Archives for posts with tag: Ben Johnson

“Radio Flyer” (1992) is a heartwarming tale of child abuse and a possible suicide. Even better, it’s narrated by a dad who is telling this heartwarming tale to his own kids. Even better still is that the dad is Tom Hanks. Who thought this was a good idea? The film is filtered through a wistful haze of sepia-toned memories, supported by a fanciful musical score. Ohhh, so it’s a fairytale story of child abuse and a possible suicide. That makes it OK. The only positive is the abused young boy who (maybe) commits suicide grows up to be Frodo Baggins.

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“Red Dawn” (1984) is one of several “What if the Russians and us went to war?” movies from the 1980s. This one stars a Brat Pack B list. It’s a guilty pleasure for many red-blooded American men of a certain age. It makes passing reference to how hard it is to fight in Afghanistan (apparently, nobody listened). Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey are together, three years before “Dirty Dancing.” They even have a tender scene right before she blows up a Russkie with a grenade. She also has several scenes with Charlie Sheen, two years before “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

 

I like Kevin Dillon more than Matt Dillion, and Jennifer Tilly more than Meg Tilly, and Van Johnson more than Ben Johnson, and Ramon Estevez more than Emilio Estevez. Other than that, I liked “Tex,” a 1982 movie about teen angst in Oklahoma. Too bad every teenager can’t solve their problems with a gunshot wound. I would have liked it a lot more had I watched it in 1982, when I was 16. And if I’d been a girl. And if the movie had a plot. And if Matt Dillon had worked with a dialogue coach on his Yankee accent.