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Mike’s Top Ten of 1988

This is my favorite year of the 80s. And that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the year of my birth. This year has, in my mind, the strongest set of films. I’ll take most of these ten over a lot of #1s and #2s from the other years.

You got an all-time great comedy, an all-time great action movie, two incredible animated films, four other classic comedies, an iconic Oscar-winning drama… and Moonwalker.

The top three movies on my list shaped my childhood. I am who I am because of those movies. You can’t say that about most years.

Mike’s Top Ten of 1988

Big

Coming to America

Die Hard

A Fish Called Wanda

Grave of the Fireflies

Midnight Run

Moonwalker

My Neighbor Totoro

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

Rain Man

11-20: The Accused, Beetlejuice, Bull Durham, Cinema Paradiso, The Land Before Time, The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, Scrooged, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Tier two: The Accidental Tourist, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Big Business, Bird, Clean and Sober, A Cry in the Dark, Dangerous Liaisons, Gorillas in the Mist, High Spirits, Married to the Mob, Oliver & Company, Punchline, Running on Empty, Short Circuit 2, Stand and Deliver, Twins, They Live, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Working Girl

– – – – – – – – – –

1. Coming to America

“This is the place I was telling you about. It’s real fucked up. Got just one window facing a brick wall. Used to rent it to a blind man… damn shame what they did to that dog.”

If you asked me to list my five favorite comedies of all time, I’d be very surprised if this one didn’t end up on that list. I adore everything about this movie.

There are certain comedies that shape your sense of humor and become reference points for you throughout your life. This is one of those ones for me.

Simple premise: Eddie Murphy is an African prince who is about to enter into an arranged marriage. Though he wants to see the world and find a woman who might, perhaps, love him for who he is, not his title. So he ends up going to Queens. And it’s amazing. Murphy and Arsenio play like six characters each. I could quote this movie from beginning to end. It’s incredible.

There are few movies that I will openly say, “If you haven’t seen this, we can’t be friends.” This is one of those movies.

2. Die Hard

“Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherfucker!”

This is one of the five greatest action movies ever made. This is one of those movies, just about any other year in this decade (probably all but two), this is the far and away #1. It’s incredible, and it’s one of my absolute all-time favorite movies.

It’s a perfect film. From beginning to end. I don’t even know what else there is to say about it. Because it’s Die Hard. Who hasn’t seen this movie a dozen times? This is like Coming to America for me. I can reference it up and down at the drop of a hat. This is one of those movies that’s so good they ripped it off for like twenty years (and are pretty much still ripping it off).

This is one of those movies… if you haven’t already seen it, don’t let anyone know. And let me implore you, bubbie… you need to see this right away.

3. Moonwalker

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”

There’s a very small percentage of the population who holds this movie as dear as I do. Michael Jackson’s music was such a huge part of my childhood. I have a very vivid memory of being like three years old and sitting in the back of the car, with headphones on and a cassette player in my lap, listening to the ‘Bad’ album over and over. I also played the Moonwalker Genesis game so many times as a kid. That game is incredible. I still have it on an emulator on the computer I’m typing this on right now. I still play that game. That album, and this film, which is largely built around the songs on that album, is a huge piece of my childhood and my life.

This is an anthology film. It starts with the iconic shot above and has him performing “Man in the Mirror” in front of a live crowd. Then it goes into a retrospective of his career, from the Jackson Five all the way through ‘Thriller’. Then he performs “Dirty Diana.” Then you get the great “Bad(der)” music video, with kids recreating the video. Then there’s the “Speed Demon” segment, where he ends up in a claymation car chase out to the desert. Then there’s “Leave Me Alone,” which is portrayed as a sort of rollercoaster ride. Then there’s the most famous section of the film, “Smooth Criminal,” where he’s trying to protect kids from a drug-dealing Joe Pesci, which culminates in the great ten minute video inside the club. That’s one of the greatest music videos ever made. And then it ends with him performing “Come Together.”

It’s an incredible movie. You’ve probably seen parts of it elsewhere, sort of the way people end up seeing parts of the Disney package films on their own. For me, the album it’s built around is amazing, and the video game was the game of my childhood. It was a foregone conclusion I was gonna rate the movie this highly. It’s just one of those things… you had to be of an age. And I was. (Still kind of am.)

4. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

“Drebin, I don’t want anymore trouble like you had last year on the South Side. Understand? That’s my policy.”
“Yes. Well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of the park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards. That’s my policy.”
“That was a Shakespeare in the Park production of ‘Julius Caesar’, you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones.”

For most people, Airplane! is the funniest ZAZ film. Some people go Top Secret! I’m a Naked Gun man myself. I think this movie is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, and it never fails to make me laugh. I will always be able to spot Enrico Palazzo.

This is based on the short-lived sitcom Police Squad, so short-lived it only ran for six episodes. They brought over a handful of gags from that show to use here. Though the show, if you’ve never seen it — hilarious. They had a running gag of having guest stars who got killed during the opening credits and another one where, at the end of every episode, they’d have a final joke and then “freeze frame” over the end credits. Only they wouldn’t actually freeze the frame. The actors would just stand perfectly still, and break just enough for you to realize it’s not actually a frozen frame. And then they’d mess with it over the episodes, as certain people wouldn’t be frozen, and be looking around like, “What the hell is going on?” It’s great. And it gave us this movie.

It’s a spoof of cop movies, and it completely works. The plot is so insane, and Leslie Nielsen plays it so completely straight that even the dumb gags work. Plus, is there no greater line in the history of cinema than, “By the way, I faked every orgasm?”

5. Grave of the Fireflies

“Why must fireflies die so young?”

Our first of two Ghibli movies on this list. This is the more depressing of the two films, though the greater product. This movie was so sad and caused so many people to cry in the theater that the studio had to release it on a double bill with Totoro just to keep people in the theater.

It’s a story about a brother and sister who try to survive in Japan, post-Atomic Bomb. It is beautiful, and it is tragic. And it’s one of those movies you won’t forget once you see it.

6. My Neighbor Totoro

Ghibli, Part Two. Totoro is probably Miyazaki’s most famous film. It’s either this or Spirited Away. Those are the two everyone sees.

It’s about a pair of sisters who move to the country to be near their sick mother in the hospital. And it’s about all the adventures they get into as they befriend the forest spirits.

It’s incredible. This is better than like, half of what Disney has put out, if not more than half. It’s so good. Possibly Miyazaki’s purest film. Totoro is also his Mickey Mouse. He’s become the logo of the entire company. That tells you everything you need to know.

7. Rain Man

“What you have to understand is, four days ago he was only my brother in name. And this morning we had pancakes.”

Your Best Picture winner for 1988. It’s somehow both a representation of how on-brand the Academy was during the 80s and also a great choice.

This is one of those movies that everyone knows, at least culturally. Not everyone may have seen it, but you know it. Tom Cruise is a guy who finds out his father died but that he was cut out of the will in favor of a brother he knew nothing about. He travels to find the brother, only to find that he’s in a mental institution and is severely autistic. He takes him with him to try to gain custody of him so he can inherit all the money, only as they travel across the country, he comes to love his brother.

It’s a beautiful film. Hoffman won his second Oscar for the performance and delivers one of his most iconic pieces of work. Cruise shows that he has the dramatic chops to go along with his star persona (something he’d show even more so the year after this). Barry Levinson wins his Oscar for this film, too.

It’s just a classic. Somehow not completely dated. I could go on, mentioning the scenes, lines or moments in this film that have become cultural reference points or have been oft-imitated, but it’s three minutes to Wapner.

8. Big

“What is so special about Baskin?”
“He’s a grown up.”

The top ten most iconic shots of 80s cinema have to include that one, right?

As far as high concept movies go, this is one of the best. Kid wishes to become “big,” and then wakes up as an adult. Genius idea.

Tom Hanks delivers his first great performance here, being nominated for his first Oscar. Penny Marshall directs, and I believe that this may have been the first film directed by a woman to make $100 million at the box office.

This is an absolute classic on so many levels, and still holds up today. It’s been imitated to death, but none of them have ever been able to capture the magic of this one.

9. Midnight Run

“You ever had lyonnaise potatoes? They are these types of potatoes that are sautéed but then they have this onion thing added to them, and they are really, really delicious. They work well with any, uh, chicken or pork dish. You know I could set you up with lyonnaise potatoes for the rest of your life.”
“Why don’t you just shut the fuck up!”

We’re on a run of comedies to round out this list. This one is a classic. Out of the 48 Hrs. mold, it’s Martin Brest’s followup to Beverly Hills Cop. De Niro is a bounty hunter tasked with bringing back Charles Grodin, who jumped his bail.

