on June 14, 2004
Brendan Fraser is remarkably good in this good-natured comedy about a young man born and raised in a fallout shelter. Fraser manages to parlay his rugged good looks and youthful exuberance into an intensely likeable hero named Adam. Once released into the modern world, Adam is gleefully joyful to watch. Alicia Silverstone is fine as his "Eve" who is both enamored and repelled by Fraser's childishly kind behavior. Dave Foley as her gay friend is marvelous as well. I also liked Joey Skolnik as the bartender who metamorphoses from a happy teenager to the self-proclaimed monk of a new religion. Kudos also to Nathan Killion (Firefly series) as Alicia's macho boyfriend who gets put in his place by Fraser. Also to the delightful dance scene where Fraser and two girls jitterbug to high heaven. But one cannot overlook the truly marvelous performances from Sissy Spacek and Christopher Walken as Fraser's paranoid parents. They are both brilliant, and one can see how these two won Oscars for previous performances. Director Hugh Wilson keeps it all together and I found myself smiling and chuckling all the way through. A delightful find!
on February 23, 2004
Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken) is a slightly mad genius living in Los Angeles at the height of the Cold War. Paranoid about the communist threat, he has made a vast and elaborate nuclear bunker under his house. And, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he takes the precaution of going into it with his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek). By bizarre coincidence, just as they get down underground, a military aircraft crashes on their house. Convinced this is the dreaded nuke, he locks in and they prepare to stay there for 35 years until the radiation reaches safe levels. Finally come the 1990s and son Adam (Brendan Fraser) is sent out to reconnoitre and get look for fresh supplies in what they are convinced is a nightmarish and disintegrated post-apocalyptic world. (The neighbour has gone badly downhill in a way that makes this a more than understandable mistake.) Out he goes armed only with an indefatigable innocence and decency, an unshakable conviction that Perry Como is at the cutting edge of popular music and what he does not yet realize is a huge fortune in vintage baseball cards. After a few hours he is seriously at sea and hopelessly lost. Then he meets Alicia Silverstone's wordly and cynical Eve...
The central conceit of this film is the clash of what is basically a 1950s sensibility with the harsh and cynical realities of 1990s America. That way it strongly recalls 'Pleasantville', made a year earlier. But this is a much better film. While 'Pleasantville' rather condescended to the past, with its knowing modern kids teaching stuffy old 50s types how to be cool and have sex, this film is much more intelligently ambivalent about the blessings of modernity and has a very nice satirical edge. Not to mention much funnier. It is Eve who learns from Adam far more than the reverse. It's essentially an unusual romantic comedy with a bizarre fantasy premise. But it's an unusually sharp, witty and unintelligent romcom. A certain mismatch between British and American senses of humour may partly explain why I seldom laugh out loud at American movies. Several lines in this were notable exceptions. Its best moments recall, as very very few contemporary films manage to recall, the sharply observed intelligence of the great Hollywood romantic comedies of the 30s and 40s. Fresh, entertaining and extremely well-acted, it's well worth a look.
on July 7, 2002
This is an enjoyable film in a brain bubblegum kind of way; Brendan Fraser is charming, Alicia Silverstone is adorable, and the rest of the cast perform well, too.
Christopher Walken is a brilliant scientist who has created a huge, completely self-sustaining, unbelievably well-stocked nuclear bomb shelter beneath his family's home. During the Cuban missile crisis, he mistakenly believes that a nuclear bomb has been dropped, and locks his pregnant wife into this 35-year-time-locked bomb shelter. Brendan Fraser's character, Adam, is born there, and spends the first 34 years of his life underground, with only his parents for company. Predictably, after the 35 years are up, Adam emerges a bit odd, very polite, and exceedingly naive (but very well-schooled, thanks to his scientist father.) Adam learns about the modern world with help from Alicia Silverstone and David Foley, and searches for a wife (I'll give you three guesses as to whom he falls for, but who isn't interested in return.) Adam is not only lonely for female companionship, but he's lost as well; he can't remember how to get back to the the family's bomb shelter, which understandably causes him great distress. It's basically a happy movie, though, and appropriate for the family.
