanted a gizmo too. I also couldnt help but love the dog and i was so upset when the mean gremlins put him outside. this movie is one of those classics that you have to at least see once. It's cheesy at times, but the underlying story is sweet and of course the ending helps for the sequel. All around good film, but not a favorite.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Writer-director John Hughes' The Breakfast Club is considered the quintessential 80s teen movie, but I think that his other film Pretty in Pink is also deserving of that title. Its plot is pretty simple: poor, misfit girl Andie falls in love with rich, popular guy Blaine and conflict ensues as they try to bridge their class and clique divide. Meanwhile, Andie's best friend, Duckie, has to deal with his enormous crush on her, and the fact that she's with a guy he considers a jerk.
Although the plot is pretty cliched, Hughes' film has a lot to say about class and clique conflict in a more subtle way than The Breakfast Club. Andie is on scholarship to attend Blaine's school, and not only is she poorer, she's more of an outsider than him in what she wears and who she hangs out with. Duckie is more of an alternative kid with his clothing and music tastes. Not only do Blaine's friends disapprove of Andie, but Andie's friends greatly disapprove of him, since they see the rich popular kids as nothing more than snobby and threatening. Blaine is the typical wimpy teenage guy as he tries to balance his friends' disapproval with his affection for Andie, and so winds up abandoning her several times. Andie, meanwhile, being an intelligent girl, has to decide if her relationship and feelings for Blaine are worth the conflict that it causes. She also has to deal with living with her poor father who is constantly on the hunt for jobs.
The aspect of the film which I thought was the most interesting and affecting, however, was in Duckie's anguish as he watches the girl he is in love with pursue a relationship with a guy who is not worth it. Interestingly enough, on imdb.com it said that the film originally ended with Andie winding up with Duckie, but test audiences preferred her ending up with Blaine. I think this is pretty unfortunate and that the original ending would have worked much better. The star-crossed lovers idea is pretty popular and appealing, but Blaine's insecurity over dating someone who is seemingly "inferior" damages their relationship throughout the film. Duckie, meanwhile, can truly relate to Andie and cares deeply for her - he is completely devoted. It is also more realistic, albeit perhaps less romantic, for her to date someone more similar to herself such as Duckie. Duckie is also a better character, with personality and humor.
Despite the ending, I still think this is a very enjoyable teen film. The character of Duckie is definitely original amidst all the cliches. The film also has a great soundtrack including such classic 80s alternative and new wave artists such as the Smiths, New Order, the Psychedelic Furs, and OMD. It's definitely a must-see film for the 80s.
Big, starring Tom Hanks, is a classic 80s film. Like Field of Dreams, it uses a fantastical aspect to explore issues that are relevant to everyone. The story is about twelve-year-old Josh, who at a carnival wishes to be "big" so that he can do the things grown-ups do. The next morning he wakes up to find himself magically grown-up as a thirty-year-old. However, he can't exactly explain the situation to his mom, so he enlists the help of his friend Billy and travels to New York City to find a place to live and a job.
Tom Hanks does a wonderful job in conveying the childlike innocence of an adolescent trapped in an adult's body, and this situation provides for many humorous incidents. We get to see how a twelve-year-old would deal with normal adult responsibilites like getting an apartment, getting a job, and even dealing with a relationship. Josh gets the perfect job working for a toy company, and although his success is a little unrealistic, it helps the film make its statement. As Josh becomes more absorbed in the adult professional world, he begins to lose his childlike wonder and innocence. He becomes alienated from his friend Billy. His relationship with a co-worker, which he is definitely not ready for, also complicates matters further. In the end, Josh tires of the adult world and wishes to be a boy again. He gets to do whatever he wants, but the seriousness and responsibilites have become grating. He wants to enjoy the carefree years of being a kid again.
