A couple of different things inspired this post. Firstly, I just watched Reservation Road over the weekend. And while the film was deeply depressing -- to a point where I briefly entertained suicide -- I thought Joaquin Phoenix was excellent in his role; a definite awards contender. But he's always an awards contender -- the guy is just brilliant, in my opinion. One of my favorite actors by far. Anyway, the second thing that inspired this post was an interview on MTV in which they asked Phoenix about his first role in SpaceCamp. I soooo wanted to find a clip from SpaceCamp online, but Monika (who's an expert at finding old clips) and I couldn't do it. Sigh. We love you SpaceCamp.
Instead, check out a clip from Phoenix's second feature, Russkies, above. Ah yes, Russkies. With the awesome description: "It is during the Cold War and all Americans have a view of Russians as one thing: bad people." Dun Dun Dun! Not only do we get a young Joaquin (who originally changed his name to Leaf, and was credited as such in these early roles), but we also get Peter Billingsley (aka Ralphie from A Christmas Story), still riding that X-Mas wave as far as he can. There's some Russian dude the kids are trying to send to Cuba; there's a cheesy 80s soundtrack; and that's Phoenix in the army cap. Enjoy.
Bonus nonsense: Listen for the people who recorded the clip laughing and coughing in the background. Good job guys!
Bonus trivia: The year Phoenix broke out in SpaceCamp was the same year his Reservation Road co-star, Jennifer Connelly, broke out in Labyrinth. What year was it? See poll below:%Poll-7033%