Guest Reviews





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the Movie Club Annals ...


The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension


Rating: 7 Poseidons



Reviewed by:


Suzanne Allen, James Holmes and Barbara Paton


Movie Review for 

"The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension"


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By Suzanne Allen, James Holmes and Barbara Paton

Peter Weller- Buckaroo Banzai (also know for ROBOCOP)
Ellen Barkin - Penny Priddy (also know for Sea of Love co-starring Al Pacino)
Jeff Goldblum - Sydney (also know for a scientist in Independence day)
John Lithgow - Dr. Emil Lazardo (also know for the father in Harry and the Hendersons)
Christopher Lloyd - John Bigboote (also known for Emmet Brown in Back to the Future)
The most important thing to notice before you watch this movie is the name, It SCREAMS academy award. The premise of this movie is the main character Robocop, I mean Buckaroo Bonzai, and his eccentric group of gun toting rockers must save civilization from aliens threatening to start a world war with the U.S.S.R. Yes I do mean the U.S.S.R. and not Russia because this movie was filmed in and takes place in the late 1980's when Russia was still known as the U.S.S.R. In the first few minutes of the movies beginning you get to 
read about the main character and the whole movie in two paragraphs of text that scrolls by just like in all of the Star Wars movies. This text tells you about the main character (actually named Buckaroo Banzai) who is one of the worlds top Neurosurgeons but he got bored of it and roamed the world studying Martial arts and Particle Physics. Personally I thought particle physics would have been more boring than neurosurgery, well maybe. Buckaroo also banded together with a group of eccentric scientists (all of which are top-notch) who are also musicians and together they form the band "Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers".  The most important piece of information you learn is that Buckaroo Banzai's mother was American and his Father was Japanese (I'm still trying to figure out how this was relevant).  The movie gets going when Buckaroo Banzai straps himself into a late 1980's Ford F-150 pick up that has been modified to use a retired military jet engine. The truck looks more like it was stolen from a Mad Max movie set, Mel Gibson is probably pissed about it too. Now the whole point to the rocket truck is so Buckaroo can drive it straight into a mountain side, or does he? On board the super truck is a special device called the OVER THRUSTER and this thing seems more like something created on Start Trek. The OT (over thruster) allows Buckaroo to travel through solid matter which is why he doesn't die when he hits the mountain going 500+ MPH in the rocket truck. The ride through the mountain is full of special defects and is nothing more than a slide show of images from an Electron Tunneling MicroScope with some great 1980's lightning bolts effects. After emerging from the 100% rock solid mountain the rocket truck seems to be coated in a thick substance that looks a lot like KY Jelly. Through some great technological advance of the 80's Buckaroo finds out there is something under the rocket truck so he climbs under and finds some kind of pulsating slimy ball that has attached itself to the bottom of said truck. This is immediately followed by a scene change to the Buckaroo's band playing. During the first song Buckaroo stops when he hears a woman in the audience crying, yes he heard her over the music and everybody yelling. While standing on stage he asks her why she's crying and she goes into some stupid sob story and then pulls a gun and takes a shot at Buckaroo.


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On a side note, before we continue with the rest of the painful synopsis, I need to note that the 80's influence is felt VERY strongly throughout this waste of celluloid.....this film is rife with cringeworthy 80's fashion, such as the MULLET, the skinny "rock star" ties, and of course, pastel jackets with the arms scrunched up and the collar turned up. That was certainly a jaunt down memory lane that I for one didn't need, but as it was released in the 80's to begin with, I imagine they all thought they were very high fashion. But then again, I'm sure they all thought they were making a good movie too.
Anyways, back to the synopsis............ 
Without going into long drawn out details, you come to find out that the 1938 radio broadcast "War of the Worlds" was NOT a hoax. Yes, folks, you heard correctly, it was a factual account of aliens landing in Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Turns out they hypnotized Orson Welles to tell us all that it was a hoax.  See? And you thought there was no intelligent life on this planet. All of the aliens are named John (like John BigBootay and John Smallberries), and they all work for a company called Yoyodine. What relevance the name of the company has to the "plot" of this movie, I am not sure, but it sounded cool, so whatever. Then again, I'm not sure what relevance ANYTHING had to do with this movie. 

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Mr. Banzai and his team that worked on the rocket truck project held a conference to tell about what they had done and to show off the little sticky ball that had been removed from the bottom of the truck.  Amazingly the sticky ball organism is still alive even though it has been taken out of its natural environment (not to mention dimension). During the conference Buckaroo gets a phone call from the president but when he takes the phone no one speaks to him.  While he's holding the phone he is hit with a jolt of electricity that allows him to see the aliens that have invaded Earth and are disguised to look like Humans. Buckaroo and his crack team of scientist are also a world wide cultural phenomenon. They have a huge fan base of loyal followers called Blue Blazers. They are more of a militia than anything else and all carry guns including the helicopter pilots 10 year old son. Buckaroo and his team sneak into the Yoydine company plant and find out they have been plottong to return back to their alien home world. This would be what their fellow alien comrades DO NOT want. To make a long (and Boring) story short Buckaroo and an alien named JOHN Parker that he had befriended sneak aboard the evil aliens space craft and are ejected while sitting in the emergency evacuation vehicle. This vehicle while foreign and new to Buckaroo isn't even a challenge for this scientist. He figures out how to fly in seconds. The alien with him learns to fire the laser cannon and they shoot down the evil aliens thus avoiding a nuclear war with the U.S.S.R. The movie ends on a good note, Which is it ended. The worst part being that it ends with the threat of a possible sequel but since it hasn't been made I believe (and Hope) it wont be made.