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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)  IMDB   
Genre Adventure/Comedy MPAA PG (Parental Guidance)
Director W.D. Richter Rating
Writer Earl Mac Rauch Runtime 102 minutes
Producer Sidney Beckerman Type Movie
Cinematographer Fred Koenekamp Format DVD
Studio 20th Century Fox Disk No. 1/1
Language English Edition
Country USA UPC
Color Color    
Plot Summary

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Buckaroo Banzai is a rock-star/brain-surgeon / comic-book-hero/samurai/ etc who along with his group, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, must stop evil creatures from the 8th dimension (all named John) who are trying to conquer our dimension. He is helped by Penny Pretty, who is a dead ringer for his ex-wife, and some good extra-dimensional beings who look and talk like they are from Jamaica.

Summary written by: Greg Bole {bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu}
Actor / Character

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Peter Weller ..... Buckaroo Banzai
John Lithgow ..... Doctor Emilio Lizardo/Lord John Whorfin
Ellen Barkin ..... Penny Priddy
Jeff Goldblum ..... New Jersey
Christopher Lloyd ..... John Bigboote
Lewis Smith ..... Perfect Tommy
Rosalind Cash ..... John Emdall
Robert Ito ..... Professor Hikita
Pepe Serna ..... Reno Nevada
Ronald Lacey ..... President Widmark
Matt Clark (I) ..... Secretary of Defense McKinley
Clancy Brown ..... Rawhide
William Traylor (I) ..... General Catburd
Carl Lumbly ..... John Parker
Vincent Schiavelli ..... John O'Connor
Review

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It's not difficult to understand why The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension never caught on with a mass audience. The story is told in an overtly complex way that makes the viewer work hard to follow it, it downplays blockbuster-style action in favor of idea-driven science fiction, and the proceedings are driven by a stylized sort of humor that isn't for every viewer. However, none of this means that it's a bad film; it's merely an acquired taste. Earl MacRauch's script suffers from periodic slow spots where it seems to be overwhelmed by its self-conscious complexity, but it makes up for this with a consistently high level of imagination and plenty of intriguingly quirky characterizations. These characters are brought to life by a gifted cast that wisely plays the material straight. Peter Weller is appropriately stoic as the renaissance man hero and Ellen Barkin makes an endearing (if underused) romantic foil as Penny, but it is John Lithgow who takes top honors as Dr. Lizardo. His inspired dementia lives up to the story's sci-fi pulp roots and gives the film a fresh shot of energy whenever he pops up. Behind the camera, first-time director W.D. Richter shows a good eye for comic book-styled visuals and brings a humorous but gentle touch to the film that provides a subtle balance to its wacked-out humor. All in all, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension is probably too eccentric and challenging for a general audience, but is full of delights for anyone willing to tune into its unique wavelength. --- Donald Guarisco

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