Sunday, September 9, 2007

Week 15: Night Shift

Oh, the 1980s. You silly, stupid decade. You gave us some great things. Like Wham and jelly bracelets. Your films; however, are not included on the list. That being said, if you are of a mind to indulge in sheer 1980's frivolity from time to time, you might expect your movies to contain the following:

1. Brief cameos of actors who would later become famous (in Night Shift, you'll spot Richard Belzer as a thug and Kevin Costner as a drunken frat boy. The disc sleeve also mentioned Shannen Doherty but we never spotted her scowling mug anywhere.)

2. Overacting (courtesy of Micheal Keaton in Night Shift. I still love Keaton (terrific eyebrows, right?) even though it turns out he is a terrible actor. He remains my favorite Batman.)

3. A predictable plot involving a hooker with a heart of gold (in this case, Shelley Long playing the future part of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. Although Shelley Long can hardly be described as pretty and she is barely womanly. I've seen surfboards with more curves.)

4. A character who makes all the '80s coke addicts feel at home (in this case, again, Michael Keaton fills the frenetic role).

5. An atrocious soundtrack (I have two words for you in this movie: Burt Bacharach.)

6. Fur. Lots of it. Apparently in the '80s, we did everything but paper our walls in silver fox.

7. A drunken frat scene (in Night Shift, it takes place in a morgue and yes, no surprises here, one couple was "doing it" in the roll-out shelves where they keep the dead bodies. Obligatory booby flash included.)

The cheese content in Night Shift is through the roof, which I guess is the point of watching it. I was disappointed that it didn't have the over-the-top B-movie factor of my beloved Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, which remains my gold-standard for '80s cheese.

We found it humorous that Ron Howard directed this movie. I'm sure he loves it when he's at a dinner party and someone brings it up just to mortify him. I can just picture that a-hole James Cameron shouting drunkenly across the table, "Hey, Opie! When you gonna film Night Shift 2? That'll get you an Oscar, buddy. Did I mention that I won an Oscar for Titanic? Like fourteen of them, actually. I directed Titanic, everyone! Everyone?!! Did you hear me????!!!!!"

And then Ron Howard, with no small trace of smile, kindly reminds James Cameron that he also directed Piranha Two. And James Cameron begins to cry like a little girl.

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