Blast from the Past (1999) Poster

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Relax and enjoy a trip to the past!
amarkey4 April 2004
Need an escape? Here's your ticket! This is a delightful movie depicting life in the past and the shock one can get when fast forwarding to the future. There's something about gong back in time! For those of us who lived thru the 60s as teens, it's a reminder of a more innocent time. Seeing the past come alive in the form of music, baseball cards and even the furniture makes you feel like a window has been opened and you're actually watching family life in the early 60s. Watching the reactions of a full grown man who has been in a fallout shelter with his parents, now coming above ground for the first time is hilarious! Seeing him search for a "non-mutant" girl friend while he learns all about life above ground, is just as funny. You have two choices. You can watch the movie as a critic and look for things that you think "don't work" in the movie.....or, you can relax and enjoy the trip, the jokes, the characters and the trip back to the present! That's what I do, every chance I have to see this "Blast From The Past."
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Brilliant comedy
AKS-620 July 2000
What a wonderful film! "Blast from the Past" is charming, sweet, and hilarious. Very funny. The premise is original and interesting, and I thought the film was engrossing and thoroughly entertaining -- I laughed out loud several times. Brendan Fraser is perfectly cast as the goofy, innocent Adam. Alicia Silverstone is better than she's ever been, I'm certainly no fan of her, but she did a more than okay job in this film. But the really ingenious casting decision was to give the roles of Adam's parents to Sissy Spacek and the always brilliant Christopher Walken -- I dare say that the casting of Spacek and Walken in this film is the _opposite_ of type casting, :-).

I really, really liked this film because it is genuinely entertaining, and it is never boring. Brilliant comedy in other words. (8/10)
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The epitome of what Hollywood does better than anyone
pachl30 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Five and a half years ago I moved from Chicago to Europe. Europeans have a different taste in movies. To be blunt, they have a BS Meter that reads off the chart. When something doesn't ring true, when it's contrived and phony, they react harshly.

Europeans also despise American "heart warming" anything... They simply aren't as optimistic as we are, and hence don't believe in so many happy endings.

Now, despite all this, Blast From The Past, a movie that is immersed in charm, style and wit, without ever resorting to bathroom humor, passed with flying colors. This is a movie whose charm cannot be overstated. It is a triumph of film making.

You probably know the general story: Brendan Fraser's parents hid in their backyard fallout shelter when they feared the Cuban missile crisis was about to explode (bad pun). Thirty five years later, Brendan is sent out in the world to bring back supplies. He is told the world will be full of death, decay, misery, and probably mutants.

Whoops. Guess not.

Brendan starts out like a lost puppy dog, but thanks to a skillful screenplay, great acting and directing, he never becomes an object of ridicule. He is simply inexperienced and pure of heart. After all, he's been living apart from society his whole life. We have to give him a break.

What sets this movie apart is how it doesn't run scared from "what if" scenarios. For example, in lesser hands this might have degenerated into some sappy, forgettable comedy. But everyone involved seems to have been on the top of their game. It's like a jigsaw puzzle and all the pieces fit together flawlessly. This movie doesn't coldly and calculatingly create warmth and charm; it simply possesses abundance, like a priceless work of art that seems more discovered than created.

I have never met anyone who didn't like this movie. I am really surprised the overall rating isn't higher. Under no circumstances could I imagine giving this movie less than an 8.

My rating is a 10, because 11 is off the scale.

I wish more Hollywood movies were like this.

P.S. If you read this review, let me know with Helpful or Not Helpful vote. Thanks. I am interested in how many people really read these reviews.
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Terrific fun time-hopping fish out of water tale.
Ben_Cheshire19 July 2004
See the movie to find out why, but Brendan Fraser's crazy dad has had him underground for thirty years in an elaborate bomb shelter, so that when Brendan finally goes upstairs in the 90's to get more supplies for his parents, he's in for a bit of a shock.

Christopher Walken is wonderful as the crazy, atomic-age inventor. Alicia Silverstone deserves to be on screen more - she's cute and sassy as the love interest, but still pulls funny faces with her mouth. Brendan Fraser was a perfect choice for the biggest fish out of water ever. His fresh-faced naivety is so convincing. He's larger than life, and sometimes so naive its corny, but he's consistent, so it works. Depending on what mood you're in, Sissy Spacek's part adds psychological depth to the movie or detracts a tad from the fun.

This movie is not at all implausible. There were many people as scared as Christpher Walken during the 60's. In 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy and Khruschev were one button press away from blowing us all to smithereens (see Thirteen Days for a historically accurate portrayal of this). And Walken's character is set up as crazy enough to build and stock his shelter with 30 years worth of supplies.

8/10. Terrific fun time-skipping romantic comedy buoyed by the personality of Fraser - perfect to watch with a sweetheart, or with family on a warm weekend in.
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Blast of fresh air
MichaelOates28 March 2004
Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone are on screen gems in their aptly named characters Adam and Eve. Everything about "Blast From The Past" was superb from the casting of Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek and Dave Foley to the outstanding performances by everyone made this film so enjoyable.

I could not find one thing wrong with this film because it was that good. Everything in this film was a breath of fresh air and I'm glad I saw this film. Through this movie, it has given me respect for Walken, who has become one of my favorite actors in Hollywood.

The performances by the cast were real and honest. Also, everyone seemed to enjoy each other's company as well as performing in this movie and it showed; furthermore, it also showed up in the box office and rental receipts as people couldn't get enough of this great comedy.

"Blast From The Past" is a worthwhile comedy that deserves everyone's attention. Two thumbs WAY up.
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I love this sweet, romantic movie!
GraceFromSoCal28 September 2003
"Blast from the Past" does what it set out to do and it does it beautifully. The whole premise (i.e., a man who was born and raised underground with no contact other than his parents for 30+ years, only to go "above" and find himself in today's world) is brilliant.

Brendan Fraser is perfect as Adam--sweet, naive, and trusting--and reinforces my feelings that he is a very underrated actor. I love Adam's reactions to modernisms that he encounters for the first time, such as the "other man's underwear" scene, the idea that Troy could have a, gasp, COMPUTER! right there in his house, or the "Well good for you!" about Troy being gay.

Alicia Silverstone is wonderful as Eve, as are Sissy Spacek and Christopher Walken as Adam's parents, and the rest of the cast.

It's hard for me to grasp why some folks don't like this movie! In my opinion, it's truly refreshing to see a movie where its main character has manners and class, and does not have to rely on today's standards (such as swearing) to carry the movie.

If you're in the mood to see a cute romantic comedy, do yourself a favor and watch this movie!
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Blast from the Past: 7/10
movieguy102117 February 2004
There surely is a lack of originality in movies now. Romantic comedies always seem to have the girl outwit the guy, the guy persisting, and then they finally get together. That's exactly the case in Blast from the Past, except that the guy has been living in a bomb shelter for all of his life. It's a joke that could work for a five minute sketch, or it might just flop overall, but that's not the case here. It's a simple romantic comedy with a huge twist thrown in, which works to the movie's advantage.

Adam (Brendan Fraser) had lived in a fallout shelter for all of his life, because his father (Christopher Walken) thought a nuclear bomb was dropped on the house. 35 years afterwards, Adam goes up to bring supplies and meet a girl, which he does. Eve (Alicia Silverstone) is a feisty, typical 90's American, but since Adam had never met anyone else besides his parents, he just accepts it. Soon he falls in love with her (hence, Adam and Eve), but the reverse is not the same. Will he convince her? Only the cliché on romantic comedies will tell us!

Blast from the Past is surprisingly lightweight romcom. It never goes to take itself seriously, which helps keep the mood light, which is what it's supposed to be. At times it gets silly, including a Benny Hill-ish chase scene, and the obligatory man-who-can't-drive-car-drives-car-wildly scene. A scenario like this could easily descend into heartstring-plucking land, but thankfully stays on the top, and over the top. Director Hugh Wilson, whose resumé includes such movies as the original Police Academy and The First Wives Club, can keep a movie that could turn drastically wrong on the right track.

Fraser is great. It really seemed like he was brought up in a fallout shelter. His mannerisms were all from the sixties, and the way he acted was exactly on key. Silverstone was okay, but nowhere near as good as Walken and Sissy Spacek as Adam's parents. They embody their roles as people who have to live in the same space for 35 years. This movie is everything romantic comedies today don't have: no crude humor, funny lines, good acting, and a fun story. People could really learn a lesson from watching Blast from the Past.

