Sunday, May 11, 2014

Movies by year: 1984

(Sined, Seeled, Delivered (sic) Spoilers ahead.)

We've finally hit that year, 1984, where we get to pretend Orwell's predictions haven't come true. :)

Good year for movies! 2010 took us back to Europa to find out what happened with Hal. David Lynch brought Dune to the big screen in a huge, opulent, weird way. Timothy Hutton and John Lone sang by the fire in Iceman. Eddie Murphy was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop and we all loved him. Ghostbusters told us who to call when there's something strange in the neighbourhood. The Terminator gave us the bleakest of futures and some kick-ass explosions. Starman was an alien just trying to learn about us while The Brother From Another Planet wanted to escape slavery. And This Is Spinal Tap introduced us to an awesome band, with unfortunate drummers, who always took everything to eleven.

But there's one that stands out for me, and if you know me well it will come as no surprise...

The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension

First we have Buckaroo himself - part-time neurosurgeon, part-time physicist, part-time comic book hero, part-time rock star, full-time awesome. Who else but Peter Weller could have filled those shoes? At the beginning of the film we find him cutting into the brain of an eskimo to implant a subcutaneous transmitter so he will have full use of his injured arm, then he's off to desert testing grounds to drive his jetcar through a mountain - and so begins an interstellar standoff.

His group, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, aren't just his band - they're also scientists, chemists, engineers and otherwise ridiculously over-qualified for almost anything. Rawhide, Perfect Tommy, Reno Nevada, Pinky Carruthers and of course new addition New Jersey jump in to help when a sudden alien threat appears.

See, Buckaroo brought something out of the mountain with him - from the 8th dimension, which he was able to travel through via his Oscillation Overthruster. There are Red Lectroids there, banished by the Black Lectroids from Planet 10 after a failed invasion attempt, and now that Buckaroo has figured how to access it, guaranteed the Red Lectroids are going to try to escape.

And leading that escape attempt is Lord John Whorfin, inhabiting the body of Dr. Emilio Lizardo - played by John Lithgow, in his most insane role ever.

As if that's not enough, Buckaroo's also just seen a ghost - Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin), previously unknown twin sister of his late wife. Can it get any more complicated? Well yes, but that's enough for now.

Seriously, this movie has everything you might possibly need - adventure, romance, comedy, aliens, peril, a watermelon...

Oh, also, Back To The Future totally stole the oscillation overthruster and renamed it the flux capacitor. Go ahead, look it up. And the prop itself also ends up as a medical scanner on more than one ST:TNG episode.

What did you think of Buckaroo Banzai? Are you a Blue Blaze Irregular?

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