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Showing posts from September, 2021

MMYIF: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

 My Misspent Youth In Films... Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Directed by: Steve Barron Starring: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Josh Bais Released: March 30, 1990 Four teenage mutant ninja turtles emerge from the shadows to protect New York City from a gang of criminal ninjas. What I Thought Then This movie was huge. It was the second big cultural touchstone for my generation to transition to the big screen (the first being The Transformers-- we don't talk about Masters of the Universe ), but this one made the further jump from animation to live action. It was ruthlessly entertaining to my nine year old brain, and yet it still felt like a big, serious story with higher stakes and harsher consequences than we'd gotten from the television show. I was hooked. What I Think Now For many years into my adulthood I unabashedly loved this movie. Now... I somewhat abashedly love it. Parts of it have aged poorly, and parts of it I've aged out of. But it's still a high-intensity dose of

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

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