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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 6 Sep 2015 09:18
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25 From 89: My Favorite Films of 1989

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To be honest, I wasn't as big a fan of this third installment of the Indiana Jones series as everyone else was.
For me, the action sequences were the always the highlights of the Indy films, and in this one, they were all done by the numbers based on the first two. They weren't as exciting for me because I had sen them in the first two flicks already.
However, the storyline of Dr. Jones' father, portrayed by the ever reliable Sean Connery did add an extra dimension to the character's premise.
Which, in the end, despite not being at the edge of my seat with Last Crusade as I was with Raiders & Temple Of Doom, there was still enough enjoyment in this chapter to include on my personal faves of 1989.

People who added this item 1028 Average listal rating (720 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.6
In this third installment of the Vacation series, the adventures the Griswolds continues during the time of gift-giving and carefree carolling. And in keeping with their family tradition, they find that no matter what season it is, their luck is always gonna be bad.
Yuletide holiday merriment and cheer from back during a period when Chevy Chase was considered to be a comedian cooler than Santa Clause. Not to mention, this was also a time when he was actually, believe it or not, kinda funny.

People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.3
Here's a movie that is also known as the "The McPherson Tape" but was originally planned to be called "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", until they found out that that title had already been taken.
A Thanksgiving family get-together gets interrupted by big-eyed visitors from, well... I'm sure most of you know by now where this is going.



Upon deeper reflection of this film's holiday theme, I think that the story here might be an allegory of what happened to the Native Americans after they had the Pilgrims (i.e. White man) over for a turkey dinner. The McPherson family is supposed to represent the Natives and the aliens, the white man.
But I'm not sure.
I may have just made that up to sound allegorically astute for this post.
People who added this item 581 Average listal rating (375 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 7.8
The Killer (1989)
Do you like to watch scenes of people pointing guns in each other's faces Mexican stand-off style?
Then The Killer is the action flick for you.
A hired assassin goes on what he hopes will be his last hit. But soon finds that the circumstances of the assignment has put him in a situation of hurting an innocent whom he soon begins to feel fondly towards. So he decides to take on one more last hit in hopes of righting the wrong.



While John Woo had started directing full film features in his native East as way back as the early 60's, it wasn't until 1986 with A Better Tomorrow, that acclaim for his work began to really rise.
Then, in 1989, he directed The Killer which peaked higher in terms of critical praise, particularly for a martial arts flick. So naturally, it soon had Western movie producers taking notice. Thus paving Woo's way from Hong Kong to Hollywood.
People who added this item 554 Average listal rating (340 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
When I first heard of this film, I really had no idea what it was about. TBH, speaking as a guy, I was kinda hoping that the steel magnolias that the title was referring to would be the shape of some kind of cool distinctive, flower-shaped metal throwing stars that some bad-ass ninja vigilante would use in order to inflict justice.
As it turns out, it's only a metaphor about a bunch of modern-day southern belles who have their mettles tested by the complications of their lives.
Ah well,
so much for wishful thinking.

People who added this item 934 Average listal rating (532 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
After a heavy influx of John Hughes teenage romances throughout the 80's, it was pretty easy for a film look-alike such as Say Anything to get lost in the shuffle. At least at the time it looked like it was lost in the shuffle. I'm not too sure. I don't think I paid as much attention to things like that back then. Anyways, one thing I do remember is that it did make it on alot of critic's best lists (which is usually a sign that it did get lost in the shuffle box-office-wise) for films of 1989.
But even if you're one of those movie-viewers who can't stand film critics and their lists, it doesn't mean you shouldn't give a movie like this a try. You might like it. And if you don't, well before you decide to criticize it, remember what your mom always used to say...
"If you can't say something nice, then just don't say anything."

People who added this item 2341 Average listal rating (1485 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 5.9
When I first heard that this was gonna be a romantic comedy as seen through the eyes of a newborn baby, my first reaction was "Whatchu talkin' about, Bruce Willis?". To be honest, this movie had all the ingredients that made up those bad formula flicks that had been running rampant throughout the entire decade of the 80's.
But, as it turns out, although the formula is followed to a tee, what is missing is the lazy writing that is usually excused in lieu of the angle (in this case, a talking baby). Not that it's a script that'll ever give David Mamet a run for his money, but it was enough to give John Travolta's Brooklynesque Barbarino persona a vehicle to resurface as a grown-up. Plus this post natal chick flick gave Kirstie Alley's comedic skillz a chance to make the transition from the small screen of the television set to the big screen of the movie theatre.
At the end of it all, Look Who's talking is a nice little date movie that'll remind you to wear a condom afterwards unless you're ready to have your erratic love life narrated thru the eyes of a smart allecky infant.

