My Top Ten Bill Paxton Movies

I was sad to hear of the death of Bill Paxton over the weekend. He has such an impressive movie resume! It’s funny how, even though he was only in very small roles at first, he still managed to be in so many beloved, kick-ass classics. Especially numbers one & two on my list… AWESOME films! It’s great that he ended up in bigger roles in things such as Twister & Apollo 13 but I’ll always first think of him as the lovably annoying Hudson in Aliens and as the hilarious asshole brother Chet in Weird Science.

I honestly thought I’d already done a Bill Paxton Top Ten list in the past as he’s been in several of my favorite movies but it looks like I never did. As always, I’ve ranked these in order from my least favorite to favorite movie as opposed to character role. So, in his memory, here are My Top Ten Bill Paxton Movies (counting down from 16 to include everything I’ve seen):

16. True Lies
15. Mighty Joe Young
14. Nightcrawler
13. Frailty
12. The Last Supper (but need to re-watch & refresh my memory, really)
11. Near Dark (also need to re-watch)

TOP TEN:

10. Commando

9. Twister

8. Streets Of Fire

7. Apollo 13

6. Predator 2

5. Titanic

4. Edge Of Tomorrow

3. Weird Science

2. The Terminator

1. Aliens

Seen But Don’t Remember:
Stripes
Indian Summer
U-571

Never Saw:
Navy Seals (Can you believe that, with my Michael Biehn crush??)
Brain Dead (I like the sound of this one…)
Tombstone
Boxing Helena
The Evening Star
A Simple Plan
Haywire
2 Guns

Finally, I think most people my age know that Bill Paxton directed & starred in the bizarre Barnes And Barnes “short film” video for the song Fish Heads.

In looking up his film credits, I noticed he was also in two other music videos. Love the Pat Benatar video for Shadows Of The Night! I’d forgotten about that video. I miss the “story” videos of the Eighties. Anyway – watch out for Paxton in a small role as a WWII baddie in that video. Also, he starred in New Order’s Touched By The Hand Of God, which I must admit I’d never seen. What a great, eclectic career. Bill Paxton will be missed.

R.I.P. William “Bill” Paxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017)

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My Top Ten Hats In Movies

I’ve been lazy with these Top Ten Lists lately so it’s time to make a bit of an effort again. Here are My Top Ten Hats In Movies.

This is a pretty simple list & not exactly as creative as My Top Ten Carpets & Rugs In Movies but, thanks to discussing this one with my husband, he came up with the most creative answer (in the below Honorable Mentions). Other than that, I don’t think there are many big surprises – I’ve gone with some very well-known & iconic hats. I’ve also included one helmet but have drawn the line at full face masks, etc (so I’m not including things like Darth Vader’s helmet – that would open a huge can of worms).

As ALWAYS, these are my own personal favorites as opposed to what I think are “the best”. I like what I like. 🙂 But it means that some big ones will of course be left out. Feel free to add any more you can think of in the comments!

Here are My Top Ten Hats In Movies:

10. The Babadook in The Babadook

9. TIE: The Wicked Witch Of The West in The Wizard Of Oz & The Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter films

8. Mei Kusakabe in My Neighbor Totoro

7. Pvt J.T. “Joker” Davis in Full Metal Jacket

6. Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia

5. All those hats in The Prestige

4. The bras on the heads in Weird Science

3. Wayne Campbell in Wayne’s World 1 & 2

2. Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp in various films

1. Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones trilogy (& that other one…)

**Honorable Mentions:**

Woody & Jessie in the Toy Story films

Freddy Krueger in the A Nightmare On Elm Street films

The Mad Hatter in Alice In Wonderland

Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory

Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange

Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins

Bonnie Parker in Bonnie & Clyde

And, finally…

Bonnie Rayburn’s ass in City Slickers

(Okay – I better include the quote for those who haven’t seen City Slickers. Which everyone should see, by the way!! Love it.) 😉

Bonnie Rayburn: [walking by] Good night! I’m going to bed.
Mitch Robbins: [smiling widely at her] Good night! Sleep tight.
[Bonnie smiles and waves]
Ed Furillo: [to Mitch] That was flirting.
Mitch Robbins: No, that was… politeness. That was “have a pleasant and restful evening.”
Ed Furillo: No, that was “I like your ass. Can I wear it as a hat?”

