The Goonies To Return?

The Goonies

Richard Donner, director of the successful cult children’s film, The Goonies, recently announced that a sequel has been confirmed! Also famous for directing the Superman  and Lethal Weapon movies, among others, Donner’s The Goonies still has a high fan base today, with many excited fans anticipating a sequel.

Richard Donner circa 1987

The original Goonies first hit the big screen in 1985. In the movie, two brothers named Mikey and Brandon come from a family that gets caught up in a financial crisis because developers seek to destroy their home and build a golf course in place. To save their home and stop their family from moving, these guys team up with an adventurous group of friends and find themselves on a treasure hunt. Mikey had discovered a map in his family’s attic and from thereon out, the crew sets out on a quest with the guidance of famed “One-Eyed Willy” to find his hidden fortunes. However, this cavern that holds their sought after treasure ends up being beneath an estranged family, The Fratellis, who threaten the kids throughout the film and want nothing but money (Gekkoism, anyone?) so they also seek the hidden treasure when they hear of its existence. The movie sets up lots of laughs along the way, with mishaps and adventures lurking in every corner of their adventurous journey. Also, hidden in the Fratelli’s basement is the infamous character the gang stumbles upon named ‘Sloth,’ and he’s creepy looking, but a dude you definitely want on your team.

Here’s Sloth saving the day:

As for the sequel, Donner told gossip site TMZ that he hoped to bring back all the stars for a follow-up. But what do they look like now? I bet you’re all as curious as I am so…

Here’s Chunk:

Then there’s Mikey:

And there’s Brand: (bit easier on the eyes)

Donner hopes that these stars, as well as some others, agree to come back together for a sequel after seemingly parting ways since the movie’s release date in 1985. Fingers crossed!

You’re welcome.

Tootsie

Maybe I’m just on a Dust Hoffman train now, but for my final blog, I decided to finally fully watch a movie that has graced not only several Top 100 lists of the 80s, but numerous lists concerning the top movies of all time as well: Tootsie. The film stars Dustan Hoffman as Michael Dorsey, an actor struggling to make a living due to his tendency to cause conflict and general irritation on set. His difficulties lead him to pursue a new gig as a day-time medical soap opera star as a woman—the plucky and outspoken Dorothy Thomas.

Although originally Michael only plans to appear on the show until he earns enough money to produce and star in a play his roommate has written, he ends up becoming more and more invested his life as Dorothy to the exclusion of his girlfriend who he seems somewhat uninterested in. Through his part on the soap opera he meets Julie, a co-star on the show whom he falls in love with and attempts to court as both his male and female selves. Dorothy/Michael must also contend with the interests of male co-stars and, embarrassingly, Julie’s widowed father, Les. Hilarity and Academy Award nominations ensue.

The film was marketed as a comedy in its day and although it is without question amusing, it seemed in my eyes that it included more serious commentary on the position of women in the 1980s than could be expected of a run-of-the-mill comedy.

Although Hoffman’s character originally begins as a somewhat stereotypical, misogynistic male figure, as the film progresses and he immerses himself deeper into the character of Dorothy. By standing up for himself to the womanizing actors on the soap-opera, Michael begins to feel the effects of disrespectful attitudes towards women. He realizes that he likely doled out similar disrespect, and attempts to recant in a way by presenting Dorothy as a feminist character, slapping “doctors” on air for flirtatious antics and advising Julie—albeit in a somewhat self-interested fashion—to escape her relationship with the show’s sexist director.

This shed quite a bit of light on the state of sexism and discrimination against women in employment during the 80s, a trend which, sadly enough, continues today. Social issues of unequal compensation, sexual harassment, and single parenthood are dealt with in the film, primarily through either Michael’s personal experiences as Dorothy—such as the scene in which he must count on the entrance of a man to stop a co-star from forcing himself on “Dorothy”—or Julie’s stories of what working in the business is like. Even though the film was directed by a man, I believe it accurately captured and brought attention to the plight of the modern woman in a professional context.

The Heat is on!

 

Trailer

Beverly Hills Cop, a movie from the year 1984, displayed a story about a Detroit police officer who doesn’t quite fit in with the culture in Beverly Hills when dealing with a murder case.

Before this film, Eddie Murphy was not really well known, but this movie definitely increased his popularity and portrayed his comedic genious persona.

