Well, it Used To Be Awesome…
Posted on Friday July 27, 2007, 11:52 by Ross Bennett in Empire States
A few Sundays ago I had consumed breakfast (two episodes of The West Wing) and lunch (a further four episodes of The West Wing), when a friend texted me a fervent instruction to turn on Channel 5 “now!” Being the loyal pup that I am, I did as I was told, only to be immediately flung back to the late 1980s. Yes, the opening credits were rolling on Short Circuit 2 and that wide-eyed feeling of unfettered excitement only an nine year-old can experience came flooding back…but not for long.
Bobbins. What utter Bobbins. Granted, it wasn’t as if the infuriating robot Johnny 5 and his terribly-attired supporting cast made a very good film in the first place, but I seem to remember enjoying Number 5’s endless page-flicking noises and soundbyte-speak at least as much as Flight Of The Navigator or, at a push, Batteries Not Included. No, Short Circuit 2 has aged about as well as Julian Glover at the end of The Last Crusade. Of course, I don’t expect these old personal faves to re-appear as bona-fide classics – just pleasant, enjoyable and certainly bearable. I saw The Rocketeer not that long ago, and found it retained a satisfying charm, a fun cast (Timothy Dalton, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin) and a really cool helmet. But, by the end of this 2007 viewing of SC2, I wanted to rip the odious tank-tracked twerp’s eye-shutters off and shove them straight up his CPU (I’ve seen he’s on Ebay…I have an axe, hmmm). Perhaps returning to the sequel was a foolish idea. I seem to remember the original featured a clumsy dance sequence and Steve Guttenberg in a truck – sublime stuff indeed.
With another early movie memory forever tainted by this unfortunate later viewing, it came to my attention this is probably happening to film fans everywhere. So, in no particular order, here are 5 childhood favourites I foolishly thought might re-ignite the flames of youth, and which (somewhat predictably) failed to do so.
Masters Of The Universe has, of course, never been considered.
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Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:38
how the hell did ghostbusters II fail to 're-ignite the flames of youth'?
You have no soul Ross.
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:47
Nostalgia, it isn't as good as it used to be, is it?
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:53
I agree with you on the Explorers; I was sure they spent a lot more time in space and that they did more then have a little chat with an alien who seems to be the Jar Jar of the Eighties.
Still like Teen Wolf and Ghostbusters II, but that's mainly cos of their soundtracks; 'Win in the end' and 'On our own' are the balls!
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 19:53
I like The West Wing.
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:04
Still re-watch Labyrinth with my kids, you can see all the joins in the puppets and effects work, but it's still terrifically inventive and good fun. On the other hand I got about 20mins into The Goonies and had to turn off. All those revolting kids screaming at each other!
Posted on Tuesday August 7, 2007, 20:15
Johnny-5 is ALIVE! Or, as it appears, dead in the water. Did you not feel even a wee pin-prick of a tear when his battery fluid leaked out and you thought he was dead?
Anyways, one childhood film that stands up brilliantly has to be Karate Kid, still retaining the fun and dream-fufilment of the average ten year-old but adding layers of quite dark material that flew over this boy's head first time around.
AND it's got Elisabeth Shue in it!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 00:10
The Phantom Menace - Having not seen the original trilogy at the time and being only 14 years of age, I thought this was everything I needed from a scniece-fiction movie. Now I'm in my twenties, it has aged, certainly by having the knowledge of the Empire Strikes Back geniusness (a favourite word of mine) burned on my retinas.
The Deer Hunter - The roulette sequences are still tense, but they were sweaty palms inducing back in the days. My love for Vietnam films has now jumped towards Apocalypse Now Redux. Yes, Redux is the better version.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 09:38
Ghostbusters II was always crap. Always. The boys battle a scary painting. Wow. Big stuff. yawn....
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:00
You must have watched the wrong films as an eighties child Ross. I can confirm The Princess Bride, Big Trouble in Little China (it is a kids film), Return to Oz, The Ice Pirates, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Tron, Flash Gordon and Evil Dead 2 (?) have all stood up against the sands of time rather well. Haven't they?
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 13:21
I'd just like to say that your breakfast (2 West Wing Eps) and lunch (4 WW Eps) was a fine choice indeed!
