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This Luke Skywalker Theory Restores Everything You Knew About ‘Star Wars’

All the talk of Luke Skywalker being Kylo Ren or new Sith leader in The Force Awakens has me very irritated. That sentence should at least put some validation on my Star Wars fandom and ranking on the old geek meter. The far out theories had me analyzing the trailer and even scouring the poster for clues. Still, did it bothered me to the point where I felt I needed to write something? No.

That all changed when this article by Rob Conery came along. It’s a well-written article. Unfortunately, his theory is not only wrong, it’s borderline blasphemous.

Luke is not a Sith. Let me repeat that. Luke is not a Sith. And he certainly didn’t turn to the dark side at the end of Return of the Jedi.

So, he’s not in the poster and J.J. Abrams said that was on purpose. There could be several reasons for this other than the ridiculous theory he is Kylo Ren.

swposter

True, I know very little facts about the upcoming movie. However, if you just look at the guy’s physique in any number of the shots. You can tell Ren is skinny and tall. Adam Driver is 6’2″ and 31-years-old. Mark Hamill is 5’9″ and 64-years-old. If that does turn out to be the case, that’s just horribly thought out.

There’s other evidence against this theory, but I really want to get back to the whole Luke turned to the dark side after Return of the Jedi thing.

“The Cave…Remember Your Failure at the Cave…”

Conery wrote:

Many people (my friends included) put it off as foreshadowing Luke’s discovery that Vader is his father. I think it’s foreshadowing that Luke will become his father. Of course, you don’t know Vader’s his dad at this point — but at the end of the film, when I thought back to the cave… it made perfect sense. It’s good, solid plot juice. Becoming your parents (or trying not to) is a huge motivator.

Let’s take a look at this. Luke’s failure at the cave is Yoda’s way of testing Luke to see how he will react to fear. Luke fails the test by taking his weapons and drawing his lightsaber on the fake Darth Vader. Vader’s head is cut off and it reveals Luke’s face. Yes, this foreshadows Luke’s possible turn to the dark side if he does not find a way to face his fear instead of fighting it. It’s a hard lesson he only learns after losing his hand in the battle with Vader at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

Conery continued with his Yoda prognosticating by pointing out:

How many times has Yoda been wrong in the first six films?

Have you seen the entire prequel trilogy? He’s wrong about everything! Yoda lets his former apprentice Count Dooku defect to the dark side. Why train him if he knows everything in advance? Yoda knows nothing about the clone army being created on Kamino. Yet, seems fine with using them to fight a war even though they were all fashioned after an evil bounty hunter. Yoda works for Senator Palpatine aka Darth Sidious for three movies! One, two, three! And never realizes he’s a Sith until it’s waaaayyyyyyy too late. But yeah, Yoda’s always right.

The Original Ending

Yes, Producer Gary Kurtz clashed with George Lucas over what should happen at the end of Return of the Jedi. But, just because Luke walked off alone like Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns would not make him a Sith. Plus, that’s the way Kurtz remembers it. There are also reports that Lucas fired Kurtz because the budget on The Empire Strikes Back spiraled out of control.

And in the end, Lucas made the film he wanted to make. Luke didn’t walk off alone. He burned his father’s body and went back to his friends to celebrate their victory.

Luke Turned, We All Watched It

Next, Conrey cites the battle between Luke and Vader on the second death star. He offers up the notion that Luke turned to the dark side the moment his lightsaber zipped into his hand and he tried to strike down the emperor. Then adds he went full on Sith when he jumped out of the darkness to attack Vader and eventually cut off his hand.

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Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

Yes, Luke’s anger brings him to the brink. However, this actually turns into a moment of clarity for the young Jedi as his father begs for mercy. Something Conrey refers to as:

This, people, is a plot hole. It doesn’t make any sense in terms of the story and also Luke’s character. It doesn’t follow Luke’s motivation at all because he quite clearly doesn’t have any motivation to stay a good guy. He’s just seen what he could do with his dark powers (defeat the bad guys, save people).

