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February 16, 2011 / TerranceTheTrailerTrasher

Playing Games in the 70s and 80s

Three movies in development in 2011 that are all set in the 1970s, plus one based on a video game from the 1980s.

THE PLAYROOM – Set in 1975, four suburban children create a make believe world in their attic hideaway while their parents act out a sordid story below. This year’s surprise Oscar nominee John Hawkes (WINTER’S BONE) and Molly Parker star in this indie drama.

@@@@ – Something about this scenario kind of grabs me. Somehow the description makes me feel the filmmakers have a grip on how to tell a dysfunctional family story that’s going to be shocking.

YOUNGSTOWN BOYS – Indie caper film based on the true story of a gang of Ohioans in 1972 who pull off the biggest bank heist in US history in 1972 when tapped by the Teamsters to steal $30 million in President Nixon‘s illegal campaign contributions and blackmail money.

@@@@ – Here’s a story from modern US history I’ve never heard about that sounds fascinating. How do you make bank robbing protagonists likable? Have them steal for a good cause, like from the most corrupt president in modern times. I’m very anxious to find out more about this one.

BLOCKBUSTER – Three best friends spend the summer of 1975 in Martha’s Vineyard getting into trouble and trying to see the movie JAWS. Being developed by the same company that’s producing the 1972-set YOUNGSTOWN BOYS.

@@@ – This is a little less exciting than BOYS because there’s one obvious thing about it that confuses me. I would think it would be more interesting to see them trying to get onto the set to see the filming of JAWS, which was shot on Martha’s Vineyard in 1974, rather than to just see them trying to go to a theatre. Granted, there were long lines to see JAWS everywhere and I could see some marginal entertainment out of the frustrations of three kids who can never seem to make it to the front of the line. That story could take place anywhere. It wouldn’t need to be where JAWS happened to be filmed. Although, maybe there was even more pandemonium there because it was filmed there. I don’t know. Like I said, the concept confuses me. Confusion is not a good selling point.

MISSILE COMMANDAtari and 20th Century Fox team up to turn the 1980s arcade game into a big budget action film. The story will have something to do with a cold war scenario and people defending their cities from being destroyed by a rain of missiles. Not to be outdone, Universal has acquired the film rights to ASTEROIDS and Sony Pictures is adapting 90s arcade game RollerCoaster Tycoon.

@ – TRON was a shitty movie that spawned an above average arcade game, so it almost made sense to reboot it 30 years later. But the reboot wasn’t as successful as Disney had hoped. So why would 20th and Universal strive to repeat that mistake? Because THEY’RE ALL IDIOTS!

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One Comment

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  1. thejamminjabber / Feb 17 2011 7:39 am

    Anything with John Hawkes has to to be worth watching (except, maybe, Lost.) Loved him since Deadwood.

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