The 1988 hit movie Mac and Me turned 30 this year. How time flies. This cinematic masterpiece from the 80’s was overindulgence at it’s best and done right. Movie executives in the 80’s were masters at trying to copy something that was a hit. Pretty much everything in the 80’s was trying to copy something else that was more successful. But Mac and Me was different. It took the E.T. alien concept and one upped it surpassing it in every way possible.
Let’s take a look back at this cinematic masterpiece in case you forgot about it.
Mac and his alien family live on some planet….is it Mars….it really doesn’t matter. But times are hard for Mac and his family. Water and food are running low on his planet. Things look bleak for him and his family. You see in E.T. we never got a back story for E.T. to understand where he was coming from. In Mac and Me we get this.
Just when things looked bad though NASA sends a space craft to Mac’s planet.
This spacecraft had a vacuum that sucks Mac and his family up. This movie spares no expenses with the big effects. That looks like early CGI to me.
This ship of course then flies home to earth.
Once on the NASA base scientists check out the craft and in the process Mac reveals himself. Well Mac’s family makes a break for it and he somehow get’s separated from them.
Mac is able to get past a fence and hitch a ride with a vehicle passing by allowing him to escape.
Well it just so happens this car he catches a ride on has a celebrity in it.
This car has none other then the celebrity Sam from Different Strokes. Sam isn’t the only big celebrity though in this movie….more on that later. Anyways Mac sees this opportunity for him to jump into another vehicle.
Its in this vehicle Mac will meet his true friends. The Cruise family. Not Tom Cruise’s family. Though Tom was originally interested in playing someone in a wheelchair but they just couldn’t pull it off. He was too old to play a kid. They wanted realism in this movie and an old Tom trying to play a young boy would just make this serious movie seem silly. But he did allow his last name to be used in the movie.
The Cruise family just moved to California. Once the Cruise family gets to their new house strange things start happening. And of course Eric Cruise, a kid in a wheelchair, gets blamed by his mom for what happened to their house. You see Mac has powers. Anyways Eric does eventually get a quick glimpse of Mac and doesn’t know what to think.
Now Eric doesn’t let his disabilities stop him from doing things. He has no problem going out into the hills in his wheelchair looking for Mac. Eric was a small handful of positive wheelchair role models in the 80’s. The others being…
Marty from Silver Bullet played by Corey Haim’s.
Chip Chase from Transformers the TV show.
Ron played by Tom Cruise. He played a wheelchair bound character in the movie Born on the Fourth of July. After Tom lost the role to the younger actor in Mac and Me he was determined to find a similar role that better fit his age.
Well Eric unfortunately falls down a hill off a cliff and lands in a lake. An epic cinematic scene in movie history. Had the movie ended at this moment it would be a masterpiece…..but it doesn’t. It keeps going becoming something even better than a masterpiece. A mastermasterpiece.
True movie trivia….Peter Jackson liked Mac so much he loosely based Gollum on him from The Lord of the Rings.
E.T. loved Reese’s Pieces and Mac loved Coke. Mac of course saves Eric and a buddy bond is formed between them.
It isn’t long before Mac and Eric get into all types of mischief. In what is by far one of the best scenes in the movie, or any movie for that matter, Eric gets invited to a birthday party at McDonald’s. Mac shows up dressed like a teddy bear and all dancing brakes out and even Mac joins in. Hell even Ronald McDonald himself gets into it. If this movie ended right here it would go down as the best movie ever…..but it doesn’t it keeps going. Kind of like this post. Both are epic and both just keep going.
Well NASA shows up and a chase ensues. One of the best ever of course.
Well after the long epic chase scene ends and Mac and Eric escape NASA Mac leads Eric to his family who need help. Luckily they had Coke on hand. But it wasn’t enough. They needed more.
So they go to the store to get more obviously.
Well Mac and his family didn’t have any money so the police show up to stop them from shop lifting. But those cops like all cops are trigger happy.
In this gut wrenching scene Eric tries to stop his friends. But a cop trips and falls shooting his gun causing all the cops to start shooting causing the gas pump that Mac and his family were standing by to blow up. This blast kills Eric. Originally the scene had Eric get shot….
I’m not sure which version I like more. I do like how Eric makes a grate Agh! sound when he gets shot. Now if the movie ended right here and then it would be the most amazing thing ever a true mastermastermasterpiece….but it doesn’t.
Mac and his family use their powers to bring Eric back and then they get sworn in as legal citizens so they are no longer aliens…..BAM! GOD DAMN SUPERMASTERMASTERMASTERPIECE!
Oh I almost forgot that other big celebrity in this move. The sister of Eric is played by none other then Tina Caspary…..aka..Kelly Bundy from Married with Children. Well….she was her in the pilot before she got replaced.
Anyway Mac and Me is an amazing piece of cinematic pleasure in so many ways. I hope it gets a nice 4k directors cut anniversary edition.
What was your favorite scene in Mac and Me? Did you cry when Eric died?