Nostalgia’d Review: Blade Runner (1982)

In honour of this week’s release of the highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049, we take a look back at crying in the rain with Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner!

rachael gif blade runner cigarette.gif
[Credit: Warner Bros.]

Tyrell: “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long… And you have burned so very, very brightly, Roy.”

Loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric SheepRidley Scott’s Blade Runner is set in the near dystopian future of 2019 where ex-Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is reluctantly tasked with hunting down a fugitive group of bio-engineered androids called Replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), who strives to increase their expected lifespan. Deckard meets and falls for advanced Replicant Rachael (Sean Young) and we’re ultimately left pondering the question, “what does it mean to be human?” The film also stars Darryl Hannah and Brion James as the Replicants who work with Batty in order to secure more life and is directed by one of my favorite directors of all time, Ridley Scott (Alien, Thelma & Louise, Matchstick Men). 

“I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe”: Let’s Discuss Roy Batty’s Exemplary Monologue 

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

… Time to die.”

The cat-and-mouse chase between Batty and Deckard toward the end of Blade Runner is a strange sequence featuring a powerful Replicant wearing bike shorts seemingly toying with a broken-fingered ex-Blade Runner who has spent virtually every other scene downing whatever form of alcohol was around that he could find.

Their struggle comes to a startling halt when Batty saves Deckard from his imminent death and proceeds to recite one of the greatest speeches to ever appear in any entertainment medium, his “Tears In Rain” monologue:

“It’s with the frailty of existence that ultimately makes it worth experiencing.”

It’s a short monologue, lasting only a few sentences. These few sentences stimulate the discussion of what the end of a life means – whether all the emotions felt and experiences endured throughout our lives have any kind of meaning to them since they essentially perish in the end. As Sidney Perkowitz’s Hollywood Science describes, these sentences highlight “the replicant’s humanlike characteristics mixed with its artificial capabilities.” This moment is not only the death of the Replicant, it’s the death of any new moments he could potentially experience… And so, what separates the human from the Replicant in this case? When humans cease to exist, there are no longer any new moments to experience. The amalgamation of all these moments are left behind when one’s inevitable incept date approaches. In my view, it’s with the frailty of existence that ultimately makes it worth experiencing.

In choosing to share these particular moments with Deckard, Batty understands that his mortality is near and there is no possible way to extend the existence he was given. Spending his fleeting moments with Deckard, saving him from falling, is what he wanted to spend his final moments doing. Hauer stated in an interview with Dan Jolin that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to:

“[Make] his mark on existence … [The] replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of.” 

When I first watched Blade Runner and this scene came up, tears streamed down my face while I sat in my dry environment. The fleetingness of life, how it can be taken away in an instant and everything you’ve experienced from childhood to the end will all wither away… Like tears… in rain… damn.

Let me take a moment to gush about the aesthetics of this scene because surely there can never be enough jerking going on about the disgustingly gorgeous visuals seen in Blade Runner. The blood strewn across Batty’s face, Hauer’s mesmerizing performance, a beaten up Deckard reflecting on Batty’s words, the pounding of the rain becoming a character itself during the scene, the blue hue featured heavily and the score… that Vangelis score manages to heighten all the emotions felt in an already perfect scene.

For those lucky enough to have never seen the theatrical version, Frank Darabont’s feelings on the clunky voice over added over this scene accurately describes my thoughts on the matter… Hey, speaking of the theatrical version!

Theatrical? International? Final?! The Multiple Versions Of Blade Runner

Answer: The Final Cut (2007)

There have been eight total recut/re-edited versions of Blade Runner throughout the years because nobody had any idea what the fuck was going on. Seven of them include the Workprint prototype version (1982), San Diego Sneak Preview version (1982), US theatrical release (1982), International theatrical release (1982), US broadcast version (1986), The Director’s Cut (1992) and The Final Cut (2007). Director Scott once showed a nearly four-hour-long “early cut” that was shown only to studio personnel so they were certainly a lucky bunch.

The five versions everyone refers to are also included in the 2007 Ultimate Collector’s Edition of the film and these are:

  • Workprint.
  • U.S. Theatrical Cut.
  • International Cut.
  • Director’s Cut.
  • Final Cut.

