80s Pop Culture Vacation

80s Pop Culture Vacation

ROAD TRIP!!! Wow, I've contemplated many times about loading up the family and heading out west to visit Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and the Rockies (mountains, not the baseball team.) I often thought about some famous Hollywood sites we could visit, but planning a whole vacation around pop culture landmarks would probably not go over well with the family. So if I had a chance to set out tomorrow from Alabama with just me, myself and I in the family truckster, here are the places I'd visit on a "80s Pop Culture Vacation."

STOP #1: Dukes of Hazzard town square & Boar's Nest  - Covington, GA
I've actually had the pleasure of visiting Covington, Ga back in 2010 with my good friend (and contributor to RD80s) Wyatt Bloom. He was more of a Dukes fan than I growing up, but it was definitely a fun visit. Just walking around the square downtown, you can easily imagine the General Lee turning the corner, followed my Roscoe in his police cruiser of course, and doing laps around the turnabout in front of the court house. The Boar's Nest still stands as well, but instead of being a bar, it is some kind of church building. Easily a destination I'd enjoy seeing again.

STOP #2: "Kellerman's Resort" from Dirty Dancing - Pembroke, VA
After a long haul from Georgia to Virginia, I figure a couple days at "Kellerman's Resort" would be just the thing I need. The setting for the Dirty Dancing movie, Mountain Lake Hotel still embraces its "claim to fame" by hosting a Dirty Dancing Festival each year. The festival is complete with dance lessons, a "Baby" and "Johnny" look-a-like contest, movie showings and scene location tours, and an antique car show. Or if that is too much, you can work on your lift routine at the nearby lake.


80s Cars: DeLorean DMC-12

80s Cars: DeLorean DMC-12
If you are gonna build a time machine into a car... 
why not do it with some style?

The DeLorean DMC-12 will forever be an 80s icon. After years of preparation, John DeLorean's dream to craft a sports car came to a screeching halt less than two years after producing his first car. But a 1985 movie would help lessen the tarnished image of the car by having millions dream of getting behind the wheel and traveling back in time. With almost 30 years passed since a new DMC-12 has been built, the car still remains cherished by children of the 80s and automobile collectors the world over.

DMC-12 History
The creative mind behind Pontiac muscle cars in the 1960s like the Firebird and GTO, John DeLorean left General Motors in 1973 to form his own automobile manufacturing company. He would collude with Renault, Volvo, and Peugeot to develop an engine and Lotus would assist with the bodywork. His first prototype landed in the mid 1970s and DeLorean would then again work with Renault to build a factory in Northern Ireland. The only car manufactured would be the DMC-12, the first of which would roll off the lines in 1981. But after a decline in the sales market and even being funded by Hollywood icons Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr., the DeLorean Motor Company would cease production in 1982. Among bankruptcy and drug trafficking charges to fund his fledgling company, John DeLorean would not be able to save his company nor his legacy as an automobile maker...

Doc Brown's Invention
...until 1985's Back To The Future came along. Director Robert Zemeckis specifically chose the DMC-12 for the time machine based on  its futuristic look and resemblance of an alien spaceship. The car's famous stainless steel panels and gull-wing doors made it the perfect vehicle for ushering Marty McFly through time. The DMC-12's look would change over the course of the three films, adding white wall tires and railroad wheels, but would never deviated enough to mask the DeLorean style. After the first film became an overwhelming success, John DeLorean wrote a letter to producer/writer Bob Gale that expressed his thanks for using the car in the film.

DMC-12 Fans
With Back to the Future as one of my favorite movies of the 80s, I'm a huge fan of the car. I've always dreamed of being able to own one of the 6,500 known to still exist. I recently connected with the A-Z of the 80s website. The main feature of the website is short films on our favorite things from the 80s. My favorite film by far has been on DeLorean owner Chris, who saved his money over the course of seven years to buy one and now has been using his DMC-12 as his everyday car for 10 years.

And with modern DeLorean owners also comes custom built DMC-12s in all shapes, sizes, and even colors! The first notable custom DeLorean was for the television show Hardcastle and McCormick which aired from 1983-86. The "Coyote X" was converted to a DMC-12 in season 2 when star Brian Keith had difficulty climbing in and out of the original car. Here are a few other custom DMC-12s I've find posted on the web and possibly coming to a monster truck arena near you!


