Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall star in this smash hit bubblegum romance about a struggling artist who falls in love with a mannequin possessed by a lovelorn ancient Egyptian spirit who turns his life around. James Spader, Estell Getty, and Meshach Taylor have supporting roles in this quintessential 80s fantasy-romance. Does it hold up?
The much-maligned 1980 musical gets re-evaluated in this podcast review. Olivia Newton-John plays a muse who is sent to earth to inspire a struggling artist (Michael Beck) fulfill his dream of starting a roller-disco club with a retired construction magnate (Gene Kelly). Newton-John and pop group ELO deliver a powerhouse soundtrack in this visually impressive first effort from future political documentarian Robert Greenwald.
Following up two sci-fi masterpieces in ALIEN and BLADE RUNNER, Ridley Scott turned his gaze toward the realm of fantasy with LEGEND, starring Tom Cruise and Mia Sara. Critics greeted the film with a shrug upon its initial release, but it has gained a cult following over the years, and the Director’s Cut release has had some re-evaluate it. Is it still problematic, or is it a film that has aged well over time?
Rankin and Bass, the team that brought us Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer as well as the ThunderCats, brought this charming animated feature featuring Japanese animation from the team who would go on to form Studio Ghibli, and voiced by stars like Mia Farrow, Jeff Bridges, Alan Arkin, and Christopher Lee. Peter S. Beagle adapts his own children’s book, tapping into the metaphorical journey from the safety and security of youth to the strange and perilous odyssey of growing up, with the last unicorn as our guide. Featuring folk-rock tracks sung by America and written and composed by Jimmy Webb, the nostalgia is strong with this one.
Jim Henson conceived of this elaborate realm of fantasy in which two competing races vie for the destiny of a faraway planet, as the evil Skeksis try to thwart the Gelflings of prophecy from uniting the planet yet again and bringing equilibrium to life there for those enslaved. This imaginative film had been a disappointment on early release but has gained a rabid following among fantasy fans. Frank Oz co-directs this film done entirely with puppets, and is a rare film that doesn’t a human character in sight.
The third and final entry in the BACK TO THE FUTURE Trilogy sees Marty and Doc in the Old West of Hill Valley in 1885, where Marty must save Doc from getting gunned down by an ancestor of Biff Tannen. It’s a softer, and more romantic effort, as Doc finds love with the charming schoolteacher, Clara Clayton, who is also supposed to meet her maker, unless Marty can figure out a way to save them both without messing things up for the future!
Marty and Doc must head 30 years into the future to save Marty’s kids from calamity,l but end up making a mess of the past when Biff Tannen takes over the DeLorean. Will they save themselves, and their pasts, as well as their futures?
This ingenious sequel takes the premise of the original film for a loop-de-loop of logic few were expecting it to go, from the minds of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Steven Spielberg present the original 1985 class, BACK TO THE FUTURE!
Michael J. Fox plays 17-year-old Marty McFly, a spirited teenager who doesn’t seem to quite fit in with his current family, so much so that he spends a great deal of his time helping out an eccentric local scientist, Doc Brown, in his kooky experiments. One night, Doc calls Marty out to an empty mall parking lot to witness his latest triumph, a souped- up DeLorean that he has modified as a time machine. Upset that Doc has used the plutonium given to make a proposed nuclear bomb for his own machine, some angry terrorists gun him down in cold blood, leaving Marty with no other choice than to escape in the DeLorean, which sends him back in time to the date Doc first came up with the idea for time travel, November 5th, 1955, which also happens to be the date that Marty’s parents met and fell for each other. Problems ensue when Marty’s mother begins to fall for him instead, which would completely negate the existence of Marty and his siblings. Marty must find a way for his parents to fall in love, and get back to the future without the nuclear component necessary, with only the younger Doc Brown to help him.
John Stockwell, Fisher Stevens and Dennis Hopper appear in this low-budget sci-fi/comedy from 1985, MY SCIENCE PROJECT, where teens find an alien contraption of seemingly unlimited power that opens a portal from which people and things from Earth’s past and future pour into their high school. Now the teens need to pull the plug on it before everyone is in mortal danger. It’s a very 80s movie in the best ways — and the worst.
Francis Ford Coppola directs this fluffy but endearing film that asks the age-old question, “what if we could do it all over again?” An Oscar-nominated performance from Kathleen Turner bolsters this whimsical romantic comedy-drama with a time-travel twist, with a quirky role for Nicolas Cage as her no-good husband.
The breakthrough performance for Keanu Reeves, along with co-star Alex Winter, in this fun time-traveling romp through history, as two California teens pick up verious historical figures in their phone booth through time to pass an oral presentation that will secure Earth’s future — a future in which Bill & Ted are revered as saviors! George Carlin supports in this fun flick from 1989.
Don Bluth collaborates with executive producer Steven Spielberg again, this time also joining forces with George Lucas for THE LAND BEFORE TIME, the film that would kick off a series of ten additional straight-to-video animated features for kids. Dinosaurs were all the rage, and Bluth and co. rode the wave to box office success with this feature about a young dinosaur that must find his way to the Great Valley, with the help of a variety of adorably cute dino friends.
Don Bluth’s second feature film as director sees him joining forces with producer Steven Spielberg for AN AMERICAN TAIL, which details the immigrant experience for many of American ancestors in their long journey to the land of freedom and opportunity. Drawing from anecdotal material from Spielberg’s own grandfather’s stories, this heartwarming animated feature would go on to earn the most money up to that point at the box office for a film on its first run. The first of several animated adventures featuring hero Fievel Mousekewitz.
Don Bluth’s first big screen effort under his own name after splitting from Disney, along with several other Disney animators and artists, in order to try to return to the kind of groundbreaking style and commitments to storytelling that their former company had been skimping out on during the 1960s and 1970s. THE SECRET OF NIMH adapts Robert C. O’Brien’s 1972 book, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”, and makes an interesting animated allegory for the experience these artists went through on their quest for independence and destiny.
I look back at a film that some people herald as a great Christmas film. I’ve always had issues, but wanted to give it another shot. Do I come around?
Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross in this modern take on the Charles Dickens’ class, “A Christmas Carol”. Richard Donner directs.