Cocaine in the 80’s

So far cocaine has been featured in nearly every movie we’ve watched with the exception of the teen movies, and to be hones when I think of 80’s movies its hard to block out the image of Scarface sitting with face down in a gigantic white pile of powder. So I guess the question is: how rampant was cocaine use in the 80’s?

coce

According to this rehab website, cocaine was the “most popular recreational drug in the 80’s”. The article even claims that cocaine usage was more rampant than alcohol use. That is a pretty hard core claim. The movies of the 1980s certainly seem to portray cocaine as a drug of the beautiful and the rich. What may be more relevant is the massive amount of modern movies that portray the late 70’s and early 80’s as a mecca of cocaine amidst a disco glamor backdrop. Movies like 54 which portrayed the famous nightclub in its heyday and Blow, a hard luck story about a cocaine smuggler portray a decade where drugs were everywhere: at every party, in every nightclub, and in a vial in the pocket of every Hollywood starlet.

One of the best examples of cocaine use amongst Hollywood youth is that of Drew Barrymore darling of the movie E.T who went to rehab at the ripe old age of 14 for cocaine usage and was often reported to be spotted in the popular nightclubs of the 80’s like Studio 54 snorting cocaine and smoking cigarettes.

coca drewdrew coca

We see cocaine use in 80’s movies like Wall Street where it is just part of the new world of making money. There are articles like this one where Dennis Quaid claims that cocaine was an expense built into movie budgets.

It seems coke was to the 19080s what pot was to the hippies of sixties and seventies, and nowhere is that better portrayed than in the films and social scene of Hollywood.

Creation of Seinfeld

On July 5th, 1989 NBC launched the first episode of the hit series Seinfeld. It aired for nine seasons. The show is set in Manhattan’s upper west side on an apartment complex. The show is a handful of Jerry’s friends and acquaintances but mostly his best friends. Many of Seinfeld’s shows are based of his real life experiences that are recreated in the show and shown through the characters. It has also broken a lot of mainstream TV and became the first to do so since Monty Python. This is postmodern. Seinfeld states that the show is suppose to show humor and especially with some of the characters in the series. The humor in this series is suppose to be funny because of the fail or disastrous results of the other characters. Importantly, the show also never wants to make you feel bad or sorry for the characters even after Susan’s death, one of the characters.

This family sitcom is unlike any other. The show  has its own structure and is developed by presenting a thread and story line at the beginning of every show. the rapid scene shifts between plot lines help bring the stories together. Unlike most sitcoms, Seinfeld does not follow a pattern. the characters stories and life events vary and intertwine in each and every episode. What helps this situation is that the stories in previous episodes are expanded on and brought up again in later episodes.

Even though the show started in the late 1980s, the show has become so popular and is still popular with many people even though it does not create more shows, the re-runs are entertaining as ever. This is because it was a revolutionary show that became a hit and model for future shows and movies. one of the best shows to be created.

Books of the 1980′s: Part II (1986-1989)

This is the follow-up post to the original Books of the 80’s post, which listed 10 books from 1980-1985 that are still around (and popular) today. Here are 10 books from the latter half of the decade you might be familiar with.

1. It (Stephen King, 1986)

2. Red Storm Rising (Tom Clancy, 1986)

3. A Perfect Spy (John Le Carre, 1986)

4. Fatherhood (Bill Cosby, 1986)

5. Patriot Games (Tom Clancy, 1987)

6. The Tommyknockers (Stephen King, 1987)

7. Misery (Stephen King, 1987)

8. Windmills of the Gods (Sidney Sheldon, 1987)

9. A Brief History of Time (Stephen Hawking, 1988)

10. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett, 1989)

It would appear that “thrillers” were a common theme in the later half of the 1980s decade, with many novels about spies, military, and intelligence agencies. John Le Carre and Tom Clancy quickly became leaders in the espionage genre.