It’s hilarious. De Niro is funnier than he’s ever been, and Grodin steals the show. One of the best buddy movies of the decade, and just an all around comedic treasure.

10. A Fish Called Wanda

“You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, fuck-face, dickhead, asshole.”
“How very interesting. You’re a true vulgarian, aren’t you?”
“You are the vulgarian, you fuck.”

It’s K-K-K-Ken! C-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me!

How funny is this movie? This is one of the more famous titles out there, so chances are you know of it. Directed by Charles Crichton, who made a bunch of 50s comedies like The Lavender Hill Mob and hadn’t directed a feature in 20 years and written by John Cleese, this movie is just a joy.

It’s about a group of people who come together to commit a robbery, and all the ways in which the robbery goes wrong. Jamie Lee Curtis stars with Kevin Kline, Michael Palin and Cleese himself. Kline is so good here he won an Oscar for his performance. One of the few out and out comedic performances to win for Supporting Actor.

This is one of those movies I’d heard about a bunch before I actually saw it, because all the stuff I liked cross-listed with this one. And trust me, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s dated in a lot of ways, but one thing you learn is — funny is funny, no matter when it happened.

– – – – – – – – – –

11-20:

The Accused — Great drama that won Jodie Foster her first Oscar. She plays a woman who gets gang raped at a bar while the other patrons stand around, watching and cheering. She and Kelly McGillis, her lawyer, set out to prosecute each and every one of the people involved. It’s a courtroom drama. Foster is great, and the film is really great.

Beetlejuice — Only Tim Burton could have made this movie. It’s so bizarre that it makes complete sense. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis are a couple who die and return as ghosts in their own house. The house is then sold to another family, who turn it into a garish modern art house. So they decide to scare the family out of the house, which involves summoning Betelgeuse, who performs such jobs. Enter Michael Keaton. Chaos ensues, and it’s great. This is another one of those movies I feel like everyone grows up with. If not, you gotta go out and see it immediately.

Bull Durham — One of the great sports movies of all time, and one of the five best baseball movies. The film is about three people — Kevin Costner, a minor league catcher who has been in the minors so long he’s about to break the minor league home run record, Tim Robbins, a talented young pitcher who needs to work on his stuff before hitting the majors, and Susan Sarandon, a baseball groupie who sleeps with one player each year. It’s a great film. Most people consider this the definitive sports movie. Hard to argue, even if you do have a differing opinion.

Cinema Paradiso — One of the greatest love letters to cinema that’s ever been made. It’s about a young boy in Italy who comes of age in a small town, where he befriends the projectionist of the local movie house and falls in love with movies. It’s so great. Essential for every person who loves watching movies, and one of those ones that unfortunately got squeezed out of the top ten because of space restrictions.

The Land Before Time — My childhood. Oh man. What a movie. Don Bluth again. Between this and An American Tail, this man shaped so many of our lives. Littlefoot just wants to get to the Valley, man. Get them tree stars. I’m gonna presume that everyone knows this movie or knows about it. They’ve made 14 of these movies now, and I feel like, if you haven’t seen this movie, were you ever really a child?

The Last Temptation of Christ — This is Martin Scorsese’s passion project… a film about Jesus. It portrays Jesus as a man, just like any other person, filled with human desires. Before he is put on the cross, he imagines an alternate path, where he has a family with Mary Magdalene. It’s a terrific film. Willem Dafoe plays Jesus, Harvey Keitel is Judas, Barbara Hershey is Mary Magdalene and it has David Bowie as Pontius Pilate. Which is awesome. Not my favorite Scorsese movie, but it’s incredibly well made and clearly important to him. He has a bit of a religious trilogy of sorts, with this, Kundun and Silence. All three are generally overlooked in his filmography, because people want more crime stuff than religious stuff, but nevertheless, all three are very solid films.

Mississippi Burning — One of the great 80s thrillers. Three Civil Rights activists go missing and are presumed dead at the hands of the Klan down south. The FBI sends two agents down to investigate. They are Gene Hackman, a man who grew up down south and understands how things work down there, and Willem Dafoe, a northern boy who doesn’t understand that even if you don’t see a problem with it, you can’t just sit with blacks at the same counter where they are. The two of them go around, knowing pretty much who killed these people, but needing to build a case and gain the evidence to put them away. It’s a fantastic movie. Alan Parker directs, and the film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor for Hackman and Best Supporting Actress for Frances McDormand. One of those movies that, while still somewhat overlooked, still holds up.