The cop has this kind of cocky, but funny personality that amuses the audience. Murphy exudes this cheeky character, but manages to compliment this behavior with comedic instances that really entertain anyone who watches this film.

Hilarious scene from movie

In addition, like Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop also has a soundtrack that became extremely popular in the 80’s and even today. When I heard the opening song to this movie, I could not believe this was where the song came from. I have heard it in recent movies and in games, but I would have never assumed it originated from this film. The song has this mixture of pop and like techno, which is odd, but it somehow manages to be really catchy (allowing it to still be popular today).

Theme song

The song is really uplifting and fun.  It’s got a tune one can easily sing and hum. The beats and tune allow it to be really different from other songs at the time, but it also becomes a bit messy and entertaining. Sort of how the main character of the film is. The theme song of this film really resembles that to Axel’s character.

It’s a shame, because I feel like Eddie Murphy’s talent is so visible in this movie and now it seems to have died down. The movies he makes today are no comparison to Beverly Hills Cop. Today, I think a lot of people would agree that this film has to be one of the best and most entertaining cop films.

 

Who you gonna call?

Ghostbusters!

There is no doubt that this 1984 supernatural comedy film has become popular throughout the world. The tale of these three unemployed professors who go on to catch ghosts in the city of New York  is a success in using these two genres to entertain the people at the time.

When I chose to watch this movie, I had no idea how funny or entertaining it would be. I always thought that it looked corny. However, the blend of special effects and comedy really makes this film a fun movie to watch.

Bill Murray’s first big role

I was a little confused when the essence of evil took form into a giant marshmallow man, but it still managed to work for the film, and essentially, set it apart from all the other films at this time.

Marshmallow of evil

In addition, with the success of the movie, came the success of one of the most famous songs in the 80’s. As the line goes, “Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” really portrays the true success of the film. Everyone is similar with that phrase.

With the release of the movie, the release of the main theme of the movie came out. Ray Parker Jr., the composer of the music for this film, actually had a lot of trouble writing the theme for this film. The issue was resolved when he saw an advertisement on television. He wanted the song to take a catchy tune like advertisements did. As a result, the song was #1 on the charts for 3 weeks straight.

Theme song

The success of Ghostbuster’s continues on even today. The theme for the music can still be heard on the radio, at theme parks, etc. The movie was even able to get a show to come about about after the movie was made. Universal Studios even had a show dedicated to the movie that visitors can go see when visiting the parks.

Show Intro

Consequently, this film was so successful in the 80’s that even today we are aware of Ghostbusters.

“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.

The Original Hangover

This is the decade Tom Hanks explodes onto the screen! Just fresh from his first major role in Splash, Tom stars in Bachelor Party. Far before The Davinci Code and The Hangover, Hanks plays Rick, a light hearted, rebellious, immature party boy looking to blow off some steam for the last time with his buddies before tying the knot.

(Cannot believe it has been 28 years since this came out!)

Just like any good group of friends would do, they deny he is getting married and once realize Rick is not joking, decide the only right thing to do is throw an epic party!

In a time where movies were not known to crude humor, this Bachelor Party breaks the mold with perverted, cheap slapstick comedy making this movie is definitely a must see!

Just like we all know in any relationship, Rick must deal with Debbie’s parents and her overbearing ex-boyfriend. Oh in-laws! Rick is despised for being his “charming” self a  bachelor party, this party is constantly having some sort of twist and turn, starting off with hookers being sent to Debbie’s party. Add Chippendale dancers, drugs, booze, and a horse and you got a party you should have RSVP’d to.

Weird Science

This movie that came out in 1985 is about 2 nerdy boys who somehow manage to create a woman of all their dreams. Instead, the result is far more than they expected. 

John Hughes, with no doubt, knows how to target a teenage audience. He took the popular notion of male fantasies regarding women and made a fun, new comedy out of it. Not only did this film highlight on the personas of adolescent males in a comedic way, but he also managed to focus on the advancement of technology at the time. Computers were only just fresh and new, therefore, this idea that computers can even generate the girl of your dreams seemed ideal with all the tasks it was already accomplishing.

I found this ad on Youtube and I just can’t help but laugh. Not only cause of that weird pointing finger salute thing they do, but also cause of the music and just how old these computers really are. This also shows that sort of new idea that with technology, we can do anything! Even create a new hot girlfriend for boys.