Defeat the bad guys? Save people? Who has he saved by cutting off Vader’s hand? The rebels? Nope. They’re fighting that battle themselves on Endor and outside the death star. And which bad guy did he defeat? His father? Nope. The whole movie he’s trying to redeem his father and turn him back to the good side. He says it a number of times! THAT’S HIS MOTIVATION!

Luke’s talk with Leia before he confronts Vader:

Princess Leia: But, why must you confront him?

Luke: Because, there is good in him. I’ve felt it. He won’t turn me over to the Emperor. I can save him. I can turn him back to the good side. I have to try.

When Luke and Vader meet at the base on Endor:

Luke: Search your feelings, Father, you can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you. Let go of your hate.

When Luke and Vader are battling each other on the second death star:

Luke: Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict.

Darth Vader: There is no conflict.

Luke: You couldn’t bring yourself to kill me before and I don’t believe you’ll destroy me now.

Darth Vader: You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.

Then later after he takes off his mask:

Anakin: Now… go, my son. Leave me.

Luke: No. You’re coming with me. I’ll not leave you here, I’ve got to save you.

Anakin: You already… have, Luke. You were right. You were right about me. Tell your sister… you were right.

[Anakin smiles and his eyes begin to droop slumps down in death while giving one last dying breath]

Luke: Father… I won’t leave you.

Need I go on? Need I go on? Yes, I guess I should.

Conrey writes about the emperor’s force lightning attack next:

The emperor tries to destroy him with the old shock treatment in the same way we saw in Revenge of the Sith (facing off against Mace Windu). In that scene, Palpatine played on the sympathies of Anakin to cut Windu’s hands off so he could toss Windu out the window.

In this scene, Luke plays his dad in the exact same way to toss the emperor into the abyss. Ahh symbolism.

That shock treatment? He basically brushed it off. Luke is a badass. It’s the only way this whole scene makes any sense at all.

So, in this theory, Luke turns to the dark side but doesn’t finish off his father. Instead, he tries to fake out the emperor by saying he’s a jedi. Some how knowing the emperor would hit him with the force lightning, so he could play possum and Vader would throw the emperor into the death star abyss? Right. Sounds reasonable.

And another note: Both Yoda and a young Anakin have gotten hit by force lightning and gotten up relatively quickly. See Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

Will Luke actually be bad in The Force Awakens? I can see why producers would want to do that as a twist. But it really wouldn’t make much sense. And it would basically nullify everything we grew up with in the Original Trilogy. Luke’s journey and Anakin’s journey from good to evil back to good.

And no offense Rob Conrey, but you may want to:

Watch Return of the Jedi again,

 

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun,Star Wars and have Comments (3)

A Return To The 80’s At The Drive-In

If I could go back in time…

It’s a basic desire for most. A masochistic obsession for others.

Perhaps some need to fix a mistake they dwell on too often, a few want to relive a special moment, while a smaller group may wish they could stay in the past forever like a time-jumping Peter Pan.

I must admit I fall somewhere in between. I certainly don’t want to duel Captain Hook for eternity, but getting sprinkled with a little fairy dust from Tinker Bell every now and then, doesn’t sound so bad.

And recently, that magical pixie paid me a visit in the form of the Mendon Drive-In.

My wife and I are about to have our first child and we were driving to the hospital for a tour when we passed by. Being a film buff and proponent for vintage theaters and drive-ins, I knew the iconic Mendon spot well. “Well” as in I’ve read about it, drove passed and heard how it’s a summer must. Sadly, I never experienced it. Until now.

The sign read “Screen #1 ET and The Goonies.”

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There it was. The rush of excitement I hadn’t felt in years. The chance to see two movies I saw as a child once more on the silver screen. Sure, I’ve seen “The Goonies” dozens of times on television and DVD, but the nostalgic experience would be like seeing it all over again for the first time. As for ET, I hadn’t “phoned home” in years and was elated to ride across the shadow of the moon as an adult.

mendon1

By the time dusk rolled around, my mind had built up the experience to be a memorable one. And I won’t lie, it completely lived up to my cerebral hype. I had not been to a drive-in since 1990 when my dad and I went to go see “Die Hard 2 and Gremlins 2.” Before darkness fell, the atmosphere was a communal one. Children were throwing around footballs, families were setting up blankets and chairs, many had brought their dogs (my wife and I included) and everyone was clamoring to snag goodies at the snack bar.

