Harry's DVD PICKS & PEEKS - 3rd wk of Jan 2012: REDLINE, BELLE DE JOUR, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, TRAFFIC, LICENSE TO DRIVE, KILLING BONO, BAD GIRLS & More!!!
Hey folks, Harry here with the day's DVD PICKS & PEEKS column. There's some pretty cool stuff on this week's list. This first title though is the one you simply have to get on Blu. So awesome. Currently I'm checking out next week's releases, which are spectacular titles. As usual, the images and titles link over to Amazon, where you can find out more about the title - or if you choose, you can order the title, which gives a small percentage of the purchase price back to support the column. So thanks for that folks.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Imagine if the Animation director of KILL BILL’s animated sequences – had to do a feature length HEAVY METAL segment themed to interstellar land racing. And imagine it being the coolest fucking thing ever animated – and then imagine odd erotically charged side effects making the whole thing drip of sexy cool animated fucking great times… and that’s REDLINE. REDLINE is an aggressive, propulsively assaultive great time. It taps a vein. I haven’t been this excited by an ANIME in years. So I agree with the brilliant critic they quoted on the cover, REDLINE SHOULD NOT BE MISSED!!! The style of animation is so fetishistically cool that the film will not be denied. All you have to do is put it on for a minute and you’ll be hooked! I saw this at Fantastic Fest 2010 and lost my fool mind for the movie. Since getting this Blu-Ray – I’ve watched it four times & we’re talking about having friends over for another screening of it this week. Yeah, it’s that kind of Anime. The ones where you invite your friends that never watch the stuff – and they lose their minds too. Truly outstanding work – and the Blu Ray is outstanding. The doc about REDLINE is kind of spectacular I feel. But I’m sold on everything REDLINE – and I wish there were sequels produced at this level available now.
Have you see BELLE DE JOUR? It is Bunuel’s brilliant film about a bored housewife with some particularly lurid fantasies turned Brothel girl by day in Paris of the late sixties. The film stars Catherine Deneuve as the titular BELLE DE JOUR – and men have been searching for her ever since. Watching this Blu Ray last night was a fantastic highlight. The mere thought of watching required me to uncork a good Pinot Noir. Catherine Deneuve is stunning in this film. Her elegance & poise is just to be in awe of. This is a complicated woman – and Bunuel does a masterful job of capturing the story of his BELLE DE JOUR. The film has an effortless eroticism that smolders off of the screen. Criterion’s transfer is ideal. They’ve done a great job with the extras as well, here’s what you get: New high-definition digital restoration
Audio commentary featuring Michael Wood, author of the BFI Film Classics book Belle de jour
New video piece featuring writer and sexual-politics activist Susie Bright and film scholar Linda Williams
New interview with screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière
Excerpt from the French television program Cinéma, featuring interviews with Carrière and actress Catherine Deneuve
Original and American release trailers
New and improved English subtitle translation
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Melissa Anderson and a 1970s interview with director Luis Buñuel
I just don’t feel like the modern political arena interests me anymore. Watching THE IDES OF MARCH – which is so deeply cynically entrenched into the modern reality of politics that I just can’t get into it. The story is incredibly topical. But I’m kind of OF THE MIND – that Clooney should have just run. Rather than spend the time directing a movie, just do it. Except that with the movie, you see why he doesn’t. Schwarzenegger and I talked about some of the issues with politics versus the world that Clooney is in, and that Arnold is returning to. It has to do with the basic mentality shift between the people that make movies and the people that handle our politics. One is about building, the other is about deconstruction and pettiness. The movie is handsomely mounted, wonderfully acted… but for me, it was sort of another film talking about the problem. About reason why we’re stuck in the screaming idiot match that we watch on News networks and joke about nightly. I just miss the hopefulness of Frank Capra. He dreamt big when he took on politics… he dealt with the negativism, but set out to give us some old fashioned indomitable spirit in there to. I know it was fantasy, but I still dream of leaders that lead for the good of the nation. This is another film about why good men can’t remain that way in the system we’ve allowed to get grotesquely grotesque. You’ll get a commentary with Clooney and Grant Heslov, a doc on the development of the story and educating the audience on what a political consultant does exactly. Nice film, just not what I was in the mood for.
