[The best part about writing for no pay other than enjoyment? Being able to blow off deadlines you set for yourself guilt-free to spend time with your mom. Enjoy this one, albeit late.] Every so often, Hollywood churns out another western. A popular genre in the “old days”, westerns have seemingly been replaced by big-budget sci-fi films. As a young child, I was exposed to many classics by my mother, a die hard John Wayne fan. I could take them or leave them, entirely ambivalent. Then there was Blazing Saddles, a western parody by the great Mel Brooks. A funny movie, indeed, but at the time I was definitely too young to get many of the jokes. But this week in 1985, a western was released that I finally sat up and paid attention to. With a stellar cast, and a halfways decent plot, I suddenly found myself interested in
Are you telling me…it’s been 30 years since this movie came out? That’s right folks. This week’s Throwback Thursday is a classic in every sense of the word. The movie grossed over $380 million worldwide and spent 11 weeks in the number one spot at the box office. It spawned two entertaining, yet mediocre by comparison, sequels. It made #10 on the American Film Institute’s list of Best Science Fiction Films and was chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress. There’s not a week that goes by that this film isn’t quoted in my home, still, to this very day. Boys and girls, may I present to you… Back to the Future. First of all, you have to check out the original trailer. Click Here to view. It’s a wonder anyone went to see the movie at all! In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last
Teen angst was a very popular subject in the mid-80s. John Hughes fattened his wallet on the backs of ageless actors who could easily transition from ‘adult’ roles to those of ‘high school students’ and back again. Hollywood dubbed them The Brat Pack. Personally, the only one of those movies that ever felt remotely real to me was The Breakfast Club; Pretty in Pink would be a close second. But, something odd happened 30 years ago this week. Joel Schumacher decided to age-up our teen characters and pose serious questions about what happens after school. Not just high school, no, they jumped straight to college graduation. I’ll tell you what…it wasn’t pretty. But, it did have a catchy theme song. With one of the worst tag lines in cinematic history, this week’s Throwback Thursday tribute belongs to St. Elmo’s Fire. You can check out the original trailer by clicking here.
From 1977-1988, the Walt Disney Studios were in what they now call their pre-renaissance period. The animated films they released were not made with the same quality, nor met with the same fan response as those that preceded this period. A number of great minds came through their doors and left, being told their idea were “too dark” for Disney. In time, Walt Disney Studios would go through their beloved renaissance decade that brought us The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and the Lion King. But, it was during that bleak time of the early 80s that Disney decided to revisit a classic literary series in the hopes of capturing some of that old MGM magic. It’s safe to say that 30 years ago, they failed with this one. Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present…Return to Oz. The Return to Oz was based on the Oz series of
Earning a whopping $511.8 million worldwide in its opening weekend, Jurassic World has officially become the 2nd highest grossing domestic film of all time, as well as the highest grossing film debut globally of all time. This makes the third time this year that Universal Studios has dominated the box office, with 50 Shades of Gray and Furious 7 shaking things up earlier in 2015. Clearly, Jurassic World (and its star, Chris Pratt) can do no wrong. So, why do I have such mixed feelings about it? This rant contains spoiler-filled content. Continue reading at your own risk. Jurassic World (JW) takes place, per the park employees, “a little over 20 years” since the fiasco at the first park. Jurassic Park (JP) occurred in 1993, so we are exactly 22 years removed from the first event. JW is a fully-functional, Disney-like theme park that inevitably implodes thanks to the arrogance
1985 was a big year for cinema. 30 years ago, this week, one film was released that was the epitome of the 80s teen-sex-comedy, all-too common fare, good for a few smiles. May I present, Secret Admirer. Growing up, this wasn’t a film that I would voluntarily seek out, but, like a mediocre song if it happened to be on, I wouldn’t change the channel. It had a somewhat stellar cast, as far as 80s movies go: C. Thomas Howell (PonyBoy!), Lori Laughlin, Kelly Preston (Pre-Travolta), Dee Wallace Stone (mother in every movie, right?), and even sported a prepubescent Corey Haim. There was so much promise! Unfortunately, the delivery came across in a very Three’s Company sort of way. You can check out the trailer by Clicking Here. The movie has a hint of Cyrano to it, but without the classic charm. Boy has a crush on unattainable blonde bombshell.
“Don’t you realize? The next time you see sky, it’ll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it’ll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what’s right for them. Because it’s their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it’s our time. It’s our time down here.” This week’s Throwback Thursday film had a major impact not only on my childhood, but my entire life. This is the film that encompassed it all: Good things happen when you take a chance and band together, friends come in all shapes and sizes, the guy could get the girl, nerdy girls could be badass, you could invent life-saving contraptions, fantasy adventures can exist in real life, good will always conquer evil, a candy bar can save your life…..And, kids can be the heroes!
Growing up, there was one man who could always make me laugh. He was fearless with his physical comedy, had incredible timing and improvisational skills, and his deadpan deliveries never failed to entertain me. From roughly 1978 to 1989, Chevy Chase had my heart. At the height of his career, Chevy did a little comedy based on a series of books by Gregory McDonald. The film was released 30 years ago, this week. Both Burt Reynolds and Mick Jagger had been considered for the role. Thankfully, Chevy landed the title role. For it would be hard to imagine anyone else filling the shoes of Irwin M. Fletcher. I present to you, Fletch. Click HERE to watch the original trailer. In the film, Fletch is a reporter for the LA Times. He has been working undercover on a story in an attempt to bust a local drug trafficking ring. Through a
There are a number of characters that have been played by various actors within the same series. Sometimes, it’s because an actor has died and needs to be replaced. Other times, it is because the source material allows for numerous films to be made and over time, actors age. Fans of each generation, young and old, will always have their favorite version of a character, be it the first one you recall seeing, or the one you think did it best. I have quite a list of “my” characters. For example, MY Batman is Christian Bale (I grew up with many versions, but his was the film series that won me over); MY Doctor is David Tennant (though Chris Eccleston was my first offically); MY Superman is Christopher Reeve; and so forth. By the time this week in 1985 rolled around, the world was on its 4th James Bond actor.
This next movie quickly became what I like to refer to as an “HBO Special”, mainly because they showed it all the damn time. 30 years ago, this week, this film brought in a nice little chunk of change. Believe it or not, this film was based off of a novel published in 1902 and there have been quite a few film adaptations. I’m not referring to the Tale of Peter Rabbit or the Hound of the Baskervilles, or even the autobiography of Helen Keller. No, I’m referring to a little story called Brewster’s Millions. It’s interesting to go back and watch this movie. On the one hand, you witness a prolific man, arguably the greatest stand-up comedian of all-time, on the downward slope of his career. While, on the other hand, you witness another funny man on track to reaching his career peak. Richard Pryor and John Candy, two