80s Movies

Miami Connection Trailer

Just a couple of weeks ago, what is arguably the best-loved movie from the ’80s, Raiders of the Lost Ark, enjoyed a good deal of success getting re-released into IMAX theaters. Seeing that the market is hot for 8’0s revivals, Drafthouse Films, the distributing arm of the Alamo Drafthouse, has decided to take it upon themselves to ready what is probably the second biggest movie of the ’80s, Miami Connection, for a theatrical run of its own. What is Miami Connection? How fortunate that you should ask now, because Hobo With a Shotgun director Jason Eisener has just cut together a new trailer for the film that will answer all of your questions. To put it simply, Miami Connection is probably the best realized interpretation of the war between Miami’s motorcycle ninja drug gangs and its martial arts vigilante rock band, Dragon Sound, that’s ever been put on film.

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Talks of a sequel to Top Gun have been happening for at least over a year now. It’s clear that at some level, someone from Paramount is trying to make this happen. Details on the project have been pretty lacking, though. What would this sequel be about? Would Tom Cruise star? Would he even appear? Who would be directing? Well, MTV recently sat Cruise down and threw some of these very important questions his way, and his responses we’re actually kind of helpful. When asked about the possibility of this sequel actually coming to fruition Cruise responded, “We’re working on it.” Past that he doesn’t seem to have too many details about what stage the process is in, however. He commented on an old rumor that Christopher McQuarrie was writing the script by saying, “I don’t think Chris [McQuarrie] is going to write it. Chris is directing One Shot right now, which I’m acting in. We’ve got to go back in January and finish it.” Everyone already knew this though, because it’s been widely reported that X-Men: First Class scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz are currently working on the script for the Top Gun sequel. I suppose his input on how far along this project is should be taken with a grain of salt. What this new interview does confirm, however, is that Cruise is the guy firmly in mind to star in this movie, and Tony Scott is definitely the guy who intends to come back to direct. […]

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Back in ’82 this little movie came out about a boy who found an alien in his backyard. It was called E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Ever heard of it? He phoned home and whatnot? This was basically the movie that solidified Steven Spielberg as being not just a guy who was making great movies everybody liked, but as being the most important director in the world: the guy. When you see that Amblin Entertainment logo you know you’re in for a certain kind of movie designed to appeal to everyone, and it’s an image from E.T. that gets the job done. Russkies came out in ’87, when the outbreak of Spielberg imitator movies about kids going on adventures was in full swing. This one is about a group of kids who find a Russian naval officer who has washed up on the coast of their Florida town. Even Spielberg knockoffs as bad as Mac and Me still get mentioned when people start talking about the good old days of the 80s, when family programming was king, but I’ve never in my life heard anyone bring up Russkies. Considering two of the main three kids in this movie are a young Joaquin Phoenix (pre-hobo beard) and Peter Billingsley (pretty much the king of 80s nostalgia), how is this movie completely forgotten?

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Back in 1985, releasing a family film that was directed by Superman’s Richard Donner and had Steven Spielberg’s name plastered all over it as a writer and producer was pretty much the antithesis of a risky proposition. At this point in the mid 80s Spielberg and his crew of cohorts were at the height of their powers, churning out family friendly blockbusters one after another. So The Goonies never really had an uphill battle to climb. It was probably always going to be a success. The way that it took the ball and has continued to run with it, even twenty-six years later, is a little astounding though. This is a huge movie. If ever someone admits to not having seen it, they instantly get hit with an incredulous, “WHAT? YOU HAVEN’T SEEN GOONIES?” It’s almost to the point where the DVD gets sent to suburbanites in the mail with Peter Frampton records and samples of Tide. On the other end of the spectrum, The Monster Squad is a total cult movie. While it’s loved passionately by a small group of geeks, a normal person would have to very randomly stumble across something deep within the heart of the Internet to ever realize that this movie even exists. There aren’t any college frat boys wearing out their copy of Monster Squad like they are their copies of Goonies. There isn’t a new generation of young kids catching on to Fat Kid and Frankenstein the way they are Chunk and Sloth. […]

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Seeing as this is the first go around, you might be wondering to yourself what “Over/Under” is, and rightly so. It’s a new weekly column in which I will take to task a film that has gotten more than its fair share of success and praise, and then champion a related film that comparatively gets little play. This isn’t necessarily to say that the first film is bad and the second one good, just that the disparity in love between the two is a wrong that needs to be righted. But if you choose to believe that what I’m writing is more mean-spirited and antagonistic than intended, that’s fine with me too. Let’s spar in the comments; I could use the attention. For our inaugural column we’ll be looking at John Hughes’s 1985 detention drama The Breakfast Club, a film that the teenagers who work for me still mention as being a classic, and David Seltzer’s 1986 nerd meets girl movie Lucas, a film that I can’t get a darn one of those kids to give a chance.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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