16 years ago there was a film about The Tuskegee Airmen called exactly that. It starred Laurence Fishburne, Cosby Show’s Theo, Andre Braugher and Cuba Gooding Jr – and the film was quite good. I like this quite a bit, but watching the Blu hasn’t dampered my enthusiasm to check out RED TAILS as soon as I can. At the very least – Lucas’ production got this title on Blu Ray sooner rather than later – and that is a good thing!
Peter Weir’s DEAD POETS SOCIETY is one of those films that came out right after I graduated High School – and made my way to Austin for College. I saw the film and was lit up by the film. It made me cherish the college experience all the more. The comraderie of my friends, and most importantly to listen to my heart about what it was I wanted to do with my life. Not what my mother had planned for me. The semester after this film’s release was when I started taking film classes, started taking journalism classes, creative writing classes – and promptly set about auditioning for movies, getting parts and living life for myself… to never forget the phrase CARPE DIEM. I even started going to poetry slams. Yeah, this film hit me in an incredibly impressionable youthful state – and watching it again on Blu – I wistfully remembered why. This is a film about individuality and the precious nature of that. It’s a spectacular film. There’s a doc on the piece that really is perhaps one of the most touching tributes to a film’s director, that I’ve ever seen. A good deal of the cast talk about how Peter Weir was the real teacher of the film, they speak with such a degree of love and respect for Weir that you can’t help but feel touched by their tribute. Really love this disc.
I’m sorry that I included this on the list. The mere fact that I looked at the cover has Robin Williams screaming out the title searing my skull non-stop now. There’s a lot more to the film, than just Robin’s hook for every broadcast. That said – there is a secret part of me that would love nothing more than Robin Williams to have a 2 week programming and Radio Hosting bit on XM/SIRIUS doing 100% news and music from his character’s time in Vietnam. I would be glued to it. The film, it isn’t my favorite Vietnam title. That’s FULL METAL JACKET of THE GREEN BERETS. Giggle. The transfer isn’t the best, the digital cleaning wasn’t done exquisitely – and it shows. Watching this after DEAD POETS was a bad idea. Cuz that disc is beautiful. There’s a 35 minute making of – and my fave is a 13 minute track of Robin just doing what Robin does. Tremendious. This isn’t quite worthy of a 25th Anniversary Edition. Hopefully next release they’ll get the transfer right.
Benicio Del Toro completely imbalances TRAFFIC by being too fucking great. The problem with having an actor being as great as Benicio is in this movie, you begrudge every scene and plotline that takes you away from his character. Soderbergh takes a similar structure for CONTAGION – but the stories did a far better job of complementing and balancing each other through the telling of the tale. TRAFFIC is still a pretty damn fine film from Soderbergh, ultimately had it been less ambitious – it would have been more successful, at least in my eyes. The special features on this Blu are the real reason to pick this up. For one it takes you through Soderbergh’s entire color grading process for this movie. There’s 3 different audio commentaries. Then there’s 25 deleted scenes and optional commentary by Soderbergh and Gaghan – and more than that – there’s nearly 50 minutes of additional unused footage presented with that nifty multi-angle view option. And then there’s even more stuff. Even though I don’t exactly love the film, I did go through it hoping to hear more about why Harrison Ford dropped out of the Michael Douglas role. But didn’t get any gory details. Darn it.
An absolutely abysmal experience in a whole new dimension to suck in. Hate doesn’t quite cover the absolute disdain that I have for this utter shit film experience. I really do wonder – what the hell were they smoking?
The Coreys rule this film. Just remember – it is worth it, just to have it next to LICENSE TO KILL. It simply makes people stop and take notice at your sophisticated sense of class. And yes, this was exactly like my teen years. Exactly.
