Saturday, January 29, 2022

Finally Got to it Watch: Firestarter (1984)

Watched:  01/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Director:  Mark L. Lester

Firestarter (1984) is a 90 minute movie that the studio inexplicably decided needed to be 2 full hours.  A taut 90 minutes would have not given me time to ponder "why is this happening?  Why is anyone doing what it is they are doing?  Why would anyone be this dumb?"

But the movie is 120 minutes, and so I did think these things.  

I don't blame director Mark L. Lester, who brought us Commando and Bobbi Jo and the Outlaw, because I think he did some stuff in this movie very well, but there's just too much movie here, which is an editing problem.  And, he didn't write the script.  I also don't blame Tangerine Dream, who provided the score and who are not at their best here.  

I don't blame Drew Barrymore, who is a child in this movie.  Nor do I blame Martin Sheen or George C. Scott, Louise Fletcher or Art Carney.  I might be blaming everyone else.  This movie is boring and makes no sense, and for a movie that's 120 minutes so they can explain stuff but that just keeps making things worse, that's a feat.  

I genuinely do not know what was supposed to be happening with George C. Scott's character and why anyone was keeping him around, what The Shop was supposed to be, how it had funding and why that funding included dozens of heavily armed people and a well-dressed staff that worked nights.  Usually government folk clock out at 5:00.  

The film sorta stars David Keith, who - in addition to having an inverted name from Signal Watch fave Keith David - is also inversely good as Keith David.  My belief is that this is a product of David Keith not being as good here as he is other things and also spending 87% of the movie having a migraine and 20% of the movie trying to mime telekinesis and mind control.  

Made in an era where people used the term "ESP" like it wasn't hilarious, the movie has no consistency about what psychic powers its heroes have, but we do know that Drew Barrymore can set shit on fire by thinking about it.  And if you think I mean dry kindling:  NO.  She she set cinder blocks on fire and make them 'splode.  Bathtubs full of water:  they burn.  

She doesn't use this power to set her prison on fire for some reason.  She doesn't burn her captors.  It's that kind of movie.  They can psychically sense people hunting them, until they can't so the plot can move along.  

It's also early Heather Locklear, but only for a while, and while we give many points for Heather Locklear, we take most away for then taking Heather Locklear from us.

Anyway.  I finally saw this movie and will probably never watch it again.  Because it's corny and long and needs to not have about 30 minutes of the movie in the movie.

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