Category Archives: hero’s journey

Corvette Summer

Corvette Summer ~ I guess it’s impossible to relay to those who weren’t there at the time just how huge this dumb little movie was when it came out. Corvette Summer was Mark Hamill’s first film after Star Wars, and his much anticipated non-Luke Skywalker debut.

In the eighth grade, this was the biggest movie of the summer, period, and must see. If you didn’t see it, you just weren’t cool. I guess that’s why I finally saw it on a Friday night on ABC-TV. It is worth noting that as I remember it, no one was really talking about this flick after they saw it. It’s not Shakespeare, but I wouldn’t be as rash to say it was all that bad either.

Other than Mark Hamill as a possibly slow high school shop jock, and Annie Potts in her film debut as a ‘prostitute in training,’ Corvette Summer is pretty much just a pretty typical teenage romp. It had a bit more heart than most, and could have easily been a TV movie of the week, but it wasn’t bad.

Surprisingly it follows the Hero’s Journey template as Luke, I mean Mark, tracks the shop class’ prize Corvette Stingray across country to Las Vegas, where he learns some hard truths.

Annie Potts is fun, and look out for an awkwardly older Danny Bonaduce, there’s also a cast of great 1970s TV and film character actors. Hamill is good, but after all these years I still wonder if his character is just mental because he’s so obsessed with finding the car, or if he’s just mental, period.

Corvette Summer was harmless and enjoyable, and a nice time capsule to high school and the seventies. I dug it then, and I dig it now.

Ponyo

Ponyo ~ The first thing that strikes me about Ponyo (also known as Gake no ue no Ponyo) is how terrific it is now that in America, not only are Hiyao Miyazaki’s films distributed mainstream by Disney, but that Hiyao Miyazaki films are now an event. This is just how it should be. He’s a genius, and it’s about time he’s treated this way.

I think a lot of that may be due to TCM. A year or so back they did an entire week of Miyazaki films that brought his work into the mainstream consciousness. I knew about him but then again I have a comics and anime background. I know this was when my wife’s eyes were opened to his brilliance, a probably many others as well.

Ponyo is a simple yet bizarre tale of a goldfish who falls in love with a little boy and then wants to become human. From there it gets complicated. And the complications are what I love about Miyazaki. He always follows the game plan of the Hero’s Journey, yet he takes the roundabout way, the twisted mountain road, so that he is never predictable – and that’s refreshing. When was the last time you could not guess the ending or even the next scene of a film?

This is an enjoyable flick for both adults and children, and highly recommended. I really enjoyed it. And if you like what you see, check out the rest of Miyazaki’s films. You’ll be glad you did.

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