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Movie Time! Nostalgia Trip: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and The Wizard (1989)
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Movie Time! Nostalgia Trip: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985) and The Wizard (1989)

A look back at two films chock-full of classic 1980s road-tripping nostalgia when kids ruled the road.

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It’s Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast!, where our own movie nerds Nathan Evans and Ethan Brehm take you on an unscripted journey yakking and chatting about some of their favorite movie moments and cinematic scenes, from past and present, presented without snark and snobbery for your listening pleasure. Let’s begin!

It’s an episode bursting with road-tripping 1980s nostalgia as our hosts look back on two movies that proved the 1980s certainly were the Wonder Years, in more ways than one.

The first is 1985’s Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, directed by Tim Burton and starring none other than Pee-Wee Herman himself, i.e. Paul Reubens. It’s the classic tale of a (grown) boy and his beloved bicycle – only the bike gets stolen and it’s up to our bowtied hero to risk everything on a cross-country trip where he’ll face everything from escaping felons, ghostly truckers, bikers, snakes, and Godzilla. When all else fails, dance, preferably in high platform shoes. Tequila!

Next up is 1989’s The Wizard, directed by Todd Holland and starring Fred Savage (The Wonder Years), a stellar supporting cast, and plenty of officially licensed Nintendo product placement. Join a pair of latchkey brothers, and their fellow runaway Haley, as they travel across the deserts of western America, evading worried parents and crazy bounty hunters, scamming unwitting gamers and learning life-lessons as they make their way to The Video Armageddon Championship in Los Angeles.

Did you know the titular hard-laughing man-child headlining Tim Burton’s feature-film debut made his own cinematic debut in a stoner film? Is product placement only bad when you know you’re watching product placement? Is Large Marge as scary as you remember? Did you also love the Power Glove (it’s so bad)? And have you heard about the famous (and highly cinematic) Cabazon Dinosaurs in southern California? You should definitely learn more about the Cabazon Dinosaurs.

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