Matthew Broderick tries to save monkeys from death. This movie is also exactly like my early grown up years when the military wouldn’t let me fly due to my weight and I was put in charge of the Chimps they were experimenting upon. Instead I taught the chimps to write and gave them code names like Moriarty, Quint, Merrick, Nordling, Mr Beaks and Jeff Mahler. Wait. None of that is true, but had I done those things, I would have had a life kind of like PROJECT X – and I have always felt that my life has been far too chimp-lite. That’s why having this on Blu-Ray is so damn important. My maternal Grandfather had a Chimp. He was cooler than me.
Remember that film with Thora Birch, called THE HOLE… Nick Hamm directed that – and now this. This is the story of not U2. I love edge of success stories. Pete Postlewaite is in this and his lecherous landlord is a hoot. Hate that we won't be seeing more of him. He adds so much. I really do feel this film is something special. I've only just discovered the film - but I can't wait to show it to a couple friends in particular.
Alright. BAD GIRLS – when I saw this – I knew it wasn’t a great film. I knew it wasn’t great filmmaking. But I knew that about 5 times as I watched it in theaters utterly smitten with Madeline Stowe, Mary Stuart Masterson, Andie MacDowell and Drew Barrymore. It was a very fun, sexy action film – in the same goofy spirit of YOUNG GUNS. Always wished Kathryn Bigelow had directed this.
Now for those of us that saw BOYS IN COMPANY C upon release – when R. Lee Ermy showed up in FULL METAL JACKET we got a shit eating grin, because his Drill Sgt was on fine display here. This film has a similar structure and tale – but for me, Kubrick is just Kubrick and he takes my breath away with the camera and sound. BOYS IN COMPANY C is an excellent Vietnam flick. The BluRay does a good job of giving us a great look at it. It does have audio commentary and delightfully… LOBBY CARDS! I like that.
I haven’t seen either of these two films, but I’ve had movie paper on THE SEXPLOITERS. But reading up on PLATINUM PUSSYCAT makes it sound of particular interest to me. It mixes black & white and color footage. Has the Mob and FROGMEN! So yeah, sounds great.
Next week is an amazing line up of titles like Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL & MANHATTAN on Blu, Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND, NOTORIOUS & REBECCA on Blu, Criterion’s GODZILLA Blu, STRIPES on Blu, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3, Lucky McKee’s WOMAN, 1st Best Picture WINGS on Blu, 5 Jean Rollins directed Blus… and so much more. It’s a really outstanding week, I’m having fun previewing it.
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Jan. 16, 2012, 9:51 p.m. CST
by dead youngling
Cause I'm a wuss I suppose...and I have two daughters who constantly talk to things in the night.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST
The mind boggles.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST
or is it just toned down?
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST
Blu Ray releases are getting weak. Licence to Drive is my most anticipated. Then Monkeybone in a few weeks.
by wattos new hat
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST
Giggle. Giggle giggle. Giggle giggle giggle.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:33 p.m. CST
by Stifler's Mom
is probably the same time of guy who saw BAD GIRLS 5 times at the movies.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST
this Grant Heslov cat is dragging him down Don't get me wrong, he was great in True Lies. But as a Producer/Writer/Director the best he can muster is the low end of mediocre (Good Night, and Good Luck or The American), to the high end of lousy (Leatherheads, The Men Who Stare at Goats). Rumor has it, there are some people with talent willing to work with George. Perhaps he should investigate, and let his buddy ride some other coat-tails for awhile.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
This despite she was a total unknown at the time (1987).
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:02 a.m. CST
by Powers Boothe
Or am I simply being too fussy?
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:33 a.m. CST
No, you're right. Blu-ray covers seem to get slapped with really shitty covers slapped together by ritalin addled military test chimps with bad Photoshop skills. Although that look on Helen Hunt's face couldn't say "lick me all over" more if she had it tattooed across her forehead. Man alive but I think she was an underappreciated hottie back in the day.
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:44 a.m. CST
Fuck Helen Cunt is ugly. Or as we say Down Under - BUSH PIG! Maggie Gylwhatever has the same vibe.
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:47 a.m. CST
I have a real soft spot in my heart for this movie. The ending is kind of messed up, but still awesome and sets it apart from other Vietnam flicks. I still think Jacket', Apocalypse', Platoon & Hamburger Hill are awesome movies, but Boys In Company C is where it's at. One of Stan Shaw's best roles. Highly recommended!
