Pump Up the Volume (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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Pump Up The Volume
In the suburban hinterlands of Arizona, pirate-radio DJ Hard Harry wages a one-man war against boredom from his bedroom transmitter by night. In between great Lenny Bruce-style stream-of-consciousness rants, Harry attacks the airwaves with the likes of the Descendents, Bad Brains, and Concrete Blonde, as well as occasionally kickin' it old school with some early hip-hop. By day, though, Hard Harry is Mark Hunter, a painfully shy new kid who's anonymous to the point of being invisible at Hubert Humphrey High School. Completely misunderstood by his '60s-era parents, Mark is desperate to keep his radio alter ego separate from his day-to-day persona, especially as his radio shows draw more attention from the authorities. Fellow misfit Nora (Samantha Mathis, in her first feature role) eventually discovers Hard Harry's true identity, much to Mark's chagrin, and the two of them become torchbearers against the stifling status quo of the town as they dodge the police, the school administration, and the FCC. There are familiar high school authority archetypes (the assistant principal with clip-on tie, lemon-yellow K-Mart short-sleeved dress shirt, military flattop, and bulky key ring) and a rather strained subplot of a corrupt school administration. Mainly, though, this is a rousing teen call-to-arms that showcases Slater's talents as he developed the cynical, sarcastic neo-Jack Nicholson delivery that would become his trademark. He's at his best during his radio monologues (making them truly seem ad-libbed), and his influences become clear as he checks out a copy of How to Talk Dirty and Influence People from the library. --Jerry Renshaw
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Top Customer Reviews
Until then, "Pump" is sheer fun, an equal opportunity offender that doesn't strain your sense of morality. The adults are easy targets (even Hunter's parents are out to lunch - they never realize that their son's got enough electronic equipment to be the "Hard Harry" that everybody is talking about; the rest of the adults fail to consider Harry's message as a wake-up call). But the teens are also pretty wasted - for all of their energy, they never convert their power into a cause (the script wakes up near the end, and crafts a genuine cause involving manipulation of student scores - a revelation hit on by a "friendly" teacher played by Ellen Greene of "Little Shop of Horrors" fame).Read more ›
Students at Hubert Humphrey High are screaming inside. Many of them don't know what to do with their lives, so they do the best they can pretending to be the perfect, destined-for-success angels that their prim-but-pushy parents expect them to be. The fact that the principal of the school values her school's SAT scores rather than the students' personal welfare doesn't help much.
Enter Happy Harry Hardon. Feeling lonely, depressed, and frustrated with life, he starts a pirate radio station and spills his guts out. Not only does he develop a following, he gives powerful advice that everyone should live by, and in the process exposes corruption in the school.
His words are powerful. Maybe you'll blow this one off and say it's unrealistic (hello people... what movie is), or maybe you'll feel liberated and completely change your outlook on life, like I did. "Doesn't this blend of blindness and blandness make you want to do something crazy?? Then DO SOMETHING CRAZY!!"
For those who know nothing of this movie ,how have you missed it but its the story of a shy guy whos moved into a new town. his parents got him a short way radio station so that he can talk to his friends back home. he uses it to play his kind of music, speak of things that he wants to and basically break every censorship law in existance. After one of his listeners shoots himself while listening to the show mark finds himself being wanted for arrest. He must find a way to change the minds of a town of teenage radicals. its the soundtrack of the pixies, concrete blonde, the beastie boys and basically everything that is good. also in it is the story of a boy and a girl who are legends in their own mind who seek after eachother. (samantha mathis and christian slater) moura ( i think thats her name its been a while since ive seen this) and mark.
if you like this get "empire records". like i said though, its best to get it on dvd- special fan edition. the regular edition is great too but the 16 minuets of extra footage and deleted scenes make the movie. the extra footage is also put into the movie so its like watching a whole new movie. it rocks, i just bought the special edition yesterday..
Christian Slater stars as Mark Hunter a shy and introverted studious teenager by day who is harboring a secret identity from everyone else. Hunter has recently moved to the Arizona city of Paradise Valley and is attending the local high school Hubert Humphrey High, where all the students are at odds with the hardnosed bully of a principal. To combat both his own awkward attempts at conversations with fellow students (especially girls) and the intensely disliked principal, Mark becomes a pirate DJ using his short-wave radio his parents gave him for a gift. Behind the microphone and closed doors Mark becomes 'Hard Harry' who lives and breathes his motto "Talk Hard" nightly beginning at 10 sharp. His alternately bellicose and sanguine rants become 'a voice crying in the wilderness' for the students at HHH and overnight 'Hard Harry' becomes a hometown celebrity that has everyone at the high school talking about him. Suddenly the teenagers that were growing complacent and resigned to the rules, regulations and restrictions enforced upon them begin to liberate themselves. Students play their recorded tapes of his broadcast on boom boxes during the school lunch hour and they become the bane of the teachers who dislike the uncensored monologues, especially the putdowns of the teachers and principal who are named on the broadcasts. But when one of the callers to 'Hard Harry' commits suicide, the high school's core of leadership blame him for provoking the incident.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
One of my favorite movies, Pump Up the Volume is a film that has a great message and a cool cast. Christian Slater is perfect as Harry/Mark, I think this is his best role, his... Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by cruel_girl
Powerful film, Christian Slater with an incredible performance as Mark Hunter a shy kid who moves to Arizona in a new school where he notices things are very wrong. Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by N. Damiano
this movie is about Christian Slater who plays Hard Harry the pirate radio man of his pirated show, is magnificent and full of style. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2003 by Michael Bolts
This was a really good film. Christian delivers as does his teenage costar, Samantha Mathis. This is a tale of teenage angst, but it is more than that alone. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003 by Alicia Walker
what more can you say this movie is great. But I can tell you right now this movie was made in 85 or 86 I was still in college and I graduated in 86. Read morePublished on Sept. 11 2003
Christian Slater is the man as Hard Harry, hes this radio host on a pirate radio and he makes all these jokes and plays distasteful music and he exploits teh school he goes to. Read morePublished on July 27 2003 by Michael Bolts
This movie is awesome. I never ever paid attention to Christian Slater before this. My mom was in the store the other day, said she thought I'd like this movie, bought it for $4... Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by TJ