This film has a definite message that youthful innocence is important and that no one should grow up too fast. Josh's childlike wonder as a grown-up has a message for older viewers as they watch him enjoying the simple things in life and living life to the fullest. Instead of being bored with his life as most adults are, he finds joy in everything. A classic moment is when Josh dances on a life-size keyboard and a business executive joins him, a moment of childlike joy whose image has become iconic. Therefore, the film is tellings its viewers that you should enjoy your life while you can and look at it as a kid does in order to enjoy it more. This film is also a statement against the corporate greed of the 80s, as Josh's involvement in the business world sucks out all of his energy. Josh's relationship with an older woman (unbeknownst to her) is also cute and charming as we watch his innocent reactions to grown-up activities. This film is very sweet and funny, and has a great message that we need to enjoy life while we can, like a child would. This kind of ties in with the "me" mentality of the 80s, but I think it's something that everyone needs to consider.
My sister had raved to me about how great this film was and how I just had to watch it. Since we usually have similar taste, I thought I was in for a great viewing experience. However, I was disappointed. The Goonies was by no means bad, but it definitely didn't meet my expectations. I don't quite understand why many people my age love this movie so much. Maybe it's because of the film's pirate theme and the popularity of The Pirates of the Caribbean film.
This isn't to say that I hated the film, in fact, I think it has many of the necessary elements which make for an entertaining experience. It's a classic kid's adventure story, revolving around a group of boys who are soon to be separated by developers taking over their neighborhood. On one of their last days together, they embark on an adventure which takes them on a quest for treasure on a pirate ship. Along the way, they have to fight against the criminal family the Fratellis, who also want the treasure.
The Goonies, which was written by Steven Spielberg, has all the ingredients for this type of film. The group of boys, who as misfits nickname themselves the Goonies, are likable and have all the stock types: their somewhat sensitive leader (played by a young Sean Astin who would grow up to co-star in Lord of the Rings), their goofy fat kid, their smart aleck, and so on. It's loaded with humor as the boys banter throughout their adventure, and the adventure aspect is definitely entertaining. But all in all, despite great ingredients, I don't think that they add up to anything special. The film never seems to reach its full potential and is largely predictable. Its cheesiness makes it feel dated. Also, I really don't understand how a Spanish pirate ship wound up in a cave in the Pacific Northwest. However, it does have something to say about the greedy destructiveness of housing developers, and in the end the boys realize that their friendship is worth far more than the treasure. This is definitely a statement against the greed of the 80s. Overall, I'd say that you shouldn't believe anyone who says that this is a great movie, but if you're looking for something entertaining on a lazy afternoon, the Goonies is a good fit.
There are no words to describe how weird (but wonderful) Tim Burton's film Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is. This is Burton's directorial debut, and it's easy to see many of the traits which have become his trademark throughout the film: a surreal, otherworldy setting; strange yet still endearing characters; and dark, wacky humor. Of course, it's also a vehicle for the then children's television star Pee-Wee Herman, before his infamous incident, and so it contains much of his extremely weird humor. The composer Danny Elfman, Burton's frequent collaborator, also provides a playful, loopy soundtrack that is perfect for the film.
The plot is ridiculously, laughably simple. Pee-Wee is basically a grown-up child and his heart is broken when his beloved bike is stolen. Therefore, he embarks on a cross-country adventure to save his precious bike. This is mostly a set-up for him to get in all sorts of ridiculous situations, but they're hilarious. The storyline and star make this seem like more of a kid's film, but I think it's also extremely appealing for older viewers (with the right sense of humor). Much of the humor in the film is slightly dark or dry and so more appropriate for older viewers. Of course, the most enjoyable part of the movie is in seeing how the weird, child-like Pee-Wee gets in and out of ridiculous situations. My favorite part is when he rescues various pets from a burning pet store, leaving the snakes for last. Most of all, unlike many other 80s films, this film doesn't feel dated at all and feels timeless. Like many of Burton's other films, it seems to exist in a world unto itself, one which is much like ours but still strangely different.
