Tuesday, May 04, 2010
The story is about a post-earthquake California beach where Nazis take over and wreak havoc. The only problem with this is that the "surf Nazis" don't really have anything in common with real Nazis except that they're lead by a guy named Adolf and have swastikas painted all over them. I guess if you want to get unwarranted attention for your movie you just have to hint that it could include something horribly offensive.
I have to say, I didn't enjoy this as much as Killer Klowns even though I considered both to be deserving of the 'awesomely bad' category. Killer Klowns very obviously does not take itself seriously and encourages the audience to laugh, but at times it redeems itself by being totally freaky. Surf Nazis is just barely on the border of awesome and bad, but leaning towards the bad side. There were a few laughs, but overall it was just...bad. And I'm so disappointed because I was legitimately excited to watch this, but I guess everyone was right for kind of staring at me blankly. Just as a reminder, here's the trailer again:
The name of this 18th century game is "Lust. Seduction. Revenge." as so indicated by the film's apropos tag line. The tag line goes on to state, "The Game as You've Never Seen it Played Before;" I take contention with this statement. This entire semester, we have watched 80's films that deal in unethical, immoral, an illogical behavior and action: This is the game as we've seen it, time and time again. But, this does not discount the craft and cunning of this fantastic film. The games of cat and mouse, the witty banter that turns torturous and maniacal, the drawing rooms, the beds, so steeped in lust, feel as common as ever; it's purposeful, and exquisitely executed.
As the clip will indicate, the film deals entirely with the scheming of ex-lovers Valmont and Merteuil. As reviewers stated, "the filmmakers put the audience in the room with their characters." This is accurate and this is also intentional. If you found Glenn close frightening in Fatal Attraction, this little period films will have you knocking your knickers in minutes flat. Fatal Attraction called for a less than subtle portrayal of a woman falling into the abyss of self-pity, self-sacrifice, and self- mutilation. But Close's study of this character, Merteuil, is delicate and paced; she draws us in, she draws us in close. Before you know it, she's turned animal and clawed us to death.
Beautiful film all around. If anything, I hope the 80's never, ever repeats itself; Glenn Close was too frightening, John Malkovich wore too much make-up, and Keanu Reeves was still bad at acting.
Fame is another 80’s movie about teenagers and the trials and tribulations they go through trying to “find themselves”. Fame focuses on a performing arts high school in
This movie is distinctly 80’s because of the themes it introduces and the ensemble cast structure. It is much like The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire in its lack of a main character. Rather, all the characters are important and focused on equally. The coming of age drama is very common in the 80’s.
My favorite scene was
I would recommend this movie to someone who is looking for more than just a movie to pass the time. The film can stand the test of time due to the universal issues it addresses.
Although it is its own film, there are a lot of similarities between School Daze and Do the Right Thing, most noticeably the theme of "waking up." In School Daze, though, the fight is not black against white, but darker-skinned blacks against lighter-skinned blacks. The film also touches on other issues including college-educated students and their relationships with the economically disadvantaged people in the communities surrounding and perhaps more superficially, the menace of Greek hazing on the college campus.
If I were to base my thoughts on Spike Lee solely on this film and Do the Right Thing, I would say there is definitely a formula. Lee uses the same actors, themes and similar music in both films. Both also feature sequences where the fourth wall is broken and the messages seem to be aimed at the audience and the characters alike.
This film can stand the test of time just because these types of issues are still relevant. Lee uses his films as a call to America and specifically the black community to take action, which is why people will continue to watch even if it is a very distinctly 80s film.
"There are two things that have no limit: femininity and the means to take advantage of it."
Nikita, a convicted felon and drug user, is sent to jail for the murder of a cop. While there, she is informed that everyone in her life believes that she committed suicide, and now she has two choices: become an assassin or actually join the ranks of the dead. After sleeping on it for an hour, Nikita chooses the assassin route and trains for about three years, learning not only how to kill effectively but also how to use her femininity to her advantage.
Nikita is then released into the "real world," where she meets a man named Marco at the supermarket where he works. Life goes on as normal, and Marco believes Nikita works the night shift at the hospital; he knows nothing of her assassin life.
The film is not distinctly 80s, but given that it was made in France and that it is a spy film, such is to be expected. Some of the music in the movie does seem to have synthesizers, and it is definitely Tears for Fears-esque.
La Femme Nikita can stand the test of time because even though it is 2010, films featuring women with assassin jobs, etc. are not very common. People will always be interested in watching this type of film, which is why it is so long-lasting.
I enjoyed the film. It was interesting to see what Nikita would do in various situations, and I especially liked the scene featured in one of the clips we watched in class when Nikita attempts to complete her first mission only to find that "of course it (the window) was bricked."
Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone looking for a bit of action/thrill that is not typical of Hollywood movies. That said; don't expect a fairytale ending, either.
Starring Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, The Blues Brothers is a comedy with a cast of famous singers and musicians with great classics. I decided to watch this film because I have always been a fan of Saturday Night Live skits and a couple times I have seen reruns of the sketch on the blues brothers. I never watched this movie, but of course being a classic movie with timeless characters, everyone knows of Jake and Elwood. Jake, played by Belushi, is released from jail and picked up by his brother, Elwood, in a former police car. The car with the giant microphone would become an iconic symbol of the brothers. They visit the “penguin” at the Catholic orphanage that will be closed unless the nun raises $5000. While visiting a church service, Jake has an epiphany that he is on a mission from God to form the band again. They begin to visit their former band mates and reunite everyone. In the process they ruin a mall, almost run over neo Nazis and basically upset many characters. They pose as the band “the Good Ol’ Boys” in a western bar who is scheduled to play that night. Later, they perform at the Palace Hotel and are then offered a recording contract that would cover the orphanage. Police, SWAT and firefighters then chase the brothers around Chicago. Their car breaks down and they run inside to pay their tax bill. They are then handcuffed, arrested and sent to jail with the rest of the band.
I would definitely recommend this fun, upbeat film. I feel the cameos kept me glued to the movie because I waiting to see who would appear next.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The ultimate 80s classic. The story revolves around several kids that go to Ridgemont High and what it's like to be a teenager in the 80s. While this movie is humorous, it hits upon several controversial topics such as drug abuse, abortion, and sex. All the characters undergo certain troubles throughout the film that in the end teach them what true happiness is.
I had always heard about this movie and seen it referenced in the I love the 80s series on VH1, but I did not realize this movie was more than just a teen flick. The issues discussed are still relevant to kids today and therefore this movie has withstood time.
I really enjoyed this movie. I laughed, but I also felt for the characters because anyone who has gone through high school knows it's not an easy place to me. However, I really did not like the character Stacy. I felt she was boring and brought little to the table against the other characters who were full of life. As I watched the movie I was wishing she would show some sign of emotion, but I was disappointed. She also got a happy ending with Mark which I didn't think was necessary.
This movie was done is the typical 80s style. Music, fashion and design were all staple 80s looks. I would recommend this movie to anyone who has gone through high school. It's fun, funny and also a bit heart warming at times.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Weird Science is the story of two awkward boys, Gary and Wyatt, who are trying to make it in the world popularity in high school. One night they come up with a plan to create this dream woman through the use of their computer. When they find success, the dream woman (Lisa) helps the boys become confident in themselves and make friends in the harsh high school world.
Strangely enough, as a kid I watched Weird Science the TV show, but never saw the movie. So, while I knew the premise of this movie I was under the impression that it was a movie meant for a younger audience. However, as I watched I found it to be a bit vulgar, but still funny. I really liked this movie for what it was. It is not a movie that will change lives or provoke thought, but it certainly provided entertainment for two hours.
I feel this movie stands up over time as far as 80s movies go. It seems it was a popular film that is still talked about and watched today. This movie is also done in a typical 80s style. The music is all popular 80s songs that are iconic today of the 80s. The style in fashion is all done in a very 80s style as well.
I would recommend this movie to audiences. It's a little odd/vulgar for younger viewers, but otherwise it's funny and, well, WEIRD!
Road House is a great movie where Patrick Swayze plays the lead role Dalton as a tough guy. He is known as one of the toughest bouncers around and is recruited to help clean up a bar with a rough crowd. The main story is a clash between Swayze, the head bouncer and a powerful business man that runs the town through corruption. Swayze enters to clean up the bar he begins to feud with the powerful owner for messing up the natural order of such a small town. Swayze’s character is not your average oversized bouncer, his small stature combined with his way of looking at the situation is refreshing. “Nobody ever wins in a fight” captures him as a person, he only reacts to situations throughout the movie not fighting until his safety is in jeopardy. He is what it takes for the small town to rally together to fight back against the oppressive businessman. The situation gets out of control but the people of the town prevail in the fight.
Initially Swayze is brought to the small town because of the money offered by the owner, but early on we get the hint he is a down to earth old-school guy when he refuses to take a plane to the new location because he is scared to fly. Swayze is soft spoken and enjoys his time alone until he finds love with a local doctor. The love between Swayze and the doctor combined with the relationships he makes around town are what drive him to face the corruption and stick it out.
