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.

16 July 2008

Twilight Zone: The Movie, dir. John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante & George Miller (1983)

NIKKI says:
Somehow, I'd never seen this movie. But then, I guess I'd not seen that many classic sci-fi flicks before meeting Steve. What was I doing with my time? Oh yeah, I was watching The Breakfast Club again.

This one didn't really do it for me. Apart from the final segment, directed by George Miller, about the gremlin on the plane wing, I can pretty much take or leave the rest. In fact, I think I'll take Joe Dante's and pretty much just leave Spielberg's and Landis's. I thought the ideas in Landis's were interesting, about the bigot forced to endure damnation at the hands of Nazi extremists, American soldiers in Vietnam, and the Ku Klux Klan. But his brief time with each group really doesn't teach him anything. He'd already be fearful that he'd slipped into an alternate reality, so the specifics of those realities aren't really going to alert him to his bigotry. So, it becomes a bit fanciful rather than meaningful. I would have made him prejudiced against one group, and then perhaps the story could have focused on that. The way it is, it's a hodge-podge of ideas that trivializes, in a way, prejudice and bigotry.

The Spielberg story was too whimsical for me. It reminded me of the more cloying Amazing Stories episodes, where magic is at the hands of everything. Dante's was better, but ran on too long, and didn't explain enough about what was going on. Not that I suppose a Twilight Zone episode needs to explain itself, but I didn't get a sense of overall purpose beyond "be careful what you wish for", which is bor-ring. And Steve is right that some of it was more over the top than it needed to be.

But the gremlin on the wing is just perfect. Scary and freaky, with a performance from John Lithgow that could go over the top, but doesn't. And the gremlin is damn scary. The shots outside the plane are so realistic. It's something else that makes me never want to fly again. If only they could have extended that scene maybe 80 minutes -- that would have been a movie!


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