Saturday, December 31, 2016

Back To The Reagan Era

Here's Jesse Water top ten list for the films of 1986.

1.   Hannah And Her Sisters
2.   Castle In The Sky
3.   Sherman's March
4.   Chicken Minced Meat
5.   The Singing Detective
6.   Manon Of The Spring
7.   Jean De Florette
8.   River's Edge
9.   True Stories
10. Stand By Me

Some decent stuff here, but I don't know how much of it would make my top ten list. The only two I know would make it would be Castle In The Sky and Stand By MeRiver's Edge and True Stories (which was not well-received in its day) would probably be top twenty.

Hannah And Her Sisters is passable Woody--some of the stories work, others don't.  Sherman's March (is that an '86 film?) is okay, but a little Ross McElwee goes a long way, and this is over two and a half hours.  Manon and Jean De Florette are solid adaptations of Pagnol.

The Singing Detective is Dennis Potter's greatest work (I don't even like Pennies From Heaven), but it's a miniseries.  "Chicken Minced Meat," now that I've seen it, is something special, but it's an ad, not a movie.  By the way, as long as you're accepting shorts, where's Heavy Metal Parking Lot (or Street Of Crocodiles, Precious Images and even Luxo Jr.)?

Here are Jesse's honorable mentions:

11. Blue Velvet
12. Man Facing Southeast
13. 'Round Midnight
14. The Green Ray
15. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
16. The Fly
17. RocketKitKongoKit
18. The Decline of the American Empire
19. Salvador
20. Nomads

Blue Velvet would probably make my top ten (and it almost made Jesse's).  'Round Midnight and Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer would also have a chance.

I remember liking The Green Ray--I'd have to see it again to know where to place it.  The Fly is pretty good Cronenberg.  Decline isn't bad, though I saw it under bad circumstances and maybe should give it another chance. Salvador may be the best Oliver Stone film of the year--Platoon was considered an immediate classic, but has it held up? (It's actually not bad, though whenever I think of it, I think of this (90 seconds in)).

12, 17 and 20 I haven't gotten around to.

Here are some other films from the year that might have made my top ten or twenty list:

Absolute Beginners

Aliens (far better than Alien, though a different genre)

Armour of god (though weakened by the fact that Jackie had his most serious injury ever during production and so the stunts are less spectacular than usual--the sequel is easily superior)


Down by law

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (John Hughes' masterpiece)

Little Shop Of Horrors

Peking Opera Blues

Ruthless People

She's Gotta Have It (this is the film Woody wishes he could have made then)

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (the best Star Trek film)

Here are other films I liked:

Back To School, A Better Tomorrow, Big Trouble In Little China, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Critters, Crocodile Dundee, Down And Out In Beverly Hills, F/X, Flight Of The Navigator, Hoosiers, Howard The Duck (parts of it, anyway), Labyrinth, Mona Lisa, Platoon, Raw Deal, The Sacrifice, Something Wild, Vamp, X: The Unheard Music

Here are other titles of interest:

8 Million Ways To Die, 9 1/2 Weeks, About Last Night, The Adventures Of Milo And Otis, American Anthem, An American Tail (this is what animation was before the new golden age), April Fool's Day, Armed And Dangerous, At Close Range, Behind Enemy Lines, The Best Of Times, Betty Blue, Big Trouble, Black Moon Rising, The Boy In Blue, The Boy Who Could Fly, Caravaggio, Children of a lesser god, The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Class Of Nuke 'em High, Club Paradise, Cobra, The Color Of Money, Crimes Of The Heart, Crossroads, The Delta Force, Desert Bloom, Devil In The Flesh, Dream Lover, Duet For One, Echo Park, Every Time We Say Goodbye, Extremities, Eye Of The Tiger, Family Business, A Fine Mess, Firewalker, Fist Of The North Star, Foreign Body, Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Les Fugitifs, Ginger And Fred, The Golden Child, Gothic, The Great Mouse Detective, A Great Wall, Gung Ho, Half Moon Street, Hamburger: The Motion Picture, Haunted Honeymoon, Heartbreak Ridge, Heartburn, Heat, Heavenly Pursuits, Highlander, The Hitcher, House, Inside Out, Invaders From Mars, Iron Eagle, Jo Jo Dancer Your Life Is Calling, Jumpin' Jack Flash, Just Between Friends, The Karate Kid Part II, A Killing Affair, King Kong Lives, Lady Jane, Last Resort, Legal Eagles, Let's Get Harry, The Longshot, The Manhattan Project, Manhunter, Maximum Overdrive, The Mission, Modern Girls, The Money Pit, Murphy's Law, The Name Of The Rose, 'night Mother, Night Of The Creeps, No Mercy, Nobody's Fool, Nothing In Common, Off Beat, On The Edge, One Crazy Summer, One More Saturday Night, Out Of Bounds, Peggy Sue Got Married, Pirates, Police Academy 3: Back In Training, Poltergiest II: The Other Side, Power, Pretty In Pink, Psycho III, Reform School Girls, Rose Luxemburg, Running Scared, Saving Grace, Scene Of The Crime, Seize The Day, Shanghai Surprise, Solarbabies, Soul Man, SpaceCamp, Stoogemania, Sweet Liberty, TerrorVision, The Texas Chainsaw Masscare 2, That's Life!, Three Amigos!, Top Gun, Touch And Go, Troll, Twisted, Under The Cherry Moon, The Whoopee Boys, Wildcats, Wisdom, Wise Guys, Witchboard, Working Girls, Youngblood


