I'm not yet sure when I will finish this project, it just seems like the more 80s films I watch, the well...more I want to watch and "caught up" on. (Even when some are strange, boring or disappointing).
For those who are new this project was inspired by an attempt to "catch-up" on some 80s films and finding myself very disappointed. With the help of some recommendations and a little perseverance, I've definitely found a few gems...as well as some that can stay in the 80s.
The previous quality 80s post can be accessed through the following links: Part I, Part II, art III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, & Part VII, & Part VIII, Part IX, Part X, Part XI, Part XII, Part XIII, and Part XIV.
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
Directed by Hugh Hudson
Recommended by Oscar (3 nods)
This movie is admittedly odd. And is certainly an interesting follow up to Hudson's Chariots of Fire. For starters, the child, and young male nudity in this film is odd. The apes are odd...especially the disturbing opening scene with the dying baby gorilla. It's intriguing and odd at the same time.
Overall though, I have to admit that it's a convincing Tarzan film, and can't imagine the story being told any more convincingly. But I think Disney captured the magic of the Tarzan story, especially the love story. While Hudson's focus was more on the psychological dilemma of whether socialization was a means to happiness and peace.
The Thing (1982)
Directed by John Carpenter
Recommended by imdb (#20 80s film)
I have no idea how this film ends up so high on the IMDb movie list. This movie reminded me very much of Alien, yet it's intrigue, suspense, and special effects is so much weaker. Kurt Russell does a good job, and it seems like a decent enough film for the genre, but it's so long, with so many non-interesting scenes. Editing, editing, editing...please. Especially with such an annoying film score.
Kurt Russell did a good job. And the only great thing about this film is it's unique and head-scratching ending. But otherwise, this movie is super-80s and is hardly enjoyable if you're watching it for the first time over 25 years later.
The Year of Living Dangerously (1983)
Directed by Peter Weir
Recommended by Oscar (1 win, Linda Hunt, best supporting actress)
If only Peter Weir had a bigger budget and perhaps a screenplay re-write this film would be great. Sometimes the plot of this film, is confusing and hard to follow. The basic story line is Australian novice newspaper man (Mel Gibson) receives a significant amount of help from half-Chinese dwarf (Linda Hunt, playing a male photographer) who gets caught up in a revolution. Susan Sarandon also has a strong supporting role, as love interest and informant.
The character of Billy Kwan is by far the most intriguing aspect of this film. I had no idea while watching that the Asian dwarf Billy was actually a woman from New Jersey. Her voice work and acting totally warrants her Oscar win. For my time I enjoy the Killing Fields better, which seems to have a similar feel, but a much clearer story.