February 08, 2006

Class of 1984: Round Three

Here's the latest Class of 1984 giveaway. To reiterate: we've got 5 copies of Anchor Bay's upcoming Special Edition of Mark L. Lester's exploitation classic to unload, courtesy of Total Assault. This is the third of five mini-contests (one per copy) I will hold here at the blog.

If you've never seen Class of 1984, it's basically a remake of The Blackboard Jungle with the flamboyant gangbangers of The Warriors replacing the original's Wild One-style delinquents. One of the last Canadian tax-shelter pics, it features rare live footage of Toronto punk band Teenage Head, an early performance by Michael J. Fox, and an ending that will have you asking how something so wrong can feel so right. Due out on February 21st, the DVD features commentary from Lester, a retrospective documentary, and beautifully remastered picture and sound. We'll have a full review at the mother site in the coming weeks.

To win the third copy, correctly identify the movie to which the below frame-grab belongs. (Since this a frame-grab and not a production still, be sure to take note of things like aspect ratio.) As we're only allowed to give these discs away to North American residents, I must ask that our international readers refrain from placing any guesses. Sorry.


Little tougher this week? Mayhaps.

As you may have surmised from my Carnac-like speculation that Warners wouldn't be revisiting Superman on DVD unless it was in the context of an Alien Quadrilogy-style box set, I was given some inkling a few months back that such a project was being brainstormed but wasn't aware that it--along with definitive reissues of 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and the NC-17 version of Eyes Wide Shut (sadly, re-releases of Barry Lyndon and Full Metal Jacket are not currently on tap)--had been officially announced at a Warner Home Video event last week. Oops; I stopped reading the various DVD news sites once FFC started getting besieged with press releases straight from the studios themselves, but occasionally a juicy tidbit--like this crocodile-choking, 14-disc box set of the four original Superman feature films plus Bryan Singer's upcoming Superman Returns--flies clear of our radar. I'm really excited about those Kubricks.

Be sure to take a gander at Walter's two-for-one review of Bram Stoker's Dracula & Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Many nails are hit squarely on the head therein.

Hot Off the Presses (2/9)
Ask and ye shall receive: Walter reviews Final Destination 3.

Update (2/10)
As my clues have apparently been of little help, here's a second framegrab from the film in question; this is probably a dead giveaway. Also, new on the mothersite, Travis looks at Simone Bitton's documentary Wall.

43 comments:

Nate said...

I know this is wrong, but it's my only guess: Magnolia?

Bill C said...

Good guess (I know the scene you're talking about). Probably too early for clues, but here's a freebie: it predates Magnolia.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Oh, gee, so it was made before the year of 1999? Golly, thanks for the illuminating clue, Bill!

(Actually, the guy at first glance looks like Timothy Dalton, and with the black duds I figured it was a scene from one of his Bond films that never graced the theatrical prints and DVDs I'd watched. Guess I need some alcohol now so I can think straighter.)

Aw, shit. I gotta do this because, while I know Licence to Kill by heart (it's my second-favorite Bond film), I've only seen The Living Daylights once, and that was at the theatre back in '87. Is it Daylights?

Ian Pugh said...

That is a spectacular guess, Jack, particularly considering that Dalton is dressed in all black in the pre-credits sequence of Daylights. Can't remember this being a part of it but there we are.

On the off-chance you're wrong, however, I'll guess Dead Again. For some reason the title jumps out at me, and going by a hopeful guess that you've placed a clue in the post-cap paragraph.

Ian Pugh said...

(Relating to Walter's review of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein -- doesn't look like a Kubrick to me.)

Bill C said...

Swell guesses, but no cigar. More clues on the way if nobody gets it. (Enter as often as you like, btw.)

Kirk said...

Uh... The Stuntman?

This grab brings back memories of episodes of The Fall Guy, one of my favorite shows growing up. I love those "Dudes-with-vehicles" isotopes (Knight Rider, Airwolf, A-Team, the Dukes). Can I get one last Awesome Car Show? Please?

Also, I'd like to have the expanded Superman II cut without the pain of III and IV, please, WB. Don't they know how terrible those last ones are*?



*I do enjoy that Good vs. Evil (i.e."stubbly) Superman fight in part Three.

Bill C said...

