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.
The third in National Lampoon’s Vacation series, Christmas Vacation has gone on from being a minor blip to a holiday favorite for many families over the years. Chevy Chase at his most slapstick-y sets the formula for many dysfunctional Christmas comedies to follow. John Hughes scripts.
Bob Clark directs and co-writes my favorite Christmas film of the 1980s, and perhaps my favorite of any era, A CHRISTMAS STORY, a nostalgic look at childhood that makes me nostalgic for my own. Peter Billingsley stars as Ralphie, who wants more than anything to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, even though the adults think he’ll just shoot his eye out.
Lily Tomlin stars in this wacky comedy from 1981, playing multiple roles, exploring the satirical themes of the diminishing role of the American housekeeper in the period, getting smaller, literally, by the day, as she eventually measures only two inches tall. Zany antics ensue in this first feature directed by Joel Schumacher.
In this episode, Vince takes a look at “Innerspace” from director Joe Dante, starring Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, and Meg Ryan. produced by Steven Spielberg, this sci-fi based comedy riffs on “Fantastic Voyage” where an unassuming supermarket clerk is injected with the microscopic vessel containing an ace test pilot who is wanted by hi-tech thieves looking to score.
Rick Moranis stars as lovable dad and ambitious college professor Wayne Szalinski, who has recently become something of a laughing stock to his peers when he dares to introduce a potential way to drastically reduce the size of everyday objects. His own experiments have proved futile, but a fluke accident causes the reduction machine to finally work — too bad the Szalinski children are the ones in the ray’s path, along with the rambunctious neighbor kids, the Thompsons. Wayne accidentally tosses the kids out with the trash, causing the miniscule kids to have to venture through the entire yard and hope they can grab the attention of their parents, and, hopefully, the professor can figure out a way to grow them back to normal size again. Making it there proves more difficult than it would seem, with treacherous bugs and other pollutants blocking the way at nearly every turn.
Jennifer Connelly is cast in one of her first starring roles as Sarah, a teenage girl who has grown tired of her stepmother and father leaving her home alone to babysit her infant brother, Toby. In a bout of exasperation, she wishes him away, and inadvertently summons the vain and moody Goblin King of myth, Jareth (played by David Bowie), who kidnaps the baby and steals him away into his fantasy realm. There, the baby boy remains hidden in a dangerous castle in the middle of an ornate labyrinth. If Sarah wants a chance at getting the brother she really didn’t want to go back, she must traverse the enigmatic trail before midnight, or the Goblin King gets to keep Toby forever.
Set in France during the Middle Ages, Philippe ‘The Mouse’ Gaston, a convicted pickpocket escapes from a castle dungeon only to get involved in a bitter feud between the powerful, scheming Bishop of Aquila and two lovers, a former captain of the guard named Etienne of Navarre and a lady named Isabeau d’Anjou, who were cursed with dark magic when the Bishop, who also fancies Isabeau, finds out of their union. The spell transforms the knight into a wolf by night, and the lady into hawk by day, and they can only see each other briefly in human form at dawn or dusk.
A sick young boy gets a visit from his grandfather, who reads the young lad one of his favorite books, ‘The Princess Bride’. The book is of a princess named Buttercup, who has a romance with her stable boy, Westley but the evil Prince Humperdinck has plans to marry the beautiful young woman so he kidnaps her, leaving Buttercup to think Westley dead. Westley assumes the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts and makes his return to save the princess before the marriage, but the task appears a bit more difficult than he planned.