With every New Year comes my traditional "That Movie is how old!" list of movies celebrating significant anniversaries this year. I used to do this as an e-mail to friends (and have been for more than 10 years now).
This came about after a friend of mine had a discussion with one of the writer's we were developing a project with when we were both at Mad Chance that the Oscars should be given 10 years later to prove that a movie has stood the test of time. How many years pass and movies that were hot trends, or had rising stars or were big box office hits are now relegated to the bargain bins at Walmart or the dark recesses of streaming sites like Amazon Instant Prime and Netflix (now that video stores are now virtually a dinosaur)? I was discussing THE ARTIST with someone the other day and almost had forgotten that it was last year's best picture.
My starting point is 1977 since STAR WARS is the cinematic awakening of my generation, and go up by decades (with 25 years being the lone exception) meaning the 70s will not return to the list until 2017 when STAR WARS turns...yikes...40.
This is not meant to be a definitive list of everything that came out in these years as that list would be massive, but a smattering of titles that were either big, followed trends or just curiosities worth remember or forgetting.
So without further adieu prepare to feel...old.
1983 (30 Years)
Best Picture - TERMS OF ENDEARMENT
RETURN OF THE JEDI
With the recent purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney, development of another STAR WARS trilogy has begun with the series to take place after RETURN OF THE JEDI which is now 30 years old. That means Han, Luke and Leia are all grey haired and getting (or on the verge of getting) the senior's discount at Denny's.
THE RIGHT STUFF
This movie has aged extremely well. I sit down and watch it almost every time I come across it playing on Television.
OO7 hit movie screens twice in the same year with this official entry in the series starring Roger Moore.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
And this title that was an attempt by a former associate of Ian Fleming's to lay claim to the rights, and is a remake of THUNDERBALL with Sean Connery returning.
Matthew Broderick almost starts World War III using an early version of the Internet.
I was never a fan of SCARFACE, yet it lives on.
Clint's famous "Go Ahead, make my day" line was uttered 30 years ago.
TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION
There's a new SUPERMAN movie out this year (MAN OF STEAL) but no Richard Pryor (who is deceased) this time around. I do have to admit when the computer took over that woman and turned her into a robot, it freaked me out as a kid.
Back when 3-D wasn't a common occurrence. This movie is truly terrible.
Joel Schumacher's comedy starring Mr. T still has a following.
THE KING OF COMEDY
Rupert Pupkin Speaks!
A CHRISTMAS STORY
Little Ralphie isn't so little anymore.
Other Titles released in 1983:
ALL THE RIGHT MOVES
THE BLACK CAULDRON
THE BLACK STALLION RETURNS
CURSE OF THE PINK PANTHER (A wasted attempt to keep the PINK PANTHER franchise alive without Peter Sellers. Has one funny scene with Roger Moore.)
THE DEAD ZONE
FANNY AND ALEXANDER
HIGH ROAD TO CHINA
LONE WOLF MCQUADE
LOSIN' IT (Tom Cruise goes to Mexico to get laid, and hooks up with...Shelley Long. I first saw this while home sick from school one day.)
THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN
THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS
MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE
MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE
NATE AND HAYES
NEVER CRY WOLF
SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT PART 3 (This movie is SO ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE it's worth checking out just to see how bad it is.)
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
THE STING II
10 TO MIDNIGHT
TO BE OR NOT TO BE
TWO OF A KIND
UNDER FIRE (Great score by Jerry Goldsmith. Mark Altman knows what I'm talking about.)
THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
1988 (25 Years)
Best Picture - RAIN MAN
Tom Cruise pretty much ruled the world by 1988. I used to dislike RAIN MAN. It has grown on me over time - more for Cruise's performance than Hoffman's.
The fifth DIE HARD movie A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD comes out in 2013, but the original which turns 25 this year is still THE action movie, and for me a Christmas ritual.
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?
Very hard to believe this movie is 25 years old. The animation still looks great, and how many people had a secret crush on Jessica Rabbit? Comes out on Blu-ray in March.
COMING TO AMERICA
Back when Eddie Murphy was funny, and not doing forgettable movies like A THOUSAND WORDS. Fitting that both this and TRADING PLACES are on the same list as both are directed by John Landis, and this has a scene that references the earlier title.
Kids and adults swapping bodies ended up in a lot of 80s movie, but this one was smarter than the rest and further elevated Tom Hanks into the Movie Stardom stratosphere.
CROCODILE DUNDEE PART II
THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY
Michael J. Fox took a stab at getting away from his popcorn teenage roles, and bored us to death in this.
A FISH CALLED WANDA
THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST
GORILLAS IN THE MIST
Other Titles Released in 1988:
THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN
AKIRA (Here's hoping the movie figures out the production problems and gets made.)
ANOTHER WOMAN (One of my favorite lesser known Woody Allen movies.)
ARTHUR 2: ON THE ROCKS
BAT *21 (A movie that deserves a second look.)
BIG TOP PEE-WEE (At the time, had the longest screen kiss. Is this still the reigning champion?)
BUSTER (Phil Collins acts)
CLEAN AND SOBER
COCOON: THE RETURN
THE COUCH TRIP
A CRY IN THE DARK
THE DEAD POOL (Dirty Harry goes at it one last time.)
