I Am Divine
Mon, 07/01/2013 – 8:00pm
The Trocadero, Philadelphia Premiere!
Director Jeffrey Schwarz has brought the definitive biopic of the legendary Divine to the screen. Divine was the ultimate anarchist performer, committed to shocking audiences with over the top performances all the while breaking down barriers of what was expected of a superstar. Divine was overweight and no matinee idol but he challenged the accepted values of the norm to become the most celebrated drag queen of all time and an underground cinema icon. Divine (1944-1988) was born Harris Glenn Milstead in Baltimore, Maryland. In Baltimore, he met John Waters and the two outsiders became artistic collaborators. The rest is legend. -Anne Roser
Mon, 07/01/2013 – 10:00pm
The first 100 people to arrive get a FREE original odorama card! The John Waters cult classic, Polyester begins with the introduction of Odorama, created by Waters. It is described as a “startling process, a mind boggling project.” Odorama enables the audience to follow the film’s story through the sensitive nose of heroine Francine Fishpaw by using a scratch and sniff card handed out before the show. The scents range from flowers to feces. John Waters himself took delight in the idea that patrons would “pay to smell shit.” The audiences were forewarned in the introduction that “some things in life just plain stink.”
Polyester as a film does not stink. It has repulsive and shocking moments as all great John Waters films should, although it is more subdued than Waters’ earlier films. Polyester tells the story of Francine Fishpaw (Divine), a sweet victimized housewife whose home life is falling into ruin. Francine’s husband Elmer runs the local pornographic theater (now showing ‘My Burning Bush’) which causes protesters and a news crew to invade the Fishpaws front yard. Francine is a good Christian woman and is vexed by the animosity shown to her and her family. Elmer revels in the publicity and in the affair he is having with his secretary played by Mink Stole. Francine’s teenage children are also the cause of great stress in her life. Her son, Dexter has been thrown out of every public school in Baltimore for being criminally insane and her oversexed daughter, Lulu, quits school to become a go-go dancer and can’t wait to have an abortion. Poor Francine. Thankfully her loyal best friend, the heiress Cuddles (Edith Massey) is there to provide emotional support until she meets Todd Tomorrow, played by 50’s matinee idol Tab Hunter, and realizes the potential promise of a better future. Polyester is an oddball modern fairy tale. It is filled with funny one liners, colorful miscreants, outrageous situations and over the top but committed performances by the actors. In the grand scheme of strange, which all Waters films reside, the soundtrack includes a duet by Debbie Harry and Bill Murray- yes that Bill Murray from Ghostbusters. -Anne Roser
Fri, 07/05/2013 – 9:00pm
The Goonies was one of my favorite films that I watched repeatedly as a young kid in the 80s. I recently saw this film with my fiancee’s six-year-old girl and eight-year-old boy and they loved it! Despite the over indulgence of 80’s references including Michael Jackson, Pole Position, Godfather’s Pizza, Liberace, and “…all those little creatures that multiply when you throw water on them,” the movie stands the test of time as an exciting comedy/action film mostly for kids, tweens, and nostalgic adults. The film revolves around a group of neighborhood kids who call themselves “the Goonies.” The Goonies family homes are about to be torn down by greedy land developers unless a substantial amount of money can be procured to stop the foreclosures. In a cinematically contrived moment, a treasure map once owned by the pirate One-Eyed Willy is miraculously discovered by Goonie member Mikey (a slim Sean Astin) and the adventure begins. The pursuant action includes a run in with escaped convicts, exploration of underground caverns, many near death experiences, and a tour of a pirate ship.
Although directed by Richard Donner, Steven Spielberg came up with the story and his influence is prevalent throughout the film, there is even a scene where a large boulder races after the protagonists ala Indiana Jones. It is a funny, feel-good, coming of age family adventure, with the obligatory social commentary acted out by clearly defined good guys versus bad guys. Excellent casting is another clear Spielberg stamp on the film. Reminiscent of Restoration Comedy, the young characters are given descriptive names; Chunk (Jeff Cohen), whose comic delivery and hysterical antics steals much of the movie, is the overweight kid. Mouth (deliciously played by Corey Feldman) is the loquacious smart ass of the group and Data ( Key Huy Quan) is the charmingly eccentric inventor. My personal favorite is Mama Fratelli played with perfect unnerving menace by the late Anne Ramsey. She delivers one of the scariest lines ever heard by a child in the history of cinema when she chillingly orders her criminal sons to “follow them size 5’s!” And of course no kid can forget the lovable Sloth played by the late John Matuszak. Sloth and Chunk have one of the most endearing friendships portrayed on film, someone should have written a road trip movie about these two adorable outcasts. -Anne Roser
Sat, 07/06/2013 – 8:00pm
Goose Memorial Night/Volleyball Tournament!
