Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Better off Dead, created by Savage Steve Holland: a Film Review

Synopsis:

High school student Lane Myer’s two major interests are his popular girlfriend, Beth, and skiing. When Beth dumps him for handsome and popular Roy Stalin, head of the ski team, Lane is thrown into a suicidal tailspin as the Christmas season starts.

Between attempts to take his own life, he works on plans to either show Beth he can get over her, deciding to show Stalin that he can beat him at the K12 ski route. While trying to win her back, Lane begins to realize that maybe his life isn’t so bad.  His best friend, and junkie, Charles is right by his side encouraging him step by step.  The French exchange student, Monique, across the street, befriends him as a way to get out of the horrible house she is living in.  And his crazy family goes about their days doing their own little things from fighting with the newspaper boy to making creative meals that occasionally walk away of their own accord.

As Monique and Lane become closer, bonding over rebuilding his 1967 Camaro, his hallucinations about trying to get back together with Beth or to take his life continue.  He eventually challenges Stalin to racing on the K12 in order to prove that he is better and to win Beth back in the process.

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Black Comedy

-Creator: Savage Steve Holland

-Length: 97 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild violence, mild drug use and innuendo, suicide attempts and suicidal ideology, some surreal violence)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong, Diane Franklin, David Ogden Stiers, Kim Darby

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This is a frequently watched film in my house and has been since I was young.  Its to the point that I can, and often do, repeat lines throughout the entire film.

It’s a fun and quite silly look into the teenage brain.  Lane is absolutely obsessed with Beth and it is NOT healthy.  But this does commonly happen in teenagers.  They can become so obsessed with someone or something that death seems easier than living without that person/thing.

Even with presented with different options it really takes a LOT for Lane to snap out of it.  Of course, his parents are completely oblivious to the entire thing happening (though his father does try to connect with him at one point).  He is left to deal with everything his own way.

And overall, he does a decent job.  Seeing into his mind is a blast.  The over exaggeration of everyone around him wanting something or other is just fantastic.

I definitely recommend it to families with teens…or really anyone who enjoys 1980s comedy. The “Everybody wants SOME” scene is CLASSIC 1980s surreal Claymation perfection.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Posted in Flick Central

Career Opportunities, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Jim Dodge, the town dreamer and spinner of yarns, has been fired yet again from another low-paying job.  When he gets home, he is given a choice by his father: interview at the local Target to be the overnight cleaning boy or get on a bus to Saint Louis and make his way there.

He takes the job at Target and finds out on his first night there that he will be locked in the store by himself, overnight, to clean the store.  As he messes around between cleaning, he stumbles upon a girl who has been locked into the store.

They begin to connect over the course of the night learning about each other.  Josie fell asleep in Target when she chickened out on shoplifting in an attempt to get away from her abusive father.  Jim reveals (though he doesn’t realize it) that he simply wants to stay at home because he won’t end up lonely.  Josie propositions Jim to join her in California with the $52,000 she has hidden in her purse.

But when two murderers make their way into the store the pair have to think fast or end up dead… suddenly abusive and overbearing parents are the least of their worries.

General Information:

-Genre: Romantic Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 83 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild to moderate sex and nudity)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Frank Whaley, Jennifer Connelly, Dermot Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, John M. Jackson, Jenny O’Hara, Noble Willingham

-Page of Reference in RP2: 182

Review (contains spoilers):

Such a good film and the twist was something I was not expecting.  Though I want to know how they got Target to agree to them destroying the entire store…. however I guess the publicity worked because even 30 years after the film was made it made me want to go to Target.  Touché.

I mean it’s a John Hughes film so it had to be at least decent.  I don’t think I’ve seen a movie of his that I haven’t enjoyed. At least not to where I currently am in my life.  But I was a little shocked that I had never even heard of this one… which is my fault because I haven’t completed the Almanac and Ready Player One does list all the John Hughes movies as a reference so go me.

The whole movie is just one silly thing after another as they fall in love in the middle of TARGET. Its like every Millennial’s dream. Go into Target and fall in love. Though running for your life from murderers isn’t really ideal.

It is another winner from John Hughes.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Footloose (1984), created by Dean Pitchford: a Film Review

Synopsis:

New guy in town, Ren MacCormack and his mom, have just arrived from big city Chicago to live with Ren’s Aunt and Uncle.  While attending Sunday church services he meets the Reverend Shaw Moore and his wife Vi and daughter Ariel, who seems sweet and docile but is actually incredibly reckless.

