Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Teen Wolf?

If you’re looking for a feel-good comedy about teens’ changing bodies and high school hormones leading the plot, then Teen Wolf is the perfect film. Albeit its “classic 80’s” feel and light mood, the movie is just a fluffy (no pun intended), entertaining movie about a teenager turning into a werewolf because of his genetics. Michael J. Fox, however, is one redeeming quality in the movie. I don’t think anybody in the 80’s could’ve hated on Michael J. Fox. In Brazil, after Back to the Future came out, they named Teen Wolf “Garoto do Futuro”, meaning “Boy from the future”, in order for Teen Wolf to be more popular in the box offices. Fox was cute, funny, and when not dressed out in his furry outfit, he was a looker.

The characters, like the rest of the movie, were a bit shallow. There was Fox’s character, which was probably the most developed of the film. With going through wolf-puberty, and finding out that as long as he loves himself, everybody else will too, he went through the most changes in the film. Then there was his best girl-friend, who had a huge crush on him. She helped Fox through his rough times, even when he would ditch her for the “hottest girl in school”. Other than these two characters, the remaining ones were just there to create some contrast within the film. Like I said, it was a like-able 80’s movie, but more of a teenybopper flick than anything else.

The film was the epitome of a “feel-good” movie. Fox was essentially a loser in high school. His best friend was a girl who had a crush on him, and he wasn’t taken very seriously. But, when he turned into a friendly werewolf, everybody flocked to him, including the girl he’s had his eyes on. He became a huge basketball star, and everything seemed perfect. Until he started to realize that people only liked him for his unique quality, and not for his actual self. Can anybody else where the ending of this movie is going? If you said they win the basketball championships without him turning into a werewolf and he falls in love with his best friend, then you are correct! As cheesy and predictable the movie is, you can’t help but love and cherish the flare the 80’s had on all the movies of the decade.

 

 

Big

I’ve heard many good things about the movie Big. However, when it comes to Tom Hanks, I usually have to force myself to watch the movie. He’s not one of my favorites, but he always charms me when I do start watching him onscreen. Big was no different. After hearing multiple defensive arguments from my parents, I gave in and began watching the movie. I was immediately enthralled. Much to my surprise, Tom Hanks brilliantly played his role as a younger boy. I completely believed in his buoyant attitude towards life and his joyous personality while even at work. The part that truly got me was the very well known piano scene in the toy store. The story starts with Josh, a boy who wishes he was older mainly because the girl he likes goes for older guys. When he is at a carnival with his family, he plays a Fortune game where he wishes to be older, and that night his wish comes true.

Big Piano Scene

How could you not fall in love with him at this point? This part, which I saw before I watched the movie, was extremely touching now that I had seen the parts that led up to it. I hope this movie was a sign for all adults to not work too hard and to find the joy in their lives, because even though I’ve only lived 20 years, the film still made me think about taking everything too seriously. Not to mention, I could not stop laughing at the part where Susan comes home with Josh (Tom Hanks’ character) and the confusion shown on her face with what Josh was saying. She was expecting sex, or at least a little action, and he thought “playing” was physically playing with the toys in his apartment. The miscommunication in the scene was hilarious, and one of my favorite parts of the film.

Tron

Quote

After seeing Tron: Legacy, I have been wanting to see the 1982 version of Tron for quite some time. Interestingly enough, I always thought that it was ridiculed for its special effects, but the acting and story line was what made it such a cult classic. However, I know now that it’s the exact opposite. The entire movie was essentially a green screen, and the effects that made it so video game-like were astonishing for its time. My personal favorite was when a young Jeff Bridges first becomes part of the game: his entire body turns into a blue grid, and piece by piece he is digitally sucked into his own game. I do wish I had seen the original film first, because I felt like I wouldn’t have as harsh a critique on it if I wasn’t already used to Joseph Kosinski’s digital world of Tron. Once you get used to the graphics of the 1982 film, it really is quite spectacular because you forget what the technology of today can use and you truly appreciate how great the effects were for that time. It was also semi-nostalgic, even though I was not born in the 80’s, I could still tell that the 3-D world of the grid still maintained its classic arcade game style.

On the other hand, it was very hard for me to get “old school Power Rangers” out of my head. Between the clunky costumes and the awkward interactions between all the video game characters, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they made up a couple of one-liners like “Go go Power Rangers!” while jumping through a digital explosion. The bad guys weren’t very believable, because they couldn’t really keep an eye on their opponents for long, and they were easily beat.

