Halloween 1 Through 6 Mini Movie Reviews

Happy Halloween! My final post today contains my thoughts on Halloween 1-6, which I rewatched throughout October.

Even though I’m an ’80s kid & always enjoyed watching horror on TV every October, I just never quite managed to see all of the Halloween movies. To be fair, we didn’t have it as easy as you whipper snappers! I had to sneak around & try to watch what I could late at night on TV. And my mom was certainly not going to be renting violent slasher flicks for me. Well, I would’ve been old enough to rent the 6th Halloween movie… But I was an Elm Street girl by then, so that’s what I spent my time watching in its entirety instead. And, after now finally watching all of the first “Halloween timeline” movies, it has confirmed what I already knew: I’m still definitely an Elm Street girl.

As for other slasher franchises from the same sort of era, I’ve seen even fewer of the Friday The 13th movies. Can’t even say for sure but I’ve seen the first two then maybe a few others but couldn’t tell you which ones. Well, okay – one was that Jason in space one. Ha! Fucking hell. And, of course, Freddy Vs Jason where I was Team Freddy. As for Child’s Play, I never saw beyond the first three but I have no interest as they look really bad. However, I actually enjoyed those films, cheesy as they are, more than what I’ve seen of the Friday The 13th movies. Maybe I’ll try to watch all of Friday The 13th someday but I’m in no rush, especially since refreshing my memory & finding out just how bad the Halloween sequels actually are.

I saw more of Halloween than I’d realised, though, I just didn’t remember much other than the first movie. And I’ve watched the first movie plenty – it’s in a completely different league from the sequels. I believe it was only 5 & 6 which I’d not seen at all. I have no energy to watch every Halloween movie, though. Look at this shit!:

Okay, so what I’ve watched is “The Loomis Timeline” (and Halloween III). There are actually only three others I’ve not seen now: Resurrection, Halloween Kills (I’ll watch it when it’s on services), and Rob Zombie’s Halloween II (which I will never watch as I hated his Halloween film with an absolute fucking passion. Almost as much as I hated the Elm Street remake! Dreadful).

So here are some brief thoughts on each of the “Loomis Timeline” movies. By the 4th but especially the 5th & 6th one I was getting bored & just typing out random thoughts while they were on so, screw it, I’ll just post all those ramblings.

Halloween (1978)

Directed By John Carpenter

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis (her name is Loomis?! – Oh, interesting… she changed it. It’s really Nancy Kyes), Nick Castle

My Opinion:

Oh, it looks like I took a few notes while watching this: Cop daughter dodgy acting, Great score, Michael drives so well!

What can I say about Halloween? I’m not going to do some full review of any of these. I’ll just say that this one is SO much better than the rest. As with most slasher franchises, obviously. But, wow – the sequels are pretty dodgy after such a strong start with this one.

As in my notes, “Cop daughter dodgy acting“, I don’t think I have to look this up to see if anyone won an Oscar. But who wants good acting in a slasher movie anyway?? Jamie Lee Curtis is still one of the best “final girls” and makes up for the other two girls who are only there to be horny & murdered anyway. And I know Donald Pleasence was a proper actor & all that but he hams it up more and more in each of these movies. But it’s all part of the fun in campy slashers, which is what these sort of become. I far prefer the mood of this first movie, though, which has a more simple story & decent atmosphere & doesn’t get too over the top or silly. I have my Elm Street movies for ones that have a sense of “fun” & loads of other ’80s horror if I want campy.

Not gonna lie, though, there’s one thing I love above everything else when it comes to this movie & it’s the score. Carpenter’s Halloween theme is an all-time classic. It’s a damn masterpiece. That’s why it gets used over & over in all of the sequels & is the one truly great thing in each of them. Love it! I’m convinced these movies wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it wasn’t for that theme. Because, quite frankly, Michael Myers kind of sucks. Am I allowed to say that?! Blasphemy! He’s okay in this one, though. I like that he’s this purely evil psycho from a young age and I really like the beginning of the film & the image at the end of this review. That’s all good. But the character gets more & more ridiculous as these sequels go on & that starts to get boring. And I like the passion & desperation from Loomis in this one to catch Michael (before he gets too over the top & becomes slightly demented Loomis in the sequels).