Also, they don’t just choose some ordinary girl for their creation. They end up with Kelly LeBrock, a huge heart throb from these times.

I mean, hello, she’s gorgeous.

I’ve read that there have been several talks about a remake and that several actors, like Roberty Downey Jr. (although he was in the original), would still like to see one. However, many people fear of ruining a film that was a great film and success when it was released.

But anyways, Lisa, Kelly LeBrock’s character, makes our two nerdy main characters out to be real men by the end of the film. However, there are still several hilarious, crazy obstacles they must face on their journey to manhood.

Hughe’s film, no doubt, highlights a huge portion of adolescence in the male population. Weird Science depicts this, however, in a fun and light manner.

 

When Harry Met Sally

Image

The charm of “When Harry Met Sally” is not in the obviousness of their relationship –  we know the fate of these two from the time we read their names in the title – but more in the journey that Harry and Sally make to becoming a couple, or at least giving their “non-relationship” a name.  This prolonged journey follows the title characters through years of acquaintance-ship, fashion, hairstyles, and relationships, and allows us as the audience to acclimate ourselves to the idiosyncrasies of their personalities.  These factors and the thoughtful detail written into the characters Harry and Sally (thanks, Nora Ephron), along with fantastic performances, have created the classic that has passed the test of time.

Harry’s character is beloved because he simply is not immediately that lovable.  Our introduction to Harry shows him making out with his girlfriend, who is obviously far more into him than he is to her. Does this make him a bad person? No, however it does make him an irritating one.  When he first jumps into Sally’s car, he begins eating and spitting the seeds of gargantuan grapes onto Sally’s window. He is abrasive and arrogant. Claiming he has a huge “dark side” and bragging about how he broods about death, Harry basically holds this superiority over Sally’s head. His character is allowed room to grow over the years, though he still retains many of his “bad habits” – namely diving into relationships and sleeping with women without hesitation, while still not over his ex-wife Helen. He is also incredibly honest and observant, delivering the majority of the film’s classic musings on relationships. In some ways you could say Harry is our stereotype/archetype for the every man in a relationship. He is sexually unrestrained, operates with little emotion, and is, as Sally describes him, “an affront to all women”. Simultaneously, Harry is anything but a stereotype in that he is sensitive and intuitive toward Sally and her needs. He is emotional and owns that emotion, rather than stuffing it down like Sally, who by contrast denies her feelings to everyone including herself.
Sally is not free from fault here – she is painted as uptight, impatient, controlling, and in Harry’s words “high maintenance”. Not only is she stand-offish toward Harry’s persistent attempts to get to know her, but she is stand-offish in general toward love. Though she has a brief monologue where she describes wanting a family, all of her actions work against that notion. We can also think of Sally as the archetype for the every woman – she is family-oriented and by contrast to Harry is far more sexually conservative. This character trait is contradicted however in the famous faked orgasm scene, where she proves to Harry that women are capable of faking orgasms, while also mildly squashing his male ego.  Sally also breaks with her stereotype by being far more removed from her emotions than Harry.  It takes until the second to last scene of the movie at the New Year’s party, a span of over twelve years for Sally to admit to Harry that she loves him, and even then she whispers this inaudibly as they embrace.
Harry and Sally are interesting in that they are nearly perfect opposites, but are also the same in that they continually block themselves from the relationship and lives they desire. They go as far as setting each other up on dates with their best friends Marie and Jess, who end up marrying each other. Both Harry and Sally are emotionally detached, and fear a real commitment because of the risk of losing that investment. Harry fears repeating his mistakes with his ex-wife Helen and once again having his heart broken, while Sally wants a marriage and family, but fears the rejection she received from Joe whom she presumably wanted to marry.
I believe we all know a Harry and a Sally – those two great “friends” who maybe hooked up once, or perhaps hug a few seconds longer than any platonic relationship permits. They tap-dance around their emotions, date other people, and fulfill the major duties of most significant others, but they never quite “hook it up”. Harry and Sally is the story of the friends that manage to “hook it up”.  Yes, the friend-zone is possible to escape, and according to “When Harry Met Sally, we can escape it in a mere twelve years!

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.

