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      17.01.2003 20:38
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      Introduction: ---------------------------- The 1980's then, a decade of Thatcherism (poll tax, countless strikes et al), bad hair and... forget it, cut the nostalgic interlude - I was too young to remember. Of course one thing I do know about the decade that introduced us to cultural phenomena and icons such as the Garfield stick-on car accessory, the VCR, Madonna and ahem, Macauley Culkin - is that in the movie world there was a momentary lapse of great movies, in turn paving the way for the Brat Pack and their mentor John Hughes. Together this dynamic team of misfits managed to ship us more cheese across the waters than in the 80-90 years of cinema from around the globe that had preceded it. Whether it be tales of your traditional breakfast club, of one man's secret of his success or of two young men trying to make the perfect woman (sick), you could be sure Andrew McCarthy and co. were ready to oblige to your dairy needs. Being born in 1984 though, my only memory of 80's cinema lies with Disney's delightful - The Little Mermaid - (1988) - well it was delightful then! Hold on though, this young man grew up to be a bit of a film buff (OK not buff - really enthusiastic fan is more appropriate) and thanks to the wonders of DVD has slowly discovered that the 80's, whilst lacking somewhat in truly great films, did produce a heck-of-a-lot of quality ones - well enough small talk, here goes. N.B: For this top 10, I've decided to go for a bit of a mixture (no cheese though - OK, one is cheesy in places). More important though, I've tried to include films which will appeal to most, but are critically acclaimed as well. I like to think of myself as a film buff, but in all honesty I find a lot of foreign arthouse films either tedious and overrated. Also, there are a lot of films I haven't seen, and will list those that I think would have stood a very good chance of making the cut if I'd seen them, below those I have seen.
      Finally, I really tried to put the films in order of preference, but I love them all so I listed them chronologically - enjoy! The Films: ------------------------ Raging Bull (1980) "Who's an animal? Your mother's an animal, ya son of a bitch!" The offspring of a notoriously turbulent period in Scorsese's life - marriage break-up, chronic depression and drug taking - Raging Bull , the tale of boxing "great" Jake La Motta, went on to become (debatably) the most critically acclaimed American film of the entire decade. Famous for its tales of method mania, courtesy of Bob De Niro's magnificent portrayal of the central character, Bull is also arguably Scorsese's most ruthless motion picture. Watching it at times is demanding ("Scorsese makes films about the kinds of people you don't want to know" - Roger Ebert) but the rewards of experiencing this masterpiece are to my knowledge unsurpassed (as far as biopics go I have never seen anything to match this). The film covers a period of over twenty years in the man's life, examining closely his relationship with his brother (Joe Pesci), his numerous bouts with Sugar Ray Robinson and notably, his transformation from the 40's "lean, mean fighting machine" to his shameful persona two decades on; in the sixties (as shown in the opening scene) he makes his money as a lowly, overweight on-screen entertainer. La Motta is one of cinemas most unpleasant protagonists, and watching him brutally beat all those around him (inside the ring and out) really gets to you. The fight scenes are however the stuff of movie folklore, as within the dozen or so minutes of vicious pugilism lie some of the most iconic moments that have ever graced the silver screen (the blood dripping from the ropes, the director gradually increasing the size of the ring to show La Motta's diminishing stature e
      .t.c. ). De Niro's performance is extraordinary to say the least, but naturally he has support of considerable quality - Pesci, as the poor guy who has to keep the "raging bull" under control provides his most touching performance to date (he had previously considered quitting the business for good) and Cathy Moriarty, amazingly just 19 at the time, playing the wife of this abhorrent cockroach, puts in an Oscar nominated turn, acting well above her years. If you haven't seen it, for any reason (it's a boxing film, it's in black and white (sic), doesn't sound like my type of film) I don't care - please see it. It might not blow you away, but within its gloomy subject matter lies a film of immense power, and if it doesn't get your emotions running, than you're probably brain dead from all the asinine movies you've been watching instead. Das Boot: The Director's Cut (1981) "They won't catch us this time... not this time!" Epic in scale and spellbinding in content - Wolfgang Petersen's U-Boat tour de force is one of the most gripping and impressive expositions of warfare ever created. Lifted passionately from Lothar-Gunther Buchheim's novel, this ambitious 3 and a half hour account of the crew of patrol boat U-96, is a film everybody should watch once. The film details the exploits of the incredibly young crew of the submarine as they set off from La Rochelle. The film is not about a particular mission or battle, but with the ships general tour of duty. Petersen created a full-scale model of the boat and stuck the cast in there and such was his desire for realism he didn't let them out so that they would gain pale complexions from the absence of sunlight! Nearly the whole film is set within the cramped confines of the vessel. New cameras were even developed for all those baffling shots where the crew run through the sub and the cinemato
      graphy is faultless. The way the crew are portrayed in the film is incredible. Jurgen Prochnow puts in a mesmerizing performance as the Captain. You forget their background and become so at tached to them you really crave for their survival. Only a cynical fool would complain about the odds of them surviving such ordeals. In surround sound the experience is as distressing as it is astonishing - just make sure you watch it in German though - believe me, after five minutes you'll not notice that you are reading the subtitles. Also it is so refreshing to see an original script for a war film - no sappy love interest, no saboteurs - just a group of ordinary men living an extraordinary life in a most believable fashion. See the Directors Cut first and be amazed at how a film 200 minutes long can keep you so enthralled for its entirety. The most awesome war movie ever made - a masterpiece. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) "Asps. Very dangerous. You go first." Spielberg's timeless tale of high adventure, religious ethics and the exploits of one unbelievably charming archaeologist is quite possibly the most breathtaking two-and-a-bit hours of entertainment ever produced. Combining memorable characters, smart direction and an impeccable script, Raiders is an incredibly enjoyable flick. Add to that Harrison Ford, in his most iconic role (above even Han Solo) as the infamous "obtainer of rare antiquities" Indiana Jones, in a performance that just oozes charismatic genius - and this film then rockets into the movie stratosphere. The plot is simplistic yes, with our protagonist embarking on a quest to find the Lost Ark of the Covenant whilst competing with some rather nasty Nazis - but this film is all about moments; the snake-pit, the rolling boulder and oh yes, the sword-wielding Arab. Ford's loveable nature in the film really lets the audience have a good laugh (I'm going after
      the Ark - how? - I dunno, I'm making this up as I go) so that what could have been a very dark film is in fact one of the most feel-good ones. The supporting cast again is commendable. Remarkably though is the number of minor roles which have, after twenty years, retained a memorable presence in the back of our minds when we reminisce about the film. Only justly great movies can live up to that claim. An absolute classic in its own right, but also in my opinion the best film of the most enjoyable trilogy ever made. The Thing (1982) "You've gotta be fucking kiddin." ("Man is the warmest place to hide" - Tagline) As a devoted fan of science fiction movies and Kurt Russell this is quite possibly my favourite movie of all time, so of course I'm biased. Seriously though, John Carpenter's re-imagining of Bill Campbell?s story "Who Goes There?" (rather than Howard Hawks' "The Thing From Another World") is one compelling, kick-ass and purely entertaining piece of filmmaking. Frozen in the Antarctic wilderness for millennia, now thawed and devouring its way through Russell's research team, Carpenter's space creature is the most terrifyingly alien alien ever seen onscreen. A sickening, shape-shifting barf festival - i'?s seemingly unstoppable (it can replicate as many organisms as it wishes at once) and mercilessly cunning. Made for a hefty (at the time) $20 million, The Thing unsurprisingly bombed at first showing, relegating Carpenter to low budget mediocrity ever since. Since then however, it has gained a cult following of incredible potency. The acting is top-notch, although on first viewing you might struggle remembering who is who. Russell is cooler than the polar weather, whilst most of the supporting cast - from the stoned Palmer to the demented Blair to the pusillanimous Windows - get their share of memorable dialogue. The geniu
      s of the film l ies in its ability to really scare; not just with the hideous creation, but with the isolation and panic associated with the situation. Twelve guys, weeks away from contact with the outside world, are trapped - 40 degrees below outside and you know what inside - fear sets in as the team reduces in size and nobody knows who will become The Thing next. The blood test scene and the notoriously ambiguous ending in particular are incredible. As John Carpenter himself once told Empire - "Whatever anyone tells you, you will never, ever see anything like this again." Amen to that. Blade Runner (1982) "I've seen things... you people wouldn't believe." There aren't many films from the past twenty-five years that I would call true classics. In fact I doubt that it would fill up two hands. Yet along with Das Boot and Raging Bull (and The Killer at a stretch from this list) I am confident that Ridley Scott's futuristic thriller makes the cut. There is something about this film that makes this film so inspirational and imitated yet though I know its there, I am not sure I can explain it. I would prefer actually not to include the film here and actually write a worthy full-length review on this masterpiece but it deserves to be here so please forgive my crude, concise offering. Picture a rain-drenched, neon-wreathed metropolis as far as the eye can see; the camera moves forward above the cluttered municipality; cut to interview room - a man is asked a question about his mother, he goes berserk; cut to our main character Deckard (Harrison Ford) eating Chinese, being (not literally) dragged to the police station and being briefed on the situation. You see, Deckard is (or should be was) a blade runner, a man charged with hunting down and destroying renegade androids (referred to as replicants in the movie). Before this movie came out, I can think of no film that was even in the same
      ballpark as this in terms of storyline. It was a bold vision, derived from a Philip K Dick's short story and worked wonders for Scott's career but more importantly, provided us with an completely sensational glimpse of a very conceivable future. Like many sci-fi films, greatness comes from all the little things supporting the solid structure - combining as a whole - fire lighting up the skies, the 40's fashions, the Aztec-style skyscrapers, the gothic sets. The casting, the direction - everything combines perfectly. Honestly I don't need to go any further to justify my choice because I know you'll agree with me. Please agree with me. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) "Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported." Honestly though I could have written a hundred classic quotes below the title. You have: "There's such a fine line between clever... and stupid." "We are Spinal Tap from the UK - you must be the USA!" and unsurprisingly, Nigel Tufnell's immortal "This one goes to 11". This Is Spinal Tap is the idyllic rockumentuary, hilariously parodying any 1960's rock band you care to mention, as an amateur filmmaker (Marty DiBergi) follows a group of aging musicians as they embark on an ill-fated tour of America, seventeen years after they hit the big time. Just eighty-two minutes in length, Tap manages to include a wealth of classic scenes, such as the band recalling the fate of their original drummers (one died in a bizarre gardening incident, one choked on vomit (though not his own vomit apparently) and one well, yeah - guess). Of course on first viewing you could still be forgiven for thinking that, for the first twenty minutes anyway, that Tap are a real band. They are entirely fictitious - sorry to spoil the fun but knowing this just means the first twenty minutes are funnier than befor
      e. Nothing prepares you f or some of the later scenes though - a sculptress making an 11 inch scale model of Stonehenge for the bands centrepiece rather than 11 feet, the band eagerly looking to see the unveiling of their new album cover only to discover it is pitch black - the list goes on... and on and on. Watch it and keep laughing until you split your sides. Paris, Texas (1984) "How come you got two fathers?" "Just lucky I guess." Winner of the Palm D?Or at Cannes, Wim Wenders emotive road movie gets my vote purely because it is so touching, so beautiful and so damn wondrous that if I heard someone say it is an awfully boring movie I'd be really tempted to string them up by the neck (and leave them there). As this is perhaps a more obscure film on the list I will go into the plot with some detail - but won?t tell anything about the second half. Harry Dean Stanton, the supreme character actor, gets a rare leading role here and puts in a heart-rending turn worthy of a dozen Oscars. The film starts with a pan across the American mid-west and then focuses on this man, a drifter who we know nothing about, where he's going or what has happened to him. We look into his eyes and we can see pain but we are told nothing else. The man soon collapses through dehydration. This sets of a long chain of events where we learn that this man, called Travis, had a wife and child but had deserted them and for the past four years had been drifting across the States - again, we know not why. His brother picks him up, takes him home (eventually) and re-unites him with his son. Travis finally forms a bond with the young boy and convinces him that they must find his mother. OK so it sounds like melodramatic horseshit, right. Well you?re entitled to think that, but what separates Paris, Texas from this (by about as far as things can be separated) are the characters. From the second you see Travis, rugge
      d and in d espair - you ar e drawn to him. As he comes to recollect more and more about his past the more you empathise with him and you will be feverishly wondering what will happen to him and his son. I really can't explain it better than that. The film is not slushy - it reaches heights of compassion and poignancy of the likes I have never seen matched. The quality of the acting (like all the films I have selected) is well above average but their are standout performances from Stanton, Nastassja Kinski and a debuting Hunter Carson as the story's central trio. What can I say about Carson's mature, subtle yet evocative performance to do it justice? How about I firmly believe it to be the single most dazzling performance by a child actor - ever! Watching him and his father exchanging conversation (mostly ad-libbed I gather) covering ranging topics from relationship problems/women to the origin of the universe is a sheer treat to behold. Wender's direction is polished (the one-way mirror scenes are just magical): the opening shots of the Texan landscape are some of the most beautiful ever captured on celluloid - and the use of colour is sensational. Again the film might not grasp you like with myself (of course lists like this are all subjective to opinion) but really, this is a lovely film. Platoon (1986) "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place feels like. Hell." Harrowing, unpleasant yet ultimately incredibly satisfying, Oliver Stone's breakthrough, semi-autobiographical account on the Vietnam war (after an early distinguished career writing screenplays for film such as Midnight Express and Scarface) rightly walked away with the Best Picture Oscar in 1986. Charlie Sheen (a.k.a Mr Denise Richards) plays Chris, a young man just 19 years old, a college dropout who had everything going for him back home but decided to make it as an infantryman
      in the U.S Army. His reasons are u nclear at first, but what is clear is that where he has ended up is one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. He is put into a platoon controlled by two sergeants, Elias (Willem Defoe) and Barnes (Tom Berenger). Elias has been in Nam for a long time ("he's been here three years and he thinks he's Jesus-fuckin-Christ"); he hangs out with the pot-smokers as the drugs he feels are what keeps a man sane in this hell-hole. Barnes on the other hand is a real arrogant, dislikeable tyrant; he constantly threatens the teenagers (or "greens") in the platoon and something about tells you that he has a real short fuse. The growing animosity between these two throughout the film is really the basis for the story which goes no where in particular. The war has been on for ages when Chris arrives, where he first appreciates the true horror of war - getting off the helicopter to see the blinding dust, the body-bags and the stench of human suffering. When he leaves the war is no closer (or so it seems) to an end. Platoon has a unique quality to a war film whereas it can appeal to almost anyone. The film doesn't go for ultra-violence but more into the despairing nature and the psychological damage that war can inflict on a man's mind. The harsh reality of the war is made all to clear by Stone, the senseless ravaging of a Vietnamese village, the booby-trapped war plans and the "fragging" (murder) and maltreatment of fellow soldiers. The last of these provides one of the most iconic death sequences of all time. The stellar support cast is worthy of a mention, with everyone from the great John C. McGinley through to Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp having a meaningful presence within the story. Barber's Adagio for Strings is recognized till this day instantly because of its repeated use within the film. Finally Stone (who is fast becoming one of my most admired writer/directors
      after this, Salvador and JFK) also deser ves praise for making a film costing just $6.5 Million, which even above Apocalypse Now, has become the greatest comment (not a better movie though) on the Vietnam war in general. It is a film to watch and treasure. Aliens (1986) "Get away from her, you bitch!" Despite possessing an ego that dwarfs the Titanic in magnitude, you have to give James Cameron credit - he's got guts and he has made some exceptionally enjoyable movies. After the international success of The Terminator he defied the critics doubts by delivering a sequel to Ridley Scott's claustrophobically intense original which far exceeded anyone's expectations. The film has become a modern classic, which easily stands tall alongside its predecessor. It may well be true that in space no one can hear you scream, but that doesn't mean screaming has to be off the agenda. Cameron's vision resulted in a bigger, more elaborate (but not better IMO) non-stop action movie - sci-fi meets Vietnam war if you will. Hard-as-nails heroine of the series Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) teams up with an eclectic group of marines after 57 years in hyper-sleep to return to LV-426; their mission is "investigate" the planet, as they had previously lost contact with colonists who were part of research team there. Of course the military grunts are involved - to apprehend a xenomorphic organism ("it's a bug-hunt"). Again, of course, they find out that there is more than one of these things hunting them - after they have landed on the planet and wrecked their spaceship. Cue much hilarity from the marines as they try to deal with the situation. Ripley, on the other hand befriends a small girl (Carrie Henn - another startling performance from a kid) who survived the alien attacks. Weaver's performance is much more demanding this time round, and she handles herself perfectly (gaini
      ng one of two Oscar nominations she received that year). In fact her transformation in the film is similar to The Terminator's heroine - Sarah Connor; Ripley finally accepts her fate and transforms herself in the movie from gentle, mildly-assertive lady to the ultra hard-ass of the universe, who is more than a match for the Alien Queen - as the films exhilarating finale proves. The supporting marines though are the highlight, and again make this film rank up there as one of the memorable of the entire decade. Like the original the production design and the alien effects are wonderfully detailed and sophisticated, from the sets to the vehicles to the Aliens themselves (check out the scuttling face-huggers) - everything has been designed to fabricate a film of universal attraction. If you like sci-fi movies then you must have seen this. It is a great movie - endlessly watchable, jam-packed with incredible action and special effects, and with more memorable dialogue than my brain can take. The Killer (1989) "I thought those I killed deserved to die. Now I believe everybody has the right to live." Before John Woo succumbed to the Hollywood lure (or noose as I prefer to call it) and started producing mindless trash like MI-2 and Broken Arrow (I'll forgive him for Face/Off alone though) he made a good living in Hong Kong. Films like A Better Tomorrow, Hard Boiled and notably his 1989 masterpiece The Killer (Die Xue Shuang Xiong) gave him a superior world reputation. Baby-faced Chow Yun-Fat plays... Joe I think, but since he's called things other than that for the majority of the film (see below) I'm not going to sweat over this. Joe is an assassin similar to Jean Reno's Leon (no women, no kids e.t.c), the catch though is that the former doesn't have a change of heart because of love for another - he has a question of morality hanging over him. An honourable man, Yun-Fat does not
      play the archetypal Woo protagonist. This ma n is very selective with his work - he will kill only those who believe deserve it, yet even so he now wishes to stop. This unique concept carries the film tremendously well, and when we see the assassin assist a girl (Sally Yeh) who was blinded unintentionally from his previous actions, one begins to care and connect with the character. Here lies the key to this film's brilliance for me - the sombre reflections on the nature of Man. We do what we do because this is the life we chose, it is the same whichever side of the law you are on. The acting is good, especially from Danny Lee as Yun-Fat's cop nemesis - a man who must stay loyal to his profession but feels he understands his adversary's dilemma and indeed does not want to harm him. The scene where they meet in Yeh's apartment, point guns at each other and pretend to be friends (calling each other names like fish-face, Mickey Mouse e.t.c) so that she does not discover Joe's true profession is classic stuff. Ostensibly the relationship between the two men in this film was used for Michael Mann's heat five years later, but I'm not sure. Naturally what elevates a John Woo movie above nine tenths of other action movies is quite simply the sheer spectacle on display. Acrobatic two handed slow-mo gunplay goes into overdrive here, and is stylised to such an extent that I don't think it was until the Matrix 10 years on that anything American (non-Woo) had matched this film. In my opinion this is not just a great action movie, it is a purely innovative, radiant motion picture. Honourable Mentions: ----------------------------------------- The Abyss (breathless (no pun intended) underwater sci-fi flick by sci-fi maestro Cameron) Amadeus (multi-Oscar winning film about Mozart, excellent but a tad overlong) An American Werewolf In London (fantastic black comedy about lycanthropes) <
      br>Back To The Futur e (this so nearly made it, ed ged out by Blade Runner) Batman (Burton's brilliantly original take on the Black Knight, again beaten by BR) Die Hard (wait a second, how come this didn't make it! Make this no. 11) The Empire Strikes Back (don't care what you say - but this is v. good) Ferris Bueller's Day Off (needs no introduction, but loses appeal after so many viewings) Fish Called Wanda (nearly, nearly made it - Kevin Kline is funny as hell) Full Metal Jacket (tough battle with Platoon, but just edged out) Rain Man (good film made a classic (almost) by Hoffman's dazzling performance) Raising Arizona (the Coen's at their zany best) Robocop (Verhoeven's best film - not saying much, but...) Salvador (see this if you haven't - Stone's brutal comment on the 1980 war of El Salvador) Stand By Me (timeless, but doesn?t quite make the top 10) The Terminator (again, this film is tremendous, but Aliens is more polished) The Untouchables (really liked this, but not good enough for the list) Below, as promised, is a small list of films from the decade which I need to see. If you believe that any of these deserve a place in the list I have no qualms with you. (until I've seen them, that is) Blood Simple Blue Velvet Brazil Cinema Paradiso Do The Right Thing The Elephant Man Fanny and Alexander Gandhi The Killing Fields Once Upon A Time In America Ran The Shining Withnail and I Witness Final note: ------------------------ Raging Bull; Das Boot: The Director's Cut; This Is Spinal Tap; The Thing; Blade Runner; Paris, Texas; Platoon; Aliens and The Killer are all currently available on DVD. Spinal Tap and The Thing have commendably good packages. Raiders of the Lost Ark should (fingers crossed) be out by the end of this year in a special trilogy
      edition similar to the Back To The Future package.