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And kudos to the owners of the Mendon Drive-In for offering a smorgasbord of menu items, while keeping things clean, sanitary and for my taste buds, delicious. As always, I went with the popcorn, no butter. Just before the movie began, the Mendon also ran a commercial mentioning how vital concessions are to the drive-in. Hollywood takes practically all the profits from ticket sales and selling food is really the only way for this place to stay in the black. So, for those who want to sneak in some M&Ms go for it, but why not support local business and buy a bavarian pretzel as well at the snack shack.

mendon4 mendon5

By the time ET began, I already had a gleam in my eye and a smile on my face. And the film only made my eyes brighter and my smile wider. It was a wistful leap into history and I loved every minute of it. My wife and my dog nuzzled by my side and a heartfelt science fiction drama glimmering on a screen set high amongst the trees. It’s the type of peace and tranquility I wish I had on a daily basis. Still, once the credits rolled and car headlights slowly flickered on around us, it was clear that I had to leave Peter Pan and Tinker Bell behind. Though, it’s good to know Neverland will be there, waiting for me to return next summer.

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun and have No Comments

I Wonder If This Will Keep Happening?

Is there a market for nostalgia? I’ve always thought so and it appears many are starting to go along with that thinking.

A few weeks back, I wrote about going to see “Back to the Future” at a one night showing in Rochester. Well now, they are actually re-releasing the 1985 movie for its 25th anniversary in theaters! Don’t rush to your local multiplex just yet though. It’s only happening in the UK. Interesting move, not sure if they’re trying to appeal to a younger generation or the older crowd, but it’s still pretty cool.

Check out the trailer for the re-release below:

On another nostalgic note, the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline is showing “Jaws” next Monday. And I have every intention of going, because just like “Back to the Future” I have never seen it at a movie theater. It’s an experience that’s tough to beat. So, I’ll be back next week with a report on that jaunt.

This also got me wondering what other movies would you like to see re-released in theaters? “Jaws” has definitely been on my checklist for a while. Others that I would deem theater worthy “The Shining”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, any of the Indiana Jones movies and maybe the original “King Kong.”

I’m really hoping this trend continues, especially since most movies put out by the studios aren’t worthy of your iphone, let alone the big screen.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun,Indiana Jones and have No Comments

1.21 ‘JigaWatts’!!! A Film Trip Back In Time.

When it comes to movie theaters, I would say I’m something of an old soul. When most are clamoring to catch a glimpse of the latest 3D technology, digital projection or plush, reclining chairs that can hold a tub of Cherry Coke, I would leave that all behind for a one-hundred seat, single-screen cinema with sticky floors and a bit of character.

On a recent trip to Rochester, New York, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House. Built in 1951, the theatre is used by the museum for a plethora of events, showing everything from contemporary movies to foreign to classics and hosting a film festival every spring. George Eastman was the founder of Kodak and today, the museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of photography and film.

The experience at the Dryden was a memorable one. Outside, you’re greeted by a stately-looking structure that reminded me of the building at the center of that night’s movie; the clock tower from “Back to the Future.”


Yep, we were about to go back in time. And, upon entering the theatre it actually felt like we had gone in reverse a few decades. The walls were adorned with a variety of movie posters, showcasing films they had previously shown and some that were coming soon. You could smell the popcorn bursting forth from the vintage popper and excitement in the air. “Back to the Future” came out 25 years ago, but to these moviegoers it was like a brand new film. The line, featuring more than one person sporting a Delorean shirt, was literally out the door and my father had to ask a worker if seats were still available. Thankfully, they were.


