Monday, January 17, 2011

Rediscovering the Past: A Lucas Revelation and Other Thoughts

The first time I saw Lucas was sometime around 1987, in my uncle's basement in Liberty, MO. This would have made me about eight years old. Clearly the finer points of symbolism were beyond the grasp of my prepubescent mind.

Sleeping standing up, Haim was more highly evolved than the rest of us
So it is now, at 3:00 in the morning as Sunday rolls into Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, that it finally occurs to me that the 17-year gestation period of the locust that plays a central role in the film is symbolic of Lucas's own pending transformation from adolescence into manhood--well as manly as Corey Haim was destined to get at least.

How this never occurred to me before is beyond me, since I've seen this film at least five times in the past ten years or so, but it didn't. In retrospect, this is pretty hilarious on many levels--the most obvious being the fact that someone (presumably David Seltzer) put this much thought into what has ultimately been reframed as a Corey Haim star vehicle in revisionist film history.

I was in the middle of a Royalscentricity blog entry, so I don't have the time or energy to piece the rest of these thoughts into a cohesive entry, but as I half-rewatch Lucas, I'll post some random thoughts in the space that follows...
"Garrett M. Brown"
  • Seeing Jeremy Piven in 1985 it is funny to compare his hairline as a 20-year-old to his hairline now and see that it has miraculously un-receded. If ever there were a case of receding hairline predestination, it was Jeremy Piven.
  • When did the depravity start for Charlie Sheen? Corey Haim has stated that he was drinking beer on the set of Lucas as a then 14-year-old. Was Chas Estevez somehow responsible for setting dear Corey down the path of self-destruction by way of drug and alcohol abuse? 
  • Despite the fact that I'm only 38 minutes in, I am already eagerly awaiting the slow-clap. Is this the high point of cinema in the 1980s? Perhaps. 
  • Was Piven as big a dick then as he is perceived to be now? I want to give him the benefit of the doubt given his longtime friendship with John Cusack (or maybe it's Cusack that I want to excuse), but the fact remains that Piven's character is a bit of a dick in his limited screentime in Lucas.
  • Lucas happens to be the screen debut of Jeremy Piven and Winona Ryder. Are the fates acting against the two of them, insisting that only one of their careers can be doing well at a time?
  • Was squeezing citrus fruit between your forearm and biceps a lunchtime craze in the 80s?
  • I'm pretty sure that I looked as old as Corey Haim did in 1985 by the time I was nine (complete with ill-fitting glasses).
  • Gary Cole appearance as Assistant Coach. Voice apparently overdubbed. Weird.
  • Haim stepping in the shower. There is no fucking way that he is 14.
  • Every time Mr. Kaiser (Garrett M. Brown) is on screen, I cannot help but wonder where John C. Reilly got his time machine. The unfortunate corollary that arises here is when does John C. Reilly disappear from our time? Clearly he travels back to 1985 at some point in the very near future, takes on the name of one Garrett M. Brown, plies his trade as an actor, and eventually becomes Kick-Ass's dad.
  • Courtney Thorne-Smith can really stare daggers. When Maggie (Kerri Green) is getting water on the sidelines, it is shocking that she doesn't actually go up in flames. Clearly this was on her reel when the casting was getting underway for Melrose Place.
  • The pass to Lucas at the end of the game (at the 8:10 mark in the clip below) is totally an illegal forward pass. Lucas is thrown the ball initially as the quarterback is trying to evade a sack. While Lucas never passes the line of scrimmage before throwing the ball back to the quarterback, he did catch a forward pass to start things off. Then when he is thrown the ball downfield, he never bobbles the ball, never completing the catch, making it an incomplete pass. All of the action that happens in the ensuing melee should be immaterial as there is no fumble to recover. Lucas is hospitalized on a play in which there was an illegal forward pass, an unsportsmanlike conduct (he removed his helmet on the field), and an incomplete pass that is then mistreated as a catch and a fumble.

  • Kid with a Krokus shirt.
  • Believe it or not, I cannot find a clip of the famous slow clap by itself. Regardless, it was totally worth watching until the end. Stirring.

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