That Was Then... This Is Now (1985)
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The movie, however, was a bit of a disappointment for us. Taken by itself, it was a fine example of 80's brat-packish fluff. It was formulamatic, but entertaining. One could hardly say that the movie was based on the book, though. Bryon's personal growth journey and coming of age, so well illustrated in the novel, was sacrificed to car chases and Hollywood's penchant for tidy endings, in the movie.
While I would recommend both, I would caution that they are two separate stories, sharing the same character names. Perhaps there is the lesson: You cannot watch the movie to get out of reading the book! .
'That Was Then, This is Now' was the last film adaptation (although the TV series for 'The Outsiders' follows five years later after the release of this movie). I would've attribute the mediocrity of the movie, or at least the inability to really put forth all that the novel did, was because it was not directed by Francis Ford Coppola (who directs 'The Outsiders,' and does a fabulous job with 'Rumble Fish'), except 'Tex,' which was a pretty good movie, was likewise not directed by Coppola.
I think it is in part the chemistry among the characters. The whole mood looks like something out of a music video, with Craig Scheffer coming off more like a guy who broke off a long relationship with a girlfriend rather than dealing with a rambunctious brother (in addition to other things). Plus, as another viewer already mentioned, they shifted the focus on characters so that superstar Emilio Esteves becomes the center of attention. Most of S.E. Hinton's novel always portrayed a struggle from the brother who is looking out at things that, by his perception, have become (or always were) seriously out of control. (See 'Tex' and 'Rumble Fish'). And yes, they unfortunately acquiesced to the Hollywood happy ending, and in the sappiest way, despite all of the problems that the characters endure.
Unlike previous adaptations of Hinton's novels, even those not directed by Coppola, they really fail to portray the struggles that the characters realize in the book. And, lack of developing the story on this point really makes you only half appreciate the characters and their conflicts (and in this case, not even their resolution).
That Was Then This Is Now is a film based on the S.E Hinton novel of the same name.S.E Hinton is a great author and I have read most of her books.The Outsiders is her best book,this is her second best,rumble fish is her third best and Taming The Star Runner is her fourth best.While Rumble Fish is her third best novel, it is the greatest adaptation from the original novel to the film.It was directed by Coppola who also directed the Outsiders film.That however was not so faithful to the original novel and I did not like it very much.Now this was not directed by Coppola, it was written by Emilio Estevez who also stars in it.While its more of a faithful adaptation than outsiders, it still could have been more faithful.The movie is about a teen named Bryon and his friend Mark who lives with him after his parents killed each other.They both used to do everything together but now Bryon has a girlfriend named Cathy and Mark is jealous of her.They also need money to pay for Bryon's mothers operation so Mark starts selling drugs to hippies including Cathy's little brother M&M.The character M&M is much different in the film.In the novel he is an innocent freshman student, in this film he's basically a normal teen who makes sex remarks.Also the endings of the two differ.Anyway That Was Then This Is Now is a decent movie but not as good as the book.
This is a very entertaining movie and I have to recommend it. Nothing fantastic as far as sophisticated filminess goes, but if you're a child of the 80s you will definitely enjoy it; there's lots of 80s high school/adolescent nostalgia to be found throughout this film. There are 80s punks with spiked hair who are so hardcore that they hang out at the prom but don't go inside. Kim Delaney is in it too, and she is (was?), of course, Hott.
Of note: Delaney's younger brother, who is kinda screwed up in the head, is named "M&M". Could this (the novel or the film) be where Eminem got the idea for his name?
SPOILER: The ending in the movie was widely critiscized for differing from the book-I can actually understand both sides-I cared about Mark in Hinton's book-of coarse reading it one wants a happy ending for all involved-even if thats the easy way out.
Yet the movie's which ended alot more sunny then the book also felt a bit unrealistic-because I doubt, sadly it WOULD happen that way in reality-so it's like:be careful what you wish for-you just might get it. By that I mean, reading the book you weep at the ending, wishing it could be different-but then it IS different in the movie and you feel a bit cheated. Tough call to make if changing the ending was a good idea or not.
But I STILL liked this movie and thought it was welldone-I'd recomend it to anyone who hasn't seen it-the story still touches you and the acting is credible.
The desperate male students in the class were hoping that the Angela character would have been as hot as she is described in the book!
Read the book instead.
In the MOVIE, it describes Mark as the main character. Probably Emilio Estevez was popular that he had to be the star. His acting is great. But let's see, Bryon in a fluffy hair? I thought Mark had that style. In the book, after Charlie dies, Bryon is upset and Mark is not. But in the movie it is VERy different. And M&M??!! He is supposed to be so sweet and innocent. The movie describes M&M as a boy who knows EVERYTHING and what's going around the world. He looked like a Senior guy instead of 13-year-old kid. The most unbelievable part is the ENDING. ANOTHER sweet happy silly ending. Mark forgives Bryon and they become friends again. Cathy still sticks up with Bryon. Gosh, give me a break! The movie was disappointing, so you should read a BOOK.
Oh, don't miss Morgan Freeman as Charlie in the movie!!
