I can say without a doubt that 1986’s Highlander is hands down one of my favorite cult films. Of all time. If you too count yourself as a devotee to Highlander I have some great news. Lionsgate is releasing that 30th Anniversary Edition on Blu-Ray and DVD tomorrow!
[Via] Latest News Explorer
So what is Highlander about. In a nutshell?
It is about a society of immortals who have hidden their existence from humanity in general. The only way an immortal can be dispatched is to remove their head from their shoulders – which involves epic sword fights. Once done the victor gains the power of the defeated immortal in what they have dubbed ‘the quickening’.
The reason for this is the immortals all want what has been called the Prize. What is it exactly? No immortal is quite sure but it is believed when only one immortal remains they will inherit limitless power. As you might imagine some immortals would use that power to better mankind – others not so much. Like the Kurgan, played wonderfully by Clancy Brown.
This secret war has played out until only a few immortals now remain. Feeling themselves drawn to New York City in the then modern day of 1985. Where Connor MacLeod aka the Highlander must battle not just to keep his own head but for the fate of mankind.
I want to point out another bright spot for Highlander which is the addition of Sean Connery playing Connor’s mentor. A fellow immortal who happens to be a ‘Spanish-Egyptian’ named Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez.
Seriously. Sean Connery is just amazing in this film. While his part is basically to set up the rules of being an immortal and the Prize – he steals the movie. Steals it.
Highlander also boasts what can only be called an incredible soundtrack by Queen. I kid you not it was in constant play – I must have listened to it thousands of times by the time Summer rolled around.
What are the special features for the 30th Anniversary Edition?
- While there is no new commentary for this release that doesn’t mean Lionsgate hasn’t included worthy extras:
- A 4K transfer approved by Director Russell Mulcahy
- Brand-new The Making of Highlander documentary
- New interviews with both Russell Mulcahy and Christopher Lambert
- Archival interview with Christopher Lambert
- Deleted Scenes
- Audio commentary by Director Russell Mulcahy (from previous releases)
You can pick up the 30th Anniversary Edition of Highlander tomorrow at most retailers. Or you can order your DVD or Blu-Ray over on Amazon.
Well, honestly it wasn’t Biff Tannen that sells some of that world famous Kentucky Fried Chicken but Thomas F. Wilson. Who played Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future trilogy.
Actually in all honesty he doesn’t even sell the chicken in this 1983 television commercial. I guess I haven’t done a very good job of this post in hindsight. I mean when you get down to it the ad is actually about the deliciousness of those KFC Buttermilk biscuits.
Having said that – I think it is fair to say the actors in the commercial at the very least sell how tasty the food is, right?
At the very least those biscuits had to taste better than what Biff Tannen normally ended up getting in his mouth in the films.
I heard Tom F. Wilson is a stand-up comedian!
That is correct – one of his memorable skits in fact involves the types of question he normally is asked about his role in Back to the Future
That isn’t a fanmade Knight Rider set from the Brothers Brick, that is an official LEGO set – a Knight Rider set that should hit store shelves next February.
So this Knight Rider set means LEGO is going to take over the world, right?
Pretty much. At least in regards to pop culture retro related properties. I mean, please don’t get me wrong but who is it that you think LEGO is aiming this Knight Rider
set to? I say it is most definitely the likes of us that visit The Retroist
That isn’t all that LEGO is making for us retro-minded fans though. I previously shared the information about the upcoming LEGO Dimensions sets besides Knight Rider back in June. You might remember we are also getting Gremlins…
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial…
and last but not least The Goonies – or at least Sloth from that film.
Why should we care about a LEGO Knight Rider though?
I know there may be a few of you out there that are asking yourself this very question. You are all dead to me
. Just kidding of course – but how can you not get excited about a LEGO minifig version of David Hasselhoff, I mean Michael Knight?
Image courtesy of io9.
My friends, please listen to me. We are lucky enough to live in a time where by next year you will be able to have Dr. Peter Venkman of 1984’s Ghostbusters
driving K.I.T.T. through Gremlins’
Image courtesy of io9.
I kind of think that LEGO has made some amazing and excellent choices with Knight Rider
and the other retro properties. In fact I believe I couldn’t be more impressed if they suddenly announced they were releasing a set for…
A huge thank you to Andrew Liszewski of io9 for the heads up on the Knight Rider set. Hey, if like myself you are geeking out over this release and need to pass the time until February, you can always keep Hasselhoff’s True Survivor on constant loop, right?
You probably have already noticed from various online sources that today is in fact National Batman Day. So why not join us on the The Retroist as we dance with the Devil by the pale moonlight and see what the late great Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel felt about Tim Burton’s Batman?
[Via] 1989 Batman Movie
Was Ebert being fair in his criticism with Batman?
Yes and no. My takeaway is that Ebert didn’t hate the movie. He just couldn’t get past some of the story elements like Vicki Vale, played by Kim Basinger, not kind of freaking out more when she discovers that Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) is Batman. Not enough at least to enjoy it as much as Gene Siskel did in this case.
Here though is why I respectfully disagree with Ebert’s argument:
- Early on in the movie, Bruce demonstrates some rather odd behavior, right? After spending the night together Vicki wakes up to see Bruce “exercising” and looking very much like a hanging bat.
- Vicki also spots Bruce on the streets of Gotham visiting the spot where his parents were murdered in crime alley. Something that causes her to research what happened to him as a kid – to which even the character of Knox mentions that he thinks Bruce is messed up in the head.
- Then of course there is Bruce’s confrontation with the Joker in Vicki’s apartment. Which results in Vicki losing a perfectly good vase and watching Bruce get gunned down by the jealous Joker. Then he ends up literally leaving the apartment without her seeing him…probably climb out the window.
