Anthony Michael Hall

Weird Science

Year: 1985
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes

RYAN’S REVIEW

One of my favorite things to do over the past ten years was stroll around the movie sections of stores and find older movies that I just had to have in our collection.  I have always been a specific shopper when it comes to this, I don’t buy just anything I buy the movies that were significant in one way or another.  Either they were significant to me personally or they were just a great movie that was worth owning.  These days when I stroll through the movie aisles in stores I only find myself walking away disappointed.  First of all, the sections stores reserve for movies are shrinking at a regular rate as demand for DVDs and even Blu-rays are dropping all the time.  Secondly, it’s just such a challenge these days to even find a movie I want.  At this point I own nearly every movie I ever loved and all the new releases are much too expensive to purchase when they are first released and for several months after.  I’m saying all this to simply explain how this movie came into my possession. I was reaching, that’s all it really amounts to.  I just really wanted to buy a movie and remembered this one well enough to pick it up for a cheap price.  To say it simply, this was a swing and a miss.  I bought this movie and it’s mine now but if I could go back in time I would simply keep my five bucks, this was not even close to worth that.

When I first saw this movie I was in high school and I think that is why I remembered it fondly.  The idea of creating a woman that will look incredible and do anything and everything you want is an idea that appeals to any teenage boy whether you have succeeded in getting any or not.  Does anything matter more to a teenage boy than trying to score with a chick? It’s something that dominates the mind of us of all through that rough stretch of adolescents where it seems like something that is all but impossible to achieve.  I watched this movie then and thought it was awesome and also watched the TV show with the smoking hot Vanessa Angel and thought that was awesome too.  Having had an opportunity to revisit this movie now, all I can say is that my thoughts and feelings about the film were far too influenced by the raging and uncontrollable hormones that hit young men in their mid to late teens.

I wasted a night of my life watching this movie again and I will never get that time back.  I feel compelled to apologize to my wife for making her sit through the beginning, even though she slept through most of it.  This movie is not good; it’s not even on a level below good.  It’s stupid, plain and simple.  The movie doesn’t even seem to have any direction as it progresses.  It goes from bad to pointless to simply being a complete and utter waste of time. Of course it is harder to watch a movie like this today given that we know computers don’t have the capability of creating supermodel looking women or anything animate at all for that matter.  The thoughts and feelings of these teenage boys and the problems they have may be timeless and something any generation can relate to but that isn’t enough.  This is a ridiculous movie and there is nothing in it that can make it worth any of your time.

John Hughes made many great movies throughout his career but this was not one of them.  It is funny to see a really young Robert Downey Jr. in the film with a crazy hair style that can only belong to the 80s but you can just Google a picture of that and save yourself some time.  Anthony Michael Hall is one of our main characters again doing another movie with his biggest supporter in Hughes.  Kelly LeBrock looks great but having spent a lot of time growing up watching Vanessa Angel play the same role I don’t think much of LeBrock. Bill Paxton is only worth mentioning because he is turned into a giant pile of shit but this is probably a movie he doesn’t include in his resumé.

So let me do you a favor and spare you the time you yourself could waste on this movie, it’s not worth it.  I am literally feeling a lot of guilt because I talked my wife into watching it with me.  In any marriage you can’t afford for things to go this wrong when you persuade your spouse to do something they aren’t really interested in.  All it does is give all the leverage to them and make it harder the next time you try to talk them into something later on down the road.  Damn you Weird Science! My wife will win the next argument over what movie we will watch and it’s all because I was stupid enough to think there was something to this one.  Cool song, but nothing else to speak of with this one.

Edward Scissorhands

Year: 1990
Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Tim Burton and Caroline Thompson

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is such an awesome movie.  When it came out it was a new and interesting fairy tale made in true Tim Burton fashion.  Like many other Burton movies this one is exceptional because there really is no other like it.  This movie is interesting, imaginative, and incredible. With this strange fantasy story Tim Burton manages to give us an insight into how he sees the world and tell us something about ourselves all in one stroke.  This film is about finding out who you are, it’s about love and fear; it’s part Beauty and the Beast, part Frankenstein, and all Tim Burton.

Tim Burton really is one of a kind.  He has such a vision when it comes to blending colors on screen and he has a style that is all his own.  I have never cared much for what I think of as “the creepy Tim Burton crap” but it is part of who he is and it is original.  His originality is what makes him such a great filmmaker and this is one of the best showcases for his talent.  My favorite of his films has got to be Beetle Juicebut this is a really really close second. Johnny Depp is great as the title character and if I’m not mistaken he has referred to this as one of his favorite roles.  He portrays such an innocent being that is victimized by the world and ultimately misunderstood. Winona Ryder is young and beautiful.  Dianne Wiest is honest and good spirited.  However, after Johnny Depp I think the best performance has to go to Alan Arkin.  He plays the father of the Boggs so deftly and naturally that it makes you believe this is a real family and a real story.  I have read that the death of Jim at the end of the film was Tim Burton’s revenge on the jocks who picked on him in high school but I think that revenge came in casting Anthony Michael Hall as the jock instead.  Hall had played dorks and nerds for a long time but was trying to change his image with this role. Who was he kidding though, right?  He did a horrible job and his career continued on a downward spiral because of it.  This was the last film that Vincent Price appeared in and that is another thing that makes it special.  It is sad that the last thing he did on screen was dying though.