People who added this item 351 Average listal rating (253 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Dead Calm (1989)
A movie with a story involving a sinking boat with Billy Zane as a villainous villain who terrorizes another man's woman.
And yeah, while that may sound like a familiar plotline for a disaster at sea flick, the fact that the boat in question is no bigger than a tool shed & with no iceberg in sight, it becomes quite obvious that this is a film that was not directed by James Cameron.



The tale of two d00ds who travel through time using a phone booth. Kinda like that one British guy, Doctor Who. But instead of doing it to stop evil forces from effin' up the time-stream, or to fight Daleks, Cybermen an' stuff, Bill and Ted do it because they're looking for historical figures, so that they too, in the future, can achieve their own destinies as historical figures. And also, because they gotta do a book report.

People who added this item 938 Average listal rating (618 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.5


America's number one crop is corn. America's number one pasttime is baseball. Put the two together and what do you get?
Yep, that's right.... a field of the American dream.
Or this movie.
Which, when you think about it, I guess are they're close enough to be the same thing.
People who added this item 586 Average listal rating (318 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
These days, when it comes to movies, there are all kinds of cowboys that one can choose to be.
A midnight cowboy,
a space cowboy,
a rhinestone cowboy,
or as in this movie,
a drugstore cowboy.
And to be frankly honest, with those kinds of choices,
I'm of the opinion that I probably wouldn't like to be a cowboy.



Maybe a pirate.
But definitely not a cowboy.
People who added this item 427 Average listal rating (303 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 7.2
Major League (1989)
Yet another story of a team of misfits & losers banding together to form a winning world series team.
But what separates this one from the rest is that this is the only baseball movie franchise that exeplifies the idea of what a baseball movie should be by featuring Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker.

People who added this item 5111 Average listal rating (3495 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Batman (1989)


Okay, so maybe, the latest incarnations of the Dark Knight have sort of watered down the impact of the Caped Crusader's modern film debut.
And maybe, Jack Nicholson, for the role of the Joker was a little too old, not to mention, not in the kind of shape that one would expect for a Clown-Prince of Crime.
But for me, personally, this isn't so much about the acting (which I admit, despite the fun he has with it, Jack does tend to opt for a bit of an over-the-top performance, even for the Joker....) but more for the weight that his presence brings to the flick. In the same manner of Marlon Brando's participation in Superman's 1st big budget blockbuster, Nicholson also brings a certain class and credibility to a movie based off of a what the "cool kids" of the general public tend to look at as "just a silly comic-book".
Besides, Tim Burton's adaptation of the Batman still was the first serious effort outside of the comic-book to try and depict ol' Bat's as the true Dark Knight of justice that we nerds who read his comics always knew he was.

People who added this item 313 Average listal rating (171 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.4
Roger & Me (1989)
The CEO of General motors has begun a sweeping downsize of it's auto plants that has put the city of Flint Michigan on the brink of extinction. To help restore order and bring the corporate head of corporate heads to justice, is Michael Moore, the Super-Libertyrian (I know, I know.... that's not even a word).
Thus begins a succession of documentarian adventures of the left-winging champion of the people (well, with the exception of those people who tend to lean more to the right, of course).



Okay, the truth is,
Since I hate self-limiting & mind-narrowing labels like "conservative" and "Liberal", I refrain from letting too many people know that I watched this or any of Michael Moore's films (only those few people who really know me and are aware that I dislike participating in bullsh#t-slinging debates). Because, political partisanships aside, this is a good watch just for the sake of watching a good, poignant and humorous documentary unfold, done by an excellent film-maker.
Okay, so here's a movie about a guy who is a Holocaust survivor who marries his servant (who helped hide him during the war), begins having an affair with another woman who was also a survivor and then discovers that his first wife, who he thought died during the war, is, in actuality, still alive.
Three different women, all trying to deal with the feelings of suffering and survival that comes from the aftermath of one history's most horrific atrocities.
And to think, having a relationship with just one female with a boring background can be complicated enough.



