Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1980's. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2021

RiffTrax Watch: Space Mutiny (1988)




Watched:  02/20/2021
Format:  Rifftrax on Amazon Prime
Viewing:  Oh, god... 4th?
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Let's let them live in peace

This movie isn't very good.  

Highly recommend checking out the RiffTrax version on Amazon Prime.  Watched primarily because JeniferSF had watched it, and it seemed like a good idea.  It was.


Saturday, February 13, 2021

Forget to Mention It Watch: Return of the Swamp Thing (1989)




Watched:  01/28/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second?
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Does it matter?

We did this one as a watch party, and I often forget to write up watch party movies.  But, yeah, this movie isn't very good.

I...  I don't really think it bears much discussion.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

PODCAST: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (1982) - A Signal Watch Canon Episode w/ SimonUK and Ryan

 


Watched:  01/22/2021
Format:  BluRay
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade: 1980's
Director:  Nicholas Meyer


SimonUK and Ryan boldly get into a movie about aging, space pirates, sacrifice and making grown men cry when their space pal is taken out. We're tasked with talking about what a big deal this movie is for us, personally, as well as what it meant for Star Trek as a franchise. 
Music
Main Title - James Horner, Star Trek II OST
Epilogue, Closing Credits - James Horner, Star Trek II OST


Playlists

Signal Watch Canon

SimonUK Cinema Series

Monday, January 11, 2021

PODCAST: Aliens (1986) - a Signal Watch Canon episode w/ SimonUK and Ryan


Watched:  01/06/2021
Format:  DVD (Legacy Edition)
Viewing:  lol
Decade:  1980's
Director:  James Cameron


We're talking the movies in our personal canon - the movies that opened our minds, expanded our horizons and maybe helped inform who we are. And what better way to reflect upon oneself than with a rip-roaring sci-fi action horror yarn about motherhood, alienation, personal interconnectedness, unexpected surprises and who will stand by you when life really tears you apart.



Music: 
Bishop's Countdown - James Horner, Aliens OST

SimonUK Cinema Series

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Watch Party Watch: The Running Man (1987)




Watched:  01/08/2021
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Paul Michael Glaser

The Running Man (1987) - for being a kinda goofy movie about a gameshow where the contestants are framed-up convincts and convicts with crimes like "not teaching the curriculum to school kids", this movie has some uncomfortably prescient stuff baked in as our janus-faced gameshow host plays to his base of folks who *won* in a prior civil conflict, and are joyfully taking part as people are killing each other for our entertainment.  Not surprisingly, such a dynamic show has cross-demographic appeal, and it's not just the folks who came out on top economically, it's also the folks on the streets who can't look away as desperate men run for their lives.  

Thursday, December 31, 2020

80's Watch: Romancing the Stone (1984)




Watched: 12/30/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Apparently, Robert Zemeckis

As a kid, I have two memories of this movie - 1) I think my parents thought itw as going to be risque, because the first time we watched Romacing the Stone (1984) it was with some family friends who had to tell them it was okay for 9 year old me, and 2) when I watched it again later - running on HBO or whatever, it just made me wish I'd rather be watching an Indiana Jones movie.  

I was, of course, not tuned in at all to what the movie was doing.  I had so clearly missed the point watching this as a kid, that five minutes into it this time (and I don't know if I'd seen this movie since I was 20), I turned to Jamie and said "I don't think I ever realized before that Kathleen Turner is supposed to be a nebbish.  I thought the idea was that she was a fancy lady from New York out of her element."  

So, yeah - TOTALLY missed the point as a kid.  

Sunday, December 27, 2020

That Was a Movie Watch: Salome's Last Dance (1988)




Watched:  12/26/2020
Format:  Amazon Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Ken Russell

So...  I'm always on the hunt for something new to watch with folks during Friday Night Watch Parties.  For some reason unknown to me, Salome's Last Dance (1988) popped up as a suggestion from Amazon, and after reading the description - roughly: Oscar Wilde attends a production of his banned play performed in a brothel - I was like "huh, no idea.  Let's look."  

