Showing posts from March, 2015

you grow up, your heart dies

Pale Rider (which I may watch in my upcoming month of westerns) in its opening weekend is #1. Cocoon in its 2nd weekend is #2. Rambo: First Blood Part II (which I already covered back in January in this blog) in its 6th weekend is #3. And, Andie MacDowell--Rita Hanson herself--is in this movie... Oh, I'm not watching The Breakfast Club just yet. Started the blog a little early. I'm watching St. Elmo's Fire first. Wanted to explore the whole "brat pack" thing a little bit before my week with The Breakfast Club is through. St. Elmo's Fire --which stars (among others) Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Emilio Estevez as college graduates the very same year they starred as high school students in The Breakfast Club --is #4. Goonies in its 4th weekend is #5. Fletch in its 5th weekend is #6... and then you get into movies I didn't see in the theater. Lifeforce at #7. Prizzi's Honor at #8... actually, I may have seen that in the theater and just didn&

i am a walrus

The movie begins with the song "(Don't You) Forget About Me" over the opening titles. Then a black screen and lines from David Bowie's "Changes" (recommended to Hughes by Ally Sheedy, by the way): "...And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through..." Or think they're aware, anyway. It's a hopeful thought for teenagers--children--that they are "immune" to the actions or words of folks like Assistant Principal Richard Vernon (or Principal Edward Rooney) or teachers or mothers and fathers, or each other for that matter. Those who spit upon them, those who would tell them what to do and how to do it, who to be and how to be it--unfortunately, we are never entirely immune. Each of these characters is trapped in a role he/she didn't really choose. Whether smothered or ignored by parents, pushes around by the admi

does barry manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?

Shrek: For your information, there's a lot more to ogres than people think. Donkey: Example? Shrek: Example... uh... ogres are like onions! Donkey: They stink? Shrek: Yes... No! Donkey: Oh, they make you cry? Shrek: No! Donkey: Oh, you leave them out in the sun, they get all brown, start sprouting little white hairs... Shrek: No! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers... You get it? We both have layers. Donkey: Oh, you both have layers . Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. Cake ! Everybody loves cake! Cakes have layers! Shrek: I don't care what everyone likes! Ogres are not like cakes. Donkey: You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits! Have you ever met a person, you say, "Let's get some parfait," they say, "Hell no, I don't like no parfait."? Parfaits are delicious! Shrek: No! You dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden! Ogres are like onions! End of story! Bye-bye! See ya later. Donkey: Parfait's gotta be the mo

who you think you are

I happened upon a copy of John Hughes: A Life in Film at the bookstore today--seriously, I went there to see if they had LEGO minifigures, didn't even go to look at books--and I noticed this scanning through it: I already wanted to write about the clothing in this film, from Barry Manilow-wardrobe-raiding Assistant Principal Vernon's suit to John Bender's denim jacket with its various pins--and I really wished I could have seen some of his pins better on the bigscreen last night but the only one that ever really gets near the camera is the NOT SAVED pin on his glove. These characters are quite deliberately defined by their clothing and their general appearance. And, there really isn't much to be said about the character types and what they wear that hasn't been time and time again--not that that stops me usually. What I think is notable outside of the costumes themselves in The Breakfast Club is two things: these characters try on parts of each others cost

the kind of friends i would have

7:30 show of The Breakfast Club was sold out, which kind of made me wish even more I'd been there. But, we--my son and I--made it to the second show. I had gone with the high school movies this month because I knew this film would be in theaters, so I'm glad we didn't miss it. 10:30 show wasn't as crowded, but at least it wasn't empty. The "event" began with some slide beforehand with trivia (facts, not questions) about the movie and its stars. Some examples: Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall dated for a while after filming The Breakfast Club . Not that exciting, that one. Judd Nelson was a philosophy major at Haverford College. On the one hand, definitely more interesting. And, it gets even more interesting when you consider the phrasing. It doesn't say that he got a degree, just that he was a "philosophy major." He could have taken like one philosophy class, for all we know. Hughes' business partner's son attended

an essay of no less than a thousand words

Shermer High School. I would not want to be a student there. Principal Edward Rooney, Assistant Principal Richard Vernon. It's got to be a police state. On a good day. There are certainly some interesting people there. Jeannie Bueller. John Bender. Sloane Peterson. Cameron Frye. Claire Standish. Ferris Bueller. Andrew Clark. Allison Reynolds. Brian Johnson. Garth Volbeck. Simone Adamley. And so many more. Hell, even Rooney and Vernon, and Carl Reed, Grace (whatever her last name is), Florence Sparrow, that boring English teacher, that boring Economics teacher... Everybody is worth some time sometime.

