Monday, May 19, 2014


What were the top five box office movies for each year of the 80's? Which ones were my favorites? Which were my least favorites? I'm not sure...I'll have to think about it. And without any further ado...

80's top box office month: (1986)

And the top 5 box office movies for 1986 are...

1. Top Gun
2. Crocodile Dundee
3. Platoon
4. Karate Kid II
5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The Enterprise Crew go back to 1986 San Francisco in Star Trek IV

Favorite movie from the top 5Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
As a long time Star Trek fan, I pretty much have to put what many Trekkies consider the best of the Star Trek movies, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (I'm still a Wrath of Khan guy) in the number one slot here. This one has admittedly a pretty silly plot about the Enterprise crew taking a Klingon bird of prey back in time to 1986 to bring a humpback whale into the future to save humanity. That's a lot to swallow. But if you can suspend your belief enough, this one is awfully fun. The best parts are the crew trying to communicate with the people of the time. (Chekhov looking for "Nuclear Vessel," Scotty trying to start a computer, which is probably a Commodore but I can't remember, by talking to it, Spock trying to figure out what exact change for a bus means, and Kirk trying to use the colloquialisms of the day, "Double Dumb Ass on You!"

Top Gun
Least Favorite movie from the top 5: Top GunTop Gun is only listed here because it was the number one movie of the year. Otherwise I would have chosen The Karate Kid II mostly because I had to hear the Glory of Love Song by Peter Cetera about a thousand times at the office I worked at in 1986. Luckily, I haven't heard it in recent years, but the memory remains..

Any more on Top Gun can be referred to here

Hannah and Her Sisters #30
It often seems that at Academy Award time that there are two front-runners for Best Picture that are truly different. In 1986, we had Platoon, Oliver Stone's penetrating study of his tour of duty in Vietnam and Woody Allen's ensemble comedy Hannah and Her Sisters.

Honestly, I like Hannah better. In fact it is right at the top of my list of favorite Woody Allen movies. The plot threads between the characters are wonderfully placed, the comedy touches are memorable and the cast (Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey etc.) is perfect. I've seen it several times and hope to see it again.

That being said, I have no problem with Platoon winning Best Picture. William Goldman said in referring to the Cannes film festival, that the jury prize really has to go to the movie with the most "weight." I think the same thing can be said of the Academy choices. You can certainly make the case that there were better movies in the 80's than Gandhi, The Last Emperor or Driving Miss Daisy, but the fact that the subjects of these films were important definitely helped the Academy decide to award the top prize to these films. How could E.T., Moonstruck or Field of Dreams compete with that?

No film fits this "weight" definition in the 80's more than Platoon. I saw it when it first came out and am seeing it again for the first time in twenty-seven years.It is a no hold barred account of the Vietnam conflict by someone (Oliver Stone) who was in the middle of it. The scene where the platoon burns a village is probably the best scene and hardest to watch in the movie. The platoon also comes with it's good and evil images (Willem Dafoe as a Christ figure and Tom Berenger as the Devil on earth). It is definitely heavy. It is about as heavy as it gets. And I have no problem with it winning the Oscar, but I'm not sure I'm going to be inclined to ever watch it again.


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