With a 68 hour work week complete and a yard to mow, time for this week’s film review from the decade that favored parachute pants over polyester:
THE FILM: Hiding Out
THE STARS: Jon Cryer headlines this prototypical 1980’s piece of cinema with the other two of note being Keith Coogan (Adventures in Babysitting) as Cryer’s cousin and Annabeth Gish(Mystic Pizza) as Cryer’s love interest.
THE PLOT: Per our film’s title, young yuppie stockbroker Cryer is on the run from the mob and the FBI after some work related issues lead to stockbrokers getting whacked by the mob and the feds subsequently getting involved. Hence young stockbroker Cryer starts out the film looking like this….
…..then after avoiding being whacked, the bloody shirt sporting Cryer makes a call to family on a 1980’s approved pay phone…….
….hits the store to purchase some new hair and grooming products……
….and after a quick trip to the can Cryer comes out looking like this:
Cryer ends up going to meet family at Coogan’s high school, gets mistaken for being a new kid at said school, then looks at a coffee can and decides to rename himself “Maxwell Hauser” to set up the remainder of the film. He lives with cousin Coogan, woos Gish, becomes an anti-hero of the school and avoids getting whacked before hitting the Witness Protection Program at film’s end. For those of us used to Cryer being the cheapskate crashing for over a decade on CBS related TV with Charlie Sheen and Ashton Kutcher, admittedly it’s a change from the usual.
YOUTUBE RELATED FILM LINKS: Going back on the web made me re-remember that the song “Catch Me (I’m Falling)” that used to get played all the time on Indianapolis FM radio was a featured part of this film. Link to that song by the group Pretty Poison here. Warning: Cryer film clips combine with 80’s big hair for most of the video.
As for the film trailer, here you go. As of this typing you can also watch the film in full on YouTube for $1.99, but I’ll politely suggest not to because you’re going to get your money’s worth if you just watch this link for the Cryer related highlights as well as this other link for the film’s final fight scene in the school gym. Call it a public service.
PREVIOUS REVIEWS BY MEDIA FAVORITES: The New York Times review heregives insight to Cryer’s future as a sitcom superstar by noting he “could have unexpected charm in more adult roles.” That prediction proved to be a decent one from the Times when compared to their misfire on the 2016 presidential election. We’ll see how they fare in 2020. But back to 1987 so we can wrap this up….
WHY DO I EVEN REMEMBER THIS MOVIE?: Simple- when you don’t get out much as a five foot four 200 pound high school freshman and this is the one movie you saw at the mall during the fall of your freshman year, then you’ll remember it. Somehow a group of people ended up deciding to go to this-whether I was invited or not mattered not as I got a lift to said mall, ended up seeing Kellie Beam and David Couch playing video games in the arcade across from the theater, and ended up sitting by a bunch of people for this Saturday matinee at one of Castleton Square Mall’s General Cinema theaters. I then got dropped off after the movie by the mother of Cliff Katter as she drove a dozen or so of us in her van as the day’s chauffeur. Thus concluded my big Saturday of said fall. Not sure if that’s a good thing for detailing my lack of social life from those days, but then again there were worst things than seeing a Jon Cryer featured film back then. Especially at matinee prices.
OBLIGATORY MOVIE POSTER FEATURING CRYER BEFORE AND AFTER THE DYE JOB:
ADDITIONAL VHS VIDEO BOX COVER COURTESY OF HBO VIDEO:
FREAKY LOOKING CRYER IMITATING A JACK-O-LANTERN ON THE FILM SOUNDTRACK COVER:
...AND OBLIGATORY MOVIE PHOTOS FROM THE WEB:
FINAL FITZTHOUGHTS AND RATING ON SAID MOVIE: My fat 14 year old self had seen better movies at that time. I’d also seen much worse. It kept me entertained about as much as a movie based on Jon Cryer playing out of character as hip high school bad-ass could be expected back in 1987…and again most importantly at matinee prices. So I’ll conclude by giving it a Fitzthoughtsblog rating of 3 OUT OF 4.
Now off to mow the yard as it won’t mow itself.
Happy Father’s Day weekend to all and best wishes to everyone.
Back this week for another review of a film I watched in the 1980’s. After realizing that my ratings system has been pretty kind (as of now I’ve never rated a film less than 3 out of 4) I figured it’s time to review one that doesn’t meet that criteria. So here we go:
THE MOVIE: Hot to Trot
THE YEAR: 1988
THE STARS: This is actually a vehicle for popular 1980’s comic Bobcat Goldthwait (who goes by “Bob” in the credits) to star in after his success in the Police Academy film series that dominated the decade of decadence. “Bob” is the hero, Dabney Goldman is the heel, Virginia Madsen is the hot blonde chick (and hence a deciding factor of why I’m one of the few on earth who went to see this film as a new release in the theaters), and John Candy takes on the role of voicing Don the talking horse. Last part of that sentence already does the film no favors. Shout out to Wikipedia for reminding me that Burgess Meredith of Rocky fame voices Don’s father.
THE PLOT: While my main memories of the film are looking at Madsen and seeing Goldthwait entering a race with the talking horse giving color commentary while going from last place to first place, there was actually a plot : good guy Goldthwait inherits business involving bad guy Coleman, good guy uses talking horse to succeed, and this all leads up to good guy’s talking horse beating bad guy’s horse to win the race. So there’s your plot and your spoiler alert for what happen because unless you’re 1) a hardcore Goldthwait fan 2) a hardcore Madsen fan or 3) a fan of all talking horse related cinema……you’re not really missing much if you find something else worth doing for an hour and a half of your time besides watching this.
THE PHOTOS: quick internet search comes up with these:
Three of the film’s main stars. Again safe to say which one I preferred to watch.
Another view of smiling “Bob” and talking horse.
“Bob” at the new stockholder office gig he gets to set up said movie plot.
To his credit, ‘Bob’ has the same reaction I did when I first saw Madsen on screen.
And if one ever wants a collage of photos from this movie via the Web, see above.
THE GIFS: found these four, so here they are:
Well said, Bob.
Obligatory talking horse.
And lastly, my favorite of the four:
Will need to remember that.
OBLIGATORY MOVIE POSTER PIC:
Note Bob rocking the Converse Weapons sneakers with the Converse logo whited out. As for the talking horse quote, will just assume that those are the perks of getting third billing in this cinematic masterpiece.
WHY DID I SEE THIS MOVIE IN THE FIRST PLACE: It was sophomore year in high school. Me and the late Eric Sippel (RIP) went to the movies at Lowe’s Cherry Tree on Keystone one Friday night- in fact it looks like we went to see the movie on opening night as it premiered in theaters on Friday, August 26 per the above Wiki link. I apparently got to pick the film. I liked comedies. I liked looking at Madsen. There you go.
Madsen’s presence wasn’t enough for the film to make money, horse or no horse: according to IMDb Sippel and I were part of an opening weekend where the film made roughly half of its $6 plus million take at the box office. Since that previous Wiki leak noted a $9 million budget, not good for ‘Bob’ and friends.
PREVIOUS MOVIE REVIEW QUOTE ON THIS FILM FOUND ON THE WEB:
From Rotten Tomatoes: “Hot to Trot is a movie to make ninnies whinny, audiences gag and horses hide their heads.”
Cruel, yet fair.
FITZTHOUGHTSBLOG FINAL MOVIE RATING: I’m a little nicer because I got to get out of the house on a Friday night to see this film and I got to see this woman below, horse or no horse:
So I’ll be kind and give it my lowest rating yet of 2 OUT OF 4.
Hope everyone in cyberspace is having a good June-back next week with another review.
Back this week with the film from the only time I ever went to the theaters with Cori Lawrence:
THE FILM: Stand by Me
THE YEAR: 1986
THE STARS: Main four are the above pictured Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman and River Phoenix. Kiefer Sutherland makes his second appearance in three weeks of posting via sporting the 80’s hair in a movie with a 1959 setting. Thanks to Wikipedia for advising that this was based off of a Stephen King book. Wikipedia also notes that Richard Dreyfus appears at the end of the film as the older version of Wheaton’s character along with reminding me that yet another 80’s icon in oneJohn Cusack was Wheaton’s character’s older brother. Probably forgot those two because this was the first time I ever saw Sutherland on screen as he lectured endlessly about his enjoyment of women when not displaying epic leadership skills like this:
THE PLOT: Four boys in 1959 Oregon use a weekend to answer this question from the younger and stouter O’Connell:
Youthful bonding commences along with the avoiding of runaway trains and Sutherland lecturing about women while he and his boys play “mailbox baseball” before the movie’s pivotal confrontation over who gets credit for finding said dead body. Along the way we get great poetry such as this:
Plus young Wheaton throws out this question for the ages:
Quite frankly, it’s been 30 years and I still have no idea. Tough question.
THEN AND NOW STAR PHOTO FROM THE INTERWEBS:
Yes, I also forgot that Rob Reinerdirected this as he and Dreyfus back up the current day O’Connell, Feldman and Wheaton in said photo.
Which brings up Phoenix:
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: This was the first movie I saw with Phoenix, and I generally associate the movie with him because it seemed like he became a major media man that was always in the news afterwards before he passed away in 1993. When people currently lecture about Leonardo DiCaprio as the king of all actors, I think about the hype Phoenix had during his life and believe that he would have done just as well at the box office and on the awards circuit. Last movie of his I saw at the theaters was Sneakers in 1992- remember that as I went with a group of fellow Transylvania University fraternity dudes and hangers-on to see the film one fall Sunday afternoon as a matinee at the North Park theaters in Lexington. Not guaranteeing dude would have been THE main man in Hollywood, but I have a feeling he would have had a pretty big portfolio by now if he was still with us today. RIP.
WHY I REMEMBER THIS MOVIE: Besides the before mentioned note of being the only time I ever went to the movies with Cori Lawrence, this film became a favorite thanks to 1) being a damn good film and 2) endless replays on HBO in 1987. Also resonated with this then junior high school aged dude that the movie was about four junior high school aged dudes doing the friendship thing for a Labor Day weekend to enjoy what time was left before school started up again. Also got this music video played a lot on television back then since the Ben E. King early 60’s hit was revived on the airwaves thanks to the film’s success. I tend to like movies set in the 1950’s and early 1960’s as well. Hence Stand by Me is another one of the films I generally think of from remembering growing up. HBO had no issue back then with getting a movie and playing it four or five times a day; the result was me seeing all or part of this film a couple dozen times or so.
FITZTHOUGHTSBLOG RATING: one of the all-time classics for me and a 4 out of 4.
If you’re going to make one memorable movie before following the route of actor to college professor Ilan Mitchell-Smith did some 33 years ago, then in my opinion it’s going to be hard to top the one that he did:
THE FILM: Weird Science
THE STARS: Smith shared the screen with 80’s favorites Anthony Michael Hall (star of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and member of The Brat Pack ) and Kelly LeBrock (hot from her debut as The Woman in Red with the late Gene Wilder before marrying and divorcing Steven Seagal). The also recently deceased Bill Paxton and the more recently media decreed king of the whole wide world Robert Downey Jr. (who forsake the Junior in the film credits) also rocked featured roles.
THE PLOT: When two Chicago mid 1980’s suburbanite teen dudes share my inability to get a date, they create one via somehow creating a light show via their computers being plugged to a nuclear missile that’s on the cover of a U.S. News & World Report. And apparently wearing bras on your head helps out ……
In other words, a nice John Hughes 1980’s movie for any and all Kelly LeBrock fans to watch for an hour and a half. Or in my case a good two dozen times when it played non-stop on HBO back in 1986. Like I was going to miss a chance to look at LeBrock.
THE SON: No, I never expected Downey to get his proverbial knob rubbed endlessly by the national media when I first saw him strut around in the latest Chess King and Merry Go Round related fashions of the time such as these:
Should one wonder why he and his boy Rusler have those constipated looks on their faces, it’s courtesy of one of my all time favorite moments from the film shown here via GIF:
FINAL FITZTHOUGHTS ON SAID MOVIE: I remember when the movie came out in the summer of 1985 that it was in theaters at the same time as a similarly titled film called My Science Project. Some movie reviewer on the tube was lecturing about both and saying not to see either. Hence I did not get the pleasure of seeing LeBrock rock the strapless gear until movie rental time and the previously mentioned cable dominant runs on HBO. Don’t know about the other film but I’m going to politely disagree with Mr. Movie Reviewer because an hour and a half of Kelly LeBrock making men out of Chicago teenage dudes has certainly entertained me over the years. No-brainer for me to give a FITZTHOUGHTSBLOG RATING of 4 out of 4.
Last link to the Oingo Boingo video for the movie’s theme song and thanks to any and all who read this.
Yesterday my hometown of Noblesville, Indiana made the national news. However the reasons for the news was due to events that neither myself nor many others would have expected.
As per this link from Indianapolis TV’s Fox 59 there was a shooting Friday morning at Noblesville West Middle School involving where two students and one teacher were injured via gunfire from a seventh grade student. The result included those at the middle school being evacuated to the high school and said high school being threatened and put on lockdown. Just typing that stuff makes me shake my head because the shooting happened at the school that is across the street from my aunt’s subdivision. Plus the days of just figuring stuff like that wouldn’t happen in a place like Noblesville are now null and void with me. After yesterday I know an incident like that can happen anytime and any place.
Prayers to all involved and impacted from yesterday’s events. Also shout-out to the heroic efforts of teacher Jason Seaman and best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Still shaking my head over this. Best to end the post via news photos taken yesterday because they can do a hell of a lot more conveying the emotions of yesterday’s events then I can:
Going with a personal favorite featuring an out of the usual role from a 1980’s megastar who dominated both the box office and the tube during the decade of Reaganomics:
THE FILM: Bright Lights, Big City
THE YEAR: 1988
THE STARS: 80’s icon Michael J. Fox, the pre-Jack Bauer version of Kiefer Sutherland, and a short haired pre-Mrs. Kevin Kline version of Phoebe Cates.
THE PLOT: Based off the book by Jay MacInerney, young Michael J. is a dude who enjoys the night life of the NYC enough to put his job in jeopardy. You’ll get 1 3/4 hours of dude trying to mix Sutherland-aided clubbing and cocaine snorting with keeping his gig. In the process he gets in public spats with his estranged wife (Cates, who again decided to shed some serious hair for the role), throws himself romantically at a co-worker(played by versatile Swoosie Kurtz) and turns in a track star performance trying to avoid his very own brother (played by the television version of Ferris Bueller, one Charlie Schlatter.) One can probably figure out if dude was still employed by film’s end.
THE ADDITIONAL STAR POWER: I forgot that the legendary late Smith Barney spokesperson John Houseman made an appearance yet remembered the young Fox throwing down with another late legend Jason Robards because Fox did a lot of that during this movie. Better yet this was my first time getting to see Kelly Lynch on film. No complaints there. For additional trivia purposes, as per this web linkon the film one David Hyde Pierce of Frasier fame makes his movie debut as a bartender. Not a bad lineup of past, present and future stars in the mix.
THE REASON THIS FILM IS MEMORABLE TO ME SOME 30 YEARS AFTER THE FACT: The 1980’s was a time where Michael J. Fox seemed to match star power with the sons and daughters of MTV like his namesake the late Michael Jackson and Madonna as well as his fellow NBC icon of the time William H. Cosby, PhD. (And yes, I didn’t expect the man who I spent my youth watching as a Jell-O product pitchman on TV to have bigger problems than making the film Leonard Part 6). After seeing this Fox being a dominant comic figure as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties before making the blockbuster Back to the Future movies, I remember going to the theaters to see one of the previously reviewed movies on this blog (either this one or that one) and low and behold there’s a preview of a film featuring drugged up Michael J. Foxready to make its mark at theaters nationwide. Pretty much the polar opposite of Marty McFly and the young Republican known as Alex P. Hence the film fell into the ‘well, I’ll check it out since I probably won’t have a date for the next three or four presidential administrations’ category once it hit the video stores with this unsobering glossy of Fox on the video box cover shown here:
Fortunately for me I would end up actually getting dates before my non-illustrious Sonland High School career ended (including ironically enough with a local Fox). Oh…back to the film: if one wants to take more than a few seconds to evaluate Michael J. Fox’s acting skills, this film is a good place to start. Back then the rotund 15 year old version of me was going to shit on a movie that wasn’t a comedy or had a hot chick or two in it. While Lynch nailed the hot chick part of the checklist for me, I found that I was able to watch the whole movie and say ‘man, dude’s f—-d up’ just as much as I asked myself ‘just what the f— did Cates do with her hair?‘ (Obviously the hair thing was something I pondered because I preferred her with long hair a la the days of Fast Times at Ridgemont High). As a result I not only finished watching the film in whole but still will watch it whenever it’s showing on TV to this day. If one wants a good example of how to crash and burn while being young and residing in the New York City of the 1980’s, then I would point to this Fox performance as a good place to start.
Keeping with the tradition in rating those tapes worth playing in the VCR, yours truly gives it a Fitzthoughtsblog rating of 3 OUT OF 4.
Posting a day later than originally planned due to no computer being available at the library after I left work last evening…which probably is not a good way to start out typing during this milestone of sorts. While I’ve had some long pauses from blogging in the 22 1/2 months since I first started this cheap inexpensive blognevertheless it’s somewhat of an accomplishment that the fitzthoughtsblog is still around. So thanks to all who stumble upon this place in cyberspace and have actually read my semi-coherent rants in between writing school papers and trying to stay gainfully employed.
Some random thoughts and updates on post number 100 as we have an hour and a half of public computer usage to go……
-speaking of employment, still at the same place that I was when I made this early post.
-got an A on that term paper that I had previously mentioned a time or two. Good for me.
-during the last weekend of April I went to Spring Immersion (aka residency) for my school program. Due to little items like having multiple jobs in 2016 and 2017 (plus also 2018…though I scheduled time off in advance since I kind of needed to attend one if I ever want to complete the program) I had not been able to go to one until a few weeks ago- have to go to two more before going full throttle on the 8000 level courses and dissertation stuff. Main surprises were getting fed a few meals for free and actually meeting some of the classmates I have dealt with online for these past couple of years. Also had the fun task of doing homework at night during said Immersion/residency but was able to get that taken care of as well. Will be looking forward to the next one in late September.
-since I still haven’t finished the prom diary that I started last year, might as well note that last Friday was “promiversary” or whatever the f— one calls the anniversary of going to senior prom. The highlights: getting to leave work early at 5 pm and mowing the yard. Just call me Mr. Excitement. Followed that up on Saturday with a trip to Sheridan for Woody’s Pizza. Highly recommended to all.
-from now on it would be wise to use the mute button on if I watch a Cleveland Cavaliers game on ABC/ESPN TV being commentated on by Mike Breen. Last night was pretty bad for me to deal with…..as in Cris Collinsworth at this year’s Super Bowlbad. Breen has helped make it much easier for me to root for the Boston Celtics in this year’s NBA Eastern finals matchup between the Celts and Cavs. Also makes me miss the days of Marv Albert and Mike Fratello calling the NBA on NBC.
As for an armchair NBA title prediction: going with Golden State in the West, Boston in the East and Golden State winning in five. If someone told me 20 -hell, even 5-years ago that the Golden State Warriors were on the cusp of being in four straight NBA Finals, safe to say I would ask them how many brews they had thrown down that evening to throw out that kind of take. Alas it’s a different NBA these days. Glad for Warriors fans as they had been loyal through a lot of bad seasonsand player vs. coach related drama. Gives me some hope as an Indiana Pacers fan…..though admittedly not much unless said Pacers someday can also have three or four NBA All-Stars in the starting lineup.
-with basketball both in the air and on the air as Game 2 of the NBA West finals between said Golden State and Houston are coming up in an hour, going to end with a GIF from one of my all-time favorite NBA Finals: the 1991 series (held after my Sonland High graduation) where Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls beat Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers:
Resistance was futile back then when MJ was at this peak.
Thanks to all who may have read any of these past 100 posts; here’s to good health and another 100. May even finally finish this prom diary deal while I’m at it.
Better late than never with another cinematic look of my favorite decade for movies….