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        14.11.2001 07:42
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        The eighties....the decade when I slowly became a teenager....although the nineties were technically when I became a man, my heart and formative years will always belong to the carefree, immoral, party-hearty eighties. And the films ! They just don't make them like this anymore.... I should note that I have made this list by choosing classic films which I figure are 80s in character and heart. I have excluded anything even vaguely oscar worthy, any proper horror films (I feel 80s horror deserves a seperate list) and some films which are true classics, but not in the same vein as those included on my list. I'll put them as brief mentions at the end. So kick back, crack open a brewski, put on your oversized shades, and dig this, in no particular order: THE 'BURBS: "He's a stranger in an even stranger land... suburbia". Tom Hanks best film, hands DOWN, as a paranoid suburbanite who has to spend his vacation dealing with crazy friends, and possibly homicidal neighbours. The cast for this film is so awesome ! Corey Feldman (blatantly stoned)bro Theodore and Henry Gibson, to name but a few. Everyone in this film acts weird, and there is so much in there for horror fans. Great direction from Joe Dante makes this a classic, fun film which I return to again and again. I remember seeing this in the cinema....I was the only one in there, and left thinking that no-one else had any taste in films. THE GOONIES: Another film which has stood the test of time, for myself and many, many others. The story of a bunch of loser kids who try to find pirate treasure to save their houses from redevelopment hell. Again, a great cast, and more Corey Feldman action (he doe skeep popping up in this list). There is a real sense of adventure to this film and I can well remember trying to invent stupid things after seeing all the gadgets the kid 'data' had in this film. The best part of course has to be the utterly out
        of place, and terriying SLOTH, my main man. Me and my brother still greet each other with 'HEY YOU GUYS !' or 'RUTH, RUTH, BA-BY RUTH !' WEIRD SCIENCE: By far the best of John Hughes' 80s flicks, this follows arch-nerds Garry and Wyatt as they use computers to create the ultimate woman, in the shapely form of Kelly le-Brock. This is magical, adolscant male wish fulfilment stuff that has no respect for common sense, with a huge injection of surrealism. It really has everything, with Robert Downey Jnr as the bully with the hilarious dress sense, a couple of chicks from Friday 13th films, Michael Berryman (the crazy looking bald guy from 'The Hills Have Eyes') and of course, 'wild' Bill Paxton. Immoral as hell, but somehow still innocent. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 4: Ah yes, the 'Final Chapter' in my beloved 'Friday' series....I know I said that 80s horror needs a seperate chapter, but this film totally transcends genre. It is THE archetypal slasher film, with sleaze and gore a-plenty. Ludicrous characters, a bizarre script and the man behind the mask at his very best: what more could you ask for? OK, how about Corey Feldman ? You got it. How about Crispsin Glover ? You got him too ! I have no idea how many times i've seen this film, but trust me, it's a LOT. BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE: The two true dudes, far superior to the later 'Wayne's World', bill and ted definitely shaped the way so many of us 80s kids talk, even to this day. Their surreal adventures show no respect for history and logic, and their cheerfulness in the face of adversity is an inspiration to us all. To me, Keanu will always be ted. RISKY BUSINESS: I feel that this is the film which really launched 'The Cruiser' as he grins his way through a film which seems to totally endorse prostitution without ever really showing anything sleazy. Classic 80s mentality and
        humour. Most people always bring up the brilliant scenes where the crusier dances around in his underwear, but my favourite would definitely be the bit at the big party near the end, when the guy from the university shows up to interview young Tom....after several misshaps, the cruiser just puts on his shades and goes 'Sir....sometimes you just got to say....what the f**k'. Now that was cool. THE LOST BOYS: I really dont consider this a horror film, more of a Corey/Corey team up flick. Kids vs. vampires in sunny California, with some of the most quotable lines of the decade. "Burn rubber does not mean warp speed !"....."Death by stereo !"....."whats up guys ?....just scoping your civilian wardrobe.....pretty cool, huh ?". Man, I coudl go on all day. This film is genuinely funny, exciting, and pretty gory in places. It truly has stood the test of time....though I remain unconverted by the idea of a present day 'Lost Girls' sequel. THE GREAT OUTDOORS: You take two of the best 80s funnymen, Dan Ackroyd and John Candy, put them and their families up in the woods, and you get classic laughs like this. So many great scenes.....with the racoons, the waterskiing, the big bear at the end. The film just has a great atmosphere, like they all had a great time making it. I have definitely spotted a couple of gags in this one turning up in episodes of 'The Simpsons', which is a true testament to how funny it is. BETTER OFF DEAD: One of the funniest and weirder of the 80s comedies, this has a young John Cusack at his manic best as a student trying to cope with girlfriend toubles, a nightmare family, a psychotic paperboy and several failed suicide attempts. Some of the material in this one is pretty surreal, even for the 80s, and quite a lot of it is surprisingly dark, as Cusck repeatedly tries to kill himself (check out the scene where he tries to hang himself on the back of a door).
        This odd take on the usual 80s shenanigans really helps this film stand out from the crowd. FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH: Have I saved the best for last? Could be, could be. This is directed by Amy Heckerling, but the prescence of Cameron Crowe, who wrote this based on his novel, is strongly felt. Although this film is hilarious (check out the Judge Reinhiold masturbation scene), it has a heart and soul, and is far more mature in its depiction of the ups and downs of relationships than many films. Pheobe Cates in this film....wow....still one of the most amazing looking girls in any film ever, and I can well recall the effect she had on me as an impressionable youngster. But the true star of the film, and still a true hero today is of course Sean Penn as Spicoli, the all time stoner.....'Aloha, Mr. Hand !'....not just one of the best 80s flicks, one of the best of all time. Other great 80s films: Platoon, ernest goes to camp, my science project, robocop, feris buellers day off, star wars sequels, indiana jones, predator.....AGHHHH ! Im overloading here on just how golden a decade the 80s were for films. I hope I have insipred you to dust off some of these true classics.