When comparing the 1982 and the 2010 version, I personally don’t think that Tron: Legacy blew Tron out of the water. Obviously, people might prefer the newer one because it’s more modern, but there are only a couple of differences that make the newer one a bit more enjoyable, despite the 1982 film being a cult classic. First of all, the soundtrack in the old one reminded me of cartoons, like when Elmer Fudd is going after Bugs Bunny. It was partly childish, like there was no threat of death or defeat going on. Daft Punk did the entire soundtrack for the 2010 version, and I thought it was perfectly in sync with the Tron world. Also, the story line was a bit easier to follow in the newer version. Even with seeing the 2010 version before, I still had difficulty following along in the beginning in Tron. It took me a while to figure out what was what and who was who, while in Tron: Legacy, it was clear from the start, even for somebody who didn’t know much about it beforehand. Overall, I believe both versions are worth seeing for different reasons. The 1982 version is known for its special effects for that time, and I feel like it is one of those films that you have to see in your lifetime, while the 2010 movie is just a good time, with up-to-date graphics and an interesting plot.

The movie about hockey, but really about fighting

The Fight Scene
The movie Youngblood, with the ever-so-sexy Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, is one of the few 80’s sports films that I have seen that hasn’t been completely cheesy. Yes, it can be unrealistic at times, but overall it is a good movie with a strong plot that doesn’t have too many cheesy undertones. It it set in Canada, where Rob Lowe’s character Dean Youngblood is sent to try out for the Mustangs ice hockey team. He makes the team, but is immediately made fun of for not fighting back when a big bully on the ice pushes him down and hits him with his stick. This sets the stage for the rest of the film, because Youngblood is so amazing at hockey, what he needs to focus on is learning how to stand up for himself and how to fight. This kid really can’t catch a break, though, so it’s no wonder he’s not up for fighting back. During his try outs, he gets sacked by a huge guy, which makes everyone question how manly Youngblood is. Then, during his first night out with the team, they get him drunk so he plays awful at practice the next day, getting him in trouble with the coach. They also gang up on him and shave his balls, which is apparently an “initiation process”. And if that wasn’t enough, the older woman who boards the Mustang team comes onto him, also “initiating” him into the team in her own way. Of course, that last one he probably didn’t mind as much. All in all, the entire movie Youngblood has many opportunities to show people he’s not so much as a push over, but he really only proves it in the end, when he trains as a fighter and defeats the bully that pushed him down in the beginning. Hockey is really just a way to lead into the bigger problem: what player can fist fight the best.
Also, usually with sports movies, there is an annoying love interest that gets in the way of the sport, and the movie goes down hill because it’s lost it’s main and most intriguing plot line, the sport, and it’s gone into an awful love tug-of-war between the main player and his significant other. However, I really didn’t mind the intimate relationship between Dean Youngblood and his coach’s daughter, Jessie, played by Cynthia Gibb. Their relationship was believable, and it was more of a side story to the hockey plot rather than intertwining with it. It also helped Jessie’s case that she looked like Emma Watson, who is always a good catch.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. So what if it had Robe Lowe shirtless for parts of it? It truly surprised me, starting off with a great 80’s jam with Rob Lowe skating in a misty ice rink, kind of like when Kevin Bacon had his emo-dance session in the empty warehouse. Despite how much actual fighting they do during hockey – if we’re basing it off just this movie, then I’m appalled that not all players are injured or have more broken teeth – it was an interesting movie with a great cast of actors.

“Down here it’s our time, It’s our time down here”

I’ve heard many wonderful things about The Goonies, so I decided to give it a shot. I have always been a fan of films that are about a group of neighborhood kids who are best friends, like Little Rascals and Stand By Me. The bond that they have and the sense that they own the town is extremely exhilarating, and I feel pulled into their brotherhood and part of their family. The ending was predictable, but it wouldn’t be a teen 80’s film if it wasn’t.

One part I keep going back to over and over again is the beginning scene with Rosalita, Mrs. Walsh, and Mouth. Mrs. Walsh asks for somebody to help her translate Rosalita’s chores for around the house, and Mouth offers up his services because he took Spanish in school. When he volunteered, I thought it was going to be another one of those times where his translations just didn’t make sense, like “clean the dishes” would turn into “clean the bushes”. It was a huge surprise when he spoke fluent Spanish, and it was absolutely hysterical what he actually said to Rosalita. I wasn’t expecting him to actually know any Spanish, let alone the words “cocaine” and “heroine”.

Unfortunately, I had a strong feeling of annoyance towards Chunk. He didn’t have any redeeming qualities other than saving his friends at the end with the help of Sloth. At first I felt sorry for him, because I thought he was the kid in the group that everybody made fun of, like when Mouth made him do the Truffle Shuffle to get in. However, I began to understand why Mouth treated him that way. Chunk would never stop talking, and it was in a very nagging voice, like he was always trying to get what he wanted. He also wasn’t the brightest, and even that was annoying. When he got locked in the freezer with the dead body and he kept screaming, I felt like shouting at him to suck it up and GET OUT. He was extremely whiny, and my last straw was when he accidentally told the Fratellis everything when they were driving on the road. By that time, I really just wanted Chunk to go home. Despite how I felt about him, I really enjoyed watching how the other boys acted with him. They kind of used him, in a sense of they knew his tendencies and they used it to their advantage. Like when Mikey found the map in the glass, he called Chunks over and simply handed it to him, knowing that he would drop it. Also, when they were trying to get into the house, Mouth started talking dirtily about Chunk’s mother, which made him angry and he broke down the door. It was entertaining, to say the least, to see how all the boys treated Chunk, and I never really did feel bad for him.

