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The B+ Movie Guide: Part XLII

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:

The Princess Bride (1987)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

I saw this before the list, but not long before, and that was a point of embarrassment, because people talk this movie up quite a lot and you kinda don’t want to be the one who hasn’t seen it. For example, I didn’t recognize the quote when my Japanese history professor mentioned that one should “never get involved in a land war in Asia.” A lot of movies like that end up disappointing me because they can’t live up to the hype, but this one is actually pretty awesome. My favorite part? Peter Falk is the grandfather! People forget that this is a story that someone’s telling. Whenever I have to explain who Peter Falk is to someone, I usually say that he was the grandfather in this, and they go, “Oh… yes. Right, I think I know who you’re talking about.” He was the one I was paying closest attention to, cause Peter Falk is the best. 

Raising Arizona (1987)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

Nicolas Cage is a national treasure. Sorry. In National Treasure. But also a national treasure.

the-untouchables-17

The Untouchables (1987)

Mike:

The Chicago way is much different from the French way. (2)

Colin:

There’s something that I don’t particularly love about Kevin Costner, but I’m willing to overlook that for this movie because of everyone else in it. First of all, Sean Connery, obviously, in one of his most quotable roles ever. Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, acknowledged. But then De Niro as Al Capone! I think the best tribute was from Regis Philbin in Little Nicky, when he says, “So I start bashing this guy’s brains in with a bat — did you ever see The Untouchables? I was De Niro!”

This movie and a few others convinced me that the Depression was not a great era to live through, and not only because of the economics. Morricone can make anything creepy. 

Big (1988)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

Tom Hanks as a man child. A lot of people gloss over the fact that this movie is about a boy who has a romantic relationship with a grown woman, who is then depressed about having to split up with her pre-teen boyfriend. Am I the only one who thinks that’s weird?

And, how a white man with zero history, zero education, no resume and no character references was able to get a high-paying job in New York almost overnight. Because it was the 80s and he was white.

But it’s also a beloved classic, and stuff.

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Mike:

If you love movies, you need to see this one. It’s beautiful. (3)

Colin:

This movie is gorgeous. I saw this in middle school when my mother brought it home — one of the few that I had already seen that I didn’t catch at my dad’s house. It’s a little kid in postwar Italy who hangs around at the local theater in the projection booth. It’s still the era when the Catholic church has to approve all of the film’s content and make cuts before people can watch (eat your heart out, Jack Valenti). So he grows up hanging out with the projectionist and learning about movies. It’s told in flashback after things have changed, and it’s basically a love letter to the years of classic cinema. Just unfathomably wonderful.

coming-to-america-2

Coming to America (1988)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

Mike showed me this my freshman year in college. I hadn’t seen it. I’m shocked that I hadn’t seen it, because I’ve now watched it like… 10 times. One of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen in terms of sheer quotability and consistent humor. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones… my god this movie is hilarious. 

Die Hard (1988)

Mike:

(2)

Colin:

This has to be considered one of the most influential action movies of the 80s. Think about the setup and what it did for Bruce Willis — 90s action is totally different without this movie.

I love that it’s simple. It all takes place in the one building with the one guy against the one group of bad guys. Action doesn’t have the guts to do that anymore for the most part. You take one setting and one group of characters and just use them up until the whole thing comes tumbling down. This is why people remember Hans Gruber. Also because of Alan Rickman, of course.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Mike:

(3)

Colin:

I don’t know if people overlook this movie, or what, but I saw it when I was a kid and have always loved it. This is the movie that made me love Kevin Kline and got me to watch other stuff that’s almost certainly overlooked, like I Love You to Death. Jamie Lee Curtis is a con woman “dating” Kevin Kline and working with other hoods to pull off a heist. Trust me, it’s one of the funniest movies out of the 80s, combining American stars with Monty Python guys. Cleese and Palin. A must-see. 

grave-of-the-fireflies-51

The Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Mike:

Oh my god, this movie. I’ll say this — you have to see it. It has to be seen. It deserves to be seen by everyone. I suggest going in knowing nothing about it, and in doing so, be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest. It’s impossible to make it through this movie in one piece. It’s a tragically beautiful masterpiece. (3)

Colin:

Oh man. Have your tissues ready. Also — just so you know, this is Ghibli, but it’s not Miyazaki. 

Moonwalker (1988)

Mike:

This movie IS my childhood. Michael Jackson was the best. He made an entire movie out of his songs. No idea what the plot is or is supposed to be, but it’s fun as shit, and it’s impossible to not love.

It starts with “Man in the Mirror,” and then a montage of all his stuff leading up to now. Then the rest of the film is done in segments. There’s “Badder,” which is a recreation of the “Bad” video with kids. Then a claymation version of “Speed Demon,” and “Leave Me Alone,” where he is chased by cartoon paparazzi. And then the centerpiece — “Smooth Criminal,” which is just fucking perfect. The club, the gangster 30s-ness of it all. Brilliant.

This movie is just absolutely incredible, and also become one of the greatest video games of all time:

(3)

Colin:

This is a collection of awesome Michael Jackson videos. Why would you not watch this? We have rock operas on here. Seems fair that this should be on, though I could probably lose it.

– – – – – – – – – –

Final Thoughts:

Mike:

This segment is pretty perfect as it is, so let’s just put this as my final thoughts:

Colin:

There’s stuff like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? that should probably be here, but I’m also fine with it not being on. I mean, I’ve seen it, for one, but it could really go either way. I wouldn’t call it as beloved as some other movies, nor as iconic, so it really boils down to… it’s a decent movie that did well at the box office that year that people know. If that was the criteria for this list, we’d have a LOT more that have been left off.

Lots of comedies, huh?

– – – – – – – – – –

More movies tomorrow.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

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