… And the three most commonly debated ones are the U.S. Theatrical ReleaseDirector’s Cut and Final Cut

spaceballs everybody got that gif.gif
Spaceballs | MGM

While the theatrical version isn’t the worst thing in the world, the inclusion of the drab, over-expository voice over kind of takes me out of the film. I love VO, when it’s executed efficiently. Taking inspiration from other noir classics like Double Indemnity, whose protagonist (Fred MacMurray) is quite literally explaining the events of the murder to Keyes (Edward G. Robinson), provides vital insight into what was occurring in his mind at that moment (“Walk Of A Deadman”) as well as the required exposition for the audience. The VO in the theatrical Blade Runner just explains what you’re literally watching on screen, providing no insight into Deckard except maybe that his ex thought of him as “sushi… cold fish.”

… Not to mention the not so great “happy ending” sequence you’re probably familiar with. With certain shots taken directly from the cutting room floor of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining: 

I, like many others, live and die by the Final Cut version of the film and so does Scott, as it is the cut he had complete artistic control over and was the closest to his original vision for the film before all of the butchering perpetrated by the studio execs and confused individuals. Ironically, he had full creative control on the Final Cut and not the Director’s Cut which is just silly when you think about it.

So if you’d like to check out a version of the film prior to 2049, The Final Cut is the way to go. Afterwards, watch the theatrical version and enjoy the riveting experience you can only feel by watching Blade Runner

You may feel confused at times, you may feel conflicted and angry with certain decisions made by Deckard, you may question beliefs about artificial intelligence and what it means to be human, you may remain in a drunk haze of awe for every frame, however there is no doubt that you will feel. Whether you love every single aspect of it or despise it with a brutal passion, this influential tour de force of a picture is a must watch for any film fan. 

Blade Runner receives my favourite Matt Damon gif of all time.

matt damon garbage man handsome gif.gif
71st Golden Globe Awards | NBC

Click Here For More Nostalgia’d Reviews!

featured image credit: warner bros.

Nostalgia’d Review: Drive (2011)

This Week, Ryan Gosling Decides To Race His Way Into My Heart With Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive!

drive movie ryan gosling gif.gif
[Credit: FilmDistrict]
Standard: All right. So I illegally walked over to a seventeen year old girl. And I walk up and I say, “Hello, Miss. What is your name?” And she didn’t say anything.
And then I said, “Well my name is Standard Gabriel.”
Then what did you say?
Irene: I said, “Where’s the deluxe version?”

Based on the 2005 novel by James SallisDrive follows the unnamed Driver (Ryan Gosling), a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a criminal-for-hire-getaway driver, as he forms a bond with his neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son while her husband (Oscar Isaac) is in prison. When dangerous circumstances arise, the Driver is tasked with utilizing his talents to stay alive. The film also stars Bryan Cranston as the Driver’s well-meaning employer, Shannon, Albert BrooksRon Perlman as a pair of mobsters who love utilizing profamity to express themselves – I am all too familiar with that idea – and is directing by the stylistically stylish Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, The Neon Demon).

The Driver Is A Phenomenal Character



If you are familiar with director Refn’s work, you know many of his characters are not given elaborate backstories which allows the audience to learn as much as they need to learn as the film progresses, nothing more nothing less. He is a big believer in the concept of showing and not telling. Whenever we see the Driver interact with others, he expresses himself in two or three words, maybe seven if he is feeling frisky. We know he moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and began working for Shannon at the garage, the aforementioned Shannon being one of the few in his life that he feels comfortable enough to say more than a few words to.

Irene’s son, Benicio is another person the Driver feels comfortable enough to hold an entire conversation with, particularly when discussing the moralistic aptitude of a television shark. It is because of the few tidbits we are given about the Driver that makes him such an intriguing character. We know the very basics about him and want to learn more about how he managed to perfect his driving and hammering skills.

drive hammer gif.gif
[Credit: FilmDistrict]
He feels like a regular human yet there is something superhuman about him – if that makes sense. Refn illustrates this idea by revealing that the nature of the Driver character is meant to be more than what the surface conveys:

“… The Driver was meant to become a superhero, and he’s denied all these things—relationships, companionship. And why would he be denied that? It was because he was meant for something greater.”

There are certain moments where he manages to pull off the seemingly impossible and I genuinely wondered how the fuck did he do that?? This idea certainly lends credence to the notion that he is a powerful being in a hyper-realistic world… And that is what I love about it! Since Gosling is spectacular in the role, you want to see more of whatever it is he is doing even if that means suspending your disbelief that this man is not your regular human. His eyes speak wonders by staring at whatever he happens to be staring at; whether it be glaring into the eyes of an enemy or gazing at the ridiculously gorgeous nighttime LA roads.

