Monday, July 15, 2013


***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Fandango...sounds like a acoustic guitar playing vigilante.

Fandango – 3 out of 5

I never heard of this 1985 film from Kevin Reynolds until my college roommate told me about it. He told me the film is a classic example of 80s filmmaking and, while not the best film in the world, was still pretty good. You know what? He’s right. Review over!

Ha ha, just screwing with ya! Let’s get to that synopsis part…

But first, enjoy this male nudity.

The movie is basically a tamer, 80s-ier version of The Hangover.
Fandango tells the story of 5 college buddies who decide to have one last road trip after things like graduation, marriage, careers and being drafted into Viet-fucking-nam takes over their lives. Wildman Gardner Barnes (who not only has the name of an eccentric billionaire who may or may not be a superhero during the nighttime hours but is also played by Kevin Costner), ROTC dork Phil Hicks (Judd Nelson), the eternally drunk Lester (Brian Cesak), the quiet giant Dorman (Chuck Bush), and the man who receives notice that he is going to the war that seems to have CCR’s “Fortunate Son” on repeat for its soundtrack; Kenneth (Sam Robards), engage in partying with young girls, setting off fireworks, jumping out of planes and making sure they have enough beer to fuel their escapades. Then, along the way, they realize the depth of their friendship, the uncertainty of their futures and an opportunity for me to write a cheesy ending to this synopsis.

"Yeah, they're sending me to Vietnam...I'm stationed with
a guy named Gump or something."

Based on a short film, this movie acted as the directorial debut of Kevin Reynolds. With the help of Steven Spielberg, Reynolds went on to make this film but, mysteriously, Spielberg wasn’t happy with the final result and took his name off it. After watching it, I’m not sure what aspect of the film Spielberg was disappointed in but I’m quickly reminded that the director of Jaws and E.T. is human and has his flaws…I mean, this guy DID do A.I.—so, he’s capable of making mistakes.

The character of Dorman may be the gentle giant type but the neck beard
doesn't help his case.

Fandango won’t go on to be a movie I’ll end up watching a lot in my life but will be one of those movies I’m surprised I didn’t find out about sooner. While the film isn’t uproariously hilarious, it still is really freaking funny and, in my opinion, Kevin Costner really stole the film and was the funniest one in the show. His confrontations with Judd Nelson over their trip just plain made the movie.

"Hey Nelson, does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?"

"Wait, there's an anvil in here!  Damn you, Bugs!!!"
Another element that really struck me in the film was the stunts—yes; a college road trip movie had stunts. In the film, there’s a skydiving scene but it wasn’t the jump out of the plane that caught my eye. The crew befriends the eccentric pilot and call on his help in order to fulfill the end of the film and the big blowout they have before the end credits. In this sequence, we see the pilot flying recklessly along a highway, zipping underneath signs and overpasses, and I realized that you don’t see stunts like this much in films anymore—that shit is done with dem dang-fangled computers now.

"Is that...Superman?  Why's he flipping us off?"

Fandango is amusing, has a great cast, proves to be a great first feature length outing for director Kevin Reynolds (he would go on to direct Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves, Waterworld, The Count of Monte Cristo and Hatfields & McCoys--along the way showing he really, really likes using Costner in his projects) and delivers some heart in its story. It may not be the most memorable film from an era that gave us the worst fashions some people are trying to bring back but it’s still an entertaining movie.

And then the movie ended with Simple Minds playing and Judd Nelson pumping
his fist in the air while walking into the sunset.

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