Joel Schumacher

The Lost Boys

Year: 1987
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam


In this age of vampire rage it’s almost too much to even bear seeing any vampire movie again, but this is the vampire movie.  This movie made vampires cool twenty years before it became the trendy thing to do. Screw all the Twilights and True Bloods, Jack Bauer was the vampire in this movie.  By today’s standards this film is far and away ahead of its time.  It both exploited the comic book world and made vampires cool which are both so big in our current culture. This movie gets a bit too goofy at times but it’s cool enough to compensate for all that.  The music and the style of the time are captured in the film making it a portrait of the era in the late 80s. The tone of this movie is all over the place because it tried to fuse comedy and horror together but it’s a fun movie and sometimes that it all that matters when it comes to evaluating a film.

In 1987 there was every reason to believe the young cast in this movie all had bright futures ahead of them.  Arguably some of them did but none really reached the potential people saw in them during the late 80s. The most successful is without a doubt Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland.  That’s his actual name by the way.  If I remember right his dad, Donald Sutherland, chose to name his son after six of his best friends so Kiefer’s legal name is actually that long.  I am a big fan of Kiefer because he played one of the greatest characters ever, Jack Bauer.  However, there was a reason Kiefer landed on a TV drama at a time when it was considered an act of desperation in a film star’s career. Kiefer has had some memorable roles over the years but his career was spinning out of control in the years preceding his part as Jack Bauer. Yet faced with adversity he took that role and made it something special. Kiefer is one of the big reasons 24 was such a success and I for one look forward to the return of the series next year. As it goes with his role here there is an interesting factoid that I was unaware of till just now.  His character David doesn’t die.  All of the other vampires explode or disintegrate when they are killed but he does not when impaled on the deer antlers.  Apparently his character was meant to survive and play a part in a sequel that was never made. In true 80’s fashion is was to be titled The Lost Girls; go figure right? It’s too bad the sequel wasn’t picked up.  Although it probably would have been a disaster anyway I would have liked to see what more they could have done with the David character.  Kiefer made for a cool vampire and it would have been cool to see more of him.

It’s Jason Patric I have in mind when I think that people probably expected big things from the young cast of this movie.  He must have come across as the type of young actor who had a promising future in front of him but it never happened. I don’t know why but I know his track record doesn’t do anything to impress. Unless you were really taken with Speed 2, when for some reason it’s a problem that a boat can’t slow down with the enormity of the ocean to cruise through.  Jason Patric fit the part in this movie well but his character’s name is said relentlessly to the point of being annoying.  There aren’t enough drugs in the world to account for the annoying amount of uncalled for laughter coming from these hipster vamps, and peppered all throughout their “lol-ing” is the name “Michael” said over and over, and over and over again. It’s not Jason Patric’s fault, but it’s an annoying part of the film I always think of when he comes up in conversation.

When I was a kid I was quite taken with Jami Gertz in the role of Star.  That wild hair and hippy style really did it for me back then.  I was always a bit confused about the little kid who was with her in the movie.  Was he her brother or son? I never knew before but having read a bit about the movie I found out that the vampires just snatched this kid up at random to be her companion. At one point in the movie you can see his image on a milk carton as a missing child. Dianne Wiest plays the other female lead in this movie and I think she really brings the film down.  I have never really seen her play more than the aloof and naive mother and I’m just not a big fan of that role.  It’s a necessary role in some films and I suppose she does it as well as anybody.  She plays a similar part in both Edward Scissorhands and in one of my personal favorites, The Birdcage. 

I feel compelled to mention Corey Haim and Corey Feldman here but I can’t figure out why.  These two had their moment in the sun around the time this movie came out and they have held onto this franchise hardheartedly as it continued long after their significance passed.  Feldman is one of those great child actors that just didn’t take his success to the next level as he grew up.  I know he is still out there doing things now but I’m not sure what.  He has continued his role of Edgar Frog in a couple of long since sequels, Lost Boys: The Tribe and Lost Boys: The Thirst. I haven’t seen either one of those films but if any reader has feel free to share some thoughts on them. I know Corey Haim was supposed to be in at least one of those two but wasn’t able to after his untimely death a few years ago. Haim struggled with drug addiction for most of his adult life and it went the way these things often do with him dying at the young age of 38. These two guys became a pair in the 80s but like so many things from that decade they just didn’t transition with the times.  Of the two I have always liked Feldman better because the guy was just such a great character in so many films that I love.  I thought his character in this movie was a bit too campy and ridiculous but I’m thinking more of The Goonies when it comes to what endears me to him as a child actor. Speaking of guys who didn’t fully make it out of the 80s I’d like to point out the vampire version of Bill S Preston Esquire is in this film.  Alex Winter plays the vampire that says the least and gets staked first.  I mention him specifically because I have heard talk of a third adventure for Bill and Ted coming to the big screen.  I have my doubts that it will ever actually happen but during this day and age, when anything that can be perceived to have vaguely significant name recognition is made, anything is possible.

