LOVERBOY (1989)

Directed By: Joan Micklin Silver
Written By: Robin Schiff, Leslie Dixon & Tom Ropelewski
Story By: Robin Schiff 
Cinematography: John Hora
Editor: Rick Shaine 

Cast: Patrick Dempsey, Kirstie Alley, Kate Jackson, Robert Ginty, Dylan Walsh, Nancy Valen, Barbara Carrera, Vic Tayback, Bernie Coulson, Kim Miyori, Carrie Fisher, Robert Picardo, E.G. Daily 

Randy is still unfocused after 2 years in college. His dad will no longer pay tuition and Randy gets a job delivering pizzas. Several cute cougars pay him $200 for pizza delivery and “services rendered”. Their husbands?


This is the final chapter in the unofficial teenage sex comedies starring Patrick Dempsey. That started with CAN’T BUY ME LOVE and continued with IN THE MOOD and this is the finale. Unless you want to count HEAVEN HELP US in which he had a smaller supporting role and SOME GIRLS. Which was much more dramatic.

This film is what one would consider a seat filler. As a movie that seemed more simple and meant to fill seats and hopefully win the box office for a week or two. Rather than any concerns about quality. As on face Value, this film seems rather simple about a college kid forced to work and who lucks into being a gigolo for older married women.

You would expect more a sex comedy that was more concerned with T & A, but surprisingly though it has it’s fair share of juvenile humor and cheap jokes. It surprisingly has heart also as it doesn’t focus so much on sex, but more on romance and making women feel beautiful and their full worth. That their husbands have seemed to have stopped or given up. 

One of the reasons that this film might be more intended for a female audience is that it has a softer touch due to the direction of Joan Micklin Silver who had directed more independent dramas before this and this film seeming her one chance at more of a mainstream big studio release.

While the film has Its laughs and a surprisingly stacked cast considering its premise. It also allows for aortic Dempsey to show off his physical comedy skills. Is more of a surprising romantic male lead with an atrocious dye job at the beginning of the film. 

I remember watching this film. In The theater when it came out. As I did with CAN’T BUY NE LOVE. While that film affected me more. As I couldn’t wait to see it based on all the commercials and being a fan of Patrick Dempsey this film was perfectly fine and keeps you entertained. It didn’t have what I was expecting but it offered a nice surprise. That actually manages to offer some substance and polish.

Grade: C+

FEAR, ANXIETY & DEPRESSION (1989)

Written & Directed By: Todd Solondz 
Cinematography: Stefan Czapsky 
Editor: Peter Austin, Emily Paine & Barry Rubinow

Cast: Todd Solondz, Max Cantor, Alexandra Gersten, Jane Hamper, Stanley Tucci, Anne De Salvo, Jill Wisoff, Kathleen Gati

Ira is a nervous playwright waiting and hoping to succeed with his art, which he takes it very seriously. But following his dreams and ambitions isn’t something easy to do, especially when he has to consider the points of view his family, his artist friends and his girlfriend will provide to him whenever he exposes his incomprehensible works of art.


Finally got a chance to see writer/director Todd Solondz’s long-lost (for me) first film. This Great white whale of mine 

He has disavowed the film Claiming he felt like creative control was taken away from him.

One might enable to see why. Even though it isn’t a train wreck. It is actually entertaining in a goofy, surrealistic way. It still has the same themes as his later films. Exactly what the title lets you know. 

Only here he is the star as with his early Short films. It’s hard not to think that these films are autobiographical. As this ends a one of era again and he never appears in any of his films ever again.

As in future films, there seems to either be surrogates or he just writes more for ensembles and wanted to make films about characters and less making it seem about himself. 

This film obviously Comes out Indebted to Woody Allen as his character is definitely like one of Woody’s, a man who seems to be romantic and constantly Full of anxiety, nebbish, and strives for more. Who isn’t happy in his current life and then once he loses it realizes how good he had it. 

Though not as grand in scope this film reminds me of a lower-budgeted I HEART HUCKABEES more for its zany surreal comedic bits at times and its lightness and bitter comedic tone.

As most of the characters talk about being real artists but are aloof and pretentious and either needy or predatory.