Questions You May Ask Yourself

Single Notes Book Review: Soft Cell

Single Notes Book Review
Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: 
The Fleeting Fame & Lasting Legacy of Soft Cell
By Kurt B. Reighley

Book author, MSN music writer, and part time Seattle radio jock Kurt Reighley gives his unique perspective into the world of British synth-pop music and how Soft Cell paved the way for future artists in a new short form eBook from Rhino Records' Single Notes library. Reighley also explains how Soft Cell's impact reached beyond just music into a lifestyle of night clubbing and leather fashion that stormed the UK (and to a certain extent, the US) in the early 80s. Dismissing the "one hit wonder" moniker that has placed on the band, Reighley directs the book using his own experience of getting past the overwhelming success of "Tainted Love" and really exploring Soft Cell's music and culture. Here is the author explaining the book in his own words:


Sherman Hemsley dies at 74

Sherman Hemsley 1938 - 2012

American actor Sherman Hemsley passed away at the age of 74 on Tuesday July 24th. Known for his roles as George Jefferson in The Jeffersons and Deacon Ernest Frye in Amen, Hemsley's acting career spanned four decades on stage and screen. His work on The Jeffersons helped it become the longest running sitcom in TV history with a predominant African-American cast.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, Hemsley decided to drop out of high school and join the Air Force. Upon his return, he began working as an actor at night while maintaining a job at the US Postal Service during the day. After moving to New York, he made his Broadway debut as Gitlow in the musical Purlie in 1972. He was noticed by television writer/producer Norman Lear and offered the role of neighbor George Jefferson on All in the Family. In took Lear two years to convince Hemsley to leave Broadway and join the show. Teaming with Isabel Sanford as his wife, Hemsley would get his own spinoff show less than two years after entering the television sitcom world. The Jeffersons portrayed an affluent couple moving from a working class neighborhood in Queens, NY to an upscale apartment in Manhattan. The show would be broadcast for 11 seasons and 253 episodes from 1975-85, surpassing even the length of All in the Family. A year after The Jeffersons was cancelled unexpectedly, Hemsley joined the cast of Amen. Set in his hometown, Hemsley played Deacon Ernest Frye who at times carried the irreverent spirit of George Jefferson. Amen ran for 110 episodes and five seasons from 1986-91.


Rhino Releases New eBooks On 80s Music Artists

Is your eBook collection running a little low on 80s topics? Yeah, mine is too. That's why I was excited when I was recently contacted from Rhino/Warner Music about their new series of eBooks entitled Single Notes. Each short form book in the series tells about "music and pop culture that builds on Rhino/Warner Music Catalog’s award-winning reputation for insightful and entertaining liner notes by offering today’s top music scribes artistic license to explore the wide range of music-related subject matter that stokes their passions" according to the Single Notes website. Three of these books focus specifically on artists that had a great impact on 80s music.

I've been given the opportunity to write a review about each of these three books, right here on the RD80s website. I'll be releasing one review each week over the next three weeks AND WILL ALSO GIVE RD80s FOLLOWERS A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF FIVE COPIES OF EACH BOOK!! That's 15 books I'll be giving away in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for details. (CONTEST OVER)

Here is the book lineup that I'll be reviewing. (Photos and descriptions courtesy Rhino.Com)

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: 
The Fleeting Fame & Lasting Legacy of Soft Cell
By Kurt B. Reighley

Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, the 1981 debut album by British duo Soft Cell. A ten-track carnival of sleaze and squalor… and a pop phenomenon. In two years, Soft Cell racked up five UK Top Ten hits, including the best-selling British single of 1981, "Tainted Love." That cover of an obscure '60s soul song went #1 in seventeen countries, landing in the Guinness Book of World Records. Coupling the electronic grooves of Dave Ball with Marc Almond's over-the-top vocals, Soft Cell ushered in a wave of synth-pop acts: Eurythmics, Yazoo, Pet Shop Boys. Writhing suggestively in black leather and bangle bracelets, the effeminate Almond was beamed into suburbia courtesy of The Merv Griffin Show. For young misfits weaned on jiggle TV, The National Enquirer, and daily abuse dished out by classmates, the duo's black humor and genuine pathos came as a godsend. And the band's lives mirrored their art. While working in New York City, Soft Cell ran rampant through the underground club scene; their EP Non-Stop Ecstatic Dancing was mixed entirely under the influence of ecstasy, and their dealer even rapped on it! Far more than mere "one-hit wonders," Soft Cell fashioned a musical last gasp of pre-AIDS nightlife culture, influencing a generation of artists and fans that followed.

