Friday, January 3, 2014

The Favorite Films Of My Lifetime: 1984

This was a pretty damn good year in terms of having to weed films down.  It came down to being honest with myself.  Ultimately, Beverly Hills Cop was cut from this list as I hadn't picked up in forever until I did the retrospective this past summer.  The others on this list are ones I have seen countless times and have been with me for years and years and always jump with me from home video format to home video format.  1984 was a good year.  And, these films all hit the 30 year milestone this year.

Here's the 'Best Picture' scenario from the Academy Awards for films released in 1984.

WINNER - Amadeus
The Killing Fields
A Passage To India
Places In The Heart
A Soldier's Story

And now my 6 favorite films from 1984

Friday The 13th: The Final Chapter

If you only see one Friday The 13th movie in your lifetime, make it this one.  While formulaic, this is the one that did it best and hit it out of the park.  This has got everything you want in one of these movies.  Plus, in case you were afraid to be "lost" jumping right into this one, there's a terrific recap of parts I-III to start off the film.  This one also has the best direction and production values compared to its predecessors.  It's also got that hockey mask that made the Jason iconic.  This one is so well done in the character department (for a low budget slasher) that it almost feels like Jason is invading some sort of teen sex comedy.  Tom Savini also returns and his gore effects here are of some of my favorites in horror film.  We'll get to the Friday The 13th franchise when the new one rolls around, but for a rundown in my own words of the entire franchise check out my review for the Blu-ray set that came out last year (HERE).


What am I going to say about Ghostbusters that hasn't been said.  This is one of the best horror-comedies of all time and still holds up today.  This is a great collaborative effort from some of the top guys in comedy at the time.  For me as a kid, the film also worked really well in the scares department and actually does a solid job of creating suspense in even comedic scenarios like Slimer's introduction.  For some reason I used to watch this movie every Thanksgiving, I have no idea or significance as to why i did that.  And if you ask me, I'm glad they've decided to finally kill Ghostbusters III and go the reboot route.  Remember Blues Brothers 2000? We don't need any more of that.  How much better would a reboot be with a cast of Jason Segel, Bill Hader, Donald Glover and Seth Rogen as Ghostbusters?


Once again, I think you'll understand when i just link you to THIS.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Freddy Krueger made his stunning debut 30 years ago.  And yes, Naptown Nerd readers, I WILL be tackling this series in celebration this year.  This film took slasher to a whole new level of terror and added another aspect of a viewer not feeling safe after the credits rolled.  I was scared to sleep after seeing this one.  For as low budget as this film was, the ability to pull of this incredibly visceral nightmare of a film is pretty damn impressive.  There may be some dating to this film but I still love it to death.  I'll save my further praise singing for this film for when I do the retrospective.  At the right impressionable age, I still think this film could scare the piss out of a kid.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

While the weakest of the original 3, this is still quite a fun and solid Indy adventure.  The "American James Bond" (I love the Goldfinger tribute, as seen in the picture) took to a journey much different than Raiders.  It also harkened to a different kind of adventure film in that regard.  If you're familiar with the source material this kind of movie is based off of then Kate Capshaw goes from annoying to kind of charming.  This movie also scared the bejesus out of me and many others when we were children.  Then, because it was this darker chapter, some argue is the best movie.  I think its a bit off from the ones its sandwiched between, but it dared to be different and wasn't off, just the second when it came out.  I dig all the "haunted house" and cult stuff going on in the movie.  Plus the opening is a pretty fun reintroduction to the character.  This is technically the first one, so you could say the series improves as it goes along.  Also of note, Harrison Ford is now running at 3/3 in showing up in this retrospective.  Should we keep a talley of him (or others) making multiple appearances?  Can I get a statistician so i don't have to keep track?  Thanks! :)

The Terminator

James Cameron's sort of tribute to John Carpenter cinema still rocks my socks off to this day.  This is essentially a fresh take on the slasher film through and through, but nobody is gonna call it that.  I enjoy all the practical effects and stunt work going on in this legendary science fiction classic.  I know most people prefer the its sequel, but the first one is my favorite.  It takes a minimalist approach and presents a small part of a larger conflict going on outside of the movie.  I also really love the character of Kyle Reese and he adds a level that none of the other films have.  This also may have been the first time I saw boobs in a movie too.  Plus, this film's score is boooomb diggity for us synth score lovers.  It sucks that this new film in the series had to drop in 2015 instead of making it in time for this one's 30th anniversary.  I can't speak highly enough of the original Terminator film.

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