As for Ghostbusters II, my appreciaton of the film has actually gone up since I first saw it in 1989. I was 14, and when I came out of that movie I was gutted! Awful! Fighting a very unscary old fart in a painting? Walking the statue of liberty walk through manhattan? WHAT?! I didn't watch it again until around 2002 where I thought it was hilarious and I could just about get past the statue of liberty ending. Er, Just.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 14:14
Space Camp is awesome...sure its so cheesy you can smell the stilton but its a lot of fun...okay, you know why i like it! Am i the only person who still likes Ghostbusters 2? On the other hand, i never liked either Short Circut film.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 14:52
Ghostbusters II has always been attacked by critics - That's one of my favourite films from my youth!
How about films you grew up with, that still float your movie loving boat?)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Back To The Future
Hook (I know im going to get stick for that one but I can take it)
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 14:53
PS - Amelie - I still like Ghostbusters II - you're not alone!
Although you're probably not going to want to take my side after reading my Hook comment
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 14:59
You mean, my good children's memories!
The Lion King
Starship Troopers (can't believe my parents let me watch that at the age of 14)
Armageddon and The Rock (I loved destruction)
Twister and Dante's peak (see, I clearly love it)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
This list can go on for a pretty long time... Twister and Dante's Peak are clearly not that good, but seeing them when I was young made some sort of bond which makes those two my favourite disaster movies. Maybe I should be sheering for global warming. Too bad Pierce Brosnan won't sing 'Row your boat' for me while drowning.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:01
I've recently been watching some 80s classics - well, Flight of the Navigator and the original Short Circuit - and I was pleasantly surprised how well they'd aged. The special effects in both were still quite impressive, especially the chrome ship in Navigator. They had a sense of wit and invetion absent from a lot of films nowadays, and didn't (really) sugarcoat issues or pander to their audience. Ok, they're cheesy and not always funny, and Fisher Stevens is just plain dodgy, but on the whole I was very, very impressed.
And I won't hear a bad word about Ghostbusters II! How can you not love the slime?!
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 15:19
Film from my youth range from The Goonies (classic although I have to agree with one of the other comments, the kids are a little loud for my liking these days).
Back to the Future (that film will never diminish in my eyes).
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (I still have a tradition of watching that DVD in bed if I pull a sickie because I'm obviously too chicken to join a parade in case I get spotted).
Better Off Dead (John Cusack showing good early career form, although disappointing film overall when compared to my memory of it).
The Sure Thing (Cusack again and this time the film doesn't disappoint against memory).
Obviously I've never grown out of watching Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark but that's to be expected.
Posted on Wednesday August 8, 2007, 21:31
I've thought about this a lot. Since Jaws kicked it all off, the 80s were probably the very best decade for family orientated blockbusters. These films didn't have CGI, but had good stories, performances, wit and inventiveness in bucketloads. I mean come on, who in 20 years time is going to get all nostalgic for Transformers like they do about Back to the Future or Indiana Jones?
When are the Hollywood studios going to remember just how important a decent script is for crying out loud?
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 00:53
I don't think Hollywood only now started making bad movies. The films you mention are classics, hardly comparable to Transformers. Just like we forgot about all bad movie experiences from the 80ies, a lot of current films will diffuse into oblivion (let's hope so).
There are still classics these days. Don't forget LOTR, The Bourne Films, Children of Men, The Departed,... These are the ones that kids these days will think fondly of in 20 years time. They will probably linger back to the good old days of the early 21st century. Well, just like in the 80ies, there are good and bad movies. The onces we saw at a young age just remind us of a happier, worryless time in our life. No film made now will ever improve or even recreate that feeling.
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 08:55
Since when has nine hours of walking to a fucking volcano ever been regarded as a classic?
(ducks and covers)
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 09:57
As much as I like the LOTR movies, I do agree with Clownfoot - they are over-rated and not very accessible as, say, the Star Wars movies - but I really don't want to get into the argument that will plague movie fans for the rest of time (LOTR or Star Wars: which is the better movie series)
The movies made these days are so disposable, they wont hold as well as the clasics of the 80's movies (Goonies / Back to the future et al)
The over-reliance on CGI is cinemas downfall in this day and age, there is barely any originality anymore - and please, hollywood, stop with the sequels already (except Indiana Jones of course, but then we aren't expecting bucketfuls of CGI with this movie)
PS The Jedi can kick the hobbits hairy @sses from here to Mount Doom and back any day of the week. Case closed. Let the backlash begin!
