Archives for posts with tag: Cry-Baby

Every so often, I visit my best friend and bring over a few DVDs to watch between laughter-filled girl talk. Some of our favorite picks in past movie nights have included a mix of ‘80s / ‘90s flicks (“Cry-Baby,” “Sixteen Candles,” “The Breakfast Club”) and new ones, such as “Bad Moms.” This past weekend I brought over “Why Him,” which we missed during its recent run in theaters. We could relate to the comedy’s dad character, Ned Fleming (Bryan Cranston), disapproving of his daughter Stephanie’s (Zoey Deutch) love interest. Both of us have either had crushes on or dated someone our dads absolutely did not like one bit.

Right away, Laird Mayhew (James Franco) had us in hysterics over his wild and free-spirited personality. How would this clash between two opposites play out and what would happen along the way? Ned is the odd man out as the mom, Barb (Megan Mullaly) and brother, Scotty (Griffin Gluck) seeing more of Laird’s cool side. The party scene hinted at the dad having a not-so-rigid past in his own younger days. Unfortunately, we didn’t get too far into the movie before skip…skip…skip went the disc in my best friend’s portable DVD player. Stopping the movie and ejecting it, I noticed a two-inch scratch on the disc. Having never played this particular DVD before, as well as handling it properly, we were disappointed to miss the rest of the comedy for the time being. Cedric the Entertainer, Keegan-Michael Key and the voice of Kaley Cuoco add more laughs to this father-vs-boyfriend tale. By the next time I’m visiting my best friend, I’ll have a new DVD of “Why Him” for us to watch.

I had a few of our favorites to choose from in continuing our movie night and it came down to “Cry-Baby” or “The Breakfast Club.” We can’t resist the bad-boy characters to swoon over in either one. John Hughes’ detention-bound teens from drastically different backgrounds won out in the end. Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez and Anthony Michael Hall made for the most memorable teen characters who clashed yet found common ground.

Watching Bender and his antics, it’s like being back in high school and trying to hide my good-girl giggling at my bad-boy crush. The guy who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of didn’t have that “criminal” label and he wasn’t known for having any illegal items on hand. He simply got on the nerves of several teachers, doing things that I couldn’t refrain from laughing at in class. To top it off, he was so gorgeous and had such a devilish expression playing on his face. Hey, didn’t many girls see that in Bender? Just as in the movie, when mean Principal Vernon (Paul Gleason) lectures the other four students about thinking the “criminal” is humorous, I had a similar experience. After laughing at my crush and his antics, one teacher called me out on how it was obvious that I had a huge crush and warned me that I’d get hurt. This happened right in front of him! Another teacher had me move to another seat, away from where I sat next to my crush as something else he did set off more lovestruck-induced giggles. In a new seat, he wasn’t even in my line of vision to further distract me. I didn’t have a Bender-and-Claire ending with my bad-boy crush, being too shy to get that close. Yet his wild demeanor and intense good looks drew me in and set my heart racing. That’s what I saw in Claire when it came to Bender in certain scenes.

“The Breakfast Club” came along before my time in high school. It doesn’t matter, though, what generation a viewer of this classic belongs to in life. Of course, that’s due to the overall struggles and drama of teen years. The ideas of acceptance, acting the way your friends act, family-initiated pressure and much more keep Hughes’ work relevant. For my best friend and I, we definitely love the bad-boy element and a totally opposite type of girl falling for him. We both also love Hughes’ “Sixteen Candles,” especially in the way that Samantha (Ringwald) can’t bring herself to talk to her heartthrob, Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling). If only we could all have the ending which those two shared. Another relatable element in that teen flick was how the geeky kid, known as Farmer Ted (Hall) would pester Samantha, while her heart was set on someone else. There were one or two guys at my high school who just didn’t seem able to take a girl’s hint of not being interested.