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS
EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY
EIGHT MEN OUT
ELVIRA, MISTRESS OF THE DARK
ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS
FRIGHT NIGHT II (Terrible sequel bore absolutely no resemblance to the original.)
FUNNY FARM (Don't believe the title, Chevy Chase was anything BUT funny in this)
I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA
IRON EAGLE II
JOHNNY BE GOOD
KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
THE LAND BEFORE TIME
LICENSE TO DRIVE
MARRIED TO THE MOB
THE MILAGRO BEANFIELD WAR
MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO
A NEW LIFE (Another movie I tried to talk about recently that nobody remembered or had heard of. Alan Alda directed.)
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 4: THE DREAM MASTER
OLIVER & COMPANY
RATTLE AND HUM
RUNNING ON EMPTY
SHE'S HAVING A BABY
SHOOT TO KILL
SHORT CIRCUIT 2 (Number 5 was alive and even though they tried to hide it, tore up Toronto. Can't hide the Eaton Center or the World's Biggest Book Store.)
STAND AND DELIVER
TEQUILA SUNRISE (I remember this supposedly was going to be a big sexy title, and it is extremely boring.)
TUCKER: THE MAN AND HIS DREAM
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING
VIBES (There's a hole in my heart that goes all the way to China.)
VICE VERSA (Adults and Kids switch bodies again, this time Fred Savage with Judge Reinhold.)
WITHOUT A CLUE
1993 (20 Years)
Best Picture - SCHINDLER'S LIST
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE
THE PELICAN BRIEF
Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington in another John Grisham adaptation.
WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT
BENNY & JOON
BODY OF EVIDENCE
IN THE LINE OF FIRE
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
You remember the Jamaican bobsled team in this runaway Disney hit. Best scene - seeing them arrive in Calgary in the middle of a Canadian winter. That's enough to freak out anyone.
Other Titles released in 1993:
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES
ALIVE (Don't watch before flying.)
AMOS & ANDREW (How did this get made? So wrong!)
ARMY OF DARKNESS (This is my boomstick!)
BATMAN: MASK OF THE PHANTASM (Feature film extension of the Animated series was better than most of the (pre-Christopher Nolan) live action BATMAN movies.)
THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES
A BRONX TALE
COP AND A HALF
DAZED AND CONFUSED (I have a friend who is obsessed with this movie, and rightfully so.)
DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY
FIRE IN THE SKY
FOR LOVE OR MONEY
THE GOOD SON (Macauley Culkin tries to shake his HOME ALONE persona.)
GRUMPY OLD MEN (This was a surprise hit when it came out.)
GUILTY AS SIN (Sexual thrillers were all the rage in the 90s)
HEAVEN & EARTH
HOT SHOTS PART DEUX
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
THE JOY LUCK CLUB
KING OF THE HILL
THE LAST ACTION HERO
MAD DOG & GLORY
MADE IN AMERICA (Remember Ted Danson doing that whole Black Face thing?)
MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY (Another one of my favorite Woody Allen titles)
THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE
MENACE II SOCIETY
A PERFECT WORLD (Underrated Clint Eastwood thriller with Kevin Costner has aged well.)
POINT OF NO RETURN (Awful LA FEMME NIKITA remake.)
REMAINS OF THE DAY
RED ROCK WEST (Great little Noir thriller)
SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISHER
SISTER ACT 2: BACK IN THE HABIT
SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER
SON IN LAW
SON OF THE PINK PANTHER (Another failed attempt to revive THE PINK PANTHER series, this time with Roberto Benigni)
SUPER MARIO BROS. (It is worth listening to the podcast of HOW DID THIS GET MADE about this title. Truly one of the greatest podcasts I have ever listened to.)
THIS BOY'S LIFE (Big Leonardo Di Caprio year with this and...)
THE THREE MUSKETEERS
WAYNE'S WORLD II
WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE (Leo also made a splash in this.)
2003 (10 Years)
Best Picture - THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING
MASTER AND COMMANDER: THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD
THE MATRIX RELOADED
THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL
THE LAST SAMURAI
TERMINATOR 3: THE RISE OF THE MACHINES
BAD BOYS II
HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG
THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN
SCHOOL OF ROCK
LOST IN TRANSLATION
A MIGHTY WIND
Other Titles Released in 2003:
2 FAST 2 FURIOUS (Who would have thought this series would be still going strong in 2013?)
ALEX AND EMMA (Rob Reiner directed this absolute DUD.)
THE CAT IN THE HAT (Unwatchable!)
CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN
ELF (Another "Holiday Classic" I can't stand)
FINAL DESTINATION 2
FREDDY VS. JASON
GODS AND GENERALS
THE HAUNTED MANSION
HULK (The makers of THE AVENGERS want you to forget this movie)
THE HUMAN STAIN
THE ITALIAN JOB (Surprisingly good.)
THE JUNGLE BOOK 2
KILL BILL: VOLUME 1
LARA CROFT, TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE
LEGALLY BLONDE 2: RED WHITE AND BLONDE
LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION
RADIO (Unintentionally terrible and somewhat insulting)
SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER (Before 3-D was a regular thing, and you had to wear those cheap Red and Blue lensed glasses).
STUCK ON YOU
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
THIRTEEN (This movie disturbed me so much, and I think it was dead on, and the situation has gotten worse in the last 10 years)
UPTOWN GIRLS (The movie that inspired me to start giving the 1/2 star rating it was so bad.)