Although I loved this film, I wouldn't say it's for everyone. It's so strange that it's almost shocking at first, and the humor is very wacky. Burton's signature surrealism and darkness also aren't for everyone. And the character of Pee-Wee is one that you'll either love or hate. But if you enjoy Pee-Wee or love Tim Burton films, this is a must-see. I'd also recommend this film to anyone who has a really weird sense of humor and loves ridiculous situations, or who really really loves their bike just like Pee-Wee does.
Lane Myer (played by John Cusack) is a typical teenager right? He’s got a crappy job at Pig Burger, a friend who gives questionable advice (played by Curtis Armstrong who is better known as Goober form Revenge of the Nerds), a mother who can not cook but tries and ends up making dishes that move, a weird younger brother who picks up chicks better than Lane does, creepy neighbors, two Asian brothers that stalk him at every traffic light to race, a relentless newspaper boy seeking payment, and a picky girlfriend who leaves him for the captain of the snow ski team. Well maybe he is not so normal and he really is Better Off Dead.
With Lane’s luck, however, even his suicide attempts are lacking because he debates whether he should follow through or not as he prepares. As he struggles to win his girlfriend Beth back by training for a ski race he challenged the new boyfriend to, he ends up working on a classic 1976 Camaro with Monique. Monique is the foreign exchange student with questionable luck as well that lives with the creepy neighbors and is desperately trying to avoid her host family because the host mother is encouraging her son and Monique to engage in what she calls the “international language”.
Both of these two use the Camaro to escape from the strain of their daily lives and it is here that Lane learns that maybe life isn’t so bad.
A good film if you like dark comedy and claymation like I do.
Here are some sites for further information:
Martin Scorcese is considered by most, one of the greatest directors of all-time. This is what got me to watch his comedy After Hours. After Hours is the story of a bored, young word processor who lives in New York City. Our main character wants nothing but to meet a nic young lady and perhaps enjoy the after hours of a lonely night in New York. The film only takes place over one night in which the wackiest of wacky things happen to our main character (Griffen Dunne). He just wants to go out, meet a girl, and have a good time, but everywhere he goes to socialize, the worst things possibly happen. The different stories begin to entwine and the end result is a bizarre comedic mess. This is not one of my favorite Scorcese movies because I like his epic dramas so much, but the idea was creative and I still recommend the movie for its cinematic techniques, including many back alley shots of New York, and the ridiculous off-the-wall plot.
The movie also has some celebrities in it including Rosanna Arquette, Linda Florentino, Terri Garr, Cheech and Chong are in it as well, and both the parents from Home Alone. So there are some fun cameos to look for , but this movie is no Goodfellas, but if you want to impress a bunch of people at a cocktail party bring up this basically unknown film.
I always liked Michael Keaton in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. His movies like: Night Shift, Beetlejuice, and Batman are all considered classic 80's films. But he’s definitely one of those actors whose career plummeted into kid’s movies, like Herbie: Fully Loaded and The First Daughter or whatever it was titled. Keaten was good in the 80’s though and especially with the genre of comedy. Mr. Mom, written by John Hughes, is one of these comedies. The movie is about a man who gets layed off work by his struggling company. In the time that he has off, his wife (Terri Garr) gets a great job with a corporate company. Now she is the bread winner and Keaten is the stay-at-home mom. The movie follows the many wacky obstacles a man has to deal with in a woman’s world or motherhood in general. In the end, Keaton is more in touch with his feminine side and a much more tidy and considerate person. One interesting 1980’s spin is that at the end the woman goes back to her place at home, when her husband is able to get his job back. Interesting perspective to women in the corporate world compared to their lives at home. I think if the movie was made today at the end of it they may have found a way for each of them to care for the kids, but in this 80’s comedy, it doesn’t work out that way and the man goes back to work and the woman cares for the kids.