I never thought I would be ecstatic at the prospect of someone being colour blind, however Refn attributes his inability to seeing mid-colours as a reason why all his films are very contrasted:

“… If it were anything else I couldn’t see it.”

The Gorgeous Cinematography of Drive:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

No Surprise Here: The Soundtrack Is A Character Itself

Refn regular, Cliff Martinez composes the synth-heavy score for Drive and the soundtrack features a number of amazing artists including Desire, my favourite track of the film (“A Real Hero”) by College and Electric Youth and, of course, the song most associated with the film: “Nightcall” by Kavinsky. For those that have never seen or heard anything about Drive, the opening title credits for the film – following a beautifully tension-filled opening sequence – will intrigue you at least a tiny bit to check out what the film is about:

Favourite Scene! (SPOILERS)

Alright, do you want to know the exact moment where I felt the most excited to see what would transpire in Drive? The first seven minutes of the movie. Refn does not waste any time in getting straight into the action and by “action,” I am not only referring to zooming car chases and destruction. Why I appreciate Drive as much as I do is because it doesn’t have to resort to the seemingly hour-long car chases to grab my attention. The film is very much a character piece, an aspect to it I’m sure a few were unfamiliar with when they initially went into it (more on that below).

[Credit: FilmDistrict]
As the beginning sequence unfolded, I expected that bombastic car chase to ensue since I have become accustomed to that occurring in virtually every car-based film I have seen. As a character piece enthusiast, imagine my surprise when the 2:30 mark happened and instead of barreling down the road to an imminent car chase, the Driver pulled off to the side and turned off the car lights.

  • The Subversion Of Expectation. As mentioned, I did not expect at all for the Driver to pull to the side. I fully expected some type of chase to occur since he accelerated out of the spot and headed toward the road. When they were on the bridge with the helicopter looming over them and were seemingly caught, I then said to myself “okay NOW the chase will happen…” He pulled into a garage and Grand Theft Auto-style waited until the heat wore off. Finally he exited and pulled up to a red light, cop car straight ahead waiting for his next move, “alright now that chase will happen…” The Driver pulls off his ingenious plan that made me fall in love.
  • The Incorporation Of The Radio. Throughout the sequence, I wondered why the shit this guy was so fixated on the Clippers game. TURN THAT DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROA– Ohhhhhhhh… Oh. That’s dirty. And great. Dirty and great all over.
  • The Lack Of Bitching From The Guys In The Back. The classic trope of the people who burst into the car when they are in a rush and yell at the driver to “hurry up! Go faster! Get us out of here!” Motherfucker, the person in control of the vehicle is more than aware that they need to drive. You screeching in their ear what is equivalent to saying “the sky is blue!” is not helping anyone. These guys got in the car and allowed the getaway driver to do what the getaway driver should do… Get away.

See My Favourite Scene Below:

The ‘I Have Been Duped!’ Lawsuit

Somebody on the Earth sued the distribution company behind Drive, FilmDistrict, for “[promoting] the film… as very similar to the Fast and Furious, or similar, series of movies.” In 2011, Sarah Deming of Michigan believed the film would be more in vein of Fast and the Furious instead of in the style of a fucking Nicolas Winding Refn movie and stated:

“Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film… having very little driving in the motion picture…”

She was also offended by the idea that the film features a criminal Jewish mobster who utters derogatory remarks against his people because THAT IS HIS CHARACTER:

“Drive was a motion picture that substantially contained extreme gratuitous defamatory dehumanizing racism directed against members of the Jewish faith, and thereby promoted criminal violence against members of the Jewish faith.”

Deming wanted a refund for her movie ticket, in addition to halting the production of “misleading movie trailers” in the future. “The plaintiff intends to turn her individual case into a class action lawsuit, thereby allowing fellow movie-goers an opportunity to share in the settlement.”

‘Billy Madison’ [Credit: Universal Studios]
If I haven’t conveyed my opinion on this issue enough, I firmly believe this woman is a moron. Not for feeling like a trailer misled her but because she believed suing was a legitimate option. Certain trailers are misleading as fuck. Welcome to the world of the movie trailer. I was duped into thinking The Phantom Menace was the second coming of Christ and look at that shit pile.