And, yes, I’ve left A LOT of hats out of my Top Ten. For the record, I did think of these…

Lawrence Of Arabia, Curious George’s man in the yellow hat, Dumbledore, V for Vendetta, Fargo, The Blues Brothers, Gandalf, The Mask, The Joker, Maleficent, Magneto, Audrey Hepburn’s various stylish hats, Elf, The Three Amigos, Dread Pirate Roberts, The Scarecrow & The Tin Man in The Wizard Of Oz, The Smurfs, Clint Eastwood in various Westerns, Fred Astaire in Top Hat, The Cat In The Hat, Oddjob’s bowler hat in James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Santa Claus in various films, Singin’ In The Rain, The Wild Ones, Jack Sparrow, Abraham Lincoln in various films, Robin Hood, Crocodile Dundee, The Seven Dwarfs, Rambo, John Wayne in various Westerns, The Pink Panther, Princess Mononoke, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Logray’s pig hat & Wicket’s balaclava

Now there’s really no other way to end this post than with the Tom Jones You Can Leave Your Hat On clip from The Full Monty: 🙂

Weird Science Star Ilan Mitchell-Smith Talks Babes, Bullies, And Bras, 30 Years Later

Ilan Mitchell-Smith was definitely one of my nerd-crushes when I first watched Weird Science. Who doesn’t love a cute nerd? He was the type of boy you could imagine actually dating, unlike some hot Chris Hemsworth-type. Give me the cute nerd instead! (Well, okay – I wouldn’t say no to Chris Hemsworth). 😉

You can read an interview with the now 46-year-old professor of medieval studies here: Uproxx. And you can read the review I did of the movie with Eric of The IPC for my big John Hughes Blogathon here: Weird Science Double Take. And here’s Ilan Mitchell-Smith now. He’s still quite nerdy-cute!

Taking It Easy On The Blogging:

I’ll be sharing these sort of movie “tidbits” a bit more often again as I’m needing a small blogging break. The IMDB guest reviews have dried up (after this coming Tuesday) and I don’t want to commit to any sort of regular schedule for anything. My main priorities will be reviewing current movies that I go to in the cinema & my top ten lists but I may not do them every week. We’ll see! I just want the blog to take more of a backseat to other things in my life. I’ll read other blogs when I’m able to but my rule to keep life simple is this: as long as a post is still in the app’s Reader when I have time to do some reading, I’ll read it. My Reader shows about a day & a half worth of posts from blogs that I follow. But I’ll do my best to keep up with what’s in the Reader and hopefully won’t miss too many posts from my favorite blogs. 🙂 

So the schedule I’m going to half-heartedly follow through Christmas is this:

Mondays & WednesdaysRandom news about things I like, such as today’s post, and movie or book reviews when I have time to do them. 

Tuesdays: IMDB reviews from guests if I receive any or from myself if I can be arsed. I can’t be arsed lately. 😉 But I’ve watched & not yet reviewed quite a few so I should attempt some! 

Thursdays: Top Ten lists. I’ll stay fairly regular with this as I have tons of ideas ready but may skip some weeks if time is short. 

Fridays: Music Video Friday. I’m keeping this up even though no one looks at these posts because a) I enjoy these posts and admit that I’m selfishly doing them for my own amusement and b) they’re super quick & easy to put together! Which is cool as I’m totally lazy. 

Sorry – this isn’t some trying-to-get-attention thing… I’m just explaining that my appearance on the blogs may be somewhat sporadic. I’m trying to achieve the right balance with real life. But I’ve realized, finally, that this blog is a part of my life now so I’m cutting back a little to keep me actually enjoying doing it. If that makes sense. Oh, I never make sense anyway. 

Here’s Oingo Boingo! 🙂 That’s a good band name. Shit, I think I forgot to include that in My Top Ten Band Names… (I’m more annoyed that I forgot Scritti Politti):

John Hughes Movie Art: How To Posters

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By artist Steve Thomas. Here’s Weird Science & The Breakfast Club – you can see these & a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off one at the following link: The Art Of Steve Thomas

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**Check out my post “Working With Numpties: Episode 1” HERE.