Scrooged — Classic Christmas comedy. A Christmas Carol done in present day with Bill Murray. It’s nearly perfect on every level. He’s so good here, and everything about this movie is just great. I’m not even gonna waste my time talking about it. If you haven’t seen Scrooged, I can’t help you.

Tucker: The Man and His Dream — One of the forgotten Francis Ford Coppola movies. One of the few he got to make that wasn’t a director-for-hire job. This is a story he wanted to tell. It’s about Preston Tucker, played by Jeff Bridges, a man who dreams of building a perfect car. The kind of car that doesn’t break down. Naturally, the car companies don’t like that, and do everything they can to thwart him at every turn. It’s a beautiful film about a man who dares to dream and his fight against those who oppose him. There’s a courtroom speech near the end of the movie that is just fantastic. Martin Landau plays his financier and is just great. He was nominated for his performance. The film also has Joan Allen, Elias Koteas, Christian Slater, Frederic Forrest, Mako, Dean Stockwell and Lloyd Bridges. It’s really good, and in another year, could have made my top ten. One of the great hidden gems of Coppola’s filmography and of the 80s.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit — Classic. True classic. Crazy this didn’t make the top ten. Robert Zemeckis changed cinema with this. Someone is killing cartoon characters, and they’ve framed Roger Rabbit for it, so he enlists drunken private eye Bob Hoskins to figure out who the culprit really is. It’s a noir mystery done with cartoon characters. It’s amazing. This is Robert Zemeckis’ followup to Back to the Future. Hell of a followup.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tier two:

  • The Accidental Tourist
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • Big Business
  • Bird
  • Clean and Sober
  • A Cry in the Dark
  • Dangerous Liaisons
  • Gorillas in the Mist
  • High Spirits
  • Married to the Mob
  • Oliver & Company
  • Punchline
  • Running on Empty
  • Short Circuit 2
  • Stand and Deliver
  • They Live
  • Twins
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
  • Working Girl

They Live is the film that gave us this immortal line:

It’s a John Carpenter film that’s about a dude who finds a pair of sunglasses that make him realize aliens have taken over the earth. When he has them on, he sees which people are secretly aliens and all the subliminal advertising the aliens have been using to keep humans under control. So naturally he has to fight back.Roddy Piper stars (yup, him), as do Keith David and Meg Foster. This movie contains perhaps the longest single fistfight in the history of movies. It just… keeps going.

Stand and Deliver is a great movie. Edward James Olmos plays a calculus teacher who is just trying to reach these keeds. Part of the classic “inner city teacher finds a way to relate to the students and inspire them to stay in school and make something of themselves” genre. Which goes back to Blackboard Jungle (though I guess if you wanna keep going back… The Corn Is Green is kinda that too, just more one-on-one and melodramatic). Olmos was nominated for an Oscar for the performance, and you get young Lou Diamond Phillips (back when he was Lou Gold Phillips … I regret nothing). It’s an essential movie for all film fans. Aside from being a great movie… you gotta be able to get the references. The Accidental Tourist is a Lawrence Kasdan film. He was a dude who seemingly could do no wrong in the 80s. This is a drama that turns into a romantic comedy. Stars William Hurt. He’s a guy who writes travel guides for a living who tragically lost his wife. He’s left with a dog she got just before dying. The dog is horribly trained, and causes him to break his leg. So he hires a dog trainer… Geena Davis… with whom he falls in love. It’s a nice movie. Doesn’t totally hold up for me, but it works on the performances of the two leads (Davis won an Oscar for Supporting Actress for the part…. which is basically just quirky love interest character, though she sells it well). Bird is a Clint Eastwood biopic of Charlie Parker starring Forest Whitaker. Really solid film, one of Eastwood’s hidden gems. Most people recognize this as one of his best movies but so rarely do people actually go out and see it. It’s really strong. Whitaker is fantastic in it, and, like most jazz movies, it’s gonna be interesting at the very least for you. Though most people who see it tend to like it.

