VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

Clio: 4.4/5 stars, 8.4/10.
Carolyn: 3/5 stars, 7/10.
Native ratings: 3.8/5 stars Netflix, 7.2/10 IMDB.

We watched a few flashback movies this week, and this was the one we watched right after Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I thought it was quite comparable to Ferris Bueller, but for some reason, Carolyn disagreed.

Carolyn’s thinking was more along the lines that this movie was alright, but that not much happened plotwise. “It wasn’t particularly hilarious… It was decent, though.”

Basically, it was about one year in high school.  It follows kids around from the first day of school through the last day of school/graduation dance.  You have the hot senior who struggles with finding a good job, you have his sophomore sister struggling to lose her virginity, you have her friend who is dating an older guy, you have the guy who likes the sophomore but is too shy to make a move, you have his best friend who ends up sleeping with the sophomore, and then you have a stoner surfer dude who is barely related to the rest of the cast but is just thrown in so you can have a stoner surfer dude.  And the hardass teacher who just wants to get his class to learn American History, but thinks everyone is on dope.
There were conflicts (losing virginity, dealing with jerks who don’t call after you put out, other jerks who desert you when you need them, best friends sleeping with the girl you like, abortion, getting the girl, etc).
From the director of Clueless, and the writer of Vanilla Sky & Singles. David Lynch was the studio-chosen director, but he didn’t want to do a comedy.
With Sean Penn (Milk, 21 Grams), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Weeds, Road To Perdition, eXistenZ, The Hudsucker Proxy, Single White Female), Judge Reinhold (Stripes, Gremlins, Swing Vote, Arrested Development, he’the Honorable Judge Reinhold in both Arrested Development and Clerks:TAS), Robert Romanus (hey, he was his character from this movie, “Mike Damone”, in one episode of Family Guy! Other than that, he was in American Pie 7: The Book Of Love). Mr. Hand went on to be the only actor to reprise his role in the short-lived 7-episode “Fast Times” TV series.
AND NIC CAGE! NIC CAGE’S FIRST-EVER MOVIE! He has no speaking lines (except in the TV-only version) and is on-screen for only a few seconds. He is credited as Nicolas Coppola.

3 of the actors won Oscars for Best Actor in later movies.

Bonus points for featuring a copy of Artchur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End book, 14 clips of old-school videogames, and epilogues for the main characters’ ultimate fate after the movie ended. Unlike Carolyn, I think this was a great stoner high school comedy.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083929/combined

VIDEO: MOVIES: REVIEW: Stripes (1981)

3/5 stars, 7/10 from both of us.
Native rating: 3.8/5 Netflix, 6.8/10 IMDB.

This is a classic I had seen several times as a kid, but never watched as an adult.

From the director of Ghostbusters 1-2, Meatballs, Kindergarten Cop, and My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and writers that also wrote on Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Metaballs, Analyze This/That, The Pink Panther remake and Year One.

With an absolutely stellar cast:

Bill Murray,
Harold Ramis (Heavy Metal, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Airheads, As Good As It Gets, High Fidelity, Knocked Up, Walk Hard, Year One),
Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch),
P.J. Soles (Rock And Roll High School, Joysticks, The Devil’s Rejects, Jawbreaker, Halloween, Carrie, Breaking Away),
Sean Young (Blade Runner, Dune, Fatal Instinct),
John Candy (RIP) (Spaceballs, Little Shop Of Horrors, Hot To Trot, Home Alone, Brewster’s Millions, Canadian Bacon, Heavy Metal, Planes, Trains & Automobiles),
John Diehl (Escape From New York, Joysticks),
John Voldstad (the other brother Darryl from Newheart, Joysticks),
John Larroquette (Night Court, Boston Legal), Judge Reinhold.

Basically, you watch this movie for the performance of everyone involved.

The actual plot isn’t super-stellar: Bill Murray is a loser who breaks rules, so he joins the army with another loser friend. Basic training hilarity ensues, then they end up actually going into actual battle under the strangest of circumstances.

The comedy never stops, but at the same time, it’s not the most hilarious, cutting-edge, modern, relevant comedy.

Strangely — this was originally going to be a Cheech & Chong movie, but C&C’s agent fucked it up for them. Too bad about that.

LINK URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083131/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1