- Vicki is a reporter besides being a well known photographer – she is not stupid. It only makes sense that she would put all of those pieces together and come to the conclusion Bruce is also Batman.
- Plus I bet there was a scene before Alfred escorts her down to the Batcave where she grills him about knowing Batman’s true identity. Probably a threat about revealing who Wayne really is if Alfred doesn’t let her see him.
So today why not take a moment and join in on the celebration of National Batman Day? Re-watch 1989’s Batman or one of the other films – or better yet pick up and spend some time reading some Batman comics?
Who knows…maybe you should keep an eye on the night sky?
Back to the Future II holds some very vivid memories for me. I can certainly recall the excitement at my High School from my fellow students as the November 22 release date crept closer – although that also had a bit to do with the Thanksgiving vacation too.
Of course it didn’t help that Back to the Future II was heavily involved with all manner of cross promotional advertising and merchandising like with Pizza Hut. You know, the Solar Shades inspired by the movie?
[Via] TV Matt KC
Some of the Pizza Hut ads for Back to the Future 2 didn’t even make those Solar Shades the main focus…I still want a pair of them though. Even back in 1989 I smiled at that girl’s comment about the two guys looking 80s – I think I knew somehow that fashion would never get better than that for me.
[Via] Jurassic Park Fan 1001’s Channel
What do I remember most about Back to the Future 2?
There are a couple of things that stood out as my Father and I were watching it on opening weekend:
Whoa! Jennifer from the first film has been replaced by Adventure In Babysitting’s Elisabeth Shue!
- Things got quite a bit darker in Back to the Future Part II!
- Our fellow audience members seemed none too pleased that the conclusion to the Back to the Future saga would be finished in a third film and set in the old west.
When I say they were not pleased I mean many, many of them were booing as they walked out of the auditorium. For quite a while, at school especially it seemed like I was the lone defender of Back to the Future II but eventually it seemed like people’s attitude towards the film changed.
Didn’t you mention something about a Back to the Future II battery-powered car?
Yep. I was and still am a huge fan of the movie. Having said that – somehow the knowledge that Action Products released as a 1989 Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive – a battery-powered DeLorean escaped my attention.
Not that I was of the age category that could have driven it without breaking it. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t have picked up that radio controlled car though!
I am absolutely astonished they added a Mr. Fusion!
These images by the way come courtesy of a 2010 post from io9
who seem to have obtained them from the always awesome Branded in the 80s
In 1982, Steven Spielberg was already at the top of his career. He had made three films that many people already considered classics and could seemingly do no wrong. So when anything associated with his name showed up, the public greedily lapped it up. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, released in the summer of 1982, would be a huge event. But before that memorable release, Universal went all out on promotion. They released multiple trailer for the film. My favorite was the ET the Extra-Terrestrial Teaser Trailer from earlier that year.
This trailer, instead of selling us on the film we would be seeing, sold us on the promise of what it could be. It uses Spielberg’s name and footage from his old films, before finally using just two shots of actual footage from the film. Nowadays film trailers are almost the entire film in condensed form. So it is novel to see how something this vague can be so compelling.
Watch the ET the Extra-Terrestrial Teaser Trailer
Now you are probably looking at the image above and thinking, “Wow, that looks different.” I agree, that title treatment is very different from what we would eventually get. Looking at it, I am not sure which is better. The one that was released with the film is great. But something about using the large E.T letters the way they do in this title treatment just feels so wonderfully clever. Oh, and who about the addition of “in his adventure on earth” to the end of the title? Not sure when they decided to drop that. Fun fact though, those words would be added to the title of the William Kotzwinkle novelization.
This ET the Extra-Terrestrial Teaser Trailer is a rare gem of the 1980s. This style of trailer was already in decline at the time and with rare exceptions died as the decade progressed. So take a moment to enjoy this piece of our film past. If you are like me, this will most likely set you to thinking about how trailers could possible be improved if we went back to this style.
The Ewoks from Return of the Jedi seemed to have gotten more than their fair shair of grief over the years. Surely I am not the only soul on the internet that can see that these admittedly cuddly looking pint-sized warriors are important to the outcome of the story, right?
Why the Ewoks are Important to the story of Return of the Jedi!
Join me as I take a quick look at how some things would have turned out differently for the Rebel Alliance in the third chapter of the original Star Wars trilogy without the Ewoks:
- The Empire would have captured Princess Leia after she crashed her speeder bike – if not for Wicket leading her to the rest of his Ewok tribe.
- Without the aid of the Ewok scouts leading the Rebel forces through the forests our heroes wouldn’t have located the alternative entrance to the shield generator bunker…and the Rebel Fleet would have either been utterly destroyed or at least been forced to retreat.
- Han and his troops would have been imprisoned by the Empire during their assault on the bunker – or worse – if not for the last minute rescue of the combined might of the Ewok tribes, who I think you will agree were instrumental in defeating the Empire on the forest moon of Endor.
But couldn’t Lucas have come up with something better than teddy bears?
Now I will meet you halfway with that argument but I must also remind you that just because something appears “cute” at first glance it doesn’t mean there isn’t something scary about it when you look at it properly…
…I mean if you think about it, when the Ewoks capture Luke, Chewbacca, Han, and R2-D2 as well as C-3PO – those little fuzzballs are flat out going to eat our heroes – well the flesh and blood ones at least!
Look, I totally understand if the way I see it doesn’t mesh with your views on Return of the Jedi and the Ewoks…but perhaps none other than Andrew Zilch and Billy Dee Williams might change your mind with the Star Wars Ewok Gospel?
Now can I have an Amen for the Ewoks?