Joel Schumacher was the director that destroyed the Batman franchise.  An unforgivable act and even though this movie came out long before he was put behind the camera for the third Batman film it’s something that still needs to be considered.  In truth he did nothing in this film to offer any saving grace if you ask me.  It’s a cool movie but the whole tone is so up and down. I think it is an odd idea to make a film that qualifies for both the horror and comedy genres. It happens more often than not but I see these two genres being counteractive to one another and think it’s just a ridiculous idea.  It has to be one or the other and can’t simply be a combination of both.  A film can be set in the horror genre and intended only to be funny, like the perfectly done Shaun of the Dead, but that isn’t what they did in this film. I think there are several specific scenes in this movie that show they were actually trying to be scary and I feel like the comedy wasn’t the purpose of the film, just part of it.  I have never found this movie to be either funny or scary but liked it despite that.  I watched it at a young age and thought it was a really cool movie. I liked the idea of a vampire being something more than a monster and more about the opportunity to be forever young and party for an eternity. This idea may have been introduced before this movie for all I know but it was the first I had seen of it.  This film has survived as a cult classic and I think that is by and large due to the idea of vampires who “sleep all day, party all night.”

I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m sick of vampires.  I’ve been happy to see most of this unreasonable cult phenomenon shift focus toward zombies but it is only a matter of time before that begins to get annoying too.  I think plenty of people would suggest we have already reached that point and I couldn’t argue that we haven’t. While there has been a shift toward zombies lately it hasn’t really slowed down the vampires enough.  There seems to still be a significant market for the livelier of the undead but I think enough is enough. I think it went way too far a long time ago.  I can stomach True Blood to an extent, mainly because of Anna Paquin’s fondness for nude scenes, but I draw a line when it came to Twilight. To start with, it’s a series that comes from teen reading and that’s lame enough.  I did see the first film because I was unaware of what it was when I rented it. Needless to say I thought it was beyond ridiculous.  Someone answer me this, why would an eternal creature want to spend its days going through high school over and over again? High school was totally lame no matter what crowd you were in and the idea of a vampire trying to blend in there is just stupid.  Not only that, but when did it become OK for vampires to go about during the day? They are creatures of the night; it’s like one of the most important principles of vampires.  It was just all so stupid, but who am I to argue with what made someone a millionaire.  I have plenty of other thoughts and criticisms when it comes to Tweenlight but I’ll hold back in the event of diehard fans hating on what I have said.

If you can stomach more of what has become the unbearable norm these days then take a trip back to the 80s and check out this movie. It may have an odd tone to it but I think it’s a cool take on vampires, and one that was done long before they became too overdone in our society.  This is a fun movie and I think it is worth your time to see it.


This movie almost always reminds me of my step-dad. My mom didn’t think it would be a good idea for me to watch this movie but he helped talk her into it. I remember having nightmares about maggots in my food for weeks. Still, it scared the crap out of me when I was younger, and may have been one of the very first vampire movies or stories even that I was introduced to.


Are ready for another MONTAGE? This one could be really interesting if they hadn’t needed to put every single character in the movie on this poster. I think the use of a black and white posterized looking image on the stark red of the background was really great idea considering their lives are revolved around blood. I actually like the typography. I think it’s iconic, at least for me for this time period. Not an entirely missed poster, but dammit WHY must they always include everyone on the poster?

NEXT MOVIE: Love Actually (2003)


Year: 1990
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Peter Filardi


This is an interesting movie about five medical students who start a daring experiment to learn more about life after death.  Together the five of them meet with the necessary equipment to kill one of them for a specific amount of time and then bring them back to life to explain what they saw. It starts with just one of them wanting to do the experiment but after it is successful they all want a turn, and chance to raise the stakes.  To the horror of all of them they find that while they are successfully brought back to life, they don’t come back alone.  All of them soon find something from their own past haunting them in the real world.

