Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
6
Aug 2018
The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey by Ann M Martin

The Baby-Sitters Club #8: Boy-Crazy Stacey by Ann M Martin

Title: Boy-Crazy Stacey

Summary: Stacey and Mary Anne are mother’s helpers for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City: There’s a gorgeous old house, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand… and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen!

Mary Anne knows that Scott the lifeguard is way too old for Stacey, but Stacey’s in love. She fixes Scott’s lunch, fetches his sodas, and spends all her time with him… instead of with the Pike kids.

Suddenly, Mary Anne’s doing the work of two baby-sitters, and she doesn’t like it one bit. But how can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested—without breaking Stacey’s heart?

Tagline: Who needs baby-sitting when there are boys around!

Initial Thoughts:

I unabashedly love Sea City and wish it were real and I could vacation there, so this is going to be difficult to recap just because I love it all so much.

That said, I do have some issues with the title.

On the one hand, yes: I vividly remember that age when my friends’ group were getting interested in boys, only we were all doing that on wildly different schedules, so there were frequently times when one of us was visibly making a fool of herself and the others saw it and discussed it. I’m not sure “boy-crazy” was ever a term we used, but it fits the perspective and attitude I remember having.

But on the other hand: I kind of hate that we do this at all. It’s easy, looking back on this as an adult, to see that Stacey isn’t trying to be selfish (and definitely isn’t trying to look foolish!); she’s just grappling awkwardly with new feelings and experiences.

And I wish that, as a culture, we gave girls a little more guidance not just on the crushing/dating stuff, but on the “being an honest but also kind friend to the person currently wrestling with hormones and emotions.” Because really, I don’t remember anyone ever giving me clear instructions about not falling into the “not like the other girls” mindset, and I could have used them.

Besides, she’s not “boy crazy.” She’s making an ass of herself over one particular guy. It’s not, like, a generalized thing she does with every guy she meets.

My only memories of this book aside from Sea City itself were being mad at Stacey for not doing her share, but even more mad at Scott the lifeguard for taking advantage of her (and his other fans).

[Wing: So word to all of this and thank you for saying it so well. Unlearning the drive to reject “feminine” things so as to be “not like other girls” is a terribly hard thing to do, but important. It took me forever, and I rage at all the time I lost to it.]

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22
Apr 2018

Thrashin'

Title: Thrashin’

Summary: Two skateboarding gangs “battle” each other for supremacy and it’s complicated by romance. That’s basically it.

Someone on the internet actually likened this to “West Side Story on skateboards”.

I don’t think so.

Tagline: Hot! Reckless! Totally Insane!

(I find it hilarious anyone would find this film ‘hot’.)

Note: I watched this for the first time probably somewhere around 2009? So I have a general memory of it.

Initial Thoughts:

Skateboarding was still a huge thing when I was a child, mostly because it was starting to be taken seriously and tricks/stunts were getting a lot more complicated. So Hollywood attempted to cash in on it by making a movie about it. A lot of the “extreme” (read: for the time) sports/activities in the 1980s had films made about them: BMX bikes, there’s probably a dirt bike movie I don’t know about, break dancing, flash dancing, dirty dancing…

Wait, Dirty Dancing is set in the 60s, right? (No, I have never actually seen it.) (YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.)

Originally Johnny Depp was set to play Cory, since he was conveniently dating Sherilyn Fenn at the time, but because he was Johnny Depp and on 21 Jump Street at the time… Well, the producers didn’t approve him so the role was recast with Josh Brolin.

Viewing this through hindsight, I honestly would have had a difficult time believing Johnny Depp could ride a skateboard, let alone do what would need to be done to make it remotely accurate and/or interesting.

According to Wikipedia, Brolin had been offered the role on 21 Jump Street that Depp was ultimately cast in, but turned it down… to what, make this? Kind of a dumb ass move. But, then history would be way weirder, so okay.