I don’t mean to sound negative, though – this movie is a horror classic. Think I’m just frustrated by the sequels! They just aren’t ones I watched over & over as a teenager when I wasn’t so snobby & picky, I guess. So I don’t have that nostalgic love like I have for the Elm Streets but the first Halloween is great.

My Rating: 8/10

Halloween II (1981)

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Dick Warlock

My Opinion:

Wow, I made two notes while watching this: Guy blowing up was funny, The sister plot!!

Okay – So is this when they made up the “Laurie is Michael’s sister” plot? Because that wasn’t in the first one, right?? That was a little silly. But, whatever – this movie wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I know I saw it years ago but didn’t remember anything other than “it’s not as good as the first one”. But at least it’s still Laurie/Jamie Lee, therefore it was far more enjoyable than the other sequels. I also like that it carries on immediately from where the first movie ends & there’s none of that “a number of years later” bullshit. I liked that some of the other sequels did that too (or did they all do that? Bloody hell – I just watched these & am already mixing 4, 5 & 6 all up in my mind!).

This was fine. I liked that it was still Laurie & Loomis. I liked that it was still horny people getting murdered while being horny. I liked the hospital setting. The ending was ridiculous & this is when it starts getting stupid that Michael just won’t fucking die but I know that’s the point of these slasher villains so I can’t exactly complain. But, come on – how the hell did Loomis survive?! Well, I suppose you don’t know that until number four, right?? Whatever. That’s okay. I’ll forgive some of the stupid stuff since this is the best of the sequels & at least Laurie is in it.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Halloween III: Season Of The Witch (1982)

Directed by Tommy Lee Wallace

Starring: Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelkin, Dan O’Herlihy, Nancy Kyes

My Opinion:

I made no notes while watching this. The hubby wanted to watch this one with me for some reason so I saw it last but knew it wouldn’t matter since it’s nothing to do with the Michael Myers story. I fell asleep & missed the end. I have to be honest – Watching this was a fucking chore. (I’ve still not finished it. I really should. I can’t be arsed).

Here’s what I remembered from seeing this one once as a teen: The jingle in the commercial & the masks. I can see why that’s all I remembered as those are the only things worth remembering. I gave this one a rating on Twitter already, though, and I think I was a bit too harsh. I’ll raise it by half a point as I love a horror anthology & like that they had the idea of doing these Halloween movies as unrelated individual stories. I wish they’d done that! I could live without the Michael Myers sequels. They’re better than THIS film but maybe they’d have made some really good movies if they’d continued with the anthology idea. And as far as the story goes, I think this movie has quite a good one! I like the story – it’s a clever idea. The Stonehenge connection is silly but, hey – Stonehenge is awesome & I love that place so that’s okay. The execution of the story just isn’t the greatest & the movie unfortunately comes across as very very bad film. But I can see why Film Twitter seems to love this one as it’s so unlike the Michael Myers Halloween films.

I wanted to like this. I thought I’d love it for some reason as I remembered liking that great jingle so much! Didn’t remember Tom Atkins being a dirty old perv. At least he finally asked that girl how old she was after sleeping with her once or twice. Ha! The ’80s. Gotta love ’em. Oh yeah – I meant to mention that I liked seeing a commercial on the TV in this movie for the first Halloween movie. Liked that they got that into this unrelated story.

My Rating: 5/10

Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

Directed by Dwight H. Little

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Ellie Cornell, Danielle Harris, Michael Pataki

My Opinion:

My notes while watching this: Dumb that Laurie is dead, How did both those fuckers survive blowing up?, I like the sister, I like the ending (but 5 fucking ruins that).

After watching 5 & 6, I decided that this one wasn’t horrible. I hated that Laurie was suddenly dead with some dumb story that she’d died in a car accident, leaving her daughter (brand new character Jamie Lloyd) an orphan. I hate when characters are just written out of a story like that.

