My god this was hard! In going back to do this list I came to the realization that the 1980s were probably the most fun decade of all time for movies, and maybe even for music as well! That doesn’t necessarily mean the best, but the most fun. So I went through the 80s and boiled my list down to a nice even forty-nine, then I got that down to 18, then my final 9! I’ll plop the full list at the bottom of this post just for funsies.
I was born in the 80s, thus my point of view on the decade is very, let’s say, nostalgic, as is the case for many people my age. So take this list for what it is, my FAVORITE nine movies of the 80s, not particularly what I think are the BEST 9, but the ones I like the most. Party. Party all the time.
Over the next few days I’ll be posting my favorites for the other decades, most notably the 90s, 70s, and 60s! So keep your peepers glued for that!!
Without further stalling for time here are my top 9!
So there you have it. My favorite nine movies of the 1980s! Close runners up, in no particular order were: Brazil, The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Labyrinth, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Spaceballs, Akira, Beetlejuice, Dead Ringers.
Slightly less close runners up were: Dark Crystal, The Shinning, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Das Boot, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, The Thing, Trading Places, This is Spinal Tap, Stranger Than Paradise, Ran, Vampire Hunter D, Blue Velvet, Down by Law, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Flight of the Navigator, The Fly, Little Shop of Horrors, Ernest Goes to Camp, Hellraiser, Predator, The Running Man, Withnail and I, Coming to America, Scrooged, Vampire’s Kiss, The Abyss, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Back to the Future Part II, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Sex, lies and videotape.
Special thanks to Derek and Amanda for helping me remember some of my favorite movies of all time were from the 80s!
Phew. Now that I’ve listed pretty much every movie from the 80s, why don’t you tell me what your favorites are?
In this week’s episode Oddernod, Lucy Glib and IAN discuss Facebook being the Wal-Mart of movies, Sarah Palin and Julianne Moore, why it’s time for Blockbuster to go the way of Borders, IAN’s thoughts on The Adjustment Bureau, the 80s, (really long sentences with lots of commas), Rango, and why cartoons aren’t for kids anymore!
There are many things of which I have been accused that I will fight to the death. For example, the oft-expressed opinion that I hate movies (as expressed by anyone who has discussed movies with my in the past 15 years). But one thing I can’t deny is that I’m a sucker for nostalgia. The better part of my youth was spent in the 1980s and, probably more importantly, my older brother (b. 1970) and sister (b. 1977) held great sway when it came to my cultural formative years and our age gaps allowed for a perfect spread of 1980s pop culture to seep into my brain- If my sister was too young for Evil Dead, my brother was too old for The Goonies- a give and take that informed basically every movie and music decision I made until I turned 13 (and many decisions afterwards). So this list, as promised in the 2nd Nine Words Or Less Podcast (subscribe to it!) and as beaten-to-the-punch by Lucy Glib, here are my Top 9 Movies From the 1980s. These are not, of course, Thee Best movies of the 1980s, but they’re the ones that stuck with me. The ones whose taped-from-HBO magnetic strips I wore through to their iron cores. Whose words still make appearances in conversations on a daily basis. Movies that remind me of my brother and sister and being a kid.
In no particular order, of course.
9. Return of the Jedi (1983. d. Richard Marquand. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher)
8. Cloak & Dagger (1984. d. Richard Franklin. Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman)
7. Better Off Dead (1985. d. Savage Steve Holland. John Cusack, Curtis Armstrong)
6. The Breakfast Club (1985. d. John Hughes. Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy)
5. Revenge of the Nerds (1984. d. Jeff Kanew. Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Curtis Armstrong
4. Back To the Future (1985. d. Robert Zemekis. Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Crispin Glover)
3. The Goonies (1985. d. Richard Donner. Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Martha Plimpton)
2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980. d. Irvin Kershner. Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher)
1. Stand By Me (1986. d. Rob Reiner. Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Richard Dreyfuss)
There are, of course, some missing titles there. E.T. was never a favorite of mine, though I recognize its effectiveness now. I came around to Pretty In Pink much later, as it was uncool to like a very female-centered film when I was a kid. Similarly, I didn’t love Say Anything until I got to high school and started feeling the pressure to buy things and sell things. And, of course, Die Hard remains one of the greatest action films ever made, but I was fully a teenager before I grasped its power. The same goes for Evil Dead 2, which quite realistically changed my life- I couldn’t go in my basement for a month. And if this was a top 29, I imagine I’d have to throw Re-Animator a bone, as it very much shaped my cult film interests for years to come.