you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it

I’m home from a spontaneous trip to the Hollywood Hills tonight. Went up there with my son, and we hiked around in the dark and took some cool photos of the city lights. It’s the kind of spontaneous trip that makes life quite interesting. The kind of trip that slows life down so you can look around. Ferris’ philosophy, which he relates at the start and end of the film, is like the thesis statement for the Groundhog Day Project . For Groundhog Day . For Phil Connors. I think of my WWPCD? bracelet and the answer is simple—take whatever Ferris Bueller would do and shave off a little dickishness. But, there are some other things to get out of the way on this, Day 7 with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off . The lost topics. i.e. the topics I could get to if I had more days. I mean, if I had another week or more with this movie, I could do an entire series of entries on German-American immigrant history in Chicago and how this film is a celebration of their contribution to America—you think it’s a

sooner or later everybody goes to the zoo

"It's one of those things a person has to do; sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly" - Edward Albee, The Zoo Story (Sounds a little like Phil Connors.) Cameron Frye, to make a journey that is entirely internal, has to spend the day out and about. He's got to make a phony phone call, eat some pancreas, see a Cubs game, spend time at a museum, steal a car and later wreck it. This day Ferris has built is like a failed acupressure exercise--each event corresponds to some portion of Cameron's mind, but ultimately, it comes down to a failure (the odometer) and his own somewhat deliberate property damage to pull him out of his funk. (As I mentioned in passing, yesterday , in the shooting script, Cameron does not kick the car in a fit of rage but does knock the car off the jack, and does the latter on purpose.) And, wouldn't it be nice if real life worked like that? If depression like Cameron

the man could squash my nuts into oblivion

At least this movie is not all about sex. Unlike, say, Porky's or Fast Times at Ridgemont High . In the shooting script (1985, July 24), Ferris, Cameron and Sloane do go to a strip club, however--a "garrish, nearly deserted strip joint." I won't paste the entire scene but basically, Sloane isn't impressed--"I'm losing respect for you by the bucket," she tells Ferris early in the scene--and Cameron is amazed (but has very little to do in the scene). Some highlights: Ferris: "You don't think it's amazing that we got in? Sloane: Who wants to get in? ... Sloane: I'm not interested in watching someone jiggle their mammary glands. Ferris: Point well taken. But consider why she does it. Why she does it and you don't. Sloane: I'm not a tramp. Maybe not the best angle for Sloane, but at least it offers a little more depth to her character than the movie really does. Ferris: Maybe her life fell apart. Maybe she lost somebo

for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself

I would say Ferris Bueller's Day Off is classist, but a) I'm kind of in the mood to be more rambly and thoughtful and b) it's hard to argue a class conflict between Ferris, Cameron, Sloane, and Jeanie and the richer folks in the city... well, no, it's harder than it should be, but it's not hard. The problem is that the Bueller family is obviously well off. Katie Bueller works in real estate, Tom works in advertising--and, seriously, he needs to be the guy the same actor plays in the beginning of Planes, Trains & Automobiles (and the garage attendant's friend should be Gummy from Fletch , having had enough of Los Angeles the year before). No good reason for it, but there's no reason he can't be, and movies connecting to one another is awesome, especially when it's just for shits and giggles (like most of Quentin Tarantino's movies linking up tangentially). Also, the Bueller family was supposed to have two more kids, 7-year-old Todd and 12

make this one count

So, Invaders from Mars ... cheesy mid-80s fun, not as funny or scary as it should have been. Weird thing was, it reminded me a whole lot of Spielberg's Super 8 , the kid POV, the aliens in the tunnels, copper being important in the end even reminded me of the Super 8 aliens taking all the metal at the end of that film. It made me think of the conspiracy theory about Stanley Kubrick using The Shining to reveal that he faked the moon landing or how Harold Ramis used Groundhog Day to reveal that he actually made The Shining . Invaders from Mars reminded me so much of Super 8 --well, minus that meta first act--that I had to doublecheck on whether or not a theory I've heard was that Spielberg actually directed Poltergeist and not Tobe Hooper or vice versa. For the record, Tobe Hooper has the director's credit, Spielberg the writer's credit on Poltergeist but then here's this "Tobe Hooper" film that is echoed quite thoroughly in Super 8 three decades l

a little more time dealing with yourself

“Here is one of the most innocent movies in a long time, a sweet, warm-hearted comedy about a teenager who skips school so he can help his best friend win some self-respect.” ( Ebert, 1986, June 11 ) “But that the film doesn’t live up to our anticipation of a rollicking good time is only part of its disappointment.” ( Siskel, 1986, June 11 ) “That was awesome.” (Me, probably... circa June 15 (the Sunday after Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out)) I say “probably” because, obviously I did not record my response to the film and I certainly wasn’t blogging back then. But, hell if this movie didn’t live up to my anticipation. I say “circa” because, I am not actually sure when that weekend we saw the film, but it was most likely Sunday afternoon... Also in theaters that weekend: #1 for the weekend was Back to School but I wouldn’t see that until sometime later at the Academy second run theater. Ferris Bueller was #2. Top Gun (click 1 2 3 4 5 6 for more on that film) was stil