Legend

Legend
Rated: PG
Dir: Ridley Scott

Starring:
Tom Cruise as Jack
Mia Sara as Princess Lily
Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness

By Rob Rector

Past Memories: In my hometown, there was a gaming store much similar to the “Android’s Dungeon” in The Simpsons. And while there were no morbidly obese employees, they were still woefully hopeless and socially palsied.

But they were the gatekeepers for us – ‘us’ being my fellow Dungeons & Dragons-playing geeks, who would walk from our houses when the promise of a new edition of “Dungeon’ magazine would hit the shelves, or the latest 12-sided dice were unveiled to a chorus of breathy gasps.

For children of the 80s, there was no ‘World of Warcraft’ in which our medieval-fueled fantasies could be embodied by walking-talking computer-rendered likenesses. It was left to imagination and free time – both of which were in overstock to a suburban, middle-class kid.

Perhaps this is why ‘Legend’ had such resonance at the time. Starring an up-and-coming young heartthrob who blasted onto the scene in his tighty-whiteys a couple years earlier in ‘Risky Business,’ and envisioned by the prolific director of ‘Alien,” and ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘Legend’ was like a dog whistle to all of nerd-dom.

Legend’ added breadth to our imaginary underworlds of magicians and monsters, and sprinkled it with lots and lots of glitter (quite literally). When we spoke of trolls, we could now use the images of Blix, Brown Tom and Screwball as reference points, and when evil lords were mentioned, we needed look no further than Tim Curry’s embodiment of the Lord of Darkness.

And perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of the film for me was its soundtrack. A score from Tangerine Dream, purveyors of 80s moody, synthesized soundtracks (Risky Business, Thief, The Keep), and a rockin’ closing track from Brian Ferry (Is Your Love Strong Enough?) and John Anderson’s “Loved by the Sun.” The music cemented this film into my memory. At times, I would enter the film in the middle just in anticipation of its closing credits.

Does the film withstand the passage of time?

Fantasy films, which typically have a much shorter shelf-life due to the ever-evolving world of special effects (CGI, green screen), are typically the quickest to disappoint…

Click here for Episode III: Legend

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‘Streets of Fire’

Dowload the podcast:  Episode II:Streets of Fire

By: Rob Rector

Streets of Fire (PG) – 1984
Directed by: Walter Hill
Starring: Michael Pare as Tom Cody
Diane Lane as Ellen Aim
Rick Moranis as Billy Fish
Amy Madigan as McCoy
Willem Dafoe as Raven Shaddock

Tagline: “A Rock & Roll Fable”

Personal Pre-screening Recollections: Tonight it what it means to be young indeed!

There are some films that come along at just the right time in your life and consume your thoughts, affect your decisions (“What would Indiana Jones do if his mom asked him to clean his room?”) and make you want to be that person on the screen. Tom Cody was one of those people for me. Continue reading

‘X-tro’

Dowload the podcast of X-tro: Episode I: \’Xtro\’

Title: X-tro
Released: January 1983
Rated: R

Peronal pre-screening recollections: I recall my father going to take me to see this when I was but a young lad. Being the kind, loving father that he was, he knew the film had aliens (that loveable ET was at his zenith in popularity), UFOs and scares in it — all the things that preoccupied my pre-teen brain. But as most fathers, he never really checked out anything else about the film (little details like alien rape and a grown man crawling out of a woman’s holiest of holies). Details of plot and characters are all a bit sketchy to me, not because I was not paying attention (far from it, I was dodging and weaving my dad’s sheltering hands like Smokin’ Joe Frazier), but because I never had the chance to finish watching the damn thing. This was actually the first film I ever walked out on (again, not my decision, as I was getting quite an anatomy lesson).

So for me, X-Tro is like one giant elipsis in my mind. What I recall equally shocked and thrilled me, so it is with much pleasure that I return to the film more than 20 years later, prepared to finish this heretofore unwritten chapter in my mind. Continue reading

history is not always as you recall it

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