Top Gun is a classic film that begat a lot of trends: aviator sunglasses and jackets, motorcycles and cocky men attempting to serenade their wives or girlfriends with “I’ve Got That Loving Feeling.” Director Tony Scott took on the task of helming this film after both John Carpenter and David Cronenberg turned it down and struck gold (Top Gun was the highest grossing film of 1986). Inspired by a 1983 article about the U.S. Navy’s Top Gun School, the movie follows reckless Maverick (Tom Cruise) and his partner Goose (Anthony Edwards) as they compete to be the best of the best. Kelly McGillis plays Charlie, the hot flight instructor who Maverick falls for. Amid tragedy, dog fights, survivor’s guilt and admonishment by senior officers, Maverick learns to roll with the punches while pulling stunts like giving the finger to a Russian MIG pilot and pissing off Val Kilmer.
The Top Gun soundtrack featuring Kenny Loggins, Berlin was one of the top selling soundtracks of all time, ranking #1 on the Billboard charts for five consecutive weeks and the movie produced the awesome and addictive line “I feel the need. The need for speed.” -Jane Roser
The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew
Mon, 07/08/2013 – 8:00pm
The Trocadero, 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Needless to say, this movie did not win the academy award for best picture. I can say, however, that you will enjoy yourself much more watching this film that the one that did win, which was Terms of Endearment. Strange Brew stars Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis as the eponymous characters from the title. After being chased away from the premier of their movie Mutants of 2051 AD, they try to atone for its hideousness by giving away their dad’s beer money as a refund. In an attempt to get more beer, they make their way to the Elsinore brewery to scam some for free, but end up employed there instead. While there, they learn that the owner has just died under mysterious circumstances and it was taken over by his brother, Claude who married his widow, Gertrude. The owner’s daughter then returns from college to take her rightful place at the brewery, when her father’s ghostly image returns to tell her the truth.
Yes, this story is supposed to sound familiar.
The beer has been laced with mind controlling drugs by the evil brewmeister, played by Max Von Sydow. His plan is to give the beer out for free at the local Oktoberfest, at which point the drugs will kick in and he will use it as a springboard to take over the world. His plans are thwarted by the bumbling brothers and the clever daughter who is thankfully nowhere nearly as inactive or self-absorbed as her mirror character of Hamlet.
Strangely, the Hamlet angle is what makes this all work. The characters of Bob and Doug McKenzie come from a Canadian comedy show called “Second City Television”. The problem with turning a sketch comedy routine into a full length movie is that what works for ten minutes on television, does not work for a ninety minute movie. “Saturday Night Live” has learned this the hard way. The reason Strange Brew works is that when you take those characters and put them into a plot whose framework we all know, it then becomes a fish-out-of water story that can carry the film past those ten minutes. Just be aware that within an hour after the end of the movie, you will utter the words “Take off eh, you hoser.” -Brian Roser
Thu, 07/11/2013 – 9:00pm
Mel Brooks has a shotgun approach to comedy. He just throws out as many jokes as he can, with the result that some hit and some don’t. Strangely, I know people who did not laugh at a joke, but still quote it later in conversation. The conclusion I draw from this is that even the jokes that bomb add to the whimsy of the film and keep it entertaining. In other words, the weak link does not detract from the strong gestalt. Wow, I am way over thinking this.
The plot… well it’s a Mel Brooks movie. This isn’t about plot. This is about parody. Plot is not really important, but just for the sake of the thing, here it goes. Princess Vespa of Druidia is marrying against her will. She is kidnapped, rescued by Lone Starr, kidnapped again and rescued again. The cycle eventually ends with a final showdown and a happy ending. In the course of the movie, Mel Brooks mostly parodies the Star Wars series, but he also takes shots at Star Trek, Transformers, Alien, Planet of the Apes and The Wizard of Oz for good measure. He seems to think that getting hit in the crotch is a lot more hilarious than I do, but he does better when taking metaphors literally and breaking the fourth wall.
