Monday, May 10, 2010

1989 - Drugstore Cowboy

"Drugstore Cowboy" is about a group of drug addicts in the 70's who rob pharmacy's to get drugs. Bob (Matt Dillon) is the ringleader of the group which consists of his girlfriend, Dianne (Kelly Lynch) and their friends David (Max Perlich) and Nadine (Heather Graham). When a tragedy befalls the group, Bob decides to straighten up and quit drugs and get a job. Dianne doesn't take this too well, so Bob is on his own.

Drugstores were apparently MUCH easier to break into back then.

As far as drug addict movies go (and I've seen a lot of them for some reason), this one wasn't terribly interesting. Since there's so many of them, it needed something to help it stand out from the rest. The only thing really original was the idea that they robbed drugstores.

I liked the ending (I won't give it away) that signifies that your past never really goes away and can come back to haunt you. Even though Bob cleaned his life up, it still wasn't much better.

Random Thoughts:
-The addict priest was the best character in the movie. I wish the movie was about him.
-I didn't have many notes about this film. It was just sort of blah.


2.5/5 - Not that exciting, but not bad either. Pretty mediocre. There are much better drug addict films out there.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1988 - Mystic Pizza

"Mystic Pizza" is a story about three girls who work in a pizza parlor in Connecticut. Daisy (Julia Roberts) and Kat (Annabeth Gish) are sisters and they work with their friend Jojo (Lili Taylor) at Mystic Pizza. The story follows the girls during the summer after they graduate high school.

Daisy has fallen for a rich guy who she thinks is using her to piss off his parents. Kat has fallen in love with the older, married father of the little girl she baby-sits. Jojo keeps backing out of getting married to her high school sweetheart. Each girl kind of has their own issues they're dealing with so you're not just focused on one relationship for 2 hours.

Julia Roberts had awesome 80s hair in this movie.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of romantic comedies or love stories, but this movie was decent. I can deal with romance stories that are somewhat realistic, unlike most movies (I'm talking to you "A Walk to Remember"). I liked that you actually felt like you were watching someone's real life instead of a completely over-the-top movie about someone's life.

It's a real pizza parlor in Connecticut!

Random Thoughts:
-Mystic Pizza is a real pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut.
-Next time I want to get back at someone, I'm going to just dump fish in their car.
-Matt Damon had a VERY small role (he only had one speaking line). I didn't even recognize him and had to go back to see if it was really him!

3.5/5 stars. Not really my "type" of movie, but better than most of the same genre. Probably wouldn't watch again, but worth it to see once.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

1987 - Empire of the Sun

"Empire of the Sun" is about a young British boy, Jamie (or "Jim" as his American friends call him) who gets separated from his parents during the Japanese occupation of China. Eventually he ends up in an internment camp where he lives for the next several years. The movie follows Jim throughout his experiences, while using the war as a backdrop. It's not a movie about the war, it's a movie about people during the war.

Christian Bale! Here he is a privileged little brat.

Jim is played by a very young Christian Bale, who does a phenomenal job. At first, I didn't really like his character. He grew up very privileged and acted like it. He felt he was "above" the hired Chinese help and was just sort of a brat in general. But then you have to think, this is how he grew up. He doesn't really know any better. Over the course of the film, he really matures and becomes much more likable.

And I totally cried a the end (during SEVERAL parts!). It's a very emotional movie, but then most war movies focused on children are (ever seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?? Don't watch that on an airplane. Everyone will look at you weird when you're crying your eyes out).

And here he is much more tolerable. Likable even. All he needed was a few years of war under his belt.

Random Thoughts:
-Ben Stiller has a very small part as an American at the camp. I had to look it up to make sure it was him, but sure enough, it was!
-Also, apparently Ben Stiller got the idea for Tropic Thunder while filming this movie.
-Christian Bale kinda looks exactly the same now as he did then.

4.5/5 stars. I really liked this movie! It was very well done and well acted.

Friday, May 7, 2010

1986 - The Hitcher

"The Hitcher" is about Jim (C. Thomas Howell), who is driving a car from Chicago to San Diego. He picks up a hitchhiker who tells him that he already killed a family and he's going to kill Jim next. The rest of the movie is a cat-and-mouse chase between the hitchhiker and Jim.

Ouch. He tied this poor girl to two semi trucks and pulled her apart.

This movie was actually pretty entertaining. I figured it would be kind of cheesy, but it had a decent storyline and kept a really quick pace. It was very similar to the 70's Spielburg movie "Duel" (which I also enjoyed). I also loved how they hitchhiker kept planting evidence to make it look like Jim was the criminal so the police were after him instead of the real killer. He made it so if the poor guy DID survive, he'd have all these murders pinned on him. Unless he proves his innocence, he's pretty much screwed either way.