I got maybe 45 seconds in and saw "Directed by Ken Russell", and know more about Russell's reputation than his actual work, which is always at least *interesting* if you've seen Altered States, Lair of the White Worm or even Tommy.  So - I gave it a whirl.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Blood Beat (1983)

 


Watched:  12/11/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's

Sometimes you watch a movie that is so off the rails, the batshit-ness gains its own power.  

I *think* I basically get what occurred during Bloodbeat (aka: Blood Beat) (1983), but I am willing to hear any interpretation of events which unfold in the film.  

A woman living in rural Wisconsin welcomes home her kids from college for Christmas.  Her son has brought his girlfriend, unannounced.  NBD, but the mom is also on the skids with her rednecky live-in boyfriend, and she's a painter and psychic.  Sort of.  And she gets a weird vibe from the girlfriend.  

The girlfriend also hits a psychic tripwire upon arriving, so... They all go hunting.  The girlfriend does not like.

A samurai ghost shows up when the girlfriend is sexually aroused.  And the sister seems unable to get an outfit together that makes any sense.

Anyway - the samurai ghost kills the neighbors who try to put too many things on a waterbed.  

There's a psychic battle, stock footage of nuclear blasts, and some light nudity.  It all feels like a one off issue of X-Men circa 1984.

I genuinely enjoyed this thing.  DIdn't know where it was going from moment to moment, and was both just confusing and concrete enough to stick with for the 90 minute runtime.  Not a technical marvel, but it had a certain je ne sais quoi.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Yellowbeard (1983)




Watched: 11/01/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First(ish)
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Mel Damski

I may have seen parts of this as a kid.  I vaguely remember it being on cable during one of the sporadic windows during which my parents would get HBO, see we were watching something very much like Yellowbeard (1983) and then pull the HBO subscription again for a year before they forgot and did it again.

Look, I appreciate that we all bring something to these Amazon Watch Parties, and Jenifer had fond memories of watching this as a kid - and I have a vague memory that told me I'd seen it - but I don't think I ever had.  Nothing looked familiar.  But this is not a much loved movie by critics, the 1983 audience or the folks in it.  If you want a hint - there are very famous, beloved people in this and yet no one talks about this movie.  So.  But they did get to hang out in Acapulco and make a movie - and this seems to have landed them a massive, all-star cast that should have been a hit just by default.

Graham Chapman.  Peter Boyle.  Cheech & Chong.  Marty Feldman. Madeline Kahn. James Mason.  Eric Idle. John Cleese.  Kenneth Mars.  Michael Hordern.  Susannah York. Nigel Planer. And a bunch I'm forgetting.  But, yeah, you have all these people sharing the screen, but the movie seems like they have no idea what is happening or how a movie works.

Anyhoo... I bet they had fun in Acapulco.  But, a weirdly not good movie.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Working Girl (1988)




Watched:  11/27/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Second, I think
Decade:  so, so 1980's
Director:  Mike Nichols (checks notes) huh.

When Working Girl hit theaters in 1989, I remember it was one of those movies everyone saw - both parents and kids.  A lot of kids with their parents.  It had the gloss on New York City business and the glamour that suggested in the late 1980's as being a part of the high stakes world of business at the heart of American capitalism after eight years of Reaganomics was the pinnacle of success - and a lot of pop culture flowed forth from that.  Right up to and including movies like this, Gremlins 2 and the novel of American Psycho.*

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

HOLIDAY PODCAST: "3615 code Père Noël"/"Deadly Games"/"Game Over" or even "Dial Code: Santa Claus" (1989) - A Xmas Genre Xrossover 2020 episode w/ JAL & Ryan

 


Watched:  11/07/2020
Format:  Shudder Streaming
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Rene Manzor


It's French. It's Christmas. It's got a deranged Santa and a kid who has seen a lot of 80's action films. It's like "what if 'Home Alone' were infinitely @#$%ed up?" Justin and Ryan take a deep dive into a movie that feels like it's about to break as a cult classic, and features a very Bonnie Tyler Christmas song. You may know it as "3615 code Père Noël", "Deadly Games", "Game Over" or even "Dial Code: Santa Claus". But it's a frikkin' delight, this thing. 
Merry Christmas - Bonnie Tyler

Xmas Genre Xrossover 2020:

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Masters of the Universe (1987)




