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MMYIF: Joe Versus the Volcano

 My Misspent Youth In Films... Joe Versus the Volcano Directed by: John Patrick Shanley Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges Released: March 9, 1990 When a hypochondriac learns that he is dying, he accepts an offer to throw himself in a volcano at a tropical island, and along the way there, learns to truly live. What I Thought Then I remember there was a lot of slapstick humor in this, as well as the second-most-famous set of luggage in all of nerd-dom. What I Think Now Well, if this isn't some biting social satire dressed up as a romantic comedy draped loosely across a fairy-tale framework. It's kind of funny how having a soul-sucking job in a depressing office just doesn't seem all that relatable at 10, but feels much more personal now, as does Joe's lonely, vacuous home-life. (23 was a dark time for me, okay?) There's a theatricality to this movie that feels like a less-nihilistic version of Terry Gilliam's Brazil . During the opening credits , we see
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MMYIF: Back to the Future Part II

 My Misspent Youth In Films... Back to the Future Part II Directed by: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson Released: November 22, 1989 After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip. What I Thought Then Weirdly, this was on the only movie out of the BttF trilogy that we owned a copy of, having--ahem--time-shifted it off of a rental. And at some point someone (probably me) accidentally taped over like ten seconds from the middle of the Cafe 80s sequence. I remember it being fun and kinda scary in the middle What I Think Now Everything about this movie is an over-the-top romp and I absolutely love it. The characters are big and boisterous, the plot is bonkers, and the film's depiction of the future is just a big, fun, wacky mess. Even when things go dark and dystopian in Act II, it's hilariously so, with cop cars randomly crashed in front of house

MMYIF: The Little Mermaid

My Misspent Youth In Films... The Little Mermaid Directed by: Ron Clements and John Musker Starring: Jodie Benson, Samuel E. Wright, Rene Auburjonois Released: November 17, 1989 A mermaid princess makes a Faustian bargain in an attempt to become human and win a prince's love. What I Thought Then This movie came out of freaking nowhere. A studio best-known for depressing movies about animals released this thing that was joyful and spoke to every child's sense of how parents just don't understand us. And also  Under The Sea  was an absolute banger, as the kids say. This movie kicked off the Disney renaissance of the 90s and its hard to overstate just how pervasive it was in the culture. What I Think Now There's been a lot of discourse around this movie in the last thirty-odd years, such as the feminist backlash against Disney Princesses or the revelations about how Ursula was not only patterned on the drag queen Divine--and indeed, the number Poor Unfortunately Souls

MMYIF: Turner & Hooch

My Misspent Youth In Films... Turner & Hooch Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode Starring: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig T. Nelson Released: July 28, 1989 A detective must adopt a rambunctious dog in order to help him find a killer. What I Thought Then I remember this being one of the more serious movies we watched because there was a police procedural subplot. The dog antics were fun, but mostly I remember specific jokes like Tom Hanks trimming his nose hairs or "This is not your room" or "Send hail, God. Hail the size of cantaloupes." What I Think Now This movie is super horny for Hanks. Our first shot of him is a slow pan up his body while he's exercising on a ski machine, sweat glistening off his face. He spends an inordinate amount of time in his underwear--which are not white but are definitely tight. While watching with my wife I asked if she thought the movie was especially female-gaze-y. She responded that it was not, but that it was probably what a

MMYIF Happy Birthday Double Feature: Batman / Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

My Misspent Youth In Films... Batman Directed by: Tim Burton Starring: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger Released: June 23, 1989 The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being Jack Napier, a criminal who becomes the clownishly homicidal Joker. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Directed by: Joe Johnston Starring: Rick Moranis, Matt Frewer, Marcia Strassman Released: June 23, 1989 The scientist father of a teenage girl and boy accidentally shrinks his and two other neighborhood teens to the size of insects. Now the teens must fight diminutive dangers as the father searches for them. What I Thought Then These two movies released on my ninth birthday, and it's quite likely I saw them both in the theater at some point. Both had huge hype trains--I owned Batman  trading cards--and were considered special-effects bonanzas for their time. And both were in heavy rotation in our home. For a few years, Batman  was a mainstay of Thanksgiving Day watch

MMYIF: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

My Misspent Youth In Films... Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Directed by: Steven Spielberg Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody Released: May 24, 1989 In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler's Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers. What I Thought Then This was the only Indiana Jones movie we watched in my household. Raiders  was intense, but didn't really hold my attention as a child, and I noped right out of Temple of Doom . And they never made a fourth one. And thank god, right? Because it would have been terrible if they had. What I Think Now 1989 was a helluva summer for movies in general and movie franchises in particular. Batman  would kick off an early boom in mainstreaming superhero movies, Disney would enter their animation renaissance, Weird Al's UHF  would help spell the end of Orion Picture

MMYIF: The Naked Gun

My Misspent Youth In Films... The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Directed by: David Zucker Starring: Leslie Nielson, Priscilla Presley, O.J. Simpson Released: December 2, 1988 Incompetent police Detective Frank Drebin must foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. What I Thought Then I thought Leslie Nielson was a comic genius based on this movie, its sequel, and the various other spoofs he made. What I Think Now I've said it before, but satire is extremely hard to pull off, and I generally don't think Abrams and Zucker are as good at it as they're reputed to be. Their best works tend to be remakes of actual schlock rather than send-ups of shlocky trends in genre pieces. Notably, Airplane!  is a remake of Zero Hour  with jokes added in, and the pilot episode of Police Squad!  is essentially a remake of the second season premier of the show M Squad . Side note: do people know that Police Squad!  was a television show? Or that The Naked Gun: From the File