The inside of theatre was more than I expected. It wasn’t overly ornate, but it had maybe fifty to sixty seats on the first tier in front of the screen. Most viewers, like myself and my Marty McFly-loving crew, were sitting in the balcony area. The seats themselves were old school. The upholstery was blue and comfortable, although the backs were a bit stiff; not anything that bugged me certainly. As the anticipation for the time-traveling adventure built, I took in the scenery. There was plenty of people watching with eclectic film buffs everywhere and I even took this snapshot of the curtain covering the screen. As the movie started it was raised into the rafters. A nice little topping on this “throwback sundae.”


But before Doc Brown got shot for stealing plutonium from Libyan terrorists, there was a special treat for fans of the film. A speaker dressed as Marty McFly, complete with his reddish orange “life vest” and jean shirt, gave a brief history of the production.


Many of the details, I already knew, but they are still noteworthy. Mainly, that writer Bob Gale came up with the idea after looking at his father’s High School yearbook and wondering what it would have been like to be friends with his dad as a young man. The other: the studio initially wanted Michael J. Fox for the part, but his scheduling conflicts with “Family Ties” prevented him from taking it. So, they cast Eric Stoltz instead. However, director Robert Zemeckis did not think Stoltz provided enough humor in the role. He was dropped after six weeks of filming and Zemeckis was able to convince Fox to work a grueling day-night schedule between the movie and his TV sitcom. I thought this history lesson presentation was a nice touch by the Dryden theatre. It serves as both educational and entertaining and gives moviegoers something more than they would find at an overpriced multiplex.

And then it was “Back to the Future.” Except for me, it was back to the past. The film was not just some dvd that was threw in and projected at 35mm. This was the real film celluloid, complete with “cigarette burns” or cue marks at the top right hand corner. The audience was ready for a great movie and they got it. They laughed at parts that were funny (Doc Brown screaming in horror at the thought of producing 1.21 “Jigawatts” of energy) and cheered when George slugged Biff to win Lorraine at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance.

It was a great night, for the movie-going experience and the great company who saw it with me. It was a trip back in time, one that I wish I could take more often.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun and have No Comments

Top Ten Kids Movies From the 80’s

When people remember their childhood, it’s typically snippets of memorable events. A birthday party that your whole grade attended or a Christmas when it seemed like every present underneath the tree was for you.

For me it’s a bit different, as my father pointed out the other day “you and your mother remember everything since birth.” Not entirely true, but I do recall quite a bit. And of course, a big part of my younger years that I do recall were children’s movies that would probably never be made today.

Many films made for kids of the eighties did not dumb things down, were often scary and contained adult themes. That’s why most are still enjoyable to me as an adult. Oh, and the majority contain a so cheesy, it’s awesome theme song! So, without further psycho-babble, I give to you my Top Ten Kids Movies from the 80’s.

10. Transformers: The Movie

This animated feature did not make much money when it came out in 1986, but for kids growing up with toys that change from cars and jets to robots from another planet, this might as well have been “Citizen Kane.” This was back when Megatron was still a gun (something he should have been in the new films which suck anyway so who cares?) and was based on the tv series. It went beyond traditional film boundaries and actually killed off its two main characters in the first act. Granted it was probably only an attempt to sell more toys, but that’s beside the point. Check out the deadly duel between Optimus Prime and Megatron below.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: “The Touch” by Stan Bush. Just try to listen to this song without doing an eighties hair-band leg kick.

Bonus Awesomeness: Orson Welles actually voices the character of Unicron, a robotic planet bent on destroying all others. It was the last role Welles played before he died.


9. The Secret of Nimh

This Don Bluth directed film came out in 1982 and centers around a group of mice and rats with human intelligence. The reason? They have been experimented on by scientists at N.I.M.H (the National Institute of Mental Health.) Mrs. Brisby needs to save her son Timmy who is battling a deadly bout of pneumonia, so she turns to the advanced society of rats for help. Although it’s animated, the movie has the grittiness of film noir and I’m not an animation geek, but some of the scenes are gothic-looking and amazing. Plus, part of the plot involves a medallion. What’s not to like?


