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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

By Ali Davis

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension is one of the most agreeably insane movies ever made. Peter Weller stars as Buckaroo, an acclaimed neurosurgeon, particle physicist, and, of course, rock star. He travels with the Hong Kong Cavaliers, a band of hard-rocking scientists who are also really good dressers. Buckaroo's interdimensional experiments with his Operation Overthruster throw him (and the Earth) straight into the middle of an alien war, and before you know it, he's got just a few hours to save the world. Confused? Hang on, we're only 10 minutes into the movie. Buckaroo Banzai hurls you right into the middle of its comic-book universe and keeps going at a breakneck pace. It's chock-full of overlapping jokes (even as we're trying to make sense of Dr. Lizardo's hospital room, a voice calmly announces that "lithium is no longer available on credit" over the PA system), hilarious throwaway dialogue ("You're like Jerry Lewis: you give me hope to carry on."), and weirdness just for the sheer joy of it ("Why is there a watermelon there?" "I'll tell you later."). You'll want to watch it at least twice--there's just no way to catch everything the first time around. Ellen Barkin has a terrific time doing a dead-on film noir moll parody as Penny Priddy, and John Lithgow turns in a brilliant manic performance as Dr. Lizardo/John Whorfin. There is no reason not to own this movie unless you are cold and dead inside. Laugh while you can, Monkey Boys.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Soundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: W.D. Richter

Stars: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Christopher Lloyd

Released: August 15, 1984

Availability: DVD VHS


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