THE FILM: St. Elmo’s Fire
THE YEAR: 1985
THE STARS: 75 percent of the decade’s young Hollywood stalwarts known as The Brat Pack(save for Anthony Michael Hall and Molly Ringwald) plus the future TV Sally McCoy of the Hatfield-McCoy feud Mare Winningham. You’ll also get prime Andie McDowell as the doctor of Charlie Sheen‘s brother’s dreams. That last sentence alone makes for good comedy in itself.
THE PLOT: After our seven semi-heroes graduate college (pictured above) they deal with nearly two hours of handling immediate life after graduation. Rob Lowe does Rob Lowe things and rocks the Chuck Taylors while eventually working at a gas station before coming to the aid of drug endeared Demi Moore. The Dorothy Hamill inspired haircut apparently works for Ally Sheedy as Capitol Hill working Judd Nelson wages war with camoflauge pants wearing Andrew McCarthy for her love. Sheen’s bro Emilio Estevez rides his bike in never ending pursuit of McDowell when not wearing bow ties and tending bar at the movie’s title location. In other words….star studded 80’s movie going from the beginnings of graduation day to the endings of lecturing at a bus depot.
THE THEME SONG: I saw this music video for years on MTV and heard this song for years on local Indianapolis area radio. Hence it gets mentioned. Also for fun- a link to John Parr’s website. Dude will be rocking with Foreigner this summer. Good for dude.
FITZTHOUGHTS ON SAID MOVIE: A proud staple of my VHS tape collection and yet another reason for me to enjoy Demi Moore because she’s Demi Moore. (Sure that sentence would go over well in conversation with the former Mrs. Bruce Willis). Main thing with the movie is that this is the best example I can think of when looking for a movie that has an all-star ensemble cast of the Hollywood icons from my youth. Anytime I have seen in on cable in the last 20 years or so…..everything else goes to the wayside. So the movie will always be on the list of all-time Fitzthoughts favorites. Probably best to leave it at that.
FITZTHOUGHTSBLOG RATING: 4 out of 4.
Best wishes to all for a good rest of the week as we approach the blog’s 100th post.
Not much time this week due to that term paper thing, so going back to an old post from two years ago for a quick recap of a movie featuring a pre-Jenny Craig version of Kirstie Alley:
THE MOVIE: Summer School
THE YEAR: 1987
THE STARS: Alley takes second billing as the love interest to current CBS icon Mark Harmon as the former UCLA quarterback turned acting great leads a cast that includes two other future CBS sitcom mainstays in Courtney Thorne-Smith (Two and a Half Man) and her semi-namesake Shawnee Smith(Becker). So 14 year old me at least approved of the female casting.
THE PLOT: Matinee idol turned teacher Harmon wants to enjoy a Hawaiian summer vacation yet finds he needs to teach summer school to some non-Ivy League caliber students or else lose tenure. (Thanks to Wikipediafor reminding me the plot came via a character played by ageless Carl Reiner winning the lottery and saying adios to the educational profession). And of course Alley (taking the role before beginning her starring role in Cheers) is there for additional eye candy and assistance to Harmon in the film. Add in a few students apparently led by a couple of dudes that lecture non-stop about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and your hour and a half of viewing is set.
THE LOCATION: I thought the film location school setting looked familiar, and thanks to our friends at IMDb I was actually right as they used the same place for The Karate Kid and one of the Nightmare on Elm Street films.
FITZTHOUGHTS ON A MOVIE RENTED BACK IN EARLY 1988: The old Silver Screen Video store in semi-scenic Noblesville would always have these big posters advertising the next big video release. Hence one night I rolled in there and saw this posterbefore remembering the good looking woman on Cheers was named Kirstie Alley…and that made the decision an easy one since I was both easily amused and liked watching Alley on Thursday nights because I didn’t have much of a social life back then (or come to think of it now…..oops). Basically the film was worth watching for said hour and a half and proved to be one that was decently entertaining. Easy one to recommend as well as an excellent example of 80’s fashion at its peak.
Fitzthoughtsblog rating as a good film to rent: 3 OUT OF 4.
On to the term paper. Back next week with another review-thanks to any and all who may read these and best wishes for a good month of May.