film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, June 23, 2024

St. Elmo's Fire 1985 * 1/2 Stars


1985's St. Elmo's Fire is no great shakes, like sitting through a quilting seminar is no great shakes. Remember The Big Chill and The Deer Hunter? Those lifelong friends endeavors? Well those pics came out in '83 and '78 respectively. Years later we got St. Elmo's Fire, The Big Chill for paupers and/or have-not-s. Here we have a bunch of pseudo, recent college graduates (from Georgetown not Michigan) who are still very close and are trying to come to grips with early adulthood. Sigh. These people chain smoke, drink, do coke, sleep with each other, hang out at the local watering hole, and ogle at the camera as if to subjugate that they're actually doing some effective acting. "It ain't easy being me". You don't say Andrew McCarthy.

St. Elmo's Fire, well it's one of those movies that shows if you have a well-known cast, you don't always translate that into greatness. I mean sure "Fire" was a modest box office hit but who wouldn't be curious about seeing something with Rob Lowe, McCarthy (mentioned earlier), Judd Nelson, Mare Winningham, and Demi Moore attached to it. Basically St. Elmo's Fire was the Brat Pack flick, the quintessential Brat Pack flick, with the indelible images of those Brat Packer-s and their faces plastered onto the fusty frames forever. Too bad "Fire's" late, baby boomer script only looked good in production meetings and it's clunky editing goes down as smooth as the rut of extra coarse sandpaper. Hey um, image isn't everything people.  

Early twenties movie stars and script supervisor firings aside, St. Elmo's Fire was directed by the late schlock-meister Joel Schumacher, a guy who never met a genre he didn't want to impede (remember Batman & Robin? Ugh). Schumacher's style in "Fire" is all over the place, an unnecessary tracking shot here, a wide there, clips that look like they're shot on a soundstage and not an actual location, a forlorn attempt to imitate the great Robert Altman. It's all a sort of young adult faux pas, with "Fire's" popular soundtrack pouncing in on almost every scene, as if it needed to be there no matter what. "Do you ever feel like you're not accomplishing anything at all?" You said it Mare, not me. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment