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Archive for the ‘Films’ Category

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Star Wars – A New Hope

Posted by Big Boo on February 18th, 2009

OK, I know it was released in 1977, but with two thirds of the original Star Wars trilogy coming out in the 1980’s I think it’s only fair to include the first film on this site. Of course, back then the film was simple known as Star Wars, only officially becoming “Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope” when the more recent trilogy was made. To me, I think it will always be simply Star Wars though.

If by some strange quirk of fate you’ve never seen the film, or don’t know the story, then rather than describe the plot like I usually do with films here’s a recap provided by a little girl of the tender age of three. She gets most of it pretty much spot on. Thanks to Jonathan from Raised in the 80s for bringing this great video clip to my attention.

Watching this video got me thinking about my memories of Star Wars from childhood. When the film was released I was only four (showing my age there) but it must have made some kind of impact on me as I definitely remember my Dad taking me to the cinema to see it. We didn’t go to the pictures very much when I was small, in fact the only other films I distinctly remember going to see were The Jungle Book, The Aristocats and Moonraker!

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Posted by Big Boo on January 29th, 2009

hitchhikers guide to the galaxyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a special book for me as it is the first non-childrens book I ever read.  I remember finding a copy in the school library at primary school (which still amazes me today) and lapped it up.  The image accompanying this post is the front cover of that book, although if you buy it today it’s completely different artwork.

I mention the book first as this was my first encounter with Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s universe, but as you can tell by the number of category icons this post has assigned the story has been adapted for many types of media.  Indeed, there really should be another icon up there for “Radio” as that was where it all started!

Douglas Adams, once script editor for Doctor Who (when Tom Baker was the Doctor) originally created The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in 1978 as a radio play for the BBC.  In the story every day Earth man Arthur Dent awakes to find that his house is about to be demolished to build a bypass.  Whilst attempting to stop this by lying in front of the bulldozers his friend Ford Prefect turns up, and tells him there are bigger problems and that he should go to the pub with him.

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Dirty Dancing

Posted by Big Boo on January 21st, 2009

dirty dancingDirty Dancing is a 1987 romance film charting the coming of age of a New York teenager named Frances Houseman, nicknamed Baby, during the 1960s.  Baby (played by Jennifer Grey) is a 17 year old middle class Jewish girl who goes on holiday with her family to a mountain resort.

Baby’s life already seems mapped out for her with plans to attend college to study economics, but things start to change when she meets the resorts dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze).  She is invited to a party where she first witnesses the style of dancing known as “dirty dancing”, so called due to the way the dancers are held close together in intimate looking ways whilst dancing.

Soon after, Baby learns that Johnny’s dance partner Penny (Cynthia Rhodes) is pregnant by her sisters boyfriend Robbie.  When she learns that Robbie intends to do nothing to help support the child, Baby borrows money from her father to help Penny have an illegal abortion, and also becomes Johnny’s new dance partner whilst Penny is unable to perform.

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Bigfoot and the Hendersons

Posted by Big Boo on December 2nd, 2008

Bigfoot and the Hendersons is a 1987 film about an American family who encounter the legendary Bigfoot whilst returning from a family holiday in the wilderness.  It was released in the UK under this title, but in the US it was known as Harry and the Hendersons.

The Henderson family are driving home from their holiday when they come across a large hairy creature lying in the road.  Unsure what to do, they strap it to the top of their car and return home to there house in the Seattle suburbs.

The creature turns out to be a Sasquatch, better known as Bigfoot, and when it finally regains consciousness it sets to exploring its new environment, the Henderson’s house.  After investigating a stuffed deer head hanging on the wall (and making a huge hole in the wall whilst trying to discover where the back half of the deer could be) the head of the family, George Henderson (John Lithgow) attempts to calm the confused beast.

Before long the Sasquatch has become a member of the family, and is named Harry by them.  Despite his initial clumsiness Harry is actually a very kind and gentle creature, but he soon becomes intrigued by his new surroundings and sets off to explore the area, leaving a trail of panic and mayhem unintentionally behind him.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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The Karate Kid

Posted by Big Boo on November 14th, 2008

Mention The Karate Kid to anyone of a certain age and chances are they’ll start to fondly reminisce about doing Crane Kicks in the school playground and start reciting the “Wax on, wax off, left a-circle, right a-circle” sequence of the film, that’s how much impact this film made on the impressionable young minds of the 1980’s.

