Sunday, July 20, 2014

1989: Honorable Mentions

1989 was a fully loaded, but somewhat superficial end to the decade.  Good selection of movies, some duds and a few classics and plenty of stuff in between.  Let's get started with a quick look at the honorable mentions.

Note: Not mentioned here are Field of Dreams, Glory, Driving Miss Daisy and some others.  Not because they're not good, but because I have truly nothing at all to say about them.

Disney's animation department came back in a big way with this delightful film about a mermaid who wants to be human.  Great animation, great songs, this one is just an awesome family film.

I've written at length about this one to the point where I really have noting much more to say.  It's a solid yet somewhat flawed entry in the James Bond series.  Good action, good acting, a perfectly acceptable action film.

Really, really good obscure horror film about a young girl who while home sick, takes to drawing to fill her time.  Said drawings, one of a house particularly, end up being linked to some disturbing dreams she's been having and the film does a really solid job of making the dreams work.  The cast is solid, director Bernard Rose does a nice job keeping things moving and the end result is something quite effective.

Gleefully downbeat dark comedy from Danny DeVito which stars Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a couple that falls in love and gradually out of it in the nastiest way imaginable.  Douglas and Turner are good as always and DeVito has a nice supporting turn as a lawyer friend of Douglas who narrates the film.  DeVito does fine in the director's chair as well, though two hours is probably a little more than the film really needed.  The film is pretty much the textbook definition of a dark comedy.

I'm a pretty big Shakespeare fan and this adaptation of Henry V is pretty damn good.  Kenneth Branagh is good in the lead and he also does a fine job of directing things.

Terrific baseball comedy that has a solid cast playing the hapless Cleveland Indians (back when the team was in the middle of a nearly fifty year streak of failure) as they manage to overcome the odds and start winning.  Charlie Sheen is quite funny here as is Bob Uecker as the announcer and the film in general is one of the best baseball films ever made.

TV gets spoofed to hell and back in Weird Al Yankovic's only starring role.  Under appreciated when it came out, this is actually one of the better comedies of the decade, chock full of silly gags and memorable lines.

From laughs, we go to full on screaming with the best Stephen King adaptation since Creepshow.  Mary Lambert directs this utterly creepy tale about a family torn apart by the terrible secret behind a nearby pet cemetery in the small Maine town they move to.  Fred Gwynne is good as a kindly old man who tries to help and there are some bits throughout that are utterly horrifying.  It's a real winner from an era where King adaptations tended to be guilty pleasures at best for the most part.  Good song by The Ramones at the end too.

I've always enjoyed Joe Dante's twisted little suburban comedy with Tom Hanks as an average family man in an average neighborhood who finds out his new neighbors are serial killers.  Fun cast, some very funny lines and a fun turn from Hanks make this one quite enjoyable.

Surprisingly solid sequel to the David Cronenberg original. Eric Stoltz plays the son of Jeff Goldblum's character from the first movie and as bad luck would have it, he ends up going through the same sort of transformation as his pop did.  Great f/x with a nice creature design and a gooey exploding head and some nice work from Stoltz make this a fun creature feature to look at.  It's nowhere near as good as the first one but it's fun.

Last but not least is this enjoyably cheesy martial arts flick starring Jean-Claude van Damme.  A pick-up by Cannon, this stars van Damme as a young man whose brother is crippled in a bout with a nasty piece of work named Tong Po.  The plot is more or less your standard martial arts film plot but the fight scenes are energetic and fun, especially the finale.  Good stuff.

Coming soon: The Leftovers of 1989

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

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