Don Simpson

Flashdance (1983, Adrian Lyne)

Even though it’s terrible, Flashdance at least sticks with protagonist Jennifer Beals for most of the film. She’s a steel worker who dances at a club and starts dating her boss (at the steel mill, not the club, which is actually a bar). For a while, director Lyne and screenwriters Thomas Hedley Jr. and Joe Eszterhas try really hard to create the atmosphere of camaraderie at the bar.

All of the supporting cast has a story, especially Sunny Johnson, who dates the cook (Kyle T. Heffner, who wants to be a stand-up comic). She dreams of being an professional ice skater. But gives it up.

The film’s actually more of a character study than anything else. Just a bad one with a lot of pop music and Giorgio Moroder music playing over montages of Beals dancing sweatily (or her dance double dancing sweatily). When it’s actually just Beals working out, even if it’s scantily clad, Lyne feels the need to immediately follow with a break dancing montage of street performers.

I guess if it’s called Flashdance, there needs to be a lot of dancing.

There’s some more terrible stuff–a supporting cast member dies from an acute case of deus ex machina–but Beals is the protagonist. And then all of a sudden the film takes away her most important moment and makes her just a girlfriend character. It’s really upsetting, because Beals is at least likable, even if the movie’s crap.

The final disappointment is just too much.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Adrian Lyne; screenplay by Thomas Hedley Jr. and Joe Eszterhas, based on a story by Hedley; director of photography, Donald Peterman; edited by Bud S. Smith and Walt Mulconery; music by Giorgio Moroder; production designer, Charles Rosen; produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Jennifer Beals (Alex Owens), Michael Nouri (Nick Hurley), Lilia Skala (Hanna Long), Sunny Johnson (Jeanie Szabo), Kyle T. Heffner (Richie), Lee Ving (Johnny C.) and Ron Karabatsos (Jake Mawby).


Wasteland 9 (August 1988)

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For lack of a better word, this issue is dippy. It’s not particularly bad–nowhere near Wasteland‘s worst–but it’s definitely dippy.

As usual, the fault tends to lie with the writers. The first story is a Close autobiographical, again scripted by Ostrander. In it, Close goes to L. Ron Hubbard for therapy. The beautiful David Lloyd art–until a way too long fencing match–makes it palatable. It’s lame.

The second story (Ostrander writing solo) is about a guy in the ghetto challenging God to a street fight; it seems a tad racist. I’m sure it’s not, but it’s not in that guilty white liberal “not racist” way. The Simpson art, however, is an absolute joy.

The final story, another one starring Close (co-scripting with Ostrander), is another flop. Messner-Loebs, usually great on art, fumbles here. Without good art, it’s inane filler.

Just like the issue itself.

CREDITS

Del & Elron; writer, John Ostrander; artist and colorist, David Lloyd; letterer, Dunina Rush. Raoul; writer, Ostrander; artist and letterer, Don Simpson; colorist, Lovern Kindzierski. Subtext Salad; writers, Del Close and Ostrander; artist and letterer, William Messner-Loebs; colorist, Kindzierski. Editor, Mike Gold; publisher, DC Comics.

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