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST
Proved that he could act in "The World According to Garp". The problem was that the film was too weird for a mainstream audience and John Irving stories don't transfer visually anyway, so it didn't do that well (one oscar nod I believe). Good Morning Vietnam didn't prove shit about his acting. It proved that his manic, ridiculous, repetitive, and annoying improv rants could translate into a DJ character. He's just so much better with a script. The improv shit is so annoying. And I include "Aladdin" in that statement. He almost ruined that film.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST
I had to read through the first half of Harry's nonsense 5 times before i could begin to make sense of it, the grammar kept stuttering my brain into spasms. I know it is your site and whatnot but please for fucks sake learn how to string a cohesive narrative together. you are a writer who cannot write, that is quite a disadvantage
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:17 a.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:25 a.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:49 a.m. CST
That's a pretty strong recommendation for REDLINE, and I am suitably intrigued... Has anyone else seen it to give a second opinion on whether it is indeed a must see?
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:34 a.m. CST
Has her star really fallen that far? After Tower Heist, I'd argue that Broderick didn't deserve his name on the cover either.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:38 a.m. CST
Netflix is shipping today! It looks fun.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:40 a.m. CST
If you can find it, get the Blu version. The visuals and soundtrack deserve all the quality they can get. It's an odd visual style, which I happen to like, and it was done by the same team who was responsible for 'World Record" on The Animatrix. The dub it pretty good too, and while I know there are those out there who are strict fans of subs, I'd go with the english dub on this one because the action is so fast and frenetic, you don't want to miss the stunning sights because you're busy trying to read what the hell people are saying. Plus, screaming in Japanese can get annoying after awhile. Yes, Ninja Warrior on G4, I'm looking squarely at you. Anyhoo, decent flick, especially if you like racing in general.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:46 a.m. CST
Who gets paid for this shit?! High schoolers? No, that's unfair. I think High Schoolers would have far more creativity than that. Its got to be designed by the suits.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:46 a.m. CST
Amazing. I can't believe someone let that happen.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:47 a.m. CST
Oh, man. Keep smoking, dude...
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST
by Truxton Spangler
Thora Birch, did she just drop off the face of the planet? I really liked Traffic. Contagion wishes it could be that film.
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST
quivering pale hairy bitch tits
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST
Harry isn't even enthusiastic enough to write mock-worthy hyperbole.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:01 a.m. CST
It is nice to see that unpaid interns are the ones that are doing Blu Ray cover art for the catalog titles
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:22 a.m. CST
Most of these movies bored the shit out of me in the late 80s early 90s. Fuck Dead Poet's Society in the ass. I always hated that movie.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:42 a.m. CST
Still hate Ryan Gosling. Glad they found a way to make him tolerable by keeping his mouth shut. Why is Albert Brooks painted over?
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST
After seeing Megaforce in the theaters, my friends and I began armoring our BMX bikes with plates of silver spray painted cardboard and wreaking havoc in the suburbs with our dirt gadgets, improvised smoke screen devices that dropped fine dirt behind us leaving a trail of smoke-like dust for our enemies chasing us to choke on. The neighborhood kids began calling us Megaforce and that became the name of our gang. I would love to see a big-budget remake of Megaforce, since Deathrace was such a huge disappointment. And not directed by Water Shit Anderson.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST
Robin Williams showed he could act on two previous occasions, in THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GAP and specially in MOSKOW ON THE HUDSON. You really should check out the later, it's really good. Also, you get to see Maria Conchita Alonzo in all of her early 80s glory taking a bath. Contemplate that thought. But really, the movie is really good and Williams does a great acting job.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:02 a.m. CST
it's that kind of fake ass tan that californians still pay to get from tanning sallons, even though they have the best sunny weather in all of USA outsite of New Mexico, and beaches that stretch to the horizont. He's an aging mobster who used to be a holywood action movie producer in the 80s. I would even bet he got his tan looks inspired by Don Simpson.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST
It's THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, my mistake.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:04 a.m. CST
Michael Strahan's autobiography?
