I was just sitting here, thinking. We could have a list of top 5 romances, (because obviously, a girl should write about that.) Or we could have top 5 comedies, dramas, action flicks, and the various adjectives that go with them, ie. really cool, stupid, or “to never see.” It occured to me that there is an untapped catergory, the decade. Maybe not even something so broad as a ten year period, but a period of time to explore. In that effort, I present to you my TOP 5 Movies from the 80’s to see late at night (possibly because that is the only time they make any sense.)
1. Any movie by John Hughes, whether he wrote, directed, or produced it. This includes The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, several National Lampoon movies, Sixteen Candles, and the perrenial favorite, Ferris Beuler’s Day Off. I first watched the movies of John Hughes as a freshman in college. I missed that boat in the 80’s. These are the kind of movies that you see very late at night or on Saturday afternoons, being broadcast on some lesser known cable TV station. I think I have seen Ferris Beuler on three different channels in the last two weeks. They are almost always good for a laugh, but not really more than that.
2. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. This fabulous movie was probably glossed over by many, unless they have tendencies toward the weird. Surprisingly, this movie is based on a European myth about a guy who is trying to save a his town from the Turks. He ends up on the moon, dances with Venus (played by a very young and scantily clad Uma Thurman), and escapes from the Grim Reaper, among other equally unbelievable things. For a further idea of the kind of late night madness required to watch this show, it was directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame.
3. Another favorite from Terry Gilliam, Time Bandits. I actually owned this movie for a long time on video, before giving it up to the local thrift shop. Contained in the nearly two hours of mayhem are time-hopping dwarves, a lost boy, Robin Hood, Napoleon, a treasure map, and a lot of really strange special effects. I remember watching this for the first time and thinking “What?” repeatedly. High points include Sean Connery as a king, and Ian Holm of hobbit fame as Napolean. There is also a great scene where the dwarves and accompanying boy confront the powers of evil. All in all, though, best left for a late night when you really don’t want to think.
4. Another truly great movie offering is one enjoyed with a large group of friends who like to talk during movies. If the movies themselves aren’t bad enough, you can always watch MST3K. I didn’t realize that the series was a product of the 80’s but it should have registered. While there have been many great movies, like Pod People, Barney, and many others that should never have been made, at least we know that we can count on Joel and the robots on the Satellite of Love to provide hours of entertainment while we watch for movie sign. A word of caution, however. After watching several of these movies with extra commentary, it becomes easier to become the commentary for other movies. (But that can be fun, too.)
5. Any Tom Hanks movie made before he could be picky about what role he took. Good old Tom started out in movies on TV in Monsters and Mazes, a strange take on Dungeons and Dragons. This was followed by such memorable encounters as Splash, Dragnet, Big, The ‘burbs, Turner and Hooch, and finally, Joe vs. the Volcano. The last entry in this list is verging on the 80’s. It was made in 1990. But it’s one that has to be included in the list. I imagine it takes a patient man to go through some of those movies before he hit it big.
I’m sure that there are others that could easily fit into this category. I am just shooting off the top of my head. And really, when you think about it, almost any movie made before 1995 is good for a laugh late at night.
I think we need to keep the lists coming.