5 Escapist Films - Hot Pursuit

Hot Pursuit (1987)

Young Danny is following his rich girlfriend's family to the Caribbean. But suddenly he simply must take a chemistry test and cannot go with them. After they have left, he gets a leave from his professor and takes a plane to find them. But he is not quite sure where they are, and meets smugglers, crazy captains and murderers.

“I first saw this film in college really late one night. I don’t remember what I had done that night or anything else that month, but I remember seeing this film. I personally think it’s one of Cusack’s more enjoyable films. I think besides some TV this was Ben Stiller’s first movie. It’s dorky, but escapist to the core. I was absolutely in LOVE with Wendy Gazelle in this movie. I thought Wendy Gazelle was the perfect girl, and perfect for John Cusack to chase after. I tried to get her involved in a movie I wrote, back when I was in the film business, but her manager never called me back. Oh well." ~SA

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5 Escapist Films - Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon (1980)

Two small children and a ship's cook survive a shipwreck and find safety on an idyllic tropical island. Soon, however, the cook dies and the young boy and girl are left on their own. Days become years and Emmeline and Richard make a home for themselves surrounded by exotic creatures and nature's beauty. They learn to cope with the bewildering variety of physical changes that come with adolescence. And as they begin to mature, their childhood affections lead to a sensitive and more profound love and the birth of a child. But will they ever see civilization again?

"Maybe one of the first films I remember REALLY seeing. My first film, Blue Lagoon, my first concert, The Beach Boys. I mean, it’s been laid out since day one for me I think... I used to go to the library in Massachusetts where I spent my junior high and high school years, and since 11 was always researching islands in the South Pacific. When I saw this movie of course it was perfect.The cinematography is amazing and Chris Atkins and Brooke Shields are well cast. If you’ve never seen it, it’s pretty much a must-see for island-lovers. At the very least it will make you want to go to Fiji where most of it was shot." ~SA

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5 Escapist Films - The Big Blue

The Big Blue (1988)

Two men answer the call of the ocean in this romantic fantasy-adventure. Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr) and Enzo (Jean Reno) are a pair of friends who have been close since childhood, and who share a passion for the dangerous sport of free diving. As Enzo persuades a reluctant Jacques to compete against him in a free diving contest -- determining who can dive deeper and longer without scuba gear -- Jacques meets Johanna (Rosanna Arquette), a beautiful insurance investigator from America, and he finds that he must choose between his love for her and his love of the sea.

"Without The Big Blue, Island Company wouldn’t exist. It was absolutely the first movie I saw that made me realize I wanted to direct films. I only knew that I wanted to make people have the feeling like Big Blue gave me. It was absolutely the single event that sent me into directing, knowing I wanted to direct ‘escapist content’ centered around the tropics. Also amongst professional divers nearly every divemaster or Instructor has seen this movie. I’ve probably seen it over 500 times... the soundtrack by Eric Serra is amazing. Luc Besson is my hero. This link is the director version which has about 40 minutes of additional story." ~SA

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5 Escapist Films - Mediterraneo

Mediterraneo (1991)

Greek Sea, World War II. An Italian ship leaves a handful of soldiers in a little island; their mission is to spot enemy ships and to hold the island in case of attack. The village of the island seems abandoned and there isn't a single enemy in sight, so the soldiers begin to relax a little. Things change when their ship is hit and destroyed by the enemy, and the soldiers find themselves abandoned there. Soon the soldiers discover that being left behind in a God-forgotten Greek island isn't such a bad thing, after all...

“I was visiting New York City with my then-girlfriend at the time and we were on the street watching a couple guys play the follow-the-ball-under-the-cup trick on tourists. I absolutely knew which cup it was under. $20 to win their $100. When the guys lifted the cup and the ball was gone I was PISSED! I was so mad. My then-girlfriend spent one hour trying to calm me down. She suggested we go watch Mediterraneo which was out then which I reluctantly went into. It immediately changed me around. It was worth losing the $20. Word to the streetwise: they switch the ball when you go in for your money and take yer eye off the cups. And yes all those other ‘tourists’ around the game are their friends and in on it. Bastards!" ~SA

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5 Escapist Films - Atlantis

Atlantis (1991)

As a child of undersea divers, director Luc Besson, who is perhaps best known in the U.S. for La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element, yearned to become a marine biologist. After spending his entire childhood diving, an accident rendered him unable to dive again, and he turned his energies to becoming a filmmaker instead. However, he never lost his love of the underwater world he grew up in, and this poetic documentary is a hymn to the beauties of that world.

“Luc Besson, who directed this, also directed The Big Blue. Many people haven’t seen this film, unless you’re a die-hard underwater fan. I was killing myself waiting for it to come out. I saw it at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles. First showing and only 5 people were in the audience. I was shocked! Billy Zane was there sitting a couple rows in front of me. He must’ve been a big Luc fan too. Luc had shot it over the course of a year or two, underwater all over the world. There isn’t a single word spoken in it, and there’s not a single shot above water. Well, actually, there is ONE shot above water, but you’ll understand when you see it. It’s a great movie with just underwater visuals and music. What else do you need?" ~SA

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