Thursday, February 2, 2012

25 Years Ago This Month: February 1987

Paul Schrader's misfire but well-intentioned Light of Day starred Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett as sibling rockers trying to get their band off the ground to the detriment of Jett's young son. Gena Rowlands played their mother. Michael McKean also starred as a member of their band. This was Fox's first attempt to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor even before Bright Lights, Big City and Casualties of War.


Judd Nelson starred in From the Hip, which the New York Times called a "one-joke comedy" and Roger Ebert said was "as accurate about the law as Raiders of the Lost Ark was about anthropology and Dumbo was about flight." What else should we expect from director Bob Clark who up to that point was best known for directing Porky's AND Porky's 2 and later went on to direct not on Baby Geniuses, but it's sequel. The man is no longer with us, so perhaps it's not polite to speak ill of him. But here's the interesting bit: it's David Kelley's first screenplay, written before he was involved in "L.A. Law" and his string of hit TV shows centered on law including "Ally McBeal" and "Private Practice.

After the dismal sequel to Nightmare on Elm Street two year's earlier, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors was released. It was still inferior to the first film, but sufficiently scary. They brought back Heather Langenkamp to reprise her role and it was Patricia Arquette's film debut. It was the top box office earner for the month.

Morgan Stewart's Coming Home starred Jon Cryer as a rich kid returned home from boarding school trying to reform his parents. Not worth your time, I assure you. I've seen it so you don't have to.

Probably the best movie of the month was the John Hughes penned Some Kind of Wonderful with Lea Thompson and Eric Stoltz. It's basically a retread of Hughes' much better Pretty in Pink about a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who falls for a rich girl. Social constraints won't allow her to have anything to do with him, but in trying to get back at her ex-boyfriend she decides to go on a date with him.

We were subjected to the horror of Mannequin, regrettably one of my earliest cinema-going experiences.

But the one movie that trumps all from this month has to be Sylvester Stallone in Over the Top, otherwise known as the movie about the guy who drives a truck and arm wrestles. That's pretty much it. That's the movie. And by winning the arm wrestling tournament he wins a nice shiny new truck. Awesome!

Historical Events
2nd and 11th - the Constitution of the Phillippines was ratified and went into effect on these two dates 25 years ago.

Births
1st - Giuseppe Rossi, an Italian-American with dual citizenship and raised in New Jersey who plays club football for Villarreal in Spain and chose to play for the Italian national team rather than the United States. Jerk!
2nd - FC Barcelona and Spanish national team player Gerard Piqué, also boyfriend to Shakira.
21st - Ashley Greene, who plays Alic Cullen in the Twilight film series.
21st - Ellen Page, star of Juno and Inception.

Deaths
4th - Liberace, aged 67 from AIDS related complications
22nd - Andy Warhol, aged 58 from complications following gallbladder surgery


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