Tuesday, May 31, 2011

25 Years Ago This Month: June 1986

Four of the year's top ten films opened in June.

Let's start with Ferris Bueller's Day Off, an absolute favorite of mine (along with all things John Hughes) when I was growing up. It doesn't matter what Matthew Broderick does with his career, he will always be Ferris Bueller singing "Twist and Shout" on a Chicago parade float. When Alan Ruck turned up in Speed in 1994 and then on the comedy series "Spin City" I could only see Cameron Frye. I don't care how much soft porn Mia Sara does, she will forever be embedded in my psyche as Sloane Petersen. And no matter how many teenage boys Jeffrey Jones coerces into posing nude for photos, he will remain, always and forever, Principal Edward Rooney.

Back to School was a seminal comedy for lots of boys my age, but I never connected with it. I guess the problem is that I never thought Rodney Dangerfield was funny.

Now who can argue against The Karate Kid II and the "Glory of Love?" Daniel-san gets the chance to travel to Okinawa with Mr. Miyagi where he'll fall in love with a meek Japanese girl, get his ass kicked by someone much bigger and stronger than him, but in the end he'll return the favor in a showdown that somehow involves everyone in the audience making noise with some kind of Japanese baby rattle.

Then Ruthless People starring Judge Reinhold, Bette Midler and Danny DeVito about a man who can't stand his wife and hires a young struggling couple to kidnap her, somehow raked in more than $70 million to finish ninth for the year on the box office list. Just by comparison, for the last five years the number 9 films have been 3 animated features that grossed around $220 million and the last two Bond films each grossing around $170 million. Ruthless People was that f-ing popular?

On the nearly forgotten list (except to people of my generation perhaps) you'll find Spacecamp starring a very young Joaquin (then known as Leaf) Phoenix who gets accidentally launched into space along with Kate Capshaw, Tate Donovan, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston and Lamar from Revenge of the Nerds.

Hmmm...Arnold Schwarzenegger in a movie called Raw Deal which has a totally incomprehensible plot summary. Don't think I'll be visiting that film anytime soon.

The Manhattan Project might be the most underrated film from this month. It's about a teenager who breaks into the government lab where his mother's boyfriend (John Lithgow) works and steals plutonium to build a homemade atomic bomb for a science fair. Look for a young Cynthia Nixon as the kid's love interest.

Doing respectable box office business was Ivan Reitman's lawyer comedy Legal Eagles starring Robert Redford and Debra Winger. Don't know much about it. I had no interest when I was a kid.

Oh boy! Look at this! Invaders from Mars opened 25 years ago. How many times did I watch that awful movie on television? This is a remake of a 1950s sci-fi film about a boy trying to stop an alien invasion that take control of his parents and other adults in his life. It's the perfect metaphor for how a misunderstood child views authority. They MUST be from another world to be so mean!

Now Labyrinth - there was a movie! First of all it stars the lovely Jennifer Connelly, who I always wished could have been MY babysitter. And it's got David Bowie as the weird king of this fantasy land that Connelly has to navigate to retrieve little baby Toby. Scattered throughout are wonderful and amazing creatures from the mind of writer-director Jim Henson.

In non-movie news:

8th - So proud of their favorite son, Adolf Hitler, Austria elects Nazi Kurt Waldheim president. Way to go, Austria!!
17th - Warren Burger resigns as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Reagan nominates Antonin Scalia, who has been inflicting his conservatism on us ever since.
29th - Argentina defeats West Germany 3-2 to win the World Cup.

3rd - Happy birthday to Rafa Nadal, champion tennis player.
11th - Shia LaBeouf
13th - Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (those twins from "Full House")
25th - Charlie Davies, American soccer player who missed out on last year's World Cup for a serious car accident the previous September.

13th - Benny Goodman

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