Spaceballs features an impressive collection of comedic of talent. In addition to Mel Brooks, the cast includes Rick Moranis, Joan Rivers, John Candy and Bill Pullman with bit parts by Dom DeLuise and John Hurt. To anyone who has seen this movie only once, I encourage you to watch it again. There are things I missed the first time around. Not least of which was the officer in charge of a metamorphosis named Kafka. There are also various things in the background that are funny, but pass by too quickly to catch on the first viewing. A sign asks people to conserve air by breathing less and Spaceballs the cereal has a sticker proclaiming it to be 100% sugar. This movie will not reveal to you the truths of the universe, but it will make you laugh. -Brian Roser
E.T The Extra-Terrestrial
Fri, 07/12/2013 – 9:00pm
Who doesn’t love this 1982 movie about an abandoned strange-looking alien (voiced by Debra Winger and elderly smoker Pat Welsh) who finds shelter with Elliott (Henry Thomas). With the tag line “He is afraid. He is totally alone. He is 3 million light years from home,” you know this isn’t your typical scary, slimy alien movie, but rather a touching story of a little boy and the friend who would go to any lengths to help ET find his way home.
E.T is the 4th highest-grossing movie ever and won composer and frequent Steven Speilberg collaborator, John Williams, the Oscar for Best Original Score. After E.T. is mistakenly left on earth when his spaceship is threatened with discovery, E.T. is found by 10-year-old loner Elliott after he eats a trail of Reese’s Pieces (and also the very first product placement in a film). After Elliott’s younger sister Gertie (a precocious Drew Barrymore) and his older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughten) are introduced to E.T., they swear to protect him from the evil government men and their misunderstanding mother (Dee Wallace). E.T. hangs around the house in a bathrobe drinking beer and building a phone home device and soon the government is on their trail.
One of the most recognizable scenes in movie history, the bicycle past the moon shot, makes you catch your breath and hope they get away. Because “this is reality” and you can’t just “beam him up.” -Jane Roser
Sat, 07/13/2013 – 9:00pm
A Goblin King played by David Bowie! Directed by Jim Henson! Cranky teen Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) has to babysit her baby brother Toby (Toby Froud, the son of Brian Froud, the conceptual designer of this film) who is a crying brat (okay, he’s a baby, but still). This pisses her off, so she accidentally wished her brother to be taken away by the Goblin King (David Bowie) who takes Toby to his castle in the center of a complex labyrinth where Sarah has 13 hours to find him before the kid turns into a goblin, which is quite unsettling. She encounters all manner of strange Henson creatures, trials and tribulations on her quest. The scene with the poisoned peach should be enough to remind you what Snow White learned- never accept fruit from a weirdo. -Jane Roser
Sat, 07/13/2013 – 11:00pm
“I never meant to cause you any sorrow. I never meant to cause you any pain. I only wanted to one time see you laughing. I only wanted to see you laughing in the purple rain.”
Purple Rain was the very first album I ever owned. My dad got it for me as a 12th birthday gift because I had requested it. He just kept saying ‘why?’ In hindsight, it was very daring (and way cool) of my dad to get me this album considering watchdog group the PMRC was founded because they found this album to be too lewd (which may be why it sold over 20 million copies world-wide).
Prince plays The Kid, a troubled rocker living with his equally troubled (and abusive) folks. Prince and the actors who played his parents were the only characters to use names other than their own (real) names and most of the cast in this film were musicians with no acting experience (and it shows). It’s a film you’ve seen before: self destructive musician trying to make big, but a rival band (The Time, the bandleader, Morris Day is Prince’s real-life cousin) keeps thwarting his hopes and dreams. Enter Apollonio, replacing Vanity, as Prince’s love interest and crying throughout the whole film. Prince spends most of the film in a puffy pirate shirt and flamenco pants touching himself and doing some pretty amazing dance moves (dude is flexible!) all while playing live sets of his soon to be hit songs. It’s a dated film with some silly lines (“Your lips would make a lollipop happy”) and some of the worst kissing I’ve ever seen on screen, but it’s also one helluva fun purple ride. -Jane Roser
Mon, 07/15/2013 – 8:00pm
30th Anniversary celebration. Actress Deborah Foreman in attendance!
