Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Space Camp

Space Camp offers one of the most dated 80s pictures of technology, almost relic-like with its "state of the art" robot and machinery. Set in Nasa in the 1980s, the story follows a group of kids enrolled in space camp who are accidentally launched into space with only the help of a seasoned pilot, Andie Bergstrom (Kate Capshaw), as their supervisor.

They are all at space camp for different reasons, but placed on the same team and become friends accordingly. Their drills at Nasa, however, leave something to be desired, as each team member fails at a task and is chewed out by Andie at some point in time or another. She isn't great with kids or thrilled to be at camp, as she was passed over as the next astronaut to go up in space and thus stuck doing camp.

They face many obstacles which force the kids to learn to work together as a team. Everyone brings unique qualities to the floor-- whether it's Kathryn Fairly's (Lea Thompson)knowledge of piloting, Tish Ambrosei's (Kelly Preston) photographic memory, Rudy Tyler's (Larry B. Scott) science knowledge, or youthful Max Graham's (Joaquin Phoenix) size. Notably, they have to figure out how to obtain more oxygen, as their level is too short to allow them to land back on earth.

The movie's dialogue is laughable:

Kathryn: Why are you so hard on me?
Andie: Because someday, you're goin' up. But the only way that will happen is if you have every drill here down better than everyone else. There's no room for mistakes. Every 'i' dotted, every 't' crossed. That's the way I learned it. That's the way you'll learn it. You copy?
Kathryn: I copy.

Andie: Hideo Takamini... HIDEO TAKAMINI?
Kevin: Right here!
[holding up a stolen nametag]
Andie: Hideo Takamini?
Kevin: Well actually it's pronounced "Kevin Donaldson."
Andie: I don't have a "Donaldson."
Kevin: Well, you have one now.

Andie: So what brings you to space camp?
Tish: Well I did this audit at GPL on Radio Astronomy; it was unbelieveable! I mean can you imagine an extra terrestrial disc jockey? I mean like listening to radio waves from space? I mean like waiting for signs of intelligence?
Andie: ...Like I know the feeling.

The movie's plot is laughable, the movie's dialogue is laughable, and the movie itself? should be avoided.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top 40 Films Right Here

Check out this list of greatest 80s films.


Caution: This film is not for the faint of heart.

Oliver Stone's, Platoon (1986), transports the viewer into the jungle of the Vietnam war in the year 1967. The film focuses on the experience of Chris Taylor, an intelligent young man who, despite his parents wishes, dropped out of college to serve his country. However, what he found in Vietnam was far from what he had imagined. Stone does a fantastic job of depicting the horrors of the Vietnam War and the reality that sometimes the toughest enemies are your own men.

The film is obviously not set in the 80's, however it stars some big 80's actors, such as the young Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and Forest Whitaker. The subject of the Vietnam War, which was considered to be taboo in the 1970's, came to prevalence in the 1980's with films like Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and the Missing in Action trilogy. The film purposefully focuses on the negative aspects of the war, such as war crimes and the deplorable conditions in which the soldiers lived, in order to convey a disdainful message regarding war. Despite the bleak nature of the film, it remains to be one of the most influential war films of all time.

I would not recommend the film to anyone with a weak stomach or sensitivity to violence, however for advocates of films such as Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot, this film is for you.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Going into “Overboard”, I didn’t think it looked like that good of a movie but I was curious to see a film with Goldie Hawn especially the one where she supposedly fell in love with Kurt Russell. Yet, right from the beginning I found myself really enjoying this funny and amusing love story between two opposites. Goldie Hawn was great as Joanna/Annie, starting off as an obnoxious, spoiled yet highly amusing bitch Joanna. Yet by the end of the film, you were convincingly able to see how Joanna became the lovable and good-hearted Annie after falling overboard a boat and suffering amnesia. The idea is a little far fetched but so was the other 80’s Gary Marshall film “Pretty Woman” where a wealthy man fell for a hooker. It between the classic mean girl turned good transformation, the film kept things light and interesting as Kurt Russell’s character Dean, her carpenter who despised her, and his four mischievous sons tricked and harassed Joanna/Annie, while convincing her she’s their wife/mother, into doing stuff that her old self, would never be caught dead doing. Some funny examples were her sawing wood and almost burning the kitchen down making dinner. It’s hard at first to decide who to root for as Joanna was first a huge bitch but you can’t help feel bad for her while Dean puts her through hell. Yet, of course she adapts and not only obviously falls in love with Dean but his motherless children as well. The love story was believable because it took a while for the sparks to fly with Joanna/Annie and Dean because clearly they had to search for the good in each other which of course they brought out. The film even made the audience love the, at first really annoying, four kids and I’ll admit had me in tears in the scene when chasing Joanna/Annie’s leaving limo at the end calling for her as their mom. The legend with jumping into the ocean and swimming to ones true love was also a cute touch and made for a cheesy yet needed romantic ending which no audience can resist. Even though I could probably not pass up the opportunity to live on a yacht, I would easily and surprisingly choose the poor but charming Dean over the rich but slimy Grant, who was played by the grandfather from “Gilmore Girls” who always plays rich so well. Yet, in the ultimate happy ending, Joanna/Annie doesn’t have to settle at all because she remembers that all the money belongs to her. All in all, this was a pretty good romantic comedy because it made you laugh, cry and fall in love with the characters too, even if it was a little cheesy but all the best ones usually are.