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          25.09.2001 04:55
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          The eighties are a decade that will be remembered for many more to come, for everything from political and economic war, right down to movies. The "action eighties" saw the solidification of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Swarzenegger, and this tends to overshadow much of the decade's other cinematic achievement. Sure the eighties had more explosions than any other seen before and since, but we also saw some of the best work of some of the greatest directors: Kubrick, Scorsese and Oliver Stone contributed decade, as did so many other great filmmakers of various genres. Here I will briefly look at eight of my favourites, and what I consider to be the best, from nineteen eighties' cinema. Scarface (1983) I'll start with one of my top five films of all time. Al Pacino is Cuban refugee Tony Montanna, who enters Miami at the bottom of the drugs world and leaves it at the very top. Oliver Stone writes a fantastic plot with some classic characters, only very loosely based on the 1932 Paul Muni film of the same name. Brian DePalma directs and Bregman produces, creating an epic and dramatic piece on crime, greed and the F word. A stunning musical score lifts the film to the highest levels, while some excellent performances and solid directing help create the highlight of 1983. Once Upon A Time In America (1984) Sergio Leone directs his epic masterpiece on Prohibition-era gangsters. Robert DeNiro gives a more than fantastic performance, and a star-ridden support cast never lets him down. The story shifts between three different points in time, melding together to create a patchwork of perfection. Some beautiful camerawork, stunning sets, an excellent musical score and some novel ideas combine with an excellent plot to create the one film of The Godfather's genre that can stand right next to the big G. The Shining (1980) Stanley Kubrick was one of the greatest directo
          rs ever, and his films are some of the very best. He wasn't especially active in the eighties or nineties, though, but left behind the definitive horror/thriller. Jack Nicholson stars in the role that helped define him, showing to us the ballet and horror of a man's decent into murderous insanity. Shelly Duval does one of the best "terrified woman" shows ever put to screen. Absolutely stunning camerawork creates an atmosphere of intense suspense, as the slow and meaningful pace gently pushes us further into the horror that is the empty Overlook Hotel. Raging Bull (1980) Here we have Robert DeNiro's greatest performance, brought to us in the character of real-life boxer Jake LaMotta. The tale is of fame, success, tragedy, and the destruction of man and his relationships. Joe Pesci leads a fantastic support cast, in Martin Scorsese's magnificent finale to his unforgettable 1970s work. The musical score is excellent, the camerawork and lighting (it's in black and white, by the way) near-perfect, and the boxing matches themselves the most realistic and gripping seen yet. Platoon (1986) and Wall Street (1987) Okay I'm cheating, these are two films. But they are identical movies on different canvases. Oliver Stone gives some of his most personal work, much of Platoon actually coming from his own life-changing experiences in Vietnam. In Wall Street we are in the heart of American wealth (back when it was in one piece....) Charlie Sheen stars in both, giving first-class (although criminally unrepeated) performances. The latter sees Michael Douglas in his perfect role -- Gordon "Greed is Good" Gecko. Both films see the young and impressionable man being driven into a life he doesn't belong in, climbing high and digging low at the same time. Betrayal and back-stabbing are two solid themes, in these stunning thrillers. The Killer (1989) John
          Woo! Chow Yun Fat! A couple of pistols! An Uzi! A Shotgun! Hordes of bad guys! Back-stabbing, loyalty and friendship feature heavily in the story, which is more important and well-implemented than you may at first think. But don't let the (admittedly fine) plot get you down if you're not in the mood, The Killer is the greatest action film ever. Bullets, bodies and blood splatters, stunning acrobatics, lovely directing and a great musical score all created the film that drew the Western audiences to the action-master that is John Woo. The Terminator (1984) I'll be back! And he was, and will be again. The Terminator created perhaps the most recognisable and popular sci-fi action phenomenon. Arnold Schwarzenegger is, naturally, a muscle-bound machine of a killer with one mission: kill the future mother of who will become the leader of the humans in a future war against machines (eh??). Michael Biehn has the unenviable task of leaping in the way, looking worried and carrying Linda Hamilton to safety. Car chases and gun battles create an action film of a fantastic story idea. Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott hands us a future metropolis dystopia in the form of this 1982 masterpiece of a sci-fi thriller. Harrison Ford gives probably his best (perhaps his grumpiest!) show ever in the adventurous and ambitious story based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" Well yes they do, and this film proves it -- although we're allowed plenty of room for our own interpretation (the movie is one of the most discussed ever, and not for no reason). Intelligent and bold, dark and gritty, terrifying and beautiful -- Blade Runner is a true highlight of the eighties. And there we have just eight of the very best films from the nineteen eighties. So many have been missed out, but these eight are my favourites from a stunning bunch. An action fan's dream, the
          eighties also offered some most intelligent and thought-provoking cinema. **Updated 26/9/01** Okay I've decided to add another two to make it a proper top-ten list ;) :P Brazil (1985) Terry Gilliam, part of the Monty Python team and later to make one of my favourites of the '90s Twelve Monkeys, draws together US and British filmmaking in his 1985 strange sci-fi fantasy. Fairly well described as a comedy, Brazil still has many deadly serious points to make, based as it is on an alternate past in which England is under totalitarian rule. Similarities with Orwell's marvelous novel 1984 are scattered about, but on the whole Brazil is fairly original. Ideas and gadgets from decades past are given a sci-fi mechanical feel, and the whole of Brazil's world feels like a strange mixture of industrial England, totalitarian dystopia, and a crazy fantasy land. Jonathan Pryce stars as a governement worker who sets out to win the affections of a woman who appears in his dreams. Robert DeNiro has an excellent support role, as does Ian Holm -- all three handling the comedy of the movie perfectly. A strange film, and one that's hard to classify, but certainly worth a close look. Robocop (1987) Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film Robocop (starring Peter Weller as the cop who is resurrected as a cyborg law enforcer) is quite an achievement when you consider how silly the idea is. Indeed Verhoeven took some persuading to make the film, as did the studios and eventually the audience to watch it. But he manages to create a solid action adventure, whilst weaving in plenty of beneath-the-surface elements for those who want more than guns and explosions. A black comedy in one sense, Robocop satirises big business and capitalism, portraying is as an oppressive, exploitative beast with greed its primary concern. We also see the story of Jesus, through his crucifiction, resurrection and then his cr
          usade of doing good about a hellish world. The crime world of Detroit is brought to dark, dirty life; and some special effects that were state of the art at the time (and only slightly dated now) combine with an ambitious plot, plenty of action and a strong musical score to create an over-the-top but lovable film.

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            21.07.2001 05:13
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            For some reason, the Eighties have gained a reputation for not producing many good films. I think part of the reason for this is because they followed on from the Seventies, possibly one of the finest decades for cinema ever. The truth is that there were actually a number of great movies released in the Eighties, although admittedly there were also quite a few stinkers as well. If you look closely though, and don't let the decade's notoriety cloud your judgement, you can pick out a couple of masterpieces, and several other top films. Below is a selection of my favourite movies (presented in chronological order) from the so-called 'decade of cheese'. ** Raging Bull (1980) - Director: Martin Scorsese "Once I was blind and now I can see." In my opinion, this is Martin Scorsese's finest movie, coinciding with Robert De Niro's best-ever performance as troubled boxing champion Jake La Motta. Charting his turbulent career, from promising prize-fighter to run-down nightclub owner, the film is often disturbing, but always absorbing. It also features some exhilarating and brutal fight sequences, and a memorable nod to Marlon Brando's famous speech from 'On the Waterfront'. De Niro is utterly convincing in his powerhouse performance, while Joe Pesci is equally enthralling as La Motta's younger brother. Although the whole movie is extremely well made, the best scene comes right at the beginning, and is simply breathtaking in its beauty. 'Raging Bull' was such a promising start to the decade - almost too promising, in fact. A film as near to perfection as this one was always going to be hard to beat, and the next movie to come close to equalling it wouldn't be seen for another ten years. It was directed by Scorsese too, and also starred Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. ** Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Director: Steven Spielberg "Snake
            s. Why'd it have to be snakes?" Adventure, good humour and a loveable hero - what more could you want? Well, even if you didn't feel it was necessary, this movie also throws in a cracking story, memorable performances and some quite brilliant set pieces. Harrison Ford was born to play the role of Indiana Jones, and this first movie in the trilogy is undoubtedly the best of the lot. It's been a while since I last watched 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and I really should see it again sometime - another bonus is that the film loses none of its charm with repeated viewing. The premise of the movie is that a group of Nazi soldiers are trying to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant so they can put it to some nefarious purpose. Attempting to stop them is the (almost) fearless, often witty historian-cum-adventurer, Indiana Jones. The massive rolling boulder, the swordsman in the crowded street and the eventual release of the Ark's contents are the most memorable scenes, but there are also some wonderful small touches that make for delightful viewing. Spielberg was clearly best when making fun movies such as this one, and the fact that it spawned two sequels speaks for itself. If you haven't seen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' yet... why on earth not? ** The Terminator (1984) - Director: James Cameron "It absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead." 'The Terminator' is one of the best sci-fi/horror movies ever made, let alone just in the Eighties. This is the kind of role Arnie is perfectly suited to - almost mechanical acting with very little dialogue makes the character of the Terminator seem extremely cold and ruthless, just as it should be. Matching the performance quite brilliantly is Brad Fiedel's tech-industrial score, whose simplicity blends seamlessly with the on-screen action. Although the later sequel had a lot more money beh
            ind it, and featured state-of-the-art special effects, it is this original that excels, and is quite rightly considered by many to be James Cameron's finest movie. I'm sure the fact he had a big hand in the production design and script for the film, as well as directing it, had a lot to do with this achievement. Not many movies define a genre, yet this one does it with audacity. Truly a must-have DVD for any movie fan. ** Aliens (1985) - Director: James Cameron "I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them f**king each other over for a goddamn percentage." While James Cameron isn't the most accomplished director working today, he has definitely shown a knack for directing entertaining movies. Just a year after 'The Terminator', he followed up with this sequel to the Ridley Scott sci-fi chiller, 'Alien'. Many comparisons have been drawn between the two films, but in truth they are completely different styles of movie. Whereas 'Alien' employed an unsettling atmosphere to build up the tension, the sequel is much more of an action-driven film, undoubtedly helped by the addition of a whole colony of alien creatures. Following her battle with the alien of the first movie, Ripley goes into hyper-sleep for the journey back to Earth. Unfortunately, her escape pod goes off-course, and by the time she is found it is some 60 years later. Coincidentally, a human settlement that has been built on LV-426 (the planet where Ripley originally encountered the alien) has recently lost all contact. The decision is made to send a military team to the planet to investigate, and Ripley agrees to accompany them. The characters in 'Aliens' (both military and civilian) are all very interesting, the pacing of the story is near perfect and Cameron directs the whole show with aplomb. After a slow steady build up, the eventual contact with the aliens on LV-426 comes at t
            he most inconvenient moment, and it's a combination of events that makes the task facing Ripley so exciting. Just when you think it can't get any worse, there's always one more thing to add to the equation, often when it's least expected. A monumental film, 'Aliens' established Cameron as one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, and once again brought H.R. Giger's frightening alien creations to the masses. Sigourney Weaver is excellent in her Oscar-nominated role, outshining all those around her, although do look out for interesting performances from Cameron regulars Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn, and also Lance Henrikson as an especially memorable character. ** Back to the Future (1985) - Director: Robert Zemeckis "Heavy? Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?" After a number of failures, this was perhaps Robert Zemeckis' last chance to make it as a Hollywood director. Backed by executive producer Steven Spielberg, the story for 'Back to the Future' looked promising on paper, but a good story alone doesn't make a great film. Thankfully (for movie fans and Zemeckis' career), everything came together perfectly to make a highly enjoyable and witty time-travel romp. Michael J. Fox, despite not being the first choice to play Marty McFly, makes the character his own with a superbly energetic performance, and is ably supported by Christopher Lloyd as wild-eyed scientist 'Doc' Brown. Together they must repair the damage Marty causes on a trip back to the Fifties, or his parents will never fall in love and he will never be born. The sheer number of in-jokes and sly movie references are almost overwhelming at times, and thus sets the film up as another that can be watched again and again. The soundtrack is also outstanding. Huey Lewis and the News have a couple of songs in the movie, but it'
            s the brilliant musical score from Alan Silvestri that stands out as the most memorable. Every so often, a director, cast, producer and writer come up with a winning formula that just oozes appeal, and this is one such example. This formula isn't something that can simply be manufactured; in fact it's often just the luck of the draw. It therefore makes it difficult to describe exactly why such a movie is so popular, but 'Back to the Future' is definitely one of those movies. The script, editing and camerawork are second to none, and I don't know a single person who disliked the film. I'm sure one of you will prove me wrong now though... ** Platoon (1986) - Director: Oliver Stone "Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like. Hell." Probably the best war film ever made. Okay, maybe not, but it's certainly the best I've seen. Oliver Stone drew on his own experiences in Vietnam to paint a vivid image of the senselessness of war. Clearly this is a good example to use, because the Americans lost the Vietnam War, but it can easily be transposed to any number of other conflicts. In 'JFK', it is suggested that war being a multi-million dollar business, in holding out on entering Vietnam, Kennedy might have signed his own death warrant. The story of 'Platoon' is taken from the opposite end of the scale - a rookie, who on flying into Vietnam is greeted with the sight of American soldiers being put into body-bags. Charlie Sheen is entirely believable is his performance as the rookie soldier Chris, while the most interesting portrayals are perhaps those of Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger, who play characters that reflect the conflicting opinions present in the US army at the time. There are several areas of the film that stand out and deserve high praise - a more detailed opinion of which can be fou
            nd in my separate review of 'Platoon'. Probably the most famous aspect though is the musical score composed by Samuel Barber, which is truly beautiful yet also hauntingly tragic. A new Special Edition DVD of 'Platoon' has recently been released, currently only in Region 1, but a Region 2 edition is sure to follow soon. ** The Untouchables (1987) - Director: Brian De Palma "Here endeth the lesson." The most famous scene in this movie; a baby's pram rolling down a staircase as a gunfight rages around it; is actually inspired by the film 'The Battleship Potemkin'. It works very well in its context, and suggests that the major reason for the success of 'The Untouchables' is director Brian De Palma. He's certainly one the most interesting directors of the last twenty years, and this is probably his best movie. The "untouchables" of the title are four lawmen who are given the task of cleaning up crime in 1920's Chicago - no mean feat when a lot of it was orchestrated by the infamous Al Capone. The team gained their name because of the way they were untouched by the corruption and bribery that plagued the police force at that time. Treasury agent Elliot Ness, ex-cop Jimmy Malone, trainee policeman George Stone and accountant Oscar Wallace together foiled numerous criminal efforts to bypass the prohibition laws that were in place, and ultimately sent Capone to jail. Kevin Costner gives an assured performance as the lead character Ness, but it's the supporting cast who really shine - in particular, Sean Connory as Malone and Robert De Niro as Capone. However, the real master here is De Palma, who guides us through the story with some exquisite direction and set pieces. The elevator scene, the assassin sequence and the aforementioned staircase finale are all expertly constructed and shot to perfection. Of course, De Palma also had a great script
            to work from (penned by David Mamet) and with the addition of some memorable music, 'The Untouchables' became one of the finest movies to come out of the Eighties. The recent DVD release is pretty disappointing in terms of extra features (will De Palma ever do a commentary?), but of course, it's worth owning purely for the film. ** Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1988) - Director: John Hughes "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero." Okay, because of the sheer number of "teen comedies" that appeared in the Eighties, I had to include one, didn't I? Perhaps it's not as highly regarded as John Hughes' earlier effort 'The Breakfast Club', but for me, the definitive teen film of the eighties is surely 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Following a day in the life of high school student and slacker Ferris Bueller, we first see him fool his parents into letting him stay home from school (this infamous scene needs no further explanation), before dragging two friends off on a trip into the city. However, it isn't going to be that easy for Ferris, what with his headmaster (the excellent Jeffrey Jones), amongst others, hell-bent on catching him. A memorable performance from Matthew Broderick and a story that's full of energy help make this one of the most enjoyable films of the decade. Even if you can't tolerate so-called teen movies, you might be persuaded otherwise after seeing 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. It's pure fun - nothing more, nothing less. ** Die Hard (1988) - Director: John McTiernan "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Surely THE definitive action movie of the last twenty years, 'Die Hard' propelled Bruce Willis into the big time, and set down a new standard for every forthcoming action film. John McTiernan presents an exhilarating two hours of entertainment, tightenin
            g the screws whenever necessary while also adding an irresistible touch of humour. The real genius though was in the casting - Bruce Willis may never give a better performance, while the virtually unknown Alan Rickman is a complete revelation as the leader of a group of German terrorists. Just in case any of you aren't familiar with the story of 'Die Hard', the plot is about an off-duty policeman (Willis) who single-handedly takes on a gang of terrorists, armed only with his police training and a vest. However, it's the excellent action sequences and OTT performances which make 'Die Hard' so enjoyable. Recently released in a 5-star DVD package, this is surely the best time for fans of the genre to buy this superb movie. Also available is a 6-disc boxset containing 'Die Hard' and its two sequels. While the sequels don't come anywhere near to eclipsing the original, they are still enjoyable in their own right and this boxset is certainly a very tempting purchase. ** Heathers (1989) - Director: Michael Lehmann "Whether or not a teenager decides to kill themselves is the biggest decision of their life." When Winona Ryder first read the script for 'Heathers', she knew immediately what a great film it was going to be. Against the advice of everyone she knew, she accepted the lead role of Veronica, and what a good decision that turned out to be. 'Heathers' is a quite brilliant satire of all the teen movies that were around during the mid- to late- eighties, taken from the perspective of high-school cliques - in this case, one formed by Heather (Lisanne Falk), Heather (Kim Walker) and Heather (Shannen Doherty). Veronica feels like she should be part of the group, but at the same time realises precisely why she shouldn't bother with them. It isn't until the arrival of new kid JD (Christian Slater) that she not only abandons the clique, but al
            so gets caught up in a sinister plan to get rid of them. After the first 'suicide', however, killing yourself becomes the hip new trend around school, and before long everything gets out of hand. Littered with quotable dialogue and hilarious black comedy, 'Heathers' was the last great movie of the eighties - and what better way to send it off? If you like your humour dark and cynical, you'll almost certainly love 'Heathers'. To quote a rather fine review of the film here on dooyoo: "If you were never particularly popular at high school, be glad that you weren't". So there we have it - ten great films from a much-maligned decade of cinema. While admittedly the number of quality films was probably less than the Seventies and the Nineties, there were clearly a number of movies that deserve recognition. Five of my selections above have produced two sequels each ('Terminator 3' will be released next year), while a planned follow-up to 'Heathers' is also in the pipeline. So, next time you get involved in a discussion on the movie merits of the Eighties, you'll at least have a few examples to use should you decide to defend the decade (which I hope you would do!).

