Hey, long time no see people. Reading dalmationlover's Cartoon Batch article, it inspired me to create similar articles about movies,music, and cartoons. But I will keep the subject retro. In part one of the article, I will mention my favorite movies from 1971- 1989. Anyway, on to the article
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
Even though this movie was a box office flop, this movie has joined the ranks of classic kids movies like Disney's Mary Poppins. The movie stars Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket and Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. When released, Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and screenwriter of this film) was angered by the final product that he refused to sell the rights to create the sequel (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator came out a year after this movie). This movie introduced me to the book(s) and Roald Dahl. Even though they messed up certain scenes in the book for this adaptation and the Tim Burton movie is gaining popularity, this and the Tim Burton are classics in their own way
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
After Dr.Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick was becoming a famous director. This movie was the first of five movies Kubrick made for Warner Bros. The movie was nominated for four Oscars including Best picture. The film follows the adventures of Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his "droogs". They terrorize a dystopia Britain in the future by using rape and ultra violence as their methods. After a violent murder, Alex is arrested and put into rehabilitation using the Ludovico technique (which is that the patient has to watch ultra violent images for long periods of time, while under the effects of drugs that give them a near death experience). The music is made out of classical music played on the Moog synthesizer. I heard about this movie after watching the Shining for the first time. Learning that this movie was made by the same director, I gave it a view. Just like Shining, I enjoyed it.
American Graffiti (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
In 1974, the king of parodies, Mel Brooks, released two of his most famous parody films: Blazing Saddles (a movie I have yet to see) and Young Frankenstein. This movie parodies the classic 1930s film adaptation of Mary Shelly's novel. It stars Gene Wilder as Dr. Frankenstein, Marty Feldman as Igor, and Peter Boyle as the Monster. The funniest part for me, is the part where Dr. Frankenstein asks Igor where did he get the brain that he put in the monster.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
I may not have heard of the show (Monty Python's Flying Circus) this movie was based on, but I've heard of two of the actors from the show (John Cleese and Eric Idle). The humor in this movie is silly, yet hilarious. With elements like the Camelot song number and killer rabbit, this and Life of Brian (another movie I have yet to see), will be well remembered in decades to come
This was the first of the six Rocky movies. People always say that this is the best one (I can't debate because the only Rocky movies I've seen is this one and Rocky III). This movie has the famous plot device of an underdog (literally) fighting his way to the top. Rocky starts out as a small time boxer. Then he gets a once in a life time opportunity to fight the heavy weight champion, Apollo Creed. This movie was nominated for ten Oscars, and took home three, including Best Picture.
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)
In 1968, Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, started to change the way people look at science fiction movies. When this masterpiece debuted, it completely changed people's view on the genre. With unforgettable heroes (Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia) and villains (Darth Vader), this movie will forever be loved by changing generations
Superman: The Movie (1978)
When this movie was released, it took an existing genre and update it for a new generation: the super hero movie. The movie features Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, and Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor. Seeing the way Chris Reeve acts as Clark Kent and Superman, I seemed to be convinced that he really is Superman. Gene Hackman's potrayal of Lex Luthor is also excellent. He brings wit and humor to a character that was previously a 2D role. This movie started the modern superhero movie craze and the Warner Bros. Superman franchise.
During the 1970s, the horror genre was going under a resurgence in popularity. Case in point, movies like The Exorsist (original), The Omen (1976 version), and this movie. It stars a then unknown Jamie Lee Curtis playing a babysitter who is being terrorized by a killer named Michal Myers, who escaped from a mental hospital. His doctor (Donald Pleasenece), who has failed to rehabilitated his patient, is trying to stop his crazed patient. This movie started the Halloween franchise. With an awesome theme song, and the introduction of one of the greatest movie villains (in my opinion), this is one of the great ways to begin the modern horror movie genre.
