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Archive for the ‘Films – Teens’ Category

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Nike MAG – Back 4 The Future

Posted by Big Boo on September 16th, 2011

Nike MagHere’s the thing. At the time of writing, in just four years time (if Back to the Future Part II is to be believed anyway) we’ll all be flying around in our cars, riding on hover boards and wearing self drying clothes. Better get a move on scientist-type-guys! 😉

However you won’t have to wait that long if you want a pair of the rather cool Nike MAG trainers that Marty McFly wore in the aforementioned film, assuming you have a spare $2,000 (minimum) lying around that is.

Nike have made a limited edition run of 1200 pairs of the shoes, and although they may not be self lacing like the ones in the film, they do look identical, and even have light up soles and illuminated Nike logo across the front.

But the best thing about all this is that it’s Nike’s way of raising some money for charity, hence the steep asking price. Nike are giving the proceeds to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which couldn’t be a more apt cause given that Fox is himself a sufferer of the disease.

They are being offered for sale on eBay, with 150 pairs being made available every day. You’ll need to be quick though, as this all started a few days ago, and there are now just 600 left! Head over to the Back 4 The Future website for more details or to nikemag.ebay.com if you want to bid on a pair.

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Battle Beyond The Stars

Posted by Big Boo on August 31st, 2011

Battle Beyond The StarsI recently caught The Last Starfighter on TV, which led to a discussion with my friend Phil about the film Battle Beyond The Stars, which as it happens was also on TV around the same time but I happened to miss. I certainly remembered borrowing this film from the video library several times as a child, but I remember very little about it, so I was pleased when Phil came to the rescue with his copy of it on DVD. Cheers mate!

Before re-watching the film, my over riding memories of it were that it was a bit like Star Wars (like so many films were back then), and that it starred John Boy Walton (Richard Thomas) and had some space cowboy character in it.

So I popped the disc into my player to begin my journey of rediscovery. Up pop the menus accompanied by a piece of music that at once felt stunningly familiar to me, and there’s a picture of John Boy and a cowboy character. So far, so well remembered then.

The film begins with the peaceful inhabitants of the planet Akir being invaded by the evil Sador (John Saxon) and his Malmori warriors. Sador tells them that unless they bow down to his demands he will destroy the planet with his Stellar Converter (Death Star anyone?), and to prove his intent goes about killing a few innocents just for good measure.

Most of the Akira believe they are doomed, but young Luke, sorry, John B… I mean Shad, says that he will take the planets only space craft, powered by a computer named Nell, on a mission to go and recruit some mercenaries to help the Akira defend themselves.

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The Last Starfighter

Posted by Big Boo on August 10th, 2011

The Last StarfighterThe other day I watched The Last Starfighter, which is a film that somehow, I’m not quite sure why, I’ve never managed to see before.

The Last Starfighter is best known for being one of the first films to extensively use computer graphics to provide the special effects, and it was always this film and Tron that were the standard bearers for many years. Whilst a modern games console could easily recreate graphics of the same quality today in realtime, back then this was a new technique and the end results were the state of the art.

A quick plot recap then. Alex Rogan is a teenager who lives and works on a trailer park in back-of-nowhere America. He’s bored with his life and desperately wants to leave to go to University and take his girlfriend Maggie with him. The only thing he has to occupy his time is an arcade game called Starfighter.

Alex becomes quite adept at the game, which it turns out is actually a training simulator for a real space fleet called the Rylan Star League, who are at war with the evil (of course) Ko-Dan Armada. Alex is whisked away in a space craft (which looks stunningly like a DeLorean with a big chunky extension on the back) by a chap name Centauri and is told he has been chosen to become a real Starfighter.

Alex is shocked by all this, and asks to be returned home. Whilst Centauri takes him back, the Ko-Dan Armada launch an attack which kills all the other Starfighters.

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Airplane!

Posted by Big Boo on February 23rd, 2011

Airplane!I noticed Airplane! was on TV the other day, so I recorded it as I could never remember having seen the film from beginning to end. Sure I knew most of the gags from it, but more from reputation than having watched them first hand.

So, I watched it the other night, and I have to admit I almost, almost, switched off after the first 15 minutes or so, because what I was watching was failing to live up to my expectations. Sure there were a few bits that made me smile, like the tannoy announcers arguing about which coloured zone was which, but everything seemed far too serious at this point.

Maybe that was the idea though, as when Airplane! was first released in 1980 it was pretty much the first film of its kind (I’m struggling to think of anything similar that came before it, though I’m sure there must be something) so perhaps it was intentional, to ease audiences in for what was to come later.

Signs that things were heading back where I expected them to be soon came though, when Ted Striker goes to buy a plane ticket and is asked if he wants smoking or non-smoking. He replies that he wants smoking, and is then handed a paper ticket which, yes, you’ve guessed it, is literally emitting smoke in his hand.