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              21.07.2001 05:08
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              For some reason, the Eighties have gained a reputation for not producing many good films. I think part of the reason for this is because they followed on from the Seventies, possibly one of the finest decades for cinema ever. The truth is that there were actually a number of great movies released in the Eighties, although admittedly there were also quite a few stinkers as well. If you look closely though, and don't let the decade's notoriety cloud your judgement, you can pick out a couple of masterpieces, and several other top films. Below is a selection of my favourite movies (presented in chronological order) from the so-called 'decade of cheese'. ** Raging Bull (1980) - Director: Martin Scorsese "Once I was blind and now I can see." In my opinion, this is Martin Scorsese's finest movie, coinciding with Robert De Niro's best-ever performance as troubled boxing champion Jake La Motta. Charting his turbulent career, from promising prize-fighter to run-down nightclub owner, the film is often disturbing, but always absorbing. It also features some exhilarating and brutal fight sequences, and a memorable nod to Marlon Brando's famous speech from 'On the Waterfront'. De Niro is utterly convincing in his powerhouse performance, while Joe Pesci is equally enthralling as La Motta's younger brother. Although the whole movie is extremely well made, the best scene comes right at the beginning, and is simply breathtaking in its beauty. 'Raging Bull' was such a promising start to the decade - almost too promising, in fact. A film as near to perfection as this one was always going to be hard to beat, and the next movie to come close to equalling it wouldn't be seen for another ten years. It was directed by Scorsese too, and also starred Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. ** Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Director: Steven Spielberg "Snake
              s. Why'd it have to be snakes?" Adventure, good humour and a loveable hero - what more could you want? Well, even if you didn't feel it was necessary, this movie also throws in a cracking story, memorable performances and some quite brilliant set pieces. Harrison Ford was born to play the role of Indiana Jones, and this first movie in the trilogy is undoubtedly the best of the lot. It's been a while since I last watched 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and I really should see it again sometime - another bonus is that the film loses none of its charm with repeated viewing. The premise of the movie is that a group of Nazi soldiers are trying to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant so they can put it to some nefarious purpose. Attempting to stop them is the (almost) fearless, often witty historian-cum-adventurer, Indiana Jones. The massive rolling boulder, the swordsman in the crowded street and the eventual release of the Ark's contents are the most memorable scenes, but there are also some wonderful small touches that make for delightful viewing. Spielberg was clearly best when making fun movies such as this one, and the fact that it spawned two sequels speaks for itself. If you haven't seen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' yet... why on earth not? ** The Terminator (1984) - Director: James Cameron "It absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead." 'The Terminator' is one of the best sci-fi/horror movies ever made, let alone just in the Eighties. This is the kind of role Arnie is perfectly suited to - almost mechanical acting with very little dialogue makes the character of the Terminator seem extremely cold and ruthless, just as it should be. Matching the performance quite brilliantly is Brad Fiedel's tech-industrial score, whose simplicity blends seamlessly with the on-screen action. Although the later sequel had a lot more money beh
              ind it, and featured state-of-the-art special effects, it is this original that excels, and is quite rightly considered by many to be James Cameron's finest movie. I'm sure the fact he had a big hand in the production design and script for the film, as well as directing it, had a lot to do with this achievement. Not many movies define a genre, yet this one does it with audacity. Truly a must-have DVD for any movie fan. ** Aliens (1985) - Director: James Cameron "I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them f**king each other over for a goddamn percentage." While James Cameron isn't the most accomplished director working today, he has definitely shown a knack for directing entertaining movies. Just a year after 'The Terminator', he followed up with this sequel to the Ridley Scott sci-fi chiller, 'Alien'. Many comparisons have been drawn between the two films, but in truth they are completely different styles of movie. Whereas 'Alien' employed an unsettling atmosphere to build up the tension, the sequel is much more of an action-driven film, undoubtedly helped by the addition of a whole colony of alien creatures. Following her battle with the alien of the first movie, Ripley goes into hyper-sleep for the journey back to Earth. Unfortunately, her escape pod goes off-course, and by the time she is found it is some 60 years later. Coincidentally, a human settlement that has been built on LV-426 (the planet where Ripley originally encountered the alien) has recently lost all contact. The decision is made to send a military team to the planet to investigate, and Ripley agrees to accompany them. The characters in 'Aliens' (both military and civilian) are all very interesting, the pacing of the story is near perfect and Cameron directs the whole show with aplomb. After a slow steady build up, the eventual contact with the aliens on LV-426 comes at t
              he most inconvenient moment, and it's a combination of events that makes the task facing Ripley so exciting. Just when you think it can't get any worse, there's always one more thing to add to the equation, often when it's least expected. A monumental film, 'Aliens' established Cameron as one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, and once again brought H.R. Giger's frightening alien creations to the masses. Sigourney Weaver is excellent in her Oscar-nominated role, outshining all those around her, although do look out for interesting performances from Cameron regulars Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn, and also Lance Henrikson as an especially memorable character. ** Back to the Future (1985) - Director: Robert Zemeckis "Heavy? Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?" After a number of failures, this was perhaps Robert Zemeckis' last chance to make it as a Hollywood director. Backed by executive producer Steven Spielberg, the story for 'Back to the Future' looked promising on paper, but a good story alone doesn't make a great film. Thankfully (for movie fans and Zemeckis' career), everything came together perfectly to make a highly enjoyable and witty time-travel romp. Michael J. Fox, despite not being the first choice to play Marty McFly, makes the character his own with a superbly energetic performance, and is ably supported by Christopher Lloyd as wild-eyed scientist 'Doc' Brown. Together they must repair the damage Marty causes on a trip back to the Fifties, or his parents will never fall in love and he will never be born. The sheer number of in-jokes and sly movie references are almost overwhelming at times, and thus sets the film up as another that can be watched again and again. The soundtrack is also outstanding. Huey Lewis and the News have a couple of songs in the movie, but it'
              s the brilliant musical score from Alan Silvestri that stands out as the most memorable. Every so often, a director, cast, producer and writer come up with a winning formula that just oozes appeal, and this is one such example. This formula isn't something that can simply be manufactured; in fact it's often just the luck of the draw. It therefore makes it difficult to describe exactly why such a movie is so popular, but 'Back to the Future' is definitely one of those movies. The script, editing and camerawork are second to none, and I don't know a single person who disliked the film. I'm sure one of you will prove me wrong now though... ** Platoon (1986) - Director: Oliver Stone "Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like. Hell." Probably the best war film ever made. Okay, maybe not, but it's certainly the best I've seen. Oliver Stone drew on his own experiences in Vietnam to paint a vivid image of the senselessness of war. Clearly this is a good example to use, because the Americans lost the Vietnam War, but it can easily be transposed to any number of other conflicts. In 'JFK', it is suggested that war being a multi-million dollar business, in holding out on entering Vietnam, Kennedy might have signed his own death warrant. The story of 'Platoon' is taken from the opposite end of the scale - a rookie, who on flying into Vietnam is greeted with the sight of American soldiers being put into body-bags. Charlie Sheen is entirely believable is his performance as the rookie soldier Chris, while the most interesting portrayals are perhaps those of Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger, who play characters that reflect the conflicting opinions present in the US army at the time. There are several areas of the film that stand out and deserve high praise - a more detailed opinion of which can be fou
              nd in my separate review of 'Platoon'. Probably the most famous aspect though is the musical score composed by Samuel Barber, which is truly beautiful yet also hauntingly tragic. A new Special Edition DVD of 'Platoon' has recently been released, currently only in Region 1, but a Region 2 edition is sure to follow soon. ** The Untouchables (1987) - Director: Brian De Palma "Here endeth the lesson." The most famous scene in this movie; a baby's pram rolling down a staircase as a gunfight rages around it; is actually inspired by the film 'The Battleship Potemkin'. It works very well in its context, and suggests that the major reason for the success of 'The Untouchables' is director Brian De Palma. He's certainly one the most interesting directors of the last twenty years, and this is probably his best movie. The "untouchables" of the title are four lawmen who are given the task of cleaning up crime in 1920's Chicago - no mean feat when a lot of it was orchestrated by the infamous Al Capone. The team gained their name because of the way they were untouched by the corruption and bribery that plagued the police force at that time. Treasury agent Elliot Ness, ex-cop Jimmy Malone, trainee policeman George Stone and accountant Oscar Wallace together foiled numerous criminal efforts to bypass the prohibition laws that were in place, and ultimately sent Capone to jail. Kevin Costner gives an assured performance as the lead character Ness, but it's the supporting cast who really shine - in particular, Sean Connory as Malone and Robert De Niro as Capone. However, the real master here is De Palma, who guides us through the story with some exquisite direction and set pieces. The elevator scene, the assassin sequence and the aforementioned staircase finale are all expertly constructed and shot to perfection. Of course, De Palma also had a great script
              to work from (penned by David Mamet) and with the addition of some memorable music, 'The Untouchables' became one of the finest movies to come out of the Eighties. The recent DVD release is pretty disappointing in terms of extra features (will De Palma ever do a commentary?), but of course, it's worth owning purely for the film. ** Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1988) - Director: John Hughes "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero." Okay, because of the sheer number of "teen comedies" that appeared in the Eighties, I had to include one, didn't I? Perhaps it's not as highly regarded as John Hughes' earlier effort 'The Breakfast Club', but for me, the definitive teen film of the eighties is surely 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Following a day in the life of high school student and slacker Ferris Bueller, we first see him fool his parents into letting him stay home from school (this infamous scene needs no further explanation), before dragging two friends off on a trip into the city. However, it isn't going to be that easy for Ferris, what with his headmaster (the excellent Jeffrey Jones), amongst others, hell-bent on catching him. A memorable performance from Matthew Broderick and a story that's full of energy help make this one of the most enjoyable films of the decade. Even if you can't tolerate so-called teen movies, you might be persuaded otherwise after seeing 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. It's pure fun - nothing more, nothing less. ** Die Hard (1988) - Director: John McTiernan "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Surely THE definitive action movie of the last twenty years, 'Die Hard' propelled Bruce Willis into the big time, and set down a new standard for every forthcoming action film. John McTiernan presents an exhilarating two hours of entertainment, tightenin
              g the screws whenever necessary while also adding an irresistible touch of humour. The real genius though was in the casting - Bruce Willis may never give a better performance, while the virtually unknown Alan Rickman is a complete revelation as the leader of a group of German terrorists. Just in case any of you aren't familiar with the story of 'Die Hard', the plot is about an off-duty policeman (Willis) who single-handedly takes on a gang of terrorists, armed only with his police training and a vest. However, it's the excellent action sequences and OTT performances which make 'Die Hard' so enjoyable. Recently released in a 5-star DVD package, this is surely the best time for fans of the genre to buy this superb movie. Also available is a 6-disc boxset containing 'Die Hard' and its two sequels. While the sequels don't come anywhere near to eclipsing the original, they are still enjoyable in their own right and this boxset is certainly a very tempting purchase. ** Heathers (1989) - Director: Michael Lehmann "Whether or not a teenager decides to kill themselves is the biggest decision of their life." When Winona Ryder first read the script for 'Heathers', she knew immediately what a great film it was going to be. Against the advice of everyone she knew, she accepted the lead role of Veronica, and what a good decision that turned out to be. 'Heathers' is a quite brilliant satire of all the teen movies that were around during the mid- to late- eighties, taken from the perspective of high-school cliques - in this case, one formed by Heather (Lisanne Falk), Heather (Kim Walker) and Heather (Shannen Doherty). Veronica feels like she should be part of the group, but at the same time realises precisely why she shouldn't bother with them. It isn't until the arrival of new kid JD (Christian Slater) that she not only abandons the clique, but al
              so gets caught up in a sinister plan to get rid of them. After the first 'suicide', however, killing yourself becomes the hip new trend around school, and before long everything gets out of hand. Littered with quotable dialogue and hilarious black comedy, 'Heathers' was the last great movie of the eighties - and what better way to send it off? If you like your humour dark and cynical, you'll almost certainly love 'Heathers'. To quote a rather fine review of the film here on dooyoo: "If you were never particularly popular at high school, be glad that you weren't". So there we have it - ten great films from a much-maligned decade of cinema. While admittedly the number of quality films was probably less than the Seventies and the Nineties, there were clearly a number of movies that deserve recognition. Five of my selections above have produced two sequels each ('Terminator 3' will be released next year), while a planned follow-up to 'Heathers' is also in the pipeline. So, next time you get involved in a discussion on the movie merits of the Eighties, you'll at least have a few examples to use should you decide to defend the decade (which I hope you would do!).