Dalton has a similar view on violence to someone who we saw earlier in the class. Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid says that violence is for self defense only. He seems like he’s so good at fighting that he enjoys it, but he strongly opposes violence unless it’s for self defense. Dalton’s quote that was mentioned at the beginning of this post suggests a similar moral stance on violence to Miyagi. “Nobody ever wins in a fight,” says Dalton. Swayze has the big strong and tough reputation, and many people envy that and try to act like that and look to fight. But Dalton, like Miyagi, resorts to violence only when it is absolutely necessary.
Car Rental Agent: How may I help you?
Neal: You can start by wiping that fucking dumb-ass smile off your rosey, fucking, cheeks! Then you can give me a fucking automobile: a fucking Datsun, a fucking Toyota, a fucking Mustang, a fucking Buick! Four fucking wheels and a seat!
Car Rental Agent: I really don't care for the way you're speaking to me.
Neal: And I really don't care for the way your company left me in the middle of fucking nowhere with fucking keys to a fucking car that isn't fucking there. And I really didn't care to fucking walk down a fucking highway and across a fucking runway to get back here to have you smile in my fucking face. I want a fucking car RIGHT FUCKING NOW!
Car Rental Agent: May I see your rental agreement?
Neal: I threw it away.
Car Rental Agent: Oh boy.
Neal: Oh boy, what?
Car Rental Agent: You're fucked!
Because it was on TV, I decided to watch the 1987 film Planes Trains and Automobiles. I enjoyed the movie and it reminded me of one of my personality traits that I would like to change. Sometimes when you get stuck in a painfully awful travel delay or experience, or even when you are just having a bad day, you can be on edge and moody. That is certainly the case with Neal (Steve Martin) in . Neal gets repeatedly delayed in a desperate attempt to make it home for Thanksgiving through tough weather. He ends up getting stuck with the kind hearted but perhaps "overfriendly?" Del (John Candy). As we see in the quote above that goes on in the middle of the rental car scene, Neal is so angry and fed up with how horrific his situation is that he lets it get to him enough to take his anger out on others who aren't at fault, like the rental car clerk or Del. He is not necessarily a really bad guy, but he says some pretty bad things and acts like a jerk. I do this as well if I'm having a really, really bad day. Sometimes people just snap and lose a good conscious stream of thought for emotional reasons.
I would like to change this quality in myself, and by the end of the movie we see Neal start to change as well. He begins to open up to Del over time after many experiences that caused him to realize that he really was just being a jerk. It requires patience to deal with horrible situations, and patience may be something that people like Neal and I lack. One thing that is important to consider about tough situations like travel nightmares is the grand scheme of things. Neal thinks that his problem is the biggest thing in the world, and that others should be concerned about the fact that for once, he may not be able to enjoy the holiday in comfort with his family. There are plenty of people in the world who have it much tougher than he does having to miss one holiday. People are starving and are unfairly living in extreme poverty, so that is a thought that may help to keep things in perspective.
Overall, Neal and Del have some hilarious experiences, like their bunking troubles (see photo above.) The exchanges between the goofy and clumsy Del and the irritated and well-kept Neal make for some classic comedy. John Candy is a riot as usual. This is a great movie, and I highly recommend it.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles stars Steve Martin and John Candy on a amusing adventure where basically every type of transportation fails on them. Directed by the late John Hughes, the film is another successful and classic directed by Mr. Hughes. Steve Martin plays Neal Page, a advertising executive, who is trying to get home to his family in Chicago during Thanksgiving. Neal meets John Candy’s character, Del Griffith a shower curtain ring salesman, when he tries to steal his cab. Then, at the airport Neal and Del run into each other again while waiting for the same flight. The flight however, is rerouted to Wichita, KS due to heavy snow in Chicago. Landing the flight is cancelled and Neal and Del are forced to find a place to sleep. They decided to find a room together for the night. The only room available, of course, is a one room with a queen-size bed. After tossing, turning and loud snoring, they finally wake up to find Del spooning Neal. After a quick jump out of the bed and some “man talk,” they head for breakfast where they find they have been robbed over night. They hitch a ride to Stubbville to the train station. The train breaks down and the passengers are forced off the train and find another mode of transportation. Del and Neal take a bus that gets them as far as St. Louis and part ways. Neal heads to the airport to rent a car and angrily throws away his rental agreement. He then runs into Del who has a car. While driving at night, Del almost kills himself and Neal by going the wrong way on the highway. Then Del ignites the passenger compartment on fire with a cigarette with Neal’s wallet, of course, in there. They finally get the fire out and head to yet another hotel. Neal uses his watch to get a room and because Del is not so lucky, he lets him stay with him. The next day they are pulled over for exceeding the speed limit, the vehicle is impounded and they have to find another transportation. Neal finally arrives in Chicago Thanksgiving Day and part ways with Del. Neal decides to head back to the station, finds Del and invites him for Thanksgiving Dinner.