Watched: 11/20/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Gary Goddard

I should start by saying:  I didn't ever really like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as toyline, cartoon, what-have-you.  Maybe because a lot of the material behind the franchise is simply bad.  The Filmation cartoon was goofily animated and the voice actors always sounded like they were recording out of context and in a well-tiled bathroom.  It featured a handful of wildly annoying characters and artists who really wanted to work in a few rotoscoped shots as often as possible.  (I will say - it DID blend American comic book style art very well, and should have shown Marvel how to do this instead of what they did in the 1990's.)  But mostly, He-Man was a lot of nonsense to sell toys, and that's great.  I support that idea.  I just wasn't into their particular gumbo of elements that made up their cartoon and toys (and found the original line of toys frankly grotesque, and not in a fun way).

Monday, November 16, 2020

Interaction watch - RoboCop (1987)




Watched:  11/03/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  let's not talk about it
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Paul Verhoeven

I think we'll be podcasting this at some point in 2021, so we're gonna take a pass on writing it up.

But it was fun to watch as a Prime Party, as some hadn't seen it or hadn't seen it in a while.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Amazon Watch Party Watch: Escape From New York (1981)

 


Watched:  11/06/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  John Carpenter

I'm not writing this up.  If you've not seen it, you're all the poorer for it - but it's a fine bit of early 80's cinema.  And, of course, established Kurt Russell as a non-Disney star.



Sunday, October 4, 2020

Not That Spooky Watch: Little Shop of Horrors (1986)




Watched:  10/03/2020
Format:  Amazon Prime?  Jamie put it on
Viewing:  ha ha ha... I have no idea
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Frank Oz

I think SimonUK and I are going to podcast this movie after Christmas, so I'm not going to write it up. Weirdly, despite the fact I do watch this movie fairly often - somehow I've never written it up on this site, which is kinda odd.  There's a few mentions of the movie on Melbotis.com, but the format over there was kinda all-over the place. 

Here's a post from back when I did DITMTLOD posts where I talk about Ellen Greene as Audrey.

Anyway, this seems like good incentive to actually cover it on the podcast this winter.




Saturday, October 3, 2020

Mel Brooks Watch: Spaceballs (1987)

 


Watched:  09/26/2020
Format:  Streaming?  Jamie was playing it.
Viewing:  oh, lord, I have no idea
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Mel Brooks

I really enjoyed this movie in 1987 when I saw it in the theater, and despite the fact I've seen it a couple of dozen times, I continue to enjoy this movie.  

Also - every time I'm waiting to see if something at work is going to work, I mutter "come on, Schwartz".  No one ever knows what I'm talking about.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Muppet Watch: Great Muppet Caper (1981)

 


Watched:  09/12/2020
Format:  Disney+
Viewing:  Unknown
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Jim Henson

The Muppet Movie is a beautifully constructed film on many levels, is gorgeous, has an amazing message, and we should all own at least one copy.  The Great Muppet Caper is just @#$%ing funny.

Leaning on the tropes of movies, movie-making, and doing occasional spoofs (Piggy's Esther Williams tribute), The Great Muppet Caper sings about what it's going to be, and is that - a pretty thin mystery plot as an excuse for Muppet mayhem.  And, along the way, makes it fun for them and for all of us, with terrific sight gags, 4th wall-breaking jokes, improvised moments (there's a scene with Kermit and Piggy in the park that cannot possibly have been in the script), and the patented Muppet formula of running jokes that just get funnier as they go along.

The cast includes the recently departed Diana Rigg (we didn't set out to watch a Diana Rigg film, but she's hilarious in this) and Charles Grodin in a star turn as Nicky, Rigg's ne'er-do-well brother.  But there's also UK-friendly cameos as well as those for an American audience.   John Cleese and Joan Sanderson's bit feels imported from another movie entirely, and I remember thinking it was very funny when I was 6, but now I find it hysterical.  

Anyway, this is an ideal one to watch with the kids.  Listen to everything the Muppets are saying, especially in throw-away lines.  It's like two separate movies for kids and adults, but I think everyone will still like it.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Girls Just Want to have Fun (1985)




Watched:  09/04/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  First
Decade:  so, so 1980's
Director:

Sort of like Teen Witch from roughly the same era, Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985) feels a bit like the people putting it together didn't really know how to make a movie.  Or else they didn't have the money to do what they intended to do, which is probably evidenced by the lack of ability to license the Cindy Lauper version of the titular song of the movie.  

