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This month we are being a little more specific. We’ve done favourite movies and even favourite guilty pleasures, now we are drowning in nostalgia as the Geekstalkers talk all about their favourite films from the 1980s! Enjoy!
Ben Fenlon from SuperNerds UK – @HailLeviathan
Markus – @TheMarckoguy
I was not born before or during the 1980s. As a matter of fact, I was born in the late 90s. Yet I’ve still watched a fair amount of 80s stuff thanks to TV, recommendations from the internet, and my awesome parents who have introduced me to some cool stuff. So despite my birth being a couple of years off, I still experienced a lot of what the 80s had to offer. So let’s talk about a movie (or two).
I’ve actually chosen two movies to talk about. One that is my overall favorite 80s movie, and an 80s movie that has just stuck with me all my life. Let’s start with the first one.
My first pick for this (overall favorite) is Beetlejuice, a 1988 fantasy-horror-comedy from visionary director Tim Burton. Yes, I said visionary. Dude’s made some great/creative stuff in his life. Anyhow, for the cave-dwellers out there, Beetlejuice is about Adam & Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin & Geena Davis), a married couple who die in a horrific car crash. However, they don’t know they’re dead, at least not until some freaky shit starts happening around their house. And when a new family moves in, they hire a bio-exorcist (ghost getting people out of a house instead of person getting a ghost out) named Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) to try to get these new people out. And then hijinks and creative visuals ensue. The movie is a ton of fun. From the aforementioned creative visuals, to the performances, to the music. But the best thing about the movie, by far, is Michael Keaton. These days everyone loves him for Batman, Birdman, and Spider-Man: Homecoming (and rightfully so). However, I feel like his performance as the ghost with the most is his best… or it’s at least my favorite of his. Really, Beetlejuice is my favorite 80s movie. It’s probably also my favorite Tim Burton movie.
Now, here comes the second movie I would talk about. A childhood movie that has just stuck with me my entire life. Released in 1988 (I swear, this is a coincidence), we are talking about Don Bluth’s The Land Before Time. For the aforementioned cave dwellers, Land Before Time is an animated feature about a group of juvenile dinosaurs named Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie, and Spike who have gotten separated from their parents and must know team up to get to The Great Valley, a peaceful place where no predators exist. However, their journey isn’t simply a long walk, as they encounter some hazards, the biggest of which is a giant T-Rex. I’ve always been obsessed with dinosaurs, so a dinosaur movie was of course right up my alley. But it’s not just the dinosaur aspect of it that has stuck with me all these years, but it’s the characters. Sure, they aren’t the deepest of characters, but they are all decently interesting and all have some arc they go through, which makes them a bit more endearing.
The story is also good. Simple, but good. It’s simple, but there’s still enough excitement and emotion to get me invested. I mean, I rewatched this movie late 2015, and it made me cry… a childhood movie made an almost grown up Markus cry. That’s a testament to how good the movie is. I also feel like I should mention that the T-Rex in the movie is absolutely terrifying, just thinking about it still scares me… I swear, I am grown up (sort of). But what holds up the best in the movie? Don Bluth’s animation. Mother of god, it is aboslutely gorgeous. So yeah… Land Before Time has stuck with me. The direct-to-video sequels, not so much.
So those were my two picks for favorite 80s movies. One official favorite, and one that’s just close to my heart. Hell yeah.
Lou from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Lola_Flump @JackGeekstalk
There was never any doubt about my pick for my favourite 80s film. I was born in the late 80s so actually wasn’t exposed to many 80s films, other than those shown to me by adult relatives. I spent a lot of my childhood weekends at my Nan’s house, which usually included microwave chips, kinder eggs, tiny cans of coke and watching the same few films on repeat, namely – Grease, Pretty Woman and my pick for favourite 80s film, Dirty Dancing.
I feel like I can hear the eye rolls from here. I don’t care at all though. Patrick Swayzee is at his finest as Johnny, from the dance moves to the hot headed portrayal, and Jennifer Grey captures the naivety of Baby perfectly. The dancing is well choreographed, and flows far better than other 80s films where the characters randomly break out into song and dance. A huge part of this film is the music, just writing this I’ve got ‘she’s like the wind’ playing in my head, and all of the songs were chosen very well to fit with the respective parts of the story they accompany. ‘Hungry Eyes’ negates the need for really cringe worthy foreplay through dialogue, something I am always grateful for, and of course ‘Time of my life’ has become iconic, along with the lift. [Side note: no family gathering is complete without my brother and sister attempting said lift to this song]
I will admit that a large part of my love for this film stems from nostalgia and the important part it played in my childhood, but I genuinely also believe it to be a great film. It has 80s feel good – the underdogs winning out, music and dance themes -, is a great story about growing up, responsibility and doing the right thing, but also doesn’t have too much glitter and jazz hands, like so many other films of that time. I will love this film forever.
