Tuesday, 29 December 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 104

70 - Stand By Me - 3 stars
Looking at the list, Rob Reiner has quite a good showing, with 4 films in the top 500, and all of them made in the space of just five years.
This is the more family friendly of Reiner's Stephen King adaptations, the other being Misery, and proves that he is the second best person to do justice to King's stories, the other being Frank Darabont. However it might not be a coincidence that they have normally stuck to the less supernatural horror stories in his catalogue.
That is not to say that the film doesn't deal with death. A friend's funeral sparks a memory in our narrator's mind about the first time he'd seen a dead body.
He tells the story of how Wesley Crusher, the young Indiana Jones, that kid from all those 80's movies and Jerry O'Connell aka the fat kid from Stand By Me go on a journey to find the dead body of a kid from their school.

It is a film about the loss of childhood innocence and the fight against having to grow up, deftly handled by Reiner who manages to balance the sentimentality, comedy and drama in the story while drawing authentic performances from the young friends, and genuine menace from 80's bad boy Kiefer 'Jack Bauer' Sutherland.

"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?"

Well yes Richard Dreyfuss, I do. I'm still friends with the guys I've known since secondary school and despite having grown up and moved on to different cities, have careers, long term relationships, etc. We still see each other and I genuinely believe that we'll be friends for life.

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