To go along with such an interesting story was a really great cast of actors who were all on the rise at the time. Julia Roberts made this the same year she made Pretty Woman. She quickly became a superstar over night with that one so this film probably got overshadowed as far as her performance goes. This was a good movie for Kiefer Sutherland at this point in his career but things seemed to go downhill for him after this. He really struggled to have a hit or significant role until he landed the part of Jack Bauer on 24. I was a really big fan of that show and stuck with it even when everything went to hell during the writer’s strike.  So naturally I am a big fan of Kiefer and I think he was good in this movie.  I have always liked Kevin Bacon as well but he has had an up and down career too.  I do think that of all the performances in this film his was one of the strongest but no one does anything specifically distinguishing in this film.  The other two doctors are played by William Baldwin and Oliver Platt.  Platt has been able to survive as an actor for all these years but I have never been a big fan.  I’m not sure what it is that the other Baldwins are lacking next to their incredibly talented brother Alec, but you can’t say none of them made an effort.  They all had roles in one movie or another but somehow can’t get anything going.  Things weren’t always so rosy for Alec either though, my daughter does own his Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie, and he must have been really desperate when he did that one.

This movie was made by Joel Schumacher, and like Sheldon Cooper I also loathe the man for ruining the Batman franchise during the 90s.  What he did to the Batman character and film franchise is unforgivable, but fortunately this movie predates that disaster.  That being said I can still enjoy this film by him, as well as The Lost Boys that he did with Kiefer a few years before this one.  A viewer with a watchful eye can easily see Schumacher’s style in this film. He likes gothic images and the glowing use of colors and fancy lights that we saw so much of in his Batman films.  It all works in this movie though and he made a great film.

This movie starts off with a great cast and an awesome story but does get a little silly near the end.  The tone of the film doesn’t have much continuity to it, but I don’t think it really takes anything away from the movie. I do really like the cast too but I don’t think any of them specifically offered a fantastic performance.  They do their jobs well enough though and their names do enough to bring attention to the film and give it an audience.  I have heard before that there might eventually be a remake of this film and that wouldn’t surprise me at all.  A cool idea like this is an easy choice to make in this world of rehashed movies we now live in.  I think this one is good though and I would recommend it to anyone.  This movie is worth your time and if you give it a chance I think you will enjoy it.


I kept telling Ryan that I had already seen this movie. Apparently, he was right. This movie had me intrigued from the get-go. The whole idea of the afterlife is an interesting aspect; I don’t care who you are, we have all thought about what happens to you when you die. The idea that doctors are going to kill themselves and bring themselves back to life is amazingly interesting. I was in to the movie the whole time, while little by little each doctor kills themselves and then has the others bring them back to life in order to see what the afterlife is like. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. It has some really key actors and is based on an interesting subject. Sometimes the movie gets a little cliché, but overall I really enjoyed watching it and would watch it again.

NEXT MOVIE: Forrest Gump (1994)

The Client

Year: 1994
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: John Grisham


The Client is the film adaptation of John Grisham‘s novel by the same name.  It’s just one of several movies that were made during the 90s based off of his books.  Some of the other movies being The Pelican Brief, The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, and The Rainmaker. I do think this one was one of the better of those films, although A Time to Kill was also particularly good.  I read most of these books when I was a teenager as well, I don’t remember much about them now but I do remember liking this book.  It’s hard not to like such a great story though.

I was almost of an age with the Brad Renfro character the first time I saw this movie and that was probably what got me interested in reading John Grisham’s books to begin with. The cast of this movie was obviously really well thought out because so many stars are in it, the casting of the Mark Sway must have been challenging because of his age.  Brad Renfro came out of no where and blew everybody away, he seemed to have a lot of promise but has practically been a one hit wonder.  He has starred in a few other notable films but his performance has never matched this one.  It was a tough role for such young inexperienced actor because the film centers on him.  He was surrounded by a lot of talented actors and actresses in the movie though.