Junk is the perfect femme fatale. As she lets you know what she is all about but the lead character stays enamored of her for her looks and what he eyes as tough attitude when she is just rude. Though He thinks her mysterious as she is the type of person he has never encountered. So she is all new to him. Treating him badly but he keeps coming back for more.

While he treats a woman who is head over heel for him badly the same way junk treats him.

He is a character. Struggling play-write who constantly seems to lose while those around him keep seeming to become successful. Like a high school friend who decided to write as a hobby become the toast of Broadway. While he gets a bad review in the village voice that everyone seems To read.

Or his best friend who hates his writing but encourages him. Who always seems To date or seduce whoever he seems to be interested in or pining for.

Even when junk Offers herself to him sexually he Messes it all up before he can go through with the deed. Or when he gets the girl

Of his dreams how she seems to Tolerate him but still Pine for her asshole ex. He seems to bring this misery at times upon himself.

Though no matter what it never becomes completely depressing as the film Keeps the mood and material goofy and silly. Even though it offers up a sad ending it ends with a little hope. That includes a rare happy ending.

So while a sadder woody Allen-Ish film a pleasing one and fascinating to see where his career began and see the seeds of future films and style.

The film also has a nice look at classic New York around 1989 mainly Greenwich village before it Became so gentrified 

I can identify with him and his films as I feel like what I write is similar and that most of my Early films or projects usually

Are more extensions of daydreams or exaggerated feelings and my self-consciousness put out there. Not to mention having humor about and bringing up uncomfortable subjects that are a part of life that involve characters trying to be good but are awkward in their own skin especially socially. 

As they have Consciences here everybody seems to get by seemingly normal without realizing at times how ridiculous or Cruel they are naturally

Grade: C+

SWEETIE (1989)

Directed By: Jane Campion
Written By Gerard Lee & Jane Campion
Cinematography: Sally Bongers 
Editor: Veronika Haussler 

Cast: Genevieve Lemon, Karen Colston, Tom Lycos, Jon Darling, Dorothy Barry

An introspective young woman’s life is upturned by the arrival of her maladjusted sister.


Not the first Jane campion movie I have seen but one of the few so far. Also, One that I have so far enjoyed the most. 

The film plays like an awkward comedy of dysfunctions more than anything else.

It has emotional hard-hitting moments but most of the film. While beautifully and symbolically filmed. The characters all come off as strange or off for the sake of the story more than naturally.

The title character comes off the maddest and while it seems has a mental illness. One wants to take her to a professional. So that she drives everyone around her mad. As they have to take care of her and know she will never see any of her behavior as wrong. Yet she still kind of fits in with the rest of the characters.

As the film is frantic but comes off as a rather dry romantic comedy. That seems more composed rather than written. As the romantic comedy storyline. Is only one of few that runs throughout but is affected by the behavior of the title character. 

The longer you spend with the characters the more you care and get more invested. The same can be said of the film the longer you watch the more you get used to it and find yourself brought into the film’s and characters’ world.

This is a film worth investing your time in. By the end, you feel like you were part of something special. 

Grade: B

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN (1989)

Written & Directed By: Rob Hedden 
Based on characters created by: Victor Miller 
Cinematography By: Bryan England 
Editor: Steve Mirkovich & Ted Pryor 

Cast: Kane Hodder, Jensen Dagett, Todd Caldecott, Tiffany Paulson, Peter Mark Richman, Kelly Hu, Gordon Currie, V.C. Dupree 

The graduating class of the local high school is going on a luxury cruise with Jason Voorhees as a stowaway. The heroine Rennie Wickham believes she was almost drowned by Jason as a child. Jason eventually sinks the boat and kills many of the students on it, but many of them escape to Manhattan. A long battle with Jason ensues until Jason is washed away in the New York sewers by a midnight flooding of toxic waste.



In continuing reviewing the series I can appreciate the films individually as some are real standouts in the series while some are only watchable as they add to the overall tale as disjointed at this point as it is. Makes you wonder at some points why is it acceptable that the twist in part 5 is seen as remarkable.

Yet in another series Halloween 3 is seen as a disgrace. When both tried to breathe new life and present its series in a new direction. Though with Friday the 13th they pretty much stayed within the core slasher.  The prologue of the film foreshadows all the places that Jason will chase the teenagers: downtown with the gang members, the diner, and the alley with the drug addicts, and the subway.

There is Inept filmmaking all around in this film. I know this is just another mindless sequel that just adds a new element into the mix to make you think it’s going to be different than the last ones you saw, but it just ends up pretty much being him killing teenagers and the odd adult in painful brutal ways. Such as impaling them on a harpoon and suspending them from it. Just now in a new different location. 
 

Usually, the lure for these films is the promise of nudity and sexual situations. The characters usually having a party that involves drugs and alcohol but this film doesn’t even have these simple visuals. This is almost an all-around cluster fuck. None of the scenes are scary. The kills are simplistic, not artistic as in the past. The cast is far from conveniently attractive. 

Once the five survivors make it to New York they are dispatched in one ridiculous way after and then one guy literally boxes Jason to the edge of a roof then runs out of energy then tells Jason to give him his best shot which he does decapitates him. Then his head falls perfectly into a trash can but then makes an appearance in a cop car. 
 

This was the last film in the “Friday the 13th” series to be produced and distributed by Paramount, due to declining box office returns. Subsequent entries were handled by New Line Cinema.  This film truly made me notice some of the problems with Friday the 13th as wholesome problems are minor some are major. We know he has eyes but yet any close-up of him wearing the mask makes it look like he has two empty holes. I guess to make it look like he is a phantom. I know he is supernatural but since he doesn’t fly or teleport or run. How does he catch up and get ahead of his victims? He can’t always know a shortcut to his surroundings. Like in this film it’s his first time in the area yet he knows the geography like a pro. Who knows what he busies himself within between kills? Especially since he doesn’t seem to eat or sleep. Is he a monster? , Zombie?, Mutant? We never get a full explanation. Or definition. 

Writer/Director Rob Hedden originally wrote more of the movie to be set in New York. He had written scenes at Madison Square Garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Empire State Building. But Paramount told him that the budget would not allow him to spend that much time in New York, so he was forced to rewrite the film and spend more time on the cruise ship. Hedden says he agrees with fans who complain that not enough time is spent in New York, given the title Jason Takes Manhattan.  It would be nice if the series added some pure creativity. Though it does try yet it feels like fads since it has had a copycat killer who was a regular human being. 

Then in JASON GOES TO HELL he possesses different people by them eating his heart. Then we get Jason in space in JASON X. We have had Jason in 3D on FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3, Jason resurrected for the first time on FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 6. Jason Vs. The girl with Psychic powers in PART 7, Then JASON VS. FREDDY. Here they just seemed to change his surroundings to a popular metropolis. 

I have to say This film is very insulting to new York as I know it was bad particularly times square around the time this film was made, but this film makes the city look nothing but dirty, corrupt, and dangerous with almost every citizen a criminal or drug addict. It seems like they make New York out to be just as dangerous if not more so than Jason. This might be the one part of the film that gets its one dose of reality. This seems to be Grindhouse-era New York. Tons of homeless, crooked cops, Muggers, Junkies, pimps, Prostitutes, and dealers. All kinds of sleaze. So mixing that with this fantasy element is a pop art mash-up. That is an interesting contrast, but unfortunately, this was the wrong filmmaker to do it. 

 SPOILER  

There is also some weird connection between the hero and Jason that causes her to have visions of him as a child asking for help. Which makes no sense in the first place. Only to be the saving factor in the end. With child Jason killing and taking monster Jason away. It’s like the filmmakers couldn’t think of a new plausible way to kill him. So they come up with a stand-by of mumbo jumbo. Where are the visions coming from and when did they become physical? 
 

SPOILER ENDING 

Sorry for spoiling the ending but either way they made another sequel. So no matter what he’s down but not out (Which is one of the more entertaining scenes)

Grade: D+

SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE (1989)

sexlies

Written, Edited & Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Cinematography: Walt Lloyd
Music By: Cliff Martinez 


Cast: James Spader, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo, Andie McDowell

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann’s a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John’s old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women.

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