It’s hard to convey how huge this movie was for the time. It featured actual pro skateboarders who would become household names; you probably know Tony Hawk. There was also Tony Alva (go watch Lords of Dogtown), Christian Hosoi, and Steve Caballero. The soundtrack featured many amazing bands and singers; freaking Red Hot Chili Peppers (the original lineup with Hillel Slovak) are featured as a band in the film.

And, because this will get Wing’s attention, the titular theme song, Thrashin’, is sung by the one and only Meat Loaf! (I don’t think there was a music video for it; this was the best I could find.) [Wing: Well, this certainly did get my attention, and means I need to watch this damn movie immediately and then come back and read the recap. Having watched this video I am … excited. That’s a word.]

I’m gonna add that the only real reason I ever went to dig this film up was because it was the film debut of Brooke McCarter (aka vampire Paul in The Lost Boys) and not because I’m actually interested in skateboarding. I’m not. I had a skateboard once, with Snoopy on it, but I haven’t got the best balance and I’m terrified of injury, so I never really used it much. But I always thought skateboarders were hot. I think that’s common of many of us who were born in the early 1980s. It’s a thing.

(Though, really, go watch Lords of Dogtown. It’s more character-driven and based on real-life people, and is a really interesting film.)

Okay, let’s kick it! A Thrasin’ we will go!

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14
Feb 2018

Crazy MoonTitle: Crazy Moon (1986)

Summary: No website can agree on an “official” synopsis of this film. Let’s just say it’s a “rom-com” before that was a thing, and it’s really… strange.

Tagline: Sometimes acting crazy is the only way to stay together.

Note: I found this on YouTube. I believe it is still there; this is a hard film to find, except maybe on VHS tape. So, what I’m watching isn’t the best in picture quality, but I’ll live.

Initial Thoughts:

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! It’s kind of fitting that I ended up aiming to post this recap on the one day of the year that we’re all pressured to be romantic and shunned if we don’t have a partner. Crazy Moon is one of those “super quirky in an obvious way!” kind of films that I don’t think intended to be a “super quirky in an obvious way!” kind of films.

‘Weird’ is the adjective I keep using to describe this film to everyone I know. It’s a hot mess and needed a better director, writer, and editor. I see so much I want to fix. It’s painful how much I want to fix it.

Because of its age (32 years) and the fact that it was so low budget and is technically a foreign (Canadian) film, information is…lacking. I’m cobbling together what I can from four websites. Talk about frustrating.

A bit of back story: Kiefer Sutherland, who most of you probably best know as Jack Bauer (or in the case of Dove and Wing, as David of The Lost Boys), wasn’t well known until the mid-80s. And even then he’d done more theater then film. Literally his first acting job in the United States was Stand By Me, which he thought he failed at and was convinced he’d doomed his career over. Yes. Amazing, isn’t it.

So. Somewhere between 1985, when Stand By Me was filmed in Oregon and California, and 1986, when he went off to Santa Cruz to film The Lost Boys, he made Crazy Moon in Québec, Canada. Why do I know this? His hair. His hair is the same color as it was in Stand By Me, although longer. And he’s way too tan, which was because the hoodlum gang got frequently sunburned while filming the car scenes in Stand By Me.

Yeah, I am a strange font of even stranger knowledge but I would hands down win “Trivial Pursuit: Kiefer Sutherland Edition”.

Plus, he’s super young. Maybe 19, probably closer to 18, because he was only 20 when he filmed The Lost Boys. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he filmed this before Stand By Me, but I swear the info I can find is conflicting in every which way. The film appears to have been theatrically released in Canada in 1986, but wasn’t released theatrically in the US until December 1987, in a bid to capitalize on Sutherland’s sudden fame after The Lost Boys was a box office hit that July.

Ironically, the character in Crazy Moon is a complete opposite of David in The Lost Boys, although I think he talks even less in Crazy Moon.

Honestly, I would try to summarize the film, but I don’t want to. I think I’ll leave it all for the recap.

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