Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Quality 80s? Part I

In a search to find timeless, non-quirky 80s films (inspired by my viewing of The Accidental Tourist) I have begun my movie viewing. Here are some 1980s films I've just watched for the first time and my thoughts on whether they're any good 20-or-so years post-release.

Moonstruck (1987)
Directed by Norman Jewison
Recommended by Oscar (3 wins, 6 nominations)

This film is totally quirky, but with the snappy dialogue and Cher's accent it's kind of fun. This film is very 80s for sure, but it was enjoyable too watch. Obviously different people have different thoughts on Nicolas Cage (see post here for proof), but he's absolutly ridiculous in this role, which is why I included his picture as the one associated with this film. In a sense this film some how reminds me of Gilmore Girls.

Enjoyable, quirky, very 80s.

Au revoir, les enfants (1987)
Directed by Louis Malle
Recommended by Oscar (2 noms), Jandy, & Will

I actually watched this right before putting up my post about 80s disappointments. In fact, this film is far from have a 1980s style quirk factor, and while it was semi-engaging and was missing some type of magical quality, that say a film about children in war like Forbidden Game (1952) has.

Although I have no concrete complaints, this film really didn't do anything for me.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Recommended by Oscar (1 nom), IMDb (#8 80s film), Mercurie, Will (reluctantly)

I had seen part of this film before, but never watched it start to finish. It's a good film in that Truth-about-Vietnam genre that brought us Stone's Platoon, Apocalypse Now, Forrest Gump-scenes, etc. Obviously the harshness of the barrack scenes that make up the first third of this film is it's most memorable parts. But it's harshness makes it hardly enjoyable, certainly not the type of film you pop in for fun. But, that doesn't disqualify it from being a very respectable 1980s film.

A quality film, just not neccesarily a "fun flick."


Fox said...

Reading that part about Nicolas Cage made me think of two 80's films I think are great: *Peggy Sue Got Married*, and *Vampire's Kiss*.

Both very 80's and quirky, but both have the lovable-loser Cage in them instead of the toupe'd HGH Cage.

Will said...

RC, this is a fantastic idea. I love how eager you are to dive into an area you're curious about.

And I'm interested to see if this experiment is going to change your view about the 80s at all...

Jeremy said...

I was a little disappointed with "Full Metal Jacket" as well. It is harsh although I also don't deny the power of the first third of the film. All in all though, I say it is probably my least favorite Kubrick film.

Anonymous said...

I would have to say that Au revoir, les enfants is one of my most beloved films that i have ever seen. The boys are amazing and i was completely enthralled. Louis Malle created a beautiful film.

Terence Towles Canote said...

You definitely hit the nail on the head with Full Metal Jacket. While I recommend the film and I obviously love it, it's not exactly a pop corn movie.

And Moonstruck is definitely one of the better Eighties comedies. And one of the best romantic comedies to come out in some time.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I gotta say I think it's totally cool you are going through peoples recommendations! Kudos!

Reading your thoughts on the films is very interesting.

I love Moonstruck. A lot of it is completely unbelievable and over the top yet works.

Glenn Dunks said...

See, Full Metal Jacket is probably my favourite Kubrick film. Funny how that works.

Moonstruck is amazing, too.