Even though the story isn't compelling or particularly well-written, it's charming and entertaining, anyhow. Fraser is adorable as always, and Silverstone turns in an enjoyable performance as well. This is a nice feel-good story for an evening or afternoon when you don't feel much like turning on your brain.
on September 13, 2003
I've seen this film a lot of times, more than I'd care to admit to, and I never tire of it. The first five minutes are pretty dull, so I tend to skip past them, as it really starts when the plane crashes into the house.
Christopher Walken & Sissy Spacek are the perfect people to play Brendan Fraser's parents, both as quirky as each other. Sissy plays the perfect wife, drinking to escape her husband and life below ground. Christopher is perfect as the Dad, teaching his son everything he knows.
Alicia Silverstone is kooky, "psychic", and is a perfect match for Adam's character, and of course she has to be called Eve. How original.
Troy's character is brilliant, playing the stereotypical gay guy, which Adam thinks means "happy". Troy and Eve live together, and have a very similar relationship to Will & Grace in the TV show. The girl who has a gay guy for a roommate - tell me, how many times has that been done?
The first fifteen minutes go quickly through the first 35 years of Adam's (Brendan Fraser) uneventful life, cutting back and forth between what's going on above the family.
I couldn't imagine anyone else in the part of innocent Adam, apart from Brendan. He comes out with the funniest expressions! He is brought up to be the perfect gentleman - opening doors for women, calling them ma'am, doing all those things, the guy who every girl would like but then quickly get fed up of!
Some parts of the film aren't explained, leaving you wondering how they had enough supplies to last 35 years, how none of them got seriously ill, until the dad does twenty minutes in, forcing Adam to go up into the big bad world, and how the money hasn't changed in 35 years!
The funniest bits of the film are when Adam talks to complete strangers, in his off-hand way. The best sequence in the whole film is The Mask-reminiscent dance scene, when Adam goes to a club and dances with the two women. It's very similar to when Jim Carrey & Cameron Diaz dance together in The Mask; both are great & memorable. And like any dance scenes in films (Grease, The Mask, Saturday Night Fever) the crowd instantly makes a circle around the main people dancing and watches them. This wouldn't happen in real life, so why do they keep repeating this in films?
The storyline is pretty predictable: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and boy gets girl back.
There aren't many extras on the DVD. There are trailers; cast & crew biographies; deleted scenes and a B-roll. They're your basic extras - not worth watching more than once, if you can last through them. According to the back of my DVD, there's a "Love Meter" but I can't find it amongst the extras so god knows where it is.
This is definitely for sentimental fools, like me, who love a good romance, and think Brendan Fraser is so cute - just not when he sings!
I have seen this movie twice and have loved it both times. It is a funny and endearing romantic comedy that is peppered with a terrific cast and excellent performances. I would gladly watch it again.
Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken), a nerdy, nutty scientist, and his traditional and very pregnant wife, Helen (Sissy Spacek), are living in California in fifties style splendor in the early nineteen sixties, when the Cuban Missile Crisis occurs. Buying into the red scare of the day and convinced that attack by the communists is imminent, they immediately go underground into the super deluxe bomb shelter that Calvin had had the foresight to build under his house and fully equip with enough supplies to last thirty five years. No sooner do they do so, Calvin's fears are reinforced, as suddenly a force of great impact shudders overhead. Thinking that they were hit by an atomic blast set off by the communists, they hunker down for the next thirty five years, waiting for the radiation to dissipate.
In the interim, they have a baby boy, whom they name Adam (Brendan Fraser). As Adam grows up, he is unknowingly caught in a time warp with his parents, as they have no contact with the outside world. Adam's world view and values reflect that of his parents, as his entire life, thus far, has been spent underground soley in their company. When the thirty five years are up, Calvin surfaces briefly to check the state of affairs topside. What he sees, he misinterprets, and upon his return to the bomb shelter ends up having a heart attack. He and Helen then dispatch Adam on a reconnaissance mission to get needed supplies.
