It’s been interesting to watch what’s rolling through local movie theaters lately.
The Rialto Theatre in Aitkin has been showing classics. I use that term carefully, because each generation has its own definition of classic.
Classics can vary from an “oldie” like “Casablanca,” all the way to what played this last weekend at the Rialto, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
Funny story about Ferris and his adventures. The first time I saw the film, I was riding in a limosine with my parents, skipping school to take a personal tour of New York City because I’d missed my school trip earlier in the year.
Yes, I was watching a movie about playing hooky while actually playing hooky. Neither my parents nor I had regrets – we were moving from Connecticut to Wisconsin in less than two weeks, and they wanted me to see all the stuff I had missed.
Anyhow, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” has held a special place in my heart since then, along with several other ’80s ... classics. Again, I’m using that term loosely, because none of my favorite ’80s films are exactly high art.
Films like “Dirty Dancing,” “Short Circuit,” “Beetlejuice,” “The Lost Boys” and “Labyrinth” all take me back to fond late childhood or early teenage memories, when you could get lost in a story and suspend disbelief more easily – where you could believe in teenage, vampire-fighting twins or a babe...the babe with the power.
Recently, though, one of my OTHER childhood classics is getting revisited – and remade. The 1984 version of “Dune” remains one of my favorite science fiction films, even for all of its faults. The attempt to condense Frank Herbert’s classic novel into a two-and-a-half hour film is at times clumsy, other times bewildering, but never less than entertaining.
It also features a very young Kyle MacLauchlan in a nuanced performance that previewed his prodigous talent – and gave me my first real “crush,” but that’s beside the point.
Now, the trailers for the remake have started to drop. As a fan of both the novel and the movie, I got shivers down my spine just thinking about the remake. The cast is enough to make you think it’s going to be very, very good – Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Mamoa and Oscar Issac, among others – and just the previews of the searing landscape of a desert planet is enough to make a fan scream, “I want it now!”
Alas, what was originally scheduled as a December release has now moved to October 2021. The movie industry can’t get its money back in the COVID-19 era, and we’re all being forced to wait.
In the meantime, I suppose it will be time to go back to the classics. All of the films I mentioned before are readily available by digital download or DVD – and I know I own more than a few of them.
Just please ... don’t make me sit down and watch some of the other “classics” of my teenage years. Because I have a feeling I’d disappoint a lot of people with my opinion of Molly Ringwald.