Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

17 July 2008

The Lost Boys, dir. Joel Schumacher (1987)

STEVE says:
I saw this in the theatre in 1987, and I remember being a fan (even bought the soundtrack - on vinyl!), though today I can't remember why. It's all style-over-substance, everyone being so ultra-cool in a pre-goth, new-romantic kind of way that is completely belied by their mullets.

At first glance, the correlation of the Lost Boys of the title to the Lost Boys of Peter Pan is brilliant. Boys who never grow up, never age, never die. But the premise is handled so poorly, it almost seems as if it was dismissed entirely. It's hinted at during the opening credits sequence, with a "missing child" poster here and a face-on-a-milk-carton there, then completely ignored for the rest of the film. Surely that's a massive oversight. Did Schumacher not get the reference? Or was he too busy worrying whether Haim's wardrobe was gay enough?

Then there's the tone. Kiefer Sutherland's gang of Lost Boys are the prototype for the dead greasers from Sometimes They Come Back, all over-the-top with their tough-guy taunting and their inane giggling at inappropriate moments. All but Sutherland's David, who's still over-the-top, but in an Ace Merrill kind of way. Jason Patric plays Michael completely straight (in keeping with the homo-erotic theme, perhaps; Will he come to the other side with the Boys, or stay human and be with his new girlfriend, Star?), where Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander play their roles for comedy. This all works fine until they all get together and the serious Michael is up against melodramatic David while Sam and the Frog Brothers are cracking wise. It just doesn't fly.

Worth noting is the fact that we were plagued with phone calls during this movie and not once did Nikki think to quote Tim Roth from Reservoir Dogs - "Motherfucker! I'm tryin' to watch The Lost Boys!" I mean how many times does that opportunity arise in life, huh?


NIKKI says:
Regardless of Schumacher's overall point, I still enjoy this movie. Is it great? No. Does it have some glaring issues? Yes. Still, it's a CLASSIC! Like all classics from the '80s -- think Mannequin -- it has its issues, its flaws, its hero-lines, and over-the-top outfits. Should a movie be faulted because it's a product of its time? For the most part, The Lost Boys follows the rules -- it's well-structured and well-paced, and scary when it needs to be. (Steve made me watch the scalping bit again and even though I know it's less than half a second long, it's still scary as hell!) So, give it a break!


Again, though, I have to agree, in part, with Steve. The main problem is a messing up of tone. Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland are so super-serious all the time that the Frog humour doesn't quite gel in the way it perhaps wants to. The humour grooves it all up for the teens, but no-one told Jason and Kiefer they were in a groovy teen flick. What we see in their performances is the pre-stages of two intense acting styles, both actors forceful on screen no matter what their roles, both never to be seen again in such lightweight fare. It messes with things, but perhaps the movie wouldn't have the intensity it does have were these actors acting any differently?

I just love this movie. And I love my memories of its key role in my life -- watching it with my mum, watching it at my 11th birthday party, getting accused of stealing it off a friend's sister, taping Corey Feldman's interview on Sally-Jessy after it where he wears the big spotted tie and says he's clean when you can tell he clearly isn't ...


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