Sunday, December 30, 2007

80s kids movies - they just can't make them anymore!

bloglag: 2 years

E.T. was on the other night, and it ran on every single TV in our house. It was funny. I came up the stairs and heard some strange gargling sounds and immediately recognised it. I have seen it THAT OFTEN!
Abi, Charlie and I giggled our way through all the silly things we never noticed in the film: e.g. why the scientists are wearing space suits, why they sound like Darth Vader ("I am your father!", we cried in unison) why one of them, when they come over the hill, carries a glow stick ("his pager called him and he had to come straight from a club", Abi suggested), why they come through the window, why the toy train goes off when the scientists break into the house, how they managed to turn the house into a lab in the space of about 30 mins ("flat pack labs from IKEA", Abi suggested) and why Elliott's brother, when he finds ET in a creek, tries to camouflage him with a white sheet.
"It was the 80s", I said defensively. "Back then, we didn't question things."

Anyways, ET will always be one of my favourite films. Along with The Neverending Story. The tears I have shed!

There is a charm about 80s movies that could never be reproduced in the following decades. Today everything is CGI shit, there seems to be a lot less love put into the work. They had less to work with back then, and had to put in a lot more effort to get results, but somehow it made it worthwhile. Did you know that the tortoise in The Neverending Story cost about 1 million dollars to make, and most of the characters were created from some latex material that would actually disintegrate in daylight (which is why the displays in the Bavaria Film Studios are literally kept in the dark). Today it would be a pure CGI creature that would probably bear a striking similarity to the mummy (which seems to have become the template bad guy for a lot of films – The Fog remake, The Boogeyman, I am Legend, don’t get me going on that shit).

What happened to models?

There was an imperfection to it that actually gave it the special something that seems to be lacking in today’s blockbusters, because they are too bloody perfect.
Remember the old Sinbad films and the way the creatures moved? Ray Harryhausen is a genius! Man, it creeped the hell out of me, but it was amazing.

Anyways, here is a list of 80s films that you need to buy for your kids, and watch yourself, if you haven’t already done so.

The Quest/ Frog Dreaming
Flight of the Navigator
Space Camp (a bunch of kids go to a space training camp and accidentally get shot into space where they have to make their own way back... not likely, but who cares!)
Camp Cucamonga (oh the 80s fashion, and 80s hip hop, and all the old child stars in there that raise the question of what ever happened to them? Well, Chad Allen is a gay icon *sad sigh* and Candace Cameron is the sister of Growing Pains heartthrob-cum-born again fundie Kirk Cameron)
The Goonies
The Journey of Nattie Gann
Lost Boys
Project X
Breakfast Club (or any brat pack movie – you haven’t lived the 80s without those!)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (teenage legend and messiah, he is what everyone wanted to be as a teenager, and he had a band named after him – Save Ferris. Plus, amazing for enlarging your quotes repertoire. Anyone? ... Bueller? Bueller?)
Joey/Making Contact (A bit like Poltergeist meets ET: Hitler-lookalike ventroquist’s doll going apeshit in a little boy’s world)
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (I rest my case.)
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey
Weird Science (we were all disappointed to find out that the internet doesn’t actually work like that, but it’s still a great film!)
A Christmas Story
Poltergeist (if anything, it will teach your kids not to sit too close to the telly)
The Gate
Jim Henson’s Storyteller (a series, but amazing nonetheless)

Only a small selection but a good place to start.
Just trust me on this one.

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