Check out the trailer below and you can watch the entire movie right now on hulu.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: “Flying Dreams” Composed by Jerry Goldsmith and sung by Paul Williams

Bonus Awesomeness: It was virtually the first project for actors Shannen Doherty and Wil Wheaton who both voiced Brisby children and would later go on to fame in “90210” and “Stand By Me” respectively.


8. The Electric Grandmother

This selection could be a bit of a cheat, it is a movie, it was just never released in theaters. What makes it so awesome? Because it was a made-for-tv movie for kids that scared the bejesus out of me and may have stoked my irrational fear of old ladies. Well, actually I think my friend’s grandmother who woke me up in the middle of the night during a sleepover may be more responsible, but regardless it was scary. Why? Well, for starters she could pour orange juice out of her finger and you had to plug her in. At one point, a kid goes into the basement to unplug granny and she wakes up suddenly with her eyes wide open. Gives me shivers just thinking about it. If that’s not frightening enough for you. She comes via helicopter in a sarcophagus. Check out the clip below.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: The electric grandmother sings a creep-tastic lullaby to one of the kids. Sample lyrics “I know the secrets that Grandmothers know. Trust me to love you and help you to grow.”

Bonus Awesomeness: The movie is based on a Ray Bradbury short story “I Sing the Body Electric.” The story was previously brought to the small screen in an episode of the “Twilight  Zone” back in 1962.


7. Gremlins

You don’t think this movie about murderous little green monsters attacking a small town is a kids movie? Think again. Released in 1984 and rated PG, “Gremlins” has become a cult classic and probably one of the more obvious choices on this list. Is it appropriate for children? Absolutely not. And that’s why the MPAA caught hell from parents all around the country complaining about some of the more violent sequences. And by “sequences” I pretty much mean the entire movie. The film was so intense in spots, it (along with “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) forced the MPAA to change its ratings system to include PG-13, instead of just PG and R. As soon as the extra mogwai turn into demonic reptiles, this film is full of death and destruction. Billy’s mother takes on several gremlins in a kitchen killing-fest, culminating in one getting nuked in the microwave. Then as another is choking mom in the living room, Billy arrives home just in time to cut off its head with a sword. And the best part, there’s the uplifting story from Kate (Phoebe Cates) explaining why she hates Christmas. Here’s a hint as to why, if you ever have kids don’t dress up as Santa and get stuck in the chimney. Merry Christmas kiddies, lets all roast chestnuts on the open fire…oh wait, what’s that smell?

Check out the gruesome kitchen scene below.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dah-Dun, Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dah-Dun, Dun-Dun-Dun-Dun-Dah-Dun-Dun-Dun. Need I say more? That took me like five minutes to figure out how to phonetically write that. And I’m still not sure I succeeded. Take a listen to the audible version below.

Bonus Awesomeness: Obviously, with a scary movie comes equally frightening toys, but some of the “Gremlins” action figures were down right realistic and horrifying. Check out this Stripe “toy” made by the now defunct LJN company. It’s made for 3 and up (can’t see anything wrong with that) and is more than a foot tall. Not surprisingly, this wasn’t a big seller, so not a lot were made. So, if you happen to have one of these little orphans in your attic still in its package, it could be worth your while to throw it up on Ebay.



6. The Dark Crystal


I can’t think of a more creative and genuine mind in the seventies and eighties than Jim Henson. Beloved for creating The Muppets, Henson took a big risk making “The Dark Crystal” in 1982 which features some very un-muppet-like monsters. The plot is a bit confusing, but essentially follows a young boy or “Gelfling” in this case named Jen on a journey to save the planet. He must do so by returning a small crystal shard back to the larger dark crystal. The film also includes two races that are tied together. “The Mystics”, sloth-like creatures who are wise and have Yoda-like knowledge and the evil  “Skeksis”, think large, skinny rats with vulture heads, pleasant.

The rest if just filled with crazy visuals, including giant bugs that attack Jen, a hag with horns that can remove her own eye, huge giraffe-like “landstriders” and plenty more that makes this movie extremely bizarre, yet great at the same time. And what’s truly astounding, it’s all done with puppets.