Oliver & Company is Disney. The last Disney before the renaissance. It’s Oliver Twist but with dogs in New York City. It’s fine. It’s fun. Billy Joel voices one of the dogs and does a song. Not one of their most memorable, but it’s enjoyable. Disney’s on… what, 56 movies right now as of this publishing? Of all 56, I’d say that there are only like five at most that I don’t particularly care for and only one I would say is truly not worthwhile. The rest all have different degrees of interesting things about them. This one, to me, shows you the purity of 80s animation, and gives you a New York/big city flavor, which most Disney movies to that point didn’t have. Running on Empty is a solid drama. I like when movies take interesting subject matter. Like, you hear a news story and go, “Huh… I wonder what it would be like…” and then they decide to make that their story. Here, it’s about two 60s radicals who bombed a building and have been on the run ever since. They now have two kids, and have basically jumped from city to city every time it seems like they might be caught. That’s their life. Only now, their son is high school age. And he likes this new town. He’s got a girlfriend, and he’s getting somewhere at school, and he really doesn’t want mom and dad to uproot him yet again. And that’s the struggle of the film. It’s really terrific. River Phoenix stars at the kid (a role for which he strangely was nominated for Best Supporting Actor), and it’s directed by Sidney Lumet. Really solid movie. This is like Saboteur on Hitchcock’s filmography. Not gonna be in most people’s top ten, but it’s a really solid movie that you can kinda put in the underappreciated gems section in that middle/upper middle area.

A Cry in the Dark is the “dingo ate my baby” movie. A woman and her husband are out in outback, and the baby goes missing. She says a dingo did it, the authorities think she did it. So she is put on trial for murdering her baby. Meryl Streep plays the woman, and Sam Neill plays the husband. Solid movie, must see for the references, and a great Meryl performance. Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is Pedro Almodovar. I admittedly haven’t watched much of his stuff, and the few more recent ones I’ve seen I’m either indifferent on or don’t like. But this, I watched in college randomly (you know those nights where it was someone’s idea, so everyone sits down to watch a movie, but no one’s sure why?), and I enjoyed it. It’s a madcap comedy. The title pretty much speaks for itself. It seems to me like early Bergman vs. late Bergman, or Fellini. They all start out with the comedies and then get artistic. Twins is the classic comedy. After a genetic experiment, a set of twins are born. They are separated at birth and meet much later in life. They are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. Comedy (and bonding) ensues. It’s great. Classic 80s comedy and still referenced today. One of those movies that probably isn’t as great as we all remember, but also, who gives a fuck? It’s Twins! It’s awesome! Clean and Sober is one of the real hidden gems of the 80s. And also one of the times where I can see a movie and understand truly what they mean by the term “yuppie.” Michael Keaton plays a successful businessman who has a cocaine problem. It all comes tumbling down when he embezzles company money, loses it, and the girl he’s sleeping with OD’s in his bed. So he enters rehab, and the rest of the film is him getting (insert title here). He’s great in it, and it also stars Morgan Freeman, M. Emmet Walsh and Kathy Baker. If you like Michael Keaton, I highly recommend it.

Working Girl is a classic 80s comedy. Rom com? Or just 80s movie? I don’t know. It was nominated for Best Picture, so that says something. Melanie Griffith is a secretary with ambitions who ends up on the desk of Sigourney Weaver, a high powered executive. Everything seems great… Weaver is super nice and receptive to her ideas and things are going well. Then Weaver breaks her leg skiing and has to work from home until she recovers. So Griffith starts going to meetings in her place… and impressing all the higher-ups. Plus she starts dating Harrison Ford. Then, of course, Weaver comes back to work. It’s good. Griffith and Weaver were nominated for the film and Mike Nichols directed it. And I think most people should know by this point that, at worst, Mike Nichols movies are worthwhile. The worst you can say is “not for me.” Most of the time, they’re interesting, good or great. Dangerous Liaisons is based on the famous play, and has been adapted a bunch over the years (they even made one a year after this, Valmont). This is probably the most famous of the adaptations. Stephen Frears directs. Glenn Close plays a marquise who is spurned by her lover, who left her for a younger woman, Uma Thurman. For revenge, she plots to have the young girl deflowered before he can marry her. She enlists the help of John Malkovich, court lothario and noted scoundrel, whose price is that he wants to sleep with Michelle Pfeiffer, the proper wife of a man around town. So everyone’s sleeping with everyone else, they’re all trying to fuck other people and doing underhanded things… it’s awesome. Sex and political intrigue in 18th century France. What’s not to like?