This is an awesome blog! Have you ever wanted to have a moan about stupid people?? Get your frustrations out on this blog! Anyone can join in. For more info, go talk to THIS GUY. 🙂

Weird Science (1985) Guest Review

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Today’s review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Kieron of What About The Twinkie?. Thanks for being a part of this, Kieron! This is the first time we’re getting a multiple review of something (but there will be plenty more – including several for Sixteen Candles!). If you want to see what Eric & I thought of this one, you can click HERE. But first let’s hear Kieron’s thoughts on Weird Science. 🙂

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Director: John Hughes Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith & Kelly LeBrock Synopsis: “Two nerdish boys attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.” Runtime: 94 minutes Rating: 12

“We need more input. We gotta fill this thing up with data. We gotta make her as real as possible, Wyatt. I want her to live. I want her to breathe. I want her to aerobicise.”

Weird Science is a movie I fell in love with not as a child or a teenager, but as an adult. As I must confess that I only saw the movie for the first time about 6 years on a VoD service when I needed something to cheer me up. The movie was released in 1985, which meant I was only a 1 year old at the time of its release, but unlike some of John Hughes’ other efforts such as Home Alone, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club, which I did watch growing up, Weird Science took its time in gaining my attention.

I’m not entirely sure how or why I missed out on Weird Science growing up, because looking at it now it had everything I could have wanted in a movie when I was younger. Two nerdish boys, who somewhat reflected my own time at school, goofy special effects, some brilliantly funny jokes and a smoking hot woman in the form of Kelly LeBrock all make up a delightfully silly movie about two nerds who create their perfect woman.

The premise is the best kind of nonsense, as two highschool nerds, Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), decide one Friday night, after watching Frankenstein on the TV nonetheless, that they are going to create something of their own. After hacking into a government computer network, for more power, and then connecting a barbie doll to Wyatt’s computer a lightning bolt strikes which causes all sorts of mayhem only for Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) to emerge from the carnage.

The science behind Weird Science is pure 80’s nonsense. I doubt anyone seriously believed any of this was at all possible, especially at a time when technology was really only just finding its feet. Still, it’s this kind of loopy science fiction that gave many an 80’s movie its charm, and charm is something that Weird Science has by the bucket load.

Once the initial three leads are set up, the story moves quickly, as our protagonists move from staying in watching movies on a Friday night to bar crawling their way through the city as Lisa encourages them to let loose and have some fun for a change. Lisa is the kind of creation that can somehow manipulate environments and seemingly create things at will, as she has to make fake ID’s for our two heroes in order for them to be able to drink, drive and drink and drive legally.

Hughes makes the clever decision to focus on the characters and not so much on the plot here. The plot is established quickly, leaving the endearing charm of the three main characters to hold things together. Anthony Michael Hall, starring in his third Hughes directed movie by this point, gets some of the best lines in the movie and really excels in a bar scene explaining to his new friends how the girl “with the big titties” broke his heart. While Mitchell-Smith plays the straight guy who has to be the foil to Gary and his own older brother Chet, played by Bill Paxton.

Both Michael Hall and Mitchell-Smith are charming in their roles despite being the school nerds. They are ably supported by a superb cast who, despite limited screentime for some, manage to leave their mark on a movie that could easily have forgotten about them (see what I did there?). Robert Downey Jr. makes an early career appearance as one of the bullies who continually picks on Wyatt and Gary and then stupidly believes he has a chance with Lisa. Vernon Wells essentially makes an appearance as the same character he played in Mad Max 2, which further adds to the bizarre elements of the movie. While the previously mentioned Paxton plays Wyatt’s hardass military brother, who likes to give Wyatt a hard time throughout the movie, but pays for it when he encounters Lisa late on and who gives him more than he bargained for. When asking him to keep quiet about the movies events, she exclaims: “I can be a real serious bitch, if I don’t get what I want!”

Kelly LeBrock threatens to steal the show several times throughout the movie, getting some great lines and delivering them with a poise that makes her character even more likeable. On the John Hughes documentary, Don’t You Forget About Me, LeBrock admits to her character being “Mary Poppins with breasts” and in all honesty she is correct. Despite being sexy, she is never there for sex or to really pleasure the boys in any way, but more to give them a guiding hand and teach them a thing or two about self confidence. She is the emotional core of the movie, loving the boys, nurturing them and sticking up for them when they either can’t or won’t.

