Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Go-Go Years

Jesse Walker has gone back to 1985, the same year Michael J. Fox went back to the future and Meryl Streep came out of Africa.  Let's see what his top ten movies are.

1. Ran
2. Brazil
3. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
4. Mix Up ou Meli-melo
5. Vagabond
6. After Hours
7. Louie Bluie
8. Static
9. Mishima
10. Return to Oz

I don't put Ran up there with Kurosawa's greatest, but it might make my top twenty. Brazil is a flawed masterpiece, and I go back and forth on how serious the flaws are.  Pee-wee's Big Adventure (the "w" is not capitalized) shouldn't be great but somehow is.  Never seen #4.

Vagabond can be pretty brutal, but is also pretty powerful.  After Hours is a rare comedy from Scorsese, and a trifle.  Louis Bluie is an intriguing look at a character--I wasn't aware how artificial it is.  Never seen #8.

I don't think much of Mishima, but maybe I should give it another chance.  Return To Oz effectively killed Walter Murch's career as a director, but I think it's pretty good.

Here are Jesse's honorable mentions.

11. Fool for Love
12. Come and See
13. Prizzi's Honor
14. Fluke
15. Chain Letters
16. The Purple Rose of Cairo
17. The Epic of Gilgamesh
18. DreamChild
19. Back to the Future
20. Grim

Fool For Love isn't great Altman or Sam Shepard.  I've yet to come and see Come And See.  I'd call Prizzi's Honor another overrated film by John Huston except I'm not sure if people rate it that highly.

I know a 1995 film called Fluke--it's about a dog--but I don't know the 1985 Fluke.  Haven't seen Chain Letters.  Woody Allen rates The Purple Rose Of Cairo as one of his best, but I think it's one of his worst.  I'm familiar with the Quay Brothers (who generally do shorts) but have not seen their Epic Of Gilgamesh.

I like Dreamchild and felt, in its Alice In Wonderland sequences, it comes closer to capturing the spirit of Lewis Carroll than any other movie.  I love Back To The Future--popular moviemaking at its best.  I've never seen Grim (which is apparently a short).

Here are some other films that probably would make my top ten:



Heaven Help Us

Lost In America (at this point it looked like Albert Brooks had taken over from Woody Allen as America's premiere comic filmmaker, and this is his masterpiece)

My Life As A Dog

Police Story

The Sure Thing (back when Rob Reiner was a sure thing)


Here are some other films from 1985 that I like:
28 Up, Better Off Dead, Colonel Redl, Commando, Day Of The Dead, Desperately Seeking Susan, Fletch, Into The Night, The Jewel Of The Nile, Krush Groove, The Last Dragon, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, My Beautiful Laundrette, Plenty, Real Genius, A Room With A View, Runaway Train, Spies Like Us, When Father Was Away On Business, Witness
Other films of note:
The Adventures of Mark Twain. Agnes of God, Alamo Bay, American Flyers, American Ninja. The Aviator, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, Bad Medicine, The Black Cauldron, The Boys Next Door, The Breakfast Club, Brewster's Millions, The Bride, Cat's Eye, The Care Bears Movie, A Chorus Line, Clue, The Coca-Cola Kid, Code of Silence, The Color Purple, Compromising Positions, Crimewave, D.A.R.Y.L., Dance with a Stranger, Death Wish 3, Defence of the Realm, Desert Hearts, Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart, Eleni, The Emerald Forest, Enemy Mine, The Falcon and the Snowman, Fandango, Final Justice, Flesh and Blood
Friday the 13th, Part V: A New Beginning, Ghoulies, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, The Goonies, Gotcha!, Grace Quigley, Hail Mary, The Holcroft Covenant, Insignificance, Invasion U.S.A., Jagged Edge, Joshua Then and Now, The Journey of Natty Gann, Just One of the Guys, King David, King Solomon's Mines, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ladyhawke, Legend, The Legend of Billie Jean, Letter to Brezhnev, Lust in the Dust, The Man with One Red Shoe, Marie, Mask, Maxie, The Mean SeasonMovers & Shakers, Murphy's Romance, My Sweet Little Village. National Lampoon's European Vacation, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, No End, No Surrender, The Official Story,
Once Bitten, One Magic Christmas, Ordeal by Innocence, Out of Africa, Pale Rider, Perfect, Pizza Connection, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Private ResortThe ProtectorRadioactive Dreams, Rambo: First Blood Part IIRe-Animator, Red Sonja, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, The Return of the Living Dead, Revolution, Rocky IV, Rustlers' Rhapsody, Santa Claus: The Movie, Secret Admirer, Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird, Shoah (haven’t seen it all), The Shooting Party, Silver Bullet, Silverado, The Slugger's Wife. Smooth Talk, St. Elmo’s Fire, Stick, Subway, Summer Rental, Sweet Dreams, Target, Teen Wolf, That Was Then... This Is Now, That's Dancing!, To Live and Die in L.A., Transylvania 6-5000, The Trip to Bountiful, Trouble in Mind, Tuff Turf, Turk 182!, Turtle Diary, Twice in a Lifetime, UFOria, A View to a Kill, Vision Quest, Volunteers, Wetherby, Weird Science, Wild Geese II, White Nights, Year of the Dragon, Young Sherlock Holmes, A Zed & Two Noughts


Blogger New England Guy said...

Wow- I saw a lot of movies 30 years ago.

Not a great movie but honorable mention should be given to the seemingly endlessly repeated trailer for White Nights--"We are landing in Russia!"

6:55 AM, December 27, 2015  
Blogger Jesse said...

Lost in America is a movie that I need to give another chance. When I saw it back in the day, I thought it was a funny beginning to a movie but stopped just as it was getting going. But I may feel differently three decades later.

7:06 AM, December 27, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I think that's the reason it may not have been much of a hit. The film starts as a grand adventure, but almost immediately the adventure grinds to a halt. While this isn't bad for the comedy, I think as a plot twist it turned people off.

Brooks generally has trouble with conventional endings. Things tend to go bad for his characters and the story either peters out of falls apart. (His most conventional ending was in Defending Your Life though I'm not sure if people bought it.) He even parodied this in his first feature Real Life.

10:43 AM, December 27, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Runaway Train. Jon Voight and Eric Roberts chewed the scenery so much they out-acted the train.

6:57 PM, December 27, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What kind of animal ae you?"

"The worst kind. A Human one."

-Jon Voight (I think) in Runaway Train (As reported)

4:04 AM, December 28, 2015  

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