Every Day I Take A Wee: 
The Beastie Boys And The Untimely Death Of Suburban Folklore
By Christopher R. Weingarten

Every Day I Take A Wee is an uncomfortably personal memoir of shame, obsession and neuroses, told through growing up in shadows of the brattiest, snottiest, jerkiest, booger-wipingest record that ever existed, Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys. Not only a tale about hip-hop's earliest effects on the suburbs, SPIN senior editor Christopher R. Weingarten traces his early years — “pretty much the straight line between ‘fat kid’ and ‘rock critic’” —in hilarious detail. Exploring music's relationship with suburban folklore and urban legends, misheard Beasties lyrics conjure up shocking fantasies, album art minutiae sparks high school screaming matches, and White Castle eating contests are strongly discouraged.


Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: 
My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan
By Lyndsey Parker

If you ever paused your VCR so you could kiss John Taylor's freeze-framed face...if you ever named your Cabbage Patch Doll after Nick Rhodes...if you ever pored over Simon Le Bon's "Union Of The Snake" lyrics in search of clues to the universe...if you can pinpoint the onset of your puberty to the time when you saw the uncensored "Girls On Film" video for the very first time...then you will relate to this ultimate chronicle of one girl's very unglamorous, totally one-sided love affair with the 1980s' most glamorous band. In Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan, Yahoo! Music managing editor, unabashed Anglophile, and recovering Duranie Lyndsey Parker chronicles her hilarious and often embarrassing journey from a childhood spent in her Duran-postered bedroom, watching MTV and penning hate mail to crotchety anti-Duran music critics, to her own adulthood as one of Duran Duran's most outspoken professional champions. And along the way, she makes a very strong case for the beloved but misunderstood Boys On Film's place in rock history.

Click the link below to buy from Amazon:
Careless Memories of Strange Behavior: My Notorious Life as a Duran Duran Fan - A Single Notes Book

I'll be reviewing the first book this week and will let everyone know through the RD80s Facebook, Google+, and Twitter pages how to enter the giveaway contest! (CONTEST OVER) If you can't wait, use the links above to order each "quick read" book at a great price!

*Suggested Retail Price. May vary by store.

Nintendo Retro t-shirts


He-Man Humor

He-Man Humor
BY THE POWER OF NUMB SKULLS! Ever think about if He-Man ever had a bad day? I mean, just not up for battling Skeletor or would rather just sit around the castle as Prince Adam and sing or something? Well, our internet friends have found some unique ways to cast He-Man and the rest of our Universe Masters in a not so bright spotlight. 

Skeletor, watch your mouth!
a short clip of Skeletor insults


The Holy Grail of Shopping Sprees

The Holy Grail of Shopping Sprees

This week's assignment for the League: This week we’re going to try something a little different–we’re going shopping! Here’s a blank check, now head over to the Profiles in History Dreier Collection auction and buy something nice for the cave. (You can buy more than one item, but leave some for the rest of us.) (((DROOLING))) ...a blank check to fill the RD80s man cave! I'm a huge fan of Hollywood Treasure on the SyFy channel and being able to bid live at one of their auctions would be a dream come true. This upcoming auction is incredibly large with a 220 page catalog of movie costumes, props, and collectibles! But since I have to leave some items for my fellow LEB members, I'm going to see how well I can do on a budget of $50,000 and using the average of the estimated auction price range. I've scanned the it's time to get the items at the top of my list!!

