Posts Tagged ‘movies’

PostHeaderIcon Top Movies of the 80s – Part 2

This is part two of the top twenty movies of the 80s, covering the last ten of the series. Keep in mind this is a personal list, and not compiled on any sort of data. See part one for the first ten movies in this series.

11. Poltergeist (1982)
A little girl’s late night interaction with ghosts in the TV, steaming from the house built over a burial ground. This movie is great because you get that “what if this was me” feeling, even if it’s just for a split second. While it doesn’t compare to the special effects of today, it’s still a classic.

12. Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)
When Bernie dies unexpected after promising two guys a weekend of fun at his beach house, they decide to make him keep that promise…and take him with. This particular movie had such a unique plot and so much humor, it was easy to overlook how “wrong” their actions really were.

13. The Burbs (1989)
Get Tom Hanks riled up and thinking something strange is going on at a neighbor’s house, and you have unlimited comedy. He thinks evil things are going on, and must find out what.

14. Short Circuit (1986)
Who doesn’t love giant talking robots? What makes Johnny 5 so awesome, though, is he has feelings by some strange electronic mishap. Never before has a movie made us say “awwww!” about a piece of machinery.

15. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
This one ranks in the “cult classic” section, since it was just so far out there as far as realism and seriousness. I bet it made you think twice about purchasing a Venus fly trap, though, didn’t it?

16. Gremlins (1984)
The idea that an adorable little fur-ball can reproduce such ugly offspring is enough to scare the hell out of all of us. A mixture of goofy and sweet humor made this movie worth watching several times.

17. Splash (1984)
Tom Hanks falls in love with a mermaid, unperceived to him. She can’t explain it either, for fear she’ll be turned into a science experiment. Sadly, she is anyway, and so is Tom Hanks. Darrel Hannah co-stars in this “true love conquers all” fairy tale story.

18. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
The 80s featured a lot of science experiments gone horribly wrong, which is exactly what this movie was about. Rick Moranis stars as a dedicated scientist focused on creating a machine that shrinks objects. A mishap by unattended kids leaves the adults scrambling to find the miniscule children in a suburban backyard.

19. Ruthless People (1986)
Two half-hearted kidnappers scheme to hold a millionaire’s wife (Bette Midler) for ransom. The plan starts to come unraveled when her husband (Danny DeVito) won’t give up the money and dares them to kill her off for him.

20. Pet Sematary (1989)
You can’t have a list of fantastic movies without mentioning Steven King. This classic explores the darker side of life and death, and why you shouldn’t meddle with it.

Feel free to add your own movies to the list!

PostHeaderIcon Top Movies of the 80s – Part 1

I had so much fun making the list of 90s movies, that I decided to make another with my favorite movies from the 80s. When John Hughes was at the top of his game, and the 80s Brat Pack was everywhere you turned. This list is designed to remind you of some of the great movies from the 1980s, in no particular order. Keep in mind this is my personal list, and based on nothing but fond memories. You are more than welcome to leave a comment and let us know what YOUR favorite movie is!

This is part one of two articles featuring my favorite movies from this decade.

1. Breakfast Club (1985)
A true classic! This movie proved that no matter what niche you were from in high school, you were still a rebel at heart.

2. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Starring John Candy and Steve Martin in a fun-filled adventure where two mismatched friends attempt to make their way home for the holidays.

3. St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
One of the movies that defined the “Brat Pack”, with an all-star cast of friends trying to figure life out after college.

4. Rain Main (1988)
This movie features Dustin Hoffman’s award winning role as Raymond Babbitt, an autistic man who has spent the majority of his life in a mental home. His life is changed drastically when he meets his brother, Charlie (Tom Cruise).

5. Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
A bored housewife named Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) acquires the identity of Susan (Madonna) through a jacket, amnesia, and a case of mistaken identity.

6. Beetlejuice (1988)
If you lived in the 80’s, it’s hard not to have seen this movie. After the drowning of a young couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis), the two become ghosts trapped in their own home and forced to share with a family of big city socialites. The newly dead seek out the help of the mischievous “Beetlejuice” to wreak havoc on the unwelcome new owners.

7. Parenthood (1989)
A quirky movie, that takes a look at the trials and treasures of parenting. Directed by Ron Howard and starring Steve Martin.

8. Big (1988)
As a kid, didn’t you always wish to be grown up? Twelve-year old Josh gets his wish, and overnight becomes a thirty year old man (Tom Hanks). Full of lots of laughs watching as he tries to figure out how to be “big” in the big city.

9. Look Who’s Talking (1989)
What made this particular movie fantastically hilarious was getting a glimpse of the mind of a baby. Kirstie Alley stars as the single mom to Mikey (voice of Bruce Willis), who has plenty of entertaining encounters with cab driver James (John Travolta).

10. Raising Arizona (1987)
Nicolas Cage and Edwina “Ed” McDonnough team up as an unlikely husband and wife (ex-con and ex-officer), who decide a local entrepreneur with new quintuplets has more than he can handle. The need to have a baby of their own drives them to simply take one baby off their hands in the middle of the night.

Be sure to read the rest of this list in part two!

PostHeaderIcon Great Movies of the 90s – Part 2

This is part two of the series “20 Great Movies of the 90s”, listing the last ten. If you missed part one, be sure to check out the first half here.  Again, these movies are in no particular order. Ranking is based on one person’s opinion of the top movies of this era.

11. Dolores Claiborne (1995)

You can’t go wrong with Stephen King. Based on his best-selling book, this movie does an awesome job of telling the story of Doloris Claiborne, the middle-age woman who killed her husband. Generally the book is always better, but in this case, the movie follows the book almost exactly. It stars Kathy Bates as Doloris.

12. Grumpy Old Men (1993)

If you are looking for pure comedy, this one will have you giggling. Watching two older men fighting over a younger woman is comical in its own way, but these two take it a step further and begin to prank each other. A wonderful 90s classic, but only suitable for kids over thirteen based on a few sexual innuendoes. If you like the first, be sure to check out the sequel, “Grumpier Old Men”.

13. Groundhog Day (1993)

Ever wish you could replay the same day over again, and do things a little different? Phil does just that, although it wasn’t wished for. He eventually learns to make the best of it, and change his attitude about life for the better. Insert Bill Murray as the lead character “Phil”, and you’ve got yourself an instant blockbuster.

14. Interview with the Vampire (1994)

This drama showed Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as vampires, but not in the “Twilight” sense. Based on the book by Anne Rice, and also featured an amazing performance by a very young Kirsten Dunst. This movie was filled with suspense, and gave people an idea of what being a vampire would really be like (and not in a good way).

15. The Sandlot (1993)

When your (age) and new in town, it’s hard to learn how to fit in. When Scotty Smalls tries to impress his new friends by loaning them a baseball for their never-ending neighborhood game, he makes the mistake of “borrowing” a signed Babe Ruth baseball from his step-father. A homerun sends it over the fence into the yard of a massive dog nicknamed “The Beast”. The gang makes some hilarious invention and plans to attempt to get it back.

16. Sleeping With the Enemy (1991)

Take a peek into the life of an abused woman, and see how she makes great strides to release herself from his grasp. This movie featured a terrific performance by Julia Roberts as the battered woman, with a fantastic surprise ending.

17. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

When two boys are accused of a robbery and murder in a backwoods town, one calls on his Cousin Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci) to defend them in court. Vinny is a little rough around the edges, but learns he can be the great lawyer he’s trying to be.

18. Empire Records (1995)

If you are in need of a fun movie that reminds you how easy life really was when you were a teenager, this is the movie you’ll want to grab. Featuring several close friends bonded by the home-town record store they work at, who pool together to “save the Empire” when it’s threatened by corporate take-over. It’s full of quirky humor and cute comments, eventually becoming a cult classic of the 90’s.

19. What Dreams May Come (1998)

One of the few movies out there that only gets good just as soon as everyone dies. Set in an interesting version of heaven and hell, with a beautiful (and sometimes terrifying) backdrop. While mostly on the dramatic side, a romantic theme weaves its way in, but not in the “gushy” sense. Starring Robin Williams as Chris Nielsen, hell-bent (literally) to save the woman he loves.

20. Awakenings (1990)

Another amazing movie starring Robin Williams as the doctor who believes he’s found a cure for the catatonic in a mental institution. This movie makes us appreciate our lives, being thankful we have the ability to do all the things we can do.

This list should remind you of some of your favorites. Spend an afternoon watching these wonderful movies, or pick up a few you have not heard of before!

PostHeaderIcon 20 Great Movies of the 90s – Part 1

The other night I was surfing though the movie channels (hurray for 3 months free HBO from Dish Network!), and a few 80s and 90s movies caught my eye. I started to remember all the really fun movies I watched growing up, and decided to make a list of the dramas and comedies for the family.

Keep in mind this is more or less my list, in no particular order. It’s based on nothing more than my personal preference. This is also only part 1 – part 2 will be listed next week.

Many of the movies on the list you may have heard of, while others might have slipped past you. If you have not seen them, give them a try! They may be lacking the special effects of the movies today, but they were still special in their own way.

1. Dutch (1991)
Dutch was a feel-good movie for the family, with very few raunchy innuendoes. It was the type of movie that made 90’s movies great – it was not a sappy romantic comedy where you guessed the ending, nor was it a slap-stick comedy that was more stupid than funny. It had its heart-warming moments, but for the most part was just random hilarious mishaps.

While trying to impress his girlfriend and take an interest in her son, Ed O’Neal stars as Dutch Dooley, the working-class man on a road trip to bond with Doyle (played by Ethan Embry). What made it a top movie was its unique story line and setting, mixed into a fun comedy that made you smile when it was over. It even snuck in a tiny message that high class doesn’t mean “better than you”.

2. Maverick (1994)
Back when Mel Gibson was hot, and adored by millions of fans, he starred a movie set in the old west. He wasn’t the only top actor – Jodi Foster and James Garner also co-starred.

There were plenty of twists and turns throughout the movie, and several times you wondered if Mel Gibson’s character was going to come out on top. Close calls, quirky lines that made you giggle, and suspense made this a fun movie for all.

3. Curly Sue (1991)
An adorable little girl (Alisan Porter), and her homeless “father” Bill Dancer (James Belushi), scam their way across the country to eventually find a real home. Another feel-good movie for families, which make you stop and think what choices you would make if left in this position. Are the decisions James Belushi’s character made best for the little girl?

4. Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
While this movie is targeted more towards teenagers of the 90s, it still promotes a “happily ever after” theme with an average teenage boy after the girl of his dreams. It stars Ethan Embry as Preston, and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the girl of his dreams. What makes this movie fun is its reminder of high school days, lusting after love was the hardest part of life. Set on the last day of school, in the midst of a wild graduation party.

5. Dazed & Confused (1993)
No matter what the time period, teens have always had their “hang out” places and activities. This movie is set at the beginning of summer in the 70s, including a cast of various high school students. From naïve new freshman trying to fit in, to senior football players deciding what is most important in life. Each ponders their place in the social scheme, while go in search of a good time.

6. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Slightly on the dramatic side and lacking in true comedy, this movie takes a look at the average life of Gilbert Grape (Jonny Depp). His life is not terrible by any means, although he realizes life could be better once meeting a new (and exciting) friend (Juliette Lewis). Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio in an amazing performance as Gilbert’s mentally challenged younger brother.

7. Robin Hood – Men in Tights (1993)
If you need a movie with loads of laughs, this is the one! It swings more to the “goofy comedy” side, including many witty comments and comments which adults would find humorous and kids will not fully understand. For this reason, it makes an excellent family movie everyone will enjoy.

8. Forever Young (1992)
Forever Young is an awesome drama with comical and romantic moments. Mel Gibson stars as Capt. Daniel McCormick, who agrees to be frozen in time after the love of his life goes into a coma. The cryogenics experiment, which was only to last a few years, falls by the wayside. Daniel finds himself more than fifty years in the future when he’s accidentally unfrozen by two boys (Elijah Wood and Robert Hy Gorman).

9. A League of Their Own (1992)
If you are interested in dramatic movies with subtle comedy, this movie is for you. It’s based on a true story about the woman’s professional baseball league during World War 2, featuring all-star cast of the top movie stars of the nineties. Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Jon Lovitz, Rosie O’Donnell, and many more stars in this heart-warming movie.

10. What About Bob? (1991)
When you put Bill Murray as the lead character, you are in for a goofy comedy. There are no shortages of laughs as Mr. Murray stars as a mentally disturbed (yet loveable) patient in search of “the cure” from his new favorite psychiatrist.

Be sure to read part two for the rest of the list!