Stephen King remained a popular author and published a total of 12 books over the course of the decade; some were short-story collections while others were novels. Between 1986 and 1989 the following were published: Skeleton Crew, It, The Tommyknockers, Misery, The Eyes of the Dragon, and The Dark Half. It and Misery were both adapted into films.

pennywise

The “film” adaptation of It came out in 1990 as a two-part TV miniseries. Tim Curry of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fame starred as the horrific Pennywise, a clown that killed children. Images from the movie are still burned into the minds of clown lovers and haters alike. In both the book and the TV miniseries, seven outcast kids (The Loser Club) fight an evil demon that poses as a child-killing clown in 1960s Maine. 30 years later, the demon makes a second appearance and the club must once again come together–this time as adults–to defeat the monster. Surprisingly, the horror novel relies heavily on the “coming of age” theme. The miniseries downplays this aspect and received negative reviews from critics and fans alike.

misery

The film adaptation of Misery was a much better commercial and critical success than King’s It. Misery, also out in 1990, featured Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes, an obsessed and deranged fan. You may recognize Kathy Bates from recent episodes (season 8 and 9) of The Office (US version) or FX’s American Horror Story. She won an Oscar for her portrayal of Annie Wilkes in Misery. Despite coming out over 20 years ago, the film still has an 88% (positive) on Rottentomatoes.com. The novel and film adaptation are about an author that is “rescued” from a wintery, ice-fueled car accident by a crazy fan. The tagline of the film is: “Paul Sheldon used to write for a living. Now, he’s writing to stay alive.”

patriot

Patriot Games was also adapted into a film. Debuted in 1992, the movie starred Harrison Ford (of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame) and Anne Archer. Phillip Noyce, also known for Clear and Present Danger, Salt, and the upcoming The Giver, directed the film. IMDB summarizes the movie and the book “When CIA Analyst Jack Ryan interferes with an IRA assassination, a renegade faction targets him and his family for revenge.” Clancy’s character of Jack Ryan has also been the focus of several other movies (originally based on books), including The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears.

Raging Bull Still Putting Up a Fight

The Academy Award winning Raging Bull still is in the news, 34 years later.

A lawsuit involving the daughter of the screenwriter who wants compensation for the ongoing profits of the film will still continue, according to a ruling today.

Read here for more information.

Don’t know anything about Raging Bull?  Watch the trailer.

Still interested?  Check out this scene.

 

A Gentlemen’s bet! HuZZAH!

The Tale of the Tape:

Louis Winthorpe III and Billy Ray Valentine vs. Mortimer and Randolph Duke

Having lived a privileged life, Louis, more commonly referred to as Winthorpe by the Duke brothers, has not encountered much adversity and runs the commodities firm for the Dukes. After Billy, a con man from the streets played by Eddie Murphy, knocks over Winthorpe, Dan Aykroyd, and goes to hand back Louis’ briefcase, he freaks out saying he is being mugged and calls for the police, a harmless action misinterpreted.

Billy runs around with the briefcase through the ritzy restaurant where the Duke brothers see him being arrested and come up with a wager: Billy can run the company just as well as Winthorpe

Billy tries to act all hard for the guys who are harassing him by stating he is a black belt and he is just waiting for his ladies to bail him out of jail.

The Duke brothers pay for Billy’s release and tell them of their intensions and setup Winthorpe to be arrested! BUM BUM BUM!

This starts his downward spiral to get back Billy after hitting rock bottom

Billy and Winthorpe devise a plan that makes them rich while bankrupting the Duke brothers and insert a HILARIOUS train sequence that involves interspecies relationships with a gorilla and boom! You got yourself a comedy, “Right BILLY RAY?!”

NOOOO!

YES!

“Oh see, I made Louis a bet here. Louis bet me we both couldn’t get rich and put y’all in the poor house at the same time, he didn’t think we could do it. I won.”

“I lost… ONE dollar!”