That is Hughes’ greatest strength here, as he directs a movie that is so daft in principal, that he manages to make a character piece about two teenage boys growing up being bullied and laughed at throughout their entire school life, or being told they will amount to no good from their overbearing parents. To then find the self confidence to break out of their shells and and become more than they thought they could. The struggles of teenage life are apparent in many of his efforts, particularly his earlier movies, and they remain here too. Despite the special effects and nonsense science, Weird Science is simply a, very funny story of two teenage boys encountering things for the first time in their lives. From drink, to women, cars to fights a simple tale exists of two boys growing up.

In summary: A fine effort from Hughes, with a young cast on top form, Weird Science is a superior piece of 80’s nostalgia that still stands up today.

Weird Science (1985) Review At The IPC

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The John Hughes Blogathon reviews officially kick off now with my double review of Weird Science with Eric of The IPC. You can read what we both think of the film HERE.

I posted yesterday about how much the John Hughes films mean to me and why I’m doing this blogathon. It blew my mind a little when I found out that Eric, who is about the same age as me, didn’t watch most of the teen John Hughes movies back when we were teenagers. What?! So he kindly agreed to watch & review several Hughes films for this blogathon. Thanks again, Eric, for watching movies I know aren’t your normal type of thing and for inspiring me to finally do my own blogathon. 🙂

And stay tuned for a review later today from a guest blogger reviewing another classic teen movie from Hughes.

My Top Ten John Hughes Movies

Been meaning for ages to do my top ten list of movies from 80s teen comedy genius John Hughes. I’ve been thoroughly annoyed (that is, extremely pissed off) ever since hearing a few weeks ago about the plan to remake Weird Science. Honestly, Hollywood, come up with some original ideas instead of destroying one of the best things about my teenage years – John Hughes movies. Just come up with some original ideas overall! Enough with the remakes!!!

Anyway, here are my Top Ten John Hughes movies in order starting with my favorite:

1. The Breakfast Club

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2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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3. Sixteen Candles

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4. Weird Science

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5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

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6. Pretty In Pink

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7. Home Alone

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8. Uncle Buck

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9. Some Kind Of Wonderful

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10. Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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And my favorite John Hughes creation: Jake Ryan. Ruined boyfriends for me for life, though. 😉

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My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

Ever since I reviewed John Carpenter’s The Ward & happened to mention the shower scene with Amber Heard, I see variations of the search term “Amber Heard shower scene” bringing someone to my blog on a daily basis. Pervs! So, screw it – I’ll make a list! Here are my top ten movie shower (or bath) scenes starting with the best:

1. Psycho

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Obviously.

2. Hardware

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Such an underrated cult classic! I never know anyone who has seen this movie. And the shower scene is awesome with one of the BEST movie songs ever – The Order Of Death by Public Image Limited.

3. Carrie

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Dirty Pillows!

4. American Beauty

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“This will be the high point of my day: It’s all downhill from here.”

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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“I recall Central Park in fall.”

6. Weird Science

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“If you ever get the chance, shower with them. I did. Mmm, it’s a mindscrambler. Hurts so good.”

7. A Nightmare On Elm Street

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One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…

8. The Shining

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All work & no play makes Jack make-out with creepy dead woman.

8. It

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Argh! Pennywise! Creepy f@#king clown!!! I don’t even want this damn picture on my blog!

10. Blade

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Cool bloodbath (well, more like bloodSHOWER) club scene. Set to the tune of the Pump Panel remix of New Order’s Confusion.

Honorable Mentions:
Slither
Arachnophobia
Fatal Attraction
What Lies Beneath
Pleasantville
Porky’s
Pretty Woman
The Big Lebowski
Stoker

For the guys:
Starship Troopers (I hate this movie)

Words to bring the pervs in: Hot, Steamy, Sexy, Naked, Boobies. Lol! They’ll be disappointed – my list isn’t very hot or steamy. 😉

Here’s Amber Heard wet in the shower in The Ward:

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Hardware shower scene with Public Image Ltd song The Order Of Death:

This Week’s Movie Quote

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Lisa: You know, there’s going to be sex, drugs, rock-n-roll… chips, dips, chains, whips… You know, your basic high school orgy type of thing. I mean, uh, I’m not talking candlewax on the nipples, or witchcraft or anything like that, no, no, no. Just a couple of hundred kids running around in their underwear, acting like complete animals.

Weird Science (1985)