Like freak me out! This is one bitchin’ movie! Valley Girl (1983) is an earlier version of Pretty in Pink but with the gender roles reversed. Julie, played by Deborah Foreman, is the sweet preppy girl who lives in the Valley and Nicholas Cage as Randy is the extroverted punk who lives in downtown L.A. . Julie wants to dump her valley boy, Tommy, who she says “has got the bod but his brains are bad news, I definitely need something new.” Enter Randy. They first notice each other at the beach, where buffed out Cage in his tight swim trunks is unrecognizable as a punk, much less as the wonderful eccentric we know him as today. Randy and his best friend crash a party in the valley hosted by Julie’s best friend. Randy and Julie proceed to fall in love amidst a montage of date scenes serenaded by Modern English with their classic “I’ll Stop the World and Melt With You” before it was tragically used for a Burger King commercial. Unfortunately, as in Pretty in Pink, the friends of Julie pressure her to return to Tommy. The conflict deciding between the outsider she really loves or Tommy whom she is expected to love drives the rest of the film.
Foreman and Cage have great chemistry. The acting, surprisingly given the title of the film is honest, especially Foreman and Cage. The characters are also surprisingly not caricatures of teenagers, but are believable. Valley Girl abounds with the finest from the 80’s; frosted hair, feathered hair, sweater vests, jumpsuits, ruffles, track suits, and collars up. It also has a great soundtrack, memorable characters, a funny script and sensitive direction. Valley Girl is rad, like for sure! -Anne Roser
April Fool’s Day
Mon, 07/15/2013 – 10:00pm
Actress Deborah Foreman in Attendance!
Valentine’s Day, Graduation Day, Prom Night, New Years Evil, multiple Halloween and Friday the 13th films – at what holiday or celebratory event was a teenager in the 80s NOT going to be murdered? And no, we haven’t forgotten about Christmas (Silent Night, Deadly Night) or birthdays (Happy Birthday To Me). With the onslaught of titles, April Fool’s Day was obvious for any studio looking for another quick cash grab. Most viewers will probably have suffered through this basic premise and stock characters in previous genre films, but this flick stars Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) from the Back To The Future franchise and Deborah Foreman whose career should’ve gained momentum after starring in Valley Girl (with Nicolas Cage) instead of withering at the end of the 80s.
Sporting a fantastic movie poster with a girl’s long hair braided into a hangman’s noose; April Fool’s Day is more Agatha Christie meets Scooby Doo than horror. With the absence of a visual on screen antagonist such as a Jason or Freddy, it’s not the best of the teenage slasher genre or the worst. The graphic violence for April Fool’s Day is minimal and outdated (television series “The Walking Dead” is more striking), but the film definitely has its devotees that admire the films atmosphere and twist ending. -Paul Bernardi
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
Thu, 07/18/2013 – 9:00pm
Tim Burton’s first full-length feature would, of course, HAD to have been the story of Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) and his quest to locate his stolen bike. Reubens started writing the script for this film following his success with “The Pee-Wee Herman Show” (and before the mmmhmmm movie theater incident).
Pee-Wee adores his bike and refuses to sell it to his annoying neighbor (Mark Holton), but it’s stolen when he goes to visit a local bike shop and is told by Madame Ruby, a psychic, that his beloved bike is hidden in the basement of the Alamo in Texas (which, as we hopefully all know, has no basement.) Pee-Wee meets all sorts of crazies on his trip- Simone, a waitress who dreams of going to Paris, her jealous boyfriend, and a gang of bikers in the film’s best scene- where after accidentally knocking over the biker’s motorcycles, Pee-Wee dances to “Tequila” so the bikers will think he’s cool as shit. They somehow do and give him a motorcycle which he promptly crashes. From there the film has a wild chase scene, a nun costume, Twisted Sister, Tarzan and Godzilla (I bet you never thought you’d hear all that in the same sentence). -Jane Roser
Sat, 07/20/2013 – 9:00pm
Parx Casino, Marshmallow Roast!
“Ray, if someone asks you if you’re a god, you say…YES!”
“He slimed me”
“There is no Dana, there is only Zuul”
“…dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”
No, I can’t go on; there are just too many. Witty dialogue, pithy one liners, hilarious situations, this movie has it all. More to the point, it’s just fun. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, for the love of God and all that is holy, stop reading this, crawl out from whatever rock you have been under for the last thirty years and watch it now.