I was surprised to see the plotting of the years here- the mid-80s rule by far. I wonder if that’s a pattern that will bear out through the rest of my decades lists (a quick mental glance at the 1960s list I’m generating tells me it will not- that decade is certainly end-heavy). I do look forward to the 90s though, as that’s when my opinions started to be formed a little more independently. Be sure to stay tuned and don’t forget to chime in with your lists in the comments as well- especially if you’re one of the 5 other people who’s seen Cloak & Dagger!
As promised in the second installment of the Nine Words or Less podcast, here are my favorite nine movies of the 80s! I have not listed my least favorite nine movies of the 80s. Partially because I’m trying to stay positive (Ha!), partially because I hope by this point I have forgotten many of the bad movies I saw during fifth-grade slumber parties. Night of the Comet, however, will haunt me forever. You too, Give My Regards to Broadstreet.
The 80s weren’t exactly when I came of age, but it’s when my tastes were deeply rooted, from smart television (Family Ties) to new wave music (Duran Duran) to gourmet food (Taco Bell on my sixth birthday, yo!). I started the decade at five years old and cruised out of it at 15. Thanks to Simon Le Bon, Kim Fields, George Michael, Michael J. Fox, John Hughes, Bill Cosby, Phil Hartman, Alan Hunter, and others, for helping me get through the world’s longest awkward stage (roughly 1982 through 2000) with a sense of humor.
The movies listed below may not be the greatest 80s movies in terms of critical acclaim or awards gathered. But they made a strong impression on me when I watched them, and I believe all but one of them I did actually watch during the 80s (as well as afterwards). All hold up in some way, either for nostalgic purposes, as a sign of the times, or because they are just wonderfully conceived/scripted/performed. All are worth watching unless you hate freedom. And only three involve one or more Coreys.
Nine-word reviews of the movies listed below to follow over the next few days.
1. Back to the Future (1985: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Directed by Robert Zemeckis)
2. The Lost Boys (1987: Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Directed by Joel Schumacher)
3. This is Spinal Tap (1984: Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, Directed by Rob Reiner)
4. Lucas (1986: Corey Haim, Kerri Green, Directed by David Seltzer)
5. The Big Chill (1983: Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, WIlliam Hurt, Directed by Lawrence Kasdan)
6. Sixteen Candles (1984: Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling, Directed by John Hughes)
7. Stand By Me (1986: River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell, Directed by Rob Reiner)
8. Heathers (1988: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Directed by Michael Lehmann)
9. Amadeus (1984: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Directed by Milos Forman)
Honorable Mentions: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Obvious Omissions: E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Terminator, Platoon, Blue Velvet, Do the Right Thing, Gandhi
This week we discuss holograms, Oscar snubs, Corey Haim, Charlie Sheen, NPH, Justin Timberlake, and movies that we’re looking forward to or dreading.
It’s five hours before I can begin watching my wee little Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet, so this post is not a moment too soon. I can merely look into the mirror for my personal “worst” of 2010, as I realized I only saw 17 2010-released movies (that’s not even enough for a “best nine” and “worst nine” without involving overlap!). I should have taken those two hours spent watching Gremlins on Get Low, it appears. I believe this was sheer laziness/cheapness and I aspire to do better this year – Netflix instant streaming should help, although I’ve been trying to force myself to watch The Runaways for days and can’t quite hit play.