Released in 1984, the film tells the story of Daniel (Ralph Macchio), a teenager who moves to California with his mother after his father has passed away.  Young Daniel is a bit headstrong but is otherwise a good kid, but gets in trouble at a beach party when he stands up for a girl named Ali (Elisabeth Shue) who he has taken a fancy to.  She is being harassed by her ex-boyfriend Johnny, and Daniel’s attempts to save her aren’t entirely successful as Johnny is well trained in the arts of Karate, being one of the star pupils of the Cobra Kai Dojo.

Daniel has unwittingly made his life a misery, as the members of the Cobra Kai bully him at every opportunity, until one fateful evening where the boys are attacking Daniel only to be fought off by an elderly man named Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), who sees the entire mob off with relative ease.  Mr. Miyagi is the otherwise mild mannered janitor of the appartments in which Daniel lives.

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Short Circuit 2

Posted by Big Boo on September 17th, 2008

Short Circuit 2 was made in 1988 and is an interesting sequel to the original 1986 movie.  I remembered it as being not as good as the original, like most sequels, but having watched it again the other day I must admit it was much better than I thought it was.

The film provides further adventures for Number 5, now called Johnny 5, the self aware robot.  Whilst the two main human characters, Stephanie and Newton do not return for this film, the hilarious Ben Jahrvi does return.  At this point I should say it is probably a little wrong of me to enjoy Ben so much, seeing as he is an Indian character played by a made up white actor, but Fisher Stevens delivery of Ben’s mixed up attempt at the English language is rather funny.

The film opens with Ben trying to make a living for himself by building toy versions of Number 5, which he tries to sell on a street corner, with little success.  One of the toys escapes his stall, and ends up in the hands of Sandy Banatoni, a toy buyer for a department store.  She asks Ben if he can deliver 1000 of the toy robots to her for the Christmas market, a task which Ben will find impossible on his own.  However, Fred, the hawker of fake Rolex watches stood next to him gets involved, seeing the opportunity to make a quick buck.

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Crocodile Dundee

Posted by Big Boo on August 27th, 2008

Crocodile DundeeCrocodile Dundee was a box office smash when it was released in 1986, taking the entire world by storm with the tale of Australian Outback bushman brought to New York to experience city life. It was originally created as an attempt to make an Australian film that would be popular in the US, and was made with less than $10 million dollars, a tiny budget in film terms. It went on to be the highest grossing film of that year!

The film starts with journalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) travelling to Australia to meet with Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), a heroic bushman who has supposedly survived an attack by a crocodile, losing a leg in the process. Somewhere along the line she has been misled, as it turns out that Mick Dundee has not actually lost a leg, although he does have a rather large bite mark instead. He also doesn’t seem to be all that heroic, as he gets into a fight soon after meeting her.

Hoping to make a story out of Mick, Sue gets him and his employer Wally, owner of a tour company, to take her on a tour of the bush. Mick initially impresses her by telling the time of day by looking at the position of the sun (although he actually looked at Wally’s watch before saying anything) and by hypnotising a buffalo blocking the road by waving his hand in front of its face and make a strange noise. He also saves her from death when she is attacked by a crocodile whilst standing rather too close to a lake.

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The NeverEnding Story

Posted by Big Boo on August 6th, 2008

The NeverEnding StoryThe NeverEnding Story is a 1984 fantasy movie, based on the book of the same name written by Michael Ende. The film spawned two sequels, The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter in 1990, and The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia in 1994. Due to the time gaps between the films different actors obviously had to play the parts of the child characters, although each of the films centres around main character Bastian.

Bastian is a young daydreamer who’s mother died when he was very young. He is picked on at school, and it is whilst running away from the bullies that he comes across an old book shop. The owner of the book shop is reading a large, old looking book entitled The NeverEnding Story. Bastian asks if he may read the book, but the owner tells him it is not safe. This just makes Bastian even more curious, and when the owner leaves to answer a phone call he borrows the book, intending to bring it back when he has read it.

Bastian sits down to read the book, which is about the land of Fantasia and its inhabitants. Unfortunately for Fantasia, it is under attack by a strange force called The Nothing which is gradually erasing parts of Fantasia from existence. The horrified occupants journey to the Ivory Tower to speak with the childlike Empress about the situation, but the childlike Empress is also under attack by The Nothing and has fallen into illness. She has however summoned a great warrior named Atreyu, who turns out to be a child too. He is given an amulet called Auryn to help him on his quest to save Fantasia.

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