Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Girl With No Name

Before the manic pixie dream girl, there was the girl who was too socially advanced to be noticed for her awesomeness. Molly Ringwold, of course made a career out of the archetype, and not far behind her was Shannon DeWinter.

Truth be told, I was Team DeWinter long before the "Team Blank" meme was a thing. Movies like Hall Pass Confidential, Acid-wash Dance Party and Gene Toxic were regular rec-room sleep-over viewing in my neighborhood.  And I'll even admit that there was a time when I could pretty much recite the entirety of We Gotta Get Out of this Place (The film named after the song, not just the song.) along with the movie - from the opening monologue ("People think that growing up in a brownstone across the street from Wrigley Field musta been the coolest thing a kid could do...." - And no, I didn't just cut and paste that from the quote page on IMDb.) through to the last lines of the Animals' song over the closing credits. And yeah, its a movie that is still seared onto my soul, but I first went to it because I had a crush on Shannon DeWinter.

I first saw A Girl With No Name under similar circumstances, and though it never spoke to me the same way as We Gotta Get Out of this Place, I did go back the next weekend and watched it again, just to see Shannon. I identified with Kevin - Marsha was smart, sexy, cool and had no idea just how fantastic she was... and that made her even more amazing.

The film has aged as poorly as any film from the 80s has, but it still has its moments - like this one...

Thursday, April 11, 2013


The first Cameron Dieppe film was always the best of the bunch, wasn't it? The premise - a man who discovers that his job was a cover for espionage that he was unaware he was committing in the course of his innocent ambassadorial travels - was only barely plausible for one roller-coaster of a movie.  Of course it couldn't work for a second film, let alone a third... or a fourth!  And yet in the inscruitable plot-logic of Hollywood, a franchise was born.

One part Bourne Identity, one part North by Northwest, the original transcends its potentially silly inciting circumstances and has us forgiving the film for those stretches of credibility, largely on the strength of some of the most thrilling suspense sequences of the early millennium. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

99% Girlfriend

If you aren't familiar with the Film-Sport podcast, you should check it out. Every week they have a top five list exploring some film related category. Top five films about imagination. Top five performances by inanimate objects. Top five directors who never stood a chance in Hollywood. You get the idea. When they announce the topic at the beginning of an episode I spend the rest of the show working out my top five on the subject in the back of my head as I listen to the reviews and other features. Usually at best my number one ranks around the bottom of their top five, and nothing else I pick is anywhere in sight - except maybe as an honourable mention. But not this past week...
This week's top five was: Top five verbal smack-downs. And I got four out of five... the exception being my number one pick. So, as a shout-out to one of my favourite podcasts, here is my number one pick.

From the classic of grunge-era college movies, 99% Girlfriend - if you know the movie, you already know the scene. I think part of what appeals to me about this scene is how easily once upon a time I could have been Blair.