A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

I didn’t remember much about this one before I watched it — including the fact that it features Patricia Arquette and Lawrence Fishburne — but then as I was watching it the various Freddie moments felt incredibly familiar, almost iconic (the puppet strings, the TV set, etc.) This was definitely more fun to watch than the second one (that I watched during my 1986 marathon). The only thing is that watching it now, there’s nothing really scary about these movies, they’re more just a thrill ride through nightmarish imagery.

The Monster Squad

I don’t think I’d ever watched this back in the day, but I’ve always heard that it was pretty fun, so I was curious to check it out. You’d think I’d like this — set in the 80s, kids on bikes, etc. — but it just came off as too much of a Goonies-wannabe. I didn’t really have fun watching it, and actually found it a bit of a chore to watch till the end. Oh well.

Jaws: The Revenge

I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular here, just some good cheesy fun with a mechanical shark, and the saddest thing here is that the scenes with the shark are so far and few, and you have to deal with so much boring family scenes. Oh, and now there’s some sort of telepathic link with Jaws? OK. And when we do get attack scenes they’re not that great, except for the banana boat attack (nice big lunge for one of the riders). I don’t think I even watched this back in the day — don’t even remember watching any of the Jaws sequels (this was the fourth and last film in the franchise). Can’t say I really enjoyed watching this.


I waited a while to watch Robocop in my 1987 movie run, but that’s only because I had re-watched it a few years ago, so wasn’t in a big hurry to watch it again. This is indeed one of my favorite movies of that year, and also one of the best sci-fi action flicks, period. It’s still incredibly entertaining, and I don’t think there’s any sci-fi film that has gotten the comedy so well (and incredibly dark comedy at that), without losing the intensity of the rest of the film. It’s a shame that all the sequels where such a letdown, and although I didn’t really mind the recent remake, it definitely wasn’t as memorable as the original. I’ve read that a true sequel to this film is now in the works (ignoring every movie that came after), and I’m really curious to see what that could look like. “I’d buy that for a dollar!”

Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrole

I’ve now done movie marathons for 1985, 1986, and 1987, and it’s funny that for each year I’ve watched a Police Academy sequel, without watching the original (which I guess came out in 1984). As expected, these do get worse and worse, but hey, as cultural artifacts of the era, I’m having fun re-watching them. The strangest thing to see here is a very young Sharon Stone playing a journalist, and David Spade playing a skater punk.


The funny thing for me is that as I sat down to watch this, I was fully expecting to watch Honey, I Shrunk the Kids! I’d completely forgotten that this was the Dennis Quaid and Martin Short movie. I did have fun watching it. Martin Short is especially good in his role, with all the energy he puts into it. Dennis Quaid is, well, Dennis Quaid — OK I guess playing that cowboy type, but a bit too over-the-top at it as well. Not an especially memorable film, but a nice reminder of the type of comedy action movies that were big at the time.

Creepshow 2

When I decided to watch this I of course remembered the title, but I was a bit blank on what the stories were, and it’s a sign that I must have watched this quite a few times that as I was watching them they all felt so damn familiar. “Thanks for the ride, lady!” I now remember using that line all the time when I was a kid. I’d say that watching it now, it’s good for what it is, which are Tales from the Crypt-type shorts, with a fun horror vibe to them. The biggest mystery for me though is why they couldn’t afford to get better animation done for the framing sequences — it’s really, really bad.

Lethal Weapon

Everyone always talks about Die Hard being a Christmas movie, but same could be said for this. Putting whatever feelings you may have for Mel Gibson aside, this is still a pretty great comedy action flick, and def one of the best of that era. And Gary Busey. I can’t really remember how much I liked the sequels, but this first one was entertaining, and it marked the start of a great run for Shane Black. The sax-filled soundtrack (by Eric Clapton no less) is goddawful though.

The Untouchables

This is still a very entertaining flick, and that famous scene in the train station with the baby carriage is still amazing to take in (not as perfectly executed as I remembered, but still a fantastic montage). Sure, it feels more pop than historical, but it’s so satisfying to see these characters try to get the best of Capone, and of course to watch De Niro chew the scenery as Capone. I’d say it’s aged very well.

City on Fire

Of all the Chow Yun Fat movies from the 80s, this one got mentioned a lot because Tarentino said it was inspiration for Reservoir Dogs — and it’s kinda funny that Reservoir Dogs is basically a sequence that happens for 5-10 minutes towards the end, but blown up into an entire movie. But City on Fire isn’t that great, until the last 20 minutes or so. I much preferred all the Woo stuff from that era. I didn’t mind re-watching it — especially since I didn’t remember what most of the movie was about — but I can’t say I really liked it that much.