Rachel Talalay

Rachel Talalay

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Hairspray (1988) Review


Very Good
Some 34 years after the Supreme Court ended segregation, John Waters made Hairspray, probably his most wholesome film ever (it's rated PG), to relive his Baltimore youth among the regulars of his local American Bandstand-esque dance show. Hairspray's The Corny Collins Show was indeed based on a real Baltimore show called The Buddy Deane Show, and Waters' skewering of the young Elvises and their high-hair girls is dead-on.

Set in 1963, Baltimore was still fighting integration by refusing to let black youths participate in shows like these. The minority finds an unlikely champion, though, in Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) an enormous girl who only wants to dance! As the pretty kids push against the rising popularity of the fat girl, a convenient analogue to racial discrimination develops.

Continue reading: Hairspray (1988) Review

Book Of Love (1990) Review


Good
One of the last teen comedies of the raunch era -- before 10 Things I Hate About You and its ilk tried to appeal to a younger crowd -- Book of Love (based on the book Jack in the Box) is a capable, if far from classic, reminder of our Porky's past.

Chris Young (that guy from PCU) and a whole host of now-obscure young stars (Keith Coogan was the kid in Adventures in Babysitting) make up the cast. Their story is awfully familiar: Senior year, bullies, unattainable chick, prom night. Various misadventures fill the 85 minutes before we get to the "will he lose his virginity" moment, most of them involving lightly scandalous "sexual conduct and language," as the MPAA notes. (Fair warning: Book of Love was originally released as a PG-13 movie; the new DVD cuts in more profanity and one breast shot, earning the film an R.)

Continue reading: Book Of Love (1990) Review

Hairspray Review


Very Good
Some 34 years after the Supreme Court ended segregation, John Waters made Hairspray, probably his most wholesome film ever (it's rated PG), to relive his Baltimore youth among the regulars of his local American Bandstand-esque dance show. Hairspray's The Corny Collins Show was indeed based on a real Baltimore show called The Buddy Deane Show, and Waters' skewering of the young Elvises and their high-hair girls is dead-on.

Set in 1963, Baltimore was still fighting integration by refusing to let black youths participate in shows like these. The minority finds an unlikely champion, though, in Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) an enormous girl who only wants to dance! As the pretty kids push against the rising popularity of the fat girl, a convenient analogue to racial discrimination develops.

Continue reading: Hairspray Review

A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master Review


Weak
Renny Harlin's big break came with this film, an otherwise forgettable entry into the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Freddy was killed and buried on consecrated ground in #3, but he's resurrected to terrorize teens once again -- notably Kristin (with Tuesday Knight taking over for episode 3's Patricia Arquette), who can pull her friends into her dreams at will. Not much to see here except for the occasional '80s big hairdo and some decent gore shots. The dream girl inside one kid's waterbed is near classic. (Sez Freddy: "How's this for a wet dream?")

Cry-Baby Review


Very Good
John Waters first went mainstream with the 1988 classic Hairspray and then defied midnight-movie fans who complained he'd gone all lame and mainstream by daring to follow it up with a full-on musical comedy. Set in late-'50s Baltimore, Cry-Baby is his delightful tribute to Elvis, juvenile delinquency, and rockabilly music. How can you resist Johnny Depp twitching and crooning like The King?

On the right side of the tracks lives the virginal Allison (Amy Locane), all blond hair and crinoline skirts. Her grandmother, Mrs. Vernon-Williams, runs a charm school and is the local dictator of good taste and deportment. Her idea of fun is to host talent shows where "square" teens sing "Mr. Sandman" in barbershop harmony.

Continue reading: Cry-Baby Review

Rachel Talalay

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Cry-Baby Movie Review

Cry-Baby Movie Review

John Waters first went mainstream with the 1988 classic Hairspray and then defied midnight-movie fans...

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