Posted on Thursday August 9, 2007, 19:23
I'm right there with you. I was flickering through and saw going to be on. I called my girlfriend and told her what greatness it was and how I used to love it.....and then it started and never in my life have I been so ashamed.
My impecable movie taste has been shattered.
the ageless stranger
Posted on Friday August 10, 2007, 12:26
I honestly didn't think anyone else had actually seen Millennium. I loved that when I was younger, I'll have to see if it can stand up to a re-watch now....
Posted on Friday August 10, 2007, 15:14
Sadly, I can report that Neverending story is nowhere near as good as you remember. Don't even think about spoiling your memories of it.
And there's no way the redux is the better version.
Posted on Friday August 10, 2007, 18:43
Ghostbusters 2, while obviously no match for the original, does have slightly more appeal than SC2 -- even as a child I can remember a certain amount of misplaced frustration (rage) with Johnny 5.
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey -- loved it at the time, but now? It's the original or nothing. Keanu Reeves still can't act, but he got away with it better back then.
Posted on Saturday August 11, 2007, 17:25
Explorers - I still like this a lot. I love the idea of building your own UFO. Especially now that their computer looks so huge and silly.
Teen Wolf - Isn't this in the so bad it's good category?
Millenium - Never seen this one had to search IMDB to try and remind myself. I have a vague recollection of the trailer from a rented video of some kind.
Ghostbusters II - One of my all time favourites! How can you even suggest this isn't any good.
Space Camp - Still fun much like Explorers in the whole wish fulfillment kind of way.
Posted on Sunday August 12, 2007, 17:33
Flight if the Navigator has to be a favourite. I bought it on DVD the other day for, I think, £3. Bargain.
I think I rember Short Circuit being better than the Short Circuit 2, but it's been so long since I've seen any of them that I can't actually remember. They were probably both rubbish.
The Monster Squad anyone?
Posted on Monday August 13, 2007, 08:08
Go and watch D.A.R.Y.L. You will be ten again before you know it.
Posted on Monday August 13, 2007, 10:03
Man I'd forgotten Space Camp! I used to fancy the pants of the girl in that.
But the ultimate... it was on last week... Smokey & The Bandit! That is still probably the best movie ever made. Loved it as a kid, and still love it now. But now I can actually drive, so excuse me whilst I go and search Ebay for a black Trans-Am.
Posted on Monday August 13, 2007, 20:56
Is it just me, or is Wayne's World slightly less funny when watching as a 'grown up'?
The Goonies, Back to the Future and Raiders (Best film ever) will forever be the shining examples of 80's film classics.
Posted on Monday August 13, 2007, 23:16
REMO: Unarmed and Dangerous! Loved it when I first saw it on TV. Still love it now. Anybody else out there remember and still like it? There was only me and about ten other people who saw it so it's failry unlikely.
Its "star" is Fred Ward and it was originally optimistically called "Remo Williams: the legend begins". He leaves no foot prints and dodges bullets, ace. It's crap but I love it.
Also, similar title link. I remeber the John Candy and Eugene Levy comedy "Armed and Dangerous" being quite funny. Need to rewatch that one though.
Posted on Wednesday September 5, 2007, 21:42
I love Hook, too!!! There, I've said it!!!
Still love watching Flight of the Navigator; D.A.R.Y.L. and if I can be bothered to sit through it, Batteries Not Included (cheesy, crappy, feel-good nonsense!!). Although I agree that Ghostbusters II is nowhere near as good as its predecessor, there are a few good things about it...erm... well, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson are always good value (not counting Hudson in Congo - that was just pap!) and, thats about it --- did I mention that I also love Hook??
Anyone else remember Ski Patrol...??
(Why the hell did I just bring Ski Patrol into this??!!!)
Posted on Friday January 9, 2009, 10:15
Masters of the universe still rocks (in a cheesy, awful movie but still brilliant kind of way) Skeletor is honestly pretty damn good too. Big improvement over the cartoon version which would have sucked big time. And the music is great.