My rating: 7/10

Rated PG-13 for brief language, sex and drug references.
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If there was an Oscar for "best little comedy"...
=G=1 August 2000
..."Blast" would have likely won. It boasts excellence in all aspects of the film from story to casting to acting to sets to costumes, music, etc. This tight, creative, unpretentious, and lightly romantic comedy romp between a hip "new millennium" chick and an old fashioned stuck-in-a-fallout-shelter-for-35-years guy is a breath of fresh Hollywood air deserving of it's critical acclaim.
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60's dude meets 90's chick in this fun film
Chrysanthepop31 January 2008
'Blast From the Past' is a funny little romcom. It's very enjoyable as long as one does not expect anything serious. The plot does follow the romcom cliché where dude tries to woo dudette but here the dude was raised all his 35 years in an underground shelter, away from the outer world and that just makes the story funnier. Wilson maintains to sustain the movie's lightness as the screenplay is consistent. Silverstone and Fraser make an odd but fun romantic couple. There's the sweet chemistry. Fraser plays his awkward goofy naive persona that we've seen in a few other films but he still manages to be funny and likable and Silverstone is pretty and charming as she ends up delivering a decent performance. Pity we don't see her much these days. Spacek and Walken are cast against type and I have got to say that they provide some of the laugh out loud moments without going over the top. Of course they play Fraser's parents who have been living underground for the last 35 years. What I also liked about 'Blast From the Past' is that its comedy does not rely on crude humour (unlike most American comedies today). The film does have its downside as I felt it was moving a little slow in the beginning but the fun that I had from watching it made that a minor flaw.
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It certainly is one of the more original romantic comedies
philip_vanderveken23 June 2005
It has never happened, but during the Cold War many people feared that they would be the victim of a nuclear war between the West and the USSR. A lot of those people had visions of living in an atomic shelter for the next three to four decades, perhaps even longer and not being able to see the daylight ever again. Well, it may never have happened, but this romantic comedy shows us what it must be like.

"Blast from the Past" tells the story of Adam Weber. In the 1960's, during the Cuba crisis, his parents locked themselves in the bomb shelter which his eccentric father had constructed for just in case. Having been locked for 35 years, Adam has never seen anything else but the confined space of the shelter. He has never seen anything of the world and has become a very naive man. Now, the doors are unlocked and Adam must venture out into LA to find food and supplies for his family and a non-mutant wife for himself...

Romantic comedies can be found in many forms, but this sure was one of the more original ones. And I must say that I liked it. The acting for instance is more than OK. I liked Brendan Fraser as the naive Adam and together with Alicia Silverstone he forms a nice couple in this movie. Even though the entire story could have used a little bit more developing, overall it looks good and offers some good laughs and plenty of fun for the people who like romantic comedies. I give it a 7/10, perhaps even a 7.5/10.
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It's a cute movie
Smells_Like_Cheese20 May 2004
That's pretty much it. "Blast from the Past" has a decent amount of laughs and fun. Brandon and Alicia are adorable together. And the story is very original and interesting. Adam is a boy who grew up in a bomb shelter with his parents, who fear that a nuclear bomb struck from the cold war. For 35 years they raise Adam to be a perfect gentleman. When he wants to meet a lady and the parents need more suplies for the shelter, they send him up to face the world of the 90's. He meets a girl, Eve. She seems cold at first, but they both fall for each other.

The story lacks a little something in some area. I thought they maybe should've gotten more into the love story, because I felt like it was too quick. But this is a cute and wonderful film. I would recommend for romantic comedy type of lovers. They would more than likely get into the film.

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Adam and Eve in L.A.
jotix10024 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
It's 1962 when we first set eyes on Calvin and Helen Webber. They are having a party for some of their friends. Calvin, a genius scientist from CalTec, is a man that has been preparing for bad times. When the president of the United States, J.F.Kennedy takes to the airwaves to announce an impending clash with the Soviet Union over the missiles in Cuba, Calvin figures this is it! He decides to end the party and he and Helen go to their well prepared and stocked bomb shelter. Little does he know, but the falling of a military jet in the area triggers the lock system and before they realize it, they are trapped in his own invention.

