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 Post subject: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 00:49 
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Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]

This film has sat on the to watch pile for a long time. Plucked it off the shelf and gave it a spin tonight and ended up pleasantly surprised. Light of Day is a 1987 drama starring Michael J Fox and Joan Jett as brother and sister from a dysfunctional family who play together in a band to earn a few bucks to get by.

There's a bit of a same old same old feel to the story initially but as the film progresses it becomes clear the film is more focused on the troubles of Patti (Jett) and her relationship with her parents as well as the mess her life is generally in. Given Jett doesn't boast a long and illustrious acting career, she gives an excellent performance here and comes across as natural. Michael J Fox feels a tiny bit miscast (took a lot for me to say that as he's one of my favourite actors). He puts in a great shift, nothing wrong with the performance at all, it's just he might have been better in another role. He can do gritty roles, he's proved that, just here it works for the most part but you are left with a slightly annoying feeling he could have been better utilised. There's a great moment between Jett and Foxabout halfway through though that really pulls the film up a level and all is forgiven.

A lot of Light Of Day revolves around music and thus it's where this Laserdisc comes in to it's own. Light Of Day is presently unavailable on DVD (afaik) or better and will apparently not be appearing on any modern formats any time soon. The problem appears to be with music rights, and Light Of Day looks set to remain in red tape hell for much longer than the 34 years it's already been lost in. And that is a shame because this is a decent drama with good music and a decent cast, especially Jett who turns in a decent performance here.

As for the Laserdisc, it's a decent little package. With the Japan disc you get a nice little letterbox presentation, which is apparently a Japan exclusive as the USA discs are P&S according to LDDB at least. The picture is nice and clean, especially with some of the darker scenes in nightclubs and bars and the multi-coloured stage lighting. This looks like a direct transfer from the.negatives as the whole films is littered with cue marks. Not that that is a complaint, I think it adds to the charm of the image quality. There are in-picture burned-in subtitles but they don't really distract the viewer.

Sound quality is fairly good, you get a Dolby Surround track which isn't really necessary for this film. It doesn't do much surround stuff and gets a little scratchy on some of the louder music tracks. For the most part though it's perfectly fine. You can only imagine what a nice DTS HD MA track could be like.

Light Of Day is a great film and excels purely on the basis of Michael J Fox's hair, which is absolutely majestic from start to finish. The sheer quality of his mulletacious mane is even highlighted by Jett early in the film who suggests he needs a hair cut.

Hair aside, Light Of Day is a great little film. The ending is especially poignant. It is a shame it didn't do so well at the box office but watching it today you just wish it would be picked up by someone and given the HD or UHD treatment it deserves.

Pick this disc up if you can, preferably the Japanese Letterboxed release. Give it a go and enjoy. Pick up the soundtrack too (pictured) if you get a chance, it's very good.
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 Post subject: Re: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 01:04 
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You know I forgot about this one, but also wouldn't have minded to have kept it that way :lol:

Its been years since I've seen or heard of this one, it was from what I remember in my youth these dramas that were focusing on a newer
younger crowd and it just missed me back then.

BUT now that I read your post and its not on DVD makes me want to have it on LD as my focus of films are these.
Glad you post about these films, appreciate it.
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 Post subject: Re: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 01:15 
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Glad to jog a memory!

I got it originally as I'm a Michael J Fox fan. Joan Jett is great too but this was primarily for MJF and that it isn't available on any other format, is obscure in his filmography and so on.

Really pleased to have got it in my collection now. I loved the ending, so moving. All credit to Joan Jett though, she really owns her role in the film, especially during the ending.

Oh and if you get a chance pick up the soundtrack. I have the vinyl here and just had a look at the sleeve notes. It's a Japanese import I got at the same time as the Laserdisc. It credits Fox and Jett with a few tracks and also oneFox wrote and performed himself.

It's a great little obscurity in the vast annals of film history. I'd love a Blu or UHD release, heck even an HD stream. There's no talk of it whatsoever that I.can find. Stranger things have happened, sure the Palmer Rockey film coming soon for starters! :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 01:43 
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Just to add an interesting piece of trivia about this film. It was originally titled Born In The USA (you can see where this is going) after director Paul Schrader asked Bruce Springsteen to write a song after the title of the film.

Springsteen wrote a song called Born In The USA (never heard of it) but liked his song so much he kept it for some obscure album he released instead. No idea if that album or song was a success. Anyone know?

He wrote another song instead. Which is why Springsteen thanks Schrader in the sleeve notes of his album nobody has ever heard of.

The more you know huh?!
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 Post subject: Re: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 02:41 
Jedi Knight
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I have this movie and have never watched it. I hate to waste a blessing so I guess I’ll give it a shot. It has to be easier to take than the 12” remixes of Born in the USA.
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 Post subject: Re: Light of Day (1987) [SF078-5229]
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2021, 07:13 
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Good stuff. Which version do you have? It's a nice little film, no award winning masterpiece but it does the job.

Should mention the parents are both good in this (Michael McKean is in this and was in Spinal Tap by the way!). Gena Rowlands was good as the overly religious mother, and Jason Miller as the estranged dad.

Light Of Day never seems to come up in conversation anywhere, which is a shame as it deserves a few more views. $10.5m box office is poor for 1987. This one was released in February of that year, just 2 months before The Secret Of My Success which pulled in $111m.

Stark contrast that 8 weeks can make huh?
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