Enemies: A Love Story is a film with a plot and a pacing that come off a bit clunky at times, but has some great writing, some great period sets and some pretty great performances (particularly from Angelica Huston) that make this forgotten little gem worth the effort of seeking out. And I should point out that whenever I discuss cinema, "forgotten little gem" is a term that I use very sparingly.
People who added this item 642 Average listal rating (425 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.8
In the first appearance of Wallace and Gromit, the cracker crazy contraptioneer and his canine companion start their short animated film series in grand fashion as they decide to shoot for the moon. Literally.
A lunar adventure that gives a minor nod to the B-movie rocket ship sci-fi flicks of yesteryear but without being as "cheesy" as those cosmic campy classics and yet, being even "cheesier" at the same time.



A stop-motion short with a British flavor that doesn't try to whack you over the head with it's look, humor or more importantly, with any kind of "universal life-lesson".
While it's distinction from other stop-motion films is much more subtle yet evenly consistent, the overall result of A Grand Day Out left me not so much with a roaring laughter that other animated features try to shoot for, but more with a satisfying smile that was firmly set in place from beginning to end.
How does a wife get revenge on her crime boss of a husband?
Confront him with the consequences of his actions & then make him eat 'em.
Literally.
Compliments of the chef.
Literally.
A beautifully filmed movie with some really rough edges. And I mean that in a good way.
Literally.

People who added this item 1080 Average listal rating (700 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 7.2
While my birthday doesn't fall on a holiday, I do have a sister who was born on Halloween. And a cousin who was born on Valentine's Day.
And I knew a kid in high school whose birthday was on Flag Day.
Therefore, as people who had to share the celebration of their special day with that of a holiday, I conferred with them (well, with the exception of the kid I knew in high school..... I haven't seen him since back then & have no idea how to contact him.....) to see if their experiences in any way aligned with what happened in this movie. And they all said no. Then they told me that maybe I should ask that question to the veterans from the Vietnam War instead.
But I never got around to doing that for fear that if I did, they might want to kick my ass. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that Born On the Fourth Of July is still one of my favorites of Oliver Stone's films.

People who added this item 946 Average listal rating (576 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.4
Even though, on the surface level, Driving Miss Daisy is about an elderly Jewish southerner and her relationship with her chauffeur, in actuality, it's about two old people growing older together.
A quiet, moving picture of a friendship that grows naturally thru time & reveals the not so much obvious (and at times, the more obvious) attitudes of racism & the way that predjudice can extend beyond skin color with just the subtlest of mindsets.

People who added this item 2109 Average listal rating (1304 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.6
Boy meets girl.
Boy befriends girl. But not in that way.
Then boy sleeps with girl. Yes, in that way (in other words, Harry meats Sally).
So now the question is, will boy get the girl?
Well, since it's a Rob Reiner feel-good type of film, I don't think it's too hard to figure out how this relationship ends up.
But, despite the obvious path of this story's conclusion, it's still worth a high entry on this list just for the scene of Meg Ryan "faking" it.

People who added this item 799 Average listal rating (425 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.2
Sex, lies & videotape:
three great tastes that taste great together.
Although, as this movie explores, this is a taste combination that can often leave a pretty bitter aftertaste.

People who added this item 988 Average listal rating (662 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
"Let me tell you the story of "Right Hand, Left Hand." It's a tale of good and evil. Hate : it was with this hand that Cane iced his brother. Love: These five fingers, they go straight to the soul of man. The right hand: the hand of love. The story of life is this : static. One hand is always fighting the other hand; and the left hand is kicking much ass - I mean, it looks like the right hand, Love, is finished. But, hold on, stop the presses, the right hand is coming back. Yeah, he got the left hand on the ropes, now, that's right. Oh, it's the devastating right and Hate is hurt, he's down - Left-Hand Hate K.O-ed by Love."



Do The Right Thing is Mr. Lee's most well known joint, back when his controversial and rising career had finally spiked. It's an inner city fable of mixed colors and sound that show the high levels of temperatures that can build when the diversity of a cramped neighborhood starts to feel the heat and then depicts the kind of results of how even the the most open minded can react when accumulated racial tensions finally come to a head.
People who added this item 535 Average listal rating (331 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7
Parenthood (1989)
"Since then he's been slappin' the salami, no offense..... apparently he's goin' for a world record.... anyway, uh, he was afraid there was somethin' wrong with him, like he was a pervert or somethin'. I told him 'That's just what little dudes do. We've all done it'."