Check Out The Trailer In Question Below, However Be Warned It’s Spoilerific:

Did the trailer of Drive make it seem like a super action-packed movie? Sure. Does that warrant suing for anything? Maybe in Fantasyland where unicorns are the authority and it rains chocolate kisses.

And don’t get me started on her claiming the film portrays Jewish people in a negative light. The film portrays criminals in a negative light… You know, BECAUSE THEY’RE CRIMINALS. I guess she also missed the whole point of Nino (Perlman) using the derogatory term to express just how shitty their family is… You know, BECAUSE OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Five Years Later Update…

This lawsuit hasn’t let up. Thankfully for the judges with common sense:

“A judge in Oakland, Mich. rejected plaintiff Sarah Deming’s putative class action in March 2012, concluding that there was no misrepresentations of material fact even assuming the trailer contained subliminal anti-Semitism.”

Apparently following the rejection, the plaintiff tried to get the judge removed from the case for allegedly being anti-Semitic himself. That dispute went to a Michigan appeals court which, on October 15th, 2013:

“… [Handed] down a decision that stated in part, ‘Any affirmative representations the trailer made about being a racing movie were not inaccurate; the movie does contain driving scenes… Moreover, plaintiff, contrary to her hyperbole, does not refer us to any actual violence against, or even criticism of, Jews that has resulted from the film being shown.’

Apparently the plaintiff’s lawyer (Martin H. Leaf) has not given up on the idea that the film contains anti-Semitic messages so this saga will continue.

the happening confused gif.gif
‘The Happening’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

If you’re looking for a Fast And The Furious-esque picture, Drive that is not. If you’re interested in watching a visually pleasing character piece on a man who is so much more than just a talent behind the wheel, I highly recommend checking out Drive.

Drive receives a Matt Damon whooping it up in The Martian.

matt damon the martian happy gif.gif
‘The Martian’ [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Click Here For More Nostalgia’d Reviews!

featured image source: James White

Nostalgia’d Review: Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961), Seen On The Big Screen!

This Week, Let’s Visit The Illustrious Holly Golightly And Grab Some Breakfast At Tiffany’s!

breakfast at tiffany's glasses gif.gif
Paramount Pictures

Holly Golightly: I’ll tell you one thing, Fred, darling… I’d marry you for your money in a minute. Would you marry me for my money?
Paul Varjak: In a minute.
Holly: I guess it’s pretty lucky neither of us is rich, huh?
Paul: … Yeah.

Based on the novel of the same name by Truman CapoteBreakfast At Tiffany’s follows the journey of Holly Golightly portrayed by the captivatingly brilliant Audrey Hepburn. We are introduced to this vision in black as she scarfs down on a croissant while looking lovingly at a window belonging to Tiffany & Co. You know, a typical Monday morning for many of us. Breakfast At Tiffany‘s also stars a beautifully tanned George Peppard, an incredibly racist performance by Mickey Rooney and is directed by the iconic Blake Edwards (Victor/Victoria, The Pink Panther)

Viewing This In The Theatres Is An Experience Like No Other

Tiffany’s is one of my favourite movies of all time and I was lucky enough to view it tonight at the VIP Cineplex theatre in Toronto. For those unfamiliar, the VIP theatres are 19+ and feature reclining seats, in-seat service, and they have basically been the only way I watch movies at the theatres now. They’ve spoiled me, really.

Hearing that incredible Henry Mancini score set against the backdrop of 1960s New York on a movie theatre screen while chomping down on an unhealthy brownie that was brought to me is fan… tastic! (This is also not a paid promotion… I just really like their VIP theatres)

And for those confused by my strange spelling, Canadians spell “theater” as “theatre.” Why? No idea.

deal with it gif.gif

Audrey Hepburn As Ms. Golightly Is Simply A Dream

Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of this woman who harbours deep secrets and has lived through her whole existence by placing various facades on whomever she encounters could have easily come across as a vapid and selfish woman by any actress not of her calibre. Hepburn’s ability to step into a room and take it over completely while also managing to have that small-town naive look in her eyes is simply mesmerizing. I am genuinely in awe throughout the film at her sheer magnitude of a presence on screen. She receives first billing and undoubtedly owns it.

breakfast at tiffany's audrey gif.gif

Hepburn and Peppard work fantastically well together, I enjoyed every single moment these two were on screen because I felt the adoration each respective character had for the other. The way the story progressed added another layer to their relationship and understanding of each other, particularly in Paul’s (Peppard) growing love for Holly. Since Hepburn’s performance and grasp of her character is executed so well, you want to see her succeed and thrive in her love life regardless of her belief that she needs to be wealthy in order to achieve that. Every character works to serve Holly’s story and ultimately, I love the film for that because of how much I am drawn to Holly Golightly.



