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Archive for the ‘Films – Teens’ Category

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2010 – The Year We Make Contact

Posted by Big Boo on January 6th, 2010

2010-odyssey-2What more fitting a way of starting off my posts for 2010 than with a bit on the film and book 2010! Both book and film arrived in 1984, when the year 2010 seemed like ages away. However, unlike some of the wilder predictions of other pieces of science fiction, 2010 probably isn’t that far off the mark. Sure, we don’t have sentient computers or manned space ships orbiting Jupiter, but I don’t think we’re actually that far off from these achievements.

2010 is of course the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was written by Arthur C. Clarke back in 1968. The film of 2001 was released in the same year and was directed by Stanley Kubrick, and has gone on to be one of those classic critically acclaimed films that are considered by many to be a must see. The film is probably best known for having relatively little dialogue although two lines in particular are oft quoted, these being “Open the pod bay doors, HAL” and “My God, it’s full of stars”.

The storyline of 2001 sees the crew of the space ship Discovery One, which is orbiting Jupiter (originally Saturn in the novel), get bumped off by the ship’s computer HAL 9000 as it decides it doesn’t want to die (i.e. be switched off). Astronaut Dave Bowman manages to survive, although only because he is sucked into a mysterious and huge black monolith which is in orbit around the planet.

2010 picks up the story with the Odyssey Two being sent to Jupiter to try and discover what went wrong with HAL. When they get there they find that HAL is the least of their worries, as hundreds of monoliths appear on Jupiter, increasing the planets mass so that it will implode and turn into a star. This process is being controlled by a group of aliens who wish to study and promote life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

It has been a good many years since I saw 2010, so my memories of it are hazy, but having done a little research into the plot for the purposes of writing this post I’m actually quite interested in seeing it again. I would say I’d read the novel too, but I never seem to quite find the time to read books any more, which is a bit of a shame.

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Beverly Hills Cop

Posted by Big Boo on October 28th, 2009

beverly hills copWhilst channel hopping the other night I came across Beverly Hills Cop being shown for the umpteenth time, but I was soon hooked and wondering why I had not covered this major film of the eighties before now.

I’m sure the film needs no introduction to you, but in brief it follows Detroit police detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) who comes to Beverly Hills to look into the death of his friend Mikey, as he believes he was murdered. Fast mouthed Axel causes mayhem for the Beverly Hills police department, in particular detectives Taggart (John Ashton) and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold), who end up getting unwillingly drawn into his investigation.

Of course, Axel’s hunch about Mikey was right, and leads him to art dealer Victor Maitland (Steven Berkoff) who turns out to be using his position as a respected business man to smuggle drugs.

Beverly Hills Cop was released in 1984, but by the time it made it on to UK television (a process which took far longer back then than it does today) it had become one of those films that were talked about at school as a must see. If you hadn’t seen it then you could find yourself ostracised by your mates for being uncool!

One problem with Beverly Hills Cop being show on British TV was the amount of swearing it contained (mostly courtesy of Murphy). This led to what I like to call the “specially ruined for television” version of Beverly Hills Cop, where Murphy’s profanities were dubbed over with other words, making him sound pretty ridiculous, it has to be said.

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Top Gun

Posted by Big Boo on October 7th, 2009

top gunIt may not have been his first movie, but if it wasn’t for Top Gun then I don’t think Tom Cruise would be as big a star as he is today. This film made Cruise a household name in 1986 and for the rest of the Eighties he was one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors.

Top Gun itself has also made itself part of popular culture history, at the time making Aviator sunglasses and bomber jackets cool and making the phrase “I feel the need… The need for speed” a much quoted line. It also got a generation of kids interested in becoming a fighter pilot, and is probably where a lot of people got their inspiration from when coming up with a cool sounding nickname when playing video games online!

Looking at the film today it still holds up well, mainly due to the fact that the footage of the jet planes flying about is actually jet planes flying about, not model shots or as it would be today, computer generated images. Indeed the film makers even managed to convince the US Navy to fire two real missiles, such were the lengths they went to for realism.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Posted by Big Boo on August 14th, 2009

ferris buellers day offWith writer and director John Hughes passing away recently it made me realise that despite him creating a great many films in the eighties, I have only covered one of them so far on this site (The Breakfast Club if you’re interested).  Time to put that to rights then with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a high school student who awakes one morning and decides the day is too nice to go to school, so fakes illness to deceive his parents and then spends the rest of the day enjoying himself in Chicago along with his best friend Cameron and his girlfriend Sloane.

The fun starts when Ferris persuades Cameron to borrow his father’s car in order to get around the city.  This might not seem such a bad idea, except that the car in question is a restored 1961 Ferrari, not exactly the most inconspicuous car to be driving around in when you’re playing hookie!

