I’m writing this quite a few months after watching it (I watched the first half of my 1989 movies earlier in the year, and finished up recently, and noticed that I hadn’t written my posts like I usually do) and I honestly can’t even remember what happened in the movie. I’m sure it was dumb fun like the rest of the ones I’ve watched recently (from 1985 to 1988), but at the same time, this is also a reminder of how forgettable this series became after the first couple.
As I go through my 80s movie marathons, I’ve been enjoying re-watching the old Halloween movies. Oh, don’t get me wrong, they’re cheesy as hell, but there’s something so fun about them, more than the Friday the 13th movies (which I enjoy as well, but not as much). That said, I still love what they’re doing right now with the latest film being a direct sequel to the original one, and can’t wait to see the next two films that are planned.
When I decided to kick off my 1989 movie marathon, this was the movie that I started it with. I still remember seeing this at the theater — we were about to go on a family trip, but I insisted on seeing it opening night before we left. As with a lot of movies that I ended up watching countless times, re-watching it felt so familiar: the scenes, the lines, etc. Apologies to Superman, but this is the movie that really kicked off the idea that “super-hero movies can be good,” even though its sequels turned the series into a big fat joke.
I end my 1989 movie marathon (at twenty movies) with certainly one of the best movies from that year. I was pleased to see that everything still resonates so strongly, thirty years later, and that the lessons from Keating still come off as exciting and inspiring (I was worried that they would now come off as a bit cheesy, considering how much lines from this movie have been quoted through the years). The brutal ending is of course still brutal, and I found it even more frustrating now, as you think that Neal could have struck out on his own, instead of falling victim to the strong conservative moralities of the time.
The early films of John Woo (this, as well as Hard Boiled and Bullet in the Head) are what got me obsessed with HK cinema back in the day, and although I’ve barely seen any (HK films that is) in recent years, it’s fun to revisit that particular era. Sure, some bits haven’t aged particularly well — especially the cheesy HK music and the doves, oh the doves — but the energy and over-the-top violence is still there, as well as the charisma of Chow Yun-fat. It does suck that the audio on these movies are always so bad (due to them completely dubbing after the fact).
I’m sure I watched this back in the day, but I had zero memory of the story — other than it culminates in a tournament, and Super Mario Bros. 3 makes an appearance. Didn’t even remember that Christian Slater is in this! I really don’t get why they wanted to mix a pretty serious drama with the video game backdrop — it’s the dramatic (and downer) content that slows the movie down, and it acts as a weird contrast with the video game stuff. If it was just the video game stuff (kids want to get to a tournament), then it would be much more enjoyable and a fun trip back to that era.
The Indy movies (with the exception of course of the 4th one, which I really do wish didn’t exist) continue to be amongst my favorite movies of all time, and so revisiting any of them is like entering familiar happy times. I do wonder how many times I’ve seen each of them — surely a ridiculous amount. I wish I could be more excited for the new one that is on the horizon, but unfortunately I’m just not excited at the prospect of it starring Ford again — I really would prefer they reboot the series with a new actor playing Indy. Funny enough, today I started the day with a Star Wars movie (The Rise of Skywalker), watched a James Bond movie in the afternoon (Licence to Kill), and then ended the evening with this, thereby hitting all three of my favorite movies series in one day.
I don’t usually include Bond films in the year-based movie marathons I do (since I tend to marathon Bond films separately), but I made an exception this time because I was in the mood to watch one, and since I’m going through 1989, Licence to Kill was a good candidate. It isn’t one of my favorite 007 films, but I do like Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights definitely is one of my favorites), and it does have its moments, with a pretty great cast. Using a drug lord as a Bond villain is just a bit too simple though — come on, we need some world domination to raise the stakes.
I had completely forgotten that the kids in this one are played by Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki! And Julia Louis-Dreyfus! This was pretty fun to watch (dumb fun in the best way) and I’m surprised I haven’t revisited sooner — it feels like I haven’t seen it in a couple of decades. As I wind down my 1989 movie marathon, this made for good timing, a few days ahead of Christmas.
This is another one of those movies that even though I haven’t watched it in decades, it all felt so familiar (especially particular lines) because I must have watched it countless times — I’m pretty sure I had a VHS copy back in the day. Joe Pesci still steals the show in this — and it’s a bit funny that I also watched The Irishman today, so a double dose of Pesci for me. It is what it is, an 80s action comedy, and it does it well.