Charlie Bartlett – film review

A quirky comedy very intelligently written, a somewhat modern day version of Ferris Buellers Day Off but much darker. A master of manipulation Charlie uses his charming skills to alter events to go his way. I think it’s a brilliant film because it’s a teen angst type of movie, but done in such a unique and witty way.

Neal Damiano



Top Ten Cult Films List

10) Barbarella
One of the quirkiest films in history. It made a sex symbol out of Jane Fonda. As a wandering and swinging 41st century girl in plastic thigh highs traveling the galaxy in a furlined starship it was hard to keep your eyes off her. Best line “I’d better adjust my tongue box”

9) The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai
The hero wore many hats in this zany film a scientist, surgeon, and rockstar. The villain was named Dr. Lizardo it was destined to be a cult classic. Coined the famous quote “Where ever you go,there you are “

8) Rushmore
A very eccentric film about a strange schoolboy , a widowed teacher, and a sad tycoon. Very popular on video.

7) Night of the Living Dead
Made with only $20,000 George Romero packed up equipment headed to northern Pennsylvania and shot this frightening zombie classic influenced every zombie movie to come .

6) The Warriors
Walter Hill’s vision of urban paranoia.Street gangs in New York fight over territory.The Warriors try to get home to Coney Island in one piece. Filmed a low budget had some unique gang costumes,who could forget The Baseball Furys.

5) Blue Velvet
David Lynch set the bar of quirky with this 1986 gem. With references to Vango and Dennis Hopper as a drug dealing, kidnapping sociopath this movie could not get anymore bazaar.

4) Repo Man
Alex Cox’s punk /sci if classic about two guys who repossess cars. Very dark undertones Emilio Estevez’s character somehow finds higher meaning to life by repossessing cars.

3) Drugstore Cowboy
Made on a small budget in Portland Gus Van Sant made a surreal film about bad habits. A very offbeat story of four drifters that rob pharmacies to support their drug addiction. Memorable cameo by William S. Burroughs.

2) Heathers
A sarcastic but truthful take on high school life. Heathers is one of the greatest dark comedies ever made. This anti-teen classic blew up the genre like no other film. The witty one-liners are nonstop and what a great ending.

1) Night of the Comet
A story of life after the apocalypse. Two sisters and a truck driver find their way around Los Angeles battling off humans who got zombified after a comet hit. This one has it all zombies, evil scientists, snarky valley girls, witty one-liners, and a happy ending. Best quote “Attention K-Mart shoppers”
Bombed at the box office but went on to be one of the most rented cult films on video.


Top 10 Quintessential 80s Films List

10) Last American Virgin
Last American Virgin
This film really captured the essence of being a hormone crazed kid in high school in the eighties. Not to mention the amazing soundtrack.

9) Trading Places
The ultimate comedy about social status and the extremes rich people will do to keep their money. Put Eddie Murphy to the forefront of comedy.

8) Fast Times at Ridgemont High
The life & times of Southern California high shoolers. A film that continues to grow in popularity. Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli is one of the most revered characters in film history…put surfers on the map.

7) Risky Business
Racy for its time in 1983 given its content a straight laced young man gets very ambitious when his parents go on vacation with an idea to make some cash, capitalism at its finest. Made a star of Tom Cruise.

6) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
A timeless favorite from John Hughes. Ferris Bueller became a fixture in popular culture. Often quoted from his witty one liners every kid wanted to be Ferris Bueller in the eighties.

5) Revenge of the Nerds
The ultimate film about the underdog winning. Revenge of the Nerds was a battle cry for every kid that was put down and picked on. The characters in this film were a quirky delight and who can forget the ending.

4) Wall Street
Great eighties film about the excess of greed. Really symbolized what was happening in America at the time in the stock market. The chemistry between Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas creates great drama.

3) Ghostbusters
A timeless comedy, quirky story about some three very unlikely guys that save the world….coin one of the most popular phrases in cinema history “Who you gonna call ghostbusters”.

2) The Breakfast Club
One of the most quoted films in history. Really captured a relatability with the characters and what teenagers feel and go through in their high school years. Also tackled issues of social status to a teen audience. But the film touches all ages it’s timeless.

1) Valley Girl
What can I say about Valley Girl it just had such an eighties feel to it right down to the characters and the soundtrack of new wave hits. A quirky love story of opposites attracting and some very quotable and funny one liners.The film showcased a scene that was happening in the early eighties with the clothes, music, and way of speak. Martha Coolidge really got it right with this one.

Neal Damiano
Film Critic