“Thank you Louis.”

 

“I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!”

Imagine you’re on a date and just leaving the midnight showing of Skyfall. It’s dark, cold, and you’re walking to your car. As the crowd disperses, a few men start walking behind you as you walk across the empty parking lot. As you get closer and closer to your car, you notice the group is walking faster and getting awkwardly close to you two and your car is the only one is sight. As you go to open the door they push you against the car and demand for you money and pull out a knife. You fumble and pull out your cash, dropping it on the ground. There’s a whoosh of material and sound of struggle. You look up and the thieves are on the ground writhing in pain. You notice in the corner a dark figure and you lock onto eye starring back at you. You turn your head to look at your date and next thing you know, whatever was there is gone. Could it be? Is it really? I had to be… Batman…

Batman originally appeared in the 1930’s and was known to have the comedic “BOOM! POW” with Adam West. Tim Burton’s Batman now takes a darker spin filled with Prince being played in the background and sets up the Batman Anthology that ran into the late 90’s.

If you’re looking to find the backstory of how Batman is developed, this isn’t the movie for you. You are immediately immersed into action with the bad guys fearing “The Bat!”

Bruce Wayne may look like a pushover, but rest assured, this glasses wearing, tuxedo sporting millionaire has deep hatred in his blood for those evil-doers and his solution is a  glove covered back fist! Played by Michael Keaton, who starred in Gung Ho and was fresh from another famous Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, had the right attitude and innocence to pull of the role.

Jack Napier, who is turned into Joker, is played by Jack Nicholson. Being known more for his role in The Shining, Nicholson is able to play the nuisance role superbly

Accompanied by the BEAUTIFUL Vicky Vale, Kim Basinger, this movie is able to not only pit Batman versus Joker to save Gotham, but the damsel in distress. Just like all the movies from the 80’s, this one has the potential to make your night at home just as nostalgic.

Make sure to check this out and see what inspired the Batman Animated Series.

 

Stay Gold Ponyboy

As an older brother myself I’m naturally pulled into tales about brotherhood. More than any other subject matter, brotherhood really hits at my heart and gets me emotionally invested in a film. Obviously when people think brothers they think blood relation, but just as impactful are movies about de facto brothers. Francis Ford Coppola doesn’t appear to favor one over the other, as The Outsiders is a film about both.

The film centers around the Greasers, a band of boys from broken homes who look at each other as brothers, even though only three of them are actually related by blood. With an ensemble cast of Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estivez, Tom Cruise, Ralph Macchio, and C. Thomas Howell, there’s not an unrecognizable face in the bunch. Throughout the film the boys stand by one another, fight for each other (literally), keep each others spirits up, and save each other’s lives in more ways than one.

The story comes from the perspective of Ponyboy Curtis (and that’s not a nickname; his brother’s name is Sodapop), the youngest member of the Greasers at 14, who’s writing about a personal experience to boost his grade. The viewer follows Ponyboy and shows his experience living with his two older brothers (who work to put him through school since their parents died), as well as his time palling around with the rest of the gang, especially the second youngest member: Johnny. The crux of the story comes when Johnny stabs and kills a member of the rival gang, The Socs, saving the life of Ponyboy. With the help of the gang’s biggest delinquent Dallas, the two boys hop a train, run away, and lay low for a week.

While the boys are hiding out the moral of the story becomes abundantly clear. Ponyboy, by far the most well read and studious of the gang, recites to Johnny Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” while watching a golden sunrise:

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

There’s a reason the story revolves around Ponyboy; he is the youngest and least jaded of the boys. He has not had to drop out of school to support a family like his brothers; he has not been sent to jail like Dallas; he hasn’t even scarred from a fight like Johnny. In essence Ponyboy is still gold, still able to see the good in the world and fall in love with the sunrise. The goldenness of his characters is emphasized in this scene by the sky in the background, as well as the golden sky during the opening and closing of the film