Things started to improve also when Leslie Nielsen finally appeared. If there was ever an actor to be linked to this type of film it is the now, sadly, late Mr. Nielsen. I admit I gave a little cheer when he appeared, and from then on Airplane! suddenly became what I expected it to be from the beginning. The running gags I had been waiting for started to appear, including Nielsen’s “Don’t call me Shirley” line, and the “…but that’s not important right now” jokes.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Scrooged

Posted by Big Boo on December 6th, 2010

Scrooged - Bill MurrayCharles Dickens really couldn’t have known what he created back in 1843 when he first published his story A Christmas Carol. This tale must have been made and adapted for film and television more than any other literary work ever. As well as countless film versions telling the story pretty much unaltered, many TV shows (especially US ones) have taken the idea and adapted it for Christmas specials of their own.

Personally, my favourite version (and apologies to the Muppets because I did like their version too) is the 1988 film Scrooged, starring Bill Murray as the Scrooge like Frank Cross. Whilst it changes some details of the story to bring things up-to-date (for example, Frank Cross is the boss of a TV Station, rather than a money lender, or whatever Ebenezer was supposed to be) the basic premise of the story survives intact.

Frank’s TV company is attempting a world’s first for their Christmas extravaganza. A live transmitted version of A Christmas Carol. Frank’s motives in this are more driven by money and greed than by presenting a good Christmas message. He had a bit of a miserable childhood, so doesn’t really take much interest in Christmas celebrations.

Frank is first visited by the ghost of his long dead boss, who warns him that he is to be visited that evening by three more ghosts who will show him his past, present and future, in an effort to make him change his ways. Frank, unsurprisingly perhaps, believes he has just been hallucinating, but he begins to change his mind as the ghosts start to pay him visits.

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The Fly

Posted by Big Boo on June 25th, 2010

the flyHorror movies that use gory make-up to create their frights don’t seem to be very popular any more, with film companies preferring to go down the more psychological route to scare people. Back in the eighties though, such make-up techniques had just reached a point where it was possible to create very realistic looking results, so there were many films released during this period that used them extensively.

One of the best examples of this was 1986 film The Fly starring Jeff Goldblum as scientist Seth Brundle, and Geena Davis as journalist Veronica Quaife. The Fly was a remake of a 1958 film of the same name, and the two films share very similar storylines.

In the 1986 version, Seth Brundle has just invented a matter transporter device (very Star Trek!) consisting of two chambers call Telepods. Pop an inanimate object in one pod, and a flick of a switch disintegrates it in the first pod, and reassembles it in the second. Pop in a living thing though, and things go a bit awry, as a poor baboon finds out when it reappears inside out in the second pod during a test.

At a press party held by Bartok Science Industries, who fund the teleporter research, Seth meets Veronica. He convinces her to come and visit his lab for a demonstration, which is when we see the poor reversa-baboon event occur, but Seth convinces Veronica to help him out by documenting his work. This leads to the pair getting romantically involved.

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Splash

Posted by Big Boo on May 12th, 2010

splashWith special effect technology beginning to come of age in the eighties (and with realistic computer generated images still some way off) a lot of films started to be made which used special effects to enable some more outlandish films to be made. A good example of this is Splash.

Splash was directed by Ron Howard and was the first picture released by the then new Touchstone Pictures. It starred Daryl Hannah as a mermaid named Madison (that’s where the special effects come in), and Tom Hanks as the human Allen Bauer, who falls in love with her. As a child Allen fell into the sea, and was rescued by the young Madison. Later in life fate calls him to need to be rescued again, and Madison comes to his aid again.

Allen is besotted with Madison, and it appears she must be keen on him too, for after finding that Allen has dropped his wallet, she tries to return it to him in New York City. How does she do this, considering she is water bound? Well, once her fish-like tail dries out enough it magically transforms into a pair of human legs.

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Howard The Duck

Posted by Big Boo on February 5th, 2010

howard the duckIn the first half of the eighties it seemed George Lucas could do no wrong. With the original Star Wars trilogy completed he was on top of the world. In 1984 he brought us Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and his crown started to perhaps look a little tarnished, but we forgave him because we all loved Indy.

Get to 1986 though, and the first signs of him going perhaps a bit la-la came along, with the release of Howard the Duck (also known as Howard A New Breed Of Hero). Film critics were boggling as to how George Lucas would even dare to put his name to this film, which bombed at the box office and is often cited as being one of the worst films made.

But what do film critics know? They thought Hudson Hawk was bad (I liked it, Bruce!) and anyway, George has done far worse in the meantime by introducing us to the oh-so-annoying Jar Jar Binks.

Personally I quite liked Howard the Duck, although admittedly I was a young teenager at the time I saw it, and I think this is the age group that will appreciate the film most, as despite featuring a duck as the main character it is perhaps not all that child friendly, and because it features a duck as the main character most adults would think it childish.

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