For those of you who want a plot synopsis for nostalgia’s sake, here it is. The movie is about one surprisingly inept but incredibly charismatic scientist, played by Bill Murray, and his two surprisingly capable but incredibly socially inept colleagues played by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. After being kicked out of the university for being ‘poor scientists’ they turn to ghost hunting to make ends meet. They are later joined by Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore who has no particular scientific or paranormal background, but does have a certain amount of blue collar common sense that the other three are sorely lacking. The cast is rounded out by Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett, Dr. Venkman’s love interest and Rick Moranis as Louis Tully, her next door neighbor. The EPA tries to shut down their operation just as a Babylonian… sorry Sumerian god shows up in Manhattan to destroy the world.
After all these years, the special effects aren’t perfect, but they hold up surprisingly well. Considering they spend most of the movie in their uniforms, the fashion hasn’t been overly dated either. The script, performances and humor are timeless. Rumors of another sequel are going around, but Bill Murray refuses to participate. As much as I would love to see a third movie, Ghostbusters without Bill Murray is like a campfire at Camp Waconda without Stay Puft marshmallows.
This is everything you want to see in a movie. The hero gets the girl, they save the world and ride off into the sunrise. Even after seeing it for the 20th time, when the credits roll, there is still a smile on my face. -Brian Roser
Sun, 07/21/2013 – 8:00pm
RODDY PIPER IN ATTENDANCE!, 25th Anniversary Screening
Obey. Submit. No independent thought.
Subliminal treachery from a story worthy of an old “Twilight Zone” episode or the realized horrors of Reaganomics? John Carpenter’s They Live tackles this late 80’s consumer warning with a brash, superhero comic book sensibility that has cemented its cult B-movie status among legions of fans. Even famous graffiti street artist Shepard Fairey was influenced by the film and appropriated the ‘obey’ slogan for his own graphics and clothing line.
They Live features former Wrestlemania star “Rowdy” Roddy Piper as the out of luck drifter who happenstances onto the bizarre truth of why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Simultaneously humorous and harrowing, Piper’s first venture into the downtown city as only he can see the hidden subliminal words and creatures that surround everyday life are the movies most striking moments. Except for an amazing five minute and 20 second fight scene where Piper and Keith David senselessly pummel each other in an alley. Now that’s a classic movie scene.
Attired with conspiracy, zeal and the most piercing eyes in Hollywood, courtesy of Meg Foster; Carpenter’s They Live was his 8th (!) movie during the 1980s and he exited that decade with a message that broadcasts louder now as the years have passed since its release. -Paul Bernardi
Mon, 07/22/2013 – 8:00pm
The entire premise of this movie makes it dated. George Newman is a dreamer who can’t hold down a job. His uncle wins a UHF station in a poker game and lets George manage it. After a few false starts, he stumbles on a hit show, when he lets the janitor star in Stanley Spadowski’s “Playhouse”. From there the station takes off. The greedy local affiliate is jealous of his loss of market share and attempts to buy them out. The uncle owes his bookie, but lets them have until midnight to raise the money, most of which comes in through a telethon and George saves the day.
He’s taking your station from you? Even if you couldn’t get another one on TV, just start a YouTube channel. You need money for it? Go to Kickstarter. The idea of a television station tied to a geographical community in this day and age is ridiculous. Besides, TV stations have lost so much market share to cable, video games and the internet that Stanley Spadowski is the least of their worries.
Yes, it felt good to get that off my chest and no, it doesn’t detract from the film. UHF is peppered with commercials, TV shows and movies which air on the station as well as Walter Mitty like daydreams by the protagonist. These episodes are what make the movie shine. Spatula City, Conan the Librarian and Weird Al as Rambo are all hilarious. Him shouting at people in an whiny voice is not. The Beverly Hillbillies remake of Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”, however, lets me forgive him for the annoying bits.
There is one moment in the movie I found particularly poignant. He has forgotten his girlfriend’s birthday. He goes to call her, but just before he picks up the phone, it rings. He knows exactly who it is. This will strike a visceral reaction in any man who fears forgetting a date in his marriage.
