2017年12月18日 星期一

Some Other Movies From 1988

Saw all of the movies below recently.  Not sure what's going on with 1988, but I had trouble finding movies that I hadn't seen and/or wanted to see.  Either I've seen most of the movies from that year, or it wasn't a good year for movies - I'm not sure which.  

The films that follow were discovered via Wikipedia's "1988 in Film" article.

Some Good Ones

1. A Cry in the Dark (a.k.a. Evil Angels)

Meryl Streep and Sam Neill star as an Australian couple tried in the court of public opinion after the death of their infant daughter.  It's a very overlooked film, and the courtroom scenes near the end are excellent.  Based on a true story.

2. Frantic

Harrison Ford stars as an American doctor searching for his missing wife in Paris.  Roman Polanski directed.  It's still a great, atmospheric film, and Emmanuelle Seigner gives a memorable performance as a drug courier.  That woman was beautiful.

3. The Seventh Sign

Still an entertaining movie, even if the characters often do inexplicable things.  Demi Moore plays a mother-to-be obsessed with the apocalypse, and Michael Biehn is her useless husband.  Not the Exorcist by any stretch of the imagination, but not bad.

4. The Dead Pool

Clint Eastwood stars as "Dirty" Harry Callahan in the fifth and final installment in that series.  The highlight is probably a brief but memorable performance by Jim Carrey, who lip syncs "Welcome to the Jungle."  You can even see members of Guns N' Roses on the boat where Liam Neeson, playing a director, is filming.

I like the radio-controlled-car-as-bomb idea.  It's just too bad they employ this idea so late in the movie.

5. Patty Hearst

Natasha Richardson, Ving Rhames, and William Forsythe star in this movie about the famous heiress's abduction by the counterculture.  Paul Schrader put his heart and soul into this film, and Ving Rhames is particularly memorable as the leader of the Symbionese Liberation Army.  Like A Cry in the Dark, also a very overlooked movie.

6. The Accused

Jodie Foster deserved the Academy Award she won for this film.  It's still one of the most heart-wrenching depictions of rape and its psychological impact, and also a solid courtroom drama.  Certainly one of the best movies of 1988.

7. The Accidental Tourist

William Hurt plays a travel writer trying to cope with the death of his son.  It sounds really depressing, but it has a lot of lighter moments that make the movie more watchable.  Far less depressing than Hurt's earlier film, Children of a Lesser God.

Some Bad Ones

1. Permanent Record

It says a lot about how bad a movie is when the lead character kills himself, halfway through, and you STILL don't care.  Keanu Reeves appears in this film, and the only good thing I can say about it is that it was filmed at several locations along the Oregon coast, an area I have a special fondness for.

2. Cocktail

Tom Cruise stars as an embarrassingly poetic bartender.  If they'd just stayed in Jamaica it might have been light-hearted fun, but instead they go back to New York, and then it gets all broody and dark.  Is this the worst Tom Cruise movie?  Yes, I believe it is!

3. Arthur 2: On the Rocks

God damn, this movie's painful.  Two hours of listening to Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli laugh at their own jokes, and on top of that the adoption subplot makes absolutely no sense.  Alcoholism, homelessness, and mental illness are funny!  HA HA HA HA HA.  Why aren't you laughing?  Come on, this shit is hysterical!

I have vague memories of watching the first Arthur on HBO when I was a kid.  However good or bad the first film was, it must of been better than this.

4. Vibes

Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper (!) star as a pair of psychics hunting for an Incan city of gold.  Lauper's not a bad actress, but this movie just isn't funny.  I think they were going for "Ghostbusters," but Goldblum can't make unfunny lines funny the way Bill Murray could.

5. High Spirits

It might have been filmed in Ireland, but this is still the most "American" movie Neil Jordan ever made.  Peter O'Toole, Steve Guttenberg, and Beverly D'Angelo star as tourists trapped in a haunted castle  It's a real chore to sit through.  

Fun Fact: Jennifer Tilly, who also appears in this movie, is now a world class poker player.

6. Some Girls

This movie is DUMB.  A young man visits his girlfriend's eccentric/annoying family during Christmas.  The funny parts aren't funny, and the events leading up to these "funny" parts feel very contrived.  Even if you just wanted to see Jennifer Connelly in her underwear there are better movies.

Some That Are So Bad They're Good

1. Bloodsport

Watching Jean Claude Van Damme and Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds play Karate Champ is about as 80s as you can get.  And hey, isn't that Forest Whitaker?  Yes, I believe it is...  

JCVD was a bad actor in 1988, but as we later learned he had hidden talents.  He also had the background to play Frank Dux, the real-life (?) tough guy upon whom Bloodsport was based.  It's a solidly put together action film, and at times delightfully cheesy.  

Fun Fact #1: Director Newt Arnold was Assistant Director on The Godfather Part II.  

Fun Fact #2: Frank Dux's claims of Kumite glory might be complete bullshit.  Several people, including the co-writer of Bloodsport, have stated that his martial arts background is completely false, and that: "the organization that allegedly staged the Kumite had the same address as Dux's house."

2. Mac and Me

Terrible, right from the opening credits.  In the face of any reasonable understanding of astrophysics, or even general scientific concepts, a family of aliens is accidentally transported to Earth.  The nonsensical plot, the not-so-special effects, and the star's acting (dis)ability all combine to make a delightfully bad film.  

Fun Fact: This triumph of cross-promotion lost out on a lot of the "worst of" awards to Tom Cruise's Cocktail, and while yes, Cocktail is indisputably bad, Mac and Me is probably worse.

Related Entries:

Some Other Movies from 1986
A Review of Every DC Movie from 2005 to the Present (Revised as of November 16, 2017)
Justice League!
The FoX-men No More?  FoxTastic No Longer?

*Hell yes, Michael Biehn!