Remember when I said that Stephen King was a big deal in the 80’s and that I loved Wil Wheaton’s work? I wasn’t kidding. Stand By Me is one of those rare films that hits you hard every time you watch it. Based on the Novella The Body by Stephen King and starring Wesley Crusher himself Wil Wheaton, this is by far one of the Key Movies of My Life.
Todays Key Movie:
Directed by Rob Reiner, this is a coming of age story about a group of boys who go on a journey to find the body of a missing local boy while also trying to find themselves. The journey takes them on an adventure and gives them an experience that none of them would ever forget.
With an allstar cast including River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Kiefer Sutherland, John Cusack and narrated by Richard Dreyfuss this is a film will stay with you forever.
Why this movie?
The first time I watched this film was at a fairly young age. I had become a fan of Stephen King and went in completely expecting one of his classic horror films. (Plus I was already a fan of most of the cast so it was a no-brainer to watch this film.)
It wasn’t long before I realized that this wasn’t King’s usual fair but by then I was hooked. I instantly saw myself in the character of Gordie LaChance (Wil Wheaton) as I had already started writing stories of my own and his character was an aspiring writer. The rest of the gang, over time, would remind me of various people I would grow up with. No we never found a body (not for lack of trying) but we had adventures of our own in a pre-internet/ pre-cel phone world.
The film itself has become known as a classic and I would be surprised if you hadn’t seen it yet. In fact, I honestly can’t think of a single friend I grew up with that didn’t see it by the time it was out on VHS. I am certain that this was one that was consistently rented out at our local video stores.
In addition to all of this, it also has a terrific soundtrack. The film takes place in 1959 so the music is very indicative of it’s time. Of course, the title song is there as well.
How did this translate to real life?
I desperately wanted to be a writer as a kid. I can’t tell you how many stories I wrote that never saw the light of day. My father, being a teacher, was always overly critical about my work and it was hard to keep the passion up over time. He always said he was just helping but to me he could only see the technical part and would never tell me if the story itself was good. It wouldn’t be until years later that he complimented me on one of my stories and, to be honest, that was a momentous occasion for me. I still haven’t officially published anything but since starting this blog, it has rekindle that flame for sure. If you want a sample of my work, check out my story Butterscotch. It is one of my personal favorites of mine. Maybe I’ll drop some more on here at some point…
As I get older, I appreciate this film for other reasons more and more. As the film opens you see an adult Gordie LaChance looking at a paper talking about the death of one of his childhood friends. In the past few years people I grew up with have passed away as well and that has made me think more and more about the past. This film is, at its core, about remembering key moments in your life, wondering how you got to where you are and cherishing those memories you keep coming back to.
Remembering your childhood and looking back to times that meant something to you can be a bittersweet thing. I’ve had quite the journey so far and I find myself wondering where I am going from here. Will I see people I once knew again or, if I do, will that be the last time? As you get older, you tend to think about those things but it’s important to remember that those people and experiences you had (and are having) made you who you are and help make who you will be. Cherish them and make more every day.
Okay, you like this film, but is it really a ‘good film’?
Yeah, it is. No doubt at all. To me, it is one of the top films of 1986 and a top 10 film of all time without a doubt. Everyone in this film does an amazing job with their roles and it is really cool to see some of these actors in their youth knowing where they would end up. Sadly not all of them would get much further as River Phoenix would pass away only nine years later. He is one I often wonder where he would have gone had he lived.
I wholeheartedly recommend this film to everyone. It’s amazing in every way and, if is the first time you see it, it will surprise you. If it is the twentieth time you’ve seen it, it still keeps all of it’s magic intact. One thing that is impressive is that the kids in this film truly feel like they are kids and that in itself is a feat for a director to pull off. Recently has a series captured that group feeling again and that is one of my new favorite series Strange Things. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Duffer Brothers were fans of this film in their youth as well.
The ending still brings a tear to my eye.
As usual, here is the Trailer:
OK, where do I get this movie?
You can pick this one up on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital format pretty much anywhere. If you want a copy on it’s own I recommend the Blu Ray edition that will run you around $10. However, if you really want some bang for your buck there is a really great 80’s DVD set that has some other amazing films for the same price. I mean, seriously this is a pretty cool set.
Thank you for reading today. I hope you enjoyed the review. If you would like to read more reviews I have a weekly series called Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Wednesday and also a complete review of Star Trek Discovery.
As always, please feel free to comment below and share your experiences with these movies as well. If you just happend by, tell me what you think! Don’t Forget To Follow me if you like the blog!
Late To The Game 4/12/2018