Monthly Archives: January 2014

It’s my step-daughter sweet sixteen-birthday today so what else was there to watch: John Hughes 1984 classic 16 Candles.

John Hughes, the writer/director of such 1980’s-1990’s classics as: The Breakfast Club, National Lampoon’s Vacation; Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; Weird Science; Some Kind of Wonderful; Pretty in Pink; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Uncle Buck; Home Alone and Home Alone 2, made his directorial debut with the film sixteen candles.  The commercial success of the film clearly paved his way for his subsequent hits listed above.  The film has some of the most popular 1980’s feature bands as the Stray Cats, Patti Smith and the Thompson Twins.  Whatever your views on the whole coming of age films, Sixteen Candles kicked off the whole genre of films and made the careers Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall.

They forgot her sixteenth birthday because her sister was getting married.  That was the situation Molly Ringwald’s character Samantha “Sam” Baker was in.  She wakes up on her sixteenth birthday and no one has any clue it’s her birthday.  In fact she is scolded by her older sister (who is getting married) about how selfish she and trying to horn in on some of the attention going around.

Meanwhile her whole family converges on her house putting her on the sofa.  Unable to withstand her family dinner, she claims there is a dance she is being graded on (for gym) and heads out.  At the dance she runs into Anthony Michael Hall playing the proverbial leader of the geeks who has made a bet with his friend (John Cusack who’s sister plays the girl with braces) that he can bag Sam, the proof is in the underpants that he has to get in order to win.  Meanwhile Long Duck Dong, and Chinese foreign exchange student, finds a girl at the dance while Sam is crying in the auto-body shop of the school.  Hall talks with Sam and confirms that the boy she likes is interested in her.  In return she lends Hall her underpants letting him win the bet.

They end up at a wild party where Hall also confirms with Jake (Ringwalds want-to-be boyfriend) that she is interested in her.  Well as you probably have guessed after some twists and turns things wind up ok in the end with her sister so high on valium that she collapses when leaving the church.

It was nice stroll down memory lane to see this film again and compare where these teenage stars were and where they are now.  I am not a fan of rigidly formulaic films as you well know, but this one was the beginning of the formula in fact innovative for its time.  A movie worth watching in certain situations—like when a stepdaughter turns sweet sixteen.  Happy birthday E.J.

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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Movie Reviews


We know William Shatner as captain Kirk and from but do you remember him as the cliché cop in the 1980’s series T.J. Hooker with his side kick Adrien Zmed?

T,J, Hooker starring William Shatner, Adrien Zmed and after the first season Heather Locklear ran from 1982 through 1986 (switching networks for the last season) and was created by Rick Husky, who later went on to serve as executive producer of the long running Walker Texas Ranger.

Frankly I am surprised the series ran as long as it did.  Hooker encapsulates the tired TV stereotypical cop—non-nonsense, divorced and clashing with his superiors over his tactics but is tolerated because “he gets the job done.”  Sound a lot like Dirty Harry to me except Hooker wears a uniform not a plain clothed detective.

His partner is played by none other than Adrien Zmed and his role as Hooker’s partner is considered the zenith of his career.  What a bummer.

Working behind the desk at the police precinct, Vicki Taylor (April Clough) was a female officer who usually spent time dodging pick-up comments from Vince Romano (Zmed).  Introduced at the start of the second season was Officer Stacy Sheridan (Heather Locklear), the daughter of Captain Sheridan and Hooker’s younger partner-in-command, who attended the police academy and replaced Vicki.  Initially brought in to fill Officer Vicky Taylor’s shoes, by the end of the season she had progressed to patrolling with Jim Corrigan (James Darren), another veteran cop much in the mold of Hooker.

From the third season onward, Hooker and Romano (Unit 4-Adam-30), and Stacy and Corrigan (4-Adam-16), usually worked together to tackle cases.  The addition of Corrigan and Sheridan’s partnership was an obvious attempt to save the show by adding an extra dimension.

I know I’ve used the word cliché a couple of times already but I can’t help it.  It has everyone it the book.  Well you can see for yourself in the clips.  I can’t believe the show lasted as long as it did.  What does that say about the typical American TV show or the TV viewer?


Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Movie Reviews


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