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST
by I am_NOTREAL
Gustav Hasford's novel The Short-Timers (basis for Full Metal Jacket) includes a scene of the Marines watching The Green Berets. And ragging on it brutally. The Short-Timers is out of print but you can get it free online. Short novel and worth reading if you haven't.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST
with acting icon Burt Lancaster and '70s/'80s mainstay Craig Wasson. A very good overlooked movie.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:52 a.m. CST
Rapists usually always do get their come-uppance in movies. That's how filmmakers get away with their rape fantasies. Except of course in Mr. Beaks favorite film, that is. The Tape Worm never got his.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:53 a.m. CST
So the check out girl wouldn't think I gay.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST
Giggle...so embarrassing. It's funny how every "review" is just Harry talking about himself and the time he saw the movie. It's not film analysis at all. Just ego stroking pointlessness.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST
and is it any good?? I dunno.
Jan. 17, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST
I agree with the need for a remastered Blu-ray/DVD of "Megaforce." Barry Bostwick's hair should be seen in 1080p!
by The Reluctant Austinite
How can an epic like "Megaforce" sit unseen and unloved in the age of high def?
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:01 p.m. CST
The Abyss (I know it's being worked on) and True Lies on Blu Ray. Tom Arnold's acting needs to be seen in 1080p!
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST
Choppah, in THE ACCUSED the rapists get their comeuppance at the halfway point. At the end of the film, the guys that enjoyed watching the rape get their comeuppance... man... Beaks still breaks into a cold sweat of fear when he even thinks about that movie. I heard he made his own 'edit', just featuring the rape itself and then a homemade title card *and the rapists lived happily ever after*.
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:36 p.m. CST
You wanna bet on it? Btw, the movie I really want to see on Blu-Ray is Ice Pirates.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:03 p.m. CST
Nice vehicles, however.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST
California beaches are rocky and rather small compared to the image most people have in their minds.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST
Just for the side view of Drew Barrymore's sweet little chest puppies.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST
My favorite of 2011, but if you're not cynical about politics (both sides of the aisle), I can see why you wouldn't like it. Philip Seymour Hoffman and/or Paul Giamatti deserve Oscar nominations.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST
...is still (very) much alive, Harry. What's with all the language around Dead Poet's Society implying that he's not (several uses of the word tribute...). The man just released a film a year ago "The Way Back", and is very much still in form. Sorry, am I the only one that picked up on that?
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST
especially the part where the guy kills his drill sergeant and then blows his brains out all over the bathroom wall. giggle. or the scene where the 13-year-old viet cong sniper girl begs for death until matthew modine wastes her. giggle giggle.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST
LOL, if you go to The Platinum Pussycat link on Amazon it recommends you buy the following movie with it:
Customers buy this DVD with Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Valentines Collection ~ June Foray DVD $14.99 Price For Both: $28.48
Jan. 17, 2012, 4:19 p.m. CST
Jan. 17, 2012, 4:21 p.m. CST
Schwarzenegger and I talked about some of the issues with politics versus the world that Clooney is in.
Honestly Harry, we all know you're full of crap, but this?
Jan. 17, 2012, 5:15 p.m. CST
Tuskegee Airmen is a significantly sexier, manlier, kick-ass title than Red Tails.
Jan. 17, 2012, 6:13 p.m. CST
Ice Pirates on blu-ray would allow me to die a happy man! Space Herpes!!!
Jan. 17, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST
that always bugged the shit outta me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BGY6k4Aphs But he loved Mr. Holland's Opus. What the fuck?
Jan. 17, 2012, 6:37 p.m. CST
by mick vance
your wife didn't giggle when i blew my load in her ass last night...
