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Movies to the Max
by Jeff Lurie

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Top Notch Entertainment

Top Notch Entertainment
A group of friends get together; they are down and out and try to figure out a way to make money. They decide to fix up an old house and throw a big party " cue the music video montage " everyone hammering, stripping wood, getting paint on one another, new carpets put in, new lighting, and a lot of eye rolling and laughing all set to a Casio keyboard inspired soundtrack. If you are feeling like you have seen this all before then you must be a fan of movies from the 1980's.

Will there ever be an animal like 80's films again? With their sex crazed males always asking the eternal question of “will I ever get laid?” and the females done up like they are going to some debutante ball always rejecting these “loser', wanting nothing to do with them. The generation I grew up in was raised on movies such as these. It was not until later that we found out that when you want to chase a girl, fix a house, train to fight, etc. there are no music video montages, you actually have to do each painstaking step.

I recently watched the classic 80's movie “GOTCHA!” with Anthony Edwards and Linda Fiorentino. The movie's opening sequence alone would never pass for
The underdogs always win

The underdogs always win
reality in this day and age, although back in those innocent totally tubular days it did. The opening (music video montage of course) is of Anthony Edwards with blonde feathered hair (was there any other kind?) chasing his “foe' around campus with a paint gun that looks exactly like a real gun discharging ammunition through a sea of coed's. Instead of these coed's screaming for their lives they simply look at Edwards or go about their business and the guy who gets shot with the paint splatter has an “oh you!” facial expression. This goes on for about seven full minutes. Each time Edwards hits his targeted enemy he says “gotcha!” Each time! It is laugh out loud fun, but back then I found it to be not only believable but very, very cool.

The story, although original, is pretty typical 80's fare: Edwards talks his parents into letting him go on a class trip to Europe which they reluctantly say yes to. Next thing you know Edwards and his buddy are getting off a plane in Paris. We never quite see the other classmates. Also the hotel they are staying in is far beyond what you would think a youth hostile or a struggling college student would be staying in.
A teenagers boy's dream

A teenagers boy's dream
Their first order of European endeavors? You guessed it: girls. Edward's macho friend strikes out but Edwards finds a sexy European cougar that devours him to the delight of every 13 year old boy who happens to be watching the movie on HBO in his parent's basement at midnight " but I digress. Then the 80's formula has its twist " in this movie he finds out she is a spy. In others " she is the quarterback's girlfriend (REVENGE OF THE NERDS), a hooker with an angry pimp (RISKY BUSINESS) or as Marty McFly found out, his future Mom (BACK TO THE FUTURE.)

80's movies were about the underdog, the vulnerable guy who just wanted to be loved (and laid) but wanted to make sure to do it the right way and with honor. The bad guy always was punished, and the girl was always the prize. In the 00's thanks to writers such as Judd Apatow instead of the underdog we have the every guy like in the movies KNOCKED UP and SUPERBAD. The every guy and the underdog are like distant cousins of one another. The every guy is the hopeless shiftless lay about that sort of falls into a situation who never thought they would be in that situation but just shrugs it off and deals with it. Oh
Classics of the 80s

Classics of the 80s
yes, and they to would like to be laid - this seems to be part of the hereditary hierarchy of this breed. I feel that the success of this new strain of movies is only due to the previous successes of their 1980's predecessors. Without Louis Skolnick in REVENGE OF THE NERDS you do not have Andy Stitzer in THE FORTY YEAR OLD VIRGIN, without Mikey Walsh in GOONIES you do not have Sam Witwicky in TRANSFORMERS and of course without Mr. Thornton Melon in BACK TO SCHOOL you do not have Frank the Tank in OLD SCHOOL.

Simply put 80's movies were fun, took themselves really seriously (see: ST. ELMO'S FIRE) and always had some sort of lesson, even if that lesson was to go to Europe and find hot older women. Each generation is affected by the time that it lives through; each individual takes away at least a bit of what is being presented as popular culture to the masses. Therefore if you see a guy walking down the street wearing Ray Ban sunglasses, a t-shirt and a sports coat, or an orange vest, blue jeans and chasing a DeLorean, you might as well just leave these “old-timer' alone, they are just trying to look “rad” and possibly searching for a girl, that or 1.21 gigawatts.

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Pop Goes The Culture
Every other Saturday

A little corner of the world where you get to read my rants and raves on the world of entertainment. Lucky you.


Other Columns
Other columns by Jeff Lurie:

So Long Silver Screen

Idol Idiocracy

The Celluloid Footprint

Villainy Vitality

Celebrity Skin


Jeff Lurie
Skye enjoys telling people that while he rarely wears underwear, when he does it is usually something rare and exotic. Inspired by scaring circus clowns and random 80's movies, Skye has always had a passion for writing and the world of entertainment. He hopes that through his writing he will in turn inspire others or at the very least propel them into a life of mopping adult coin operated booths.


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If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Jeff Lurie by clicking here.


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