A very young Sarah Jessica Parker plays a Catholic High School girl who has just moved to Chicago.  She's moved around a lot, but is excited by this move as Chicago is the home of a very famous dance show she watches religiously, and she wants to try out to be ON the show as a regular featured dancer.  She immediately becomes besties with Helen Hunt, who is struggling to play rebellious and daffy and maybe punk?  But who dreams of being the "music news" portion of the show.

Anyway - there's a rich girl who is mean, a dopey looking biker guy who just wants to DANCE, and nuns.  Oh, and Jonathan Silverman playing an 80's-excess-loving entrepreneurial teen/ a dork.  

This is why 80's kids gravitated to John Hughes movies.  Even when they were maybe problematic or kind of hand-wavy when it came to stories, they felt competent, and the teens weren't just shrieking and running from place to place.  Parents were occasionally more than cardboard cut outs.  Kids have recognizable issues, like "I just want someone to like me" or "see me".  

But this movie has weird issues like being unsure if the main character lives in an apartment or house.  Her dad is so blandly written he feels like a goddamn monster, cowing daughter and wife.  And Helen Hunt is acting mostly through hair clippies.  

I dunno.  I am not a 10 year old girl in 1985, and that's who this was meant for.  

Monday, August 24, 2020

Watch Party Watch: Elvira - Mistress of the Dark (1988)



Watched:  08/21/2020
Format:  Amazon Watch Party
Viewing:  certainly not the first
Decade:  1980's
Director:  James Signorelli

I've both watched and discussed Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988) numerous times here on Ye Olde Internets.

I noticed it's currently streaming on Amazon Prime, and so - breaking with tradition where we watch a less-than-amazing movie and discuss in real time, knowing that most people dismiss the movie out of hand, I decided to foist it upon those who joined us.

Frankly, I enjoyed watching a not-bad movie!  In fact, one people seemed to enjoy!

Anyway, I forgot to mention while we were doing the Watch Party I actually have an Elvira sticker on my current laptop, but I think - after Jenifer and I kept dropping Elvira trivia on them left and right - they got the idea that we happen to like Elvira.

further evidence
I will be able to identify my laptop in case of theft

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Regret Watch: Vibes (1988)



Watched:  08/23/2020
Format:  TCM Underground
Viewing:  First
Decade:  1980's
Director:  Ken Kwapis


Ostensibly movies are there to be a popular entertainment enjoyed by many people, which will earn the filmmakers, collaborators and investors some money. 

I am reminded of the comedian Amber Ruffin and her series, Amber Says Why?

Who was Vibes made for, and why did they think people would enjoy it?  Why?  Was it made on a dare?  And if it was a dare, who was daring whom?  And was this the winner or loser of that dare?  Why did they choose to make this, and what is the this that they made?  Is it a comedy, and if so, what part of it is funny?  How did they get to the point where they had a camera and a set and people there to make the movie, and how did they think this was a good script?  And if they thought it was good, why did they think it was good?  Did they want to make money or did they hate money and try not to earn it, and if they thought it would make money, who did they think would pay for watching this movie?  Why did Jeff Goldblum chose to do this movie? And did he know he'd be cast with Cindy Lauper?  Did they cast them because he is tall and she is short? Why did they think psychics and Ecuador were a good fit? And why did they go to Ecaudor for real and a soundstage other times with terrible props?  Was that Elizabeth Pena? Why was she in the movie for five minutes?

WHY?

First - I always thought this was a Manhattan-based comedy about psychics running a scam with other psychics.  Second - this is like a no-budget version of Romancing the Stone but furious at the idea you should like the leads.  Third - wow, clearly Lauper and Goldblum had absolutely no chemistry.  And - Fourth - what could have maybe partially redeemed the film with FX and character moments in the end is just a plastic prop that must have looked so bad they avoid showing it, and Cyndi Lauper telling us something that happened off screen.

But, I am still mostly mad this had Elizabeth Pena and then immediately took her away.  Like, what is wrong with you, movie?

WHY?