Couldn’t find too many clips, so here’s the trailer below.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: The entire score to this movie was created by composer Trevor Jones and is widely considered one of the best film soundtracks of all-time. Take a listen to one tune below.

 

Bonus Awesomeness: Early drafts featured Jen traveling to an underworld and meeting a group of mining creatures. This idea later became the basis for Henson’s Fraggle Rock series. There is also a sequel in the works called “The Power of the Dark Crystal.” However, as usual I’m highly skeptical of an eighties remake being anything but unnecessary. Oh and it’s going to be in 3D and integrate CGI, so automatic point deductions there.


5. Mr. Boogedy

Another made-for-TV movie makes the list. And if the mechanical MeMe didn’t make you check under the bed, this one surely did. “Mr. Boogedy” aired on the Wonderful World of Disney show in 1986. Richard Masur, who has made a career of playing small roles in dozens of projects, plays the father. He’s a gag gift salesmen (think anything sold at Spencer Gifts) who moves his family into a rickety, old home in the made-up New England town of Lucifer Falls. However, once the gag clan arrives it becomes apparent the home is haunted by a 300-year-old pilgrim named William Hanover aka Mr. Boogedy. If viewers pay attention to back story, it’s actually very frightening and serious stuff for kids. I won’t ruin it too much, but lets just say Hanover became Boogedy after killing a woman who turned him down, her young son and himself. Nothing says Sunday night with the family like a cleverly hidden murder-suicide subplot!


What’s that you say? No one would ever greenlight that kids movie! Watch below for proof.

 

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: Boogedy, boogedy, boo!! (If you keep repeating it, it becomes a song) Okay, doesn’t really apply here…I was so close on this, but the movie’s just too much of a childhood memory not to include in this list, theme song or no theme song.

Bonus Awesomeness: Mr. Boogedy has his own Facebook page! I think that makes up for no theme song. Check out his undead devotees here.


4. Return to Oz


Let me set the stage on this one. “The Wizard of Oz” stands as one of the greatest and most beloved motion pictures of all-time. Before VHS and DVD, I think it was played on prime time TV at least once a year and was typically a major event. So, for Disney to go out on a limb and try to make a “sequel” to this epic piece of film making was at the very least gutsy, if not incredibly foolish. It turned out to be a theatrical bomb, making only $11 million in 1985 with a budget of about $25 million.  It was also the only non-animated film to be made about L. Frank Baum’s incredible “Oz” series, however it was much more faithful to the books than the 1939 Judy Garland favorite. It’s a combination of “The Marvelous Land of Oz” and “Ozma of Oz.” So, what makes this worthy of a spot on the list? Much like other films I’ve mentioned, it’s dark. Even before we get to Oz, young Dorothy is sent to electro-shock therapy for her recurring dreams of the Tin Woodsmen, Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. Then when she gets there, she gets attacked by men with wheels for hands and feet and an evil witch, who has dozens of inter-changeable heads!


Oh, does that headless woman scare you? Yeah, me too! Luckily, for Disney, the film has turned into a sort of cult classic. I think “Oz” fans are split on it, but for me it works. Just another bizarre film that has made me into the man I am today. No laughing. Look at the clip below, I dare you not to have nightmares.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: Scissor Sisters “Return to Oz.” Okay, so this has nothing to do with the actual music from the movie, which is actually beautifully composed by David Shire, but it’s about the movie which clearly had an influence on this alternative band. Check out the fan-made video of the song matched with clips from the film below.

 

Bonus Awesomeness: The director of the movie Walter Murch was under siege from studio executives at Walt Disney just five weeks into filming and they were set to fire him, claiming it was not being made fast enough. However, his friend and “Star Wars” creator George Lucas stepped in, told Disney the movie was going to be “great” and convinced them to stick with Murch. Lucas for all his prequel errors was right on this one. Although, not at first because like I mentioned the film tanked at the box office.


