Video Fun with Biff

Well, well, well! Is it time to watch videos again? Thank God. Biff doesn’t know about you, but spring term has been extra sucky and he just can’t wait for the weekend so he can watch Corey Feldman movies, preferably “License to Drive.” Biff just loves those movies that take place in one day. However, sometimes movies tackle subjects that are so damn important that they take one whole year. That’s right, not a day, a week, or even a month, but one whole year. Kinda cocky, don’t you think?

Bernardo Bertolucci’s “1900” is a 255-minute epic about, you guessed it, the turn of the century. The film centers on two Italian families, one peasant and one land-owning, and how they were affected by World War I. This stars Robert DeNiro and Gerard Depardieu, who, before he was “My Father the Hero,” was a legitimate actor in the world cinema scene. Legend has it that DeNiro thought this movie was so important that he flew back and forth between countries shooting this and “Taxi Driver” simultaneously. That was before he did movies about cartoon squirrels and Eddie Murphy buddy comedies.

Anyway, Biff watched this one years ago when he was living in a house with no heat and only remembers vividly one scene, in which a little boy digs a hole, pulls down his pants, inserts his “manhood,” thrusts and repeats. Another boy asks him what he is doing, and he replies, “I am fucking the Earth.” That’s pretty symbolic of the whole film, really.

In following a timeline, the next important film about years would have to be “1941,” which, since you read Biff’s column religiously, you already know all about. Right? Right! Moving right along then, in 1989 somebody got the bright idea to make a movie celebrating the 20-year anniversary of 1969. Creatively, they titled it “1969.” Even though this stars Kiefer Sutherland, Robert Downey Jr., and Winona Ryder, it is really not that exciting. This movie is full of clich퀌�s. While it seems to be about dealing with the Vietnam War, it is more like a costume designer’s showcase of authentic “hippy gear” than anything else. Oliver Stone covers this topic about 700 times better. Stick with him.

If you are a video junkie like me, then you don’t find much time for fancy book learnin’. Well, in this rare case, I had actually read the book before seeing the film version of “1984” and was not disappointed. Written by George Orwell in 1949 and made into a feature length film in the year of its title, “1984” is a cautionary tale of if the world was taken over by totalitarian regimes. Stars John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton put faces on the characters who dare to challenge Big Brother (the all-knowing and all-seeing government, not the skate magazine). Director Michael Radford did a super-duper job creating the creepy sets that dominate the entire film. If you’re gonna give this a view, then put the kiddies to bed, because there is nudity aplenty!

In 1982, somebody had the brilliant idea of making the futuristic thriller about what schools might look like if society gives kids too much freedom. Unfortunately, their version of the future was two years. Yes, “Class of 1984” stars ’70s heartthrob Perry King and ’80s heartthrob Michael J. Fox, but that doesn’t change the fact the movie is insanely bad. However, it’s that kind of bad that makes it good. The gang of ’80s punks that terrorize the teacher were never fashionable, and the soundtrack sounds like it was made for porno.

Speaking of porno, when Biff was watching “1990: The Bronx Warriors,” he kept on expecting the actors to throw down their guns and to make sweet, sweet love. It’s shot on ’70s grainy, super 8 style film that just screams porno, and Biff could just never see past it. That and the fact that “Black Caesar” himself, Fred Williamson, actually took part in this. However, “1990” does appeal to that lover of late-night cinema in ol’ Biff, so he can’t completely turn his back on it. It’s like a poorly dubbed Italian version of “The Warriors.” The creators of “1990” were right about one thing: 1990 was destined to be terrible year, but not for the reasons they suspected. How could they have known about Bell Biv DeVoe and Roxette?

So go and rent all of these celluloid works of art and learn what Biff learned: It’s impossible to pack in a whole day into one movie, let alone a year. Narrow that thesis, people! And I’m out.