The laughter continues as two of Hi's friends (recently escaped convicts) find their way to Hi and Ed's home, there to learn that the Arizona family is offering a 25,000 dollar reward for the return of their child. So, being the loving friends they are, and more so the criminals, they steal Nathan and run away to rob a bank... only to leave the baby in the road after robbing the bank. Here's your screaming men sequence, Dr. Boles:
Let's not forget the maniacal Leonard Smalls, the lizard-pelting, grenade-wielding, stud-wearing, "tracker," who's after the money, as well. Perhaps, "Almost" turns to "Totally" in this case:
It is, for sure, the unabashed portrayal of men, women, and convicts alike pursuing their goals, no matter how absurd that leads to fits, rather rows of laughter. Hmmm... perhaps it is the unabashed portrayal of men and women pursuing their goals, no matter how ethically or morally inconsistent, that leads to an understanding of filmic reconstructions of 80's culture...
48 Hours is a quintessential 80’s buddy cop movie. Albert Ganz escapes from prisonin order to retrieve $500,000 stolen in a heist two years back. In the process, he manages to kill three cops with detective Jack Cates’ gun, infuriating Cates. Because of Cates’ lack of respect for the rules and proper procedure, he forges a signature to get Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy), a former accomplice of Ganz’, out of jail on parole for 48 hours to help catch the cop killer and his partner.
This was one of the first white-black buddy cop movies. Eddie Murphy uses his comic skills in many racist situations, such as a redneck bar. His posing as what he thinks a cop would be like was one of the funniest parts. My favorite quote was, “You said bullshit and experience is all it takes, right? Then come on in and experience some of my bullshit”. Though this movie was only an hour and a half, it seemed slow and dragged on at some points. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the constant darkness and rainy atmosphere. Even the scenes set during the day had a hazy and grey lighting, without blue skies. This heavy-handed approach to letting me know that the bad guys were bad and being a cop is rough didn’t appeal to me. Though it was a funny movie, Eddie Murphy was better in Trading Places and Coming to America, and the buddy cop genre is better in Lethal Weapon, in my opinion. I would recommend those films before this one.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Ghostbusters (1984) is an 80's classic that features the fantastic comedic trio of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. The film's success can be attributed to the special effects (impressive for the 80's) and the ingenious comedic script.
The Ghostbusters are; Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Egon Spengler, Dr. Ray Stantz, three recently unemployed psychotherapists turned paranormal exterminators. As the group gains credit throughout the community the plot twists and turns through demonic possession and near Armageddon by way of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The Ghostbusters become heroes when they defeat the marshmallow man and save the city.
The ridiculously humorous outfits and paranormal equipment along with witty dialogue and dry comedy make this film very entertaining. The styles and soundtrack, featuring heavy synthesizer influence make the film recognizable as 80's, yet the comedic script mixed with popular science fiction makes for a movie that will remain timeless. It was one of the highest grossing films of the 1980's at $291,632,124 in the United States alone. The film was remade in 1989 and there are talks of a Ghostbusters III to be released in the near future. I hope that the film retains its comedic effect and does not discredit the original, but you never know nowadays. I would recommend this film to everyone who hasn't seen it, because it's impossible to not to enjoy.
The Marshmallow Man
I love a good romantic comedy every now and again. (Well, maybe more often than that…I’d probably be happy if all films were love stories.) When Harry Met Sally is a quintessential representation of the genre. Meg Ryan is so stinkin’ cute in this movie (does anyone else think of Anastasia whenever you hear her voice…maybe it’s just me) and she and Billy Crystal have such great chemistry on screen.
When Harry Met Sally is slightly reminiscent of a Jane Austin Love story as the unlikely pare meet again and again throughout the years. Harry and Sally first meet as they drive together to New York City, each to start a new life and quickly part ways as Harry concludes that a man and a woman can never just be friends, leaving Sally utterly unimpressed. However, they meet again after several years at the airport as Harry is engaged and Sally is in a relationship. After again parting, content with their relationships and seemingly too different to ever be an item. Years pass again and we again see Harry meeting Sally at a turning point in both of their lives as Harry is going through a divorce and Sally a break up. They comfort each other as “just friends” and build a strong relationship, even playing matchmaker to their two best friends. As they help each other cope they eventually fall and love and subsequently become the perfect couple.
This film was such a relief in the midst of final exams. Throughout the film and between each time Harry and Sally meet is a new adorable elderly couple, telling their love story. These little snippets were my absolutely favorite part of When Harry Met Sally. These confessional moments were so sweet and really make me want to believe in true love again and again. The film closes with Harry and Sally telling their own story, leaving the audience with fulfilled hope and a belief in love stories.