1984: A Blockbuster Year

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Ronald Reagan brought that oops moment to the world as he tested a microphone before a radio address; later that November Regan won a landslide re-election. That was the peak of the Reagan era. That was 1984.

1984 was, indeed, an unforgettable year!Mary Lou Retton won gymnastic gold and American hearts at the L.A. Olympics. The reining Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was stripped of her title because of a nude photo spread in Penthouse magazine. Madonna became everyone’s “boy toy” with her “Like a Virgin” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Marvin Gaye was killed by his father; Bernie Goetz gunned down four muggers in the NYC subway; millions starved in Ethiopia; and Bob Geldoff responded with “Do They Know it’s Christmas Time.” Thousands died in the Union Carbide Corporation disaster in Bhopal, India; and Clara Peller asked, “Where’s the Beef?” Cindy Lauper proclaimed that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”; Prince let us know what it sounds like “When Doves Cry”; and Tina Turner made a big comeback and asked, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Clearly, 1984 was a year of big news, big events, and, thanks to the number one TV show, Dynasty, really of big shoulder pads! But as the ashes of have long since settled, it’s ’84’s hit movies that remain with us and have stood the test of time.

Besides being the year that introduced the first PG-13 movie, (Red Dawn), 1984 was the birth year for a number of hit features that spawned numerous sequels: The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy. Comedies were probably the most notable feature of ’84. While the year didn’t produce any great American Film Institute darlings as weighty as Citizen Kane, it did, however, release an impressive number of comedies that are still fresh and still freakin’ funny today. Already mentioned are Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy; but also there are All of Me, This is Spinal Tap, Splash, Revenge of the Nerds, and Romancing the Stone.

1984 didn’t just release blockbusters that kept bottom line obsessed studio heads filled with coke and lap dancing blonds, it also saw the release of some lesser known films that have endured to become classics, films such as Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America; Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas; Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. And the cult classics such as John Sayles The Brother from Another Planet, and the NYC cult horror flick C.H.U.D.

1984 saw Regan era teen angst approach its peak, while the John Hughes’ teen classic, Sixteen Candles, solidified Molly Ringwald as the ’80s’ ginger teen queen and—along with Weird Science that same year—shot Anthony Michael Hall to geek teen stardom, as its new nerd on the rise. The Karate Kid taught us to “Wax on, Wax off,” and A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced slasher fans to a terrifying new evil villain, Freddy Krueger, who entered our nightmares and has remained with us nine sequels later. Not only did teen anxiety influence cinema, but also the collective unease of the Cold War, as 1984 released a cinematic Soviet Union invasion of the U.S.A. in cinematographer and director John Milius’s Red Dawn. The first film to receive a PG-13 rating, Red Dawn was perhaps a bit unbelievable but cathartic, and filled with up-and-coming young stars (Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, and Charlie Sheen); it was a definite reaction to the Cold War anxieties of the 1980s.

 
Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald

1984 was a year of movies filled with classic pop music in such films such as Prince’s Purple Rain, which produced an enduring soundtrack that still holds up today. The concert film Stop Making Sense featured the Talking Heads and was directed by a relative newcomer, Jonathan Demme. Beat Street and Breakin’ capitalized on the popularity of break dancing, and Footloose danced into theaters with its MTV look and a soundtrack that garnered six Billboard magazine top 40 hits. Footloose was promoted again and again; each subsequent music video featured clips from the film, and ultimately kept those bottom-line-obsessed studio heads “Dancing in the Sheets,” and laid the foundation for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

In celebration of that most unforgettable year, I have listed my twenty essential movies of 1984, films that have endured, some that are well crafted, some that capture the spirit of the ’80s—thirty-year-old movies that make us think, sing, dance, scream and, above all else, laugh out loud!
—John David West

David’s 20 Essential Movies of 1984

Ghostbusters

Paris, Texas

Amadeus

The Killing Fields

Once Upon a Time in America

Stop Making Sense


The Terminator

 

This Is Spinal Tap

Beverly Hills Cop


The Karate Kid


Sixteen Candles



Footloose


A Nightmare on Elm Street


Stranger Than Paradise


Purple Rain
Starman


Gremlins


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


The Muppets Take Manhattan


Police Academy

 

 

Click here from more movies from 1984 at IMDB, it’s amazing!

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1984: A Blockbuster Year

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Ronald Reagan brought that oops moment to the world as he tested a microphone before a radio address; later that November Regan won a landslide re-election. That was the peak of the Reagan era. That was 1984.

