Mon, 24 August 2020
Who is Darkman? He's everywhere and nowhere, but mostly he's Liam Neeson. 30 years ago we witnessed the birth of a new kind of hero and launched Neeson's career. The TechnoRetro Dads look back at Sam Raimi's classic.
Darkman stepped into the light 30 years ago and helped make Liam Neeson a star. We review the finer aspects of the 1990 film.
In the NEWS
Let’s All Go to the Movies - Darkman
Mon, 17 August 2020
Tech is everywhere! But in the 80’s we looked at it with a little wonder, a little excitement, and a lot of neon. We look at the technology our heroes used to save the day and the toys that helped us grow.
Technology in our favorite TV shows and the tech toys that kept us entertained and edumacated.
In the NEWS
TechnoRetro Cereal - Junior Spoonster
Jay brings us news of a new type of breakfast; Mac and Cheese...wait, that can’t be right. Mac and Cheese?!?!?! Would you indulge in this traditional kiddie meal as a morning feast? Let us know. And you’ve gotta check out the Teachable Machine Lucky Charms Marshmallow extractor. It’s sure to change your late night snacking habits.
Saturday Mornings - Retro TV with Tech-Centered Stories
We loved our TV heroes! In the 80’s those heroes often got to use cool new tech to save the day. Automan was a hero straight out of TRON. He is a complex computer construct that partners up with a police computer expert. And he’s got a sweet glowy car! Max Headroom was a one of a kind piece of technology that helped shape the 80’s without ever leaving a TV screen (or having a body). The Street Hawk was a super fast, super cool motorcycle. And Airwolf saved the day from the sky while Stringfellow Hawke piloted the powerful helicopter. Finally, Michael Knight was a faithful partner to KITT, the computer powered super car whose legacy lives on to this day. How cool were they? And how much did they influence the future?
Toys in the Attic - Tech Toys
Was there anything more exciting for a kid to get a toy that needed batteries? Electronic toys became more accessible to kids in the 80’s. They kept us entertained and helped us learn. The Little Professor calculator was where Shua learned his numbers and the Speak and Spell built his words. Most kids enjoyed their Mattel Electronic sports games, even though it was really just a few little red LED lights. But blinking lights could be fun, and be the basis of games like Merlin and Simon. The Microvision was the granddaddy of the handheld games we love today. And if you like games of fantasy, Dark Tower and Dungeons & Dragons Computer Labyrinth Game sparked our imagination.
Mon, 10 August 2020
The truth is out there. But since we’re hanging out at home, we’ll have it delivered straight to you! Jay and Shua take a look at some classic movies and TV shows that focused on some classic conspiracies. And we’ll take a second look at what our retro board games were really trying to do to us.
Conspiracy movies and TV with some very suspicious board games.
In the NEWS
TechnoRetro Cereal - Roving Spoonster
Shane shares some tasty stories this week. Tim Hortons has a deliciously sweet looking Froot Loops donut that just bowls us over (or is it a sugar coma?) Post’s Dunkin Donuts coffee cereal is sure to wake you up. And we look at some discontinued cereal and contemplate which ones should return.
Let’s All Go to the Movies - Conspiracy Movies
Movie goers have always been fascinated with stories with plenty of intrigue. And no genre has more than conspiracy movies. We look back at some memorable conspiracy stories from the 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s. Do you remember The Parallax View with Warren Beatty? How about some Robert Redford dramas like Three days of the Condor or All the President’s Men? Space was all the rage with the Mars launch hoax of Capricorn One or the Area 51 inspired Hangar 18. Roy Scheider traded boats for helicopters in 1983’s Blue Thunder. And we would never forget Buckaroo Banzai’s contribution to saving the world from aliens. He probably inspired Roddy Piper in John Carpenter’s They Live. And of course, the granddaddy of all the conspiracies would have to be Oliver Stone’s classic cover-up story inspired by true life events in JFK. Which ones do you like? And what did we leave off the list?
TV - More truth to be uncovered
Conspiracies weren’t limited to the cinema. TV had it’s share of intrigue. V: The Miniseries had us questioning if we were being invaded by aliens or fascists. Or maybe fascist aliens. But we’ll never stop questioning all the mysteries of the world in Leonard Nimoy’s In Search Of, or Jack Palance’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not. And as we prepared to head into the 21st Century, Agents Mulder and Scully helped us to track down the real story behind mysterious aliens and why you shouldn’t smoke so much.
Toys in the Attic - Board Games or Conspiracies
We grew up with so many great board games. But were they given to us to entertain ourselves or control our minds? Take the quiz and listen to the evidence. Can you identify the board game by the conspiracy theorist description?
Mon, 3 August 2020
You don’t have to be a Real Genius to know that Weird Science can get out of control. Science was all over the place in August of 1985. If you want the fiction of it, just look in Starlog Magazine. We take a look at the classic Sci-Fi publication in a new segment called Magazine Rack.
Starlog Magazine, plus the sciencey movies Weird Science and Real Genius
In the NEWS
TechnoRetro Cereal - Tiger Paws
Jay tries the new Kellogg’s snack and lets us know if it’s worth it. Well, if you like sweetness, it may be for you!
Magazine Rack - Starlog August 1980
In a new segment on TechnoRetro Dads, we take a look back at the classic sci-fi magazine Starlog. This month’s cover story is an interview with Harrison Ford, the star of the newly released Empire Strikes Back. There are also some great articles about how the 1980’s sci-fi genre entered the 80’s. Battlestar Galactica left TV, Buck Rogers was grasping for one last chance, and a little science fiction movie from Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford was on the horizon.
Let’s All Go to the Movies - Weird Science/Real Genius
August 1985 was a rich time for science in the movies. Well, science may be a little generous when describing these films, but they certainly felt sciency. John Hughes’s Weird Science starred Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly Lebrock, and Ilan Mitchell-Smith. It tells the story of Gary and Wyatt trying to fit in with their High School peers by creating the beautiful, smart, and magical Lisa from thin air. Aahhh, remember when you did that in high school? Then, watch Val Kilmer at his finest in the classic smart people against the government story Real Genius. Chris Knight helps his roommate Mitch to build a super powerful laser, but must stop it when they realize how it’s going to be used. Both movies featured quotable lines and lots of laughs. And if you want a little science cherry on top, check out the third movie that month, My Science Project.
Vinyl Scratchback - Weird Science/Real Genius Soundtrack
There may have only been a few memorable songs from these movies, but the 80’s vibe was very important to the flow of both. We break down which ones were important, such as Oingo Boingo’s hit Weird Science, and the Tears for Fears favorite Everybody Wants to Rule the World.