3. The Neverending Story


If you’ve ever been totally immersed in a good book, this story of an avid, young reader takes that to a literal level. Trying to get away from bullies, Bastian stumbles upon a book shop in New York City and ends up swiping a novel called “The Neverending Story.” But he soon finds out, this is no ordinary book. The world is being destroyed by a powerful entity called the Nothing. Well, it has to be something? No, it’s nothing. Sorry, couldn’t resist the Seinfeld reference.

A young hero is tasked by the childlike Empress to save Fantasia from the Nothing and its wolf servant. Along the way we meet a Rock Biter, a flying dog or “luck dragon” and the boy, Bastian who is reading the book, yet the key to saving this parallel world. Not only is this movie intensely inventive, but it carries several important themes. The power of imagination, the need to keep your head up in the face of despair and of course the importance of reading. For fun just randomly blurt out, “Say my name!” at your next party and see how many people go “Moonchild.” I’m guessing not many, but it’s a conversation starter.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: If you haven’t heard this theme song, I suggest you take a listen below right now. Contagious eighties pop at its best. I guarantee you’ll be humming it at work for the rest of the day. It’s sung by Limahl the lead singer of “Kajagoogoo” who hit it big with “Too Shy” and a woman named Beth Anderson. Come on everybody now “Turn around, look at what you see…”

Okay, I have never seen that video before. That Limahl strikes me as a bit of a creepo, just a lot going on there. Two-tone mullet, spike, pencil beard. Just a bit much. Anyway, I digress.

Bonus Awesomeness: Nearly all of this film was shot in Germany. In fact, it was the most expensive movie filmed outside of the US and Russia at the time with a budget of 27 million dollars. That’s one of the reasons why it’s still popular in the European country. So popular, visitors to the Bavaria Filmplatz museum can actually have their picture taken on top of a life-sized Falkor (the luck dragon). Just think you could look as cool as these people.


2. The Goonies

Many may not consider “The Goonies” a kids movie. I would disagree. The majority of the characters are on the cusp of their teenage years and I consider any thirteen-year-old still a kid. I may have traded in my action figures for a nintendo around that age, but the notion of being a “grown up” was still a long ways away.


At any rate, let’s get to the good stuff. This film is fun and is pretty much every kid’s dream. Sean Astin plays Mikey Walsh, a nerdy kid with asthma who goes on an outrageous adventure with his best friends. In the end, not only does he save the day, but he gets to kiss the girl, find the treasure, fight on a pirate ship and beat the bad guys. The bad guys being Ma Fratelli and her two bumbling sons, all wonderfully played by Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano and Robert Davi. This movie also has some classic moments, including Chunk telling the Fratellis “everything” and of course his truffle shuffle. Watch both below.


So cheesy, it’s good theme song: “Goonies R’ Good Enough” by Cyndi Lauper. Back before she was a has-been on “The Apprentice”, Lauper was actually kind of talented. One of her hits was this infectious song from “The Goonies.” Below is the video for the hit single, for some bizarre reason it stars many of the WWF stars of the day. Captain Lou Albano, the Iron Sheik, Rowdy Roddy Piper, etc. The beginning has virtually nothing to do with the movie until about three and a half minutes in. Feel free to fast-forward.

Bonus Awesomeness: Cyndi Lauper’s hit may not have even been the best song from the film. Composer Dave Grusin’s “Fratelli Chase” kicks off the movie and is so memorable it has even been used in several trailers for other films, including “Innerspace” and “Guarding Tess.” It’s the first song on the clip below. Take a listen.


1. The Last Unicorn


I feel like this movie has become a bit more mainstream over the past decade, but it was pretty hard to find a copy before dvd. On the surface, it may seem like it belongs on the front of a trapper keeper for an 8-year-old girl, but this film may have some of the heaviest themes on this list. This 1982 Rankin/Bass production was based on the novel by Peter Beagle. In it, a unicorn realizes she is the last of her kind. The rest have been round up by the phantom-esque Red Bull. So, she goes on a hunt to find the others. During her travels, she is caught by an evil witch, who is later murdered by a vengeful harpie. She also meets a magician named Schmendrick and a woman named Molly Grue. Much of this film is about the loss of innocence and in one scene Molly yells at the Unicorn for not being around when she was younger and “new.” Read into that what you will and watch below.