A not-so lost ending

Today, the story of vampires is so popular. However, the circumstances are completely different. For instance, in today’s fiction novels, vampires sparkle in the sun, they fall in love and they don’t even cringe to the presence of silver or holy water. Instead, they just kind of look like this:

This is disturbing and just so weird.

Which is just, so very disappointing. The image of vampires has changed so greatly that people don’t fear them nowadays. Instead, they create crazed and obsessed fan clubs that fall in love with them. The Lost Boys managed to maintain the image of a real vampire in a fun and terrifying way (the way it should be).

The Lost Boys has a to be a great teen horror movie…for the 80’s. I may be biased now, because horror movies have come a long way in film, however, this movie really portrayed the talent and advancement the 80’s brought to film (and it didn’t even need good-looking, sparkling vampires to do so). Although it may not be the most frightening movie you have ever seen, it is still able to be funny and manages to contain some twists and suspense. Basically, it’s a hell of a lot better than Twilight. And it just sticks to the idea that vampires are supposed to seem dangerous and scary.

I mean, just look at this guy.

Vampires suck human blood, an act that I find to be disturbing and frightening;  not appealing or something I think would be fun to experience because the vampire’s good-looking.

The viewers are able to relate to some of the teenage characters that battle these vampires and sort of build this friendship with them that makes the film easier to watch (not to mention, some of these guys are very good looking).

The director is able to include some horror, comedy, teen romance, violence, and action aspects that make it a pretty great film to watch.

Here’s a fun reading about some of the difference between ways vampires are portrayed in certain films and why The Lost Boys is a fun to watch: http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/08/17/before-twilight-lost-boys-made-vampires-fun/#/0

Bad Guys in Beverly Hills Have the Worst Aim

Beverly Hills Cop is essentially a tale of two cities. Director Martin Brest throws Detroit Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) into cushy Beverly Hills, and in turn pits the culture of the two cities against each other. Right away the film opens on Detroit, a city featured in many cop films, including the one I did my previous post on: Robocop. Like Robocop, this film portrays Detroit as a dirty city covered with graffiti, with poor/blue collar citizens hanging out in the streets. But Brest makes this Detroit seem a lot friendlier than the one Paul Verhoeven shows in Robocop. The citizens, both children and adults, are socializing with their friends and appear to be having fun. This set up during the credit sequence is necessary, as Beverly Hills Cop is a comedy first and an action film second; Brest wanted to create a fun and lighthearted atmosphere.

The audience is introduced to Axel as soon as the opening credit sequence is over, though he is not revealed to be a cop until after he botches an (unauthorized) undercover job and is subsequently chewed out by his boss. This introduction shows the type of character Axel is, and his cunning, not-by-the-book way of policing holds up after he takes his “vacation” to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of his best friend.

Axel’s arrival in Beverly Hills mirrors the opening credits, and shows that Axel is a fish out of water. Driving into the city he is followed by a classic car, with palm trees lining the road. The buildings are gorgeous and gated, the stores are as ritzy as can be, and all of the cars put his “crappy blue Chevy Nova” to shame. The more obvious comparison comes when he meets the Beverly Hills police. Although he is a detective, Axel dresses very blue collar; the entire film he is wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. Conversely all of the upper level Beverly Hills cops are stuffy guys in suits.

We’re taught never to judge a book by its cover, but the differences in how Axel and Taggart dress tells us all about their differences in character.

In the end though it’s Axel’s way of policing that saves the day. Detectives Taggart and Rosewood follow Axel’s lead into an enemy’s house without a search warrant, and even their Lieutenant lies to the Chief about what happened. This all comes after an hour and a half of the Beverly Hills cops telling Axel that they do things by the book, and do not lie about what transpires on cases. Their proper way of policing truthfully makes them look like fools; while being shot at Rosewood actually stands up with his badge in the air and proclaims, “POLICE! YOU’RE ALL UNDER ARREST!” The result though is deeper than telling the audience that the backdoor way of doing things trumps doing things the right way. Axel shows the Beverly Hills cops friendship. He shows them that being cops makes them brothers, and that they are allowed to bend the rules because it’s how they look out for one another.

The film also provides us with a legendary theme song, that 20+ years laters kids will recognize as the song from Family Guy that Peter dances to when he goes back in time…