August 7, 2013

My Five Favorite Films From...1980

Before I get into the movie, I want to quickly touch on something. I occasionally have an entry at the bottom about an insane/twisted/crazy film. That doesn’t mean I liked the movie. Only that it should be mentioned because it’s so over the top. I say this because after the last entry someone asked me if I actually liked Caligula. The answer is an emphatic “no!” But, that film is so bat-shit nuts you have to at least mention it.

Honorable Mention – Kagemusha: Kurosawa’s excellent story of an impersonator who fills in for Japanese warlord Takeda Shingen after his untimely death.

5. The Big Red One: If you see this, make sure to watch the newest release: The Big Red One - The Reconstruction. This is the film as Sam Fuller wanted it to be. Just a great war film that talks about the insanity of war and why, sometimes, you still have to fight.

4. Airplane!: You know 1980 was a great year for comedies if this is #4. Perpetually quotable, this is still the best ZAZ film ever made (with The Naked Gun a close second).

3. Caddyshack: You could run Caddyshack in a theater today and it would do great business against most current comedies. Ted Knight owns this film as the haughty/pathetic Judge Smails. How about a Fresca?

2. The Empire Strikes Back: In any other year, this would be my favorite. A better overall film that the first, its dark tone and tight script let you know beyond any shadow of a doubt that George Lucas had nothing to do with it.

1. Cruising: Just kidding…

1. The Blues Brothers: One of the funniest movies ever made and one of the greatest musicals ever made. That makes it the greatest musical comedy ever. Peroid. Another film you can quote forever. It’s also my favorite soundtrack (still in heavy rotation on my iPhone).

Films I Like But Didn't Make The List: 9 to 5, The Fog, Brubaker, Flash Gordon, Friday the 13th, The Shining, Raging Bull, Ordinary People, Stir Crazy, Superman II, Breaker Morant

Guilty Pleasure – Any Which Way You Can: I know it’s dumb. Clint Eastwood as a brawler with an orangutan for a friend. But the fight with Jack Wilson is awesome. The Black Widows still make me laugh. And I cannot deny that I enjoy this movie.

Insane, Twisted Film That Must Be Mentioned – Cannibal Holocaust: There are a handful of films that make a mockery of the exploitation genre, that are so excessively brutal and/or sexualized they almost demand their own category. This is one of those films. It’s the kind of film you see once as a teenager because of things you’ve heard about it, and maybe once more when you’re older to see if it was really that bad. But if you watch it repeatedly…you may have a problem or two.

Reoccurring Note: As always, my list is not what I consider my favorite films of a particular year, not the best. If that was the case, Raging Bull would be at the top of the list. These are the films I enjoyed the most. Your mileage may vary.


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