Monday, November 25, 2013

My Science Project (1985)

 My Science Project (1985)

PLOT - Michael and Ellie break into a military junkyard to find a science project for Michael's class, and discover a strange glowing orb which absorbs electricity. When the orb begins to blend past, present, and future, its up to Michael and Ellie to stop the orb and save mankind. 

LOWDOWN -  Back in 2008 I had the BIGGEST crush on Fisher Stevens. Yep, that's right. I was head over heels in love with Chuck Fishman from Early Edition. I would like to blame this obsession since I had just watched The Burning in which Fisher was rocking those tiny shorts like there was no tomorrow. Well I went on a quest to find every movie with Mr. Stevens in it. Lucky for me, I was able to order My Science Project right before it went out of print. This is a must have for 80 movie lovers due to the fact this is a zany, action sci-fi thrill of a ride.

This movie is great fun, in fact it sorta ranks in the same leauge as Summer School. The 1980's had a certain sort of humor that was often over looked, in My Science Project it seriously had what seemed to be everything but the kitchen sink thrown into it. With an opening taking place in the 1950's, the overall idea of this being a science fiction movie is set into gear. Right away the audience is taken to the 1980's where the senior class is on the verge of graduating. Here we meet the ever so dreamily John Stockwell. John is best known as playing the handsome best friend in John Carpenter's Christine. I am a massive fan of John's. In fact I collect posters of his movies from the 1980's. John was star of a good handful of underrated classics in the 80's and My Science Project is one of the best. Stockwell plays Michael Harlan, a teen who's having a pretty awful day. First he's informed by his science teacher played by the late Dennis Hopper that if he doesn't turn in a science project he'll fail for the year, and his long term girlfriend Crystal has dumped him since she wants more out of life and their relationship. It's there Harlan runs into nerdy Ellie who writes for the school newspaper. Begging him to take her out on a date, he agrees and decides to take her along to the local junk yard to find something he can whip into a science project. It's there he finds the strange machine that has the ability to turn time forward and backwards along with sucking all power out of anything that runs on a battery.

I'm sure the idea of a poor nerdy girl begging the local campus stud for a date doesn't sound that nice but believe it or not it works in this movie. Harlan isn't the jock he's played in past movies, in fact he's sorta a grease monkey who only cares about his classic GTO. In fact the chemistry between Ellie and Harlan is nothing short of adorable. I love the scene where Ellie makes her car break down so Harlan can come over and fix it. Their little banter back and forth isn't like any other pairing I've seen in past movies and the spark between them seems pretty real. Plus John Stockwell in that trucker cute!

Who really steals the show is Fisher Stevens as the best friend Vinny. The fact they cast a Jewish guy to play a Brooklyn Italian teenager is beyond me, but I guess that's what Fisher Steven is best for. I mean we all remember him as the Indian scientist from Short Circut. Over the top as always, Steven's one liners is what truly stands out the best in this movie.

With Dennis Hopper as the science teacher still stuck in the 60's (Love the line about how he tried to teach the kids how to smoke banana peels.) this movie has tons of detail and funny little moments that are over the top and wild. I love the scene where they are arrested at the police station "Kid, why do you wear sunglasses at night? Because...when your cool like me the sun shines on you 24 hours day!" and the crazy homeless guy laughing as he runs out.

The movie has a huge final act where the machine goes nuts and pretty much turns the entire high school into different dimensions. We get knights, dinosaurs, even people from Egypt! With tons of action, likable leads, a cool car, and of course a killer music video playing over the credits...My Science Project is one of my all time favorite underrated films of the 1980's.

4 stars!

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