There wasn't much I disliked about the film. It was a simple premise, which worked in this case. It wasn't an award winner or anything, but it was fun and told a great story.

I would not want him chasing after me.

Random Thoughts:
-This movie almost received an X rating due to a more graphic ending.
-That was awesome how he shoved the hitchhiker out of his car early on. But there is no way it would have worked. Even if a car isn't latched all the way, it won't just swing open.

4/5 - I really enjoyed this thriller! I probably wouldn't watch it over and over but it's pretty intense when you don't know how it is going to end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1985 - Better Off Dead

Yeah, it was as stupid as it looks.

"Better Off Dead" is about a teenage boy, Lane (John Cusack) who becomes suicidal after his girlfriend breaks up with him for a more popular guy. Eventually he finds solace in the French foreign exchange student who is staying with his neighbors.

Unfortunately for the French girl, her host mother is trying to hook her up with her oh-so-attractive son.

I thought this would be more of a straight up 80's romantic comedy, sort of like Sixteen Candles or something like that. It was actually just kind of weird. There isn't really much of a plot. It's just kind of like "Hey, this guys girlfriend broke up with him! Let's film him moping around and hanging out with his weirdo family for a few days!".

And then there is the weird hamburger dancing/singing parts. I have no idea what the purpose of those were. It's was just weird. And the Asian guys with the speakers on top their car who kept trying to drag race Lane? I have no idea...weird.

See? I'm not kidding.

Some parts were kind of funny. I liked the weirdo family. The mom was always making new recipes that were usually green or slimy or both. In fact, everyone in this movie was really weird. His best friend snorts snow (like cocaine), his little brother builds rockets in his bedroom, and his neighbors are also nuts.

The only really normal one is the French exchange student. She pretends she can't speak English so she can avoid her host family.


Random Thoughts:
-I would hate to be invited over to Lane's house for dinner.
-They have Hershey's chocolate milk in their cafeteria!
-Did the dancing, guitar-playing hamburger scene really happen?

2/5 stars. Was really, really weird. Don't think I'd watch it again, although a few parts were humorous.

1984 - Red Dawn

I like the poster. It's kinda creepy.

I've wanted to watch this movie for a while, I just never got around to it. A group of teenagers run into the woods when the Soviets and Cubans invade the United States and start World War III. Eventually, they take a stand against the foreign soldiers and actually put up a pretty good fight.

This scene was pretty awesome.

There were a few things I didn't really like. I had a really hard time telling the kids apart. Especially when they dressed in their combat gear with hoods. They all looked alike and I had to rewind to see who was saying what.

Also, for some reason my version didn't have subtitles, so I think I missed half the plot during the Spanish/Russian speaking bits. That's what I get for watching it on Youtube. I tried to record it on TV, but it didn't record right, so I had to scramble to find it fast.

See? They all look the same. Even the girls.

I really liked the whole plot of the movie. It was interesting and kept my attention. I can only imagine how terrifying it was when it was released in 1984, right in the middle of the Cold War. The characters (when I could tell them apart) were well written and the actors did a pretty good job. They also had a pretty decent cast including Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Grey.

I honestly thought he was the dad dropping his kids off at school.

Random Thoughts:
-Seriously, for the first 15 minutes of the movie I thought Patrick Swayze was that kids dad instead of his brother.
-Is this movie supposed to have subtitles with the foreign soldiers are talking? Because I was a little lost during those scenes.
-This was the first movie to ever be released with a PG-13 rating.
-According to the Guiness Book of World Records, this is was the most violent film ever at the time of its release with an average of 2.23 acts of violence per minute.

4/5 stars. I really liked it! It had a few kinks, but all in all, a pretty entertaining film with an interesting plot.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

1983 - Risky Business

I had high expectations for this movie. Everyone has heard of it, especially the infamous Tom-dancing-in-his-underwear scene. And I love 80's Tom Cruise (blame Legend and my love for 80's fantasy movies).

However, I was not particularly blown away by "Risky Business". It was more of a drama/comedy than a straight up comedy like I thought it was. I guess I expected it to be funnier and really it was kinda boring at times.

Totally worth it for this scene.

Basically, high schooler Joel (Tom Cruise) is left home alone for a weekend while his parents are out of town. He unwittingly ends up running a brothel out of house for a prostitute he hired (who also robbed him). He kind of gets black mailed into the brothel thing in order to get his stuff back that was stolen. It doesn't really work out as planned. Never trust a prostitute.

For some reason, I had always thought that the brothel was his idea and that was the main theme of the movie. In fact, I was beginning to think this movie didn't even have a brothel because it wasn't even brought up until pretty far into the movie. It's not even really a main plot.

It wasn't a bad movie, but not particularly memorable either, other than the one scene. But at least I can finally cross it off my "to see" list.

