Kickin’ it Old Skool

Live your dream.

Even if it means coming out of a 20-year coma and thinking you can recapture your ’80s breakdancing glory.

There are two ways to look at this mostly-forgotten 2007 comedy.

One, it’s stupid times twenty. Or, two, it’s stupid times twenty, but in a really-endearing way.

I choose the latter, embracing the often-lovable goofiness in what is essentially a time-travel story.

The film, like its lead actor, Jamie Kennedy, just wants to be loved and works hard for our approval.

Plus, Maria Menounos is a freakin’ ray of sunshine in whatever she does, so there’s that, too.

 

The Mighty B!

It was “awe-shum!”

National treasure Amy Poehler gave us one of the great TV cartoons of all time (of all time!), delivering sweet-natured hilarity for 40 pretty impeccable episodes.

Following Bessie Higgenbottom, a nine-and-three-quarters-year-old Honeybee scout constantly on the point of hyperventilating, it was inventive and just plain joyful.

From reeling off 445 reasons she should be allowed to have a dog, to careening around San Francisco in mad pursuit of the baby who dared to make a run for it while under her watch, her adventures were as big as her (madly-pounding) heart.

She won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

 

American Graffiti

One night, endless memories.

Summer vacation, and easy-going life, are sliding to an end, with all sorts of new responsibilities looming on the other side of a Cali sunrise.

One pack of teens aim to put it off for as long as possible.

Cruising up and down the strip, the rumbling voice of Wolfman Jack echoes out of their car radios as they hold off the daylight.

Director George Lucas hit a homerun with a cast for the ages, including Harrison Ford in one of his earliest roles, and the film remains as vibrant in 2021 as it was in 1973.

 

Jackie Chan’s First Strike

He works hard for his money.

Maybe more than any action star of his era, Jackie Chan sacrificed for his fans, repeatedly putting his body into the danger zone for our thrills and amusement.

Here, he jumps out of helicopters, swims with sharks, and gets into a knock-down brawl involving ladders, and never flinches once.

Or uses a stunt man, since Chan, in the tradition of Asian martial arts stars, has almost always done his own work — and has the x-rays to prove it.

Working with director Stanley Tong, a frequent collaborator, he delivers another winner with this one.

 

Radioland Murders

A bomb that’s better than most smash hits.

Paying homage to Cary Grant-era screwball comedies, this film is best remembered — if it’s remembered at all — as being a money loser for writer/producer George Lucas.

But, like his other “mark of shame” — the unfairly-maligned Howard the Duck — it’s survived the naysayers to become a cult classic.

Careening around a radio station in 1939, a husband-and-wife team on the edge of divorce find themselves trying to solve a series of murders.

The dialogue cracks like a whip, no one stops moving, and it’s a frantic good time.

At least in my eyes.