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“Take Me Home Tonight”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Did you ever wish you could relive the ‘80s? Well, at least the late ‘80s? How about the first weekend of September in 1988? While we’re at it, did you ever wish that you could have a roly-poly best friend/sidekick, kind of like Curtis Armstrong… You know, Booger from those Revenge of the Nerds movies? You have!? Well guess what!? You’re in luck, because that’s exactly the weekend and type of buddy you’re going to get in the new movie Take Me Home Tonight! Wow, that’s weird! I mean, what are the odds of you wanting to see a movie that’s based on the exact weekend I was just telling you to think of? Pretty heavy stuff, huh?

In Take Me Home Tonight, Topher Grace plays Matt, a recent graduate of MIT that finds himself hiding from the real world as a Suncoast Video employee. Which is a great way to hide from the real world fresh out of college, I should know, I was a Suncoast manager straight out of college myself. Joined by his twin sister Wendy, played by Anna Faris, and his afore mentioned Boogeresque best friend Barry, played by Dan Fogler, the trio seem to have but just one last weekend to celebrate their ill spent youth. For some reason, this Labor Day weekend in 1988 is the last chance they’ll ever have to do it. I’m not really sure why, but let’s just go with it. And, it also seems more like life after high school, but it’s not, so don’t get confused. Add to the mix the return of Matt’s secret high school crush, played by Teresa Palmer, and you’ve got the makings of… Okay, it’s starting to sound like I didn’t like this movie at all, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I actually really liked it! I mean sure it’s got its share of plot holes, and maybe it is a John Hughes high school movie that actually lets its actors play their real age for once, but overall it’s still really a good movie. Man, that still sounds like sarcasm!

All kidding aside, Take Me Home Tonight is a pretty good movie. Most retro ‘80s movies are made just so the filmmakers can take a bunch of potshots at banana clips and leg warmers, but this movie is more like a period piece. Okay, that might be pushing it, but it does feel that way. Topher Grace does a nice job of grounding the movie, even when the night’s events get a little wild, and the subject of not knowing what you ultimately want to do with your life can speak to just about everyone these days. Overall, I had fun watching it and would gladly see it again. I don’t think it’s going to become a classic by any means, but it will take you back.

Rating:


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“Hot Tub Time Machine”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Seriously, how can a movie called Hot Tub Time Machine not be good? From the first time I saw the trailer, to the very moment I was convinced it wasn’t a joke, I was completely hooked. And why wouldn’t I be? Any movie with John Cusack, the 80’s, and skiing, is a sure fire winner in my book. The fact that they managed to work in the “I want my two dollars” line, and an obscure Manimal reference, is just icing on the cake. I for one am so glad that movies like this can still get made. Original movies are so far and few between these days, with remakes and based on source material movies, that it’s nice that Hollywood still takes a chance every once in awhile. I think Hot Tub Time Machine has The Hangover to thank for its release, but whatever the reason I’m just glad that this movie got to see the light of day.

In Hot Tub Time Machine, four friends, who are disappointed with the way their lives have turned out, spend a weekend at their old high school ski trip stomping grounds, which much like their lives, is nowhere near as sweet as they remember it being. But, that all changes when a simple mishap with a hot tub, transports them back to 1986. This could be the ultimate mulligan, or the biggest slap in the face, as they have to relive the very events that change their lives in the first place. It’s a lot of fun, but if you’re looking for any logic in this movie you’ve completely missed the point. This isn’t one of those time travel movies that covers all their quantum bases. But, why would it? It’s called Hot Tub Time Machine! It’s not like it was written by Carl Sagan. If you don’t know who that is, maybe you should Lougle it. Look, it’s about a hot tub that travels in time. Just enjoy it for what it is. The one thing I wasn’t expecting at all from this movie was it’s sincere moments; and there were a few, which was a nice surprise. It also manages to raise the age old question, how many ways could a man loose his arm? It might not happen the way you think, but the waiting is the hardest part. Overall, Hot Tub Time Machine is just a fun ride that doesn’t ever try to be something it’s not. Having grownup with a health diet of 80’s films doesn’t hurt either.

Rating:


“The Lost Boys”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, with all these Lost Boys reviews, I figure it was only fair to re-watch the original. Now, I haven’t seen The Lost Boys in at least 15 years, if not longer, and I’m sad to say it doesn’t quite hold up. It’s not that it’s a bad movie; it just isn’t the movie you remember. But, for those of you that might not remember, let’s recap shall we.
When the Emerson family moves to Santa Carla, California to live with their grandfather, the last thing they ever thought they’d have to adjust to was vampires. Sam Emerson, played by Corey Haim, stumbles upon a comic shop, and the Frog brothers. Edger and Alan Frog are not only horror comic experts, but also the town’s first defense against the town’s vampire infestation. Watching Corey Feldman play Edger Frog, back in 1987, just makes you realize that Feldman has always been trying too hard to act. Was Feldman really so big in the late 80’s, that no one could have told him that a 15 year old boy does not talk like a Vietnam vet that smokes four packets a day? But, let’s get back to those pesky vampires. Michael Emerson, played by Jason Patric… What’s that? No, Michael Emerson is the character’s name. No, it has nothing to do with the Emmy award winning actor Michael Emerson from LOST. I think it’s just a coincidence. Can I get back to the review now? Okay, thanks. Like I was saying, Michael, whose last name just happens to be Emerson, makes the classic 80’s mistake of making eyes at the lead vampire’s girl. He quickly gets mixed up in the wrong crowd, drinks the head vampire’s blood, eats some maggots, and slowly starts to turn into a vampire. When Sam discovers his brother is becoming a blood sucker, it’s up to him and the Frog brothers to find and kill the head vampire, before Michael makes his first kill.
As with most movies you grew up with, this one doesn’t quite playback as bad assed as you may remember, but one thing is for sure, Kiefer Sutherland’s mullet is scarier than his bite. The pacing in the original movie is much better than that of Lost Boys: The Tribe. I think the whole point of The Lost Boys, is what would you do if you found out that vampires are real, and your brother was becoming one? The movie really isn’t about the vampires. I think when they made the sequel, all they wanted to do is show bad ass vampires, but if they hadn’t sacrificed the story they would have had a shot at a good movie. If you haven’t seen The Lost Boys in a long time and love the way you remember it, I would suggest replaying the memory, and skipping the rental.

Rating:

3 Little People



DVD Special Features:

I didn’t get to watch any of the special features yet, but I will at some point. I’ll post an update hopefully in the near future.

“Lost Boys: The Tribe”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Hey, remember that great 80’s movie The Lost Boys? Yeah, well this ain’t it. Actually, it’s the exact opposite. No really, the exact opposite. You know how in the first movie the older brother turns into a vampire? Yeah, well in this one, it’s the younger sister. It doesn’t stop there. Remember how the original film focused on Michael’s slow transformation into a vampire, and Sam’s realization of that fact? Yeah, well in this one, you drink the head vampire’s blood one night, and you’re one of the tribe the next. I just realized, I’m getting a little ahead of myself; let’s just start over.
It’s been 21 years since we last visited Santa Carla, California, but surprisingly their vampire population is still going strong. Only now I guess they’re surfers. I don’t know. I stopped looking for the sense in these kind of movies years ago. There is still one familiar face in Santa Carla, and that would be Corey Feldman’s Edgar Frog, not that he remains untouched by the update. Instead of working at his parents’ comic book shop, Edgar is now a surfboard shaper… Of course, that makes total sense. Having been a comic book nerd that becomes a full-time vampire hunter, why wouldn’t he take up surfing as a hobby? Did anyone even try to write a decent story for this movie? As many of you may already know, Corey Haim was going to be in this movie as well, but on the account of his being a… What’s the word? Disaster? They ultimately ended up cutting his performance out completely. Really, how screwed up do you have to be, to make Corey Feldman look like he’s the one that has his shit together? (We’ll talk more about that in the special features section.) I would go more in depth with the plot, if there was one. Look, I’m all for a good sequel. A good sequel. But the thing that I don’t get, is how so many sequels always seem to get it wrong. I mean half the work is already done for you. The characters and story setups are already in place. All you have to do is come up with an original new place to take them; or in this case, new characters to inhabit an already existing world. It’s really not that hard. But once again, instead of coming up with something new, Hollywood just flips the original story and repackages it, and somehow seems to think we won’t realize what they’ve done. It’s the same movie, you idiots! If I wanted to watch The Lost Boys, I would have rented The Lost Boys! Oh wait, I guess I sort of did. Only this version seems to be a sucky bizarro version of the one I remember. Word of advice; if you do rent The Lost Boys make sure Kiefer Sutherland is in it, and not his half-brother Angus Sutherland. You’ll thank me.

Rating:

1 Little People



DVD Special Features:

  • Lost Boys: The Tribe – Action Junkies

This is just a behind the scenes look at the totally tubular extreme action, dudes! I thought this movie took place in 2008?!

  • Edgar Frog’s Guide to Coming Back Alive

This is an interview with Corey Feldman, in character as Edgar Frog, raspy voice and all. However, he doesn’t really stay in character the whole time, and it also feels like no one ever really asked him to be in character. It seems like they went into Feldman’s trailer to interview him about being in the movie, and this is what they got. I could be wrong, but this is Feldman we’re talking about.

  • Alternate Endings

Yeah, endings plural. They all pretty much have to do with Corey Haim’s inability to perform in the movie, forcing the production to work around him, which is kind of too bad. I sort of liked where they wanted to go with this story arch. But, it’s still no excuse for making a shitty sequel. The alternate endings also deal with Edgar’s brother, Alan Frog, once again being played by Jamison Newlander from the first film. Here’s where you got it wrong, once again Hollywood, this isn’t the end of the sequel! This should be the beginning of the sequel!

Uh, okay.

  • 3 Yeah Whatever Music Videos

That’s not me making fun of them. The groups name is Yeah Whatever, which is perfect, because that’s how I feel about this feature.

I was at least hoping for a commentary that talked about all the drama dealing with the two Coreys during production, but I guess this is the best they could do.

DVD Special Feature Rating:

0.5 Little People