The movie features a few big names before they were big: Michael Richards just before he was Kramer, Fran Drescher before she was The Nanny and Victoria Jackson between “Saturday Night Live” and going completely insane. UHF is as outdated as the Dewy Decimal System, but it is still fun to watch. -Brian Roser
The Spectacular Now
Wed, 07/24/2013 – 7:30pm
Philadelphia Premiere in Partnership With The Philadelphia Film Society
The Spectacular Now is a new comedy-drama film based on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp. The film stars Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller and tells the story of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a directionless teen alcoholic and the girl he falls for, Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley), an artistic soul who is the complete opposite of Sutter. The seemingly overwhelming response by critics thus far is “John Hughes would be proud.” Those are some big shoes to fill! -Jane Roser
Can’t Buy Me Love
Wed, 07/24/2013 – 9:30pm
In Partnership With The Philadelphia Film Society
This is the story about true love…purchased. Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) is a teen nerd who pays cheerleader Cindy Macini (Amanda Peterson) $1000 to essentially rent her as her girlfriend for a month. The only reason Cindy agrees to the pact is so that she can replace a ruined outfit that belonged to her mother (she borrowed without permission). Rather than face mama’s wrath, she becomes a hired girlfriend.
Cindy teaches Ronald how to dress and he starts hanging out with the ‘cool’ crowd. After awhile, Cindy and Ronald’s friendship deepens until the day the pact has run it’s course and they ‘break up’. Several holiday parties, hurt feelings and a bag of dog poop later there is redemption and a ride off into the sunset on a lawnmower. What could say true love better than that? -Jane Roser
Thu, 07/25/2013 – 9:00pm
25th Anniversary Celebration. Christmas in July!
This is a heartwarming tale of an estranged married couple working out their differences over the Christmas holidays… with rocket launchers. Or, to put it another way, a group of thieves, posing as terrorists and led by Hans Gruber, (played by the impeccable Alan Rickman) hijack the Nakatomi Plaza. They take hostages and attempt to open the vault, but standing in their way is an off-duty cop and husband of one of the hostages, John McClane played by Bruce Willis.
Here is why we love heroes like John McClane and Indiana Jones: they spend almost the entire movie getting the crap kicked out of them and they still never give up. Um…I guess that’s why they called it Die Hard. When they beat the bad guy, they have earned it. In the final battle, John shows up covered in grime, with bandaged, bloody feet and a submachine gun with only two bullets left. Superman shows up with a glittering smile, perfect hair and his underwear on over his tights. Seriously, who would you rather root for?
McClane is eventually able to call for help and the cavalry arrive in the form of the chief of police and two FBI agents who are as incapable as they are arrogant. Covering the story is a reporter who wants to tug on the heartstrings of America by being a heartless dick. There is also a beat cop who talks to John on the radio and they become fast friends because, come on, it’s the 80s and all cops need a buddy.
This is a great action flick, there’s a hero who doesn’t quit and a villain with so much style you almost want to root for him. The damsel in distress is a spunky woman who is not so much waiting for her man to rescue her, as she is waiting for the right time to throw an elbow in the villain’s gut. It’s also great to hear killer one-liners from an 80s movie that aren’t delivered in an Austrian accent.
Also, just to be clear: It’s the Stockholm syndrome and Stockholm is in Sweden and Helsinki is in Finland. -Brian Roser
Fri, 07/26/2013 – 9:00pm
Footloose defined the 80s with it’s hip dance moves, cool characters, a kick ass soundtrack and Lori Singer’s red cowboy boots. The film was inspired by a real town in Oklahoma that, in 1980, was hosting it’s first prom since dancing had been banned there 100 years prior.
Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon) moves to the tiny town of Bomont with his mother and is immediately labeled a troublemaker by the adults because of his city slicker looks and his love for rock music and dancing, which have been banned by the town’s reverend played by John Lithgow. Ariel (Lori Singer), the reverend’s rebellious daughter, falls for Ren and helps him (along with Willard played by Chris Penn) to get a prom for the senior class.
Kevin Bacon literally broke out in hives while filming the town hall scene where he reads Bible passages “there is a time for everything” to the council. Bacon was terrified of public speaking.
My favorite scene is the one where Ren and Chuck play chicken with tractors while Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero” blasts from the boom box. In fact, most of the music used in the film (all of which were co-written by Footloose‘s screenwriter) topped the Billboard charts. When I recently went country line dancing at a hole in the wall honky-tonk in Virginia, the DJ played “Footloose” and everyone, I mean, everyone came out to line dance to that song. I half expected Kevin Bacon himself to jump off the stage and yell “I thought this was a party! Let’s dance!”