Punchline is a movie about standup comedians. Which is such a difficult thing to get right in film. This movie… probably not completely right, but I enjoy it even though, as a professor of mine once said, “It’s like watching Godzilla for a biology class.” The movie is about two people who want to be stand ups — Tom Hanks, who comes from a medical family and wants nothing to do with that, and Sally Field, a housewife who thinks she has what it takes. We watch the two as they go on their journey, culminating in a competition at the club where they perform where the winner is gonna get a primetime spot. I enjoy this movie. I like seeing early Hanks. Field is good. I just like it. High Spirits is a completely forgotten comedy. Ghost comedy. Peter O’Toole owns a castle that he converted into a bed and breakfast. It’s not doing well. So he decides to turn it into a tourist destination by claiming that it’s the most haunted castle in Europe. So he and the staff set out to dress up as ghosts and shit. You know, cobweb the place up a bit. However… the actual ghosts in the castle don’t like that, so now they’re gonna scare the shit out of the staff. Hilarity ensues. Oh, and two of the ghosts fall in love with two of the guests, so that happens too. Liam Neeson and Daryl Hannah play two of the ghosts, and the guests include Jennifer Tilly, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D’Angelo and Peter Gallagher. It’s a lot of fun. Go check it out.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is Terry Gilliam. And it’s nice when a director is their own genre. Only a few people could pull that off. I could try to tell you what this is about, but it doesn’t matter. A guy goes on a bunch of adventures, and it looks great. There’s all sorts of little vignettes, and they’re pure Gilliam all the way. Gilliam hasn’t really made a bad movie, and most of them are good to great. This is one of the good ones. I think everyone should see all his stuff, and I’d say, while everyone knows the big name ones, this is one of the hidden gems (as much as it can be, and relative to the others). This is one I feel like I can just go back and watch and enjoy any time (which is not something I could say for Brazil, for example). Married to the Mob is a classic 80s comedy. Michelle Pfeiffer is a mob wife whose husband gets murdered by the don after he’s caught with the don’s mistress. Pretty soon, she’s under surveillance by the FBI, and the don is after her too (sexually). She just wants out, so she’s gotta navigate all of this and figure out how to get out without anyone killing her or her son. It’s fun. Pfeiffer’s really good, Dean Stockwell was nominated for playing the mob boss, Matthew Modine is the FBI agent, Mercedes Ruehl is great here, and you get some early Alec Baldwin too. And Joan Cusack and Oliver Platt! Oh, and it’s directed by Jonathan Demme. There’s no reason not to see this movie.

Big Business is one of the closest things to a screwball comedy you could get in the 80s. It stars Bette Midler and Lily Tomlin as two sets of twins. By chance, both their mothers’ gave birth the same day at the same hospital in the country. One family was very rich, the other very poor. Due to a mixup at the hospital, the doctors aren’t sure which set of twins belongs to which parent, so, figuring getting it half right is better than potentially getting it wrong, they give one of each twin to each family. So, one Tomlin and one Midler grow up rich, and the other set grow up in the country. So now, both sets of twins are gonna converge at the same hotel the same day, and hilarity is gonna ensue. It’s a lot of fun. I highly recommend this for people who enjoy screwball comedies. It’s not Bringing Up Baby, but it’s good enough for 50 years later. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a classic romance. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as a doctor who sleeps around. And the film is about his relationships with two women: Lena Olin, who is not the type to settle down, and Juliette Binoche, who is. It’s a strong film, with great performances all around. It’s also three hours long. So settle in and prepare your pun title alternates. Gorillas in the Mist is Dian Fossey biopic starring Sigourney Weaver. It’s about her studying the gorillas and trying to save them from poachers. It’s really solid. Weaver was nominated for it (along with her supporting nomination for Working Girl, making her one of the few people to achieve dual acting nominations in a single year), and it’s just one of those really solid movies from the year and the decade.

Short Circuit 2 is the sequel, and to me, it’s better. I like when sequels just give you all the shit you want. This is the Magic Mike XXL of the Short Circuit franchise. Forget all that potential dark stuff in the storyline, just give us more ridiculous stuff instead. Here, Johnny Five comes to the big city. Like Crocodile Dundee. So he’s going around getting ‘input’, while some criminals see him and decide they want him for nefarious purposes. Features a great climactic chase set to “Holding Out for a Hero” and a great scene where Johnny joins a gang:

Man, I fucking love this movie.

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