The Stunt Man is incorrect, but we're getting warmer, at least in terms of the era.

The junkyard brawl in Superman III is indeed awesome, maybe my favourite scene in any of them, truth be told.

Ian Pugh said...

Hmm... bars on windows, close to The Stunt Man? My second guess: Escape from Alcatraz.

Rich said...

Doubtful, but I'll take a wild stab: Point Blank?

Bill C said...

In retrospect, I suppose the film is pretty obscure--but don't take that to mean unknown or highbrow.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Super Fuzz?

Bill C said...

Ha! No, it's not as obscure as a spaghetti cop flick. Or is it...?

Ian Pugh said...

You're definitely a tough one, Bill.

With that in mind, let's try a spaghetti superhero pic, with a major subplot being people thrown from buildings. My third, decidedly unserious guess: the 1980 b-movie classic Pumaman. A MST3K treatment rendered it "known" and it can never, ever be considered highbrow.

Ian Pugh said...

(In other news, man, am I grasping at straws.)

Bill C said...

It's not Pumaman (holy cow, I had to look that one up), but the film is arguably MST3K'able. I'll post another screen cap from the same sequence later tonight, but in the meantime keep 'em comin'.

Kirk said...

Hooper?

zurri said...

Ok--

Clues so far:
a.) Timothy dalton looking guy
b.) around 1980's
c.) MST3K'able
d.) Obsure--but known and not highbrow (wth)

its gotta be flash gordon

seriously-- we need more clues

zurri said...

Could this be a Troma flick?

Jack_Sommersby said...

I went through a film journal that lists all of the films in a given year; I tried 1980-1984, and I couldn't come up with a one that rang a bell related to that pic. I just know I'm going to be kicking myself when Bill unveils it, because I know I've seen it. I'm thinking, though, that it was one of those films I saw only once on cable as a young teen, and the images from it didn't stick. We'll see.

Bill C said...

Think the ideological antithesis of Troma.

Jefferson said...

You mean Merchant-Ivory?

Anonymous said...

Oh man, is that Strange Brew? The guy looks so much like Rick Moranis in that picture.

- David H.

Bill C said...

A second framegrab is up. I know I said I'd cap something from the same sequence, but this image, which appears a few minutes earlier in the film, was irresistable.

Kirk said...

Morons From Outer Space?

Anonymous said...

Is it Starman?

- Brian R.

Ian Pugh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ian Pugh said...

Guess number four: let's try the world's best space vampire picture, Lifeforce. Surely Tobe Hooper's name makes something both obscure yet known.

Jefferson said...

Distinctly not Lifeforce. Everyone's wearing clothes.

Anonymous said...

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?

- David H.

Anonymous said...

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension?

- David H.

Anonymous said...

my blogger identity seems to have been lost, but is it "Return From Witch Mountain"?

Bill C said...

The correct answer is indeed Return from Witch Mountain! Given the anonymous status of the winner, I hope that only one person will come forward to claim the prize. Please e-mail your name and shipping address to billc@filmfreakcentral.net

Next week I promise I'll make it a hard one for a change.

Rich said...

Off-topic,

Ebert attempts a defense of his paternal hand-holding through the jungle of movieland in his review of Curious George while giving the movie-going kids of the world a big hug!

Apparently, making movies for kids requires following this formula:
Bright colors, vivid drawings, encouraging music, a plot that is exciting but not too scary, and a character they can identify with.

I guess we can throw out notions of real artistry when movies get to be just tools serving a purpose (ie. knocking kids out for an hour and a half). Ebert's methods of evaluating movies 'for kids' sound a lot like those you'd use for hardcore porn.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Well, Ballbuster Bill, at least I can sleep easily, since I've never seen Witch Mountain, so it's not like I'd seen it and forgotten that ultra-arresting imagery you provided to us with the screenshots. How about something easier next time -- like, perhaps, something from a student film from the Bulgaria Film School, hmmmm?

Alex Jackson said...

The critic must recommend what he or she enjoys, not what some hypothetical audience will enjoy. Critics who say, "This is sure to be enjoyed by teenagers" if they are not teenagers are dummies, and the audience is the ventriloquist. Some of my colleagues say their editors require them to recommend movies on the basis of the tastes of the readers. An editor who does that is instructing the critic in falsehood and incompetence.

