Category Archives: 1991

Point Break (1991)

You’re sayin’ the FBI’s gonna pay me to learn to surf?

— Johnny Utah

After I was impressed by Kathryn Bigelow’s film The Hurt Locker earlier this year, I wanted to delve back into her filmography. Point Break is heralded by male movie geeks as a solid thriller about a hotshot FBI agent and a slick thrill seeker. I don’t know if it’s mean, but I think something was lost in translation from movie to viewer.

Keanu Reeves plays the rookie FBI agent, John Utah that is assigned to the Los Angeles Robbery Division under the tutelage of Harp (John C. McGinley). Harp gives him a crash course on being a federal agent when is partnered with vet Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey).

The case they are working in a quartet of bank robbers known as “The Ex-Presidents.” They wear rubbers masks over their faces as they robbed twenty-seven banks in the past three years. The duo tries to piece together the pattern that they use. The crime spree happens during the summer months and it stops until the next year.

Forensics at the crime scene suggests that the robbers are surfers telling from the tan mark when one of the robbers mooned the bank and the sand that was collected at the different banks. Utah decided to go undercover to find out who “The Ex-Presidents” are. He has to blend into the culture with speaking the language, knowing the lingo and their mannerisms.

On his first day out of the waves, he almost drowned when the feisty Tyler (Lori Petty) saves him. Johnny wants her to teach him how to surf and how to appreciate the waves. During their teaching sections, Johnny meets Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), a surfer that is obsessed with the “big wave” that happens rarely.

Johnny and Bodhi bond over Johnny’s former glory days of college football. The more that Johnny is immersed in this world of surfing, the less the focus he has on the case that blinds him from seeing who he has become friends with.

For a person that has not set foot in the ocean, the world of surfing is completely lost to me. I thought that story, as a whole was completely ludicrous. I would speak about it more, but that would be a spoiler. I thought the action sequences were decent. The climax of the movie was predictable and lame. I did not believe that Keanu would a sly FBI agent. It’s not the fault of Bigelow. It could be the screenplay that’s a problem.

Judgment: A hapless thriller about a bunch of surfer dudes playing cops and robbers.

Rating: **1/2

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Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

Sue Ellen, any woman over twenty-five should have a cucumber in the house.

— Rose Lindsey

This is a movie that holds a special place in my heart for years since I was a kid, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.

Before you judge me, you know there is a movie that you love that people would think, “You like that movie?” I actually burned this movie on VHS before my brother’s psycho ex-girlfriend stole it along with Mi Vida Loca, Bad Boys and Pulp Fiction. I never forgave her for that. She is dead to me.

The movie is about the Crandell family that is trying to survive the summer when their mother (Concetta Tomei) goes on vacation to Australia. Before she leaves, she leaves the children with a crotchety old babysitter, Mrs. Sturak (Eda Reiss Merin). Swell (Christina Applegate), Kenny (Keith Coogan), Zach (Christopher Pettiet), Melissa (Danielle Harris), Walter (Robert Hy Gorman) and the dog, Elvis wanted the babysitter gone. They get their wish.

The babysitter dies and the kids stuff the corpse in a footlocker, and leaves it on the stoop of a funeral home. They don’t realize that the money their mother left for them in on Mrs. Sturak. With limited food and money, Swell bullshits her way to a job as a executive administrative assistant to Rose Lindsey (Joanna Cassidy) away from bitter receptionist, Carolyn (Jayne Brook).

Carolyn is out for blood with her boyfriend, Bob (David Duchovny) to prove that Swell lied her way to her job. Their also the sleazy boyfriend of Rose’s, Gus (John Getz) hitting on us.

Swell is also trying to be a typical teenager trying to balance a romance with Bryan (Josh Charles) whom she met at a local Clown Dog establishment.

My judgment: If you are looking for a fun campy movie about 90s fashions and catty women, check this movie out.

Rating: ***1/2

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