Item 241 - Grail cup from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
How could I let the"holy grail" of 80s movie props get away! Now, the auction also has a screen-worn fedora that I would easily choose above of the grail....however, it's from the most recent Indiana Jones movie. (PASS!) Other auction items available from the Last Crusade include the grail tablet, costumes worn by Harrison Ford & Sean Connery (see image), and the knight's sword. From the Temple of Doom, you can buy one of the Sankara stones, Kate Capshaw's dress, or a vast array of swords and guns. Very nice start to any IJ collection, but c''s the holy grail! If you are gonna get one item to represent your love for the Indy films, would you rather say "I have a Sankara stone" and have to explain to your parents that you don't need a painful medical procedure to remove it? OR would you rather announce "I have the holy grail!!" PRICE TAG - $10,000


Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out!: "Dirty Dancing"

Can you imagine watching the Breakfast Club without hearing "Don't You Forget About Me?" Do you think of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head everytime you hear "In Your Eyes" on the radio? Movies and music go hand-in-hand, but if you had to choose just one...which would it be? Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out! will determine once and for all whether the movie or the soundtrack is better! Each bout includes a brief overview, a look at the commercial success of each and then, the legacy. And since I'm not the only voice in the 80s universe, a poll will be posted for everyone to cast their vote!

Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out!: "Dirty Dancing"

Dirty Dancing is a 1987 film that is set in the summer of 1963. Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) and family visit an up-state New York resort for the summer, before Baby enters college in the fall. She gets invited to a secret after-hours party where she witnesses the "dirty dancing" for the first time. Her crush on the resort's dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze) develops even more after receiving quick lesson from him at the party. Baby also learns that Johnny's professional dance partner Penny is pregnant by a guy who is also dating her sister. Baby helps Penny get enough money together for an illegal abortion by asking her father, who doesn't know what the money will be used for. Subsequently, Baby becomes Johnny new dance partner and begins rigorously training for their performances. A romance ensues as they continue to train and perform. Eventually, the truth is made known about Penny's abortion and Baby's relationship with Johnny. Her father forbids them to see each other. But at the final performance of the season, Johnny returns after being kicked out of the resort and snatches Baby from her now famous "corner" seat. He proclaims that he is a better man because of Baby...err "Frances." Johnny and her dazzle the audience one more time, finally achieving "the lift" part of their routine for the first time.

The soundtrack featured a mix of early 1960s doo-wop hits with current tracks at that time. Artists like the Ronettes, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and Bruce Channel continued the 60s feel from the movie while The Blow Monkeys, Eric Carmen, and Patrick Swayze himself added the modern feel. Of course, the most famous scene of movie where Johnny and Baby do the lift at the end uses the Bill Medley & Jennifer Warren track "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life." The song made it one of the most memorable scenes of 80s films and beyond, winning the Academy Award in 1987 for best original song. Swayze's single "She's Like The Wind" was actually not intended for the movie. He co-wrote the song for the 1984 film Grandview, U.S.A. for which he co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis and C. Thomas Howell. The track was not used in the film and Swayze played the demo to the producers of Dirty Dancing. They liked the song and immediately turned it over to the soundtrack producers.

The film made over $63 million total at the box office, nearly cracking the top ten movies of 1987. Although it opened at #3, the film gained momentum after its second week and would reach its peak at #2 for two consecutive weeks. It would remain in theaters for 19 weeks. The soundtrack was enormously popular, sitting atop the Billboard charts for 18 consecutive weeks and selling over 11 million copies to date in the US alone according to the RIAA. It produced three top 5 singles, Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" and the two aforementioned tracks. Worldwide, the album is 8th best selling album of ALL TIME with over 42 million units sold.

In 1988, another soundtrack album was released entitled More Dirty Dancing, which was mainly a large collection of oldies including hits like "Wipe Out" and "Some Kind of Wonderful." The 20th Anniversary release of the soundtrack in 2007 combined both soundtracks into one and also featured a DVD of the music videos from the original tracks. Also in '88, CBS adapted the movie into a TV series that lasted just eleven episodes. 2004 marked two more points in the film's legacy. A stage adaptation of the film as a musical began overseas and continued through North America until 2009. No Broadway plans have been announced. Also a prequel to the film, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was released as a "re-imagining" of the original film. It barely made back it's budget through worldwide sales and holds a 23% rating on RottenTomatoes.Com In August 2011, Lionsgate films announced it would remake the orignal film, and according to Rotten Tomatoes, the film is scheduled to be released July 2013.

