Wow, the ’80s were just full of pretentious crap, and for all the good that Fast Times at Ridgemont High offered, you know Hollywood, they simply can’t just stop at one, so there was Hardbodies, Joysticks and other films that attempted to capture the spirit of fun and lightheartedness, while mixing in the occasional drug reference with copious amounts of nudity, some of it welcome, but most of it bordering on exploitative.
In the eminent wisdom of MGM/Fox, they have decided to release two of those films as an affordably priced package for those who are nostalgic past Bachelor Party or Ski School. The concept within both films is similar, with a group of guys (sometimes involving one fat guy, perhaps to capture the spirit of a recently dead John Belushi, but that’s neither here nor there) looking to “get some”, with one of the guys, usually the quietest and most reserved winding up with the girl he’s been pining after. In the first one, Losin’ It covers a group of friends who drive to Tijuana to, lose it, for lack of a better word. The story itself is forgettable for a myriad of reasons, but it is notable for the names that are involved in this project. Aside from the names that we know (yes, Tom Cruise was in this, as well as Shelley Long, who was red hot in her Cheers period), and upon further review, Curtis fricken’ Hanson directed this thing! Who would have thought that the guy who did L.A. Confidential would direct the guy from Minority Report several years before they hit superstardom? John Stockwell would also appear in My Science Project, but he also appeared in Top Gun with Rick Rossovich, who also appears in this. And Jackie Earle Haley, who played Kelly Leak in the Bad News Bears films, also appears as one of the buddies too. Like I said, overall this is pretty predictable, but the kitsch lasts longer than the film’s appeal. The disc physically cracked as I was playing this movie, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
The Last American Virgin is also about friends who are looking to score, but the dynamic of some of the friendships seems to change and is a little more unique than the previous title. There is a fat guy, nicknamed “The Big Apple”, never mind that I think they’re in California, but the quieter gentler guy is Gary (played by Lawrence Monoson, who was Eric Stoltz’ friend in Mask). He’s trolling through the city and looking for that first bust nut of his life, when he finally sees Karen (Diane Franklin, Better Off Dead). However Karen starts to fall for Gary’s friend Rick, leaving Gary feeling conflicted, because Rick is a bit of a player, and he thinks that Karen is better than that. It takes a couple different turns as I mentioned before, like when the boys go and pay for a hooker, Gary’s experience with her is more sad than actually funny like other films. The ending is also different than others, for reasons I don’t feel like getting into here. But the film is loaded with a lot of ’80s chic, which you can pick up on immediately by a group of girls’ request for cocaine to go to the guys’ house. Cripes, where’s my Miami Vice DVDs when I need them?
Losin’ It is in mono, and The Last American Virgin is in two channel stereo. Neither one is much of a surprise, but a word for those who are intensely curious, and it’s that the original music was restored for Virgin, so you can hear Jefferson Airplane or whatever, along with the Police, to name a quick few.
Both films come with full screen transfers, yet Losin’ It is not a flipper with a widescreen version on as is The Last American Virgin. Considering both are R films, the lack of a widescreen version of Losin’ It just doesn’t make any sense and is kind of inexcusable. Granted, that last part I can’t believe I’m writing, but if it’s theatrical, it’s gotta be in widescreen, and I’m guessing 4:3 wasn’t a creative choice for this one.
Two discs without a supplement on them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am bummed out at this.
This ’80s “Double Feature” may be nice enough, but the only film worth checking out is the one WITHOUT Cruise in it. But hey, for novelties’ sake you might want to look at it, but the story is flat and so is the humor. In The Last American Virgin, there’s actually some courageous storytelling and is worth more of the time, so if you’re going to look at this, pay all of your attention to Disc Two, and nothing else.