Tommy Lee Jones is great at this kind of role.  He fits in nicely as the powerful man who like to monologue as he leads his subordinates around like geese in a flying V.  He played similar roles in The Fugitive and U.S. Marshalls.  I am always in favor of Susan Sarandon being the female lead in any movie. She is not only beautiful but very talented.  She had an interesting ability to get more beautiful the older she got.  This movie is literally loaded with stars in smaller parts after that.  Mary-Louise Parker, William H. Macy, Kim Coates, Anthony Edwards, Will Patton, and several others.  The cast alone makes the movie worth seeing but you should see it because the story is awesome.

This is also like a window into 1994 too, that makes it interesting. You can see the style of clothing on several levels of society. You see smoking in a hospital and smoking by children, two things that are rarely if ever seen in media today.  Mark’s mother mentions her minimum wage pay as $5.00 an hour, that gives us insight into the  economics of the year.  There are plenty of things that this movie can remind some of us about and give others insight into what life was like 17 years ago.

This was a popular movie when it came out and I think it will stand the test of time for years to come.  I am not typically a fan of Joel Schumacher, he ruined the Batman franchise, but he managed to not screw this one up.  This movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.


I had never seen this movie before, heck I didn’t even know that we owned it. I was immediately sucked in. The story follows 2 kids that accidentally witness a mobster’s attorney’s suicide. However, before the suicide he confides in the boy that he know where some bodies are buried. I would hate to be this kid. He is put into a horrible position. The kid is a great little actor and is a badass kid that isn’t very well off. He wears Led Zeppelin cut off t-shirts and cusses. He isn’t a stupid kid, however and when he feels like he is being pressured by the FBI he decides to find an attorney to take care of things for him, played by Susan Sarandon. (Ryan is hopelessly in love with her, I think it’s the red hair.)

This movie is worth your time. It is interesting and holds your attention well and has some really notable people in the film. I know I wouldn’t want to be in this kids position.

NEXT MOVIE: Cliffhanger (1993)

Batman Forever

Year: 1995
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Lee Batchler


This is where it all went horribly wrong.  The studio wanted a more family friendly Batman and they made a movie that Adam West must have admired.  I remember when this movie came out and remembered it fondly.  Watching it now I see that it was only cool then because I was only eleven years old.  This movie is ridiculous from beginning to end and I can not vouch for it.

Tim Burton was still on board as a producer but I can’t see much of his influence in the film.  When Warner Bros gave the keys to the Batman franchise to Joel Schumacher they deserved all the embarrassment and failure that he bestowed upon them. Schumacher took the dark Batman that Burton had created and he made it flamboyant, Batman should not be flamboyant. Why didn’t anybody take a step back and ask themselves if it was really a good idea to put nipples on the batsuit?  I have always wanted to know what the hell the studio was thinking, this was one of the worst ideas of all time.  The cast was ridiculous, alot of big names inappropriately cast or out of place.  I guess Jim Carrey was ok as the Riddler but I wouldn’t call him great.  Why did Tommy Lee Jones look so pink and colorful? I don’t really get the casting of Kilmer as Batman, I am a Val Kilmer fan, but as Batman? Who was responsible for that decision.  Chris O’Donnell wasn’t that bad but the circumstances of his character are a little too stupid.  First of all, why would a criminal organization hold up the circus to rob the pockets of the audience? Also, why would the unarmed acrobats think they were qualified to deal with the situation?

I have always said that the 4th Batman film, Batman & Robin was one of the worst movies of all time.  While it is still easily the worst of all the Batman films it does merely follow the footsteps of this movie.  This movie is much worse than I remembered it being and I do not think you should waste you time watching it.


Ugh, I don’t even want to write about this one. It is extremely hard to even sit though this one. Why do we even own it? Ryan said it is so different because they went towards a more family friendly Batman. But come on, crime fighting just isn’t family friendly. Jim Carrey was in his prime of his comedy career at the time of this film, but I thought he was misplaced and was annoying throughout.

Since I am the woman voice on this blog, I also must add that Val Kilmer makes an AWFUL Batman. He is not sexy as Batman, and what is the point if Batman is not a sexy hero? I mean, he only has to be sexy from the nose down really. His lips are all pouty like a woman’s.

This film is just a no-go for me. Anytime you add in Robin I automatically think back to the cheesy Adam West stuff, and I can’t take it seriously. Watch the others, skip this one and Batman and Robin, and then pick it back up Batman Begins.

NEXT MOVIE:  Batman Begins (2005)