Later in the film, the unicorn is turned into a woman and falls in love with a prince. At one point, she begins to forget her past as a unicorn and does not want to return to her old body. This comes as King Haggard reveals he knows her true identity and wants to put her into the sea with the other unicorns. This scene includes some great voice acting by Christopher Lee.

 

Pretty grown up stuff packaged into a kids movie. And what about this scene? Something tells me the bosom tree would NOT make it into a children’s movie today.

Eventually the unicorn is changed back by Schmendrick the magician, so she can fend off the red bull and free the other unicorns. However, she will always have the knowledge of being human and is no longer “pure” like the rest of the unicorns.

So cheesy, it’s good theme song: Where to start? The band “America” feature several schmaltzy tunes that you can’t help but love. The main theme, “Last Unicorn”, “Man’s Road” and “Into the Sea” are all so wrong, yet so right. Just don’t crank them with the windows down in your car. Could get embarrassing. Take a listen below, the first two clips cannot be embedded, so you’ll have to click on the link after hitting play.


Bonus Awesomeness: Peter Beagle is the author of “The Last Unicorn” and also adapted the screenplay for this film. He actually came up with the idea for the book while on a retreat in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts in 1962. He wrote 80 pages, but was not happy with it. Three years later, his wife encouraged him to do a rewrite which eventually became his best-selling novel.

So, that’s that. A bunch of movies that seem timeless to me and give me fond memories of days gone by.

Did I leave any deserving movies off of the list? Should a few not even be on here? Let me know what you think.

 

 

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun and have Comment (1)

Headlines: Michael Scott Saying Goodbye?, “The Hobbit” & Another 80’s Remake…

This does not come as a huge surprise, but it’s certainly a crushing reality for me. It sounds like next season will be Steve Carell’s last on “The Office.” He told an interviewer on BBC Radio that he will be leaving following next season. Will the show go on after that into an 8th season? For everyone’s sake, I really hope not. It just wouldn’t be the same. Steve Carell aka Michael Scott makes the show what it is and without him, it would just be weird. Plus, this season has been rather uneven. At times brilliant and others a little weak. The clip show and the “New Leads” episodes were certainly low points. I love this show as much if not more than “Lost”, so it will certainly be painful to lose my two favorite shows in back-to-back seasons. But until then, I’ll just enjoy the ride. That’s what she said.

Here’s one of my favorite clips:

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The live-action version of “The Hobbit” has a release date. The Peter Jackson produced and Guillermo Del Toro directed film with come out in two parts. The first movie will be released in December 2012, with the second installment coming out the following December. New Line had initially slated the release date next year, but it had to be pushed back to allow for script writing and planning. Better than forcing it along and making a lousy film I guess. You can read more here. And for a little nostalgia and to listen to a song that rivals “The Last Unicorn” in cheesy/awesomeness check out the opening montage for the Rankin/Bass cartoon version from the seventies below.

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And they’re remaking “The Monster Squad.” It’s apparently going to be “edgier” and “scarier” than the original. Yep, that’s how to make a movie…with buzz words. Sigh. You can read more, if you dare…here.

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Other headlines…

Ricky Gervais will once again be the host of the Golden Globes

And…Bloc Party’s lead singer Kele Okereke has released his first single from his solo project. A little more dance club themed than Bloc Party, but not too bad.


posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun,Music News,Reboots,The Hobbit,The Office,TV News and have No Comments

Are We Actually Living Back to the Future 2? This is Heavy.

Den of Geek came up with an interesting list of what Back to the Future 2 (released in 1989) actually predicted correctly. That future took place in 2015, so another five years for us. But it hit the nail on the head for most things, excluding the flying cars and hover boards. And may I say totally got lucky with the resurgence of 3D!

And one thing it left off, the atrocity channel watched by Marty McFly Jr. TLC, MTV, Bravo. I think any of those would qualify.

posted by Seth Szilagyi in 80's Fun and have No Comments