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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai

adventures_of_buckaroo_banzaiStarring:

Peter Weller …  Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow …  Lord John Whorfin / Dr. Emilio Lizardo
Ellen Barkin …  Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum …  New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd …  John Bigboote
Lewis Smith …  Perfect Tommy
Rosalind Cash …  John Emdall
Robert Ito …  Professor Hikita
Pepe Serna …  Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey …  President Widmark
Matt Clark …  Secretary of Defense
Clancy Brown …  Rawhide
William Traylor …  General Catburd
Carl Lumbly …  John Parker
Vincent Schiavelli …  John O’Connor

Synopsis from IMDb:  Neurosurgeon/Rock Star/Superhero Buckaroo has perfected the oscillation overthruster, which allows him to travel through solid matter by using the eighth dimension. The Red Lectroids from Planet 10 are after this device for their own evil ends, and it’s up to Buckaroo and his band and crime-fighting team The Hong Kong Cavaliers to stop them.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – 1.75 pointed ears
Aside from veiled refernces to the cold war, stone-age computer terminals, and definite 80’s music, this 25-year old movie holds up surprisingly well.  I can understand though, why it didn’t fair to well at the box office.  This movie requires multiple viewing just to understand what’s going on.  That and a limited theatrical release may be what doomed this flick.  In 1984 this movie played on one screen at one theater in my hometown.  That same year, Ghostbusters played on three screens at two theaters. 

Does any of that make this movie less watchable? No.  Once you’ve seen it enough times to get an idea of who’s who and can actually follow the characters this quite a watchable movie.  Though the story is a pretty standard save the world from aliens who used Orson Wells Halloween broadcast of “War of the Worlds” as cover for their invasion.  That Buckaroo Banzai also seems to take its inspiration from the Doc Savage pulps doesn’t change the fact that it’s an enjoyable movie.  The fact that this film is full of quotes that have entertained geeks for decades is just bonus.

In my opinon, the movie would’ve been much better if there had been a few more minutes of character development and if the supporting characters would’ve been more visually distinctive.

PIT #1 – 1.5 pointed ears
The story was interesting.  It seemed short to me.  It’s easier to follow the story the more times I watch it.

PIT #2 – 1.25 pointed ears
Interesting visuals.  The SFX still hold up rather well.  Just what is the watermelon for?  Dad won’t tell me.  I’m still not following the story completely.

PIT #3 – .5 pointed ears
This the FIRST time I’ve ever seen this movie.  It didn’t make ANY sense at all.  Why do the aliens talk with Jamaican accents.  Why was Doc Brown an evil alien in this movie?  Daddy says it’ll be a better movie the next time I see it.  I hope we don’t see it again.  The only reason I gave it .5 ears is because there was no kissing.

5 pointed ears out of 8
If you’re a fan of “geek culture” I highly recommend buying this movie on DVD.  Repeated viewings are a must.  This is definitely a cult classic.  If your a fan of SF, pulp, or action adventure, this movie comes highly recommended.

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April 7, 2009 - Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. […] been met with mixed reviews; some love the changes the show has made to focus more on the drama Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai – vulcanstev.wordpress.com 04/07/2009 Starring: Peter Weller …  Buckaroo Banzai John Lithgow […]

    Pingback by Posts about DVD Reviews as of April 7, 2009 » DVD Newsroom | April 7, 2009

  2. Can gaming in the universe of… be far behind?

    Comment by drcheckmate | April 7, 2009

  3. @Dr.C. Always. This one and my Watchmen GitUo article are taking some time.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | April 7, 2009

  4. Two words:

    John Bigbootie.

    Comment by Hank Harwell | April 7, 2009

  5. RE: The Watermelon–The typical answer as to what that’s all about isn’t the original one. Perfect Tommy inherited that experiment from another scientist at the Banzai Institute, and the original scientist forgot what it was supposed to be for. Tommy just makes up a new ‘reason’ every week.

    Comment by Golgotha Kinslayer | April 8, 2009

  6. I believe Berin mentioned at one point that the answer to that question can be found in the novel.

    Comment by drcheckmate | April 8, 2009

  7. @G.K. & Dr. C. – Having never read the novel, it’s tough to answer PIT #2’s question without destroying what little is left of his notions about my ‘omniscience’. He is 14 so there’s not much left of that notion anyway.

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | April 8, 2009


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