Helen gives birth to a boy, who she names Adam. The boy is brought up in their bunker and grows up to be a genius on his own right. Adam grows up listening to old Perry Como's records and can speak several foreign languages his parents have taught him. Adam is a well adjusted young man, after thirty five years on his own, without the prospect of a woman, or love. When the locking mechanism finally frees the family, they are still reluctant to go into the world, something Calvin doesn't want to do, but Helen, wanting Adam to be happy, decides to send him to replenish their dwindling supplies.

Of course, Adam, in the real world appears to be a monster. With his old fashioned clothes, his bad haircut, he is a sight not to be believed. Being naive and without malice, he has no idea how the man he proposes to sell his valuable collection of baseball cards is trying to cheat him. Enter Eve, a young woman at the store, who tells Adam the mistake he is making. Adam is lucky to have found his own Eve. Adam doesn't take too long to acquire a taste for everything modern as guided by Eve and her gay brother.

Hugh Wilson directed this delightful movie with the right touch, as everything has a light ironic feeling to everything we see. Written by Bill Kelly, the screen play is one of the best things in movies of this genre of the last years.

Brendan Fraser, who has played these types of naive characters before, is appealing as Adam. Christopher Walken took a breather from his usual heavy characters and is a winner as Calvin Webber, the genius who was mistaken. Sissy Spacek also seems to be having fun with her Helen. Alicia Silverstone plays Eve, the wise street girl from Pasadena who fell in love with Adam.

"Blast from the Past" is a film that shows the talents of Hugh Wilson at his best. It will not disappoint!
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What's Not to Love?
missfoley12 November 2000
When my sister brought home the movie 'Blast From the Past' from the video store, I can tell you, I was not pleased. It looked really sappy and I'm not a big fan of Alicia Silverstone. During the opening credits I was surprised to see such a great cast; Dave Foley, Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek. It was one of the funniest movies I've seen. I went out and bought it after we returned it. Too many good parts to describe. As you can tell from my screen name, I have a bit of a 'thing' for Dave Foley, and I was not disappointed with this movie at all. A guaranteed laugh out loud. My whole family liked it, so I can recommend it to everyone! What a laugh!
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Gives a whole new meaning to time capsules
helpless_dancer19 February 2000
I thought this was a very funny comedy. The sets used were very realistic, looked just like some of the furniture we used to own back then. The acting was right on target, the dialogue was interesting and amusing, and the story was well done. Made me wonder if this could happen, only not on such a large or lengthy scale. 3 stars.
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Absolutely delightful. Even the most cynical should love this one
callanvass30 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
An eccentric couple named the Weber's hide in a shelter due to a huge bomb scare. The shelter is full off supplies that will last them for years. Adam Weber grows up in this sequestered environment for 35 years, unable to see the light of day because his dad is scared of the radiation effects. Adam finally gets to venture out into Los Angeles, clueless as can be to try to find a wife, and not only that, but supplies and food for his family. He runs into a conceited woman named Eve (Alicia Silverstone) who helps him out. Things get complicated when they start falling each other.

I'm a total sap and I'm not afraid to admit that. I'm a guy and I don't see the problem with guys being romantics. Even though they can be very predictable and routine, I enjoy chick flicks. I've always been into watching the guy get the girl. I do love it when they put a new spin on the romance genre. This one was made in 1999, but I haven't seen many as original and authentic as this one. I smiled like an idiot and laughed my ass off. I actually saw this in a theater back in 99 with my sister. I remember enjoying it then, but I didn't have the mental capacity to really appreciate it as much as I do now. It actually is somewhat thought-provoking as well. Adam's predicament forces him to enjoy the simple things about life, such as the sky, the ocean, people. Those are things we often take for granted in life and I am one of those people at times. I really enjoyed the sly nods at famous era's, such as the 60's, 70's and the 90's. The 60's was especially well done, with great costumes and sets. Christopher Walken & Sissy Spacek are absolutely wonderful as the parents, especially Walken. His character makes "Hot" Dr. Pepper, which I thought was hilarious. Brendan Fraser has his patented quirky charm that always works. I thought he was perfect for the part of Adam, likable and amiably odd. Alicia Silverstone is terrific as the snooty chick Fraser falls for. She's a bit whiny at times, but her charisma is undeniable. Her chemistry with Fraser is endearing, aside from an awkward kissing scene that they have. I suppose this is a needless carp, but she's a gorgeous woman and I felt they had way too much makeup on her. Okay. This movie ends like many romantic comedies. The guy gets the girl in the end, but it is very ambitious and creative. I loved this movie and I think any fellow romantics should as well. If you're tired of the same old formula, give this one a whirl. You won't regret it.

