Do you remember watching coming of age films whilst you were growing up? Maybe you loved watching movies like The Breakfast Club (1985), Stand By Me (1986) or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986). The film I’m taking a look at here is from 1982 and features a whole host of well known actors. In fact part of the enjoyment in watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) is seeing if you can spot all of them. So without further ado let me take you down memory lane back to the early eighties, here’s my Fast Times at Ridgemont High blu-ray review.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
- Genre: Comedy
- UK Rating 18
- Discs: 1
- Released By Fabulous Films / Universal
- Blu-ray Released: 26 June 2017 / 25 July 2011
At Ridgemont High School the guys and gals are just coming to terms with just how complicated their teenage lives really are. For instance Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) thinks having sex with the cool guys is the be all and end all as does her best friend Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates). The guys of course all have a similar aim including the smooth talking Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). He also just happens to sells tickets to just about any gig that’s happening. His friend however Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) is more on the shy side and really just wants to date and romance Stacy but is somewhat held back by his awkwardness.
Stacy’s big brother Brad (Judge Reinhold) is also having relationship problems whilst he struggles to hold down a job at a fast food restaurant. Then there’s Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn) he’s permanently stoned much to the annoyance of his history teacher Mr Hand (Ray Walston).
How will this all end up? Well you are going to have to watch the film to find out…
Style / Direction
The film was directed by Amy Heckerling with the cinematography side of things that’s taken care of by Matthew F. Leonetti. This is one of those coming of age films and one that focuses on six main characters and follows their struggles at school, work and matters of the heart. This works well and the film moves along at good pace always having some amusing/awkward situation arising.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is comprised of several songs that seem absolutely perfect for this coming of age comedy. In fact the music plays a massive part in helping to make this such a fun experience with The Go Go’s We Got The Beat acting as the films main theme. These are songs included are:
- “Raised In the Radio” – Ravyns
- “Somebody’s Baby” – Jackson Browne
- “Love Rules” – Don Henley
- “Waffle Stomp” – Joe Walsh
- “Never Surrender” – Don Felder
- “So Much In Love” – Timothy B Schmit
- “Goodbye, Goodbye” – Oingo Boingo
- “Uptown Boys” – Louise Goffin
- “Fast Times (The Best Years Of Our Lives)” – Billy Squier
- “Sleeping Angel” – Stevie Nicks
- “Speeding” – The Go Go’s
- “The Look In Your Eyes” – Gerard McMahon
- “Love Is The Reason” – Graham Nash
- “Don’t Be Lonely” – Quarterflash
- “I Don’t Know (Spicolo’s Theme)” – Jimmy Buffett
- “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” – Sammy Hagar
- “I’ll Leave It Up To You” – Poco
- “Moving In Stero” – The Cars
- “We Got The Beat” – The Go Go’s
- “Winter Wonderland” – Darlene Love
- “American Girl” – Tom Petty
- “Life In The Fast Lane” – Reeves Nevo & The Cinch
- “Wooley Bully” – Reeves Nevo & The Cinch
- “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin
Acting / Characters
First off I’ll say all of the actors put in very good acting performances that really help the film to flow nicely. The next thing that strikes you just how many familiar faces appear in this eighties coming of age movie. I mean just peruse the cast list below.
For instance Sean Penn plays a totally stoned student only interested in surfing, a role I might add that he seems perfectly cast for. But just look at the rest of the main cast, Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Phoebe Cates (Gremlins), Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop), Forest Whitaker (Good Morning, Vietnam). Even the background cast includes actors that went on to become extremely well known such as Anthony Edwards & Nicolas Cage.
It’s rare these days to see such a talented bunch of actors come through from one movie yet it happened several times during the eighties and earlier. Something’s changed in the way films are made and cast and that’s probably gone forever. It was however in my opinion a far better time for filmmakers with more freedom to make the movies they wanted to make whilst we the audience benefited from this approach.
- Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli
- Judge Reinhold as Brad Hamilton
- Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton
- Robert Romanus as Mike Damone
- Phoebe Cates as Linda Barrett
- Brian Backer as Mark Ratner
- Amanda Wyss as Lisa
- Ray Walston as Mr. Hand
- Forest Whitaker as Charles Jefferson
- Vincent Schiavelli as Mr. Vargas
- Lana Clarkson as Mrs. Vargas
- Eric Stoltz as Stoner Bud
- Anthony Edwards as Stoner Bud
- Nicolas Cage as Brad’s Bud
- Pamela Springsteen as Dina Phillips
- Kelli Maroney as Cindy
Conclusion: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Film Review
There no doubting that Fast Times at Ridgemont High is an enjoyable enough film, if you happened to grow up in the eighties then you may well consider it a cult classic in a similar fashion as say The Breakfast Club (1985) although Fast Times at Ridgemont High is a lot more graphic and therefore also comes with a certificate 18. I’d have to say Fast Times holds up remarkably well watching it in 2018 and is still extremely relevant to today’s youth although if it were make today it would no doubt be a rather dull affair with teenagers staring at their phones for 90 minutes.
Overall Fast Times is a fun, full of energy easy to watch movie that’s certainly worth a look.
If you like my Fast Times at Ridgemont High blu-ray review you may want to check out these films:
- The Money Pit (1986)
- Gremlins (1984)
- Planes Trains And Automobiles (1987)
- The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
- Dumb And Dumber To (2014)
The music plays a massive part in helping to make this such a fun experience with The Go Go’s We Got The Beat acting as the films main theme.
Conclusion: Fast Times at Ridgemont High Blu-ray Review
There’s good news as the picture quality is very good, the picture is sharp and the colours vibrant whilst the picture is mostly free from those annoying speckles.
On to my movie rating for Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
- Movie Rating: WORTH WATCHING
- Blu-ray Picture: GOOD
Amazon UK Links
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) is available now on blu-ray
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the blu-ray version
So that’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film you can leave them in the comment section below:
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Summary: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Duration: 90 mins
Director(s): Amy Heckerling
Actor(s): Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Phoebe Cates, Robert Romanus, Brian Backer, Forest Whitaker, Ray Walston, Eric Stoltz, Anthony Edwards, Nicolas Cage
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
An highly enjoyable eighties coming of age comedy movie that’s a breeze to watch.
- Packed full of well known actors
- Great soundtrack
- Humour may not be to everyone’s taste