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                21.07.2001 05:04
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                For some reason, the Eighties have gained a reputation for not producing many good films. I think part of the reason for this is because they followed on from the Seventies, possibly one of the finest decades for cinema ever. The truth is that there were actually a number of great movies released in the Eighties, although admittedly there were also quite a few stinkers as well. If you look closely though, and don't let the decade's notoriety cloud your judgement, you can pick out a couple of masterpieces, and several other top films. Below is a selection of my favourite movies (presented in chronological order) from the so-called 'decade of cheese'. ** Raging Bull (1980) - Director: Martin Scorsese "Once I was blind and now I can see." In my opinion, this is Martin Scorsese's finest movie, coinciding with Robert De Niro's best-ever performance as troubled boxing champion Jake La Motta. Charting his turbulent career, from promising prize-fighter to run-down nightclub owner, the film is often disturbing, but always absorbing. It also features some exhilarating and brutal fight sequences, and a memorable nod to Marlon Brando's famous speech from 'On the Waterfront'. De Niro is utterly convincing in his powerhouse performance, while Joe Pesci is equally enthralling as La Motta's younger brother. Although the whole movie is extremely well made, the best scene comes right at the beginning, and is simply breathtaking in its beauty. 'Raging Bull' was such a promising start to the decade - almost too promising, in fact. A film as near to perfection as this one was always going to be hard to beat, and the next movie to come close to equalling it wouldn't be seen for another ten years. It was directed by Scorsese too, and also starred Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. ** Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Director: Steven Spielberg "Snakes. Why&
                #39;d it have to be snakes?" Adventure, good humour and a loveable hero - what more could you want? Well, even if you didn't feel it was necessary, this movie also throws in a cracking story, memorable performances and some quite brilliant set pieces. Harrison Ford was born to play the role of Indiana Jones, and this first movie in the trilogy is undoubtedly the best of the lot. It's been a while since I last watched 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and I really should see it again sometime - another bonus is that the film loses none of its charm with repeated viewing. The premise of the movie is that a group of Nazi soldiers are trying to locate the legendary Ark of the Covenant so they can put it to some nefarious purpose. Attempting to stop them is the (almost) fearless, often witty historian-cum-adventurer, Indiana Jones. The massive rolling boulder, the swordsman in the crowded street and the eventual release of the Ark's contents are the most memorable scenes, but there are also some wonderful small touches that make for delightful viewing. Spielberg was clearly best when making fun movies such as this one, and the fact that it spawned two sequels speaks for itself. If you haven't seen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' yet... why on earth not? ** The Terminator (1984) - Director: James Cameron "It absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead." 'The Terminator' is one of the best sci-fi/horror movies ever made, let alone just in the Eighties. This is the kind of role Arnie is perfectly suited to - almost mechanical acting with very little dialogue makes the character of the Terminator seem extremely cold and ruthless, just as it should be. Matching the performance quite brilliantly is Brad Fiedel's tech-industrial score, whose simplicity blends seamlessly with the on-screen action. Although the later sequel had a lot more money behind it, and fe
                atured state-of-the-art special effects, it is this original that excels, and is quite rightly considered by many to be James Cameron's finest movie. I'm sure the fact he had a big hand in the production design and script for the film, as well as directing it, had a lot to do with this achievement. Not many movies define a genre, yet this one does it with audacity. Truly a must-have DVD for any movie fan. ** Aliens (1985) - Director: James Cameron "I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them f**king each other over for a goddamn percentage." While James Cameron isn't the most accomplished director working today, he has definitely shown a knack for directing entertaining movies. Just a year after 'The Terminator', he followed up with this sequel to the Ridley Scott sci-fi chiller, 'Alien'. Many comparisons have been drawn between the two films, but in truth they are completely different styles of movie. Whereas 'Alien' employed an unsettling atmosphere to build up the tension, the sequel is much more of an action-driven film, undoubtedly helped by the addition of a whole colony of alien creatures. Following her battle with the alien of the first movie, Ripley goes into hyper-sleep for the journey back to Earth. Unfortunately, her escape pod goes off-course, and by the time she is found it is some 60 years later. Coincidentally, a human settlement that has been built on LV-426 (the planet where Ripley originally encountered the alien) has recently lost all contact. The decision is made to send a military team to the planet to investigate, and Ripley agrees to accompany them. The characters in 'Aliens' (both military and civilian) are all very interesting, the pacing of the story is near perfect and Cameron directs the whole show with aplomb. After a slow steady build up, the eventual contact with the aliens on LV-426 comes at the most inconvenien
                t moment, and it's a combination of events that makes the task facing Ripley so exciting. Just when you think it can't get any worse, there's always one more thing to add to the equation, often when it's least expected. A monumental film, 'Aliens' established Cameron as one of the hottest directors in Hollywood, and once again brought H.R. Giger's frightening alien creations to the masses. Sigourney Weaver is excellent in her Oscar-nominated role, outshining all those around her, although do look out for interesting performances from Cameron regulars Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn, and also Lance Henrikson as an especially memorable character. ** Back to the Future (1985) - Director: Robert Zemeckis "Heavy? Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?" After a number of failures, this was perhaps Robert Zemeckis' last chance to make it as a Hollywood director. Backed by executive producer Steven Spielberg, the story for 'Back to the Future' looked promising on paper, but a good story alone doesn't make a great film. Thankfully (for movie fans and Zemeckis' career), everything came together perfectly to make a highly enjoyable and witty time-travel romp. Michael J. Fox, despite not being the first choice to play Marty McFly, makes the character his own with a superbly energetic performance, and is ably supported by Christopher Lloyd as wild-eyed scientist 'Doc' Brown. Together they must repair the damage Marty causes on a trip back to the Fifties, or his parents will never fall in love and he will never be born. The sheer number of in-jokes and sly movie references are almost overwhelming at times, and thus sets the film up as another that can be watched again and again. The soundtrack is also outstanding. Huey Lewis and the News have a couple of songs in the movie, but it's the brilliant musical
                score from Alan Silvestri that stands out as the most memorable. Every so often, a director, cast, producer and writer come up with a winning formula that just oozes appeal, and this is one such example. This formula isn't something that can simply be manufactured; in fact it's often just the luck of the draw. It therefore makes it difficult to describe exactly why such a movie is so popular, but 'Back to the Future' is definitely one of those movies. The script, editing and camerawork are second to none, and I don't know a single person who disliked the film. I'm sure one of you will prove me wrong now though... ** Platoon (1986) - Director: Oliver Stone "Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like. Hell." Probably the best war film ever made. Okay, maybe not, but it's certainly the best I've seen. Oliver Stone drew on his own experiences in Vietnam to paint a vivid image of the senselessness of war. Clearly this is a good example to use, because the Americans lost the Vietnam War, but it can easily be transposed to any number of other conflicts. In 'JFK', it is suggested that war being a multi-million dollar business, in holding out on entering Vietnam, Kennedy might have signed his own death warrant. The story of 'Platoon' is taken from the opposite end of the scale - a rookie, who on flying into Vietnam is greeted with the sight of American soldiers being put into body-bags. Charlie Sheen is entirely believable is his performance as the rookie soldier Chris, while the most interesting portrayals are perhaps those of Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger, who play characters that reflect the conflicting opinions present in the US army at the time. There are several areas of the film that stand out and deserve high praise - a more detailed opinion of which can be found in my separate review of &#
                39;Platoon'. Probably the most famous aspect though is the musical score composed by Samuel Barber, which is truly beautiful yet also hauntingly tragic. A new Special Edition DVD of 'Platoon' has recently been released, currently only in Region 1, but a Region 2 edition is sure to follow soon. ** The Untouchables (1987) - Director: Brian De Palma "Here endeth the lesson." The most famous scene in this movie; a baby's pram rolling down a staircase as a gunfight rages around it; is actually inspired by the film 'The Battleship Potemkin'. It works very well in its context, and suggests that the major reason for the success of 'The Untouchables' is director Brian De Palma. He's certainly one the most interesting directors of the last twenty years, and this is probably his best movie. The "untouchables" of the title are four lawmen who are given the task of cleaning up crime in 1920's Chicago - no mean feat when a lot of it was orchestrated by the infamous Al Capone. The team gained their name because of the way they were untouched by the corruption and bribery that plagued the police force at that time. Treasury agent Elliot Ness, ex-cop Jimmy Malone, trainee policeman George Stone and accountant Oscar Wallace together foiled numerous criminal efforts to bypass the prohibition laws that were in place, and ultimately sent Capone to jail. Kevin Costner gives an assured performance as the lead character Ness, but it's the supporting cast who really shine - in particular, Sean Connory as Malone and Robert De Niro as Capone. However, the real master here is De Palma, who guides us through the story with some exquisite direction and set pieces. The elevator scene, the assassin sequence and the aforementioned staircase finale are all expertly constructed and shot to perfection. Of course, De Palma also had a great script to work from (penned by David Mamet
                ) and with the addition of some memorable music, 'The Untouchables' became one of the finest movies to come out of the Eighties. The recent DVD release is pretty disappointing in terms of extra features (will De Palma ever do a commentary?), but of course, it's worth owning purely for the film. ** Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1988) - Director: John Hughes "Ferris Bueller, you're my hero." Okay, because of the sheer number of "teen comedies" that appeared in the Eighties, I had to include one, didn't I? Perhaps it's not as highly regarded as John Hughes' earlier effort 'The Breakfast Club', but for me, the definitive teen film of the eighties is surely 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. Following a day in the life of high school student and slacker Ferris Bueller, we first see him fool his parents into letting him stay home from school (this infamous scene needs no further explanation), before dragging two friends off on a trip into the city. However, it isn't going to be that easy for Ferris, what with his headmaster (the excellent Jeffrey Jones), amongst others, hell-bent on catching him. A memorable performance from Matthew Broderick and a story that's full of energy help make this one of the most enjoyable films of the decade. Even if you can't tolerate so-called teen movies, you might be persuaded otherwise after seeing 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'. It's pure fun - nothing more, nothing less. ** Die Hard (1988) - Director: John McTiernan "Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho." Surely THE definitive action movie of the last twenty years, 'Die Hard' propelled Bruce Willis into the big time, and set down a new standard for every forthcoming action film. John McTiernan presents an exhilarating two hours of entertainment, tightening the screws whenever necessary while also a
                dding an irresistible touch of humour. The real genius though was in the casting - Bruce Willis may never give a better performance, while the virtually unknown Alan Rickman is a complete revelation as the leader of a group of German terrorists. Just in case any of you aren't familiar with the story of 'Die Hard', the plot is about an off-duty policeman (Willis) who single-handedly takes on a gang of terrorists, armed only with his police training and a vest. However, it's the excellent action sequences and OTT performances which make 'Die Hard' so enjoyable. Recently released in a 5-star DVD package, this is surely the best time for fans of the genre to buy this superb movie. Also available is a 6-disc boxset containing 'Die Hard' and its two sequels. While the sequels don't come anywhere near to eclipsing the original, they are still enjoyable in their own right and this boxset is certainly a very tempting purchase. ** Heathers (1989) - Director: Michael Lehmann "Whether or not a teenager decides to kill themselves is the biggest decision of their life." When Winona Ryder first read the script for 'Heathers', she knew immediately what a great film it was going to be. Against the advice of everyone she knew, she accepted the lead role of Veronica, and what a good decision that turned out to be. 'Heathers' is a quite brilliant satire of all the teen movies that were around during the mid- to late- eighties, taken from the perspective of high-school cliques - in this case, one formed by Heather (Lisanne Falk), Heather (Kim Walker) and Heather (Shannen Doherty). Veronica feels like she should be part of the group, but at the same time realises precisely why she shouldn't bother with them. It isn't until the arrival of new kid JD (Christian Slater) that she not only abandons the clique, but also gets caught up in a sinister plan to get rid of
                them. After the first 'suicide', however, killing yourself becomes the hip new trend around school, and before long everything gets out of hand. Littered with quotable dialogue and hilarious black comedy, 'Heathers' was the last great movie of the eighties - and what better way to send it off? If you like your humour dark and cynical, you'll almost certainly love 'Heathers'. To quote a rather fine review of the film here on dooyoo: "If you were never particularly popular at high school, be glad that you weren't". So there we have it - ten great films from a much-maligned decade of cinema. While admittedly the number of quality films was probably less than the Seventies and the Nineties, there were clearly a number of movies that deserve recognition. Five of my selections above have produced two sequels each ('Terminator 3' will be released next year), while a planned follow-up to 'Heathers' is also in the pipeline. So, next time you get involved in a discussion on the movie merits of the Eighties, you'll at least have a few examples to use should you decide to defend the decade (which I hope you would do!).

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                  13.06.2001 18:24
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                  Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Dirty Dancing, Aha, Some Kind of Wonderful, Footloose, earings, punks, pink, green, blue and yellow hair, Beat it, Thriller, Like a Virgin, Vanessa Paradis... The films, the music, the clothes, the jewelery. When watching films from the 80s I go absolutely crazy. I think it's mostly nostalgic because I still can't understand how at 27 years of age I can watch Dirty Dancing at least 5 times a year still. The film of all times. I'm sure it will be one the big classics that my children or even grand-children are going to watch. Or at least I hope so. The music videos are the same. When Michael Jackson did his film on Thriller (I'm not sure whether to call it a film or a music video. I think it's classed as something in betwwen) I was there. I was one of the crazy fans completely besotted with someone that we today refer to as a freak. Anyway, my top three 80s movies would be: Dirty Dancing Flashdance Footloose PS YES, I loved dancing and I was a dancer through my teen age years.

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                    10.05.2001 22:47
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                    Ah, the eighties. The decade that taste forgot. The time of greed, excess, bad fashion and dodgy music. The era of Reagan and Thatcher. 10 years best forgotten. A waste of space for all involved. As for films…. Ugh! Horrible vacuous show-off films like Top Gun and Days of Thunder. Whiney American kids whose granny’s didn’t love them enough in the St Elmo’s Fire and Pretty in Pink. Tedious British efforts like Absolute Beginners and Revolution. And an awful one-word answer to answer the question, just how bad was it? Mannequin. Dear oh dear. Any chance for retribution. Surely someone had either some artistic talent or integrity. The 70’s had managed some to produce a string of quality movies: Jaws, Star Wars, Taxi Driver, The Godfather (I & II). Well, this is what I think….. 1. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Start with the obvious. Star Wars, despite it’s clunky dialogue and flagrant disregard for Aunts and Uncles, was utterly ground breaking. It needed a cracking follow up to the original without rehashing it. Unlike Star Wars, this starts with its grandstanding battle, on Hoth and continues from there with, surely not, a story! Characters are developed and plotlines are hatched. It also has a twist ending (the Darth Vadar as dad soap opera shenanigans) that maybe cliché today but was Sixth Sense style shocking back then. Plus it also has all of these things too…. AT-ATs, Boba Fett, Bespin, Yoda, Super Star Destroyers, the Emperor, Wompas, Lobot, etc. However the title does kind of give it all away. Dir: Irvin Kershner. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher 2. Raging Bull (1980) Martin Scorsese, despite spending the 70’s bringing us Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, had failed dismally with New York, New York and was still enjoying his copious cocaine habit. Luckily his bestest mate Robert De Niro wised him up and gave him a copy of
                    this biography of Jake LaMotta. Bloody and profane, Raging Bull stamped its presence all over 1980. With crisp black and white photography and powerhouse acting (De Niro broke one of Joe Pesci’s ribs in one of the sparring scenes). It makes Rocky look like the sham of sentiment it really was. Dir: Martin Scorsese. Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty 3. Flash Gordon (1980) Camper than a week with the scouts and a weak hero what chance does it stand. Well, it does have Brian Blessed as a bearded shouty bloke (with wings!), a cracking oddity of a soundtrack by Queen, a host of fabulous supporting talent (Peter Wyngarde, Timothy Dalton, Topol, PETER DUNCAN, Richard O’Brien and Suzanne Danielle) and set design that needs sunglasses to fully appreciate. And directed by the same man who brought Get Carter to the screen. Who would have thunk it? One question though, where is Melody Anderson (who played Dale) these days and how come she isn’t married to me?!? Dir: Mike Hodges. Starring Sam Jones, Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow 4. An American Werewolf in London. (1981) Everyone has their favourite bit. The Slaughtered Lamb, the undead dialogue (‘Have you ever been dead, it’s boring!’), the mass car crash in Trafalgar Square, Jenny Agutter in the shower and so on. It also featuring the terrific transformation scene, astonishing even in these ropey CGI days. Oh, John Landis, you may have crashed more cars in the Blues Brothers but where did it all go wrong! Its not that scary but as horror films go, very few are as witty or well done. Dir: John Landis. Starring Griffin Dunne 5. Heathers (1988) Thank god. An antidote to those whinging high-school flick so popular back then. A biting satire on the way schools back then (slightly more cutting than Grange Hill) with excellent non-kiddy dialogue (Jock, over the coffin of one deceased Heather, ‘G
                    od, why’d you have to kill such great snatch!’, one Heather diving up a deceased Heather’s belonging, ‘Here, have Heather’s Swatch. She always said you couldn’t accessorise for shit.’) Maybe Christian Slater did get this gig simply because of his Jacknicholsonisms? Either way its still an extravagant wayward rebel performance. Winona Ryder does her uptight teenage angst bit superbly too. Sure the end seems a bit of a hasty conclusion but in comparison to The Breakfast Club this deserves Oscars. Dir: Michael Lehmann. Starring Christian Slater, Winona Ryder 6. Withnail and I (1986) Anyone who has seen this film will know why its here. Those who haven’t, SEE IT NOW! Then answer me this question , are you a stone or a sponge? Dir: Bruce Robinson. Starring Richard E. Grant, Paul McCann 7. The Long Good Friday (1982) Gritty and violent, The Log Good Friday is a film only the British could make (good enough in fact for Empire magazine to name it the best British film of all time). London gangster Harold Shand, just about to make the biggest deal of his life, finds himself outclassed and outmanoeuvred by forces unknown. Bob Hoskins makes you forget that bleedin’ rabbit with a monster central performance, calm but raging as pubs explode and his cronies are killed. Also look out for a fresh faced Helen Mirren and Pierce Brosnan, Charley from Casualty getting his just deserts and that wonderful sax heavy soundtrack. Dir: John Mackenzir. Starring Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren 8. Full Metal Jacket (1987) Or maybe this bit should be re-titled Full Metal Jacket (the first 45 minutes). For this bit leaves the viewer shattered, enthralled, sickened, enthralled and entrapped by the dehumanising of it all. And this is before they get anywhere near the Vietnam War. Stanley Kubrick was never one to pull any punches and this is no exception, with R. Lee Ermey
                    excelling as the Drill instructor (he should, he used be one) and Vincent D’Oniforio as Private Pyle, the one pushed to far. It is the most complelling opening to any film, ever. The rest though, is sadly middle of the road War Is Hell melodrama and Platoon does that bit way better. Dir Stanley Kubrick. Starring Matthew Modine. 9. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) Like Withnail and I, to not have seen this is a sacrilege against exemplary filmaking. In this faux documentary (if you will Rockumentary) is incredibly earnest and hysterically funny. For example, metal ‘legend’ Nigel Tufnell plays out a gentle ditty on his piano, when asked it’s title, he can only reply ‘Lick My Love Pump’. If you don’t watch it immediately after watching Withnail, you’re only fooling yourself. Dir: Rob Reiner. Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Micheal McKean 10. Die Hard (1988) If it hadn’t have been for Die Hard, your average Saturday viewing experience would be very different. Forget The Rock and Mission Impossible II and Face/Off and Con Air. We’d still be watching by the numbers Schwarzenegger and Stallone –a-thons of lame brain action. With enough tension, decent characters and pithy dialogue Die Hard saved the action genre. Notice whose still got a decent career these days, yep Bruce, not Sly or Arnhold. Coming toward the end of the Eighties, when greed was no longer quite so good, there is also a slight anti yuppie feeling to the film. The corporate guy who thinks he can do a deal get a bullet for his troubles and it’s up to the blue collar Roy Rogers fan to save the day. Maybe I’ve seen it too many times. Universally loved by the male friends characters too. Dir: John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia Honourable mentions…. The Verdict, Blade Runner, Stand by Me, Blue Velvet, Return of the Jedi,
                    Platoon, Back to the Future (I & II), Witness, The Mission, Aliens, Zelig, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Elephant Man, Batman Returns, Color of Money and Breakdance II:Electric Bogaloo.

