80s OVERDRIVE REVIEWED
The 80s Overdrive 6 Movie Collection repackages 6 Mill Creek releases.
“Little Nikita” is “The Americans” if Reagan era FBI agents got the kid to rat out Felicity and her man. There are times when I can put a pin in the films that introduced me to certain actors. Due to this film’s constant airings on HBO, it was how I discovered Poitier and Phoenix. I didn’t see “Stand By Me” until after this film, but I knew Poitier and Phoenix were big actors. It’s just why were they doing the equivalent of an After School special about espionage? What’s crazy is that I blanked on Richard Lynch and Richard Jenkins being in this movie. How could I forget that Lynch was playing KGB killer Scuba? What this revisit reminded me was that the only memorable scene was the effort put into trying to toss Phoenix off an overpass onto I-5 incoming traffic. Richard Benjamin is a pretty odd director, but his eye for dramatic action demands attention. It’s a shame that he went out on stuff like “Marci X”.
“The Legend of Billie Jean” is one of the best social bandit movies of the 1980s. That being said, it’s also very much a teen movie and it relishes the diminished expectations that come with it. For those that haven’t seen it, Helen Slater gets sexually harassed while trying to make the local rich kids pay for screwing up her brother’s motor scooter. Dude gets shot and she kidnaps three accomplices and they go on the run. They meet up with the kid from Christine and Dressed to Kill, then they still more stuff. Peter Coyote shows up because he was obligated to star in every other genre film between 1982-1987. There’s something about movies that used to play on a loop throughout your youth. I used to have a VHS super dub that I made of this film, “Leonard Part 6” and “Brewster’s Millions”. There’s so many awkward stumbling blocks associated with the film that it takes age to realize that it’s pretty hokey. But, director Matthew Robbins shows the same panache that he did with “Batteries not Included” and “Dragonslayer”. If you believe in the material enough, you credit an onscreen world that a viewer can accept. After all, “Fair is Fair” is a universal concept and these kids are easy to like.
There are four other movies, but let’s keep addressing the same issue. Why are we getting “Perfect” in the wrong aspect ratio? The notion that botched aspect ratios happen in the HD era is insane to me! The films are great and its a perfect opportunity to introduce younger people to deep genre cuts. Oh well, hopefully Mill Creek improves upon this in the future.
- 1.78:1/1.85:1 1080p transfers
- LPCM 2.0 / Dolby Digital 2.0