1984 was, indeed, an unforgettable year!Mary Lou Retton won gymnastic gold and American hearts at the L.A. Olympics. The reining Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was stripped of her title because of a nude photo spread in Penthouse magazine. Madonna became everyone’s “boy toy” with her “Like a Virgin” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Marvin Gaye was killed by his father; Bernie Goetz gunned down four muggers in the NYC subway; millions starved in Ethiopia; and Bob Geldoff responded with “Do They Know it’s Christmas Time.” Thousands died in the Union Carbide Corporation disaster in Bhopal, India; and Clara Peller asked, “Where’s the Beef?” Cindy Lauper proclaimed that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”; Prince let us know what it sounds like “When Doves Cry”; and Tina Turner made a big comeback and asked, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Clearly, 1984 was a year of big news, big events, and, thanks to the number one TV show, Dynasty, really of big shoulder pads! But as the ashes of have long since settled, it’s ’84’s hit movies that remain with us and have stood the test of time.

Besides being the year that introduced the first PG-13 movie, (Red Dawn), 1984 was the birth year for a number of hit features that spawned numerous sequels: The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy. Comedies were probably the most notable feature of ’84. While the year didn’t produce any great American Film Institute darlings as weighty as Citizen Kane, it did, however, release an impressive number of comedies that are still fresh and still freakin’ funny today. Already mentioned are Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy; but also there are All of Me, This is Spinal Tap, Splash, Revenge of the Nerds, and Romancing the Stone.

1984 didn’t just release blockbusters that kept bottom line obsessed studio heads filled with coke and lap dancing blonds, it also saw the release of some lesser known films that have endured to become classics, films such as Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America; Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas; Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. And the cult classics such as John Sayles The Brother from Another Planet, and the NYC cult horror flick C.H.U.D.

1984 saw Regan era teen angst approach its peak, while the John Hughes’ teen classic, Sixteen Candles, solidified Molly Ringwald as the ’80s’ ginger teen queen and—along with Weird Science that same year—shot Anthony Michael Hall to geek teen stardom, as its new nerd on the rise. The Karate Kid taught us to “Wax on, Wax off,” and A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced slasher fans to a terrifying new evil villain, Freddy Krueger, who entered our nightmares and has remained with us nine sequels later. Not only did teen anxiety influence cinema, but also the collective unease of the Cold War, as 1984 released a cinematic Soviet Union invasion of the U.S.A. in cinematographer and director John Milius’s Red Dawn. The first film to receive a PG-13 rating, Red Dawn was perhaps a bit unbelievable but cathartic, and filled with up-and-coming young stars (Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, and Charlie Sheen); it was a definite reaction to the Cold War anxieties of the 1980s.

 
Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald

1984 was a year of movies filled with classic pop music in such films such as Prince’s Purple Rain, which produced an enduring soundtrack that still holds up today. The concert film Stop Making Sense featured the Talking Heads and was directed by a relative newcomer, Jonathan Demme. Beat Street and Breakin’ capitalized on the popularity of break dancing, and Footloose danced into theaters with its MTV look and a soundtrack that garnered six Billboard magazine top 40 hits. Footloose was promoted again and again; each subsequent music video featured clips from the film, and ultimately kept those bottom-line-obsessed studio heads “Dancing in the Sheets,” and laid the foundation for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

In celebration of that most unforgettable year, I have listed my twenty essential movies of 1984, films that have endured, some that are well crafted, some that capture the spirit of the ’80s—thirty-year-old movies that make us think, sing, dance, scream and, above all else, laugh out loud!
—John David West

David’s 20 Essential Movies of 1984

Ghostbusters

Paris, Texas

Amadeus

The Killing Fields

Once Upon a Time in America

Stop Making Sense


The Terminator

 

This Is Spinal Tap

Beverly Hills Cop


The Karate Kid


Sixteen Candles



Footloose


A Nightmare on Elm Street


Stranger Than Paradise


Purple Rain
Starman


Gremlins


Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


The Muppets Take Manhattan


Police Academy

 

 

Click here from more movies from 1984 at IMDB, it’s amazing!

1984: A Blockbuster Year

“My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.” Ronald Reagan brought that oops moment to the world as he tested a microphone before a radio address; later that November Regan won a landslide re-election. That was the peak of the Reagan era. That was 1984.
1984 was, indeed, an unforgettable year! Mary Lou Retton won gymnastic gold and American hearts at the L.A. Olympics. The reining Miss America, Vanessa Williams, was stripped of her title because of a nude photo spread in Penthouse magazine. Madonna became everyone’s “boy toy” with her “Like a Virgin” performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Marvin Gaye was killed by his father; Bernie Goetz gunned down four muggers in the NYC subway; millions starved in Ethiopia; and Bob Geldoff responded with “Do They Know it’s Christmas Time.” Thousands died in the Union Carbide Corporation disaster in Bhopal, India; and Clara Peller asked, “Where’s the Beef?” Cindy Lauper proclaimed that “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”; Prince let us know what it sounds like “When Doves Cry”; and Tina Turner made a big comeback and asked, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?
 