I very vaguely remember seeing this but, again, remembered no specifics. I liked the character of Jamie Lloyd & liked her in this & movie five (another character ruined by a sequel, though – I wasn’t happy with movie six!). That’s right – I’ve looked this up & it’s ten years after the events of movie two & Michael has been in a coma that whole time, which is to be expected since he was burnt to a fucking crisp along with Loomis who somehow just has a partially scarred face. But Myers has woken up now in 1988 because they decided they wanted to make another Michael Myers Halloween movie after all.

This movie has a couple things going for it. As I said, I liked the character of Jamie Lloyd & I also liked her foster sister. They were “nice”. I know that seems stupid but I want to have a likeable character or two, even in slasher flicks. They had a good relationship & Jamie was very cute. And I liked it now focusing on a girl much younger than the teenage Laurie Strode. But the foster sister is a teenager so we still get some horny teens fucking before dying (not the foster sister, though – she’s the good girl! Her boyfriend is a cheating bastard). Also, I really liked the ending. Okay, it’s maybe a little predictable and just ending the way the first Halloween began but I liked that full circle thing. Then the fifth movie had to come along and fuck that good ending up…

My Rating: 6/10

Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers (1989)

Directed by Dominique Othenin-Girard

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Wendy Kaplan, Tamara Glynn

My Opinion:

Loads of notes while watching this (I was clearly getting bored), so here are my random thoughts:

– Is that how he thanks the guy who nursed him back to health?!

– Telepathic link is dumb

– Now she’s a step sister? Thought she was a foster sister in number 4.

– Did they have to kill the sister so soon?!

– So did the “step mom” survive??

– Loomis is demented & getting on my nerves

– Cartoon sound effects for the cops?! WTF?!?

– Jamie being a killer was cooler

– Michael sucks. He has no personality. I’m bored with him.

– I’ll say it again – Michael drives so well!

– No story to these – only 1 had a story

– Uncle! Hahaha. Heartwarming. Like Mando taking off his helmet for Grogu. Um… Why is he not burnt to a crisp?!

– Using her as bait? Loomis has lost the plot. A net?? That was a cartoon trick! Or Ewok trick. Get the net!

– Meandering

– He survived burning to a crisp but can’t handle a beating

– Who’s the guy with the boots?! I was paying no attention since I was bored.

Okay, that’s the end of my random thoughts. I think this was the first time I’ve ever seen this one. I’ll say this: It was annoying that they decided they didn’t want Jamie to be a cold-blooded killer after all. Boo!! But, oh well – at least we get likeable Jamie again. That was nice that they forgave her for stabbing her step mom, I guess. I was annoyed that they killed her nice step sister so quickly. As these movies were so similar, I keep messing them up in my mind. This then focused on her sister’s teenage friend instead, right, and Michael killing horny teens in a barn at a Halloween party? It’s really bad I can’t keep these straight when I’ve just watched them this month, for crying out loud. Oh yeah – I liked that this too picks up right from where number 4 ended. But!! Then Michael goes into another coma (what a pussy) and wakes up one year later to again terrorize Jamie. Guess the story needed time for her to be rehabilitated or whatever. And I was thoroughly confused by the ending because I think I wasn’t really paying attention but they cover that (sort of) in the final stupid Loomis Timeline movie anyway…

My Rating: 5.5/10

Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers (1995)

Directed by Joe Chappelle

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianne Hagan, Mitch Ryan

My Opinion:

Lots of random thoughts while watching this one too. At least I had cutie Paul Rudd to look at:

– Introducing Paul Stephen Rudd!

– Michael is slower than a fucking Romero zombie

– Michael Myers in space (what’s this note in relation to?! Oh, I think it was a radio caller? Is that where they got the Jason in space idea??).

– Shit, crazy Loomis is back

– Oh no, is cutie Paul Stephen Rudd bad?! (Later FYI – No, he wasn’t. Paul Rudd can’t be bad! He’s a sweetie!)

