Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Quality 80s? Part IV

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.

Also check out: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

The Untouchables (1987)
Directed by Brian De Palma
Recommended by Oscar (1 win, Sean Connery, 3 add'l noms), Ando, Jandy, Fox, Adam

It's weird to watch Kevin Costner films and take Costner series. It's crazy to think what a big actor he used to be. Sean Connery of course, is amazing and the story is a lot of fun. You can see how a lot of movies since the Untouchables have taken it's cue from this film. There's some memorable lines and Robert De Niro is a great Al Capone.

There of course are those "big scenes" like the one where the gun fight is going on while the baby carriage is going down the stairs. It's cinematic, but watch the film 20 years later, it also comes off as a little over the top, especially the slow motion moments.


Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
Directed by Woody Allen
Recommended by Oscar (3 wins with 7 noms), Jandy, Will, Jeremy

This film's screenplay is pure literature. It's exceptional.

I often have mixed feelings about Woody Allen films, and yet this one is absolutely great, and he really offers unique roles for the various women (Barbara Hershey, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Carrie Fisher). I thought the story line and the story telling where so inventive.

Aliens (1986)
Directed by James Cameron
Recommended by Oscar (2 wins with 7 noms), imdb (#4 80s film), Joe Valdez, Chris

This sequel had far less of the suspense element that Ridley Scott's initial film had, yet it moved with much more action. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is such an interesting film/sci-fi leading lady, and I am so glad she received an Oscar nod for this genre performance.

It's interesting that this is the only film credit for young girl "Newt" (Carrie Henn), she's fantastic in this film...her ability to be cute and scream horrifically reminds me of Dakota Fanning. I also had fun drawing comparison's to Aliens and Titanic (namely the running around between different rooms on a transportation vessel moving away from inescapable danger. Some make it, some don't).

5 comments:

Adam said...

The Untouchables is greatness. I love Sean Connery in that movie. It's also a great movie because the accountant is the real hero, I'm not bias or anything :)

Aliens is one of those movies where you can have a strong argument that the sequal is better than the original. It's in the same conversation as the first two Godfather movies and the Fletch series.

Jamie Dawn said...

I really like the movie The Untouchables. It's been awhile since I've seen it.
Alien and Aliens are both good too.

jvjannotti said...

Aliens less suspenseful than its precursor? I've always liked both of the films, but Aliens is almost unrelentingly suspenseful. It's not nearly as gory as the first film, which is another thing it has going for it, imo.

RC said...

@ jvjannotti...as far as suspensfulness...my thought is when I'm watching "Aliens" the action moves along and even though there are those "creepy" moments the actual reveal of seeing the aliens is different than in the first film.

in the first film Alien, you don't even know what the aliens look like. the very slow pacing of the first film also just leaves you wondering "what's going on?" and then you see the eggs, and the octopus looking thinging plants itself on the face, and then everything's calm, etc. By the time you see THE alien, it's very creepy and you don't know what it's defense is.

In the 2nd film the threat is different...multiple aliens, but this time they have trackers and fire guns, etc.

Dan E. said...

Did you just call a Brian DePalma film over the top? Isn't that like accusing Spielberg of sentimentality? Considering this is the man who gave us Dressed to Kill and Body Double, I would say the baby carriage scene was downright tame by DePalma's standards.

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