In total contrast to the scene shown above is the rumble scene between the Greasers and the Socs. Right before the battle starts, Coppola pans the camera across the faces of the Greasers, all half drenched in black. Life has taken half the good out of these boys; they are no longer gold. A statement has been made: with age comes cynicism.  Ponyboy learns the hard way that life isn’t just golden sunrises, and opts to write his school report on the adventure he’s just been through. Ironically enough, when he doesn’t know what he’s going to write about he jokingly suggests “my first trip to the zoo,” not knowing that’s exactly what he’ll be writing about. But hopefully all hope is not lost for Pony after it all comes to an end, maybe he can, as Johnny tells him to, “stay gold.”

You’re the Rain Man?

Rain Man, always a favorite of my dad’s, had somehow never made it into the line-up of eighties film, music, and culture he has imparted on me. Last night, I decided—with the help of Netflix Instant—to remedy that situation.

This film turned out to be much more profound than I expected it to be. Its commentary on the perceptions of mental illness in the eighties in particular surprised me. Although many psychologists and psychiatrists have complained that Dustan Hoffman’s portrayal of Raymond does not adhere to the traditional diagnosis of autism, it is the reactions of people in the movie towards both Raymond and other mentally challenged characters which truly reveal the shift in attitude toward mental illness that has occurred in the past few decades. In the film, reactions to Raymond outside of the institution he has been placed in range from outright disdain and mockery—originally stemming from Charlie, Raymond’s brother, played by Tom Cruise—or painfully patronizing. Although complete understanding—both in the scientific and social acceptance sense—of mental illnesses with likely never happen, Rain Man certainly emphasizes that the level of acceptance of the mentally challenged has risen.

The movie also raised several ethical quandaries, particularly in the sequence in which Charlie takes Raymond to a casino in Las Vegas and uses his autistic savant abilities to count cards. In truth, the entire premise of the film is based on an extremely unethical type of bargaining—Charlie wants half of his late father’s fortune, and kidnaps Ray in a sense in order to strike out a deal with the psychologist who has been placed in charge of Raymond’s affairs. This obviously questionable behavior is soon replaced however by Charlie’s genuine desire to care for his brother, which gives rise to yet another ethical debate—would Ray be better off with the personal connection of his brother and more risk of physical or emotional harm from environmental factors or in an institution devoid of danger and family relationships?

Even more striking than the social commentary buried in Rain Man was Hoffman’s extraordinary portrayal of a high-functioning autistic man.  As previously mentioned, several experts took issue with Hoffman’s technically inaccurate portrayal of autism. However, in my opinion, Hoffman more than Cruise became the focal point of the film. His ability to authentically and consistently convey a serious mental handicap throughout the movie impressed me beyond belief. I cannot begin to imagine how difficult it must have been to believably convey a complex mental illness like autism while still trying to convey the emotion necessary to make the back-story convincing. Hoffman was also, amazingly, able to bring true humor to the screen through his representation of Raymond. This endearing and surprising humor is especially evident in the scene where Raymond, complaining about having to wear Charlie’s underwear instead of his preferred Hanes boxer shorts from K-Mart, annoys his brother into throwing said underwear out of the car and cries, “Uh-oh, you left your shorts on the highway.”

 

“Up Where We Belong”