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:11 p.m. CST
Heather Graham was in License to Drive :)
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:52 p.m. CST
It's just a less showy role, but he works it masterfully. Also with reference to the IDES OF MARCH review, please stop abusing hyphens. They didn't do anything to you, and they can't defend themselves.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:39 p.m. CST
Funniest shit I've read in the last week, at least. Too bad he has no idea what you're talking about.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:13 p.m. CST
that what chicks say in txts. for fucks sake harry.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST
In my mind, Robin Williams (whom I believe has severe Tourette's) was an actor that did comedy. The end messed me up as a kid. Shame that The Hotel New Hampshire wasnt at all in the same league.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:45 p.m. CST
Small cast, mostly unknowns apart from Richard Brooks and Glenn Morshower, low budget, simple set up, but just so damn well done. If you like war movies it is an absolute must see.
Jan. 18, 2012, 12:09 a.m. CST
that's a great one
Jan. 18, 2012, 12:23 a.m. CST
LICENSE TO DRIVE: A ridiculously long post to make my case on why it is the best teen movie of all time
And so I define a Teen Movie: a story starring and revolving around teenagers (at least on the fucking screenplay paper) concerning sex and rock and roll- drugs, cars, fashion, and other toomfoolery and shenanigans are, of course, welcome, but the primary, indispensable cornerstones being sex -the actual deed, the lack thereof, or the quest for it- and rock and roll- both as soundtrack and overall attitude (what is a rock and roll attitude, you might ask? just think of Poochie in the Simpons). Films like Rushmore or the Virgin Suicides do not qualify since their themes and approaches to them are clearly intended for the art-house crowd. Films like Halloween or Scream do not qualify since they are deeply entrenched in that other genre all its own- the Teen Slasher. Films like Kids or Ken Park do not qualify since they are clearly intended for that paedo deep inside us and way closer to achieving a programming slot in late night Golden Choice than to being considered actual movies. Why License to Drive? Because of a rather large variety of reasons. It is from the 80's, for starters, and the best teen movie ever had to come from the 80's. You can find teen movies as far back as the Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon and ex-Mouseketeer Annette Funicello (the 60's version of Vanessa Hudgens, kiddies) frolicking around in nice swimwear, but the real summit of the teen output came in the 80's; dissecting the reasons for that would result in another post altogether so let's just point out the obvious: never before or since were both the genre and the world it inhabited (american suburbia and its surrounding malls, more often than not) more intrinsically intertwined. The greatest teen hits- and megahits they were- from the 70's- American Graffitti, Porky's, and Grease- were all set in the past and they appealed more to a nostalgia-drenched illusion of what past youth was like to the then grown-ups who lived through those years than to any real teenager's idea of what the life experience -real or sought-after- was like. The 90's- which offered the second and, so far, last greatest renaissance of youth power in Hollywood, a rebirth whose shockwaves can be felt even to this day- carved a deep landmark but failed to deliver more than just a few classics (whether good or bad is up for discussion but they will go on to become classics) and a true link with their time. It was the 80's, with the mullets, the Don Johnson-in-Miami Vice fashion, the living-in-America-rules vibe, and the astonishing and seemingly endless string of chart-toppers to be found in any given soundtrack (and in just about any self-respecting oldies FM station, nowadays) that went the distance, managing to enter the hall of fame in the collective consciousness reserved exclusively for the likes of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, the icons of our lifetime, forever caught in their past, never to be left behind. Quite easy to lampoon, for sure, as Sandler demonstrated with Wedding Singer, but somewhere beneath the surface's glitter, not all that hard to find, either, lies honesty. Yes, people dressed like that. Yes, people danced like that. Yes, it happened. It could have had any of the Brat-Packers, or John Cusack, or Matthew Broderick, all of them essential players of the period, but it starred Haim and Feldman - the Coreys- and how more 80's could you get than that? The Coreys! It starred a not only super hot but also beautiful Heather Graham. It starred Nina Siemaszko, soon to become another muse for softcore King Zalman King in the Nine 1/2 Weeks sequel and sister of Casey, the star of my personal second favorite teen movie ever, Three O'Clock High. It starred Carol Kane