Edward is a creature of isolation, in this film we see him adapt and attempt to live a normal life.  Edward does not understand what he is dealing with in society though and he is vulnerable because of his ignorance. The world is cruel, and it isn’t long before the world is trying to exploit Edward in a variety of ways.  When he doesn’t understand what is going on he responds in ways that society doesn’t understand. He isn’t a person, he is the unfinished product of the inventor and it isn’t his fault that he doesn’t understand the world.  He tries to do what he thinks is right but is unequipped and unaware of how to deal with the manipulation and the cruelty of others.  Everywhere he goes people continually fill him with hope by telling him that they know a doctor who can help him but the only people who do help him are the Boggs, and ultimately they fail to understand him as well.  The only one who really knew him was the one he fell for, and she couldn’t help him either. What makes Edward such a great character is that he is so diverse and innocent.  He is someone we can all learn from because in his story we can see aspects of ourselves and our nature.

I have written before about Danny Elfman as a composer, we have reviewed several movies now that he scored. I do like Danny Elfman but in this journey through our movies I have found myself losing respect for him.  He has such a specific sound that I don’t even have to see the credits to know he was involved in a movie now.  While I think he has put together some great musical scores for films I am noticing more and more that all his scores sound the same.  Tim Burton uses him frequently and I think they work really well together.  Elfman’s gloomy sound is perfect for Tim Burton’s purposes.  If you want to know what I am talking about though see Beetle Juice, Darkman, Batman, or Batman Returns

This is a wonderful movie that many love.  It isn’t one you need me to tell you to see but I am always happy to recommend it during a rare time that I find someone who hasn’t seen it.  Great cast, great story, and a great filmmaker at his best.  This movie will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you feel on a deeper level.  It is more than worth your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love, love this movie. This was the first film of it’s kind that I had ever seen. I didn’t even know that movies like this existed or could exist. It is a beautifully made movie, with and incredible plot. I love the housing units, the costumes, the hairdos. Everything was thought about and thought about until it was perfect.

I thoroughly enjoy this movie and could watch it over and over. If you haven’t seen it, it is more than worth it to watch it.

NEXT MOVIE: Enemy of the State (1998)

The Breakfast Club

Year: 1985
Directed By: John Hughes
Written By: John Hughes

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie is out of order in the blog because Amber just bought it the other day.  I was really pleased and surprised when she brought it home because I think it is a terrific movie.  I haven’t seen this movie all the way through since I was in high school, so I have really enjoyed revisiting it. I have never really connected with this film on a personal level and I think that’s why we haven’t owned it before.  It is an undeniable classic though and I always love adding classics into the collection.

Like when we have reviewed certain other classics, like Caddyshack or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, I don’t think you need me to vouch for this film. Most people know how great this movie is because it’s the kind of movie nearly everyone has seen. If somehow you haven’t seen this movie there is really just one thing I think you should know before going in…it has nothing to do with breakfast.  I think the title The Breakfast Club is awesome but it is an unusual name for the movie. Early in the film the characters discuss the clubs that they are part of. Brian mentions that he is a member of a few math clubs and it is he that coins the title later in the film. Bender also asks the question “what club do you belong to?” Maybe after the time they have spent together and the things they shared with one another they belong to each other in some way, they are their own club at the end of the day.

John Hughes made many great and iconic movies but this one is near the top of his all-time greats.  We will have several opportunities to discuss John Hughes though, we own many of his films. His regulars Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were both at their best in this movie.  Emilio Estevez is good as the straight-laced jock.  Judd Nelson is incredible as John Bender, it is his role that makes the movie so great.  They are all great and bring something good to the film but I think Nelson set himself apart with his role. Paul Gleason always has been the guy he played in this movie when I see him, so I have never been a big fan.

This movie was the main reference point for the pilot episode of my current favorite tv show.  The first episode of NBC’S Community made several references to this film and it was actually dedicated to the memory of John Hughes, who had died recently.  It was a great tribute to a man who left a big mark on the industry, he was legendary and Community has continued to reference his films throughout the series.  Community is one of the most creative and intelligent shows I have ever seen and it is actually in danger of being cancelled now.  This is a show that thinks outside of the box, it’s clever and special, but it will be a casualty due to lack of ratings unless we all support the show. I implore anyone who reads this to watch Community when it returns to the NBC line-up. Watch the earlier seasons of the show online or on DVD and get ready for new episodes.  This is one of the best shows I have ever seen, and I really hope NBC decides to keep it going.

In closing I will simply say that it has been a lot of fun to see this movie again.  The soundtrack is worth mentioning before I wrap this up too, it’s a great contemplation of 80’s songs.  I love the Simple Minds song that serves as the theme for the movie, but doesn’t everybody? This movie is great and I think it is more than worth your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Ah. The Breakfast Club. We didn’t own this movie, that’s why it wasn’t reviewed with the “B’s.” When Ryan has a bad day at work or a bad in general, I know that I can go and get him a movie and the world is right again. Well, such a day happened last week and as I was going to the dreaded Wal-Mart anyway…I decided to peruse the movie section when I came across this movie for a completely reasonable price. I know some people who absolutely live and die by this movie. I really enjoy it. It is one of those movies that we can all relate to in one way or another. There is probably a good chance that we are all like one if the teenagers in the film. We probably had the same upbringing and feelings that these kids had.

If you haven’t seen this movie before, it is surprising. I honestly think everyone should see this movie. It is a classic and often a go-to for parodies. Definitely check this film out if you have never seen it before.