Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Join Us for the Seminal Films of My Youth: Buckaroo Banzai and Commando!

You are either with us or against us tomorrow evening at the double-bill screening of Them! and Godzilla (I recommend "with". We have mutant ants and a 30 story-high radiation-breathing lizard on our team.).

But if you can't make that:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension
July 17th at 7pm at The Alamo Ritz

If you've never seen Buckaroo Banzai, I pity you. Peter Weller plays the titular physicist/adventurer/rockstar, and the cast includes a very young (and attractive as always)Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd, and even Clancy "Lex Luthor" Brown.

To explain the movie is like trying to explain the 8th Dimension its very self.  But, its sort of a 1980's tongue-in-cheek take on old school Sci-Fi ideas like Doc Savage and his team of adventurers.  Also: trans-dimensional aliens, rockbands, and jet-propelled mini-vans.  Its...  an amazing bit of movie-making that utterly flopped at the box office (although I saw it in the theater, natch), and has become a cult favorite of nerds everywhere.

July 21st at 7pm at The Alamo Ritz

To me, this is the quintessential modern action film.  I don't love this movie because it is good, or even for nostalgic reasons.  I love this movie because it is absolutely pure and sincere in what it is (sincerely ridiculous), and you can pretty much demonstrably prove that every action movie that came before or after this movie somehow touches this movie as either leading to Commando or as a descendant of Commando (or, the era that produced Commando.  And, of course, this is the ultimate movie of that era). 

I literally talk about Commando at least once per week.  Partially because EVERYBODY HAS SEEN COMMANDO.  This is a rule.  Everyone has seriously seen this movie.  Want to talk about the dull characterization popular in action films?  Commando.  Want to talk heroes who do more damage than good by anybody's measure?  Commando.  Want to talk about stripping down to your skivvies for no reason other than that you've hired Mr. Universe for your action picture?  COMMANDO.


Plus, they're gonna set off fireworks in the theater.


Anonymous said...

Buckaroo Banzai had the most awesome end credits scene in cinema ever.


The League said...

Its still the first thing I think of when I think about that movie.

Fantomenos said...

It will come as no surprise that I also saw Buckaroo Banzai in the theater when I was in 5th grade. I have the Marvel comics adaptation, the novelization, and it was the very 1st DVD I purchased. Special features are heartbreaking when you realize how close we were to having a sequel.

Peter Weller and I have had a strange synchronous relationship. After 5th grade...

Robocop becomes my favorite movie in 7th grade.

In 8th grade I'm the lead in the Jr. High musical "12 Dancing Princesses". The only version of this musical on videotape has Weller in the lead.

In 11th grade, enamored with beat literature, I go see Cronenburg's version of Naked Lunch, there's Weller as Burroughs.

Now as a lazy suburbanite, I enjoy history books about Ancient Rome. Turn on a documentary on the History channel and guess who's narrating documentarys now?

That guy's everywhere...

Jake Shore said...

"Let off some steam Bennett!"

Love Commando. One of the most quotable movies ever, but it ranks second on my list of all time awesomely good/awesomely bad action movies.

Number one?


Wrote this last year to honor the Swayze and his greatest movie:


By the way, I am getting really jealous of Austin for having theaters that play this stuff. The only films the small theaters play here is angst-ridden indie crap. Actually, I'm becoming increasingly jealous of Texas in general (No state income tax, right to work state, more than 1/3 of new jobs nationally created in Texas). I think we have you beat out in scenery though.