Thursday, February 25, 2016

TVSO PICKS: Top 5 Michael J. Fox Movies


Top 5 Michael J. Fox Movies
Who doesn't love Michael J. Fox?    Certainly Fox has been best known for his role of "Marty McFly" - the hero of all three Back To The Future movies, but also in the role of "Alex P. Keaton" on the 80s hit NBC sitcom, Family Ties.   Fox has had a wonderful career in this time, appearing in rich character roles over the years as well as appearing on fan-favorite television series in the wake of Family Ties, like ABC's Spin City.    
What follows is a list of our favorite Michael J. Fox movies.  In no particular order:

Back To The Future (1985)
Back To The Future (1985)
Back To The Future might be, today, one of the best-known movies of the last 100 years amongst those who love movies themselves.  And certainly, this makes a ton of sense as it was, for its time, completely inventive, funny and serious enough that it was, in essence, a hero's tale or journey.    Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Robert Zemeckis, Back To The Future made Michael J. Fox a mega star.  Fox, certainly, up until this point was best-known for his role as "Alex P. Keaton" on the 80s NBC sitcom, Family Ties.    Fox, would go on to make quite a impressive string of theatrical hits in the wake of Back To The Future, certainly, Teen Wolf, as well as two sequels to 1985 time-traveling classic.
Light Of Day (1987)
Light Of Day (1987)
Perhaps, trying to shed the public conception that Fox was a adult-playing-a-teenager over and over again, Fox took on the role of "Joe Rasnick" -- one half of a brother/sister combo who are trying to make it as a bar band playing music around dive bars in the Midwest.    Paul Schrader's Light Of Day features an impressive cast that includes:  Fox, but also actress Gena Rowlands, musician Joan Jett, actor Jason Miller, actor Michael Rooker of The Walking Dead fame, as well as comic Michael McKean in a role that might be the best of his career, although a supporting part at best.   Great movie, great soundtrack.  

Bright Lights, Big City (1988)
Bright Lights, Big City (1988)
Directed by James Bridges and featuring an all-star cast that included Fox, but also Keifer Sutherland, Phoebe Cates, Dianne Wiest, and vetern-actor Jason Robards, Bright Lights, Big City was based on a best-selling novel that was written by Jay McInerney.  Fox plays "Jamie Conway" a fact-checker for New York Magazine who is mixed up with cocaine after his fashion model girlfriend dumps him.   Conway gets obsessed with a story about a pregnant woman in a coma and sets out to uncover a mystery.

Teen Wolf (1985)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Made independently in the mid 80s, no-one could have anticipated the mega-success that Teen Wolf had at the box office.    The film made Fox a viable movie-attraction whereas prior he had solely been known for his work on television.  Teen Wolf proved that Fox could draw in an audience at the multiplex.   Teen Wolf features Fox as "Scott Howard" a on-the-cusp nerd who discovers that he's a werewolf and as a means of coping with his discovery transforms on the basketball court of his high school during a game.   The film would spawn a sequel which starred actor Jason Bateman.  A MTV television series was spurred in 2011 although it has nothing to do with the 80s movie.

High School USA (1983)
High School USA (1983)
A made-for-television movie that originally aired on NBC on October 16th, 1983, High School USA, no doubt, made to capitalize on the success of the teen ensemble movie that had done big business at the box office like Fast Times At Ridgemont High a year or two prior, features a of-the-time collection of popular TV actors such as: Todd Bridges and Dana Plato (Different Strokes), Nancy McKeon (Facts of Life), Tony Dow and Ken Osmond (Leave It To Beaver), and Bob Denver (Gilligan's Island).   Fox plays "J.J. Manners" -- not a nerd but not part of the cool crowd either, which consists of rich teenage boys who drive fancy cars.   Manners and his gaggle of nerd friends team up to build a super-charged race car of of a Trans-Am in an attempt to challenge the rich kids to a race.    Hi-jinks ensue and Fox befriends the girlfriend of the richest snobby-boy of the group, and realizing that the rich kids group isn't all its cracked up to be, she falls for Fox's character as the two boys are about to set off on a race that while effect the social hierarchy of their school in its wake.    Prior to High School USA, Fox had only small supporting roles in movies and television.  It was in the year prior to the airing of the film on NBC, that Fox was cast in the role of Alex Keaton on Family Ties--setting him on a trajectory that would make him a superstar.