Tuesday, August 28, 2018

CLOAK & DAGGER (1984)

A young boy (who has pretty much zero parental supervision) witnesses a murder. The man, right as he's dying, gives the boy an Atari cartridge and tells him to go to the FBI with it.  Being an idiot, the little boy listens to his imaginary friend instead of the dying man and does everything in the world except go to the FBI.  Bad guys chase him around for the rest of the movie.  People die.

I like the basic idea for CLOAK & DAGGER (young boy is being chased by bad guys and nobody believes him), but the execution of the story is really bizarre.  He gets police attention immediately after the first murder, but then clams up thanks to his imaginary friend, so the cops just take him home.  Everything that happens after that is his own fault.  The story would have been more compelling, if he had gotten the attention of the FBI and then something went wrong.  Example: he gets kidnapped or maybe a crooked FBI agent double-crosses him.  Anything would have been better than his self-created danger, but then again, kids are mostly stupid, so I'm kinda dumb for thinking that he's going to act logical.

That said, C&D is still an entertaining viewing, especially for fan's of 80's kid's movies.  Dabney Coleman is very good in his double role, screenplay by Tom (FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD'S PLAY) Holland, old video game graphics, 80's fashions, early William Forsythe sighting, a very delightful John McIntire and Jeanette Nolan appearance (that really made my day), bland San Antonio locations, a wannabe Hitchcock feel to the entire film, strange younger girl next door character who talks like she's 45 years-old despite the fact that she's probably 8 or 9.  I liked CLOAK & DAGGER, but, I think, it would have been a better film in the hands of stronger director.  

Another curious thing about CLOAK & DAGGER is why in the hell did the people in charge of this movie allow it to be released during the 1984 Summer Olympics and then up against other youth oriented films like GHOSTBUSTERS, GREMLINS, RED DAWN, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, THE KARATE KID, THE JUNGLE BOOK (re-issue), INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, THE NEVERENDING STORY and THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN???  Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!  That is just pure insanity.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BACK TO SCHOOL (1986)

After dumping his gold-digging wife, self-made millionaire Rodney Dangerfield goes to visit his son in college.  Once there, he's surprised to find out that his son isn't the coolest guy on campus, but instead just a normal student.  Even worse: he wants to quit school!  So, in some kind of strange movie logic, Rodney decides to go to college himself!  Yeah, don't overthink it, just enjoy it.

BACK TO SCHOOL is a fun film.  Watching it again now, it's definitely dated as fuck and there is a serious lack of 80's comedy toplessness (with only one quick topless scene), but other than that it's an enjoyable ride.  Impressive supporting cast, cameos by Oingo Boingo and Kurt Vonnegut (not at the same time), good pace, satisfying story, mild laughs.  It's easy to see why BACK TO SCHOOL was a box office hit.  The thing that I found interesting though, was just how big of a hit it was.  Domestically, BACK TO SCHOOL was the #6 biggest film of the year!  That's crazy to think about, considering that nowadays, I doubt many people even remember BACK TO SCHOOL.  Just to give you a taste of what I mean, BTS beat off all of these films at the box office (some of them by a huge margin): ALIENS, FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF, STAND BY ME, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, SHORT CIRCUIT, PRETTY IN PINK, THREE AMIGOS, THE MONEY PIT, LABYRINTH, THE GOLDEN CHILD and POLTERGEIST II: THE OTHER SIDE.  Anyway, I just thought that was interesting.

BACK TO SCHOOL isn't going to change your life or anything, but it is an amusing tidbit in movie history.

Monday, August 13, 2018

REVENGE (2017)

Set in an alternate universe where everybody has gallons and gallons of excess blood in their body, REVENGE tells the unoriginal, but entertaining story of a rich guy (and part-time Sherminator cosplayer) who takes a girl out to his stylish desert fuck pad for a little bit of boot knocking.  The boot knocking is cut short though when the rich guys scumbag friends show up early for a planned hunting trip.  Being total pieces of shit, one of the friends rapes the girl while the other ignores her screams.  The rich guy gets upset that his wife might find out, so he kills the girl...except that she didn't die.  Nope, she's still alive and before you you can say "Rambo III", she fixes her wounds with fire and sets out for revenge.   Normal murder revenge, not I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE dick chopping revenge.  That was disappointing.

Lack of penis violence aside, REVENGE was a fun watch.  Quick pace, good acting, silly characters, overstylized art direction that was equally exhausting and fun, beautiful locations, continuity errors, minor nudity (both male and female), a fair amount of blood.  One thing that did irritate me was the television in the guys house.  Multiple times throughout the movie, the television was turned on and every time it was just something bland like a car race or an infomercial.  If the filmmakers had been wearing their thinking caps they would have, earlier in the film, put on nature films about wolves or alligators or other predators attacking prey...then later at the end of the film, during the final showdown, they should have put on something stressful, like the dinner scene/chase scene from the original THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE.  Just my two cents.

Not the greatest thing ever made, but still a fun watch.  Check it out.