– This father is such an asshole – he better get killed by Michael!

– FYI – the mother is from the ’80s classic Better Off Dead… I’d recommend that over this movie…

– Is Loomis’s (Loomis’? Loomises?!) face not at all burned anymore?!

– Paul Stephen Rudd is blathering on about the Druids or some shit. Makes me want to listen to Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge. (Later FYI – wasn’t Stonehenge in the Halloween III plot? A link!!)

– Glad Paul Rudd got better at acting. He’s adorable in this, though.

– God, I was already out of high school when this came out. Maybe that’s why I never watched this one? Although I don’t think I saw number 5 either. Anyway – man, I’m so old. 😦 Almost as old as Paul Rudd! Although he looks much younger than me. But he looks younger than everyone…

– This just turned into Rosemary’s Baby. But, like, a bad Rosemary’s Baby.

– Wasn’t Jamie, like, 8ish in the fifth movie? And this is six years later & she had a baby?

– Oh shit – it’s over. I wasn’t paying much attention at the end there. What did I miss???

– What is this grunge music? Aww, how ’90s…

That’s the end of my random thoughts. This movie is the worst of these (not counting the unrelated Halloween III). I should rate it lower than number 5 as it’s definitely worse but I think I’ve upped the rating for adorable Paul Rudd. I also liked that he’s actually the character Tommy Doyle, who Laurie was babysitting in the first film, so that was a nice link. But I hated what they did with Jamie Lloyd’s character (what a waste!). Think I hated that even more than the Laurie Strode car accident write-off. Plus, um… Was she raped? Do they really explain all that? She’s actually kidnapped by this cult that, like, worships Michael Myers or some shit at the end of movie five so did they keep her those whole six years then impregnate her? Gross. She was really young in movie five – how was she of child bearing age only six years later anyway?

I admit that at one point I wanted more of an explanation as to why Myers was evil & also unable to be killed but I’ve changed my mind after this movie and its talk of Druids and some dumb curse & whatever other bullshit they were spouting. Dumb. Now I want to go back to the simplicity of the story in the first Halloween. He’s just evil. Sometimes that’s all the explanation you need.

In the movie’s defence, though, it sounds like there’s a better version. Maybe the story in that isn’t as much of an incoherent mess. From Wikipedia:

After the film’s home media release, the original workprint of the film, which featured 45 minutes of alternative footage and a different ending, was discovered by fans of the series. This version, dubbed The Producer’s Cut, developed a cult following, with bootleg DVD copies sold on eBay and online petitions targeting for an official release of it. In 2014, the Producer’s Cut was officially released on Blu-ray.

Well. I’ve rambled enough. This was a disappointing end to the Loomis Timeline but at least it gave us Paul Stephen Rudd.

My Rating: 5.5/10

Bloodsport (1988) Review

Bloodsport (1988)

Directed by Newt Arnold

Story by Sheldon Lettich

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton, Forest Whitaker, Bolo Yeung

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
“Bloodsport” follows Frank Dux, an American martial artist serving in the military, who decides to leave the army to compete in a martial arts tournament in Hong Kong where fights to the death can occur.

My Opinion:

Yeah! Bloodsport!! This is where my rating system is confusing to people (maybe?!). This movie is terrible. But I’m giving it a 7.5, about the same as my recent ratings for Promising Young Woman & Swallow, both of which I really enjoyed & thought were good. I’ve not yet reviewed these but I’m giving two absolute worthy classics that I watched this past month a 7.5 as well (Battleship Potemkin & The Innocents). Why?! I don’t know. I just rate on a combination of a) how much I enjoyed a movie (this is the first & most important), and then b) if it’s a “good” or worthy film. I gave Mank a 7/10. I didn’t enjoy that one at all, really, but I know it’s “good” so I gave it a 7 to be nice. But I had a hell of a lot more fun watching Bloodsport!

