Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2021

MMYIF: Ghostbusters (1984)

My Misspent Youth In Films... Ghostbusters Directed by: Ivan Reitman Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver Released: June 8, 1984 Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service. What I Thought Then I was a huge fan of the Saturday-morning cartoon The Real Ghostbusters , and this movie felt like a really cool, if slightly scary, live-action tie-in. What I Think Now I mean, it's a modern classic, right? And one that came together completely by accident. For those not familiar with the backstory, Dan Aykroyd conceived of this movie as a SNL-style comedy that he would star in alongside John Belushi, something of a spiritual successor to The Blues Brothers . The Winston role was written for Eddie Murphy. But then Belushi died and Murphy had a conflict with Beverly Hills Cop , so it was reworked into what we have now: a workplace screwball comedy supernatural thriller that is just damned near perfect while also not really being about a

MMYIF: Return Of The Jedi

My Misspent Youth In Films... Return Of The Jedi Directed by: Richard Marquand Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher Released: May 25, 1983 After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the Rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy the second Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Darth Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap. What I Thought Then OKAY OKAY OKAY, this is kind of standing in for the entire trilogy. Kind of. This was the first Star Wars  movie I saw, when I was like four, an age in which having seen it somehow did not spoil the twist in Empire  that Vader is Luke's father. This was my favorite Star Wars  film for most of my life, mostly because it had the best (read: biggest) ending. Just to be clear, I loved the entire trilogy, but if I had to pick one, it was this one. What I Think Now I still like it. It's long on spectacle, and it really mines a lot of drama out of Luke's attempt to reconcil

MMYIF: Pete's Dragon (1977)

My Misspent Youth In Films... Pete's Dragon Directed by: Don Chaffey, Don Bluth Starring: Sean Marshall, Helen Reedy, Jim Dale Released: November 3, 1977 An orphan boy and his magical dragon come to town with his abusive adoptive parents in pursuit. What I Thought Then I remember being particularly impressed by the special effects in this one--the way the animated dragon was able to interact with live action characters and the environment. One of the songs also stood out in my memory. The schmaltziest song in the movie, naturally . What I Think Now It's. So. Long. I borrowed a copy from the library that had a misprint on the box. It said the movie was 1 hour and 28 minutes, but really, it's 1 hundred  and 28 minutes. Which is entirely too long for a children's film that isn't Mary Poppins . And this movie does not bear that length gracefully. About halfway through it runs out of steam, right around the time a zany snake-oil salesman shows up. He's important to t

MMYIF: Robin Hood (1973)

My Misspent Youth In Films... Robin Hood Directed by: Wolfgang Reitherman, David hand Starring: Brian Bedford, Phil Harris, Roger Miller Released: November 11, 1973 The story of the legendary British outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals. What I Thought Then In my memory, this was probably the peak of early Disney, before their 80's collapse with The Black Cauldron  and 90's renaissance that began with The Little Mermaid . I remember thrilling at the action sequences, especially the escape after the archery tournament. And then, as a somewhat older child, I got to relive the opening song as it gained new life with The Hamster Dance. What I Think Now This one's a very mixed bag. As with basically everything else on this list so far--and really, everything in Disney's pre-90's animated back catalog--it's a movie that lacks momentum. It's a set of amusing sequences that don't flow into each other. We never really get any insight into R