Saturday, April 8, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Movies of 1980

Trying to decide which year to start this with was difficult, but since I don't have much at all to say about most of my top 10s from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, the 1980s seemed like the next logical step. Now, this is the part where I mention the fact this is my list and I don't always like the same things as everyone else. You'll probably notice right away that, although my list does have most of the movies you might expect, there are plenty of other things that are a little...different. Liek ohmagawd, I'm so unique. So without any further hesitation, here's my thingy. My list thingy.

Altered States
I love body horror, crazy visuals, and Paddy Chayefsky, so it should come as no surprise that I really like Altered States. Oh, and it's also directed by Ken Russell, the guy who made The Devils (one of my favorite movies of the 1970s). The acting is definitely not the highlight here, but William Hurt still does a solid enough job. In the end, it's just a well written, really cool looking movie.

Superman II
Being the sequel to one of the most popular superhero movies of all-time is a tough spot for any film to be in, and while this may not have been as much of a game-changer as the first one, I do find myself enjoying it quite a bit more. With Lex Luther in a smaller comedic supporting role, Terence Stamp takes over as the villain (Zod) here and the resulting fights are a blast.

Ordinary People
Best Picture winner of 1980? But what about Raging Bull?!? Well to be totally honest I much prefer this one over the Bull. With 3 great lead performances (and Judd Hirsch) and standing as one of the best-written family dramas of the decade, I'm still impressed with Hutton and Moore in this one. This movie could have been forgettable, but instead it's planted itself in my memory for years.

Flash Gordon
But what's even better than a highly emotional family drama filled with Oscar-worthy performances? A campy sci/fi adventure about a football player preventing the destruction of Earth at the hands of a Swedish/Chinese space emperor, obviously. This movie is trash in a lot of ways, but man is it fun. One of the all-time greatest disasterpieces that never seems to get the credit it deserves.

Cannibal Holocaust
Somehow the first time I watched this movie I didn't find it particularly disturbing. I must have been in one of my more emotionally numb phases at the time because rewatching it I found this movie totally disgusting. Arguably the first found footage horror movie, featuring some of the most grotesque visuals ever seen, this movie definitely leaves an impression. I kinda love it.

The Blues Brothers
The ultimate SNL movie, starring John Belushi, Dan Akyroyd, and every blues, jazz, and soul musician still alive through the 1970s. This movie (while bloated at times) is filled with classic moments, one-liners, and tons of great music. One of my favorite musicals ever, and probably the best movie to feature Carrie Fisher outside of Star Wars. Oh, and Ray Charles shoots at a teenager -- it's great.

Another classic comedy of 1980, Airplane may not have invented the parody film, but it definitely helped make the subgenre more viable. Leslie Nielsen is great, as always, and I believe this may have been his first comedic performance ever. There are about 300,000 puns in this movie, and the jokes never slow down, even when you wish they would. It's relentless, goofy, and thoroughly hilarious.

The Shining
Stanley Kubrick is the worst director of all-time. I know this because his movie only made it to #3 on my list. Like what the hell, guy? I thought you were supposed to be a filmmaker, not some hack fraud who fakes moon landings. What a loser. Seriously, we all know how great this movie is. One of the creepiest horror movies of all-time, unsettling from beginning to end; not even Olive Oil could mess up this masterpiece.

The Elephant Man
Speaking of hack frauds, here we have David Lynch, that guy who makes weird movies about dancing midgets in tuxedos. While I'm at a 4-way tie with which of his is my favorite, The Elephant Man is generally my default pick. Beautifully shot, and depressingly tragic, John Hurt breaks my heart as Merrick every time. Also, this is one of Hopkins' best ever roles. This is pretty much a perfect movie.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Buuuut I still like Empire Strikes Back better. It isn't a more impressive movie than the past few, but I can pretty much watch this one at any point without hesitation. Pretty much everything I love about Star Wars can be found in this movie: Darth Vader is the main villain here, we meet Yoda and Lando, Han gets frozen, Luke gets all hurt (always gets a big laugh), the snow beast and stuff on's all here. If I want to watch Star Wars, I just put on this movie. Love it, one of fhe best movies of the 1980s.

So there we have it. I don't need to explain my reasoning for the absence of Raging Bull, but I'll do it anyway; it's good but I don't think it's great. There. Hope you enjoyed spending this time with me. Transmission complete. Beep boop.

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