Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1987: Honorable Mentions

While not the best overall year of the decade (though it's in the top five), 1987 has maybe the most diverse batch of movies I'll be covering in this series.  A ton of good stuff was on display this year, as well as some bad.  Let's get started!

Not as funny as his first stand up show Delirious, but Raw is still a pretty damn funny show with a nice start where Eddie does impressions of Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.  His stuff on his father and mother at the end is also funny, though the relationship stuff in between is a little hit or miss.

Romantic comedies and Steve Martin tend to make for a pretty good combo, especially when he;s writing the script.  Just like L.A. Story in 1991, Roxanne is a whimsical, smart comedy chock full of literary references (the overall story is a loose reworking of Cyrano De Bergerac) as Martin plays a firefighter chief in a small town who falls for Daryl Hannah but is shy due to his large nose.  The laughs are plentiful and the tone is just right, this one is just plain lovable.

Steve Martin's other film in 1987 was this very funny, heartwarming at the end comedy dream team-up with John Candy.  John Hughes directs them as a pair of mismatched travelers who are trying to get back home for Thanksgiving.  Martin is at his funniest, playing an uptight jerk and Candy is a lovable goof as only he could do it.  Lots of great comic set pieces such as when both guys wake up in bed with each other as well as a harrowing car ride make this one of the best comedies of the decade.

Playwright David Mamet directs his first film here, and the results are quite excellent.  House of Games is a twisty little gem of a thriller with excellent acting from Joe Mantegna and Lindsay Crouse as con artist and mark respectively.  The film is full of surprises and really, it needs to be seen cold to really appreciate its charms.

1987 saw two really good vampire movies, the first of which we are discussing here.  The Lost Boys is probably the best thing Joel Schumacher ever made.  It is a nicely presented, fast paced, funny, sort of scary movie about two brothers who discover their small town is infested with vampires.  Jason Patric is decent as the older brother and Kiefer Sutherland is quite good as the evil head vampire.  Corey Haim is also decent as the kid brother but the real fun comes when Corey Feldman shows up as a young vampire hunter.  Think a teenager acting like Stallone and you pretty much have his performance in a nutshell.  It's quite the fun ride with some nice f/x and a killer soundtrack.

Rather fitting that I'm covering this one so soon after the death of its star.  Robin Williams turned in his best performance here as a rebellious disc jockey during the Vietnam War.  The film soars with his improv skills and there is good work from Forest Whitaker as his pal as well.  Robin Williams was always one of my favorite comedians, RIP.

Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito star in this amusing dark comedy about a writer (Crystal) who is asked by DeVito, a student in his writing class to kill his abusive mother (a hilarious Anne Ramsey) and in return he will off Crystal's ex-wife who has plagiarized one of his books.  The story is a dark semi-spoof of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and it is probably DeVito's best directorial effort.

Jack Nicholson as The Devil.  Never has there been a better casting of a character.  Jack plays a mysterious stranger conjured up by amateur witches played by Cher, Susan Sarandon and Michelle Pfeiffer who are feeling stifled in their uptight little home town.  The leads are fantastic all around, the f/x by Rob Bottin towards the end is pretty good (though somewhat out of pace tonally from the rest of the film) and George Miller brings the same sort of wild energy to the proceedings that he brought to the first two Mad Max movies.  It's a fun film.

Mel Brooks delivers a frankly hilarious take on Stars Wars and big budget sci-fi movies in general with this star studded spoof.  Cast is great, the laughs are plentiful, really not much else to say.

I love this cheesy adaptation of the Stephen King novella, even if it does make it a hell of a lot lighter and happier.  Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a cop wrongfully accused of a massacre in the future who is made to play a sadistic game show hosted by Richard Dawson.  Tons of action, some great one-liners and a good cast make this one a real hoot.

Coming son: Honorable Mentions of 1987 Part 2

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.