I really need to stop watching movies that make me cry.  For my last blog, I wanted to watch a film that is considered both a critical and box office success of the 80’s.  I loved Richard Gere in Pretty Woman but was extremely disappointed with American Gigolo but I decided to give him another chance and watch one of his better films as my grand blog finale.  Tonight I watched an Officer and a Gentleman and I must say I LOVED this film.  It was released in 1982 and was both a critical success and a huge hit at the box office becoming the third highest grossing film of the year.  The film is definitely a drama and stars Richard Gere as Zack Mayo (yeah, like what you put on a sandwich) and past “It” girl, Debra Winger as Paula Pokrifki.  After a troubling childhood, Zack signs up and starts attending the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School in hopes of becoming a Navy Pilot.  Their head drill instructor is the extremely intimidating, brutal Sergeant Foley played by Louis Gosset Jr. (who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film).  Sergeant Foley terrified me!  He was so scary and everything the candidates had to do was extremely intense and honestly probably does not motivate anyone to join the navy.  Some of the scenes were a little to much to handle because of how intense they were.  While in the program, Zack befriends Sid and falls in love with Paula.  Obviously the film is a drama so there are many obstacles these three characters experience throughout that I do not want to give away because I HIGHLY recommend this film.  The film did hit a little too close to home for me with more of the intense and tragic moments (hence the crying) but I thought the film was great and it is probably one of my favorite films of the 80s now.  I did feel that Gere and Winger had chemistry and the ending scene, which is iconic and often referenced today in pop culture, was simply romantic.  I personally liked the theme song for the film “Up Where We Belong” and thought it was very appropriate for the story.  If you have not seen this film-SEE IT!


Clue

“It’s not just a game anymore…”

     I saw this movie years ago and actually happened to re-stumbled upon it a few weeks ago on Netflix. If you have never seen this movie, go watch it right now. Even though for today’s standards it could be considered tacky or outdated, I find it to have time elegance to it. It tells a story similar to the board game in which a murder has taken place at Boddy Manor and you must figure out who has done it. The six suspects are Mrs. Peacock, Coronel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Professor Plum, and Miss Scarlet. The mysterious Mr. Boddy, who is blackmailing them and seems to know the links between all of the guests, has invited them to his manor to discuss their blackmail.

Each guests is given a small present that conceals a weapon and when Mr. Boddy confronts the guests, the lights go out and a gunshot goes off. Mr. Boddy is the first of six murders that take place in order to cover up a conspiracy involving all of the guests. There are three alternate endings, one in which the murderer is Mrs. White, one in which the murderer is Miss Scarlet, and one in which they are all guilty except for Mr. Green.

I really liked the way that this film played out; it used a lot of cinematic elements that you don’t really see in films today. For example, after each possible explanation, it cuts to a silent film era in which there’s old music with words explaining. It had a really good story line and was relatable back to the board game in which it comes from. I found it interesting that they did three alternate endings; I’ve never seen that done in a film before. It tied the three endings together really nicely, and as an audience you realize by the end that there really is only one ending that work. You’ll have to go watch it in order to find out which one it is!

I think it holds up to time in the aspect that the board game is such a classic that even in today’s standards this film would be enjoyable. There are certain things that are definitely outdated such as costume, and language, however there are just some movies that can stand the test of time. I believe that this is one of those films.

The Godfather III

“Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in”

            In high school I had to watch the Godfather and the Godfather II for a film class. They were absolutely incredible movies, which came as no surprise since this seems to be the general consensus I have heard. Do yourself a favor and just stick to the first two and do not see the third in the trilogy. An embarrassment to the series, the Godfather III portrays terrible acting on the part of Sofia Coppola and scenes that drag on with no point and features the ridiculous to the Vatican plot. The end of the Godfather II sealed Michael’s fate, which left no reason for another sequel.

We’re immediately thrown back into the underworld of the mafia and their violence. However, in the third installment it appears that Michael Corleone is trying to remove himself from that world and legitimize his business dealings. We began to see Michael’s downfall in II and while I found myself hating him at the end of II he transforms even further into self-infatuating and confusing in this sequel. For some reason, the Vatican is brought in when Michael tries to link his “family’s business” to it. He tries to prove to the Vatican how his family no longer deals in anything illegal, however, Michael gets pulled right back into that world.

