A kid is challenged to a table-tennis duel in 1985 Maryland. (1:32) NR. Empire 25, IFC.
This sweet, offhanded but lovingly observed remembrance is a real kick. It takes us back to the way things used to be, especially for 13-year-old guys, and specifically in the arcade rooms of 1985, filled with upright video games with glowing screens and big-haired girls in neon. Newcomer Marcello Conte is in a Maryland beach town with his mom (Lea Thompson) and family when a bully challenges him to a table-tennis battle. This is meant to impress the girl they both like (Emmi Shockley). Susan Sarandon pops up as a former ping-pong champ, and a crew of pitch-perfect character actors make director Michael Tully’s movie a savvy valentine to the era of “No Retreat, No Surrender” and Mr. Mister hit singles. Here is the rare film that both celebrates an era and feels like it could have been made in it.READ MORE