The Muppet Movie (1979)
When this masterpiece was made, the Muppet Show had enormous popularity. The movie is essentially a fictionalized account on how the Muppets met and became famous. This movie has all the Muppet characters and a lot of celebrity cameos which include Richard Pryor, Mel Brooks, and Orson Welles. The humor in this movie is the same as the humor as the Muppet Show. This movie is well remembered for the Academy Award nominated song "The Rainbow Connection". This song is the Muppets' answer to "When You Wish Upon a Star" This initiated the Muppets movie franchise, a franchise that is scheduled to continue when to new Muppet movie comes out (Lets hope they keep it true to the Muppet spirit instead of adding (c)rap songs i.e. the Alvin and the Chipmunks 2007 movie).
The Shining (1980)
"HERE'S JOHNNY!" (Man, that quote never gets old) This is an example of the greatness of Stanley Kubrick's adaption of Stephen King's novel, the Shining. The plot involves a writer named Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) takes his family to the Overlook Hotel to stay during its off season. His son has a strange ability called the shining. Before and during the stay, he seems to sense whats about to happen. During the stay, Jack goes insane from weeks of isolation and tries to kill his family. Even though critical reception for this film was mixed when first released, it is now considered a classic of the horror genre
Just when Mel Brooks started to become the best satirist, the Zucker Brothers arrived and made this hilarious movie. This movie parodies disaster films, it even has dialogue and references to a 1957 film called Zero Hour. With hilarious jokes and famous quotes including this quote:
Ted Striker (Robert Hays): Surely you can't be serious
Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielson): I am serious..and don't call me Shirley.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strike Back (1980)
After the enormous success of A New Hope, 20th Century fox green lit the two sequels (the sequels were really the remaining 2/3 of his huge original script he wrote in 1974). When released, it surpassed the box office and acclaim the original received. Whenever people mention the original trilogy, they always mention that this the best movie in the trilogy (Something I can agree with).
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
In between the time Empire Strikes back was released and Return of the Jedi was released, George Lucas went to Paramount and started a film quadrillion about a adventurer/archaeologist named Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). In this introduction movie, Indy is pitted against Nazis when it comes to finding the Ark of the Covenant. He and his sidekick, Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), try to find the Ark first before the Nazis find it first. The movie also stars Karen Allen as Indy's ex girlfriend Marion Ravenwood and Paul Freeman as Indy's arch nemesis, Rene Belloq. Personally, I consider this to be the best of the quadrillion (I bet there are other people who agree with me).
Superman II (Richard Lester/Richard Donner Cuts) (1981/2006)
The sequel to the acclaimed 1978 classic should be better described as "Superman the Movie part 2." since both movies were part of one huge script, i.e. Star Wars original trilogy. The plot is when Superman throws an elevator with a Hydrogen bomb into space, the bomb's explosion destory's the Phantom Zone and free the Krytonian villians, General Zod, Ursa, and Non (three characters seen in the beginning of the first Superman movie). Oddly enough, there are two versions of this film. The one that was released in 1981 was the Richard Lester cut. When filming Superman the Movie, they were filming that movie and Superman II at the same time. Richard Donner also directed Superman II. When tensions rose between Donner and producers, the Salkinds, they replaced him with director Richard Lester. Some of Donner's footage was removed and some of Donner's footage like the scene of Clark being beaten up by the bully were retained. In 2006, Warner Bros. released Richard Donner's cut. With the help of editor Michael Thau, the cut managed to retain much as Donner's and remove most of the Lester footage. Personally, I like the Donner cut more than the Lester cut. Donner's cut seems to capture the same feeling of seeing a comic come to life like the first Superman film.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
This sports film is based on the true story of the British track team of the 1924 Summer Olympics. This movie has the memorable scene of the athletes running on the beach while Vangelis' famous theme plays. This movie won four Oscars, including Best Picture. This film portrays the athlete's confidence and perseverance really well and memorably.
Blade Runner (1982)
Even though the reception for this film was mixed when first released in 1982, this film is now a classic sci fi movie and a symbol of the 80's. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a member of a special group of the San Fransisco Police Department that are known as "blade runners". Their job is to "retire" humanoid robots known as "replicants". The movie also stars Sean Young as Rachael and Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty. Just like Superman II, there were different versions on this movie (Don't make me go into detail).