This year’s Oscar-nominated films, which comprise the majority of the films I did see, are largely about small tales. A monarch with a stammer. A professional dancer with mental problems (a/k/a, a professional dancer – hey-ohhh!). A cocky nerd with a better way of producing someone else’s idea. A girl on the hunt for her meth-cooking Dad. A married couple falling out of love. And so on and so forth. Some of these stories were handled in appropriately small ways; others threw a big production and big names behind simple scripts. The results were mixed.
In our first podcast, we touched on what films will be remembered years from now. Will The Kids Are All Right stand the test of time? Or will it be a Secrets and Lies while The Social Network stands up like that other Network? Will any of these hold up as culture evolves? Let’s check back in eight years. As my diminutive list reveals, however, I was personally rather indifferent to a lot of movies, but I didn’t hate anything, either.
Ergo, rather than split into “best” and “worst,” this is a semi-ordered list of my relative enjoyment of the films I saw this past year. This is my gut reaction to these films now, after days or weeks or months to reflect upon them. Without further rambling …
1. True Grit
2. The Social Network
3. The Fighter
4. Black Swan
5. Blue Valentine
7. Winter’s Bone
8. Shutter Island
9. The Kids Are All Right
10. Easy A
11. Hot Tub Time Machine
12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1
13. The Town
14. The King’s Speech
15. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
16. Date Night
17. Sex and the City 2
2010 films still waiting on my queue, some of which will certainly never be watched: The (aforementioned) Runaways, 127 Hours, All Good Things, Love and Other Drugs, Never Let Me Go, Rabbit Hole, Animal Kingdom, The Switch (!), Barney’s Version, Paranormal Activity 2, Whip It, You Again, The Ghost Writer, Catfish, Youth in Revolt, Greenberg, Iron Man 2, Monsters, Let Me In, Kick-Ass, Grown Ups, The Other Guys, Dinner With Schmucks.
Anything I shouldn’t bother with – maybe some of the poorly-reviewed comedies? Anything else I should add?
BOOM! The inaugural Nine Words or Less Movie Podcast! We discuss the Oscars and our best and worst movies of 2010!
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9. Love and other drugs ( Hathaway is fantastic but the film is overwrought garbage) 5/10
8. Nightmare on Elm Street ( They cut my scenes so they can kiss my) 5/ 10
7. Wall Street 2: Money never sleeps ( The money may not have but I did. Seriously.) 4/10
6. Salt ( Finally a cold, emotionless dull Angelina film) 4/10
5. After.Life (Turd dressed in a tuxedo is still a _) 4/10
4.Grown Ups ( Excuse for Sandler and Co. to make fart jokes) 3/10
3. Wolf Man (Love Hugo Weaving’s sideburns but loathe the film) 3/10
2. Repo Men (Further proof that Jude Law isn’t a leading man) 2/10
1. Saw 3-D ( Amateur torture trash, worst of the series) 1/10
9. Never Let Me Go – Mark Romanek ( Emotive, restrained and one spoiler away from ruining it) 7/10
8. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky (Red Shoes, Suspiria cocktail brought to life by Portman) 7/10
7. Scott Pilgrim .vs. the World – Edgar Wright (Video Game aesthetic done right. Loved the Culkin kid.) 7/10
6. Social Network – David Fincher (Pitch: “ David, heres a really boring idea for a film..” 8/10
5.Carlos – Olivier Assayas – ( Five hours of global terror good times) 8/10
4. Winter’s Bone- Debra Granik (Best backwoods film since deliverance had me squealing) 8/10
3. Animal Kingdom – David Michôd (Sprawling family crime drama reminiscent of American 70’s cinema) 8/10
2. Enter the Void – Gaspar Noé – (Pure cinematic masturbation. Big screen only. More please!) 8/10
1. Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami ( Slow, ambiguous relationship drama, Binoche shines) 10/10
Greenberg, Piranha 3-D, Let Me In, Dogtooth, American Grindhouse.