Disney continues their assault on our wallets, tilling their back catalogue of animated films and characters for live action fodder. So far, their efforts have been successful with Maleficent, Jungle Book and Cinderella scoring big. But how will they do with a remake of 1977’s Pete’s Dragon? Trailer and review after the break.
From the opening shot of Zootopia with its school recital, the film is firmly in hero Judy Hoops corner. She is an anomaly, wanting to be a police officer, because she’s a bunny and bunnies work on farms or at the very least, work quaint office jobs. So when she leaves Bunnyburrow for the big city, everything in her past tells her she’s making a mistake. But the minute she plays “Try Everything” by Shakira (as the character Gazelle) in her headphones and sees the tall spires of Zootopia, Judy and we are in for a different kind of Disney adventure.
Joe Dante is one of the best directors you’ve never heard of but have seen his films. I don’t mean he’s not famous but his work is always so good that we expect it of him and as such don’t give him as much praise as he deserves. Near the end of his killer run in the 80’s, he did a film for Universal called Matinee. Starring John Goodman, it’s one of Dante’s forgotten classics and a fitting homage to the monster movies of the director’s childhood. Trailer and more after the cut.
Come the 1980’s and suddenly studios are going nuts about fantasy films. Krull, Princess Bride, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Legend, The Neverending Story, Willow, Conan The Barbarian (we will not speak of Conan The Destroyer). All of these films alone were worth the price of a movie ticket. One other film that snuck into the category, helmed by a man who has pretty much ensured that comic book movies will never be treated as camp. Richard Donner might be famous as the director of Superman 1 & 2, The Goonies and the Lethal Weapon films, but he directed one of my favourite films from the 80’s: Ladyhawke.
OK, so the fact that Australia managed to produce some really weird and awesome films during the 70’s and 80’s is in no small part due to the fact that the trade off was some of the films made there looked American, sounded (somewhat) American and played like American films. They called it Ozploitation. One person who seemed to make a career out of making films that fit this genre perfectly was Brian Trenchard-Smith. I don’t know what he looked like back in the day but in an interview on the disc provided, he looked like a car salesman who really likes being who he is and doesn’t care if you buy a car from him or not. In other words, the man looks like he’s happy being himself. And why wouldn’t he be with films like Stunt Rock, Turkey Shoot, The Man From Hong Kong, and Dead End Drive-In to his credits list? He also did this little, tiny film that played well enough in Australian cinemas, came out on VHS and quietly died. It’s called BMX Bandits and it’s famous from being one of those films from the 80’s that cashed in on a sporting craze. This film, it’s BMX biking. Oh, and it starred this no talent redhead named Nicole Kidman but nobody’s ever heard from her since.
NOTE: My mic setup was terrible for this recording. I’ve since changed mics but every so often in the recording my voice spikes. I’ve done my best to correct this but problems remain.
Pirate Pay-off shots
We were into teenagers when we were teenagers. We’re not like that now. No, really.
Anne Ramsey was a nice person in real life!
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The Goonies [Blu-ray]
Image to be fixed. Text is: “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the mileage”