Think of all the low budget action stars of the 80's. There's Seagall, Van Damme, Norris, and one of my favorites Bronson. Charles Bronson is an icon of old action movies. Since most of his movies were to bloody or risqué for me to watch when I was young, I never had experienced a Brolin-cliche action film. I am proud to say that I am no longer curious about this because of watching Deathwish 3. First off, the entire plot was predictable. Brolin lives in a corrupt neighborhood in which the young hoodlums loot and riot the locals. Some of these punks steal, break, and, burn other people’s possessions. Bronson of course wants revenge, when his girlfriend is beaten and blown up in his car. I thought the gang-bangers beating her into a pulp was enough, but then they push her in the car down a steep hill in which at the bottom is an awaiting gas truck (bizarre). All this happened when Bronson went into the gas station to buy her a snack (pretty costly appetite). Bronson is fortunate enough to know someone in the neighborhood who used to work in the police department and somehow bought a gatling-gun. So Bronson goes on a vigilante rampage to bring justice to the streets of New York. After Bronson kills the Giggler (a evil man who is always giggling) the punks want revenge on Bronson and the blood bath begins. This movie was absolutely terrible. I think the addition of the gun made it twenty –times better though, because it became unbelievable and even a little grotesque. I would estimate by the end of the film Bronson murders roughly two-hundred and fifty people and, fortunately, for Bronson does not have to do any time in jail.
I know this is just on the cusp of the 80's, it barely counts as an 80's film, but it is such a great movie. Caddy Shack is a disjointed comedy detailing stories all over the place from a young caddy trying to get money to go to college to a couple of millionaires betting thousands of dollars on a game of golf. The only thing holding these random scenes and characters together is the game of golf. This film was produced in 1980 and has a great cast including Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, and Bill Murray.
This is definitely not your typical 80's film, because it was just too early to have those same themes. Money of course was involved, and the way these millionaires gambled made it seem very 80's. It dealt a lot with class and religions. There were characters representing just about every kind of person. The rich person, the poor person, the foreigner, the beautiful blond, a priest and a rabbi, the obnoxious comic relief. My absolute favorite character in this movie is Carl, played by Bill Murray. He is a demented "assistant greens-keeper" who chases after a gofer while continually rambling nonsense under his breath. The famous pool scene when everyone believes that someone has gone number two in the pool is hilarious. Carl picks up the "log in question" and says "it's okay!" and takes a bite, letting everyone know that it is just a Baby Ruth that someone had thrown in the water. This movie is full of slapstick humor and some really random scenes that make the plot of the movie very confusing. There might not even be a real plot, the point of the movie being to make the audience fall over laughing, forgetting about the plight of young Danny trying to make it to college.
Would I recommend it to the 80's film viewing community? Definitely, we all seem to have a pretty good sense of humor about these movies, great as some of them are we can still pick them apart as corny or terrible. Plus, this movie has a little bit of something for everyone, action (well if you count Carl bombing the golf course and the yacht scene), sex, and completely impossible situations that make the movie great.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, is one of my favorite 80s films. I watched it again and again when I was a kid and I never got tired of it. Rewatching it, it is easy to see why. It is a truly unique film, combining fantasy, comedy, and heartfelt drama with ease. It is about Ray Kinsella, an ex-hippie who in his thirties has settled down to a quiet farming life with his wife and daughter in Iowa, giving up on his radical 60s dreams. This causes an inner conflict for Ray, since it reminds him of his father who gave up on his dreams, which Ray had always thought was pathetic. He never reconciled with his father before he died, and feels guilty for this. However, when a mysterious voice tells him to build a baseball field in his cornfield, ghosts of former baseball players like Shoeless Joe Jackson start appearing and Ray is sent on a journey which leads him to fictional 60s writer Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) and ultimately a reunion with his father.
This film has many things going for it that make it great. Although it is ultimately a tearjerker, it also has a great comedic side, which can be seen in Ray's banter with his wife, the ghostly baseball players, and especially with Terrence Mann. Jones gives a particularly great performance as the jaded writer. The lighthearted tone of the film makes the more fantastical aspects of it easier to accept, and even when it gets melodramatic and a bit cheesy, it's only in the best way possible. The baseball theme and Midwestern setting also make Field of Dreams a particularly American film, and it gracefully combines the baseball storyline with the main narrative of Ray's quest.