Of course things are never simple and Ferris and his friends have to keep one step ahead of various people who are trying to catch him out, in particular Mr. Rooney, a teacher from his school who suspects Ferris of sciving off and heads over to his house to try to find him.  Luckily for Ferris, his sister Jeannie returns home and scares Mr. Rooney off, thinking he is a burglar.  Unfortunately for Ferris, Jeannie is also out to find him as she is annoyed (and perhaps a bit jealous?) that he can bunk off so easily.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Posted by Big Boo on July 31st, 2009

freddy kruegerOne of the rites of passage when you’re a teenager is to try and sneak into the cinema to see a film that has a rating older than your actual age.  Once you can legally see a 15 certificate film you set your sights on getting into an 18 certificate, which generally means going to see a horror film.  In the eighties, chances are said horror film would have been one from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Created by Wes Craven, the Nightmare on Elm Street films are about the hideously faced, stripey sweatered villain that is Freddy Krueger, portrayed so well by Robert Englund.  Topped off with a fedora hat and the famous long bladed glove, even if you’ve never seen one of the films you surely must know who Freddy Krueger is.

The first film in the series tells the story of how the teenagers of Elm Street start to suffer nightmares where a shadowy figure stalks them.  When they awake they find these bad dreams may have been more than just nightmares, as they find cuts in their clothing and even on their bodies.

One of the first to be affected is a young woman called Tina, who is so petrified about going to sleep she convinces her friend Nancy and Nancy’s boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp’s first movie role!) to sleep over to calm her down.  Tina’s boyfriend Rod also comes along, and as the evening progresses he convinces Tina to go to bed with him, something which he regrets later when he awakes to find her being gored to death and pulled across the ceiling of the bedroom.

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Posted by Big Boo on May 27th, 2009

wargamesBeing into computers from a young age I always found it amusing when films tried to depict some amazing computer hacker doing something highly clever and probably illegal, but the stuff you see popping up on their computer screen is usually complete rubbish.  One of my favourite examples is Speed 2: Cruise Control, where the computer expert has an old parallel port switch box which has been relabelled Laser Uplink Unit, or something equally meaningless but which sounds highly techy.

I’m pleased to say that WarGames was nothing like that.  It’s depiction of computer hacking was actually very very good indeed.  Sure the plot of the film may be a bit unlikely, but pretty much everything computer related that was shown was plausible for the technology available at that time.

The story follows young hacker David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) who is a clever but disillusioned student.  After showing off his hacking skills to school friend Jennifer Mack (Ally Sheedy) by logging in to the school computer system to change their school grades, David sets up his computer to dial into every phone number in the Sunnyvale, California area in incrementing order.  He is trying to find the server for a new computer game he has seen advertised.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation

Posted by Big Boo on May 11th, 2009

raiders adaptation castFor most people Raiders of the Lost Ark is still the best of the Indiana Jones films, and I think it’s safe to say that this is the case for Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, who devoted most of their summer holidays as teenagers in the 1980’s to making their own version of this classic film.

I know what you’re thinking. A couple of teenagers remaking a big budget Hollywood film set in a number of far flung locations – it can only be completely rubbish right? Well, I thought the same, but after seeing the first ten minutes or so, where Indy grabs the idol from the cave and is chased by the giant boulder, I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it can’t hope to live up to the same standards as it’s inspiration, but the boys sure gave it a good shot.

I’m surprised I haven’t heard about this before, since the adaptation is pretty much scene for scene complete, only missing a few bits which the lads were just plainly unable to shoot, and comes in at around 1 hour 40 minutes in length, about 15 minutes less than the original. Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation was even given a cinema release in 2003, although admittedly only in a single cinema in Texas.

Many thanks then to the Big Stupid Idiot blog for bringing this to my attention, and for an in depth look at the making of this frankly astounding piece of amateur film making, there’s an article on the Vanity Fair website. Check out those first few minutes of the film below as well. I urge you to stick with it until the fun stuff where Indy steals the idol from the cave.

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The Breakfast Club

Posted by Big Boo on April 15th, 2009

the breakfast clubI noticed John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club on Sky Movies the other day so thought I would watch it again to refresh my memory.  I had forgotten just how good this film is, but one new thing I noticed this time round is that this film must be one of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening’s favourite films.  Not only is one of the characters named Bender (as in the robot from Futurama) but he also utters the phrase “Eat my shorts“, a phrase popular with a young yellow skinned fellow named Bart…

Anyway, what’s the film about?  It’s set in a school on a Saturday morning.  Five of the pupils have been given detention and they have to sit it out in the school library writing an essay that describes who they think they are, a task set for them by teacher Richard Vernon, who is a bit dysfunctional himself it has to be said.

The five teenagers each fit neatly into a different stereotypical variety of High School student.  There’s the aforementioned John Bender (an off the rails lout), Andrew Clark (the sporty one), Claire Standish (one of the “popular” girls), Brian Johnson (the bookworm) and Allison Reynolds (the freakish one).

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