Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Gone-Gone Years

Jesse Walker has returned to the 1980s. Remember what a great decade that was?  Okay, I'm stretching.

Here's his top ten list.

1. Full Metal Jacket
2. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
3. Raising Arizona
4. House of Games
5. Law of Desire
6. Yeelen
7. Hope and Glory
8. Tin Men
9. Housekeeping
10. Robocop

Some good films here.  The first third of Full Metal Jacket might make my top ten, but not the rest. Superstar, Raising Arizona, Hope And Glory, Housekeeping and Robocop would make my list.

(And speaking of critics, I remember Stanley Kauffmann's review of Raising Arizona.  I'd already seen it and laughed quite a bit.  Kauffmann went out of his way to note the audience didn't laugh.  I wanted to write him saying "Stanley, I barely care what you think of the film--I don't care at all what you say others think.")

As opposed to what Jesse says, I find the characters in House Of Games unbelievable (which is the problem with almost every Mamet film). Law Of Desire is okay, though not Almodovar's best. Never seen Yeelen.  And I'm sorry to disagree with Jesse again, but while I like Tin Men, it's no Diner.

Here are his honorable mentions.

11. Barfly
12. Red Sorghum
13. Withnail & I
14. Roxanne
15. Alice
16. Walker
17. Au Revoir Les Enfants
18. Siesta
19. The Dead
20. Moonstruck

Some more good stuff here. 11, 12, 17 and 20 would make my top ten or twenty.  But three of these films, which are well-regarded, do nothing for me--13 (which I just saw again last week), 14 and 19.  15 I like, but is it 1987?  16 isn't much (whatever happened to Alex Cox?).  Never saw 18.

 Other films that would make my top ten (or twenty):

Babette's Feast (one of the first and best of the food porn films)

Broadcast News

A Chinese Ghost Story

Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (with Chuck gone, this document is even more valuable)

The Hidden

Near Dark

Project A II (perhaps Jackie Chan's greatest, which is saying a lot)


Three O'Clock High

Throw Momma From The Train

Other films I like:

Adventures In Babysitting, Amazon Women On The Moon (parts), Back To The Beach, Bagdad Café, La Bamba, City On Fire, Ishtar (parts, mostly Charles Grodin), No Way Out,  The Last Emperor, Outrageous Fortune, Overboard (though it starts bad), Predator, Prick Up Your Ears, Radio Days, The Running Man, The Secret Of My Success, The Stepfather, Swimming To Cambodia, Wings Of Desire

Other films of note:

84 Charing Cross Road, Angel, Angel Heart, Baby Boom, Batteries Not Included, The Bedroom Window, Berserker, Best Seller, A Better Tomorrow II, Beverly Hills Cop II, Beyond Therapy, The Big Bang, The Big Easy, Big Shots, Big Town, Black Widow, Blind Date, Born In East L.A., Burglar, Can't Buy Me Love, Captive Hearts, The Care Bears: Adventure In Wonderland, Cherry 2000, Coast To Coast, Creepshow 2, Critical Condition, Cry Freedom, Dear America, Letter Home From Vietnam, Death Before Dishonor, Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Dirty Dancing, Disorderlies,
Dragnet, Dudes, Eastern Condors, Eat The Rich, Eddie Murphy Raw, Empire Of The Sun, Empire State, Ernest Goes To Camp, Evil Dead II, Extreme Prejudice, Eye Of The Eagle, Farewell Moscow, Fatal Attraction, From The Hip, Gaby: A True Story, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Gardens Of Stone, The Glass Menagerie, Going Bananas, Good Morning Babylon, Good Morning Vietnam, Hamburger Hill, The Hanoi Hilton, Happy New Year, Harry And The Hendersons, Heartburn, Hello Again, Hellraiser, Hollywood Shuffle, House II: The Second Story, The House Of Bernarda Alba, In The Mood, Intervista, Ironweed, King Lear, Last Man Standing, Leonard Part 6, Less Than Zero, Lethal Weapon, Light Of Day, Like Father Like Son, Little Dorrit, The Living Daylights, Lupo The Butcher,
Making Mr. Right, Malone, Mannequin, Masters Of The Universe, Matewan, Maurice, Morgan Stewart's Coming Home, The Music Teacher, Nadine, Nice Girls Don't Explode, Orphans, Over The Top, Pelle The Conqueror, The Pick-Up Artist, Planes Trains And Automobiles, Police Academy 4: Citizens On Patrol, The Princess Bride, The Quick And The Dead, Rent-a-Cop, Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise, Sammy And Rosie Get Laid, Scared Stiff, The Secret Garden, Shy People, The Sicilian, Sign O' The Times, Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2, Slam Dance, Some Kind Of Wonderful, Someone To Watch Over Me, Spaceballs, Steel Dawn, Straight To Hell, Summer School, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, Surf Nazis Must Die, Suspect, A Tax Woman, Teen Wolf Too, Terminus, They Still Call Me Bruce, Three Men And A Baby, Timestalkers, Tough Guys Don't Dance, The Untouchables, Waiting For The Moon, Walk Like A Man, Wall Street, The Whales Of August, White Mischief, Who Killed Vincent Chin?, Who's That Girl, The Wind In The Willows, The Witches Of Eastwick


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Moonstruck was the film of the year. I think it won some Oscars but should have won best movie. Maybe people don't talk about it that much anymore, but do they still talk about The Last Emperor?

10:42 AM, December 27, 2017  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's good and what's remembered are two different things. Most of these films from thirty years ago are long forgotten, but a lot of people still love Spaceballs.

6:19 PM, December 27, 2017  
Blogger Jesse said...

I dig some of your alternate picks, especially Near Dark (early Bigelow is the best Bigelow) and The Hidden. And now a confession: I've never seen Broadcast News. I think everyone else who was alive in 1987 has seen it, even the ones who have spent their entire lives on isolated Pacific islands with no movie theaters.

I was tempted to include Ishtar—mostly out of perversity, but I do genuinely like it. I just didn't like it enough to jettison any of the better movies.

11:48 PM, December 27, 2017  

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