Really Though… That Mickey Rooney Was All Kinds Of Crazy

With the undying love I will forever have for this movie, that performance by Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi will always make me laugh at the sheer absurdity of it. It is terribly insensitive and I’m certain any audience member today watching for the first time will understand just how different the times were… Not to excuse the blatant racism of the character, you just can’t help but laugh at the terribleness of it when a grown man in shitty makeup is shouting, “Miss-a Gorightry!” In the words of Clay Davissheeeeeeeeit.

Henry Mancini’s Score And Blake Edwards’ Direction Is To Die For

Mancini’s Moon River is utilized throughout the film for a number of scenes and every time I hear those first few chords, I melt. Edwards’ sequences are paired perfectly with Mancini’s score. That iconic opening scene is regarded as a classic because of its ability to express so much with not a single word of dialogue uttered in it.

We hear the opening chords to Moon River set against the sequence of a beautiful woman in black dressed to the nines, adoring the window display of one of the most affluent establishments on Earth. The hugely pronounced font displaying all those involved plus a mention of “Cat” in the character list! This movie has me hooked already and it’s only a minute in!

Please Check Out The Opening Scene Below, It Is Lovely:

Favourite Scene!

So as you can tell from this entire piece, I love Breakfast At Tiffany’s and since it had been awhile since I last saw it, watching it in the theatre reminded me of all the fun this film has and the countless sequences that made me laugh aloud.

It is terribly difficult, darling to narrow it down to just one scene but since that is the point of this specific segment, I will mention the Stripper Dance scene wherein a drunk Holly and relatively distracted Paul visit a bar that I guess doubles as a strip show?

  • Bye Bye, Doc Golightly. The scene happened right after Holly said goodbye to Doc and declared to Paul to not take her home until she is well and drunk and well… Thankfully Paul is a man of his word.
  • Holly And Paul Discuss The Talents Of The Dancer. Nothing says relationship bonding like taking your prospective partner to a strip show and debating the merits of whether the woman stripping on stage is either “deeply and importantly” talented or “amusingly and superficially” talented… Not to mention HOW GREAT IS IT SEEING AUDREY HEPBURN AND GEORGE PEPPARD JUST CHILLING, WATCHING A WOMAN STRIP DANCE?!
  • My Favourite Line Of The Entire Film: “… Gracious! Do you think she’s handsomely paid?”

See My Favourite Scene Below:

If you’re a fan of Audrey Hepburn, gather your friends who are into older films that make you laugh and emotional at times and check out Breakfast At Tiffany’s. 

Breakfast At Tiffany’s receives a Matt Damon-Having-The-Time-Of-His-Life-And-Grabbing-His-Beautiful-Nose.


Some Ticket Stub Action, If You’re Into That:


When Did I First Feel The Need To Watch Breakfast At Tiffany’s?

Fun Fact! For those interested, I used to be a huge Gossip Girl fan back when it aired in 2007 (TEN YEARS AGO?!) and there is a Tiffany’s sequence that occurred in the first season that I remember so vividly because I used to watch that fucking show incessantly. I even bought the Season 1 DVD that is… Somewhere…

Anyway, there is a sequence in Season 1, Episode 14 where Blair (Leighton Meester) is in her Holly Golightly-garb set at the conclusion of the film, looking for “Cat.” I don’t know why I liked it so much, I think it was because the thought of naming one’s cat “Cat” was just so appealing to me. After that episode, I decided “hey, maybe I should watch this movie with Audrey Hepburn because Gossip Girl referenced it… I mean, it must be good if they referenced it, right?” I always knew of the film since I was slowly getting into old Hollywood films but never took the time out to watch since we all know how busy seventh graders are.

Long winded story short, it is thanks to that sequence from the first season of Gossip Girl that got me off my butt and watching this Hepburn classic. Thanks, Jenny BLAIR!

Check Out More Nostalgia’d Reviews!

featured image source: panic-posters

Nostalgia’d Review: WarGames (1983)

This Week, Let’s See What Matthew Broderick And World War III Have In Common With John Badham’s WarGames!


