Archive for the ‘80’s’ Category

I have been a huge fan of Robotech ever since I was a kid. It’s actually a bit of an obsession. Today I was having a conversation about Princess Leia’s hair when suddenly I realized that maybe George Lucas inspired Minmay’s haircut. Don’t judge me too harshly for this post.

1. Minmay from Robotech in 1982.

2. Princess Leia from Star Wars 1977.

Read Full Post »

And apparently it’s true that they are reuniting.

Read Full Post »

The Pogues – Dirty Old Town

Read Full Post »

Interview with John Milius

Rumor has it the Coen Brothers fashioned character Walter Sobchak played by John Goodman in The Big Lebowski after John Milius. With quotes like these, it’s easy to see why:

You know that line in “Dirty Harry” in which Clint Eastwood’s Harry Callahan describes the power of the .44 Magnum? John Milius wrote that line.

Remember the line in “Jaws” when Robert Shaw, playing the shark hunter, talks about his buddies being eaten alive by sharks during World War II? That was Milius.

How about the line in “Apocalypse Now,” when Robert Duvall, playing a surf-loving Army colonel, says, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”?

Milius again.

And he hasn’t lost his bold way with dialogue — including his own.

For example, here’s Milius on stopping murderous drug traffickers in Mexico: “We need to go down there, kill them all, flatten the place with bulldozers so when you wake up in the morning, there’s nothing there,” he said in a phone interview. “I do believe if you have a military, you use it.”

It’s funny that I read this today because John Milius has been on my mind the last few months. My friends and I have a movie club where we pick movies to watch together. We first chose Red Dawn and we were tasked with deciding whether or not the movie was fascist. I think in the end we found it to be very pro-NRA with elements of fascism certainly but possibly not entirely fascist. I recommend watching it again with a critical eye and you’ll surely see the moments where Patrick Swayze argues against democracy and a gun is literally pulled out of a dead guy’s hand in front of a bumper sticker that says “I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands.” Ah, subtlety.

We had so much fun watching Red Dawn that our next movie was Milius’ Conan the Barbarian. A far better movie than Red Dawn, Conan still has the Milius’ touches like the line spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.” I think he was saying he liked doing that.

The DVD extras for Conan were a little sad for Milius. He envisioned a trilogy and created many of the mythological aspects himself. Perhaps it could have been a pre-Lord of the Rings mythological trilogy, but due to Dino DeLaurentiis (the producer’s)  idiocy the sequel was wrested from Milius  when DeLaurentiis thought he could create a child’s movie like Star Wars complete with  Conan toys in the stores. That pretty much killed any hope for a trilogy. It’s not really surprising considering that DeLaurentiis was stupid enough to give away the character of Hannibal Lecter away free to Jonathan Demme who made a fortune off The Silence of the Lambs. Realizing his mistake, he then tried to cash in making such stupid films like Hannibal and Red Dragon . But I digress.

The article about Milius is a good one, so I recommend reading it in full. He’s an interesting guy. I may not always agree with him, but he’s certainly a hoot.

Read Full Post »

The Salaam Bombay children

Salaam Bombay took the Cannes film festival by storm in 1988 and made director Mira Nair famous; however, I’ve noticed that when I mention this film and compare it to Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire most people have never heard of it.

The similarities in the films are startling. Salaam Bombay‘s main characters are Bombay’s street children. The hero of the story is also a chai boy. But India is an altogether different character in this film. It’s not the tech capital that it was  in last night’s Oscar winner.

As I watched the kid stars of Slumdog Millionaire go up on stage last night, I thought about the special features on the Salaam Bombay DVD. Usually director commentaries are a bore, but perhaps because Nair is a professor she has a way of giving out interesting information that you actually want to know about the film. There is also a commentary done by the cinematographer which I also enjoyed. But most importantly, there is a special documentary revisiting the children of the film.

The experiences are wildly different. The child who played the chai boy has not really gone on to make anything else despite his awards for Salaam Bombay. You get the idea that classism is rife in Bollywood and this award means little. The girl in the film is married though Nair expresses a wish that she did not marry. There is a backstory there clearly. And one of the street kids in the film was adopted by the cinematographer and now is also a cinamtographer in L.A. where he enjoys surfing. He seems just like any American and you wonder if he even remembers the hard life he led for those few years. What will become of the Slumdog Millionaire kids? If the Salaam Bombay children are any indication, it will be an uphill battle.

Read Full Post »

Remember Hooked on Classics?

Get ready for some cheese.

From wikipedia.

Read Full Post »

For whatever reason I was thinking about the making of the birthday cake in Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Read Full Post »

To say that I was obsessed with the book Watership Down as a child would be an understatement. I used to play “Watership Down” with my friends which meant hopping around on all fours as our favorite characters. We got really good at it and were really fast even though we were on all fours. Here’s Art Garfunkel’s song.

Read Full Post »

I don’t think I’ve ever watched the movie through from start to finish, but Stephen Metcalf makes me think that I should. Is Risky Business a hidden gem? I resisted the urge to post the underwear scene.

UpdateDan Savage apparently had the same feeling. Perhaps this means it’s time for a Criterion Collection reissue?

Read Full Post »

This weekend I was reminded how much I preferred Depeche Mode before they got all serious.

Read Full Post »

Really, what hope do we have of defending ourselves from a terrorist attack if the evil doers out there can infiltrate the Catholic church as apparently happened in 1982.

The late Pope John Paul was wounded by a knife-wielding priest in 1982, a year after he was shot in St Peter’s Square, but the injury was kept secret, his former top aide says in a documentary film.