When at school Ren befriends Willard and discovers that the town has a dancing ban that extends to all rock music within the borders.  A few kids got killed in a car wreck a few years earlier and the whole town blamed the music, the books…the dancing…for the whole wreck and the subsequent deaths it caused.

As Ren and Willard become closer friends and Ren starts to befriend Ariel and her friend group he decides to show them the joy of dance by taking them out.

This subsequently encourages all of them to stand up to the elder generation of the town and petition for a school dance- THE PROM.  Its just within their reach…or so they think.

General Information:

-Genre: American Musical Drama, Teen Drama

-Creator: Dean Pitchford

-Length: 110 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence including a fire being set, mild abuse, moderate profanity, mild use of drugs, smoking and alcohol, mild intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with subscription), Amazon Prime Video (with subscription, Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, Dianne Wiest, John Lithgow, Chris Penn, Sarah Jessica Parker, John Laughlin, Elizabeth Gorcey, Frances Lee McCain, Jim Youngs, Timothy Scott

-Page of Reference in RP1: 102

Review (contains spoilers):

I love this movie.  It’s a really interesting study of what happens when you are too strict with your kids. Its also one of my go-to movies for sleepovers.

There isn’t anything wrong with music, or books that challenge your current way of thinking, or dancing…so long as you aren’t hurting anyone.

There will always be accidents and bad choices but the more you restrict your child the worse its gonna be. 

But this film also does a lot of what a teen film should do.  Showcase hard to talk about issues so that you can open up the dialogue with your kids.  Here there is the chance to talk about domestic abuse, drugs and drinking, teen sex, verbal and mental abuse….

But its also just an awesome film with a fantastic soundtrack that just sets the tone for the whole thing.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Real Genius, created by Neal Israel and Pat Proft: a film Review

Synopsis:

The CIA is determined to create a new “peace time” weapon, codename Crossbow, that uses a high-powered laser to eliminate potential threats before they become terrorists.  To do so they recruit the help of a well-know college professor to create the laser needed to pull off this accomplishment.

Meanwhile, 15-year-old Mitch is accepted to the college for mid-winter term due to his insane intellect.  Rooming with genius and role model, Chris Knight, proves to be vastly different from the idea that Mitch builds up in his head.  Knight is a bit of a prankster and overall chill guy compared to tightly wound genius Mitch.

As the pair find their differences and turn them into strengths to help each other through the difficult final semester for Knight, they work to create an incredibly powerful laser that will be Knight’s ticket to graduation.

But when they are forced to see what possible uses someone would have for a laser that big and powerful they must come to terms with the fact that sometimes, as scientists, you need to think about the practical applications of your creations…and come to terms with the fact that they may not be used for the good and hopeful reasons you would want them to be…

General Information:

-Genre: Science Fiction Teen Comedy

-Creator: Neal Israel and Pat Proft

-Length: 106 minutes

-Rating: PG (for mild sex, nudity and sexual innuendo, mild profanity, mild partying)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), STARZ (with subscription), HBO Go (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Val Kilmer, Gabe Jarret, Michelle Meyrink, William Atherton, Robert Prescott, Jon Gries

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Such a great comedy and one of my top watched movies of all time.  It is a staple in my vocabulary to quote lines from this film.  And there are plenty of them that are quotable.

I love the story, the quirky characters and the fact that, though the science is incredibly above my head as I know nothing about optics, everything discussed is relatable.  It isn’t about the science.  You don’t have to know anything to love this film.

Witty and sarcastic this whole movie is an absolute gem of late ‘80s comedy.   From the child genius on a college campus (and in a dorm!) to the fact that the bad guy is someone in the faculty…its just an overall ridiculous film that is just as funny after the first watch as the 100th.  Plus, it has a great soundtrack.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Pretty in Pink, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

From the other side of the track, misunderstood and unpopular teen Andie is completely crushing on one of the popular guys in school.  Her best friend, and ardent admirer, Phil “Duckie” Dale tries to show her how much he loves her and that the popular rich guys are just that…popular and rich.