Oh, and keep an eye out for the dancing feet at the beginning of the film. The toe tapping gold shoe wearing feet belong to Footloose theme singer Kenny Loggins. –Jane Roser
Back To The Future
Sat, 07/27/2013 – 9:00pm
Has it really been over 25 years since Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) hopped in the DeLorean with his red puffer vest and time traveled back to 1955 courtesy of Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and the flux capacitor? The smash hit of 1985 has retained it’s charm and is as amusing now as it was back then. Directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg, the time machine was originally a refrigerator that needed an atomic bomb to power it, but Zemeckis was worried that kids would actually try to put the time travel theory to the test and lock themselves in fridges across the country (and guess where the fridge/atomic bomb idea ended up? The last Indiana Jones film, anyone?).
Marty accidentally changes history and becomes the object of his mother’s affection (ewww) when his grandfather literally runs into him. Marty has to make sure his parents wind up together so that he will continue to exist. With the help of Doc in 1955, all he needs is a little bit of luck and oh, some lightening to return home. Jane Roser
Mon, 07/29/2013 – 8:00pm
“Hurts, don’t it?”
“Does a hobby horse have a wooden dick?”
“You wanna fight?” “Well, I sure ain’t gonna show you my dick.”
“This place has a sign hangin’ over the urinal that says “Don’t eat the big white mint.”
Roadhouse is the bad assiest film of them all. Patrick Swayze plays Dalton, a New York City cooler at a club who is the best of the best (who knew that bouncers had reputations that crossed state lines?) except for Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott) who IS the best. Dalton is lured away to a club in Jasper, Missuori called The Double Deuce (or as Garrett calls it as he rides up “The Double Douche”) that needs some major cleaning up. The town baddie, Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara) owns the town and everyone in it. If he doesn’t like you, you’re done for. Dalton comes in, makes some major changes to The Double Deuce, pissing off Brad and his cronies and falling for Brad’s ex Doc (Kelly Lynch). There are a lot of bad perms, big hair, mullets, Zorro hats, boobs, neon signs, roundhouse kicks and matching shirts. Also a lot of knives. I expected Crocodile Dundee to show up and say “that ain’t a knife.” I love how everyone’s idea of cursing the other guy out is to call him a ‘peckerhead’ or ‘chickendick’.
But Sam Elliott is the glue that holds this film together. Swaggering into town like a sheriff in an old western, he is calm and oh so cool, with a slow drawl that sounds a lot like Mountain Man from Duck Dynasty. I was watching this recently with friends whose commentary went from “Holy shit, this movie is insane!” to “It’s like an episode of Power Rangers.” to “Swayze’s so zen in this movie.”
With diabolical laughter, stuffed animal heads, a terrible score and a cast that for some reason is always running toward a fire rather than away from it, this is the finest example of guilty pleasure there is. -Jane Roser
Above The Law
Mon, 07/29/2013 – 10:00pm
Okay, you know the drill, in fact you can recite it with me if you like. Steven Seagal is Nico Toscani, a tough cop who doesn’t play by the rules. He has a problem with authority, but there’s a good heart underneath it all. His partner is a week away from retirement and begs him to play it by the book. But he doesn’t listen, because he’s a loose cannon.
This movie is so predictable you can watch it with a checklist. Car chase: check. Bad guys outnumber him ten to one, but somehow manage to fight him one at a time: check. Mentor dies: check. Cop who is a week away from retirement gets shot: check. Suspended and forced to give up his badge and gun: check.
The movie starts out with Nico’s history, featuring some impressive Japanese, some equally impressive Aikido moves and some horrendous sideburns. It then moves to the border of Cambodia and Vietnam, where it’s just him, his M-16 and three hundred gallons of hair gel. Despite his CIA orders, he won’t allow the operative to use torture. Years later, he’s surprised to learn, though I doubt anyone in the audience is, that this same CIA operative is involved with drugs and evil.
Allow me to give you an idea of the lack of cohesion to this movie. There is a scene in which a bomb explodes in the church. He picks up his mother to carry her out, then he’s seen with a wounded child and in the next shot he has the priest. What did he do, just drop the kid? There’s also the matter of the title. Nico says that nobody is above the law, which is funny because he was suspended from the force at the time for treating the Bill of Rights like so much toilet paper. This film seems to exist solely as an excuse to showcase Seagal’s martial arts talents, but the fight scenes aren’t even that good. It is merely a string of cliches held together by nothing more than Seagal’s beloved hair gel. -Brian Roser