What transpires when Adam ventures into the outside world is very funny and often poignant. As played by Brendan Fraser, the thirty five year old Adam, a fresh faced, polite virgin with no fashion sense, has a Dudley-Do-Right quality and a load of goofy, sincere charm that ensures the comedic success of this film. His foray into the outside world, his endearingly innocent interpretation of all that he sees, and his interaction with others will leave the viewer laughing. When he runs into Eve (Alicia Silverstone), the hard edged, appropriately named, beautiful blonde with a heart of gold, he is smitten. Together they will leave the viewer hoping that Adam and Eve will find the Garden of Eden.
Christopher Walker is wonderful as the slightly nutty, paranoid but brilliant scientist. Sissy Spacek shows a distinct comedic flair as the patient and long suffering wife who buys into her husband's vision of things. Dave Foley of "Kids in the Hall" fame is terrific as Eve's drolly funny, gay roommate. Alicia Silverstone, while ostensibly the weakest link in this otherwise brilliantly cast comedy, still manages to give a more than acceptable performance as the cynical Eve. It is Brendan Fraser, however, with his aw-shucks, innocent veneer, who deftly steals the show right under everyone's nose. His charming and funny, ingratiating performance is one that will have the viewer watching this film over and over again. This is a must have comedy for one's personal collection.
on April 22, 2002
Life in the Early Sixites, When a Paranoid Genuis (Oscar-Winner:Christopher Walken) insists that his Wife (Oscar-Winner:Sissy Spacek) to Stay underground with him and thier Unborn Son, just Until the Cuban Missile Passes...for 35 Years!From that Point and On, thier Son (Brendan Fraser) was Born in Underground just into that, they run Out of Food. Thier Only Son decides to leave the Underground Home to be in the Outside World of Los Angeles. His Innocents and Matters creates an Outrageous Hilarious Situations in the Life in the Late Nineties.
Directed by Hugh Wilson (Police Academy, The First Wives Club, Dudley Do-Right) Creates a Light, Extremely Funny Comedy Works, thanks to Fraser`s Engaging Comic Performance, Walken and Spacek are also Great as the Parents of thier Only Son. Alicia Silverstone plays Fraser`s love Interest in this. Also Kids in the Hall`s:Dave Foley is Fun as Silverstone`s Gay Roommate. This Movie was an Box-Office Disappointment in the Winter of 1999. This Film is Enjoyable and Surprisngly Clever make this Delightful Romantic Comic Fantasy Flick to Perform Well. European Version runs 111 Minutes. Super 35. Grade:A-.
on March 22, 2002
On one level, Blast Form the Past could be a whole lot better. On another, it's just fine as it is. In other words, it may not live up to it's potential, but it's still entertaining.
The movie starts in 1962 and it quickly points out humorously that this was a very strange time. America had never been more affluent. New inventions were making life easier and easier. Life was good. Yet paranoia over our Communist enemies was never higher. Beneath the laughter and the good times lay a sense of impending atomic doom. Fallout shelters were all the rage.
We meet Calvin and Helen Webber [Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek], a popular Los Angeles couple. Calvin, who is a scientist, is particularly afraid of the Communist menace. He has somehow secretly constructed an underground shelter the size of a super Wal-Mart. One night a news broadcast convinces him that nuclear war may be at hand. He drags his thoroughly confused and very pregnant wife into the shelter. Moments later an out of control US fighter jet happens to crash and burn on top of their house. The explosion prompts Calvin to lock the shelter down. The couple is trapped there for over two decades.
Some of the best parts of Blast From the Past show Calvin and Helen, along with Adam, the son she bears, passing the years underground. Adam [Brendan Fraser] grows up to be a strapping, well educated and polite young man. Naturally he gives new meaning to the term sheltered!
Meanwhile, life goes on apace above their heads. The old neighborhood goes downhill. This transition is neatly portrayed by the evolution of a family business, which starts out as a soda shop and ends up a dive bar.
When the locks finally open the shelter, Calvin ventures up. It takes about five minutes for him to decided that the world is now a place inhabited by mutants. The experience causes him to collapse and take to his bed. Adam must then go up and replenish their supplies.
It is here that the movie could be a lot better. The idea of a man who has been frozen in time and then sets off into the present world has all sorts of comic possibilities. Blast Form the Past does not explore much of this. Instead, it concentrates on Adam's search for a wife, aided by the delightful and talented Alicia Silverstone, whose character is named [you guessed it] Eve. She is naturally distrustful of him because she thinks he is mad. His saying only that he is from out of town doesn't help.