The "Memo Minder" was my favorite part.

Random Thoughts:
-The "Memo Minder". I guess they didn't have answering machines in 1982. It was basically a notepad with flashing lights that you took telephone messages with.
-Tom Cruise completely improvised the dancing in his underwear scene.
-What on earth happened to Tom Cruise?? Nevermind. I blame Scientology.
-Tom Hanks and Nicolas Cage auditioned for the part of Joel.

2.5/5 stars. Not bad, but not that great either. Something I might play in the background while I'm doing something else if it happens to be on cable.

Monday, May 3, 2010

1982 - Tron

The poster makes it look way cooler than it actually is.

I can’t even begin to explain the plot to this movie, because I have no idea what was going on for most of it. Half of the movie takes place inside of a computer? And the computer programs are people? Who race little cars? Inside the computer? I have no idea who “Tron” even is (or even if it is a who) or why the movie was named after him.

See? Little cars race inside the computer. I still don't know why.

Honestly, I barely made it 30 minutes into this movie before I started zoning out. It was so boring. I really wanted to shut it off, but I toughed it out. Usually, I enjoy sci-fi movies and I knew that Tron had a cult following, so I figured I would like it. Not so much. I don’t get the hype. I guess I will not be lining up for the remake. 1/5 stars.

Yes, this is what the whole movie looked like.
Random Thoughts:
-I really hate this movie.
-This movie apparently didn’t do that well at the box office. I can see why.
-The video game that was released after the movie actually out grossed the film.
1/5 stars. I will not be watching this again. Or seeing the remake/sequel.

1982 - Christiane F. (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo)

Okay, I’ll admit that the reason I watched this movie was because David Bowie did the soundtrack. I did not know that there is also a Bowie CONCERT in the movie. I actually became jealous of a heroin addict. Also, the movie was in German and I am currently trying to learn German, so I was happy to recognize a few words and phrases here and there.

Zoo Station - the train station where they prostituted themselves for drug money

This movie is based off of a the real Christiane’s autobiography. Christiane is from Berlin. She and her friends start going to a new nightclub and get into drugs. She also meets her boyfriend, Detlaf, there. By her 14th birthday, she is addicted to heroin. It’s just a downward spiral from there as she and Detlaf sink lower and lower to support their habit. She even sells her David Bowie record collection off! That’s pretty bad (at least in my book).

For some reason, I tend to watch a lot of movies about drug addicts. This is definitely one of the more harrowing ones. The depiction of Christiane and her boyfriend’s heroin withdrawal was one of the most graphic I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to believe that the actress portraying Christiane is only 14 years old as well.

The real Christiane is now 48 year old and is still battling drug addiction. She became a minor celebrity in Germany after the success of her book and this movie. I don’t know that I could watch this movie again, but it will probably stick with me for a very long time. 5 stars.

Heroin withdrawal...I will spare you the details of what all the stains on the bed are.

Random thoughts:

-I would kill for her Bowie album collection. I would give even more to go that concert.

-That has got to be one of the most graphic depictions of a heroin withdrawal I have ever seen.

-She’s selling her David Bowie album collection to get drug money! Addicts really are insane.

5/5 stars! It's not something that I'd want to watch over and over, but it will stick with me for a long time. Very well done movie.

1980 - Fame

This is the first entry in my "Month of Movies" challenge (see earlier post for details on that).

70s/80s movie posters sure did have a lot of text on them.

I’m not sure what I was expecting with this movie. I knew there was a “remake” not too long ago (was it even a remake? It was some PG Disney-type movie and this was an R-rated, pretty harsh movie). I’d also heard about the infamous topless scene near the end of the movie, but that was about it.

High School Musical!

Fame follows a group of high schoolers throughout four years at a school for the performing arts in New York City. It started out more like a risqué High School Musical, then they threw in some Degrassi for good measure. We’re talking love triangles, a possible rape/assault on a 5-year-old girl (thank God that was only mentioned and not shown), eating disorders, coming out as a homosexual, abortion, and of course being taken advantage of by a “movie producer”.

It definitely wasn’t an uplifting movie. I thought it showed a fairly realistic portrayal of kids who put their entire lives on the dream of making it big. In reality, only a very small percentage will actually make it to “fame”. It’s heartbreaking, but it still happens today.
O.J. Simpson

Random thoughts:
-Madonna originally auditioned for a role!
-It won 2 Oscars.
-My favorite scene was the girl who was auditioning for the drama department by playing O.J. Simpson's character from "The Towering Inferno".

3.5/5 - It was interesting, but not good enough to buy or watch again.

Old Blog

I had a movie blog a while ago, but it was on my old account, so I never use it anymore. So I'm just going to continue it over here.

Here is the old blog in case anyone wants to see it: