#TBT Film Rec: Pump Up the Volume

Since Christian Slater has been on my mind and my television this week (see yesterday’s post on USA’s Mr. Robot), I decided to feature him in this week’s throwback film rec.  Many Slater films rushed to mind as candidates, like the early Tarantino screenplay True Romance (1993) or the satire that made Mean Girls (2004) thinkable, Heathers (1988)In the end, I’m going one tick more obscure to 1990’s Pump up the Volume.

Pump Up the Volume was never a huge hit but was well reviewed is still held dear by many.  It comes toward the end of what I’d call the “meaningful-film-for-and-about-teenagers” cycle that includes all of Molly Ringwald’s oeuvre, and, say, the first few tastes of Patrick Dempsey (then the big-nosed, good guy, not McDreamy), Winonna Ryder, and, yes, Christian Slater.

Slater’s Mark is the loner kid at his suburban Phoenix high school.  At night, however, he transforms from the glasses wearing shy guy, to the shirtless, smoking, and swearing underground DJ known as “Hard Harry.”   Continue reading #TBT Film Rec: Pump Up the Volume

Mr. Robot: Domo arigato, USA Network

I saw a commercial for Mr. Robot last week.  Okay, I saw it over and over again  on a loop in the background of Xfinity on demand. In it a young man darts his eyes around  nervously in a subway car, expressing his feeling of paranoia in demeanor as well as voiceover.  Then the tension breaks as a voice inside the car interrupts his inner monologue.  The voice of a decade’s worth of Panasonic commercials and before that the voice of 90s teen misanthropy: the voice of Christian Slater.

I like Christian Slater.  I love Pump Up the Volume.  I even like Kuffs–which was kinda terrible.  I’ve rooted for his previous attempts to jump back onto the A-list with a primetime TV vehicle but here, in this commercial, his presence dashed my hopes for something fresh from USA’s new series Mr. Robot.  Here, decked out in something like a modified 90s grunge look, Slater seemed mostly like an intertextual reference to his former self, a self who would have been cast as the young, paranoid rather than the knowing stranger on the subway car.  

Feeling semi-harangued by this Xfinity commercial, however, I finally gave in and streamed the series pilot.

And it was Really Good. Continue reading Mr. Robot: Domo arigato, USA Network