The ending scene in which Mary (Sofia Coppola) gets shot by a gunman, who poses as a priest, is way overdramatized. She’s shot and manages to stay standing for a good 10 seconds before her father sees her, she then is able to exclaim “Dad,” before falling to her knees and then to her side. The scene is completely unrealistic and teamed up with Coppola’s bad acting, makes for a terrible ending.

I thought this film was just awful compared to the other two. The last godfather had come out in 1974 and they never should have revived it almost sixteen years later. I guess it is relatable to now since it was only filmed in the 90’s and most of the costumes and language are similar to today.

“It’s dangerous for a woman like you to play it safe.”

Moonlight. Family. Love.

Moonstruck

There is something enchanting about Moonstruck. It is not found in high production values, or crazy special-effects. Slapstick-y jokes. But there is a substance in the script, and a poetry in the language and themes of this film. A chemistry and intimacy found in the cast, that makes you draw nearer to the screen. Moonstruck manages to capture the animal-craze found in new love and slap it on screen, while bringing attention to themes of loyalty, true love in the face of obligation, and the ways in which we block ourselves from the things we desire most.

“The moon brings the woman to the man.”

A big, fat, moon and Loretta (transcendentally played by Cher) are some of the first images to grace the screen. Loretta at age 37 shares a passionless relationship with her boyfriend Johnny. We see her staring off in the distance with a rose resting on her graceful neck. There is no doubt that behind her vacant stare she yearns for more than the life fate has given her. Since the death of her first husband via bus (which she discusses quite honestly), Loretta has concluded that her “lack of tradition” was the missing link. So with the hapless Johnny she has concluded the only way to avoid disaster is for them to abide by tradition as much as possible. Johnny proposes, to which Loretta says yes. She likes him and that’s enough for her. They agree to be married. However, fate has a different plan.

Johnny (Loretta's fiance)

Johnny must leave for three days to attend to his dying Mother in Italy. Johnny has a tendency toward losing what’s dear to him; everything from his luggage, to Loretta who falls in love with his estranged brother Ronny – played by the then up-and-coming Nicholas Cage. Bristling with anger and heartbreak, Ronny lashes out at everyone and mourns the loss of his fiance and his hand.

No one stands up to his anger or bothers to point out how misplaced it is – Ronny blames Johnny for the loss of his hand – but Loretta. Perhaps in Ronny, Loretta has finally met her match. For every blunt word she tosses at him Johnny returns with an equally adept observation of Loretta’s character.

Loretta and Ronny bond over steak.

Loretta: “That woman didn’t leave you, ok? You can’t see what you are and I see everything. You’re a wolf. […] That woman was a trap for you, she caught you and you couldn’t get away so you chewed off your own foot. […] And now you’re afraid because you know the big part of you is a wolf that has the courage to bite off your own foot.”

Johnny: “He made me look the wrong way and I cut off my hand. He could make you look the wrong way and you could lose your head. […] A bride without a head.”

Loretta: “A wolf without a foot.”

Passion

Ronny: “SON OF A BITCH…I can’t believe this is happening.”

Loretta: “Where are you taking me?!”

Ronny: “To the bed.”

They make love. Sensuous, passionate love…who knew Nicholas Cage was once more than a joke? Dare I say, vaguely attractive? (Watch the infamous scene here.)

Nicholas Cage was attractive once?

“I was dead”, confesses Ronny to Loretta in the throes of passion. Moonstruck is ripe with dialogue with the ability to make one swoon or giggle, and actors who deliver without a wink to the audience. What appealed to me about Moonstruck was each actor’s ability to give a solid, character-centered performance while remaining firmly rooted in the ensemble. Never once did someone’s performance overpower the rest of the cast. Each actor from Olympia Dukakis, whose performance as the Matriarch of the Castorini family won her an Academy Award, to Cher who also carried home an Academy, to the subtle characterization of her adulterating father Cosmo Castorini played by Vincent Gardenia stands solidly on it’s own and cohesively as a whole. This was an ensemble film done right.

Olympia Dukakis and Cher

Vincent Gardenia and Cher

Moonstruck cast

Rather than focusing on young, stupid people in love. Moonstruck alternatively focuses on older people…who in some ways are just as “stupid” in their love, but have the several decades of life experience on their side. This life experience allows them to explore the more philosophical side of love, allowing us not only to ruminate on why we desire love, but why we chase it, abandon it, and remain by the people we believe capable of giving us it. Or even why we commit to those people long after the passionate love we once had is gone.

Anyone who is a fan of love, idiosyncratic dialogue, Cher, Italian families and culture in general, and the opera La Boheme should surely tune-in for this gem of a film.

“Wind beneath my wings”

I had heard for years that the film, Beaches, would make me cry.  Well, I watched it tonight and I must say it did not do much for me.  I didn’t even tear up!  Beaches is a 1988 comedy/drama or “dramedy” starring Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey as best friends.  The two meet as young eleven year old girls under the boardwalk and embark on a lifelong friendship in which they write letters to one another and meet up through various chapters in their lives.  They experience break ups, career ups and downs, marriage, pregnancy, and just about everything together until tragedy tears them apart.  I am convinced the reason I did not get so emotionally invested in this film is because of Barbara Hershey.  I felt her acting was not up to par and that she did not connect with her character at all.  Every time she “cried” it felt fake and sadly attempted.  I could not connect with her and felt that she was not genuine at all.  Bette Midler, on the other hand, gave a great performance.  When she cried, I believed it.  To be fair, her character was not a huge stretch being that she played an aspiring singer/actress; however, her performance was genuine and her singing, of course, was phenomenal.  The hit song from this film, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, pulls at the heart strings and is a well known classic for obvious reasons.  The story is sweet and the message of not taking your friends for granted is clearly portrayed, but I did not feel chemistry between the two leads-Hershey as Hilary Whitney and Midler as C.C. Bloom.  The film as a whole was just okay, it honestly felt long and that it just dragged on.  It is definitely “80’s” as seen by Midler’s huge hair and the various outfits worn by her and Hershey.  Probably the thing I liked most about this film was the little girl who played Hilary Whitney’s daughter-she was adorable as Victoria Cecelia Whitney! I probably would not recommend this film as one of my favorites from this decade but it is not completely terrible.

Time for a glass of “Man Up”

As awesome as this movie is to get you pumped to take control of the mat with awesome training montage music from Foreigner, Journey, Sammy Hagar, Red Rider and REO Speedwagon, it is a sports movie with a weak sappy love subplot. Directed by Harold Becker, known for such films as Taps which starred a young Tom Cruise, Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn, Vision Quest is a movie for the athlete and not for a cozy date night.

Louden Swain, Matthew Modine, is not just a high school athlete trying to survive his senior season, he is trying to make a name for himself by finding who he is and by doing the unthinkable, beating Brian Shute, who is the top wrestler in Washington and revered like a God. This is not just about a kid growing up, it is his vision quest.

Having wrestled a majority of my time in high school, I instantly loved the movie. I can still remember the stale smell of sweat and rubber mats. The movie starts off with slow pan of Louden jumping rope in soaked sweats. The coach starts the typical “Win one for the Gipper” speech for the beginning of the season, you know what I’m talking about if you ever played a sport.

Louden must first beat the best wrestler in the 178 pound weight class, which is Kuch, in order to wrestle Shute. In order to do so, much drop a significant amount of weight which is a struggle any wrestler can identify with.

After school, practice, and running all day, he is harassed by a male guest at his night time job at a hotel. Then starts his run back home.

Along his journey, Carla, Linda Fiorentino, crashes at his place. This is where Louden’s innocence is apparent and the love part begins.

Insert the first live performance by Madonna and you got yourself a half baked romance!

After the whole romance thing is done, it is now time for Louden to take on Shute. Cue Red Rider’s Lunatic Fringe and watch the madness begin.