Blogger Jesse said...

Clockwise, Down by Law, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and She's Gotta Have It would probably make my next 10. Big Trouble In Little China, Little Shop of Horrors, and Heavy Metal Parking Lot might land there too.

5:59 PM, December 31, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Platoon is still considered a classic. It's probably the best film about Vietnam.

6:02 PM, December 31, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Overall, 1986 was a pretty weak year. Any year where Tom Cruise becomes a superstar isn't going to be the best year. It was also the year where Paul Newman, costarring with Tom Cruise, finally won an Oscar for The Color Of Money, which they gave to him to honor the rest of his career, actually.

9:55 AM, January 01, 2017  
Blogger Bream Halibut said...

Peking Opera Blues, The Singing Detective and Laputa top my list (in that order). Aliens, The Fly, and Blue Velvet are great. Max mon amour (which isn't even among the films of note) would also probably be top 10 for me.

Other than those I liked Fist of the North Star, A Better Tomorrow (though I like the third one even better), The Mosquito Coast, Big Trouble in Little China, True Stories, Pirates, Gothic, When the Wind Blows and Straight to Hell. There are several others that would have made my list at one time but that I just don't remember well enough to rank now.

With Jackie Chan movies it's usually just individual scenes that stick out in my memory, but I don't remember anything at all from Armour of the Gods. Is that the one where he jumps on the hot air balloon or was it the sequel?

My 1986 bete noire would be Top Gun or Maximum Overdrive. Thrashin' and TerrorVision are pretty bad (even Beef doesn't help TV) but in a half-assed way that's not easy to hate.

8:19 AM, January 03, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

AOG is the one with the hot air balloon stunt. It's better remembered among his fans, of course, for the minor stunt (jumping from a wall to a tree branch) where the branch broke and he cracked open his skull. It's the most serious accident of his life, and you see the aftermath in the end credits (not anything gruesome, if I recall, just people running around, quite concerned).

BTW, it's good to hear from you, Mr. Halibut. Please check out the other film years we review on the Pajama Guy blog. Also, next week, we'll be unveiling the massive film wrap-up for 2016.

10:38 AM, January 03, 2017  
Blogger Bream Halibut said...

Thanks, I'm glad Jesse mentioned this blog on twitter (as an obsessive list-maker, I've been following his end-of-the year list-making ritual for several years).

Now I remember the accident you're talking about. Most of Jackie's movies have amalgamated into a single giant collection of great stunts stapled to an inchoate McGuffin-quest for me. There's only a few that I'm able to recall as stand-alone movies at this point. Police Story 3, Project A, Winners and Sinners, and Shanghai Knights.

12:31 PM, January 03, 2017  
Blogger Bream Halibut said...

Also just want to add that overall I think 1986 was a pretty good year (Peking Opera Blues is a strong contender for movie of the decade for me), but like 96 it's sandwiched between two amazing years (Throw Momma From the Train, Ran, A Taxing Woman, Tampopo, Phenomena, A Zed & Two Noughts, Mishima, Mr. Vampire, Fire Festival, A Chinese Ghost Story, The Lost Boys, Withnail & I, and The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On, for starters).

12:43 PM, January 03, 2017  

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