Thursday, January 2, 2014
The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 1983
Welcome to 1983. This was a weaker year for me. This year has the example of movies shining through that probably wouldn't had they fallen into a different year. That's part of what the fun is going to be with this. Some of the factors that go into this aside from how much I like a film is how many times I've seen it, whether or not I owned/have owned/have owned multiple times or how well the film has stuck in my genuine consciousness and conversation. I also think there is a difference between having a film as a favorite and knowing what films are better than the others. This year also had 2 James Bond movies...but neither appear here as both happened to be my 2 least favorite.
Here's what the 'Best Picture' portion of the Oscars looked like
WINNER - Terms Of Endearment
The Big Chill
The Right Stuff
Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life
I'm a big Python fan, but for me this is easily the weakest of their batch of theatrical films. I still enjoy it, even if its a bit lengthy. This one highlights more of their sketch comedy prestige than either The Holy Grail or Life Of Brian. This was sadly their last full group outing. There are some very memorable sketches here and I do think its worth your time, its just when I reach for Python to watch, this one doesn't get picked as often as the others. And it wins a spot here because I've seen it a lot more and am more familiar with it than some other well known films from this year.
This was a staple growing up. I had seen this once or twice as a rental, but McDonald's used to have a promotion where you could get VHS movies at a discount with your meal and this was one of them. Mr. Mom is a concept that I think nowadays people might not see the big deal of, but still would be pretty funny today. Michael Keaton is great here with his pre-Batman comedic chops in full swing. There are many funny bits here with Keaton that I used to love as a kid. It also features early turns form Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd and Jeffrey Tambor. I haven't seen this film in quite a while, but I think revisiting it should be in full order.
I recently wrote at more length about this film for Why So Blu (HERE). Here is a film that had no business being made as the first film did not need nor warrant a follow up. But they did it anyway and you know what? If you're willing to give it a chance, it's pretty damn good itself. Most of the dislike for this film comes from just its pure existence and not from people actually having seen it. The film, from script to screen was handled with much care and respect and it shows. I know a lot of people who have avoided this film and never given it a shot, and I honestly think they're missing out. There's a lot to like here. Anthony Perkins totally brings his A-game and feels like he just walked off the set of the first movie. Try this one out, I think you'll be surprised.
Return Of The Jedi
I've got nothing but love for the finale of the original Star Wars trilogy. Some may find it the weakest of the bunch, but I think it may be the one of the most entertaining from a crowd pleasing popcorn perspective. I think it manages to perfectly meld the darkness of Empire with the fun and adventure of the original. As I've mentioned before on this site, it features some of the series' best action sequences. The rescue of Han Solo is also one friggin' awesome way to open a movie. Hate on the Ewoks all you want, but they never bothered me growing up and I see what some are saying but it doesn't deter from my enjoyment of the film one bit. An incredibly satisfying conclusion to the original trilogy.
I just realized I missed the opportunity to do a 30 year anniversary retrospective on this series. D'oh! I have no shame in admitting my fondness for this slasher film and its sequels. Yeah, they're all total sleeze and a bit bottom of the barrel, but I love them for all their zany summer camp goofiness. The first one is kind of tame for a slasher, but where I really enjoy it is the mouthy a-hole kids and employees populating the camp. The film has some really odd choices and setups that have you confused and wondering, but its part of the fun. Also, lets not forget, this film has one of the most shocking and memorable endings in film history (I won't spoil, see it for yourself, its far more rewarding). It's an image that has haunted my brain for years. This one is finally coming to Blu-ray this year and I couldn't be more excited.
National Lampoon's Vacation
Folks, I LITERALLY just wrote at length about this one. So I don't think I need to apologize when all I do is provide THIS LINK for my thoughts in this section.