Seeing it as an older viewer, Field of Dreams also has many relevant things to say about the nature of reconciling one's youthful dreams with the reality of growing up. It is also distinctly an 80s film, since it deals with the particular issues that Ray's aging hippie generation faced in this time. Ray takes a somewhat cynical view of his 60s idealism, and the writer Mann is particularly jaded when looking back at the 60s, realizing that much of their idealistic goals failed and that maybe those goals were ridiculous in the first place. However, the film still retains some of the spirit of the 60s as Ray's wife stands up against censorship and Ray stands up against opposition which tells him that building the field is ridiculous.
But beyond the aging hippie angle, the film has a lot to say about dreams for everyone. Ray has to realize that he never accomplished the dreams he had for himself in his youth, and that he settled for something seemingly less with his Iowa farm life. However, he isn't particularly unhappy with his life, in fact, his wife and daughter give him a great deal of satisfaction. But he still has some regret, and he feels that he has succumbed just like his father had, which he had hated. He also feels guilt over the poor way he treated his father. In the end, he realizes that his life may not have turned out like he had dreamed, but it is still good nonetheless. He also does not completely give up on his dreams, since he still takes risks, such as building the field. He does not feel as if he settled for less. Finally, Ray's reconciliation with his father is extremely touching and a perfect ending to the film. Every time I've seen it, it's made me cry, even when I tried not to. Field of Dreams is a great film, one that is unlike any other and which encompasses many aspects which would make it enjoyable to anyone. It can be watched over and over again, and I highly recommend it.
This film is about a man named Ray Kinsella who is a farmer that lives in a small town in Iowa who starts to hear voices in his fields that say, “If you build it, they will come.” The voices continue and after he and his wife have the same dream about a Chicago baseball team from long ago, he decides to completely plow over his cornfield and build a baseball field in its place. This puts his family in jeopardy because they take a loss on the lost crops and the other members of his small town start to think that he has lost his mind. Night after night no one appears until finally an appearance of one baseball player leads to more and more. Ray participates in games that they hold at night and the filed becomes a haven for these long lost baseball players. His journey leads him to James Earl Jones’s character and their fates intertwine for a greater purpose and awesome ending.
Overall, this film was strange in the beginning, but about thirty minutes in it becomes awesome to watch. It has such an interesting plot and Kevin Costner delivers a surprisingly awesome performance. I have always heard the phrase “if you build it they will come” used in so many other contexts, but I had never seen this movie before. Definitely one worth seeing and it was a great way to end my blog. If you are a fan of baseball you will like it even more.
Inspired by Tom Cruise in class today, and since Nick already commented on Cocktail I decided to re-watch a classic Elizabeth Shue film Adventures In Babysitting. This was one of those films that I can remember loving when I was younger, and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to baby-sit so my adventures could begin (keep in mind I was probably 7 or 8 the first time I saw this film.)
Chris (Elizabeth Shue of Cocktail and The Karate Kid) decides to baby-sit for the Andersons after her boyfriend Mike (Bradley Whitford- The West Wing) stands her up for their date night. When the Anderson’s older son Brad finds out that Chris is babysitting he decides not to go out with his friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp – RENT). Freshman Brad has quite a crush on Senior Chris.
The night seems to be going relatively calmly until Chris’ crazy friend Brenda calls from a downtown Chicago bus station to say she’s stranded. Chris decides to take Sara and Brad with her to pick up Brenda and Daryl decides to come along. On the way into the city they get a flat tire, run into some mobsters, hit a frat party, discover Mike on a date with another woman, sing the blues at a jazz bar with a famous jazz singer, Sara meets her idol Thor (Vincent D'Onofrio – The Cell), The end up at the party their parents are at, manage to pay for the tire, get Brenda and all be home before their parents get back home.
Although a bit dated, I still enjoyed this film. Daryl has a lot of funny one-liners, and some of the situations are so ridiculous.
