1989 was far from the best year of the 1980s, but still a fun year for moviegoers. It had the return of Indiana Jones, Marty McFly, Riggs & Murtaugh, James Bond (the best Timothy Dalton outing) and everyone was treated to Tim Burton’s Joker (sorry, I mean Batman). There were quite a few good movies that probably could’ve made this list: Field Of Dreams, Black Rain (a mediocre Ridley Scott film, but that still means that it’s better than most evrything else out there), and the Blake Edwards comedy Skin Deep.There were also some smaller movies that were fun such as ‘cult hit’ Heathers, How I Got Into College, Cousins, and Spielberg’s ‘Always’ remake (that one wasn’t ‘smaller’).
Anyway, here’s my first ‘Best’ List of the 80s.
UPDATE: One I forgot to put on my list: The Big Picture starring Kevin Bacon among many others. It’s light, low key and quirky, but also maybe the best satire of the movie business ever made (and I’m including films like the Player and Barton Fink and others….). So sorry Spike. You’re now #11.
UPDATE #2: My Left Foot (I Had not seen it until now; the end of 2010. 1989 was a real good year in film.)
UPDATE #3: Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman (Forgot all about this movie until I was looking at my Best of the 2000s and saw the remake on my list).
UPDATE #4: Valmont
Bumped: Do the Right Thing
(Maybe Spike Lee’s 2nd best film. A bit abrasive at times, though.)
Dead Poets Society
(Bumped… A little overly dramatic and VERY flawed, but still an enjoyable movie, especially if you grew up in that era.)
Lean on Me
(Bumped… Morgan Freeman as ‘Batman’. There were lots of these high school dramas coming out around this time. This was one of the better ones).
Field of Dreams
(Bumped. Costner’s Most Enjoyable Baseball movie. At least for me. I also loved the appearances of James Earle Jones and Burt Lancaster).
10 The Big Picture
(Several guest appearances. Lots of great smaller parts and yet another good Kevin Bacon flick. I especially enjoyed Jennifer Jason Leigh’s performance artist and Teri Hatcher is at the height of her powers in this).
9 The Fabulous Baker Boys
(Ummm. Michelle Pfieffer was absolutely smokin’ in this one. The brothers Bridges were okay, too. No cookie cutter ending, either. Worth seeing).
8 Back to the Future Part II
(Not as good as the original, but how could it be? It was still fun.)
7 Lethal Weapon 2
(Back when Action Movies ruled. Like my #5, this wasn’t as good as its predecessor. No matter. It was still a whole lot of fun, especially those parts with Patsy Kensit.)
6 Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman
(Much more serious than the 2003 film which was more slapstick comedy , but this is every bit as good if not better. The series of films inspired an American Rutger Hauer flick based on the character. It pales in comparison to this, though. Shintaro Katsu is brilliant as the title character.)
5 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Hmm. There’s a pattern forming. Like my #7 and #8 entries, the Last Crusade was not as good as the original, but still a WHOLE lot of fun. River Pheonix was great as the Young Indy. Of course, the 4th installment dropped a drastic degree in quality . With another sequel on the way, I’m beginning to fear George Lucas wants to crush the last vestiges of my childhood spirit by creating for Indiana Jones the equivalent of the 2nd Star Wars Trilogy. The Last Crusade had an outstanding/clever ending and maybe should’ve ended the franchise with that.)
4 My Left Foot
(A great movie, but exceptional mostly for the two performances by Day-Lewis and O’Conor portraying Christy Brown.
(The other, BETTER version of Dangerous Liaisons…)
2 Dead Calm
(Nicole Kidman in all of her glory… Plus it was a great movie. If you’ve never seen this, it’s best to watch this without finding out anything about it. Sam Neil was also great in this, especially when he and Kidman get separated in the film. An Aussie classic thriller.)
1 The Abyss
(Director’s cut or otherwise. Doesn’t matter. Has one of the most dramatic sequences in cinematic history. Ed Harris attains new levels of AWESOME in this movie.)