Jennifer: He wasn’t very old.
David: No, he was pretty old. He was 41.
Jennifer: Oh yeah? … Oh, that’s old.

WarGames was released in the summer of 1983 and was the fifth highest grossing film domestically of that year, behind:

  1. Return Of The Jedi;
  2. Terms Of Endearment;
  3. Flashdance;
  4. Trading Places.

It stars a pre-Ferris Bueller Matthew Broderick, pre-Breakfast Club Ally Sheedy and an incredibly young Coach Whitey Durham of One Tree Hill fame, Barry Corbin.

great question

Broderick’s David Lightman And Sheedy’s Jennifer No-Last-Name Made For An Enjoyable Duo

The film follows Broderick’s David Lightman, a technological wiz latchkey kid who pulls off the obnoxious wealthy teenager rather well… Albeit there were moments that made me want to wipe the stupid look off his face. The film follows him as he hacks his way into a military supercomputer and shit goes down from there. David’s character consists of technological jargon that was intriguing to listen to, however the delivery of his whiny-pitched voice was off-putting at times. The kid lives in a dual-income household in the ’80s. His parents aren’t terrible and his mom loves raw corn, his teenage angst should frankly be non-existent.

“did I do that?” Yes. You did.

Ally Sheedy’s character Jennifer serves as a typical ’80s female used to further the development of our teenage male protagonist, however I appreciated immensely the attempt to not make her so much of a damsel in distress. Instead, Jennifer actually took an interest in the shit David was spewing and their relationship was nice to watch. She really seemed to like him more and more as the threats increased which makes me think she is into that kind of thing. Driving a dirt bike with no helmet is that bad ass/dangerous ’80s life kids were living at the time!

I also truly appreciate that they didn’t make David a squirrelly, socially-awkward nerd that ridicules Jennifer at every turn for not knowing what trajectory headings are. There are two glaring examples of the (WARNING: TV TROPES LINKGeekPhysique at play during one scene but besides that, the secondary characters all have distinct personality traits without being labeled as “Mustache-Twirling-Villain #1” or “White Knight #2.”

The Essentially Flawless Pacing

WarGames is 114 minutes which runs about two and a half hours if you watch it off a TV station. When I initially realized this, I wondered if I would feel fatigued at all seeing governing bodies discuss nuclear launch codes…

Scout’s Honour: The first time I checked to see how much of the film was left, two hours already elapsed.

The pacing in this film is essentially flawless. Each and every single sequence of events is progressed spectacularly. I did not feel bored once which is a testament to John Bedham’s directing and the fantastic writing. There were maybe one or two moments that lingered a bit longer than I would have liked, but even then I found myself enveloped in this world.

The final sequence is wonderfully done because of how well the tension building was executed throughout it. Had the scenes prior to it been lazily done, the viewer would be itching to turn the film off rather than want to see more. The techno-babble was relatively straight-forward to comprehend and as someone whose favourite trilogy consists of two people walking around a city discussing life (see: Richard Linklater‘s Before trilogy), any type of complexity to the film is accessible to any audience members interested in the issue of global thermonuclear war!

Favourite Scene (SPOILERS)

I’ll link to my favourite scene here just in case there are those individuals that are spoiled by thumbnails and the such. If you want to enter this film with as little knowledge as possible, I’d suggest watching it first or just scrolling to see my score, if interested.
I will post spoilers in the following bullet points…

  • The Meaning Behind It. Throughout the film we are warned about what will happen when we reach DEFCON 1. We ache at the thought of it! When the words are finally said, a knot did form in my stomach.
  • The Tension Is Real. They’re closing up the mountain?! Will they make it up the hill?!! For God’s sake why did you go on the computer, David???

If you’re looking for an awesome 1980s film with that ’80s technology flying high in the sky, check out WarGames.

See Also:

WarGames receives a Matt Damon pulling his best Fonzie impression…


featured image source: James White

Nostalgia’d Review: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

Welcome to the first installment of Nostalgia’d Reviews!
This week, let’s take a trip over to that cool, happenin’ stereo store at the Ridgemont Mall with Amy Heckerling’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High.


“Mister, if you don’t shut up, I’m gonna kick 100 percent of your ass!”

Fast Times makes me yearn for a time I wasn’t even alive during. There are many movies that have that affect on me…

Fast Times at Ridgemont High, released in 1982 and stars a handful of young, fresh-faced talents such as Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton and Judge Reinhold as her brother Brad, Phoebe Cates as Linda Barrett, Forest Whitaker as Charles Jefferson and wait– NICOLAS CAGE WAS IN THIS?

nic cage fast times
credited as Nicolas Coppola

The coming-of-age comedy follows a group of teenagers as they navigate their way through Ridgemont High for a school year, with an emphasis placed on Stacy as she’s torn between Mark “Rat” Ratner (Brian Backer) and his cool-as-a-scalper-cucumber buddy Mike Damone (Robert Romanus aka John Bender’s younger brother). Right off the bat I will say I adored this movie. I have never seen the movie in its entirety and only really knew a couple of things about it, such as how Spicoli is referenced as one of the greatest high school movie characters and that Phoebe Cates scene…

phoebe cates fresh prince

The characters are easily my favourite aspect of the movie. I didn’t really care much for them toward the beginning of the movie (except Brad… He was terrific) however as it progressed, virtually every character you care to care about is developed wonderfully and they eventually become incredibly fleshed out. Linda is such a supportive friend, it threw me off. I expected some kind of blow out that would occur between her and Stacy, however it surprisingly didn’t go that and instead, she did everything she could to cheer up her best friend when she was down, gave (relatively) solid advice when it came to sex and she actually had some character herself so I was interested in seeing where her character progressed as well.

Can I also just say how much I appreciated the relationship between Brad/Stacy? It is so refreshing to see a brother/sister duo where one isn’t torturing the other until they have to come together for a common goal… Don’t get me wrong, I love those kinds of relationships depicted on film, however as mentioned it was just refreshing to see how much these two genuinely cared for each other. There was one particular moment that made me a bit emotional, a reaction I certainly didn’t expect from a movie that has a character named Mr. Hand…

the motto

To say this movie is quotable simply doesn’t do it justice. I tried to write down as many as I could, unfortunately I ended up just enjoying the movie and letting my brain deal with attempting to memorize as much as it could. Every word out of Damone’s mouth was gold, man. The writing is absolutely fantastic and Fast Timeis one of those movies that are incredibly atmospheric. It is not slap stick-y so there isn’t something bombastic happening on screen every second, it relies heavily on the dialogue progressing the story and it accomplishes that brilliantly with it witty and cleverness.

Here are a few examples of my favourites..

“You fell in love with that girl at the Fotomat, you bought forty dollars worth of fuckin’ film, and you never even talked to her. You don’t even own a camera.”

“People on ‘ludes should not drive!”

“That kid’s been stoned since the third grade”

And my personal favourite:

“Wait, there are three girls here at Ridgemont who have cultivated the Pat Benatar look.”

Another aspect I greatly appreciated of Fast Times were the conflicts. There were one or two overarching issues that the movie had which progresses along nicely and keeps the audience’s attention, yet there were sprinkles of secondary conflicts that characters faced and resolved rather quickly… Something I am so happy about. There is legit tension felt during certain scenes but they don’t linger or stray for too long that make you think “oh my god just tell him already!!”

Favourite Scene

The Final Exams scene. Oh my god, dude this was a brilliant scene. During my high school exams, these were always present:

  • The Mr. Hands of the school. If you were to look up from your paper to stretch they’d glare at you until your grimy greasy head turned back down to your test and your nose bled from that shit.
  • The Mr. Vargases. They didn’t know what the hell was going. They read the newspaper during the exams or pretended to mark papers. Just don’t talk during the test, please.
  • The Myriad of Ways to Cheat that honestly, if I spent the amount of time actually studying for the stupid thing rather than finding proper pens to write tips on my shoes, I’d still probably have failed. But at least I tried. I knew one class where their teacher was genuinely the world’s biggest dumb-dumb so during their exam they passed along a piece of paper with the answers to some of the multiple choice questions. spoiler alert high school isn’t the end of the world. If you want to cheat and have the means to (don’t be a dumb cheater and ruin it for everyone), fucking go for it, man.

If you’re looking for a totally chill 1980’s comedy with fantastic characters and a fucking BRILLIANT soundtrack, check out Fast Times.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High receives a Smiling Matt Damon.

ps. There was one scene that came straight of the 1980’s that I would not have understood at all if it wasn’t for this reddit link that explained it. The scene where after Mr. Hand passes out the papers, the class collectively smells them in sheer joy…

“The pages were reproduced using a mimeograph machine. They smelled wonderful when they were fresh.”

the more you know