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So recently I’ve been on a nostalgic kick. I asked for the 1980’s Tron and Robocop movies on DVD for my birthday. Haven’t gotten around to watching either of them yet, but having seen at least parts of both of them in the last 5-ish years, I’m reasonably certain I’ll still enjoy them on some level. Oh, yes. I’m sure I run the risk of eating those words, but I think I’ll still like both of them.
However, not everything I once liked is as lustrous with time’s passage. The old 1980’s Transformers cartoons are now on Netflix streaming. Loved ’em as a kid. So I partook with my wife because she loves me. I still like these old episodes, but mainly because they trigger the fond memories I had as a kid. The animation is way more choppy than I remember, the plots are a little clunky, and the characters are a little less complex than they were in my head. Optimus Prime, however, seems way more chummy with the other Autobots than he is in the newer movies (at least the two that I’ve seen). He seems like an amalgam of an honorable samurai and John Wayne in a 50’s western. His behavior in the Kremzeek! episode with the little electricity imp was that of a guy who just wanted the nuttiness of a screwball enemy to stop so he could catch his breath. I’m reasonably certain his line, “Talk about a bull in a china shop,” will never be uttered in a Michael Bay movie.
Then there’s all the B, C, and D movies I used to rent at local video stores with my friends when we were teenagers in the early 90’s. Most were direct to video. Even back then, they were awful, but we watched them anyway, mainly because of me. Franken Hooker’s “WANT A DATE?” speaking cassette box still sticks out in my head. I haven’t partaken in that one again. I did watch Nemesis with my friend, Marty. It’s not on Netflix. It’s free on Youtube now. And it is awful. Back then, I thought it was cool because of the cyberpunk cyborgs shooting each other with machine guns, and occasional nude shots. It didn’t take much to please me back then. I was a male teenager, like I said. In watching it now, the effects are ok with the gunplay, but laughable with the cyborg body parts and stop motion animation. The acting. Not so good. It is interesting seeing a young Tom Jane as a minor character. Watch it only if you want a laugh or if you want to see lots of bullets pumped into cyborgs.
Here’s to the dearly departed Dave’s Video in Hastings, NE. I needed my fix of sci-fi and fantasy. And you supplied it. Quantity sometimes trumps quality if you’re bored at 10pm on a summer week night. In fact it almost always does.