First of all, shockingly as I grew up in the ’80s and adore that decade & love everything from it, this is the first & only Jean-Claude Van Damme movie I’ve seen. I just always avoided him & Steven Seagal as their movies looked rubbish. I mean, we had Sylvester Stallone & especially Arnold Schwarzenegger at the time making some damn good movies, so why would I want to watch bad action movies? Well, I suppose Van Damme & Seagal were a bit later & more into the ’90s but you know what I mean. I just didn’t see the point of watching their shit. Plus Van Damme had a terrible mullet in later movies. He was kind of a cutie in this early film, though. And, wow – that ASS! I’m fine with the only nudity in this being male nudity. What a butt! (Why can’t I find a decent image of that butt to post here?! Found a nice gif, though. May have watched that a few times…)

I think it actually helped that I watched this for the first time in 2021, so I thoroughly enjoyed the absolute ’80s fucking cheese of this. So I felt nostalgic whereas I probably would have just thought this was bad if I’d watched it in 1988 when it came out. And it actually looks & feels more like an early ’80s movie, not late ’80s when movies started to get a little bland (that’s a good thing – the early ’80s feel works for this martial arts genre). The early & late ’80s were a lot different as there was a spillover of the groovy ’70s at first. I suppose it made this feel a tiny bit closer to the ’70s masterpiece Enter The Dragon. Not that I’m comparing them, exactly – I just don’t have much experience in the martial arts film genre so am going to think of the very few others I’ve seen plus a bunch of people come together to fight “to the possible death” in both movies. But Enter The Dragon is awesome and a classic (8.5/10 – I loved it AND thought it was actually good).

Van Damme is good in this, I guess. He’s great at the martial arts stuff, at least. Right? I don’t know. What do I know? I’m a wuss & know no martial arts. He’s maybe not so great at the acting stuff but no one watches this kind of movie for Oscar worthy performances. And I loved his friend in this (Jackson, played by Donald Gibb, the big dude who played Ogre in Revenge Of The Nerds). He was funny & super likeable in a big dumb doofus sort of way. And Van Damme’s training at the start of the movie was hilariously silly. There’s a thing he’s made to do where you just KNOW he’s gonna have to use it at the end of the film. How convenient! Ha! Well, there are a few things he learned while training which came in super handy at the end (those splits!). And why on Earth did the young version of Van Damme look nothing whatsoever like him plus he sounded weird (was there odd dubbing or ADR or some shit – I dunno, I know nothing about this stuff either!).

So, back to the splits… Van Damme does those painful looking splits so many times in this thing. First time was funny as hell while tied up to trees and the final time was way up high overlooking everything because, yeah, who wouldn’t want to sit there on painful stone doing painful splits while getting massive vertigo? Here’s what I’m talking about:

Actually, I just looked up “Bloodsport splits” for an image and there were so many from this movie that I’m just gonna go ahead & stick them all in here. Love it!

I guess that’s impressive, though. Ouch! All I can say is THIS:

As I’m an idiot who knows nothing about this stuff I’ll say that I did read about the film & it’s based on some guy’s “true story”. So I don’t want to go dumping on the movie too much. But I’m a little concerned now & thinking that there are huge underground death-matches going on for real! Is this a thing?!? Well, the real guy is Frank Dux & his claims are disputed. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it: “According to Dux, a ninjutsu expert named Senzo Tanaka trained him as a ninja when he was a teenager. He established his own school of ninjutsu called Dux Ryu Ninjutsu, and has said he won a secret martial arts tournament called the Kumite in 1975. His alleged victory at the Kumite served as the inspiration for the 1988 film Bloodsport starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Dux’s victory at the Kumite has been disputed, as has the existence of both the Kumite he described and Senzo Tanaka.

Well. I kind of loved this movie? Or, at least, I loved watching it. As I tried to watch a lot of dreary & depressing Oscar nominees the past few months, it was nice to just relax and have good giggles over a fun ’80s movie. Oh, and there’s lots of fighting in this too if you like that kind of thing! Nice – I didn’t even mention the actual fighting in this “fight to the death” film! Whatever. I’m a girl. I was distracted by his butt. The fighting was great. I do actually love these fights. I think I might actually like these martial arts films?? I’ve now seen this, Enter The Dragon, Fist Of Fury & Ip Man (now THAT is a damn good film). Fun! I like. What martial arts film should I watch next?

