Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) Book Review

Every decade has its iconic films. They speak to who we are in the moment, where we have been, and where we might go in the future.

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore), by Hadley Freeman, was published in 2016. Freeman explores the tropes, narratives, and character arcs that dominated the era and its iconic movies. Speaking of such films as Pretty in Pink, Ghostbusters, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Coming to America, The Breakfast Club, etc, the reader is given the perspective as both a fan and a critic.

The thing I did not realize (or forgot) is that some of these movies are full of racism, sexism, and homophobia. It’s not surprising, given some of the cultural attitudes back in the day. I also did not recognize until I read the book that Hollywood was more progressive in the 80s (well to a certain point) than it claims to be now. There was more latitude (depending on the specific IP) given to women and minorities to grow beyond the stereotypes and expected storyline.

Writing with love, respect, and an equally critical eye, Freeman provides the reader with both a modern lens and how audiences responded to the films when they were initially released.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) is available wherever books are sold.

Ghostbusters Movie Review

A sequel or a reboot of a beloved classic is a hard film to make. Keeping the balance between respecting and referring to the original film and creating a new narrative with new characters is tricky. Especially when that movie is part of your childhood.

Ghostbusters hit theaters last weekend. A reboot of one of the best-loved movies of the 1980’s, there was a controversy and a concern surrounding this film. Can it live up to the status of the original or is it doomed to be another clunker of a reboot?

New York City is haunted. Someone is opening a gateway for the dead to return to the land of the living. It is up to the Ghostbusters to stop them. Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig), Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) are the only ones who can save New York from the dead. Assisting The Ghostbusters is the handsome but dumb Kevin (Chris Hemsworth).

I can understand the trepidation from audience members, especially from my fellow 80’s babies. Your fears are unfounded. Not only does this film pay the perfect homage to the original film (complete with cameos from the original surviving cast and a bust of Harold Ramis), but it stands on it’s own two feet. As director and co-writer of the screenplay, Paul Feig strikes the perfect balance between comedy and horror. Utilizing a combination of practical effects and CGI, the special affects add to the already perfect screenplay. And of course, the four actresses in the lead roles are smart, funny, strong and completely human.

I absolutely recommend it.

I also recommend staying for the initial credits, it will be worth the wait.

Ghostbusters is presently in theaters.

Ghostbusters Controversy

When the Ghostbusters trailer was released on March 3rd, the internet exploded. For many film fans, based on the trailer, this appears to be the perfect reboot.

Then the problems started flaring up.

Some complained that Leslie Jones is playing a stereotype. A working class African-American who is brash and loudmouthed.

I disagree.

While I am not African-American and I cannot stand in the shoes of the people who are making the accusations, from my perspective, I disagree.

The other main characters are highly educated, middle class or upper middle class Caucasian women. Ms. Jones’s character provides a nice balance to the rest of the Ghostbusters crew.

For my part, I don’t care. Leslie Jones is hilarious and I am so stoked to see this movie.

 

Ghostbusters Trailer

I hope I am not the only one excited by the trailer for the new Ghostbusters film.

Normally I would say to leave a classic film like Ghosbusters as is. But, considering that the reboot has four of the funniest women in Hollywood and according to the trailer, shows proper homage to its predecessor, I will gladly see the film when it arrives in theaters this summer.

Ghostbusters Trailer

One of the movies I’m excited to see this year is the Ghostbusters re-boot.

The original movie is one of the funniest movies of the early 1980’s.

Updated with a cast of four of the funniest women in Hollywood, the Ghostbusters re-boot is on my must see list for 2016.

Throwback Thursday- Ghostbusters (1984)

Something strange in the neighborhood…..

Ghost stories have been around since the beginning of story telling. But sometimes the same old story gets old.

That’s where Ghostbusters (1984) comes in.

In New York City, four out of work college professors, whose focus was the occult, decide to use their skills to enter a new field: ghost busting. Using a former firehouse as their home base, Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) sell their services to the living who are haunted by the dead. When they discover a portal to the other world that opens the door to the ultimate evil, they must work together to save the city.

This movie is the classic that it is for a reason. On top of the occult/horror, the cast contains four of the best comedic actors in the business. And the theme song is just very cool and very catchy. After 31 years, this movie is as fresh and funny as it was back in 1984. To illustrate the movie’s lasting legacy, I give you Hoobastank singing the movie’s theme song.

I recommend it.

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