Category: Throwback

“Death Spa”


So… it’s kind of a rip-off of “Halloween 2”… but with more aerobics influence and a slightly more “pop” soundtrack. The kills are ridiculous, and a questionable amount of the runtime takes place inside solely the women’s locker room/shower… but that’s to be expected in an 80’s slasher. Ghost woman was an… interesting angle.

“The Game”


Not quite “Seven,” but close. David Fincher at play in the sandbox he knows best. Causing the audience to wince at every twist and turn because we’re worried what’s around the corner. Or what’s in the box. A really solid psychological thriller, with a great score and shot perfectly to ratchet up the tension from beginning to end. I still didn’t believe the ending, even as the credits were rolling. I was waiting for one last rug to be pulled out from under me. The sign of a story well told and world well constructed.

*the bottom video was me through most of this one.

“Summer School”


Turns out Gibbs from NCIS used to have a fun side. And a solid Hawaiian shirt collection.

This type of movie has always held a special place in my heart. In the vein of “Teachers,” “The Great Outdoors,” and “One Crazy Summer,” this film is a coming of age tale for, well, the ages. The incredible breadth and depth of the character pool here takes the zaniness and grounds it with an incredible sense of heart. It’s not winning an Oscar anytime soon, but makes tough subjects approachable in a way that Oscar-bait films consistently miss the boat on. Movies are supposed to, on the whole, be fun, and this movie is definitely an hour and a half of that. So lace up your roller blades and don your radio headphones, and head out for a missed Hawaiian vacation turned quintessential summer adventure classic.

Side note: I can vouch for not only learning English, if some Italian to hit up the Italian foreign exchange student. Fond high school memories of a maiden from Milan once upon a time came to mind… I hope things worked out for Chainsaw after his time in summer school.

“Take Me Home Tonight”


Almost as legendary as the Eddie Money song.

“Just take wild shots! Hell, it’s something just to hear the gun go off.”

This one has always had a soft spot in my heart, despite being an oddball 80’s nostalgia cash-in coming-of-age party movie. When they pull it off, these are some of the finest films to come out of Hollywood. Not only is the soundtrack a home run, but the lessons behind this film still resonate with me when I watch it today. The theme of taking risks and remembering that unplanned moments are often the most incredible moments of our lives never goes out of style, unlike the wardrobe. Not saying it won any Oscars, but the critic community sometimes forgets the importance and the beauty of less serious cinematic fare.

Fun fact: It was on the set of this movie that Anna Faris and Chris Pratt met.

“The Break-Up”


To be honest, a Tik Tok of the “She’s been through a lot” scene brought me to watch this movie. Honestly, that was one of the few bright spots in what ends up being a pretty… blah film.

Credit to Vince Vaughn for making a career on the exact same character, movie after movie. It’s the eighth wonder of the world.

I think the a-ha moment in this one is that men and women communicate differently and sometimes want different things out of life and relationships. Without communication, it all falls apart. Nothing a little manipulation can’t make much, much worse.