Tuesday, June 10, 2014

1983: The Best

Quick note: I forgot to mention Yor: Hunter from the Future in the last article.  Needless to say, given my review from a few months back, I loved it.

And now the exciting conclusion...

10. Psycho II

Richard Franklin's sequel to the 1960 Hitchcock classic is just stunningly good.  By all rights, this should have been a cheesy cash-in but thanks to great work from Anthony Perkins and Franklin's subtle approach, the end result is a complex and fascinating thriller.

9. Local Hero

Burt Lancaster is quite enjoyable in this charming, whimsical comedy/drama about a young businessman who goes to a small Scottish village to purchase it for a big company.  The story unfolds in a nicely quirky manner and in the end, the film turns out to be a legit funny sleeper hit.

8. National Lampoon's Vacation

Not the best thing Chevy Chase has ever done but Vacation is still one of his funniest performances as Clark Griswold, a hapless father who wants nothing more than to give his family the best vacation possible.  Funny bits abound, the entire cast is screamingly funny and Harold Ramis directs it all quite well.

7. Project A

Terrific action movie starring Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao in a fast, funny and exciting flick about pirates, Navy guys with amazing fighting skills and Jackie Chan finding new ways to potentially cripple himself for life at best.  It's just awesome, not much more for me to say, really.

6. Scarface

Al Pacino is the best reason to seek this wildly over the top remake of the 1932 movie.  Amusingly cast as a Cuban, Pacino devours the scenery for the entire running time as Brian DePalma goes equally overboard with camera shots and some nicely gruesome moments.,  The rest of the cast is good, though really it's hard to keep pace with Pacino here and even seasoned pros like Robert Loggia and hams like F. Murray Abraham end up having to hang for dear life as good old Al cranks it up to eleven and dominates.

As a bonus, the movie has one of the most hilarious edited for TV cuts.  It's a real miracle, honestly.  I love little things like TV cuts of heavy duty R movies and this is one of the best.

5. Trading Places

Terrific comedy with Dan Aykroyd as a spoiled rich guy, Eddie Murphy as a down and out con man and Jamie Lee Curtis as a hooker with a heart of gold.  The plot is nicely clever with Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy as Aykroyd's bosses make a bet that Dan can switch places with Murphy.  John Landis keeps the laughs coming (though like most of his movies, it's a little longer than really needed) and everything is top notch from top to bottom.  It's a real classic comedy.

4. Revenge of the Ninja

By all rights, this should have been a shoo-in for the guilty pleasures list but at the end of the day, this is one of the greatest things ever put out by Cannon Films.  Sho Kosugi is a retired ninja who has moved to sunny Los Angeles to live a life of peace.  This goes about as well as that sort of plan generally goes and he is quickly fighting to save his son after a business associate turns out to be an evil ninja.  The acting is wooden, the action is cheesy and the story is practically non-existent and it's just awesome.  It really has to be seen to be believed.

3. Lone Wolf McQuade

Invasion U.S.A. might be the ultimate Chuck Norris film but this one is his best.  A precursor to Walker: Texas Ranger, it stars Big Bad Chuck as the title character who is more or less Walker with slightly lesser grooming habits.  The action is great, David Carradine makes for a fun bad guy and the scene where Chuck drives his truck out of a grave is a real classic.

2. Octopussy

The 13th James Bond film is a wonderfully over the top adventure with a nice pair of villains, some good action including a fun finale on top of a [pane and just an overall sense of fun that really makes you wish Roger Moore had made this one his last outing as 007.

1. Return of the Jedi

No apologies for this one (and really they should never be needed) but I absolutely love every single minute of the third Star Wars movie.  Great creatures, amazing space battles and some fun performances make this a fantastic end to the original trilogy and the best film of the year.

And that's 1983, folks.  A damn good year.


  1. I absolutely love every single minute of the third Star Wars movie
    Even the Ewoks?

    1. Yep, they never really bothered me. To be honest, it might be because Jar-Jar is soooo much worse.

  2. I just picked up Project A and Revenge of the Ninja. I've only seen the later Jackie Chans (Supercop and later), but this''ll be my first ninja movie. Is there a distinct risk of my mind being blown?

    1. I would say so. I think Revenge of the Ninja is a pretty good starter ninja film as it's pretty funny and is a fairly painless viewing experience.


About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.