and Richard Masur at their career-best. There were many all-around better casts at the time- you could probably pick just about any one out of the John Hughes oeuvre to make the point- but the end result was never topped. Scene after scene, the jokes come in fast and furious (winkwink), and after awhile it becomes impossible not to acknowledge the fact that the movie was, indeed, written, a rarity in a business oversaturated with genre pieces left dangling and waiting to be rescued by subsequent ad-libbing or deafening soundtracks. Greg Beeman (who would go on to become one of the center pillars for Smallville) attacks his chores with gusto and delivers a racing pace that, without becoming frantic, precedes the neck-breaking tone that Peyton Reed achieved with Bring It On for over a decade. The Test-Driving, the Computer option-quiz, hiding a wasted Heather Graham in the trunk,the drunk taking grandpa's car by mistake, and, certainly, the driving-in-reverse-to-the-hospital finale, all are set pieces that are, at once, funny, exhilarating and rather inspired in the craftsmanship involved. There are so many cherished teen flicks for me to pick up from the period, chronicles of those other guys and girls who, alongside the Coreys and Heather, populated the hallways in those schools all over America that, in the end, were simply Hollywood High, but no other manages to make me feel so glad to be alive and appreciate the world from such a young outlook as this one does. From its simple, powerful premise- getting your driver's license- to the resulting consequences, both serious - acquiring a whole new set of responsibilities- and yearning- getting laid- it delivers in every and any front that you need it to. If you haven't seen this movie, do it now. Then watch the rest of 80's teen-goodness to be found- there´s plenty. Close second place: Three O´Clock High. Third Place: Private Lessons, in a large part because you could never, ever, get this movie made nowadays. Sylvia Kristel, ah! Good times.
Jan. 18, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST
by chad kuhns
Criterion Godzilla?! About frigging time! Good column this week Harry. The column has sort of a retro vibe to it this week.This weeks releases has a real 80s/90s tinge. You know, back when movie studios made movies worth a shit and every great cartoon wasnt a shitfest cgi/live action match up. But Bad Girls really was just porn for cowboys and kids that hadnt seen the vagine yet
Jan. 18, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST
Over-rated crap. Whiny rich kid kills himself because he does not have the balls to stand up to his father. Dead Poet's Society is what dumb people think of as a smart movie.
Jan. 18, 2012, 4:38 a.m. CST
Although American Beauty was somewhat redeemed by the excellent dialog. the performances, and in particular the character of the neighbor kid. And Ms. Birch's jugs. The whole plot was trite and the character turns were simple and obvious.
Jan. 18, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST
canned_ape, I can actually buy Harry and Arnold having a conversation about politics on equal footing
Schwarzenegger isn't the sharpest broadsword in the forge.
Jan. 18, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST
by T 1000 xp professional
Blew. My. Mind.... What of the best experiences I've had in a while. So much fun.
Jan. 18, 2012, 7:01 p.m. CST
It's funny how you made a joke about teaching your entire staff how to write when they can all write much better than you. Ironic as hell.
Jan. 19, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST
It seemed to check off every cliche off the teen comedy checklist. But I will admit, I did laugh.
Jan. 19, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST
...find the scene in Traffic where the daughter is doing drugs in the bathroom while Michael Douglass is outside the door hilarious? That scene, for some unknown reason, just cracks me up, which obviously was not the intention. I think Contagion was a much better film than Traffic.
Jan. 19, 2012, 10:15 p.m. CST
because they had the nerve to make fun of the masterpiece that is Megaforce! "That Megaweapon is one bad mother... Hush your mouth!! Hey I'm just talkin' bout Megaweapon."
Jan. 20, 2012, 10:36 a.m. CST
that this article was tremendious! I kid, I always enjoy reading these.
Jan. 20, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST
I did and I laughed, as well, though it was quite firmly rooted in the American Pie mold- which, per se, is far from being a bad thing. I particularly enjoyed the cat fight near the end, with Marsden and the rest staring, mesmerized. So, what's your favorite teen flick?
Jan. 22, 2012, 6:33 a.m. CST
Jan. 22, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST
Brain insane now.
Jan. 22, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST
... it's just moved into my top 3 favourite animated films.
Jan. 23, 2012, 6:23 p.m. CST
... shouldn't be watching movies in the first place.
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