This is a tougher choice for me than you would think. I'm actually not that big of a fan of either the movie or the soundtrack. This movie is another I didn't see until in the mid '90s. I actually don't think it's a bad movie, but not in my 80s top ten or anything. The movie has a couple great things going for it in the highly quoted "Nobody, puts Baby in a corner" line and the iconic lift scene at the end. But out of sheer respect, I'm giving this bout to the soundtrack via technical knockout. The soundtrack lineup is not all that strong but it's hard to deny the overwhelming popularity of it. 42 million units sold worldwide and 2nd best selling soundtrack of all time behind the Bodyguard...are you kidding me? The term "gangbusters" comes to mind. So there you have it, via TKO, the soundtrack wins it for me.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know your choice in the comments! If you simply can't can always vote for both!


The "Fall" of 1990: 80s Movies Murdered by TV

The "Fall" of 1990: 80s Movies Murdered by TV

Okay, here is what I don't understand...a movie comes out, it does extremely well at the box office, the producers/owners of the movie scurry around to give moviegoers more and make more money for themselves. I get that. But what is worse...making a bad sequel that might at least get some hype before its release to theaters or making a TV series with totally new actors based on the movie that has no guarantee to make it past 13 episodes. Give me a movie sequel. Why you ask? Because before I did the research for this post, I had not only forgotten (or tried to forget) about most of the shows, but some I didn't remember even existed!

I'm not sure if there was a writers strike in 1990 or if TV producers decided to just take a vacation from creativity for the fall schedule. Five, yes that's 5 (or "cinco" in Spanish,) FIVE television series based directly from feature films made their debuts in the fall of 1990.

Uncle Buck - This was the revelation that started this blog post. Totally forgot that CBS tried to bring the beloved 1989 John Candy role to the small screen. The premise: Tia, Miles, and Maizy lose their parents to a car accident and Uncle Buck is designated as their legal guardian. WHAT??!! Make him move next door or something, but don't kill off the parents! What a way to begin a show! Well turns out, the show itself crashed and burned after just 22 episodes. Nothing against Kevin Meaney, but you just don't replace John Candy and almost $80 million at the box office. The sequel that should've happened...Uncle Buck 2: Buck Moves In.

Ferris Bueller - In the fall of 1990, NBC took John Hughes' smash-hit comedy film and turned it into a laughing stock. The premise: The "real life" of Ferris Bueller, please disregard the movie. Ferris, the unpopular nerd. Ferris, the sausage king of...Los Angeles? WHAT??!! C'mon, it's not like TV producers would really take a chain saw to a character that made $70 million at the box office, would they? WHAT??!! Well, even if the writers also changed Ferris' sister Jeanie into a younger sister instead of an older one like in the movie, the casting director made a prolific choice and we got a young Jennifer Anniston...for 13 episodes. The sequel that should've happened...Ferris 2: Rooney's Revenge.

Parenthood - Hmm...$126 million at the box office in 1989...should I do a sequel or NBC television show in 1990? Yeah, no brainer. The premise: (About the same as the movie) Four generations living in the same househould, but not in St. Louis...California. NOTE TO SELF: Keep TV adaptations in original city and away from California. I don't care if Joss Whedon did write for the show and if it was one of Leo's early roles. The sequel that should've happened...Parenthood: The Next Generation. If you still don't want a sequel, next time just wait 21 years until the original film is completely completely off the radar. (53 episodes produced and still counting versus do the math.)

Working Girl - Yet another failure for NBC, this time as a mid-season replacement. (I'm guessing for one of the other previous two shows listed in this post.) The premise: Now a junior executive, Tess McGill continues the daily grind at the office of an investment bank in Staten Island, not California. Well, they kept the locale the same, but unfortunately the success fell short from the 1988 film which made over $100 million at the box office. Nancy McKean (Jo from Facts of Life) was offered the role, but turned it down. Enter a future wildcat bus driver that just couldn't keep the show above 55 MPH and you have an explosion at episode 8 of 12. Sorry, Sandy, just wasn't your time. Sequel that should've happened...Working Girl 2: Moving Up.