Second time in a row that I have to type out ROFLMAO. Wow, this guy is seriously deluded. I'll have whatever he's smoking.

Curious George kind of makes me wish I was a professional credentialled critic or at least that the drive-in season had started (where we go regardless of what is playing). Or that I had kids who wanted to go. That still on Ebert's site really looks fabulous, but it's not quite enough in itself to justify a trip to the theater you know?

James Allen said...

Re: Ebert's review of Curious George

Another odd review from Mr. E. Not so much a critique of Curious George (in fact, the movie itself seems like a secondary subject) but a dissertaion on film criticism- or something. Laughable quote: "In theory, I should have voted against it." [But he voted for it, of course] "The critic must recommend what he or she enjoys, not what some hypothetical audience will enjoy." It's laughable because he does that all the time. In fact he did it in this very review. The contradiction is brushed away by invoking Walt Whitman. This guy is all over the place.

I guess The Pink Panther must really and truly be bad, because Rog gave it 1.5 stars. Though it seems his dislike of the film is based totally on the fact that Steve Martin is not Peter Sellers, as if we all didn't know that already.

Re: the screen shot

Good one, Bill, not only did you pick a cheesy Disney movie from around 25 years ago, you picked the sequel. We are now spoiled (to the point of jadedness) by CGI being in practically everything, so it's hard to remember how low budget these films were as far as special effects go. That flying saucing looks like a cutout pasted on the screen.

the petaluma center said...

If you want to read a rotten Ebert review, try his Match Point:

First line:

"One reason for the fascination of Woody Allen's "Match Point" is that each and every character is rotten."

I liked Match Point, and that ain't the movie I saw.

Jefferson said...

Ebert's reversal on Longest Yard still gets me. I just watched that movie tonight ... it hates fat men, hates gay men, and only respects black men to the extent that they pose a physical threat or can be gulled into service.

On second thought, it's amazing how much that encapsulates the current popular attitudes in our country. Maybe that's how Sandler got so rich.

James Allen said...

Ebert's review of The Longest Yard was one of the stupidest things I've ever read. That he seemed to get off on the idiocy is just par for the course in Ebert-world, where having your cake and eating it too (this is not a fat joke) is the way of things: i.e. "I liked it at first, but I actually hated it, but I'm going to stick with liking it because blah blah blah."

Here are the general tenets of criticism in Ebert-world:

1) Independent films are, in and of themselves, better than anything, and therefore should be championed above all else.

2) Mainstream films are made for idiots, and therefore should be evaluated with that in mind.

3) Trenchant observations should be avoided at all costs in favor of bad analogies, lame attempts at sociological observations, lousy jokes (see the end of his review for Final Destination 3), and swipes at other critics (and/or dissertaions on the role of the critic and how oh-so-hard it all is to fairly judge something like- oh Curious George, for example.)

Bill C said...

Just read the Final Destination 3 review, and holy crap, that joke capper is Lame. He's super-corny, though: once, when I ran into him in the line-up for Saw, I asked sorta incredulously, "You're seeing Saw?!" And he said, "Nah, I think I'll teeter-totter instead."

Anonymous said...

Take a look at his Daredevil review.Though i find it fascinating i´ll admit it´s a wildly uneven movie but in the last two paragraphs he states that he´s getting worn out having to describe super hero movies and concludes saying that "some movies, like this one, are better than others" (duh?).
Ebert seems not only getting worn out by superhero movies but by movies, period.Well,that´s bound to happen if you turn your reviewing schtick into a simple sinopsyse provider for Joe Schmoe and actually avoid dealing seriously with things like subtext, sociological relevance, intertextuality or simple aesthetic pleasure.He´s long past retirement date by the way he´s been talking about his supposed biggest passion...Being a cinephile is as much falling in love with a film as being angry and depressed when they fail or are made without any care or respect for the medium and for what it can acomplish when you put heart and talent into it...You know...kinda like being angry at Ebert and his passionless film reviews cause we know he's much better than what he´s writing.

Jared Bellow said...

I am amused by adding his score for "A Clockwork Orange" to his score for "Blue Velvet" doesn't add up to the score he gave "The Longest Yard" or "Curious George"