My Rating: 7.5/10

Oh, let’s end this post with this amazing backwards kick thingy he used on this dude.

Paperhouse (1988) Review

IMG_6922.JPG

Paperhouse (1988)

Directed by Bernard Rose

Based the novel Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr

Starring:
Charlotte Burke
Glenne Headly
Elliott Spiers
Ben Cross

Running time: 92 minutes

Plot Summary: (via IMDB)
Anna is becoming lost in the loneliness of her own world when she discovers she can visit another, a house she has drawn herself and occupied by a young disabled boy. But as she discovers more of the links between her fantasy world and the mundane present, she is drawn only deeper into a dream turning into a nightmare.

IMG_7787.JPG

My Opinion:

Well, what a strange little movie this was! I’m not quite sure what to think of it. If I’d have seen this as a 12 or 13-year-old, I think I’d have loved it. It’s very much the weird sort of dark fantasy/slightly scary kind of thing I always loved (my favorite TV show from a very young age was The Twilight Zone). Too bad I missed out on this one, probably because it’s an obscure British film. I caught this on the Horror Channel a few months ago and it’s a shame that the quality was sooo AWFUL. Just like when I watched the movie Popcorn, it was harder to fully enjoy because of that. I thought the story was great, though. Like all the other movies I’ve reviewed this week, this was based on a novel (Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr). I know nothing about it but imagine it’s a good read and, again, am sure I’d have loved it as a pre-teen. I bet the few now-grown-up kids who saw this in 1988 would be like “Oh, wow – I remember that movie!”. There are certainly some scenes that would stay with you if you’d seen it at a young age and a couple that were kind of “borderline” on the horror and violence so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone younger than 12 or 13. When looking this up, I saw that it’s from the same director (Bernard Rose) who later went on to make Candyman. A lot of reviews compare this movie to Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, which is kind of a fair comparison although Paperhouse is certainly less horrific. It’s just a bit “eerie” and slightly unsettling. It also reminded me in a small way of things like Labyrinth and Mirrormask, two other movies that involve young teens living in their own fantasy worlds.

IMG_7784.JPG

IMG_7792.JPG

In Paperhouse, an 11-year-old girl is home recovering from an illness when she draws a house which she soon starts visiting in her dreams. She finds she can add to this world by drawing more of the picture but things soon turn sinister in her dream world. I was a little confused by the sudden turn of events having to do her father and am not sure what the meaning of that was meant to be. I enjoyed it because I like to see films that are a bit “different” but it’s not one I put much thought into afterwards. The movie doesn’t go out if its way to explain things and I suppose you could interpret her dream world in different ways. I’m curious about the book now and if it goes into more detail or if, like the movie, it’s up to you to decide what it all means. It’s certainly not a film for everyone and it’s hard to know if I’d recommend it to anyone. Hmm. Oh! I know who might like it! Laura – I think you’d be interested in checking this one out. πŸ™‚

IMG_7783.JPG

IMG_7782.JPG

Summary:

An odd film that, I think, is aimed at a pre to mid-teen audience. I really liked the central story of a young girl living in an eerie fantasy world that she’s created in her drawings and the relationship she forms with the boy she meets in this world. Everything is dark and grey and dreary and I’m not entirely sure if that’s down to the horrible quality of the version I saw or if it’s just because, well, it’s set in England (Ha! No, I’m actually not joking – you wouldn’t believe how sunless & dreary it is here). It helps sets the tone & mood of the film, though, and makes it feel like more of a “horror” film than it actually is. I’m really not sure how to rate this one… In some ways, I found it great and very refreshing as it’s so unusual and I love to get a break from your typical mainstream types of movies sometimes. However, I don’t know if it’s exactly a “good” film. It feels very low budget & 80’s (not negative things in my book) and… I don’t know! Seriously – I have no clue what to rate this one. Brian is going to yell at me for my confusing ratings again if he reads this. I actually had this movie on my to-watch list for YEARS after reading about it a very very long time ago and liking the sound of it. I’m very glad I managed to finally see it & it’s one that will stay with me as the story and visuals were so unique. It may not be the best film I’ve seen this year but it’s one of the most memorable. I appreciate its creativity.

