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The B+ Movie Guide: Part XL

In May of 2012, Colin said I should make a list of movies that need to be seen, because he felt there were huge gaps in what he’d seen, and wanted something to do. The idea was that I’d make up a list, as “homework” for him, and he’d use that as things to watch.

So we came up with a giant list of 500 movies that worked, and Colin went about finishing it. And now that it’s finished, we’re gonna write it up. Because you don’t watch a giant list of movies without documenting that you did it.

We’re going through the entire list, little by little, for posterity’s sake. And here’s the next set:

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Mike:

(3)

Colin:

Well that’s not scary as shit. Freddy vs. Jason — who’s scarier? I say Freddy, because you have to go to sleep sometime. I like sleeping. He’d have me in a heartbeat. But of course, this is one that I don’t really have to go into in detail because you all have seen it or should have seen it if you want to say you know anything about horror movies. Coincidentally, I don’t care if I can say I know anything about horror movies, so it didn’t matter much, but I saw it anyway. Because the list. 

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Mike:

Sergio Leone. Robert De Niro. James Woods. Joe Pesci. Burt Young. Danny Aiello. Elizabeth McGovern. Old school gangsters. Yes. (3)

Colin:

This is another one of those movies like Saturday Night Fever. Not because there’s a lot of dancing, but because a rape occurs kind of suddenly. Of course, there’s a lot more to this movie than that — there’d have to be, because it’s about 17 hours long. I watched this almost by accident when I found it on Netflix and put it on one evening during my senior year of college. You’re going to get pretty into it if you like Leone. If you don’t like Leone, I’ll tell you right now that you should cut your losses and just skip it because there’s nothing worse than gritting your teeth for four hours trying to like something because you think you have to. I liked it, but I like Leone, so it’s a pretty good litmus test in that regard.

The Terminator (1984)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

A movie that some people may remember for its depictions of crouching, naked men. 

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

Mockumentaries can be a lot of fun, and as far as I’m concerned they start here. A lot of movies did the whole documentary film style long before this, but here we have a brilliant comedy that’s set up as though you were going to watch it on the BBC as informative television. People are still quoting this movie, and the cast got pretty well launched in to the stratosphere of awesome comedies.

Back to the Future (1985)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This movie is so much fun. I really hope every person alive has seen this movie, because it’s just a LOT of fun with effects and costumes. Everyone should know this, right? Michael J. Fox goes back in time and has to live for a while in the past before he can get back to the future (ah hah!) but he gets into some trouble and has to make sure his parents get together or else he’ll never be born. This is the movie that taught a generation of children about some basic time travel theories. And made the DeLorean relevant.

Oh, and Back to the Future Part II is also a lot of fun. It’s just entertaining to see them do the 50s from the 80s and then do 2015 from the 80s again. And oh, by the way — the date Marty visits in 2015 is coming up and I’m still waiting on my high-top shoes with power laces. I do, however, have a Japanese boss, so we’re cool there.

Brazil (1985)

Mike:

Another 80s sci fi movie with multiple cuts. It’s essential, but I have no idea which version to tell you to watch. There are three different endings to this movie. (3)

Colin:

The 80s sci fi movies are kind of all over the place, and Terry Gilliam is definitely a character, but I think this movie has carved out its own little niche in the genre since it came out. You don’t usually see dystopia with satire the way it’s presented here; everything is broken or falling apart and people have crappy lives that are ruined with bureaucracy, but it’s still funny. The way Pryce’s mother has repeated complications from plastic surgery and is casual about it til she just dies. The end… is dramatic, no matter which version you watch. Actually, I’ve only seen two, so I can’t be sure. But it’s worth a watch to get a feel for that 80s dystopian vibe. Especially out of England… don’t you guys think it’s weird, looking back, that the British and Americans were so obsessed with dystopian bureaucracy in the 1980s and that it manifested itself in movies like this? Way off the mark, but entertaining.

The Breakfast Club (1985)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This is a rite of passage kind of movie that I hadn’t seen and REALLY needed to have seen. Way up the list in terms of priority stuff, because you can watch every awesome silent film in the world and still look like a dope when some teenage girl finds out you haven’t seen The Breakfast Club. I kinda hate that, but it is what it is. And the movie, it turns out, is great. Which you all knew, because you’ve all seen it. The whole Brat Pack thing never really meant much to me because I only really saw them individually for the most part. This is a solid movie, even though it’s still a bunch of white kids.

The Color Purple (1985)

Mike:

I loves Harpo. (3)

Colin:

I want that The Color Purple stuff.

Also a big one you need to have seen. Oprah in this…wow. Just wow. Good music, too.

peewees-big-adventure-9

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

Mike:

Large Marge is sending you to see this movie immediately. (3)

Colin:

I never watched Pee-Wee when I was growing up. Oops? What a funny movie this was. I never got it til I watched the movie, and now I get why people like it and why they like him. Man children are funny.

Aliens (1986)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

“I’m gonna eat you with my little mouth, too!” I still like the first movie better, but this is fun for the sci fi action movie it is. Newt is classic. How many times have I said it?

“They mostly come at night… mostly.”

– – – – – – – – – –

Final Thoughts:

Mike:

Seriously, though, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure is an essential movie.

Colin:

I don’t like endorsing the 80s. Only individual 80s movies. Back to the Future, yes. In fact, I’ll happily endorse everything here. Still doesn’t mean I like the decade. There was still a lot in the 80s that felt like an obligation more than anything, which is why I’m looking forward to what follows this list.

– – – – – – – – – –

More movies tomorrow.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

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One response

  1. There’s only one cut of Brazil that matters, unless you’re curious about how bad the alternate happy-ending version is.

    August 16, 2015 at 9:33 pm

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