Clearly, 1984 was a year of big news, big events, and, thanks to the number one TV show, Dynasty, really of big shoulder pads! But as the ashes of have long since settled, it’s ’84’s hit movies that remain with us and have stood the test of time.
Besides being the year that introduced the first PG-13 movie, (Red Dawn), 1984 was the birth year for a number of hit features that spawned numerous sequels: The Terminator, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy. Comedies were probably the most notable feature of ’84. While the year didn’t produce any great American Film Institute darlings as weighty as Citizen Kane, it did, however, release an impressive number of comedies that are still fresh and still freakin’ funny today. Already mentioned are Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Police Academy; but also there are All of Me, This is Spinal Tap, Splash, Revenge of the Nerds, and Romancing the Stone.


1984 didn’t just release blockbusters that kept bottom line obsessed studio heads filled with coke and lap dancing blonds, it also saw the release of some lesser known films that have endured to become classics, films such as Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America; Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas; Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. And the cult classics such as John Sayles The Brother from Another Planet, and the NYC cult horror flick C.H.U.D.
1984 saw Regan era teen angst approach its peak, while the John Hughes’ teen classic, Sixteen Candles, solidified Molly Ringwald as the ’80s’ ginger teen queen and—along with Weird Science that same year—shot Anthony Michael Hall to geek teen stardom, as its new nerd on the rise. The Karate Kid taught us to “Wax on, Wax off,” and A Nightmare on Elm Street introduced slasher fans to a terrifying new evil villain, Freddy Krueger, who entered our nightmares and has remained with us nine sequels later. Not only did teen anxiety influence cinema, but also the collective unease of the Cold War, as 1984 released a cinematic Soviet Union invasion of the U.S.A. in cinematographer and director John Milius’s Red Dawn. The first film to receive a PG-13 rating, Red Dawn was perhaps a bit unbelievable but cathartic, and filled with up-and-coming young stars (Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, and Charlie Sheen); it was a definite reaction to the Cold War anxieties of the 1980s.
Sixteen Candles, Molly Ringwald
1984 was a year of movies filled with classic pop music in such films such as Prince’s Purple Rain, which produced an enduring soundtrack that still holds up today. The concert film Stop Making Sense featured the Talking Heads and was directed by a relative newcomer, Jonathan Demme. Beat Street and Breakin’ capitalized on the popularity of break dancing, and Footloose danced into theaters with its MTV look and a soundtrack that garnered six Billboard magazine top 40 hits. Footloose was promoted again and again; each subsequent music video featured clips from the film, and ultimately kept those bottom-line-obsessed studio heads “Dancing in the Sheets,” and laid the foundation for Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
 
In celebration of that most unforgettable year, I have listed my twenty essential movies of 1984, films that have endured, some that are well crafted, some that capture the spirit of the ’80s—thirty-year-old movies that make us think, sing, dance, scream and, above all else, laugh out loud!

—John David West

 

David’s 20 Essential Movies of 1984

1. Ghostbusters

2. Paris, Texas

3. Amadeus

4. The Killing Fields

5. Once Upon a Time in America

6. Stop Making Sense

7.The Terminator

8. This Is Spinal Tap

9. Beverly Hills Cop

10. The Karate Kid


11. Sixteen Candles

12. Footloose



13. A Nightmare on Elm Street

14. Stranger Than Paradise

15. Purple Rain

16. Starman

17. Gremlins

18. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

19. The Muppets Take Manhattan

20. Police Academy

 

 

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MoviefiedNYC’s Thowback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a day to reflect. A day where we can look back to the golden years of Hollywood, the funky flicks of the 70s, and the post-mod movies of the 90s so as to revel in our nostalgia. Today we look back to some of the greatest movies ever made…and the brutal remakes that came after. Here are our fast five most unnecessary remakes:

Please stop, just stop.

1. Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock was a genius. He shocked the cinematic world by flipping Hollywood’s classical narrative on its head, he created one of the greatest thrillers of all time and he produced a shock ending that still has people talking. So what in the world would possess Gus Van Sant to re-make it, in color, with Vince Vaughn as Norman Bates? This disastrous remake deservedly won both the 1999 Razzie for ‘Worst Remake or Sequel’ and ‘Worst Director’, it was even was nominated for ‘Worst Actress’ for Anne Heche’s portrayal of Marion Crane; Janet Leigh she is not. When asked “Why in the hell would you want to do a shot-by-shot remake of Psycho in color?” Van Sant replied“So no one else would have to.” Later, he went on to explain that the Psycho experiment’s purpose was to show that one director holding a camera is completely different to another, even if they are shooting the same character in the same place. As Van Sant said “Our Psycho showed that you can’t really appropriate. Or you can appropriate but it’s not going to be the same thing.” We couldn’t agree more.