Baby Talk - Who wants to star in show based on an movie that made almost $300 million at the box office? Anyone? Bueller? Wait, he's already busy. The premise: A single mom, a wannabe boyfried, a baby whose thoughts can be heard...just like the movie, right? Well, the producers thought it best to not confuse the audience and changed the name from the original and the sequel, Look Who's Talking Too, that hit theaters the summer before the TV series release. WHAT??!! You don't want to associate it with a multi-million dollar movie?? Series star Connie Sellecca saw the writing on the wall a couple episodes in to taping the series and quit. It caused quite a stir but it wasn't a big enough red flag for ABC to cancel the show. They hired Julia Duffy and pushed back the debut from the fall of 1990 to the spring of 1991. After the first season, Duffy and George Clooney left the show, opening the door for Scott Baio...and they still re-upped the show for another excruciating season! I guess the execs at ABC needed a big red "cancel show" button on their desks to make this show die a little sooner. Sequel that should've happened...wait, a sequel DID happen! WHY, ABC? WHY??!!

As much as I hate 1990 just for the fact that it ended the 80s, going through this list just makes me hate it more. Well at least they left some the beloved 80s movies alone, like Back To The Future, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Rambo, and Robocop...they made animated series out of those? REALLY??!! Just when you thought it was safe to love TV again, it sounds like another round of torturing 80s movies.  


80s Art That Is Part Of This Complete Breakfast!

 "Part Of This Complete Breakfast"
80s Cereal Box Art and More by artist Ian Glaubinger

I love searching the net for new spins on 80s pop culture. After a recent search, I stumbled onto the art of Ian Glaubinger. He recently did a feature series of cereal box art for Geek-Art.Net entitled "Part Of This Complete Breakfast." In the series, he incorporated four beloved 80s franchises with original cereal boxes (some even with awesome prizes inside!) My favorite of the bunch is the Back To The Future box featuring "crunchy clock tower o's with marshmallow lightning bolts." Here are the others in Ian's series:


If You Watch It...He Will Cry.

This week's assignment for the League: What movie, TV show, book, etc. turns you into a blubbering baby every time you see it? Well, there are a few 80s movie scenes that have worked their teary-eyed magic on me as a kid AND as an adult. As a kid watching Superman II, I remember crying when he first decides to remove his powers and quit being Superman. And then if that wasn't enough, he gets the crap beaten out of him by that trucker-type guy at the diner. Those scenes had a major impact on me. Another emotional roller coaster I experienced as a kid was The Neverending Story. From the highs of flying with Falcor in the clouds to the lows of losing Atreyu's horse Artax in the muddy Swamp of Sadness, it was amazing I was able to function at all after watching that movie as an 8 year old.

Then there was that day in 1986 we all experienced..."the day the cartoons died." Watching Optimus Prime die in Transformers: The Movie is probably the Old Yellar moment for children of the 80s. Thankfully Optimus came back, but those moments that gripped us as kids still come out when we watch the movies today. Recently I found a VHS copy of E.T. and watched it with my boys. It was first time in years I had watched it and the first my boys had ever seen it. I didn't seem to remember the emotional ties I had to the movie. E.T.'s death, the flying bike scene over the police cars, the departure home...they all had me tearing up. But there is one movie as an adult now (at least on the outside) that gets me every time.

Field of Dreams has the firmest grip on my tear ducts. I loved playing baseball as kid. Whether it was wiffleball with the neighborhood kids, organized little league, or just playing catch with my dad, I felt like I grew up with a glove permanently attached to my left hand until I was about 13. I connected with the movie at first, mainly because I was a fan of baseball. I appreciated the story for what is was, but didn't truly connect with the emotions. But now, after having becoming a father myself and playing baseball with my two boys, the ending of the movie gets me every time. Watching Ray's blind faith to build the field and then embarking on a journey with no end in sight just magnifies the climax of the film. Ray's reconnection with his dad by just playing catch is so simple but yet, so pure. The introduction of Ray's daughter to his dad and the question "Dad? You wanna have a catch?" is an awesome emotion to experience. It's one of child-like joy and parental pride all wrapped into one. I feel fortunately that I've got to personally experience both sides. And that's why I cry every every time I watch Field of Dreams.

More Posts To Make You Cry:
ShezCrafti talks about how "I lost my horse and my dignity in The Swamp of Sadness."
GreenPlasticSquirtGun says Fred Savage chokes him up in "The Little Boy That Could Fly."
FlashlightsAreSomethingToEat says "The Rookie" is one movie that gets him every time.


Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out!: "Footloose"

The 80s gave us unforgettable movies, many of which that also had killer soundtracks that were just as good (or even better) than the movie itself. Can you imagine watching the Breakfast Club without hearing "Don't You Forget About Me?" Do you think of John Cusack holding a boombox over his head everytime you hear "In Your Eyes" on the radio? Movies and musics go hand-in-hand, but if you had to choose just one, which would it be? I've decided to start a series of posts called the Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out!, in which either the movie or the soundtrack will get knocked out! Each bout will include a brief overview, a look at the commercial success of each and then, the legacy. And since I'm not the only voice in the 80s universe, I will also put up a poll for everyone to cast their vote too!

Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-out!: "Footloose"

Footloose is a 1984 film about the small town of Bomont, Utah, which has forbidden dancing and rock n' roll music within the city limits at the behest of the local minister.  Upon moving to Bomont from Chicago, Ren McCormack quickly learns about the unique laws and begins to influence his new friends to help him overturn the laws in order to have a senior prom. New friend Willard eventually becomes Ren's dancing protege, while local girl Ariel also catches Ren's eye. But Ariel already has a boyfriend and also happens to be the minister's daughter. Ren is challenged by Ariel's boyfriend Chuck to a game of chicken with farm tractors. Ren wins the challenge, and subsequently Ariel's heart, but her father forbids her to see Ren. With senior prom approaching, Ren appeals to the city council to lift the dancing ban by reading Bible scripture at a town meeting. His plea doesn't work on the city council, but affects Ariel's father enough to eventually change his mind and allow the teens to hold a dance. An old barn is the setting for the incredible final dance, where even the minister and his wife are seen dancing.

The movie soundtrack featured tracks by Kenny Loggins, Deniece Williams, Bonnie Tyler, and Sammy Hagar to name a few. "Let's Hear It For The Boy" is the background for Willard's dance training montage and is one of the most memorable (and often parodied) scenes from the film. The title track is used in the final scene when the teenagers finally "cut loose" at the prom and really express themselves on the dance floor. All the kids get to show off their moves and we finally get to see Ren's handiwork expressed by Willard. "Holding Out For A Hero" was used during Ren's amazing dance scene in the warehouse. Bonnie Tyler's powerful voice matched up well with the intensity of the scene. Also featured on the soundtrack is "Almost Paradise," the love theme duet sung by Loverboy frontman Mike Reno and Ann Wilson of Heart. 

Footloose opened at #1 during its 18 week run at the box office. It would remain at #1 for three weeks and make a total of over $80 million on a budget of just $8 million. The movie soundtrack is the 7th best selling soundtrack of all time, selling over 9 million units in the US alone. Two singles, "Footloose" and "Let's Hear It For The Boy" would go on to be #1 hits on the Billboard charts. "Almost Paradise" would peak at #7, while "Holding Out For A Hero" would also chart at #34. Movie critics have not been very kind to the film over the years and currently has a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

The 15th anniversary of Footloose in 1999 was a busy one. A Broadway musical based on the film opened that year to good reviews. Keeping pretty close to the original story and also including many of the original songs, the musical received four Tony award nominations. Also in 1999, a 15th Anniversary Collectors's Edition of the soundtrack album was released. Along with the nine original tracks, four new tracks were added including hits "Metal Health (Bang Your Head)" by Quiet Riot, "Hurts So Good" by John Cougar Mellancamp, and "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner. And then just last year in 2011, the film was remade with a country feel. Many subtle changes were made including moving the location of Bomont to Georgia, a beginning crash scene which gives a purpose for the special laws, and Ren moving from Boston instead of Chicago. The new film actually holds a higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes than the original. The soundtrack also switched to country music acts remaking many of the original songs.

My vote in this Movie vs. Soundtrack Punch-Out! goes to the soundtrack. My experience has been enjoying the songs actually before I ever watched the movie. It wasn't until the mid 90s that I finally connected the songs to the scenes. I've always been a big fan of Kenny Loggins and his music always takes me back to the 80s very quickly. It's not like I didn't enjoy the movie. I actually like it well enough that I will probably pass on seeing the remake, (add that to the list including the new Karate Kid) but the soundtrack made more of an impression on me than the movie. Now its your turn! Agree? Disagree? Let me know your choice in the comments! If you simply can't can always vote for both!
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