A crazed ultra-conservative Spanish priest, Juan Fernandez Krohn, lunged at the pope with a dagger and was knocked to the ground by police and arrested. The fact that the knife actually reached the pope and cut him was not known until now.

“I can now reveal that the Holy Father was wounded. When we got back to the room (in the Fatima sanctuary complex) there was blood,” Dziwisz says in the documentary.

Truly fascinating. They’re everywhere.

Read Full Post »

Trio – Herz ist Trumpf

According to YouTube this song from German band Trio is

an attempt to translate the deeper meaning from a cool song way back from the 80’s when style did not matter so much..

I’ll be in the fake Bavarian town Leavenworth, Washington this weekend running a half marathon. You can read about Leavenworth from a previous post here.

Rest assured, I will bring my camera.

Read Full Post »

An interesting commercial from 1995 on a number of levels. First of all why is famous dancer Alexander Godunov from the Bolshoi Ballet selling Canadian beer? Perhaps Godunov was more of a household name in Canada? His acting career in America certainly didn’t make him a household name although he was famous for those who knew him from the American Ballet Theater.

I also find it interesting that The Smiths are playing in the background. I love “How Soon Is Now”.

Read Full Post »

The definition of fun.

Read Full Post »

Given my weakness when it comes to horror and suspense, I have a feeling I could not make it through the Bret Easton Ellis’ book American Psycho. The film on the other hand is something to behold. Directed by Mary Harron, it portrays a wonderfully comedic shallowness of wall street mbas. Here’s the business card scene.

Read Full Post »

This came up at trivia last night. Still as great a song as ever.

Read Full Post »

This cartoon by David Horsey reminded me of the Alaska Airlines commercials from the 80’s.

Read Full Post »

This is why I do pub trivia twice a week. How else would I learn about things like Bill Cosby’s cover of The Beatles Sgt. Pepper?

Read Full Post »

The Columbia Tower in Seattle always gets the Dallas theme music in my head.

Incidentally, I’ll be in Ashland Oregon the next two days at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Read Full Post »

Don’t be fooled by the cute little kid in Deniece William’s video “Let’s Hear it For the Boy” from the Footloose soundtrack. This song is about a woman and her adult boy toy. He’s not that talkative and he can’t do much, but by golly he gives her the best orgasms. Don’t believe me? Lyrics here.

Read Full Post »

Before it’s too late. He’s turning into William Shatner. Please, someone free him from Shatner’s clutches before the transformation is complete.

1. Long before he ever met William Shatner, he was a sexy man.

2. He had just begun playing Alan Shore on The Practice which would later turn into Boston Legal.

3. Side by side, it’s not looking good for Spader.

4. Once again, it’s not looking good.

5. This is what we must stop.

Read Full Post »

Forgive me if I’m late to the party on this one, but I just read that Barack Obama is looking to get Teamster support in Pennsylvania when I saw this:

On Wednesday, the Teamsters convoy made its way to Reading, Pennsylvania, where the York Peppermint Patty factory is shutting down, moving more than 250 jobs to Mexico.

What a tragedy. And a sign of the times. I’ve never been a huge fan of Hershey, but York Peppermint Patties are really good. Especially in brownies.

Read Full Post »

So I was over at some friends’ house the other day when someone brought up BurgerTime, one of the original video games from the 1980’s. When my friends started describing the game I couldn’t stop laughing. You can’t make this stuff up. Or if you can you’re a very twisted genius. Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia.

The player’s objective is to control his chef to make hamburgers by walking over the layers. When the player has walked along the entire length of a layer, the layer falls down one level. If a layer falls atop another, the lower layer will also fall down by a level. When all of the hamburger layers have fallen onto a tray below, that hamburger becomes complete.

While assembling the burgers, the player must dodge animated “enemy” foods: Mr Hot Dog, Mr Pickle and Mr Egg. Enemies may be temporarily killed by crushing them under falling layers; they will respawn at the edge of the play field within a few seconds. The player can also lure the enemies onto a partially-traversed layer and then finish crossing the layer, thus causing the layer to fall; the added weight of the enemy makes the layer drop by more than one level, and the dropped enemies are stunned for a few seconds.

The player has a limited supply of pepper which he can shake on nearby enemies to stun them and render them harmless for a few seconds.

Click here to play.

Read Full Post »

Sixteen Candles was a film way ahead of its time. The humor is still as biting today as it was in 1984. I really believe the absolute breakaway performance of this film was the one by Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong. A great performance but also extremely smart dialog. Here’s our first extended seen with Dong. He’s the perfect Asian student; all the stereotypes exist. But what makes this scene smart is when you realize he’s been brought over to the states by Grandma and Grandpa as slave labor: “I love pushing lawn mower for Grandma and Grandpa.” Brilliant.

Then you get this scene. Dong we find is every bit of a real teenager as the other characters at the high school, and not a weak Asian subject to Grandma and Grandpa’s whims. He rebels.

I don’t know if Watanabe will ever get a better role in his life. As I’ve said before, parts can be limited for minorities. You often can only play the token stereotypical minority character. It’s hard to get a part that is flushed out, but Long Duk Dong is as real of a character as you get.

Read Full Post »

Ocasionally I have the need to explain certain aspects of American pop culture to my husband who did not grow up here. I loved The Greatest American Hero, but for the life of me I can’t remember how he got his magical powers. The intro seems to suggest that he finds a suit, but I thought he was an alien of some sort. I’m sure someone out there will correct me.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »