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Blast from the Past

In 1962 the Russkies decided to park a few missiles on the island of Cuba, causing President Kennedy to order a blockade of the Russian fleet while the entire world shuddered in fear of nuclear annihilation. It was the age of backyard bomb-shelters, and while many Americans were probably airing theirs out during those fateful days, Blast from the Past reveals that one family actually moved in. By '62, eccentric genius Calvin Webbers (Christopher Walken) didn't just have a hole in the ground, he had replicated his entire household, along with enough supplies to last 35 years. It is when an American fighter jet crashes into their California home that Calvin is convinced that the holocaust has arrived, and both he and his pregnant wife Helen (Sissy Spacek) take to the shelter and lock it down, unaware that the placid course of American history will continue mere feet above their heads for the next few decades. Their son Adam (Brendan Fraser) is born and given a first-class (albeit dated) education from his parents, but when the 35 years are up, the time has come to explore the surface for survivors. Unfortunately, Calvin is ill and bedridden, and innocent young Adam is given the task, poking around the San Fernando Valley for supplies and hooking up with cynical blonde Eve (Alicia Silverstone) in the process. We'll let you watch this one for the funny stuff rather than repeat any of it here, but Blast from the Past — while shamelessly mining the "fish-out-of-water" genre for all it's worth — is an endearing comedy bolstered by an efficient, witty script by scenarist Bill Kelly. Love him or hate him, Brendan Fraser is on his way to becoming one of America's foremost light comedians, and Walken's intense, oddball performance overflows with superb throwaway gags. It's unfortunate that the pouty Silverstone can only swim in their wake. Also starring Dave Foley. Directed by Hugh Wilson. Good transfer, DD 5.1, trailer, textual supplements, and a "Love-O-Meter" supplement that is sort of amusing, but only for about a minute or two.

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