Blast From The Blast
[John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry]
Its happened again. The cost of movie-going has gone up. The ticket price for my matinee today went from $8 to $9. The cost of full price tickets and 3D glasses are even worse. I am glad I opted to forego later day movie viewing in favor of the first viewings on the weekend. Now I can enjoy a matinee at Friday night prices! I did not even venture to the concession counter to see the increases there. I guess the cost of a bucket of popcorn will give me a heart attack sooner then the actual popcorn itself!
SYNOPSIS: Three friends going through hard times with a nephew in tow go back to a ski resort in hopes of reliving some of the craziness of their youth. Instead, they go back in time to their 1986 heyday by way of a hot tub time machine. Do they do the same things they did then in order to keep everything the same, or do they try to make new history?
Hot tubs, time travel, the 80s, friends unhappy with their current lives... what could go wrong? Everything, of course! There have been a myriad of time travel epics, from several "Star Trek" movies to "Time Bandits" to "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure". The hot tub is a funnier prop then Bill and Ted's phone booth, 'cause it's a hot tub! And what's funnier then going to important periods of history, going to the 80s!
John Cusack (Adam), Craig Robinson (Nick), Rob Corddry (Lou) and Clark Duke (Jacob) start the film wallowing in their own mid-life miseries, mostly centered around their lackluster lives and problems with romance. Lou's attempt to "not kill" himself brings the three estranged friends back together. Adam and Nick are guilted into keeping an eye on Lou and decide to take him to the ski resort they frequented in their youth. Unfortunately, the resort is as run down as their current lives. The only highlight seems to be their suite's outdoor hot tub. Of course, in the spirit of defying the laws of physics, the hot tub becomes a time machine to the 80s due to the spilling of some illegal Russian energy drink.
Each of them find themselves back in their young bodies, except Jacob who wasn't even born yet. Early on, they realize that their trip is a paradox since Jacob starts flickering in and out courtesy of a "Back to the Future"-like plot twist. Some of the laughs are based on the characters' references to other time travel film science, notably "The Terminator" and "The Butterfly Effect". Some of the laughs are based on the fact that the 80s were hilarious, especially in hindsight. Director Steve Pink brings us glimpses of "Sixteen Candles" and other 80s essentials. Cusack even breaks out a little "Better Off Dead" for us. Chevy Chase makes a cameo as the time traveler guide trying to fix the glitchy jacuzzi, and "Back to the Future" star Crispin Glover breaks out again for maximum comic effect as the resort concierge Phil with one arm in the present and two in 1986. Every scene we wonder if this is when the detachment occurs!
What do you do when you realize that the 1986 Winterfest is the pivotal point of the rest of lives? Do you retrace it exactly so that you do not make any changes to your already boring present, or do you use your opportunity to change things for the better? The script is smartly written and keeps us smiling and entertained. If the cost of movies were the same as in the 80s, I would definitely recommend this one.