Seb Reeves – @TheRealMrSeb
I grew up in the 1980’s and have many favourite films from this decade. Indeed when we made our first contributions as #Geekstalkers I wrote about my favourite film ‘Blade Runner’, which was filmed in 1982. This being my favourite 80’s movie I have decided to focus on another film, which for me encapsulates the 1980’s.
With a cast of young talent such as Emilio Esteves, Molly Ringwald and Paul Gleason (Gleason sadly passed away in 2006), ‘The Breakfast Club’ is a coming of age comedy drama, based around five high school teens who have been given detention on a Saturday for various reasons. While the group are not complete strangers, they each come from different backgrounds and are members of different social groups; they seem to have nothing in common.
Despite rules not to move or speak with each other, the students pass the hours by talking, arguing, and, at one point, even sharing a ‘joint’. Gradually they open up to each other and reveal their deepest personal secrets and realise that, even with their differences, they face similar pressures and complications in their lives.
It is a charming movie which provides an insight into teenage life in the 1980’s. The cast worked well together to produce a memorable movie with an anthem by Simple Minds ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ which is absolutely cracking. A definite must see 80’s movie.
Chris Smolinski @RamblingRiter
Ahhh, the 80s. America’s best decade. From the metal high hair, to the spandex and everything in between.
Like most Americans over the age of 20 the 80s is my favorite decade for many reasons. It has the best music and some of the best cheesy action films ever.
So us Geekstalkers were tasked to give our favorite 80s film. Wait, you want me to narrow it down to just one film? Are you crazy? Give me a minute to think on this…
Ok, so I have it narrowed down to 5 films.
- The Labyrinth
- The Last Dragon
- The Lost Boys
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Big Trouble In Little China
- Gleaming The Cube
- Maximum Overdrive
- Howard The Duck
- Police Academy
- Real Genius
- The Secret Of Nimh
- Revenge Of The Nerds
- Three Amigos
- Young Guns
So um yeah, I kind of went over on my top 5. This list doesn’t even include my favorite trilogy, Back To The Future. It’s so hard to choose. Each of these movies holds a spot in my heart. Do yourself a favor and watch them if you haven’t. Ok now for the real top 5.
- The Labyrinth
- The Last Dragon
- The Lost Boys
- Young Guns
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
These 5 movies are the best of the best. We have monsters, The Goblin King, Cowboys and Outlaws, Vampires, and a half animated half real life movie. What more could you ask for? The answer is nothing.
I came into this for some laughs, some reminiscing, and to show you readers a great movie. So without further adieu, I give you
The Last Dragon came out March 22nd 1985. It’s about a boy named Leroy Green. Leroy lives in NYC and tirelessly trains to be like his idol, Bruce Lee. While Leroy is busy training, Sho’Nuff terrorizes NYC looking for a legendary battle. One day, while on his path to enlightenment, Leroy saves the girl of his dreams, Laura Charles, from the evil clutches of TV mogul Eddie Arkadian. In order to save his love, Leroy will have to fight off a slew of bad guys and finally Sho’Nuff himself.
After a long battle, that includes a bullet catch…oh no, you didn’t think I was going to give it away did you? You will have to watch to see if Leroy can save the day, all while finding his GLOW.
Ken Major – @KenMajor83
Richard from The Film and TV Show – @TheFTVShow
Beverley Hills Cop
A film about a rough and tough Detroit Cop who see’s his childhood friend murdered, and seeks to find out why in the sunny state of California.
From the moment the intro kicks in with the iconic “Heat Is On” track by Glen Frey, you are sucked into the world of 80’s America. This was just a prelude for one of the most iconic scenes of the film; where the main character Axel Foley (Played perfectly by Eddie Murphy) is clinging on in the back of a cigarette truck as it powers it’s way through every vehicle it can find, smashing into cars and trucks alike with out a care in the world whilst the Pointers Sisters Neutron Dance powers in the background.
This film, for me, is the epitome of a classic; great songs, amazing dialog, great acting & cast and is one of the most quotable films I have ever come across. The fact that most of the iconic lines from the films were improvised and off the cuff, make it even more appealing.
