my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Miracle Mile
Director:   Steve De Jarnatt
Year:   1988
Genre:   Apocalypse
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   10.07.05

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
10.07.05Alamo South LamarThis Screening is part of event: FantasticFest 2005
Day Two. It's overcast and "cold" (that means mid-50s to Texans. Since I still have less than a year spent here, my blood is thick enough to laugh at everyone going around in jackets... of course that's a small victory after spending the summer melting, but I'll take it). It seems the vigor and anticipation that brought the people out early yesterday has either slept in or stopped for coffee. I'm way early it could be because the first screenings are a choice between episodes from an anime based on Moby Dick or a post-apocalyptic movie starring Gilbert from Revenge of the Nerds. Either way, half of me thinks more people should be here but the other half is glad I can stretch out for this first show and not have to watch my elbows.

Kier-la gets up to intro Miracle Mile. She tells us all that in addition to the cool premieres and sneak previews of new movies, one of the great things about going to film festivals is that you can see cooler older films that you might not have had a chance/inclination to see otherwise. She also mentioned that when they decided to put together a series of post-apocalyptic films, Miracle Mile was the first movie to pop up for her. I guess this movie plays really well and often on TV, so it's been sort of a constant loser at the game of musical chairs that is programming for festivals, because she really loves the movie but it always gets cut because she thinks a lot of people have already seen it or can easily rent it. Nevertheless, she says she loves the film and is glad that people are showing up to watch it.

At this point, I confess my growing crush to the dude next to me and he completely empathizes. "It's not at an unhealthy level though, at least not yet," I tell him. "Give it a year," he answers back and the lights go down.

Now, I am admittedly a pretty big fan of not only post-apocalyptic cinema but also countdown-till-, as-it-happens-, and even doesn't-really-happens-but-it=could-and-that's-the-message-damn-it-apocalyptic cinema. One of my favorite movies that I watched over and over again in High school was Rutger Hauer's Blood of Heroes, which seemed to combine post-apocalypse with the sports movie. I hated baseball but If i could've played the mount-the-dog-skull-on-the-spike game and be either the dude with the bolo chain or the dude with the huge jousting stick, I would've excelled I think. My problem is that, for as much as I love the genre, I am criminally negligent with a lot of the great movies. I just haven't seen them, for some reason or another, which sucks but it's also kinda cool because it means i still get to see tons of movies for the first time.

Anyway, for those that haven't seen the film (like me), Miracle Mile stars ER's Anthony Edwards as a... I guess he's a jazz trombone players, all I know is he wears a really loud blue suit and a tie that's maybe suitably skinny for 1986 but probably too skinny for 1988. He meets this girl of his dreams at the La Brea tar pits museum, showing off all those qualities that got him cast in Revenge of the Nerds, and he and this dream girl with a hedgehog haircut get all close and romantic until the scene where they keep referring to street vendor hot dogs as "tubesteaks." The girl has to work at some diner (home to the Fat Boy Burger) but they make a date for midnight, which of course he misses because a bird picks up his tossed cigarette and sets its nest on fire which happens to be precariously suspended on the hotel's power lines. This has to happen to smokers like three times a week. The surgeon general should really alter that warning to include this hazard because people really need to know the risks. So when Edwards, we'll call him Harry, wakes up, he rushes down to the greasy spoon with a bunch of flowers and completely booty calls the dream girl (heretofore known as Julie), saying it's 4a.m. and they should, like, hang out. He then gets a random call to the phone booth from some guy who mentions something about only having an hour to live before nuclear war breaks out and things presumably decline from there. So the movie is the frantic scramble for Harry to find Julie and get them both to safety before complete and utter destruction and, before that, LA traffic jams... which might be just as bad.

The whole movie is like the above paragraph. If you read that and think "sounds like a good flick, a semi-cheese movie to have a fun time with" then you will get a real kick out of it like I did.

Tangerine Dreams supplies a very lush but cold soundtrack and the tone and pacing of the movie steadily gear up as the panic starts to spread, ending in scenes of utter chaos. It's these last moments that really showcase the mixture of authentic panic and surreal absurdism that gives this movie its charm. At one point, Harry is walking on top of cars to get across a street chocked with gridlock. He jumps off a truck to another car and the roof dents in. The guy in the car proceeds to go absolutely loon, shooting a pistol up through the roof that he's so pissed just got dented, then actually leaves his car to chase Harry under other cars and into a sewer, firing off rounds the whole time. In some quick shots of people running like spooked sheep, keep an eye peeled to see a dude in a complete silver tin foil suit; I guess he was prepared for this from day one. Also watch out for small appearances by Eddie Bunker as a gas station attendant with an illegal firearm, Kurt Fuller as some dude that does a ton of drugs and goes completely crazy for no real reason at all, and strongman Brian Thompson as a gay bodybuilder helicopter pilot. i remember Thompson as being like the B-grade Schwarzenegger of the mid-eighties. He certainly has an interesting face.

All in all, I had a great time with this movie. Part of me really wishes I could make it to all four post-apocalyptic films screening at the fest but as it is I'm glad I got a chance to see this.

Random Notes
-"It's time for the insects now"
-"I fried my brain over a rumor!?"
-"Hey! I'm the guy that picked up the phone!"
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