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IN SHORT: Surprisingly good date flick.
Last year real people went to Pleasantville. It would not be unfair to say that this year Pleasantville comes to real-people land, though Blast From The Past is about as related to Pleasantville as I am to John F. Kennedy Jr. That being said . . .
Cranky was just a tiny li'l kidlet back when the Commies dropped the big on Los Angeles back in 1962. Then again, I live in New York and was probably looking the other way. For those of you who also missed that Big Bang, only 2 lucky souls Calvin and Helen Webber (Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek) survived at Ground Zero, nestled snug as bugs in a rug in their custom built, ranch house style fallout shelter. 35 years later Adam (Brendan Fraser), the proud product of their loins, imbued with innocence and all those 1950s values that old Republicans love, surfaced for supplies.
Yeah, LA wasn't nuked, but the Webbers believably think it was. That's only the first surprise in Blast From the Past. True, the trailer and TV ads make this look like a doofus is as doofus does flick, but it isn't. The performances of Walken and Spacek, cast totally against character type, are just the first great pleasure in this flick. The second surprise is the exceptionally funny script by Bill Kelly and director Hugh Wilson which provides some great gag dialog and visual jokes. When Adam hits the surface, he is prepared for, basically, absolutely nothing. His dad had been up to the surface once and had a run in with atomic mutants (a very funny gag which I won't spill) so Adam was prepared for the worst. His best hope is to find supplies and maybe a girl to take back underground.
Not only does this guy attract flame of the moment Alicia Silverstone, suitably named "Eve," he's like a babe magnet. In a retro nightclub, he gets blondes hanging all over him! Terminally single Cranky would be suicidal from watching this nerd were it not so damned funny. Eve may fall for Adam -- it's inevitable right? -- but it's her gay friend Troy (Dave Foley) who cleans the boy up right and makes him presentable to 90s femme-dom. Actually, Troy and his boyfriends give Adam the eye as well, but this is all done tastefully and, after all, Adam was raised on Perry Como records and Honeymooners films, so he's looking for the right little woman.
Blast From The Past shows that Alicia Silverstone, basically, has three facial expressions she can make and that's about the range of her acting ability. As long as she chooses well, she'll do fine until she's not considered "hot" anymore (or until she gets some real training). Brendan Fraser, on the other hand, continues to surprise me. Just as with George of the Jungle, he takes the total doofus of a character gives it a heart and makes it three dimensional. If you haven't seen his performance in Gods and Monsters, do so. If you're waiting for the next one, it's . . .
Dudley Do-Right. I'm not kidding. Fraser's going to the well again. We'll just have to wait and see if he can make magic again.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Blast From The Past, he would have paid . . .
Blast From The Past is so very funny, it's definitely recommended. It's a definite date flick and will do killer when it gets to tape.
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