My Rating: 6.5/10

IMG_7781.JPG

By the way – Thanks to everyone for all your wonderful comments on my blog this week! I don’t get much time to reply to anyone during the week – I’ll catch up with you all this weekend! πŸ™‚

CPD Classics: Big (1988) Review

20140115-112540 pm.jpg
A note before I start the review:

Since starting this blog, I’ve only reviewed movies I’ve just recently watched instead of attempting to review old favorites of mine. This felt too difficult for me as I’m not always great with words & feel like I won’t do these movies justice. I’ll attempt to do very SHORT reviews (probably on Fridays) where I talk briefly about what I like about some of my favorite films or films I think deserve a bit more recognition than they get (be warned: there will probably be a lot of 80’s movies because of my age). In most cases, I won’t be re-watching them as I know them so well. I’m starting with Big as I did re-watch that recently.

Big (1988)

Directed by Penny Marshall

Starring:
Tom Hanks
David Moscow
Elizabeth Perkins
Robert Loggia
John Heard
Jared Rushton
Jon Lovitz
Mercedes Ruehl

Running time: 104 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
12-year-old Josh Baskin makes a wish to be “big” on an old carnival fortune telling machine after he’s embarrassed in front of a girl he likes when he’s told he’s too short for a ride. To his surprise, he wakes up the next morning as a 30-year-old man.

20140115-112656 pm.jpg
Why It’s A CPD Classic:

I was in my early teens when this came out & remember going to it in a group with several relatives as it was such a hugely successful family film at the time. I feel like there are very few “family” films like Big these days. Nowadays it would star an Adam Sandler-type instead of someone like Tom Hanks and the humor would be so dumbed down and immature that only the youngest members in the audience would enjoy it while they’d throw in an occasional “dirty” joke to try to entertain the bored adults. The family would walk away from the film (after it’s predictably sentimental ending) with maybe the kids thinking it was okay but the adults just glad that they got to rest for a couple hours while their kids were entertained.

20140115-112748 pm.jpg
Big appeals to everyone between the ages of 8 and 108. I liked it as a (moody) early teen, my mom liked it, my aunt liked it, my grandma liked it. Everyone liked it in 1988, right? It was a nicer time. The film is wholesome without being annoyingly so (I mean, there’s even some PG boobies-in-bra action). Tom Hanks is on top form as a 12-year-old stuck in the body of a 30-year-old and I can’t imagine anyone else nailing that role the way he did. He’s brilliant and totally believable. We don’t get a bunch of stupid high jinks – we get a young boy who at first is very scared then slowly starts to do his best to adjust to his new life as an adult. We never forget that he’s 12, though, even as we see him mature after getting his first job and “girl”friend – Hanks plays the role perfectly from start to finish. And how loveable was he as we watched this “big kid” playing with toys & spending his paychecks on all the stupid things a 12-year-old boy would and getting the pretty but uptight female co-worker to loosen up & jump on his trampoline?? And then there’s the big piano scene! You have to love Hanks & Robert Loggia dancing on the big piano and playing Heart & Soul. If you don’t love that, I want to hear from you in the comments below! That scene is an all-time classic.

20140115-112823 pm.jpg
Big is a heartwarming coming-of-age comedy with a character who behaves in a very realistic way to an unrealistic situation. We never forget that we’re watching a 12-year-old boy and the movie doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. It appeals to all ages by telling a simple story in a simple way and having a lot of heart and soul. That’s why it’s a CPD Classic.

My Rating: 8/10

20140115-112912 pm.jpg