Perfection

2. Sabrina

Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden lit up the big screen with class and character; they were true Hollywood stars whose very names instantly evoke a sense of glamor and beauty, a reminder of a golden age that has since passed. Under the careful guidance of Billy Wilder, these actors made Sabrina an Oscar winning classic.

Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, and Greg Kinnear are fantastic actors, they are warm and relatable and very entertaining, but compare them to breathtaking, old Hollywood stars and they will fall short. Julia Ormond could have given the performance of her life but it was never going to be that of Audrey Hepburn. No one can match Audrey Hepburn. The remake will always be held up against the original, meaning that it never really had a chance. Wilder’s version is so infused with Bogart’s rough charm, Hepburn’s doe eyes and Holden’s charming smile that there was no way for Sydney Pollack to successfully remake it. He gave it a good try and even Roger Ebert appreciated the attempt, but to remake a classic and expect better results is just down right foolhardy.

American v British humor

3. Death at a Funeral

In 2007, Frank Oz directed a fantastically dry, British comedy that’s cast included Peter Dinklage, Alan Tudyk, and Kris Marshall. It centers around the funeral of a man who has been leading two lives; one that his family knows about, and one that they will discover on the day of his funeral. This film finds humor in the darkest of places, including the coffin. In fact, one of the most memorable scenes takes place when Daniel opens his father’s casket to say his goodbyes, the camera follows his gaze and the audience waits for a reaction, perhaps even a glistening tear. Instead, he informs the funeral workers that they’ve brought the wrong body. This moment is played to perfection as the audience try desperatley to resist laughing at such a terrible mistake but fail miserably. The film is about laughing at the improper moment, finding humor in the dark and learning to have a macabre sense of humor.

Unfortunately, in 2010 Neil LaBute decided it was necessary to remake the film in a more slapstick American fashion. The same scene takes place, this time with Chris Rock as the son in mourning, and an old Asian man as the mistaken body. The joke becomes obvious, unfunny and totally missing the point, much like the rest of the film.

Carpenter v Zombie

4. Halloween

This 1978 classic has horrified, spooked and scared generations of horror fans. The character of Laurie shot Jamie Lee Curtis into stardom as the final girl trying to survive the terrifying pursuit of Michael Myers. John Carpenter soon became a film lover’s dream as he created shots that combined sex, blood and phallic symbolism – the horror movie staples.

In 2007 Rob Zombie directed the Halloween remake, a film that was truly terrifying for all the wrong reasons. Scout Taylor-Compton plays the final girl, who by the end of the film, we are hoping will actually die at the hands of Myers. While Curtis played the role of victim with a kind of determination that the audience cheered for, Compton whines and dithers her way through survival. I was hoping that a horror remake would include a more modernized look at the female role; perhaps Laurie could be more monster hunter than final girl. Sadly, this is not the case. Unsurprisingly, the film fails to live up to the name of the original and ultimately Carpenter trumps Zombie.

Bacon always wins.

5. Footloose

Movies from the 80s just have something about them; a kind of childish innocence mixed with adolescent woes and adult tragedy. Footloose deals with oppression, depression and repression all to the soundtrack of Kenny Loggins with the tagline: ‘One kid. One town. Once chance.’ Awesome.

A fresh faced Kevin Bacon sets out to fight the religious repression of a small mid-Western town through the power of dance. This street wise kid has moved from the big city to a place where dancing has been deemed untrustworthy and rock and roll is the music of the devil. With the support of Ariel, the troubled preacher’s daughter, Ren rallies his classmates together in support of a senior-prom. Their only obstacle is Ariel’s father, Revered Shaw Moore, who considers music and dance to be a recipe for disaster. Ren comes of age as he falls for Ariel, gains purpose in his new town, and dances like he’s in an MTV music video. Let’s hear it for the boy.

2011 dance movies do not have the charming innocence of the 80s. They tend to be flashy, pompous and generally unnecessary. It was hard to believe that dancing was banned in a town, no matter how small or religious, in the 80s but in 2011? The whole premise of the film seems off, the substance is lacking and the acting just isn’t up to scratch. Yes, Kenny Wormaid and Julianna Hough can dance, but this isn’t Step-Up 17, this is an anguish filled fight against authority, that just happens to take form through some nifty dance moves. All in all, another completely unnecessary remake.

Love remakes? Hate them? Let us know! Tweet us at @moviefiednyc #TBT

-Sínann Fetherston

Twitter: @moviefiednyc
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