Man, the 80’s were filled with so many original and unique films. Scifi and Horror were at their peak and some of the coolest (and weirdest) films hit the big screen that decade. One that fit both of those labels is our movie today, Dreamscape (1984).
Todays Key Movie:
Dreamscape is the story of a psychic named Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) who left a government project to use his powers for personal gain. Having vanished from the world, he is re-recruited into a project that will allow people to explore and manipulate each others dreams. Hence the name, Dreamscape! Of course this ties into a whole issue with the President of the United States (Eddie Albert) having debilitating nightmares so, of course the world is at threat and all that.
Why this movie?
As a kid we rented a TON of films on VHS. This was just one of the thousands that were rented but man was it a cool film. At the time, Dennis Quaid was in his prime and was pretty much, for lack of a better term, the poor man’s Harrison Ford. They both had similar looks and mannerisms so, of course, I loved Quaid’s work by default. Over time I found myself gravitating to more and more of his films including films like Enemy Mine and Innerspace. Soon I was a fan of his and, while I am still a fan of Ford’s, to be honest I have come to like Quaid a little more than Ford.
The film itself is a bit of an adventure film with touches of Stephen King mixed in with the Twilight Zone. It tends towards the ‘over the top’ nature of many films in the 80’s but never quite falls over the edge and that keeps it watchable to this day. In many ways this film could be considered the predecessor to movies like Inception and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It established many of the key elements that both of those films and many more have used since. That alone makes it a very key part of cinematic history.
How did this translate to real life?
This film has such an interesting concept for me, dreams have a realm of their own and people being able to explore them. Lucid dreaming has always been of interest in me and, over the years I have become able to elicit some control of my dreams to various degrees.
As a kid I had several recurring dreams that I could never make sense of and, once I learned to illicit basic control over my dreaming, they stopped coming. I’m not sure why and was slightly disappointed as I really wanted to explore those dreams! I have had some interesting ones over the years and I’ve often wondered if dreams are not actually gateways into other universes or realities. I doubt we will ever know in my lifetime, or at all for that matter, but it makes for some interesting fiction for sure!
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
The visuals and music in this film are VERY 80’s but really work well with the look and theme of the tale. The direction, script and even the acting is spot on, everything and everyone embraces the insanity of the story making it quite the ride.
This film also has quite a cast in addition to Quaid including Max Von Sydow, Kate Capshaw, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, David Patrick Kelly and George Wendt. Each actor brings their A game and you can tell they really believed in the project. The fact that Max Von Sydow and Christopher Plummer share several scenes make for some epic and intense moments for sure!
All in all, It is a strange and wonderful film that is both entertaining and bat shit crazy. Because of this, I love it and have watched it dozens of times.
OK, where do I get this movie?
Amazingly this film is available in pretty much any media you could want. Best Buy has it on Bluray for 19.99 while you can grab a digital copy from VUDU for about half as much. Regardless, whatever media you prefer, it is absolutely worth seeing at least once and absolutely worth owning if you are a fan of 80’s sci fi.
and of course, the trailer:
Thank you for reading today’s Key Movie of My Life, If you would like to read more reviews please check out my past Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery. Be sure to check out our contributor Darkmovienight with the New Movie Reviews every Sunday.
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Late to the Game 03/22/18