1987: Movies Sorted By Tier
Submitted by jim on Mon, 08/23/2004 - 11:38
Full Metal Jacket... One of the best first acts ever, this movie would really have to drop the ball to fall from greatness. It does stumble with a muddled second act, but that mostly mirrors the soldiers time in country and waiting for action, so it can be justified. Momentum is regained in the third act with the taut sniper showdown, but really the movie grabs the coattails of the first act and hangs on for deal life. It's just boot camp sequences in the first third, which doesn't seem all that promising, but Kubrick and his cast so perfectly capture the dualily of the brutality, absurdity, and humor (triality?) of breaking men down so they may be turned into killers. The sequence where D'Ononfrio can't stop smiling at his sergeant's tirade represents this in microcosm. And if Kubrick had just put opening credits over all those crew cuts, he'd have one of the best credit sequences to go along with his fantastic opening act. I suppose he can't think of everything.
Lethal Weapon... Gibson and Glover were so enjoyable in this action/comedy/buddy-cop movie that they spawned a franchise that went way downhill after #2. That's forgivable, considering how much fun this one is.
Roxanne... Steve Martin plays Cyrano de Bergerac, a small town fire chief with a three-inch nose. My favorite Cyrano offshoot, which isn't saying much. But it's also one of my favorite comedies from the 80s.
The Princess Bride... "Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..." I suspect this is one of those movies where it helps to be indoctrinated by a pile of adoring fans. I was, and I love it. But even if you watch it alone for the first time, you'd have to have completely lost your taste for fairly tales to not get carried away at least a little by this wonderful movie.
Evil Dead 2
The Last Emperor
Predator... Hmm, I write this 15 years later and I have to wonder how the f/x held up. The thing I remember about this movie is how cool the creature was. It definitely steals the movie from Arnie and co., but he and his marines have just enough personality to make them getting picked off interesting.
Robocop... I always feel like a bit of a ghoul for liking anything Verhoeven puts out, and this is no exception. Darkly funny and ultra-gratuitously violent, it's still a clever satire of a future crime-ridden (both street and corporate) society.
The Untouchables... I watched this first when I was 17 and then again at 32. I liked it better as a teenager, but find that's true in general for me. De Niro plays his few Capone scenes with relish. Of the untouchables, Andy Garcia is the standout, and Costner is the weak link. I'm afraid the famous baby carriage scene, which I remember loving, seemed kinda cartoonish now. Nonetheless, an enjoyable gangster movie told from the police perspective.
The Witches Of Eastwick
Glad I Saw
Beverly Hills Cop 2
The Big Easy
A Chinese Ghost Story... Go into this thinking you're about to watch a young Chinese Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson make a slapstick kung fu ghost story romance and you'll be fine. The humor is a bit too broad and the stop-motion special effects would be right at home in Clash of the Titans, but Leslie Cheung (R.I.P.) and Joey Wong have real chemistry, and I found myself jaw-agape in wonder at the audacious insanity of it all. Oh that giant tongue!
Good Morning, Vietnam
The Living Daylights
Planes, Trains And Automobiles
A Taxing Woman
Withnail & I... I liked this movie; it features great dialog, great performances, and plenty of funny moments. I think it would certainly find a home on one of my "Recommended" lists on a second viewing, but it had a couple things working against it this time around. First, Richard E. Grant (who does an excellect job) is too much of a bastard, and it's not until the end that I really understood what a sad character he is. It also felt like a movie that is best watched either drunk, with lots of friends, or both. I don't drink and I watched it alone. Finally, I think the humor needs a second viewing for full appreciation. Anyway, good movie that I'll probably revisit someday.
The Lost Boys
The Running Man
Three Men And A Baby
Could Have Missed
House Of Games
Tin Men... On okay rental, but overall I liked it less than the other movie with "tin" in the title featuring two guys whose rivalry is so intense one goes so far as to sleep with the other guy's wife and ultimately undergoes some kind of personal transformation, Pushing Tin.
Should Have Missed
Project A II... Low-grade Jackie Chan. Slow, silly, and confusing. Has a few good stunts and set pieces, and of course I'm impressed with his physical chops, but it wasn't enough.
El Sucko Grande