My main problem here is that Adam, who has never seen any human beings other than his nutty parents, is too quick to adapt to present day Los Angeles. He is the perfect gentleman, raised in a much more repressed culture, yet he seems unaffected by Eve's revealing attire or by her penchant for cursing like a sailor. In their search for a wife, she takes him to a disco, where it turns out he's a fabulous dance. It's good to know that Brendan Fraser is so talented in this department, but it doesn't seem like something Adam could do.
What saves the movie is the affecting romance that develops between Adam and Eve. While it's obvious that this is going to occur, it is still a sweet and wholly innocent situation. While the film does not go in a more innovative direction, which would have made it a more satisfying experience, a la The Truman Show, it does wind up be a charming romantic comedy.
on February 19, 2002
This is one of my favorite comedies of all time starring Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek, Brendan Fraser, and Alicia Silverstone. Walken and Spacek are hilarious as the parents of Adam Weber (Fraser), a couple who through an unlikely set of events end up stuck in a fallout shelter for 35 years, where Adam is born.
From beginning to end, this is one of those very rare movies that pays thoughtful attention to the smallest details; indeed, I've seen the flick at least a dozen times and I continue to pick up small nuances I missed before. Eve (Silverstone) enters later into the movie as Adam's love interest, and in my opinion, delivers one of her finest performances ever.
This film leaves you with a very positive, upbeat feeling. The only criticism I could possible state about it: Some of the language seems out of place and unnecessary for this type of movie. I purchased it for my younger children, because I believe it is an object lesson in how people should treat each other, and some rather crude swearing by Silverstone detracted from what I otherwise consider perfection in direction, casting and acting.
Highly recommended for all ages (with the noted language warning).
on January 22, 2002
Blast from the Past is a predictable post cold war farce that is saved by the actors. The supporting cast of Sissy Spacek (When is the last time anyone see Sissy Spacek in a comedy?), Christopher Walken, and Dave Foley with lead, Brendan Fraser (once again playing a "fish out of water" character i.e. George of the Jungle, The Scout, Encino Man, etc.) make up for a predictable plot. Alicia Silverstone in a far better role from the Batman and Robin movie doesn't seem to be talking with marbles in mouth and is very likable and Brendan Fraser once again has the charm and versatility to pull off his character raised in a fallout shelter and exploring the outside world for the first time. Nothing is done over the top and the movie does not explore how Brendan Fraser's character couldn't fit in, but how he could fit in today's society. An example is Brendan Fraser's "oh so nice" manners taught to him by his parents. Also, there is a nice swing dance routine by Brendan Fraser and two women in a trendy L.A. night club. Overall, a nice film with a little reminder that in 1962, America was at the brink of nuclear war with Russia.
on January 17, 2002
This has got to be one of the most under-rated and passed-over movies in the history of the business. I had never heard of it. No one I have ever talked to had heard of it either. I first learned of it when I was channel surfing on the tube one day and tuned into the second half of the flick. I was intrigued, but couldn't figure out what in the heck was going on. When the credits came up I learned the name of the movie and asked for it on my birthday. When I got it, my family and I proceeded to watch it every weekend for months. We LOVED it. I have recommended it to several people at work who also loved it. Whenever company vists our house we pop it in the VCR and it has never failed to be a hit. The people in charge of marketing this film must have been a bunch of dolts. In my opinion this film has it all: a great plot, great actors, comedy out the wazoo, romance, you name it. The attention to detail and consistency of the plot is quite amazing. The first few times I re-watched the film I noticed more and more details I had missed previously. The antics of Adam Weber, played by Brendan Fraser, who had been raised for 35 years in a fall out shelter and then "released" into society are a hoot. My favorite part of the movie was when he went to Club 40's, scored with every chick in the place with his naive charm, did his John Travolta Saturday Night Fever dance imitation on the dance floor, and knocked the socks off of Eve's (Alicia Silverstone's) ex-boyfrend. What a riot. Just one of the many goodies in this gem of a movie. Incidentally, I have also purchased the soundtrack and have happily rocked to it many, many times as well. The soundtrack is also one of my favorites.