THROWBACK THURSDAY: NICK CLEMENT VISITS INNERSPACE
Yes, you read that correctly. INNERSPACE. All one word. It’s a movie. You probably DO know it, having seen assorted parts of it / remembered bits of its trailer etc from when you were a child. And yet it failed to hit really big at the box office so it’s not necessarily a name you know or remember. That’s a terrible shame as it has a genuinely charming ensemble cast, from whom sequels would have been most welcome.
The film also arguably built its own universe, two decades before franchise building was so common. The characters here operate in a world ahead of its time: with technologies being pirated and sold on the black market. RIPE for sequels! Each episode could have been a new technological macguffin. Perhaps if they reboot it successfully we could finally get the parts 2, 3 etc?
And yet, a reboot would not work. This film is a time capsule of the 1980s zeitgeist: tone, pacing, visuals, humor, casting, musical score /songs, special and sound effects. Everything = of its time, whilst equally referencing the kind of 1950s sci-fi capers that the like of Executive Producer Steven Spielberg were raised on and used as an atmospheric basis for many a movie (same way today’s young film-makers revere Star Wars; except they largely lack the innovation possessed by Spielberg, Lucas and co).
INNERSPACE has a renewed relevance this year. It’s thirty years since THE GOONIES (a film in the same stable: even sharing music in its trailer) and BACK TO THE FUTURE (Once again: 50s sci-fi meets 80s social comedy) and they too are Exec Produced by Mr. Spielberg. Also, this summer’s unremarkable yet still charming ANT-MAN = all about the adventurous joys of growing smaller.
So, shrink yourself down for a break; kick back, relax and take in
NICK CLEMENT’S THROWBACK THURSDAY : INNERSPACE!
Innerspace is a film I watched repeatedly as a kid, and there’s just so much gee-whiz charm about this movie that I can’t stop grinning while watching it to this day. Joe Dante has always been a favorite filmmaker of mine, someone with that Spielberg touch for tone and spirit, as so many of his efforts have left me enchanted that I’ll never forget the importance he’s had on my cinematic upbringing.
Explorers, Gremlins, Gremlins 2, Small Soldiers, The Howling, The ‘Burbs, and Matinee (damn I love Matinee!) – it’s just an insane list of genre-defying entertainment, with Innerspace ranking near the very top of his output.
Starring Dennis Quaid with that mile-wide smile and Meg Ryan in the prime of her filmic cuteness, this sci-fi-romance-comedy centers on Quaid’s Marine who is miniaturized in a government experiment and is then accidentally injected into Martin Short, playing a massive hypochondriac who feels that he’s become possessed.
Short is an utter pisser in this film, and the way he bounced off of Quaid was absolutely perfect, offering up any number of hilarious moments of character interplay. Ryan is Quaid’s love interest, and the chemistry they shared together is bonkers to witness.
This film is one laugh after another, one scene of inventive plotting after another, with some truly wonderful (and practical) special effects that never feel dated in a now modern context. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is sprightly and catchy, and one must never underestimate the talents of cinematographer Andrew Laszlo, who also shot First Blood, Streets of Fire, The Warriors, and Southern Comfort.
The freshly released Blu-ray has a commentary track with Dante and key craft contributors – can’t wait to give that a listen! Also, it goes without saying, MASSIVE Robert Picardo POWER. THE COWBOY is one of THE greatest comic cameo creations in Hollywood history. Should have won his own spin off!
After spending close to a decade working in Hollywood, Nick Clement has taken his passion for film and transitioned into a blogger and amateur reviewer, tackling old, new, and far flung titles without a care for his cerebral cortex. His latest venture,Podcasting Them Softly, finds him tackling new ground as an entertainment guru, and along with his spirited partner Frank Mengarelli, are attracting some diverse and exciting talent to their site. Some of Nick‘s favorite filmmakers include Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Tony Scott, Oliver Stone, David Fincher, Werner Herzog, Terrence Malick, and Billy Wilder, and he’s a huge proponent of the “31 Flavors of Cinema” school of thought. Favorite films include The Tree of Life, Goodfellas, Heat, Back to the Future, Fitzcarraldo, Zoolander, Babe, and Enter the Void.