5. Stand by Me

5-stand-by-meBackground info

Title: Stand by Me
Director: Rob Reiner
Year: 1986
Run time: 1hr 29m

“In a small woodsy Oregon town, a group of friends–sensitive Gordie (Wil Wheaton), tough guy Chris (River Phoenix), flamboyant Teddy (Corey Feldman), and scaredy-cat Vern (Jerry O’Connell)–are in search of a missing teenager’s body. Wanting to be heroes in each other’s and their hometown’s eyes, they set out on an unforgettable two-day trek that turns into an odyssey of self-discovery. They sneak smokes, tell tall tales, cuss ’cause it’s cool and band together when the going gets tough. When they encounter the town’s knife-welding hoods who are also after the body, the boys discover a strength they never knew they had. Stand By Me is a rare and special film about friendship and the indelible experiences of growing up. Filled with humor and suspense, it is based on the novella ‘The Body’ by Stephen King.”

Live blog

0:28 – No music as an intro?
2:21 – This is back in the days when one would patch jeans rather than celebrate the fact that they had a rip in them. Fashion, eh?
4:45 – It always bugs me when people play card games because I rarely know what they’re playing or who’s doing well.
12:36 – I like that pinky swear is more important than swearing on your mother’s name.
16:29 – If you are setting out on a journey to find a body that was hit by a train, I’m not sure that sitting in the middle of the tracks would be particularly appealing.
18:31 – How often do the trains run?
24:44 – Wow, it’s all so dusty. They’re just rolling around in the dust, getting their clothes all messed up. I imagine there is worse to come, though.
28:45 – Fair enough, the junkyard man is a scary psycho, but can you really expect to antagonise someone to that extent and not get a response?
34:08 – They are never going to make it twenty miles going at that pace, not even in a week.
35:17 – Pitting Superman against various others has been around for ages then!
38:11 – If you’re going to have to cross the bridge before the train comes, you might want to try running. Fair enough, it’s a bit gappy, but who else can sense a train coming?
46:13 – Gah, food eating contests make me sick.
49:00 – I will hold my hands up and say I had to look away, plug my fingers in my ears, and be told when it was safe to look back at the screen. Clearly I do not have the imagination of a ten twelve year old boy.
50:30 – Vern might be my favourite. Someone has to ask the important questions about a story.
51:33 – Goofy is a dog, surely?
58:53 – He never thought a teacher would be devious like that? A lot to learn about the education systems, I guess.
1:02:21 – Keeping a secret for 36 hours – does that even count as a secret?
1:06:41 – How do leeches get into your clothes? Actually, I don’t think I want to know. Gross.
1:09:50 – I’m already terrified of driving near lorries with logs after watching Final Destination 2. Playing chicken with such a lorry seems like a nightmare!
1:15:56 – The casting for Chris and his brother is good – they look like they could be related. As do Gordie and his brother in the flashbacks.
1:17:49 – I know I don’t have the mind of an adolescent thug in the ’50s, but I don’t see how driving straight towards a lorry without flinching is any less scary than staring down a kid with a gun?
1:22:04 – He really is compelling to watch. I get it now.
1:23:14 – Hehehe, that computer is old. Also, that casting is not so great. That’s not what grown up Gordie should look like.
1:24:37 – Now I’m going to have to read the Stephen King novella too.

Conclusions

My friend used to talk about this film all the time, but I had no knowledge of it other than that people love it. It’s always nice to go into a film knowing very little, and with an open mind.

A good film, nice and short, which makes a change. I found it hard to get into the feel of the film sometimes – not sure I can relate to troubled 12 year old boys, and you wouldn’t find me anywhere near a train track when a train is coming – but the acting is superb from such a young cast. Also fun to spot a young Keifer Sutherland in there.

Rating: 5/5.

 

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