June 21, 2021 (welcome summer)

The most amount of sunshine in the year takes place as we welcome Summer. I haven’t watched anything of note so I will once again review movies that were watched long before I started having review discussions.

The Hunger: This 1983 Tony Scott film, who later did Top Gun (and is also the brother of Ridley Scott) and was known for also ending his life in 2012 by jumping off an overpass in LA – what a horrible way to die I think, was an early project for him. We lost David Bowie five years ago already in 2016. Time flies. He starred in this movie along with Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneueve. Deneuve and Bowie play a couple who early on enter a nightclub and engage with another couple. They later that evening kill the couple that they had met. Bodies are disposed, and they carry on. The Bowie character notices that he is beginning to age quite rapidly and wants to explore what is occurring and how it can be stopped. Meanwhile, Sarandon plays a doctor/researcher who is studying rapid aging in monkeys and wants to explore whether humans can control the aging process. Bowie tracks her down, and they have a frustrating meeting for his character. The story goes on to show the unique relationship that the Deneuve character has with the Bowie character. She has some unique talents, but they require her to “feed”. Those who know the stories of True Blood will have a pretty good idea about where this is going. In the 80s, this film was viewed as cutting edge, when things happened in clubs and elsewhere but they weren’t put on film. You didn’t have gay encounters filmed very often, but it is what made the casting so crucial. At the time I was an impressionable teen, and it stuck with me. Scott went on to make other notable movies as addressed earlier, and apparently executives didn’t like this film. It almost took the Top Gun directing job away from him. But history will show he worked frequently with Denzel Washington (Unstoppable, Deja Vu, Taking of Pelham 123) and others like True Romance, Crimson Tide, and Days of Thunder. I like the opening music sequence and the bar scene juxtaposed with the monkey scene.

Meatballs: Bill Murray leveraged his time on Saturday Night Live into some comedies that were more slapstick than serious comedy. Movies like Caddyshack, Stripes and Ghostbusters come to mind. In 1979, this movie was really the first for him, and it was a fun summer camp movie. It is fun to revisit and I have seen on either Crave or Netflix. Filmed in Ontario, Murray is head counsellor, Tripper Harrison, at a summer camp. There are CITs and other staff, along with Harvey Atkin as Morty who is in charge of the entire operation. It’s a teenager movie as the target audience. Tripper is the typical Murray smart ass. A young camper, played by Chris Makepeace, joins the camp as an outsider who doesn’t really fit in. There is a neighbouring camp with rich, entitled kids that has a competition with this camp. The camp itself has the typical group of misfits which would match any Revenge of the Nerds film. There is summer romance, and hijinks with various pranks and comedy with the daily announcements done by Tripper. It is silly. It is fun. I have watched more than once because it is light and brings back younger days of summer in the wilderness. Others in this series with Murray can be reviewed later. Each of them has their own merit, and built an early career for him and also director Ivan Reitman. All were summer movies that made an evening out in the theatre something to look forward to. Other camp movies followed like Little Darlings with Tatum O’Neal.


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