Based on S.E Hinton's novel,That Was Then...This Is Now tells the story of Bryon(Craig Sheiffer)and Mark(Emilo Estevez)two teens that have been best friends since childhood almost like brothers,stealing cars,getting Into fights with rivals,and living carefree, but when Bryon starts dating a girl from their childhood named Cathy(Kim Delaney),a tragic event that changes their lives and their teenage years fading away they both realize that That Was Then...This Is Now.
S.E Hinton is one of my favorite authors and I had seen the film adaptations The Outsiders,Rumble Fish and Tex and loved them and also read her books and loved them as well. That Was Then...This Is Now was a great book that I loved but was the only film adaptation I hadn't seen. I finally saw this film and while the film is not as good as the book there is still some good and decent things about the film. The movie That Was Then...This Is Now is easily the weakest of the S.E Hinton film adaptations and they're things that work and don't work. One of the things that works is the main characters,realistic feel and atmosphere. Bryon and Mark's relationship in the film authentic and real and you feel like they could be real brothers,especially since they're living in a harsh setting and you feel like Bryon and Mark would have each other's back no matter what. When things start to fall apart for Bryon and Mark and the characters start arguing and fighting with each other and Bryon and Mark's friendship and since of brotherhood starts to become strained and it's very believable and at times sad. The film depicts a dark and dangerous teenage world where things such as gang violence,fighting,drug use and drinking seems to always be the norm for Bryon and Mark as well as other characters who going by the laws of the streets and the film's atmosphere is sometimes very bleak and downbeat. The film also has a dark,gritty film-noir feel to it that you didn't see a lot in Teen Films at the time with great harsh lighting and photography and that's one of the things that I like about the film is that the photography gives the film a since of darkness and reality. Although the movie is well filmed and has great lighting it lacks the great and powerful cinematic feel that the other S.E Hinton movie adaptations The Outsiders,Rumble Fish and Tex had. The screenplay written by Estevez while good lacks the emotional punch that Hinton's novel had and the screenplay feels limited. Where In Hinton's novel we got to know more about the characters and there was more scenes with the characters,in the film we know the characters but there Isn't enough time in the film for development for the characters and the friendship between Bryon and Mark feels underdeveloped and small in the film compared to the book. I don't understand why the location and time period were changed from Oklahoma to Minnesota from 60's to 80's. I guess one of the main reasons the time period was changed was because of budget costs,but the location and time period change killed some of the important elements in the book and I guess Paramount Pictures and the filmmakers wanted something that teens in the 80s could relate to. And speaking of changes the biggest change and difference from the book is the movie's ending which destroy's the greatness of the novel's ending and it rings completely false. Where's the novel's ending was more powerful and sad the movie's is predictable and didn't belong in this film. Maybe because the novel's ending was very sad and truly pessimistic the ending had to change because in the 1980s optimistic endings were more accepted and sad endings such as the sad ending in the book weren't allowed during the 1980s. It's not Emilio Estevez's fault though blame Paramount Studios who told Estevez to change the ending in his screenplay.
The cast does a good job in their roles. Emilio Estevez(who also wrote the screenplay)does a excellent job as Mark,bringing humor,anger and sadness to the role. Craig Sheiffer does a fantastic job as Bryon and has an good chemistry with Estevez. Morgan Freeman does a great job as Charlie the bartender the only grown up friend of Bryon and Mark. Kim Delaney does a wonderful job as Cathy,Bryon's girlfriend. Jill Schoelen gives a fabulous performance as Angela,Bryon's ex-girlfriend. Barbara Babcock is wonderful as Bryon's mom. Frank Howard does a great job as M&M,Cathy's spaced-out brother. Larry B. Scott gives a funny and memorable performance as Bryon and Mark's friend Terry.
Christopher Cain does a fine job directing the film,bringing lots of energy and atmosphere to the film and always moving the camera.
The score by Bill Cuomo and Keith Olsen is good and adds to the film's tone and feel. I also like songs Just Another Day(Oingo Boingo)and the title song That Was Then...This Is Now(Randy Wayne and Carroll Sue Hill).
Overall That Was Then...This Is Now is a decent film on It's own with fine acting from the cast and good direction,but as an adaptation of the novel it's lacks what made the book so great. Recommended 7.5/10.
However, the sad fact is that Emilio made this movie. Hinton sold the rights, and that's OK. Emilio took the project and added his unique "brat-pack" qualities to it. So, the time frame is different. From 70's lifestyles to 80's. Crashpads to break dancing. Blue jeans to neon spandex. Harsh language is added. Mark and Bryon now swear like sailors.
I can't say anymore about this film because my head is starting to hurt and I'm afraid my brain will explode. The class I work with will be posting their replies soon, so I now give you their unjaded opinions.
Bad writing and bad acting served up in equal doses. Awful soundtrack. Unlikeable characters across the board. Terrible cinematography.
Someone owes it to the author of "The Outsiders" to remake her book into a better movie.
I used to read S.E. Hinton religiously once upon a time. It has a melodramatic teen coming-of-age mentality. They work on the page. They have the 50's 'Rebel Without a Cause' sensibility. The modern world can clash with that sensibility. It can seem overwrought and out of place. This one fails that test from time to time. It probably should have stayed in the earlier time period rather than trying to bring it into the modern world. Estevez is a solid delinquent. This is a valiant but flawed effort.