"... you need a license to buy a dog or drive a car, hell you need a license to catch a fish! But they'll let any butt-reamin' @sshole be a father."


Steve Martin, putting away the arrow thru the head, joins Keanu Reeves, in his most excellent d00d disposition, along with this most excellently cast of 80's veterans, to present the up and down roller coaster ride that is non-planned parenthood.
Oh, and to provide a hint of irony into the production of this movie about familial dysfunctionality, in the carny position for this particular amusement ride is Opie, from the Andy Griffith Show.
People who added this item 787 Average listal rating (534 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.8
Glory (1990)
"And what are you? So full of hate you just wanna go out and fight everybody. 'Cause you been whipped and chased by hounds. Well, that may not be livin', but it sure as hell ain't dyin'. And dyin's what these white boys been doin' for goin' on three years now. Dyin' by the thousands, dyin' for you, fool. I know 'cause I dug they graves. . . .
The time's comin' when we gonna have to ante up. Ante up and kick in like men.... LIKE MEN!"




Simply put, my favorite civil war film of all time.
People who added this item 1348 Average listal rating (900 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.6
The Abyss (1989)
A nice big ol' blockbustering sci-fi that could've been called "Close Encounters Of The Under-Water Kind".
Or maybe "The Day The Ocean Stood Still".



We humans are a species capable of our own destruction. Or of our own salvation.
And though sometimes, it's can seem like we're going down the road of total annihilation, there's still enough within us to choose otherwise.
At least, that's the kind of hope the water-breathing life-forms from outer space in this film seem to hold about us.



Personally, I think this is James Cameron's masterpiece. And it's actually two stories in one. The alien storyline that provides the twist for the film, crossed over with the tension building plot involving the conflict between the scientific crew & the naval SEAL team. And both plots, while differently paced, are still very excellently executed. Now, while the edited version that was originally released into theatres is a fine film, for my money, the uncut version is what truly reveals the kind of glorious light that can emit from The Abyss.



And yeah, I'm fully aware of all the backlash that has resulted towards Cameron's work after The Titanic & Avatar. But screw all you haters. Nothing is gonna sway me from enjoying this movie to the extent that I do.

Other Fave Movies Lists By Year:
1970
www.listal.com/list/10-70-my-fave-films
1971
www.listal.com/list/15-71-my-favorite-movies
1972
www.listal.com/list/15-72-my-favorite-films
1973
www.listal.com/list/20-73-my-favorite-films
1974
www.listal.com/list/films-of-1974
1975
www.listal.com/list/20-75-my-favorite-films
1976
www.listal.com/list/20-76-my-favorite-films
1977
www.listal.com/list/20-77-my-favorite-films
1978
www.listal.com/list/20-1978-my-favorite-films
1979
www.listal.com/list/20-79-my-favorite-films
1980
www.listal.com/list/25-from-80-my-favorite
1981
www.listal.com/list/25-81-my-favorite-films
1982
www.listal.com/list/25-82-my-favorite-films
1983
www.listal.com/list/25-83-my-favorite-films
1984
www.listal.com/list/25-84-my-favorite-films
1985
www.listal.com/list/25-85-my-favorite-films
1986
www.listal.com/list/25-86-my-favorite-films
1987
www.listal.com/list/25-87-my-favorite-films
1988
www.listal.com/list/25-88-my-favorite-films
1990
www.listal.com/list/30-90-my-favorite-films
1991
www.listal.com/list/30-91-my-favorite-films
1992
www.listal.com/list/30-92-my-favorite-films
1993
www.listal.com/list/30-93-my-favorite-films
1994
www.listal.com/list/30-94-my-favorite-films
1995
www.listal.com/list/30-95-my-favorite-films
1996
www.listal.com/list/30-96-my-favorite-films
1997
www.listal.com/list/30-97-my-favorite-films
1998
www.listal.com/list/30-98-my-favorite-films
1999
www.listal.com/list/30-99-my-favorite-films
2000
www.listal.com/list/35-00-my-favorite-films
2001
www.listal.com/list/35-1-my-favorite-films
2002
www.listal.com/list/35-2-my-favorite-films
2003
www.listal.com/list/35-3-my-favorite-films

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