As the focus of her crush actually notices her and even goes so far as to take her on a date, Andie’s own insecurities get in her way.  Will she be able to over come the hardships of being a poor teen thrown into the world of the rich or will she realize that what is inside is what truly matters?

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Romantic Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 96 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild sex and nudity, mild violence, moderate profanity, mild intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (with subscription, Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, Kate Vernon

-Page of Reference in RP1/RP2: 36/182

Review (contains spoilers):

Ok so…this one is a film that has always irked me…

I HATE the ending!!!! I always have.  

Andie should have ended up with Duckie.  He literally worships her but is also not immune to her faults.  He calls her out when she is being stupid.  He forgives her when he is at fault.  And for all of his ridiculousness and awkwardness he is absolutely devoted to her.

In the end the most that I can say about this film is that it is a typical John Hughes teen film.  A well written and well-acted story of a high school outcast who longs to fit in and falls in love with the popular rich kid who somehow deigns to notice them and happens to likes things a little more real.

This would be a 5 star film in my opinion if the stupid test audiences hadn’t hated Andie ending up with the Duck Man….like she should have.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Revenge of the Nerds, created by Steven Zacherias and Jeff Buhai: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Best friends and nerds, Lewis and Gilbert, are headed off for their freshman year of college.  Excited to start out on a new journey the pair unexpectedly run into the Alpha Betas, the frat that houses most of the athletes that attend the college.  When they carelessly burn down their frat house, they take over the freshman dorms kicking out all of the freshman.

As the freshman adapt to living in the gym a small group of them, including Lewis and Gilbert, venture out and end up finding an abandoned house to fix up.  They are told they must join a frat in order to continue to live on Greek Row where the house is located.

Hilarity ensues as The Alpha Betas do everything they can to get the nerds to leave the Row and to get the house they fixed up for their own brothers.

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Sex Comedy

-Creator: Steven Zacherias, Jeff Buhai

-Length: 90 minutes

-Rating: R (moderate sex and nudity, mild violence, moderate profanity, moderate alcohol and drug use)

-Where to Watch: Hulu (with subscription, with add-on), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese, Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott, Brian Tochi, Julie Montgomery, Michelle Meyrink, Ted McGinley, Matt Salinger, Donald Gibb, James Cromwell, Lisa Weich, David Whol, John Goodman, Bernie Casey, Alice Hirson

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

I went into this one with so many preconceptions.  I though that the movie was a “guy” movie like Dumb and Dumber.  I thought it wasn’t going to be funny.  I thought it would be similar to Animal House.

Boy was I wrong.

This was an absolutely adorable film.  It was so cute.  The film was all about a group of nerds using every clean trick in the book to beat out the cheating frat boys.

They are smart, talented, silly and a total group of nerds that get together to show up the horrible athletes at their college.  This was everything I didn’t know I needed in a feel-good comedy, but I defiantly did.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Weird Science, created by John Hughes: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Nerds Gary and Wyatt are embarrassed by the popular senior jocks while they swooned over the seniors’ girlfriends.  Rejected the pair decide that they need to boost their popularity in order to win their crushes from the jocks.

While watching Frankenstein a brilliant idea occurs.  They should try and create their own girlfriend.  Using their computer and hooking a doll up to the system somehow their dream comes true.

Now what to do with a hot British girl who can make things appear on command?  Will they win their crushes, or will they just end up grounded for life?

General Information:

-Genre: Teen Science-Fiction Comedy

-Creator: John Hughes

-Length: 94 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sex and nudity, mild violence, moderate profanity, mild alcohol use and smoking)

-Where to Watch: DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Paxton, Robert Downey Jr., Robert Rusler, Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson

-Page of Reference in RP1/RP2: 36/186

Review (contains spoilers):

A solid John Hughes flick.  You have your pretty stereotypical scenarios for an 80s teen comedy.  The nerds vs the jocks.  The desire of belonging.  Outcasts. Parties.  Pretty girls… you know the drill.

If you’ve seen one John Hughes flick you’ve seen them all.

But that isn’t to say they are bad in any way.

This one was completely entertaining.  Between the insanity of a Frankenstein woman, two teens that are fighting for love and somehow everything they want can be summoned at the drop of a hat.  And a young Robert Downing Jr. being a complete idiot and bully… which is a quite interesting role for him to play. Definitely a hour and a half well spent.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.