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                      14.02.2001 03:19
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                      You always look back on your youth fondly, don't you? My grandparents just love the old bizaare black and white films of the 50s, and I imagine I'll still be obsessed with this bunch when I'm their age. I admit now that my selection is far from a "classic" list - it's more comprised of the few films I remember from the 80s that I still watch excitedly today. They're in chronological order as distinguishing between them is nigh on impossible. SUPERMAN II - 1980 I wasn't even born when this film was released, but it remains my favourite Superman installment to this day. The first film was slightly cheesy and the following efforts were tired, but this one captures all the classic comic book action and manages to throw in a bit of storyline too. In particular, the change Superman undergoes when he loses his powers to marry Lois really hits you as you see him reduced to our level. There's also the plot everyone wanted to see - Clark and Lois finally getting together. And to top it all off, the White House gets smashed to pieces by two homicidal maniacs and a foxy chick into S&M. What more could you want from a comic? ROCKY III - 1982 The third film in the series and still the best one. After defeating Apollo Creed twice, Rocky takes life for granted and rests on his laurels, to the point of arrogance. Cue the immortal appearance by none other than Mr. T (well, Clubber Lang in this film, but he should have been called Mr. T), who defeats the champion. His title taken from him, his "adoring" fans lose interest in him and he begins to doubt himself. But, of course, this is America - and Americans don't lie down! In a rousing finale, his former rival Creed trains Rocky back up and he challenges Mr. T for his title. It's a classic self-doubt storyline, with some good old boxing action on the side. THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS - 1983 I had to include a Steve Martin film som
                      ewhere in here, and although Planes, Trains and Automobiles came close (with the excellent John Candy), this film still cracks me up. Oddly, Martin has gone downhill in the 90s and all his best work came in the 80s. This story, of a tiring middle-aged man who becomes obsessed with the brain behind the beauty, is simplistic on a superficial level but after several viewings you realise it tells a sad story (jeez, I'm starting to sound like Mark Cousins here). There are many hilarious moments, from the one-liners of Sissy Spacek (as the brain Dr. Hfuhruhurr is infatuated with) to the tempestuous wife the Doctor endures, played by an impressive Kathleen Turner. It's an all-round good film, one you might watch as part of a marathon (or is that just me). THE TERMINATOR - 1984 The first in a trilogy of films from this year, and one of the best of the decade. It is gripping throughout and the special effects are impressive even by today's standards. This has got to be one of Schwarzenegger's best ever performances - probably because it doesn't involve many lines, never Arnie's forte - as he plays the cyborg from the future sent back to kill the mother of the future leader of the Human resistance. Of course, Arnie against Linda Hamilton wouldn't be very fair, so we also have another man sent back to help her, and this forms the basis of the film. The story is simple and has been copied since, but it remains a film that's simply entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Fans might be interested in the darker undertones running through it, but for most, it's just plain old Arnie at his very best. THE KARATE KID - 1984 As the plot outline at the IMDB sums up perfectly, "a handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate." There's very little more to the film except a contrived moral point about coming to terms with oneself, but Mr. Miyagi must be one of the funniest characters from
                      the decade and his erstwhile pupil Daniel San gets a few laughs too. You suspect they didn't mean it to quite come out this way, but the American gibberish about bonsai trees and painting fences is plain hilarious. At the end of his studentship, Daniel San emerges a well 'ard guy and he wins a karate tournament, the one time in the film he smiles in front of his pupil. I think this is supposed to mean something, but I don't know what. GHOSTBUSTERS - 1984 Disgustingly, some people have left this out of their own lists. Shame on them. Ghostbusters is one of those films that you thought was pretty good at the time, and maybe pretended to be in the playground, but was never too interested in. Then, you watch it again ten years later and you realise what a kick-ass fil-um it is. Bill Murray, who is so under-rated even despite this performance (and later greats such as Groundhog Day), is at his very best and even Dan Ackroyd seems funny. Add to that some impressive specal effects and a funky soundtrack, a ghost with a malformed sense of humour (I blame the parents) and Sigourney Weaver looking damn fine, and you've got probably my favourite film out of these ten. Watch it next Christmas - it's better than you remember. WEIRD SCIENCE - 1985 This is one of those teen movies that, as much of the genre was, you'd expect to be awful. Two boys and a fantasy woman, yadda yadda. In reality it was great - a teenage boy's dream, at the very least. The simple coming-of-age storyline is a little sickly, but that's not what the film is about. Gary and Wyatt are two teenagers suffering for their geeky behaviour and distinct lack of girlfriends. Along comes the 80s Magik ComputerTM (a computer that when typed at can do anything, ever) and conjures up the wonderful Lisa, played by Kelly Le Brock. Using her special powers (see: her body), she teaches them about Life and turns them into Men. There isn't a whole lot mo
                      re to say, except that even though you won't laugh much you'll be very amused. And aroused. BREWSTER'S MILLIONS - 1985 Starring the unacclaimed genius Richard Pryor alongside the equally talented John Candy, this is a perfect 80s film if ever there was one. The last in the long line of films based on this premise, it tells how Montgomery Brewster, a down-and-out baseball player, comes into a quirky inheritance - he must spend $30m in a month to win the full $300m. Shocked and bemused, Brewster takes friends on a wild spending spree, buys a baseball team and takes delight in treating those he hates with the same contempt they once showed him. The only clause - that he must have nothing left to show for his money at the end of the month - provides the main twist of the film, as he comes within seconds of missing out thanks to an unscrupulous decorator (bizaare, but true). Along the way, he falls in love (one of very few black and white on-screen kisses of this time) and with Candy, has a lot of fun. It's not an all-time great but it's a fun way to pass a couple of hours. ROBOCOP - 1987 Like ET, there seemed to be millions of copies of RoboCop around car boot sales about two years before it was made. I remember the first time I saw it vividly - Peter Weller's excellent performance as the cyborg cop who still has feelings he's no longer supposed to. Almost killed by a gang of criminals in Detroit, Murphy is brought back as RoboCop, the PD's newest and toughest weapon. The sound effects are superb and I always feel slightly disturbed after watching the film. The scenery is also very well done and adds to the whole feel of the film - almost cyberpunk, with the finale featuring RoboCop coming back to kill the head of The Big Bad Corporation. There is a lot more to this film than meets the eye, although the same cannot be said about the follow-ups. If nothing else, the fake TV reports are worth watching it
                      for alone. SCROOGED - 1988 My final choice, and I had to get another Bill Murray film in somewhere. A comic update of the Alistair Sim classic, Scrooged sees Murray playing Frank Cross, an extremely miserly and ill-tempered TV executive. His station is filming a "heart-warming" version of A Christmas Carol, although Cross doesn't find it all too entertaining due to his difficult childhood. Following the same lines as the original, Cross is then visited by three ghosts, including the brilliant ghost of Christmas Present (the toaster scene is both funny and touching at the same time) and the worrying taxi driver in particular. Murray is at his very best once again, as he often is in such roles, seeming constantly irritable interspersed with moments of hilarious "sincerity". Always repeated at Christmas, it's a film well worth seeing. And there you have it - my top ten 80s films. They're not all classics, I know, but I hope you enjoyed the memories - I certainly did.

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                        13.02.2001 06:14
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                        I absolutely love many of the films from the 80's decade but I suppose this is largely in the main due to the fact that this was the time when I was growing up. I still think that some of the films during this era are still classic films today and I still have them in my film collection. Anyway my top 10 80's films (in no particular order as I could not decide) would have to be: 1. ET - Got to be the best film ever. Not only was it an excellent storyline but the fact that ET himself was so cute and had emotions and feeling it was also a bit of a tearjerker near the end. The film had great effects and everybody will remember all of the kids riding their BMX's in the sky with ET sat in the front!! Its unusual for the audience to be on the side of the Alien but we all were - Superb! 2. Short Circuit - In a similar vain to ET in that 'No. 5' was not supposed to exist on Earth. He was a machine who through an electrical storm 'comes alive' and escapes his military compound and befriends two people. Everybody is out to get him as he was developed as a weapon but he just wants to be "Johnny No. 5 - Alive!!". Again, you want him to escape capture. - Its just so cute but also very funny. 3. The Breakfast Club - A typical brat pack type movie of the 80's. Some school kids in America get a Saturday detention and the film follows what they get up to whilst they are shut in a room together. They are a group of all different types of people from the highschool jock to the girl misfit and follows how they interact with eachother and although they are individually very different they do infact have a lot in common. It is hard to believe that a full film could be made from this simple storyline but it was and it works well. 4. St Elmos Fire - Again a brat pack film featuring more know filmstars such as Demi Moore and Rob Lowe. Again a group of friends have recently finished school and
                        it follows how their lives change and interact when they need to basically grow up and make a future for themselves. A really well made film and a classic of the decade. 5. Robocop - An Absolutely superb film set in the future where rather than having a normal police force a machine is introduced, 'Robocop'. The thing is that Robocop was once a human but was killed in action and rather than laying him to rest a secret mission kept his body alive and used it for a human element in the new machine cop. No one had planned on him actually remembering being a human so all hell brakes lose when he does and he sets out to get the people who killed him in the first place. There are some absolutely brilliant action scenes and effects in this film and it is definately recommended. 6. Kickboxer - Unusually a Jean Claude Van Damme film actually makes it into one of my top 10 lists. Not being one of my favourite actors I have to say that this film is great. A typical tale of good over evil Jean Claude Van Damme plays a kickboxer sets out for revenge for his brother who has recently been disabled by a local fighter. Being pretty much of a novice in the beginning he has to start from the beginning and gets an expert trainer (who has some very unusual teaching methods). 7. Karate Kid - Similar to Kickboxer, the Karate Kid played by Ralph Machio is a new kid in school and a new town. He befriends the maintenance man who helps him defend himself and in the end teaches him Karate. Not just the technical side of it but the meaning and when to use it. The climax is a competition where the Karate Kid is competing his enemies from a local dojo who have been bullying him. A nice feel good movie with a predictable ending but very good nonetheless. 8. Gremlins - What can you say? Gizmo a cute little animal is given as a present to a young boy. There are 3 rules, don't let him in bright sunlight, don't get him wet and what ever y
                        ou do don't feed him after midnight....well this film basically follows what happens if you break every single rule...absolute chaos!! Very funny and Gizmo is great! 9. Top Gun - Not only starring Tom Cruise who has to be one of the most successful actors ever but also has a great story line. Tom Cruise is in the military training to be one of the USA's best fighter pilots and the film follows his exploits being a bit of a jack the lad and falling for his Teacher!! The flying scenes are done very well indeed and tie in very well with a great soundtrack. Brilliant action all round and definately a film for both the guys and the gals. 10. Dirty Dancing - A bit of a chick flick maybe but nonetheless a great film following 'Baby' a young woman on holiday with her family who befriends the staff at the campsite where they are staying inparticular the dancing instructor played by Patrick Swayzee. She basically has to grow up during the summer but she also gives Patrick Swayzee the courage to follow his dreams too. He together with his friends have developed a new dance style 'Dirty Dancing' but it has not had a public airing as being a bit risque compared to the classical ballroom style that everybody else is doing at the time. A really good film and the soundtrack is probably just as well known as the film itself.

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                        01.02.2001 02:21
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                        1) STIR CRAZY…Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are superb together as the two out of work losers end up in jail after some serious mistaken identity with a healthy sentence to boot. Can the guys survive in the Pen or are they doomed to a miserably hell. Brilliantly funny and lots of excellent play off between the two. Don’t make em like that anymore. 2) BACK TO SCHOOL…Rodney Dangerfield is not everyone’s cup of tea but for me he’s the funniest guy on the planet. I met him in L.A one spring morning at 8am where he was sitting on a bench drunk out of his mind on a bottle of Scotch. Successful Short n Fat clothing business man Thornton Melon at 55 goes back to school to prove to his son he’s supportive of himBut Rodney enjoys college life too much and doesn’t do any work. It’s a comedy and if you like Caddyshack then you would have loved this. Great lines like “Aren’t you Dr strausshaven who invented the linear motor.(Rodney)No I’m Thornton melon sold you your pants” .Its silly and great fun. 3) BIG…. Tom Hanks seems to be the ideal nice guy to pull in the punters and prizes in every movie he now makes. This one made him a big star as he is a kid who’s magically put into a mans body by a fair ground fortune cookie machine and gets a job at a toy factory. It’s his innocent boyish charm and love of safe roles that makes him so bankable. This is comfortably his cutest film of the 1980s. Great fluffy film. 4) NO WAY OUT…Kevin Costner is excellent in this taught political thriller based around an American intelligence officer close to The Whitehouse who has to cover up a suspicious death of a women he was dating adding to the viciously twisting plot. Great film that was never really billed as a big movie when in fact is very very good. If you haven’t seen it’do. 5) DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS…. Steve Martin and Michael Cain are great
                        together in this tale of two con men who work the rich and famous women on the French and Italian Rivieras out of their nice little nest eggs pretending to be all sorts of characters. But a turf war develops as the jokes increase with Martin at his best up against a canny Cain.Greta fun and one of Martins best films behind L.A Story. 6) MOONSTRUCK…I just love this New York tale of love and romance in the Italian American district of Little Italy.Cher is brilliant as she was in Mask as a woman seeking love and commitment as her time clock clicks on. Her family want her to marry an older man in Danny Aileo but she falls the charms and lust of his younger brother Nicholas Cage .If you have never seen this you have to watch it if you’re a romantic at heart. Cage and Cher are superb and the cast is littered with an excellent ensemble. 7) NAKED…. This is one of my favorite British films directed by Mike Leigh and driven along powerfully by the cynical David Thwellis who has no love of the world and tells it to a on duty security guard he befriends in the shadows of backstreet London at night. The dialect of cynicism is second to none and it really makes you think about life and the way the world works must for dooyooers. See it! 8) GREGORYS GIRL…Has to be the best Scottish comedy ever about a 16 year old school guy who falls in love with a sexy girl football player and longs for one night alone with her which he never quite gets. Quirky, cute and real this is a must for all those kids out there who no what clangers are. Oh the 80s. Gordon John Sinclair seemed to disappear from grace after this and made the fatal error of a sequel last year. Gordon is a mora… 9) PRETTY IN PINK…I just put it ahead of Breakfast Club, as the definitive 80s teen American comedy as the sound track is so cool. Molly Ringwald battles her emotions as she’s attracted to a rich guy and a poor one. Who’s the lucky bo
                        y to date the pinky girl. All the contemporary teen 80s actors are here and the film is a pretty good representation of what the 1980s were all about. Being different and totally weird. Great stuff. 10) DAS BOAT….At 200 minutes long you need stamina for this classic world war two German U boat classic.Its sub titled but the suspense and hull crunching rivet popping action twists you nerves inside out.The greatest submarine adventure ever.Who said the krauts couldn’t make movies.

