Category Archives: Top Film Lists

Top 10 Movies of the 1980s

Image result for 80s moviesThere’s something about movies from January 1st, 1980 to December 31st, 1989 that has that spark that no other decade of filming has had. Since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws invented the term blockbuster & George Lucas’s Star Wars created pop culture, Hollywood & every film maker tries so desperately to capitalize this never ending finishing line of box office success.  But what’s most interesting about looking back all of these beloved films from many of Generation X’s youth (and Millennials’ rise) is that many of them were box office failures (or not as successful in theaters) that somehow grew a huge cult following when they were released in home movies and video rent (hello, Blockbuster). This was a time where internet was inaccessible to the public so word of mouth is what kept many of these films from being forgotten. And what kept these films’ familiarity last longer was the lack of good movies shown in the 1990s decade that kept many of these audiences nostalgic and remain attached to 80s movies. I’ve spent a good 3 months just starting at the beginning and ending these lists at the end of the 80s to realize this.

Image result for 80s moviesBecause of it, this era has been put in high regard moreover than any other decade imaginable. There was once a huge trend in this era of films that especially given its own identity. 1980s offered a huge plethora of high fantasies, slashers (and their sequels), space operas, shoot’em up action, commentaries on society, 1950s nostalgia and coming-of-age teen movies. Sure, it’s quite hard to find a category of movies in this decade that were all artsy & serious movies for some seeking for it, but the majority of them had to sacrifice that direction in visual storytelling for ambition and wild experimentation. I’d suspect that there were too much drugs involved, but it’s nice to see creativity booming in this capitalistic world of the Regan-era. In this list, I’ won’t waste your time listing down the most “iconic” movies from the 1980s (like every damn list out there), instead we’re looking at real quality film making that pushed the boundaries, remains influencing, and even remains the best of its kind that truly thrives against the tests of time. These are the ten movies that still is impressive to watch & does so much better than what’s being offered today when the nostalgia goggles are off. .

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Top 10 Movies of 1989

Image result for the abyss posterNumber 10.  –  The Abyss

 The Abyss is one of Jim Cameron’s lesser known efforts and one can see why. Its rather long, most of it is underwater(probably 90%) and the subject just might not be of interest to most people. The film itself is more known for its behind the scene shenanigans. The plot takes a bunch of civilian divers who go down to the trenches of the Ocean to recover a lost submarine. What they don’t realize is that there are far more powerful forces at play here. The original version of the film was derided on release but a director’s cut with additional footage sets most of the detractors straight. The last few minutes of this director’s cut are rather good so watch this version of the film. Still, the film is just alright and nowhere on the level of say The Terminator or Titanic. After finally getting round to watching it I had allot of mixed feelings mostly to how over long it was and the fact that not a great deal happened but I must admit it kept me gripped from start to finish and the last hour was very good, So if you haven’t seen it yet and plan to, Don’t expect Avatar in the sea because you will be disappointing, But overall not a bad movie.

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Top 10 Movies of 1988

Related imageNumber 10.  –  Stand & Deliver

Inspirational true story about Mr. Escalante, a Los Angeles high school math teacher whose Hispanic barrio students achieved high scores on California’s advance placement calculus tests. A terrific story for two reasons, first because it’s true and second because Edward James Olmos turns in the performance of his life. I enjoy this film but watching it brings back unpleasant memories of study, homework and test anxiety. (yikes!) The film fulfills the teacher/mentor archetype but I would also argue it can serve as the hero “arc” because Escalante defends and protects his students from a myriad of accusations. In many ways I argue the film is most effective when the humor of Escalante comes through as it is how he relates to his students. Near the climax of the film despite suffering a heart attack he continues to believe and trust in his students and all 18 pass. Despite a testing irregularity near the end the film resolves with the students retaking the exam and proving their ability. It seems at the end that the film director is making a social comment on discrimination of Latinos and other minorities as the film suggests was the reason for the cheating probe. All in all I liked the film and thought it did a good job of balancing emotion with story and it left me with a worthwhile conclusion.