Panty Raid!


Revenge of the Nerds turned out to have a lot more substance to it than I originally thought. First of all, the fact that they were in college made it that much more enjoyable, because I feel that you can get away with a lot more things in college than high school. However, one of the great joys of this movie was that it wasn’t realistic at all. I didn’t experience it first hand, so I’m not sure how nerds were treated in the 80’s, but nowadays “nerds” walk among everybody else normally, and they are not made fun of for caring about homework or being extremely smart. Although nobody really wears pocket protectors anymore, either. The first thing I saw that would probably never happen was the fact that the jocks got to live in the freshmen dorms and the freshmen had to sleep in the gym. If this happened today, there would probably be a lot of complaints from parents, as well as the students. It’s completely unfair, but that’s what makes Revenge of the Nerds so enjoyable: there is no limit to what they can do because it is an impractical situation.

Speaking of impractical situations, the main one that grabbed my attention was at the party near the end of the movie. Lewis pretends to be his crush’s boyfriend by dressing up in his costume, and proceeds to have sex with her in the funhouse. When she finds out that it is, in fact, not her boyfriend, does she run away, throwing a fit that she just had sex with a nerd? Of course not, this is the 80’s. She simply states how good he was at it, and was not weirded out at all that he subtly tricked her into having sex with him. It ended well, because she realized how much of a douchebag her boyfriend was anyway, but still, there are many more things to do to make a woman realize that.

Overall, the movie is one big laugh out loud party. There’s nowhere else that would put naked women on plates and allow it to be acceptable. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, and will now be using the phrase “Panty raid!” much more often.

My First “Slasher” Flick

I’ll be the first to admit it. I get scared easily. Which is why I avoid any horror movies. I’ve seen less than 10 in my lifetime. However, in honor of it being the first of October, and I feel I can take, at the very least, an older film, I decided to branch out and try a classic, Friday the 13th. I didn’t have any background information on it, other than the trailers that came out for the sequel in 2009 and the Freddy vs. Jason film in 2003, so I was going in completely cold turkey.

The big question I had after watching the film was who was the actual killer? When Jason’s mother came in near the end and tried to kill Alice off, it led me on to think that she was the killer, and Alice simply had a dream about Jason attacking her and pulling her into the water. Also, it had to be someone in town because when Steve, the camp manager, faced the killer unknowingly, he said, “Oh, it’s you”, and then he was killed. So Steve had to have known the person who killed him, and it being a small town, it didn’t seem crazy that it was Mrs. Voorhees.  But, one thing that does makes me feel that it was not Jason’s mom who was the killer is from the scene when Kevin Bacon’s character dies. While he’s lying in bed, the arm that reaches up and grabs him is a manly looking arm covered in plaid, not a slender wrist in a baby blue sweater. Also, the shadows that were lurking throughout the film appeared to be of a man with broad shoulders. I guess I’ll have to watch the other films to truly discover who the “killer” is, but for now I believe that there are some supernatural elements at play, which I was not expecting from a classic slasher film.

As for the “scare” factor, I did jump at parts. Who wouldn’t with the frightening musical accompaniment that chimed in at the perfect time? I did keep my cool though, and I found myself more so laughing than jumping out of my seat. Maybe it was a defense mechanism, but it sure did help. Like when Annie was running and stumbling heavily because of her hurt leg – despite her graceful roll out of the vehicle – through the forest, I couldn’t help but laugh at how silly she looked, tripping on the leaves and gripping her leg. I tried putting myself in her position. Would I be able to suck it up and run, knowing that I had somebody dangerous chasing me? I couldn’t really say, because I had never been in that position (knock on wood). However, it made me think about other movies where the characters were hurt, but still had to fight/run for their lives. The only ones I could think of were movies where the characters were trained fighters, or at least lived dangerously for a living (Charlie’s Angels kept coming to mind). So, obviously, it is not impossible to grit your teeth and keep fighting for your life. I just don’t think poor Annie was well equipped physically for it.

Another little thing I found interesting about the movie was when the counselors were going to fix the emergency generator. The counselor Marcie, after the light was turned on, stated, “What hath God wrought?” The line kind of made me chuckle, because the line would be more appropriate to declare, say, right before you’re about to be killed, and not when a lightbulb turns on.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It even made me think about watching the original Nightmare on Elm Street. But I’ll save that for another time. When it’s light out. And I’m around a big crowd of people.