Even though we didn’t get around to watching “Cry-Baby” this time, my best friend and I relate to it with our crushes and how we felt. This is especially in the way that good-girl Allison gazes dreamily over at rebellious Cry-Baby. She longs to be closer to him and to rid herself of the contrasting square image in which she was raised.

All of these movies, at one point or another, bring about more girl talk of memorable high school days. We loved those times, even though neither of us dated our crushes. Of course, it’s just as Samantha’s dad in “Sixteen Candles” says to her about those feelings.

The story of “Dark Shadows” is relatively new to me, since I have only heard of the original TV series.  Despite knowing too little about it to call myself a “Dark Shadows” fan, early news of the film version starring Johnny Depp was enough to rouse my curiosity.  It seemed like a long time passed until its theatre release, but was worth the wait.

*** SPOILER ***

Special effects are film elements that I’m always interested in and I thought those in “Dark Shadows” were great.  Of course, the effects incorporated the usual lore of vampire traits represented even back in the classic horror “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi.  The appearance of Josette’s ghost brought to mind those tales of hauntings in which a spirit is said to repeat an action from a tragic time in life or even the moment they died.  From those examples of vampire lore and ghostly tales, the special effects were impressive not only in how they looked but in terms of spooky traditions.

During the scenes in when Angelique (Eva Green) is in the meeting room, her take-charge manner reminded me of  certain scenes from the movie “Mommie Dearest” (1981).  If you’ve ever seen that, it’s the scenes in which Faye Dunaway, as actress Joan Crawford, is in boardroom meetings with studio higher-ups that came to mind.  There was that same “I’m in control, here” demeanor toward the opposing character / characters in the meeting room scenes of both movies.  It’s just a thought that occurred to me, during both in the business meeting scene and later, when Angelique and Barnabas exchange words.

The cast of “Dark Shadows,” as listed by IMDB, also included Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Bella Heathcote, Chloe Grace Moretz, Gulliver McGrath and Jonny Lee Miller.  Along with Depp and Green, everyone was great in their respective roles.  Moretz’s character had a surprise in store and the appearance of a certain rocker with a trademark dark image was another unexpected element.

Somehow I hadn’t seen the whole cast list for “Dark Shadows” before seeing the movie, so it was a great surprise when Sir Christopher Lee appeared.  He’s a legend in my opinion. I’ve always loved those classic horror movies in which he and others like Vincent Price, another legend of the horror genre, have starred.

Also, I love historic details of homes and other buildings.  So the Collins’ estate, from its creepy, vine-covered gated entrance to the imposing mansion itself, was another favorite “Dark Shadows” element.  My own dream home is of one historic architectural style, such as Victorian.  Of course, it has to have modern amenities set up for computing in our social media world.  That past-meets-present theme sort of reminds me of the Barnabas Collins character, coming from the distant past and encountering curious objects of 1970s culture.

As for Depp, he’s been one of my longtime favorite actors.  One movie I’ve seen on TV a lot lately is “Cry-Baby,” which I love for his cool 50s-era bad-boy character.

But his many quirky characters are my favorites as well.  Out of the movies and characters listed on Johnny Depp’s IMDB profile, here is a list of the ones I like the most.

  • Cry-Baby Walker – “Cry-Baby” (1990)
  • Edward Scissorhands – “Edward Scissorhands” (1990)
  • Sam – “Benny & Joon” (1993)
  • Don Juan – “Don Juan DeMarco” (1994)
  • Ichabod Crane – “Sleepy Hollow” (1999)
  • Jack Sparrow – “Pirates of the Caribbean” (2003)
  • Mort Rainey – “Secret Window” (2004)
  • Willy Wonka – “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
  • Sweeney Todd – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)
  • John Dillinger – “Public Enemies” (2009)
  • Mad Hatter – “Alice in Wonderland” (2010)
  • Barnabas Collins – “Dark Shadows” (2012)

These are the ones I’ve seen so far.  I was going to do a top 10 list, but there are so many movies I like starring Depp and he has played a lot of great characters.  What are your favorites of Depp’s characters and movies?