When their ship catches fire two young children Richard and Em (Brooke Shields) are placed in a lifeboat with the cook Paddie. The other lifeboat contained Richards father and Em’s Uncle (the same man) and they get separated from each other. The three are stranded on a deserted island.
After a while on the island Paddie dies, but not before he lets them know that certain berries are dangerous because they will put you to sleep. Without Paddie the children manage quite well to construct an elaborate hut and eat extravagant seafood dinners. The story then flashes forward to when they are young teens, enjoying their carefree lifestyle. Tanned, beautiful and alone on the island Richard and Em begin to fall in love, since they never really learned about the birds and the bees their feelings begin to confuse them.
Eventually they begin a romantic relationship that leads to a sexual relationship. For the next few months Richard constantly comments on how fat Em is getting, and that she is eating too much, they are unaware that she might be pregnant. One day Richard discovers that there is a neighboring island that is home to a native tribe that practices human sacrifices at the stature that they have always thought was God. They know that this could be very dangerous, and they decide it might be time to leave the island.
Em gives birth to a son, who they name Paddie and he is delivered on the island. One day they spot a ship and Em fails to light the signal fire, because she doesn’t want to leave the island. Richard is furious and tries to build a boat. They eventually find the lifeboat that they washed ashore on, and begin to paddle away from the island that has been their home for all those years. Not far out they lose their oars, and since they have spotted sharks they are relatively hopeless. Paddie then gets a hold of some berries in the boat and eats them. Ironically these are the same berries that the older Paddie warned them about. Em and Richard decide that they too will eat the berries.
Their Father/Uncle who has been searching the sea for them eventually finds them floating in the raft. He asks if they are dead, and another one of the sailors responds that they are just sleeping. The film ends and you are left wondering if the berries were poisonous or if they only make you go to sleep. I was very unsatisfied with the ending, apparently there is a film called Return to Blue Lagoon, so I can only assume they survived.
This film was stranger than I remember the second time around. I don’t know if I blocked out the fact that Richard and Em were cusins or if they try to down play it in the film.
First I guess I should probably preface this by saying that I freaking love satirical comedies. That being said, I’m also a huge fan of stupid comedies, the ones with bad jokes and enough horrible puns to make you roll your eyes and laugh anyways because, lets face it, even after the 100th reference to bathroom humor, its still hilarious. Or maybe I’m just easily amused. Either way, I watched Airplane! and laughed the entire time. The movie makes fun of so many aspects of society: there’s the lovelorn war veteran following his ex-girlfriend half way around the world to prove that he’s still madly in love with her, the air traffic controller with a substance abuse issues, the basketball star co-pilot, the sick girl in the back of the plane who’s almost killed multiple times by the people trying to save her. And when people start to get deathly ill because of some bad airplane food, (which just begs the completely unrelated question of: is there ever such thing as good airplane food?) things just get funnier. It also makes fun of some of the disaster movies of the 70’s. I wouldn’t recommend this movie if you’re not a fan of stupid comedy, but honestly, watch it anyways. It’s a classic, one that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Even if you hate it, you will at least get a greater appreciation for the reason why I crack up whenever someone says they have a drinking problem.
After watching Spaceballs I was seriously in the mood for more John Candy. He’s such a hilarious actor that you can never get enough of… and then again so is Steve Martin. Oh, what’s that you say? There’s a movie with both John Candy AND Steve Martin? That’s awesome! I think by this point it should be pretty obvious that I watched Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Due to some bad weather, Neal Page played by Steve Martin, has the unfortunate luck of having his flight delayed (and then diverted) right in time to make him late for Thanksgiving with his family. John Candy plays a blabbermouth shower ring salesman who latches on to Neal and causes more misfortune. The first shot of
All in all I was pretty surprised that the film was directed by teenage movie guru John Hughes. He has a knack for comedy, and apparently for more than just teen drama type comedy. I also loved the little cameos with Ben Stein and Kevin Bacon, Ben Stein being my favorite because of his infamous dry humor. The movie was good, though it did make me think twice about traveling to