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Who doesn't love this masterpiece of sci-fi and friendship. The plot involves a friendly alien who gets stranded on Earth. A boy named Eliot takes him home and names him E.T. The movie was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It ended up taking four, including Best Original Music Score, Sound, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects
The Right Stuff (1983)
The Right Stuff is my all time favorite movie. This movie covers two events: Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier in 1947 and the Mercury space program. For those who don't know, the Mercury program was the first human space program of the United States. The "Mercury Seven" were Scott Carpenter, Gordon "Gordo" Cooper, John Glenn, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, Walter "Wally" Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Donald "Deke" Slayton. This movie seems to capture the spirit of those events really well. One of the things that made it great was Bill Conti's Oscar winning score. Also Sam Shepard's Oscar nominated performance of Chuck Yeager is also brilliant. Even though people know more about Apollo 13 (Interestingly, Ed Harris played Gene Kranz in Apollo 13, and he was also John Glenn in the Right Stuff) than this movie, people who did see this movie still thinks this a classic.
National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
"I Think you're all f*cked in the head. We're ten hours from the f*cking fun park and you want to bail out!" Just one of Chevy Chase's hilarious quotes in this comedy classic. The SNL veteran plays Clark Griswold, a family man, who decides to drive his family to a California theme park called Wally World (the Wally World scenes were filmed at the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California). Every thing imaginable goes wrong and drives Clark to the brink on insanity. This was the first a four movie franchise (I'm not counting Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure as a part of the franchise).
Return of the Jedi (1983)
The final movie in the original trilogy, even though it is the weakest entry, it still manages to entertain. This movie seems to tie up all the lose ends of the trilogy, an example is that this is the resolution of the relationship between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Probably the most memorable scene in this movie is Princess Leia's bikini scene. What a great way to end the series (Oh so people back them thought)
A Christmas Story (1983)
"You'll shoot your eye out kid." A memorable line, from a memorable movie. This is, in most people's minds, one of the greatest Christmas movies ever. On the ranks of Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version) and What a Wonderful Life. The plot involves a Cleveland boy named Ralph who wants an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB gun with a compass in the stock (mouthful isn't it?). The excuse is the same one he gets whenever he mentions it to a grownup: "You'll shoot your eye out". This movie survived the test of time and is now showed for 24 hours on Chirstmas Eve on certain Turner networks like TBS.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
This prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark could be better described as an underrated sequel (Read Zen Champion's Underrated sequel article to see what I mean about this movie being underrated). When escaping Hong Kong, Indy winds up in India and helps a village recover a mystic stone. Joining Indy is his kid sidekick Short Round (Jonathan Ke Quan) and singer Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw). It seems people thought this movie was the weakest in the series because of either the plot or the constantly screaming Kate Capshaw.
"Who you gonna call?" "GHOSTBUSTERS!" A line from Ray Parker Jr's famous theme song. Another movie which would become a symbol of 80's culture. The plot involves three parapsychology professors (soon to be four members later in the film) form an organization called Ghosbusters. What they do in this new organization is self explanatory. With hilarious jokes and quotes, this film will be one of the reasons the 80s will forever be remembered and loved
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
This was not only the third Muppet movie, but Frank Oz's directorial debut (Frank Oz also is a Muppetteer in this movie and other Jim Henson projects). When the Muppets create a senior play for college, it is a huge success. They soon decide to move it to Broadway. They encounter all sorts of obstacles that seem to want them only to fail. The character who stole the show throughout the movie was Rizzo the Rat. Probably the reason this movie is most remembered, is because of a musical sequence that introduced the Muppet Babies (The Muppet Babies cartoon debuted two months after this movie)
Back to the Future (1985)
"Once the thing hits 88, you're about to see some serious sh*t" Yes Doc Brown, we really did see some serious sh*t when this movie came out and dazzled audiences. When a teenager name Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) accidentally goes back in time to 1955, he must find a way to get back to 1985 before he and his family fade from existence. He enlists the help of the 1955 version of Dr. Emmett Brown to help him get back to 1985. Just like Ghostbusters, it has a great soundtrack and has become a symbol of the 80's.
National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
This movie, for me, is an example of an underrated sequel. I still find it as funny as the first movie, even though most people don't. Anyway, on to the film. When the Griswolds win a Family Fued like game show, they head over to Europe. They visit countries that include England, France, Germany, and Italy. To make up for no Cousin Eddy, Clark's son Rusty, has been added for comedic relief. Though inferior to the first movie, I still find it funny to watch (Sorry for repeating myself).
