by John Walters

Five Films: 1984

This was the year Hollywood made a lot of popular films, but no great ones. At least not serious great ones. A year with a lot of big films that people still discuss today, most of which I’ve either never seen (The Terminator, Gremlins, A Nightmare On Elm Street) or didn’t like half as much last the rest of you (Ghostbusters, Footloose). I know: I’m such a snob.

  1. This Is Spinal Tap: Will this list go to 11? I don’t think so. This is the seminal mockumentary, and still the best. 2. The Karate Kid: Wax on, wax off. Sort of the Rocky of martial arts mixed with the classic 68-pound weakling tale. The Cobra Kai remains synonymous with bullying treachery. 3. Amadeus: In which a dude who had a small part in Animal House wins a Best Actor Oscar in a film that won Best Picture. 4. Beverly Hills Cop: It’s somewhat formulaic, sure, but Eddie Murphy is like, the coolest cat you’ve ever seen. Was half the film improvised? Who knows, it all works. 5. Purple Rain: Prince’s coming-out party and it’s fantastic, both the music and the story. Nobody’d ever seen a brother shred a guitar like that before.

Honorable Mentions Go To: Against All Odds (Rachel Ward was a goddess), Revenge Of The Nerds, Broadway Danny Rose (underrated Woody Allen), Johnny Dangerously (“my mother called me that once…ONCE!”), Bachelor Party and Splash! (early Tom Hanks; Bachelor Party is a much funnier film than Ghostbusters, at least to me), Sixteen Candles (not John Hughes’ best, but right up there).

Still need to see The Killing Fields.

One thought on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. “Been working so hard
    I’m punching my card
    Eight hours, for what

    Oh, tell me what I got
    I’ve done this feeling
    That time’s just holding me down
    I’ll hit the ceiling
    Or else I’ll tear up this town
    Now I gotta CUT LOOSE
    Kick off your Sunday shoes
    Please, Louise
    Pull me offa my knees
    Jack, get back
    C’mon before we crack
    Lose your blues

    Loved the soundtrack & the movie (except for the lame, tacked-on ‘big dance’ scene at the end, SUCH a letdown!). Compared to some of the other ‘dance’ movies I saw that year (Breakin’, Breakin’ 2 : Electric Boogaloo), Footloose was Oscar worthy. 🙂

    I would replace your #3 with The Natural. Perfect musical scoring too -when Roy Hobbs (Redford) hits that ball into the lights, I get goosebumps EVERY TIME. I actually like the movie MUCH more than the book & it’s usually the opposite.

    Before I get to my “other movies of note”, YOU have NOT seen The Terminator? Or Terminator 2? For a commenter of pop culture, you were/are DERELICT in your duty!

    On to those other movies –

    Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom – my least fave of the Indy flicks, but I still like it.

    Romancing the Stone – a romantic/action/comedy starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner & Danny DeVito. I loved at the time & still enjoy whenever I see.

    Star Trek III – The Search for Spock.

    Red Dawn – the Commies invade America! Starred Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Powers Booth, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Jennifer Grey. Laugh if you must but I think a hefty % of our population point to this movie as to why gun ownership is a necessity. Despite this, I get a kick out of this movie. WOLVERINES!

    A Passage to India – I’m a sucker for history ‘look-backs’ (in this case, the British Raj during the 1920s), especially when filmed on location. However, I have watched this damn movie 7-10 times & I STILL don’t get why Judy Davis’ character thinks the mild mannered Indian man assaults her in the cave! Can SOMEONE explain this to me?! Anyhoo, I preferred the TV miniseries of the 80s – The Jewel in the Crown.

    “If there’s something strange
    In my neighborhood
    Who am I gonna call?”

    I’m ‘Holding Out for a Hero”.

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