August 20, 2013

My Five Favorite Films From...1982

Honorable Mention – First Blood: Before he was playing goat soccer with the Afghanistan rebels, Rambo first appeared in this movie. A well-written, well-shot tale that not only had action, but explored the problems some Vietnam Vets were having reintegrating with American society.

5. 48 Hours: Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny? This, his first role, was one of his best movies. Playing off of Nick Nolte’s racist cop, it made for an instant action/comedy classic.

4. Blade Runner: It’s become stylish to hate on this movie as of late. But Ridley Scott’s vision of a dystopian future became a permanent part of science-fiction lore, and its imagery still influences the genre. The examination of what exactly makes someone human, tied into those visuals, makes for a great film.

3. Fast Times at Ridgemont High: Even now, more than 25 years later, this movie holds up. Hilarious and touching at the same time. And who can’t relate to being a teenager with a shit job? Though I never had to wear a pirate outfit…

2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Still the best Star Trek film ever made. Not only because of the action and the humor, but what other film in the series could compete with the emotional ending?

1. The Thing: John Carpenter’s tour de force about a parasitic alien life-form hunting and killing men in the Antarctic. He ratchets up the tension relentlessly. And with a touch of Lovecraft, it pushes the film over the top into one of the all-time great horror/sci-fi films.

Films I Like But Didn't Make The List: Airplane 2, Class of 1984, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, E.T., Gandhi, Poltergeist, An Officer and A Gentleman, The Year of Living Dangerously, Tootsie, Fanny and Alexander, Rocky III, The Verdict, The Dark Crystal, Tron, Porky’s, Missing, The World According to Garp, Conan the Barbarian, Firefox

Guilty Pleasure – The Beastmaster: I can’t defend a movie starring Marc Singer on quality grounds. It’s a complete rip of Conan the Barbarian. But for some reason I like Don Coscarelli films. Beastmaster is a grade-B popcorn movie that I have to watch when it’s on. Maybe it’s the ferrets…

Insane Film That Must Be Mentioned – Tenebrae: It’s probably Dario Argento’s best film. But you cannot deny that’s it’s also a crazy film, with enough blood to fill the banks at a Red Cross center. All the killings, and the gruesome way in which they were performed, saw Tenebrae banned in many countries. It wasn’t until 1999 that it could be legally purchased in the UK.

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


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