The Goonies (1985)
Richard Dooner and Steven Spielberg, a team-up that worked great with this movie. When a group of Oregon kids called the Goonies have to save their homes from demolition, they go out and try to find the treasure of a pirate known as "One-Eyed Willy". Throughout their adventure, they run into danger, and a deformed person named, Sloth. Just recently, I found out that Josh Brolin, the actor who played George W. Bush in the recent movie, "W", was also in the Goonies.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Stanley Kubrick has made two anti-war movies before this one, "Paths of Glory" and "Dr. Strangelove". This movie has to do with the Vietnam War. There are two parts in this movie: the soldier's training in Parris Island, Beaufort, South Carolina. And their experiences in Vietnam. Like American Graffiti, the movie plays classic rock. The most memorable classic rock scene, is the scene when the Trashmen's hit "Surfin' Bird" plays during combat. Though not as graphic as the later war movie "Saving Private Ryan", the movie has its own share of war violence. The movie well shows the darkness of life in the marines and combat.
The king of parodies does it again. This time, he parodies the Star Wars trilogy. Elements of the trilogy are parodied (i.e. the main characters, Darth Vadar, and the force). There's really nothing much to say about this movie, only that it is another funny Mel Brooks parody
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
This movie is both a masterpiece for its technology and story. A murder has been committed and a cartoon star named Roger Rabbit has been framed. Meanwhile, a down-on-his-luck private eye named Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is trying to find a will for cartoon giant, R.K. Maroon. Meanwhile, a judge named Doom (Chrsitopher Lloyd) is secretly trying to destroy the world of the cartoons known as Toontown. Even though live action/animated movies have existed 74 years prior to this movie, this movie gave a renewed interests in these kinds of movies, and in the coming years, we would see more of theses movies (i.e. Space Jam).
Imagine: John Lennon (1988)
After the success of "This is Elvis", Andrew Solt and David L. Wolper made another rock and roll documentary. The subject this time, was the life of John Lennon. They managed to turn 250 hours of film footage into an interesting documentary. The thing I liked most about this documentary is it's use of Beatles and John Lennon songs. The only thing that disappointed me about this documentary, was that it wasn't nominated for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar.
In 1987, one superhero fizzled away into hiatus, the Superman franchise. Two years later, another one would initiate. This movie was the start of Warner Bros' sucessful and popular Batman franchise. A strange person (Batman) is taking the law into his own hands. While this happening, a gangster named Jack Napier, does an unsuccessful attempt to steal records from the Axis Chemical Plant. In the process, he falls into a vat of chemicals and becomes the Joker. With great acting by Micheal Keaton and Jack Nicholson, and the great vision of Tim Burton, it changed people's view of Batman, while starting a hot new franchise.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Even though it says it on the title, this wasn't the last Indiana Jones movie, but most people, including me, wished that it was (not saying that I hate Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Indy has to do not one, but two quests in this movie, find the holy grail and rescue his father (Sean Connery). This movie also introduced us to Young Indiana Jones (The Young Indiana Jones tv show debuted three years after this movie). When ever Sean Connery is in a scene, he seems to steal the show. What a great way to end the original trilogy. Or so what people back then thought.
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Even though released in 1989, the events in the movie still take place in 1985. The movie starts where the first one left off, Doc Brown tells Marty that he needs to come with him to Hill Valley in the year 2015. While in the 2015 version of Hill Valley, Marty accidentally causes a time paradox. To fix the paradox, he and Doc Brown have to go back to 1955 and stop Biff. Though a bit inferior to the original, I still find this to be an enjoyable watch.
So ends part 1. Just a little warning. I can already tell that there are going to be people who are going to complain about why certain movies aren't on the list (i.e. Animal House, Blazing Saddles). The reason is that I have yet to see them. You will also notice why there are no Disney movies here. I will eventually make a list of my favorite Disney movies (Roger Rabbit is an exception because it was released through the Touchstone Pictures banner, not through the Walt Disney Pictures banner). Anyway, enjoy the article. Part 2 is coming soon!