The whole film is just an A-typical view of how different parts of America’s Police Force are completely different in how they do things, but it also shows that even the most staunch of forces can be influenced by more unorthodox workings, which is kind of true for everything. did you know that Inspector Todd (Gilbert R. Hill) was a real life Detroit Police Department Homicide Detective? Really adds more weight to his scenes and his dialog; of which he changed 90% to make it more realistic, from his berating of Axel in the locker room, to the threats during his “vacation” to California.
I absolutely love the chemistry between Taggart (John Ashton) Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and Axel. They just seem to gel together perfectly are compliment each other really well, which I believe is a main attraction to the film and why the film did so well (It was the largest grossing R Rated film in America until The Matrix Reloaded in 2003). I had the pleasure of meeting both Judge and John at London Film & Comic Con in 2016, with my Taggart, Rosewood & Foley t-shirt on, and they were so down to earth and so friendly. Judge even told me he loved my tee and was so happy that people still love the film after all these years. John took a selfie with me and laughed t the tee. He was next to Steven Berkoff (Victor Maitland) who has said that whilst he hated the film in the 90’s, he has grown to love it. Not surprising really!
I think the best quotable scene for me is where Axel is thrown from Victor Maitlands office through the downstairs window and is arrested. That just cracks me up. You also have “the banana is the tailpipe”, “Johnny Wishbone” & “SuperCops” bits that are all ionic in my eyes.
It really is a film for everyone who loves the 80’s. The clothing, the soundtrack, even the way in which words are delivered in dialog all bring back memories when you watch it. It is definitely a film that has held up over the years, and in some respects is still relevant in film culture now.
It is a film that I urge everyone to watch at least once, and tell me they did not just love it, faults (and there are many) and all! It’s a little piece of the 80’s that just keeps on giving.
Nicola from We Have a Hulk – @nicola_hulkpod @wehaveahulkpod
Dave from Jack and the Geekstalk – @Crutchy @JackGeekstalk
When this topic was chosen I thought to myself “There are so many great films in the 80s, how could I possibly choose just 1?!” Then an ever increasing voice starting shouting from inside me, you’re a F***ing Star Wars fan you idiot!!! The 1980s were blessed with two Star Wars films, but which one to choose? It’s easy really. I acknowledge that The Empire Strikes Back is the better film but my favourite has to be Return of the Jedi (1983).
The previous film having finished on such bleak terms, the trilogy comes to a head with Jedi. Initially returning to Tatooine and meeting the infamous Jabba the Hutt, we see an elaborate plan play out to rescue Han from being displayed on the giant slugs wall. The opening sequence is fun, action packed and feels like a swashbuckling classic! Luke is closer to being a Jedi Knight that ever, displaying some impressive abilities and let’s not forget the gold bikini! Skimpy outfit aside, Leia shows how badass she is by single-handedly strangling a giant slug! Boba Fett, gets a disappointing end but prior to that showed us some of the skills that made him fear across the galaxy.
Moving away from Tatooine, we get Luke returning to Dagobah for the rest of his training only to find that his last task is to face Vader and mourn the loss of another teacher, Yoda’s death still brings a tear to my eye. Ben’s return (albeit in Force Ghost form) is wonderful. He explains Luke’s fathers real history and we also get a revelation that Luke might not be the last hope to save the Galaxy!!!
The last act of the film is simply divine. A rebel force taking down the shield facility aided by the indigenous Ewoks (both cute and handy!) at the same time as a huge space battle is raging between the Rebel and Imperial fleets….AND Luke is fighting internal and external demons in the Emperor’s Throne Room! Seeing Father and Son square off in what seems like an unwinnable situation, defeat Vader and take his place at the Emperor’s side or be defeated. Luke manages to get through to the light inside his father prompting him to put an end to the Emperor!!! This is the ultimate redemption story!!!
One of if not the greatest trilogy of films, the themes have been replicated countless times but Return of the Jedi is the happy ending (mostly) that fans deserve after such a dark second film. Every major character gets closure, Luke saved his father and became a Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker became one with the force, Hand and Leia are officially together and the Rebels defeat the Empire. I love Star Wars and I love this film and even though George Lucas has tried to ruin it over the years, it is the one film I will gladly watch again and again and again (but I still miss the original non-remastered version! Why add a dance number in seriously?!?!) Of course we can’t forget the consistently amazing score from John Williams, that man is beyond a genius and I am convinced the saga would pale with a different composer.
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