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An absolute charmer
jjnxn-130 April 2013
The premise is absurd but the picture is played with such charming whimsy that it pulls you right along. Brendan Fraser uses his size and somewhat goofy personality to make Adam believable as a big overgrown child in a man's body. He and Alicia Silverstone have a nice vibe with her worldliness playing well off his innocence. As his parents who spend the majority of the movie in a bomb shelter Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek are simply swell, an utterly adorable couple who react very differently to their confinement but are a joy whenever they are on screen. A sweet, breezy film with the underlying message to respect each other and enjoy the world around you.
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Great comedy/romance
SMLA112 June 2002
Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone make a great couple in this hilarious romance. Brendan Fraser does good as playing a guy who never seen the light of day for 35 years. Alicia Silverstone is good as Fraser's love interest and she was very cool. Sissy Spasek and Christopher Walken are good as Fraser's parents and I enjoyed their presence. dave Foley is good for when he's there.

Overall the movie is a fun comedy/romance and I enjoyed it a lot. Rating 9 out of 10.
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A very funny movie, much to my surprise
shayboy4623 June 2001
When the movie first came out I thought it sounded pretty dumb. I didn't watch it until tonight, because it was a slow night on the tube. I laughed out loud, uncontrollably, many times during the movie. Brendan Fraser is great, and the rest of the cast, including Sissy Spacek, Christopher Walken, Dave Foley and Alicia Silverstone, is great. I highly recommend this film. I plan to pick it up on DVD ASAP.
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Entertaining and Underrated
maitreg28 January 2001
Tremendously underrated film. I don't understand some of the negative comments, but this is a highly entertaining movie. I can't name the good actors in this because EVERYBODY did a fantastic job, even Alicia Silverstone.

The plot is pretty simple. In 1962, at the height of the Cuban Missile crisis, a young Southern California couple heads down to their elaborately designed fallout shelter, built by the genius, yet paranoid husband (Christopher Walken). They had only planned on staying for a few days, but at the same time, a military jet crashes into their house above. They mistakenly think the crash is a nuclear bomb explosion, so they seal it up and stay down for 35 years. The wife (Sissy Spacek) is 9 months pregnant at the time, so she has her baby (Brendan Fraser) in the shelter.

After 35 years, the father is ready to explore the world to see if it is habitable, but just as he's about to get some much-needed supplies, he has a mild heart-attack. They send their son out instead with a long list and $3000 in cash. He has also expressed being lonely and says he wants to find a wife.

The most entertaining and pleasant portion of the story is how a very nice, conservative upbringing with absolutely no outside negative influences can stick out like a sore thumb in modern society. This is also sad, to think how low we've sunk. But still, it's extremely refreshing to see a small sparkle of goodness walk around the Los Angeles area, creating positive results everywhere he goes.

The only problem that I have with it is that it is not 100% believable. Some of the scenes were overlooked in the making that kept reminding you that it wasn't real. Even though he had never seen some of the electronics, he seemed to pick them up a little too fast: TV with remote, elevator, telephone, etc. The first time he EVER saw the ocean (or any large body of water) in his entire life, he made a PERFECT dive into the water?!

But the good far outweighs the bad in this one. I highly recommend this to just about everyone out there. Younger kids might not quite understand some of it, but other than that, everyone should enjoy this.
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Blast From the Past: A Funny Comedy With a Sweet Soul
scr5557 August 2017
Blast From the Past is one of those films that succeeds on every level. The script and direction work in concert with a superb cast to tell a touching and original story about a man raised in a fallout shelter who has to cope with life in America in the 1990s. Heading the cast is Brendan Fraser, who's pitch-perfect as naif Adam Webber, who's spent 35 years growing up in a fallout shelter after his father mistakenly assumes nuclear war broke out back in 1962. Fraser is wonderful, but so is everyone else in the cast. Alicia Silverstone has one of her best-ever roles as the cynical Eve, who reluctantly befriends Adam. Dave Foley is a delight as Eve's gay best friend, Troy. Equally impressive are Christopher Walken as Adam's brilliant but daffy father, and Sissy Spacek as Adam's sweet, long suffering mom. Even the smallest roles are well-acted, with special kudos to Joey Slotnik, Nathan Fillion, the two beautiful blondes Adam dances with in the nightclub scene, the deadpan grocery clerk at the meat counter, and the nutty guy Adam sits next to on his first bus ride. It's also got an unbeatable soundtrack, and a story that never loses steam until its sweetly ironic ending. It's also one of those rare comedies that doesn't have a mean moment in it. It's refreshingly sweet and achingly funny; a real winner that deserved the good reviews it got when it came out. It's one of those films whose reputation will only grow with time. Don't miss it.
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What a wonderful thought
wildhart29 January 2000
I wish I *was* in the Webber's fallout shelter. Imagine being sheltered from all the pain, trials and heartaches of growing up in such a shallow, cynical world as the one we live in. To be so innocent, naive, and free, and not have to suffer for that. To always live in a happy time....without the grief of the last 40 odd years. Yes, please, protect me from it too.
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not a big blast
SnoopyStyle12 February 2015
It's 1962 Los Angeles at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Rich eccentric inventor Calvin Weber (Christopher Walken) brings his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek) down to the bunker. An American jet accidentally falls on their house and the bunker automatically locks for 35 years. Everybody assumes that they're dead and they assume that the world is destroyed by nuclear war. After 35 years, Calvin comes up to find the rundown neighborhood a foreign world. He wants his family to stay underground but Helen insists her boy Adam (Brendan Fraser) be allowed to see the sky. He's a fish out of water. He's about to be taken advantage of but Eve Vrustikov (Alicia Silverstone) helps him out. Together they set out to buy supplies for the underground bunker. Troy (Dave Foley) is her gay roommate and Cliff (Nathan Fillion) is her jealous ex.

The first 30 minutes is not funny enough and it's better to get to the modern day sooner. Fraser is a bit annoying at first but his childlike exuberance slowly wins me over. Silverstone is good as the tough chick who can't find love. They have a nice rom-com chemistry. The dance scene is fun and most importantly, it slowly dawns on Eve that she's jealous and in love. The movie is a bit too long, the start is too slow and not all the intended comedy works. Nevertheless, the couple is good enough and it has a sweet light charm.
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Not a cookie cutter movie.
wpsandberg27 February 2001
For once in a long time (that means it's rare) the movies guys down in southern California, have come up with something novel to entertain us with. This is a movie to just enjoy, get the popcorn and have fun.
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What a "Blast!"
zardoz-138 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Not only have "The First Wives Club" film director Hugh Wilson and freshman scenarist Bill Kelly injected new life into a timeworn tale of initiation (it's about a young man's rites of passage into an evil, corrupt, decadent urban society), but they have also tweaked the formula in several refreshing ways. Happily, "Blast from the Past" refrains from portraying its gullible, time-warped protagonist as the butt of every prankster's joke. Although he played the same role in "Encino Man," Brendan Fraser of "George of the Jungle" and "Airheads" manages to imbue this farcical but sympathetic naïf with an individuality that makes his character memorable. Co-starring Alicia "Clueless" Silverstone, "Blast from the Past" emerges as an offbeat but uneven romantic comedy about an improbable courtship between Eve Rostokov, a streetwise California gal, and Adam, a naïve 35-year old guy who has spent his entire life in a fall-out shelter. Fearing the prospect of a nuclear holocaust during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Calvin Webber (Christopher Walken of "The Anderson Tapes") and his wife Helen (Sissy Spacek of "Coal Miner's Daughter") seal themselves up in an elaborate, subterranean bomb shelter in their backyard and wait for the radioactive contamination to wear off. Thirty-five years elapse before the Webbers dispatch their intelligent but immature son out to procure supplies and a wife who doesn't glow in the dark.

"Blast from the Past" opens with documentary footage of the Cuban Missile Crisis and then segues to the Webbers' comfortable suburban home where a cocktail party halts when Calvin hears President Kennedy's televised speech. At heart, Calvin is a paranoid Commie hater. When JFK warns that Soviet missiles in Cuba are trained on U.S. targets, Calvin breaks up the party, sends everybody packing, and retreats with his pregnant wife into a steel bunker. Mind you, Calvin's fall-out shelter is no ordinary cement closet but rather an entire house underground with everything Helen and he need to survive for the next 35 years. An eccentric genius in his own right, Calvin gave up his job at California Technical when he found that he could make more money as an inventor. Calvin raises fish in breeding tanks, rigs up a kinescope so they can watch TV re-runs of Jackie Gleason's "The Honeymooners," and furnishes the shelter with exact duplicates of their home décor! Once the filmmakers have the Webbers safely underground, they cut to a jet fighter streaking across the evening skies. The plane develops sudden problems that force the pilot to eject. Guess where the jet crashes? Smack on top of Calvin's fall-out shelter! The fail-safe devices react to the heat from the crash as if it were a nuclear explosion, and the automatic time-locks confine the Webbers for the duration. When the authorities arrive, they assume that the Webbers died in the accident. While the demolition crews clear away the debris, Helen gives birth. Calvin and she rear their son with the misguided belief that everything top-side has been toasted.

"Blast from the Past" spends about an hour setting up the plot before Brendan Fraser arrives (a number of child actors play him as his character ages) and his older parents decide that it's time to see what's happened up top-side. Indeed, a lot has occurred since they plunged into their hole. Although a nuclear holocaust hasn't turned America into a vast wasteland, a spiritual holocaust has exerted roughly the same effect. Wilson and Kelly depict America's decline into decadence in an amusing subplot that charts the rise and fall of a malt shop built on the site of the Webbers' bomb shelter. As the years march past, the malt shop turns into a low-life bar and eventually degenerates into a hovel for the homeless. Calvin wants nothing to do with this bizarre new world. Along the way, Adam collides with Eve, and she helps him round up his supplies for his mom.

Director Hugh Wilson has made a charming social comedy that aspires to be far more than funny. The filmmakers have blended elements of the venerable Rip Van Winkle story and added a touch of sci-fi writer Robert Sheckley to the mix. The culture clash between the 1960s and the 1990s provides most of the comedy with Adam's well-behaved, polite demeanor juxtaposed against Eve's hard-shell cynicism.

The comedy is spontaneous with Adam meeting his first female African-American mail carrier ("Oh, my star, a negro!) to staring wondrously at the sky, the ocean, and the bikini-clad babes on TV who anoint themselves with coconut oil. Never has Adam seen such awesome sights. If the world is one big surprise for Adam, Eve (Alicia Silverstone) finds him just as surprising. When she explains that her roommate Troy (Dave Foley) is gay, Adam thinks mistakenly that Troy is "happy-go-lucky" rather than homosexual. "Blast from the Past" never explains why Troy resides with Eve or what impact their living arrangement had on Eve's previous boyfriend.

The quirky content of "Blast from the Past" separates it from the standard Hollywood product. Our twentieth century obsession with law & order compels filmmakers to include cops in virtually every movie. Foreigners must think that America is a police state. The ubiquitous police never appear in "Blast from the Past." A movie about modern-day life that doesn't use cops as a plot device is worth watching for that reason alone. Moreover, gratuitous sex, obligatory violence, and slimy alien creatures never complicate the plot. Indeed, "Blast" creates a universe of values and beliefs that most movies either ignore or remove because such philosophical concepts would hinder the action. "Blast" might have been funnier had it not been so preoccupied with such a concrete system of values.

Improbable as it is, "Blast from the Past" is nevertheless an entertaining comedy with much to say about the questionable shifts in American culture. The comedy is brisk; the dialogue is colorful, but the story occasionally bogs down when the characters get a little too preachy.
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A Brilliant movie
charmedsea11 February 2003
Once in a while a movie comes along that inspires you to think about the world around you and what it all means to be here. This is one of those movies. Here is a guy (played by Brendan Frasier) who in Jungian typology is the ultimate INFP, someone with the gentlest ideals and disposition, who enters a world of chaos and cynicism, yet remains kind and sunny. It's a beautiful film for many reasons, the romance, the idealism, the humour, the contrasts. For a moment we can forget about the internal or external battles of good vs evil typical of most Hollywood movies. This is simply the story of a good person, someone we can all aspire to be like, in an unusual set of circumstances. The premise of this movie is original, believable, and best of all a pleasure to watch. It is brilliant beyond words. I sincerely hope to find other movies by the same screenwriters (Bill Kelly & Hugh Wilson) that make me think and feel this way.
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