Oof. Talk about completely striking out: Francis Ford Coppola’s cheesy, overblown adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s wonderful novel captures none of the book’s gritty magic. One could certainly make the claim that the cast of young heartthrobs—Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, et al—look the part of Greasers and Socs, the nicknames for the groups around town that fight, kick, claw and knife for neighborhood supremacy. But Hinton’s book is wrenchingly authentic, full of genuine humanity and conflicting emotions as Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell, ironically one of the few actors who didn’t springboard to at least a modicum of success) endures the painful ups and downs of being raised by his two brothers as an orphan, tough love, loyal friendships, and heartbreaks of all different shapes and sizes. First and foremost, “The Outsiders” is about family. There’s none of that present in Coppola’s adaptation. Oh, occasional scenes hint at Coppola really understanding what Hinton’s about, but too much of the movie centers around war whoops, tough talk, and hammy dialogue. The acting is universally atrocious, especially Swayze as Ponyboy’s complicated big brother Darrel: only Ralph Macchio of Karate Kid fame turns in a halfway decent performance as the star-crossed Johnny. It’s a shame to say, but The Outsiders was made in the wrong decade—the typical 80′s style badly cheapened the source material, and poor execution across the board turned a crappy situation worse.