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                          12.12.2000 03:05
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                          TEN COOL 80S FILMS Top Gun…The quint essential 80s upbeat American propaganda classic as pretty boy Tom Cruise and his fellow ego maniacs battle it out to see who the best of the best at the Miramar airbase in San Diego known as Top Gun to those who care.Line like"Your egoes writting cheques your body cant cash"say it all. There is definitely homoerotic under tones to this brash, action packed, high velocity male bonding classic. Kelly Mcgillis is the love interest as Maverick (Cruise) battles his demons in the air and on terra firma. Theres a show down with the communist as the capitalist propaganda comes thick and fast. Slick and sleek as the jet fighters that swoop of the joint aircraft carriers with an adrenaline pumped soundtrack makes this the definitive movie of the decade. 2) Wall Street…. If one man made more than the greedy city traders of the gluttonous 80s it would have to be Micheal Douglas who is superb as Gordon Gecko the high flying calculating Wall street guru who lives for money and power. The Sheen family fit in nicely as father and son with very different ideals in life but are on a collision course with destiny as Douglas gets his capitalist fingers into Charlie’s soul. Great two hours of New York, money lust and power. The American dream. 3)Raging Bull…Robert De Niro at his supreme best as boxer Jake La Motta and his slow deterioration through fame and drink to a bloated ex champ. A great character study of a mans demon s and the week women drawn to guys like this money and notoriety and dumping them when the party is over. Shot neatly in black and white giving it a period feel La Motta throws it all away and turns on his friends and family including a great performance bye brother Joe Pesci.The fight scenes are ver realistic and the music haunting as De Niro gives the project his full method acting skills stacking on the pounds for realism. Most plausible boxing film around. 90s
                          films 4) Breakfast Club…The 80s also bought us American teen comedies starring the same 10 actors over and over and over again. This is probably the best off the bunch as it has a message for American teens about growing up and being mature. It was also Emilio Estevez only watchable film. The soundtrack is legendary as its sentimentality as an odd ball gang of high school kids spend a long detention (all night) .Its not just another rights of passage film (ok it is). This was probably the birth of the genre which has recently been revisited recently but with no where near the innocence of the 80s. 5) Crocodile Dundee…. Australia actor Paul Hogan strikes it lucky as loveable simpleton Ozzy bush man Mick Dundee who battles the odds to dodge the bullets and get the girl in this enjoyable comedy set in the stunning Australian out back locations. As a beautiful young reporter follows up a story of a man that wrestles Crocodiles an inevitable love story unfolds. If ever a film changed a small time TV actor’s life it was this guy as he married his co-star Linda Kaswelski and made a series amount of money and fame. Another man who made a lot out of the film was Micheal Hutchings of INXS who invested in it as a tax dodge which was the thing to do if you were a famous OZ of the day expecting it to bomb like most OZ movies of the day did It was probably the biggest unexpected film success in the last twenty years. Refreshingly original and full of charm. Always worth watching the re run at crimbo which also spawned a respectable sequel. Australian charismatic must. 6) Ghostbusters…Bill Murray and the boys at their brilliant best rounding up the city of New York s pesky ghost population as they run a mock in the Big Apple.The special effects are cool and the jokes come thick and fast with Murray cracking the best ones in his sardonic way powering this flick to one of the biggest hits ever on release. Siguorney Weaver n
                          ever looked better and Rick Moranis never got better as we are gifted one of the most original spectacular big budget comedies of the decade. Bill Murrays performance alone is worth the rental alone. Who you gunner call…. Not Rick Moranis I hope. 7) Footloose…Apparently Kevin Bacon did 28 movies in the decade and none more groovy than this one as he brings rock n roll to a repressed religious anti everything small town when his dad gets a job in here and he has to up sticks to finish out high school. Unfortunately he’s way toooo cool for school causing ruptions around town and in wild child Lori Singer s heart resulting in a show down with the local carrot crunchers with tractors at noon. Innocent fun with a great soft rock sound track and feel good potion splashed all over it. 8) Beverly Hills Cop…No star has fallen from an 80s high more than wise cracking street smart Eddie Murphy who after his success as convict Valentine in 48 hours and the brilliant Trading places he hits the comedy nail on the head as Detroit cop Axel Foley. Our slack hero heads into L.A and the glitz to Hollywood to find the killers of his friend. With Harold Faltymeyers classic synth soundtrack he rubs up against The Beveley Hills police department as all hell breaks loose with Murphy’s own breed of crime busting regardless of jurisdiction. It’s very funny, smooth and fast paced with Murphy having the whole film to himself and his thing for 100 magical minutes. Unmissable family fun. 9) L.A Story..Steve Martin prospered in the 80s big time until commercial bucks beckoned and he fell away. This is more of a biopic of the city and its people and traits than a Martin vehicle. Great intelligent comedy including a pretentious earthquake lunch party and scenes where Martin jumps in his car drives next door and gets out again reckon there are tons of in jokes if you live in the city that no one else would get. Even so it’s a cra
                          ckling good tale about weathermen, magic road signs and love and relationships that produce more than a romantic comedy which is funnier every time I see it. A little gem. 10) Ferris Buellers Day Off…Perhaps the best of the Breakfast Club teen spin offs with Mathew Broderick flush with work after War Games.Here hes a middle class boy who wants his moment in the sun at school for just one day so he needs a car, a girl, and a geeky college mate and we have a movie. Its not thick with jokes but its very well made and very 1980s as the boy don the sunglasses and burn some rubber. Pretty in Pink probably was a better version but this had more charm so im bunging it in above them. Mathew Broderick is very good and keeps it whizzing along as the rebels eventually get their just desserts. Text book stuff.

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                            13.11.2000 17:46
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                            I've been working on compiling the top movies of the 80s for my website and have had a lot of fun. You can see my completed listing at http://64.176.72.84/bla/topfive.shtml I've also copied my favourites here... My choice differs somewhat from the others, but here goes :) (1) When Harry Met Sally - Harry and Sally are two friends who meet after college graduation and the film follows the pair through the next ten years as they try to make lives for themselves in Manhattan. After a shaky beginning, the two become close friends, and though both have suffered a series of ill-fated relationships, they vow to remain just platonic friends. Their relationship slowly changes to love and they have difficulty acknowledging their true feelings to each other. The finest romantic comedy of the '80s. (2) Back to the Future - superb entertainment that combines comedy, nostalgia, time travel and a DeLorean car in a delightful and heady mix. Everything fits together perfectly, from the in-jokes, the paradoxes, the music, and the last minute dash where everything conspires against Marty McFly. Twenty years on, the sight of the crack-pot inventor dangling from the clocktower still gets you wriggling to the edge of your seat. Michael J. Fox plays one of his best roles ever. A true eighties classic. (3) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark - this is first instalment of Steven Spielberg?s epic action series. Indiana Jones is an archaeologist and adventurer whose quests for rare antiquities frequently finds him running from one menace or another. In this film, Dr Jones is in the middle of a Nazi plot to use the mysterious powers of the Ark of the Covenant to win the war. The constant, cliffhanger appeal of the movie is great fun - one is always wondering how Indy will get out of one scrape after another. (4) Rain Man - Charlie (Tom Cruise) finds out that his father has died. He is enranged to discover that he w
                            as been merely left an antique convertible, while Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), an Autistic brother who he never knew existed, has been left his father's entire fortune. Charley kidnaps Raymond from his residential home and they go on a load road trip. This helps them to overcome their mutual distrust of each other, and a deep bond is forged as they painfully share past memories, present problems and a possible shining future together. (5) St. Elmo's Fire - a collective vanity piece for the so-called Brat Pack of the 1980s, this coming-of-age movie is an ensemble piece about college grads having trouble getting a lift-off into adulthood. Each actor plays a rather narrow type with problems common to his or her classification. Some (as with Rob Lowe's seemingly doomstruck character) are more absurd than others. But absurdity isn't the issue in this film; it's nostalgic trip back through our own younger days when we were trying to find our way through the jungle of life. (6) Top Gun (7) Terminator (8) The Secret of My Success (9) Gandhi (10) ET I'd love to know what you think! All the best! N. Azam Litmania.com Inc.

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                              06.11.2000 19:02
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                              The following films are not actually in any particular order within the ten, but they are my selection of ten of the best, although not always in terms of quality. 1) Chariots of Fire: This film is probably best remembered for its oscar winning theme, composed by Vangelis. It won best film in 1981, and although a trifle jingoistic (Lines like "All of the most civilised nations in the world will be there") it is an absolute classic, and British to boot. 2) The Princess Bride: One of the greatest comic films I have ever seen, especially with its tongue in cheek humour. It features André the Giant (RIP) and Fred Savage (aka Kevin of The Wonder Years). 3) Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Ok, so this is a typical brat flick from the States, and looks hideously dated now. It appeals to the skiver in all of us, even if it is far from being a cinematographic classic, and anyone owning the soundtrack should be shot on the spot. 4) Morons from out of space: Smith and Jones star in a spoof sci-fi film. Alternative and hard to find nowadays, but worth watching for pure cheesiness. 5) Gandhi: The Ben Hur of the 1980s, it won a stupendous number of Oscars, and was a British film to boot. Ben Kingsley is excellent in this one. One to own, or rent for reference purposes. 6) Robocop: For reasons of how truly poor some films were in the 1980s, and how utterly cringeworthy violence can be made to be. An absolute shocker, only in this list for the comedy of the whole thing. 7) Return of the Jedi: Was the last Star Wars film for 16 years. Full of mistakes, blunders, cock-ups and given cult status inspite of it all. Of course I remember seeing it at the cinema the first time round. 8) Nightmare on Elm Street: The original film is still the best, and genuinely freaks you out to boot. Sad that Freddie was searing the bottom of the barrel in later sequels. 9) A Passage to India: Great Oscar winning film,
                              and again it is British. Those were the days! No other country even comes close for drama of this nature. 10) ET: Responsible for the popularity of the BMX, Brezls, the Speak'n'Spell and of course the immortal line "ET phone home!"

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                              20.10.2000 06:50
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                              I think that with all the big studio movies, directors like Adrian Lyne and Tony Scott ruling the roost with Simpson and Bruckheimer and lots of dumb comedies, the 80s could be hell on wheels for cinema going. Nevertheless, sometimes (inadvertantly) things went right. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER 1) Brazil A mad masterpiece which flopped big time on its first release and still maddens people who aren't ready for it. Take a dose of Python, a splash of Orwell, a handful of brilliant sets and costumes and some of the most imaginative film-making in history, and you have the recipe for a staggeringly good movie. 2) Down By Law A fantastic Jim Jarmusch movie with two giants of indie cinema and music (John Lurie and Tom Waits) locked up in a prison with a pre-Life is Beautiful Roberto Benigni. It looks beautiful, especially when they escape into the bayou, and the music is genuinely cool. The overall effect is like a really laid-back, edgy drama, with Charlie Chaplin parachuted into the middle of it. 3) Do the Right Thing Just staggering: right from the opening, with Rosie Perez boxing her way through a credits sequence to the sound of Public Enemy's 'Fight the Power', this blistering drama, set on the baking streets of Brooklyn and telling a fierce message of races unable to get along, is Spike Lee's most outstanding movie. It's streets ahead of virtually any other American film about race. 4) Raiders of the Lost Ark Big studio film-making at its most successful, and the last decent film that Spielberg made. It's utterly mindless, but Harrison Ford embodies the flawed hero bit with amazing charisma, the jokes are great and Spielberg films it all with real verve. It's a three buckets of popcorn treat. 5) Blue Velvet From the seething mass of critters under the surface to the final unconvincing triumph of good over evil, this is David Lynch's best film: blood, sex, sadis
                              m and Roy Orbison, mimed by Dean Stockwell in the decade's most unnerving cinematic moment. Welcome to Lynchland - beneath the surface, the world is one big psycho ward. 6) Blood Simple The image of Dan Hedaya not quite being dead no matter how hard John Getz tries to bury him is unforgettable - this is a classic film noir with all the dumb inevitability and tawdry style of an authentic James M. Cain adaptation, except that the Coens made it in the early 80s and wrote the thing themselves. Gripping stuff. 7) Platoon Not as operatic as 'Born of the Fourth of July', but this is still a great war movie, and the first which really suggested to Americans that the Vietnam adventure was something they ought to be ashamed of. It's bloody, brutal, and simplistic, but a raw slice of effective cinema you won't forget. 8) This is Spinal Tap Just about now, this film is finally getting the adulation it deserves. From the note perfect accents of the Tap members, to Bruno Kirby as the chauffeur who rants about Sinatra, this is a brilliant mockumentary, a superb parody of heavy metal, and one of the funniest films of the decade. 9)Midnight Run The other agonisingly funny comedy from the eighties, with Robert De Niro excelling in one of the first 'ordinary' parts he played; it's a foul-mouthed extravaganza of verbal wit, with Charles Grodin and De Niro making the usual 80s comedy pairings look like hapless amateurs. Absolute class. 10) The Last Temptation of Christ Yeah, I know this space should probably go to 'Paris Texas', 'Mississippi Burning' or maybe even Scorsese's 'King of Comedy', but I saw 'The Last Temptation of Christ' when everyone was saying that it was weird sick religious porn, and it just isn't. Even for we heathens, I think it's a marvellous piece of cinema, taking chances in a decade when nobody wanted to take chances. Willem
                              Dafoe is marvellous as a very human Jesus, and Peter Gabriel's score is a thing of beauty. And despite all the movies I can now think of ('Beetlejuice', Repo Man'...ouch), that's quite enough from me.

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