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Top 10 Movies of 1987

Related imageNumber 10.  –  Dirty Dancing

This is a really little 80s gem that got touch by a lot of people. Enjoyed every aspect of it the dancing, the acting, the dialogue , the plot, the script and the whole atmosphere that this movie created, Dirty Dancing is a truly powerful magnificent and very appealing movie that leaves you deeply touched and with a wonderful feeling in your heart and soul and an inspiration to dance. So for this being one great 80s movies that is still remember today and still touches the hearts of people right now, and for iconic soundtrack and song at the ending scene.  There’s way too much dance (contrary to Footloose) and it barely is about dance for your typical romantic genre with its usual limitations and properties barges in, to something that had the potential to draw something colossal out of it. Eleanor Bergstein’s script never had enough crisp in the first place to make it on screen which makes Emile Ardolino’s execution shallow despite of being convincingly good.

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Top 10 Movies of 1986

Image result for labyrinth movie posterNumber 10.  –  Labrynth

It contains some intriguing tricks and riddles with some sketchy characters in its first half that ante’s up the game which then makes it more disappointing later, as the second half is exhaustingly cliched with a typical agenda of quest seeking where one knows its predictable climax. Jim Henson needs to work on his execution skills especially when one is creating such a feature that attracts younger crowd that seeks for more drama and meddling with emotions. Jennifer Connelly is brilliant in her performance and unfortunately isn’t supported well enough by David Bowie as he fails to strike essential fear onto the audience. Labyrinth; despite of its flaws, works like a charm as its screenplay is gripping and entertaining enough to hold the audience for its short runtime of 100 minutes and deliver the complete anticipated package. However, to be blunt, if it weren’t for David Bowie’s performance, this movie could have been from being good or as memorable as it is. But that’s not taking away the rest of the effort placed in the film. This is an enjoyable kids film that has the wonderfully imaginative and heart warming centre that Jim Henson was known and loved for.

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Top 10 Movies of 1985

Related imageNumber 10.  –  The Goonies

The Goonies is just that movie where if you didn’t grow up with this movie, it’s hard to like it.  But for the many children of the 80s, this was the ultimate children’s adventure flick and if you missed out of it, it’s already too late for you. You need a child-like mindset to enjoy this exciting adventure that only youths can possibly enjoy. Nostalgia trip to the past on this lovely adventure romance that children of adults alike will enjoy. It still holds up 35 years later. The ultra fast pace will hold your attention, the jokes will still make you genuinely laugh, and the adventure will still thrill you. I can easily imagine parents sitting down passing their love of The Goonies to a new generation with their kids. The Goonies remains a sweet coming of age story that brings you on a fantastic adventure on screen. You feel like you are one of their friends. It is absolutely charming. A silly movie I remember liking as a teenager. Its not particularly thrilling, nor is it very original. But the kids in the movie each have a different personality. That sets it apart from hundreds of other movies. Donner did a good job.

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Top 10 Movies of 1984

Image result for nightmare on elm streetNumber 10.  –  The Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm street has been said by historians and critics to be one of the best and most influent slasher film of all time. With this movie, Wes Craven has established his reputation in the horrors films industry. We can’t deny that Freddy Kruegar (Robert Englund) is one of the most iconic figure of horror cinema, and might be the only reason why the movie had so much cultural impact. The movie itself was not really good, but there are some interesting surrealist scenes with elements of gore for the pleasure of the eyes. Probably the film, along with Friday the 13th that started the dead teenager craze and created a horror subgenre in itself, A nightmare on Elm street was not popular upon release but its legacy has certainly endured ever since. This film stars a young Johnny Depp and Robert Englund as the famed dream killer Freddy Kruger. You can see the film for what its worth- a part of movie history and to be fair it hasn’t aged much.(One of the better slasher film series begins here).

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