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Added by The Mighty Celestial on 11 Feb 2014 04:35
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25 From 80: My Favorite Films Of 1980

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People who added this item 786 Average listal rating (528 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.8
The Fog (1980)
Okay, I gotta be honest here....
there are a couple of reasons why I like this movie so much.
And both of them have to do with Adrienne Barbeau.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 560 Average listal rating (393 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.5
Flash Gordon (1980)
Ming The Merciless is mad and in a mood to mess with the planet Midgard (...Earth).
Okay, while I have a few listed here, the truth is, I don't usually go for campy movies. For the most part, I find many of the modern films of this kind see using their camp as an excuse to not have to come up with a good story.
But, every once in a while, one will come along where, despite it's shortcomings in it's plot, the tongue in cheek aesthetics will strike the right camp chords in my heart.
Or, if I'm really honest, maybe I just like this modern take of the old sci-fi serial b'cuz, as a kid, I have fond memories of watching the infamous S&M styled scene of Princess Aura getting whipped while tied to a table. Back then, being that I hadn't yet reached puberty, my mind was filled to capacity with carnalous curiosity as to why every time I viewed that scene, it always seemed to make my little peepee to get really hard.

People who added this item 366 Average listal rating (195 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.6
Fame (1980)

Going to school in New York can be alot fun.
Especially, if during lunch, everyone is allowed not only to break out into song and dance, but also, to then spill out into the busy streets of the Big Apple, without inciting a riot.
It's no wonder that people back then wanted to live forever.
Makes miss the innocence of the early 80's.
Not to mention the headbands, leg-warmers and stylishly torn sweatsuits.
Let's get physical, y'all.

People who added this item 179 Average listal rating (129 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.8
Stir Crazy (1980)
During the seventies, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor were two comedians whose individuals stars were rising. Then someone came along decided to pair Wilder's ivory Brook-farce antics with Pryor's ebony-edged street-savvy. And as a result, at the beginning of the eighties decade, the comedy duel saw their combined star-power going super-nova.
The second of four Wilder/Pryor collaborations, Stir Crazy probably didn't have the strength of laughter as their first outing, Silver Streak, but it still had enough LOL moments to warrant a conjugal visit or two.

People who added this item 283 Average listal rating (200 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.2
A recently widowed Jewish princess is convinced to join the Army, hoping that it will be akin to a nice tropical getaway. And, of course, quickly finds out the reality of the situation. A soldering process that eventually will bring the delusional diva down to Earth and mold her into a better person.

Private Benjamin is a movie that makes me wish that there was a law out there that take all of today's spoiled Paris-Hilton/Kardashian worshipping, Sex-In-The-City watching, entitlement-sensed female jackanapes and make 'em enlist into the armed forces with a double-timed term spent in basic training.
People who added this item 273 Average listal rating (186 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
And following Private Benjamin is another "girl power" flick" that took the theatres by storm during the first year of the 80's. This one is a tale about a trio of corporate ladder climbing cuties who kidnap their employer and hold him hostage in order to show him who really is the boss.

Y'know, after a recent watch of this film, I've come to realize that despite the artificially face-lifted freak that Dolly Parton has currently become,
9 To 5, her first foray into film, shows that, back in the day, she was stacked really pretty frikkin' hot.

And yeah, I'm aware that by saying that, I'm probably going against the idea of the "liberated woman in the workplace" theme that was the purpose of this movie,
but what can I say...? I'm a complicated man.
And as we all know by now, women dig complicated men.
People who added this item 570 Average listal rating (316 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 6.9
Through the combination of ingesting mushrooms and confining himself within an isolation tank, a scientist finds himself devolving into not just a neanderthal state, but into an actual neanderthal.
It's funny how I can do the exact same thing whenever I take psychedelic drugs while locked away in my room, all by myself.
And I ain't no scientist.

People who added this item 119 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.3
Urban Cowboy (1980)
After starting craze after craze in the 1970's by going from a television rubber-hosing sweathog to a big-screen 50's era "Grease" ball, then to a foul-mouthed disco stepping dance-machine,
John Travolta enters the new decade by showing the world that he can still bring in big box office bucks by putting on yet another different kind of hat. This time around, he's a blue-collar, rough-ridin' urban cowboy, and the fad of mechanical bull bronking quickly takes honky tonk bars all over the country by storm.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (43 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 6.5
In most coming of age flicks, sex is almost always depicted as easy, frivolous or just plain "normal".
Little Darlings was of the first of these films that I watched that showed that when it's comes to the "popping of one's cherry", it can be a very awkward, and sometimes, emotionally confusing milestone in the life of an adolescent.
With its two early 80's fledging female teenage "idols", this is a story that featured a much more realistic handling of the subject matter and with a more empathetic point of view than had been seen on the theater screen up to that point in time.

People who added this item 2259 Average listal rating (1458 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
From the very beginning of the series, Saturday Night Live was continually introducing characters that were created specifically for the program's Not-Yet-Ready-For-Primetime players. And these creations finally start to prove themselves as bankable movie properties with the Blues Brothers, "Joliet" Jake and Elwood. Portrayed by Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, they originated as a fictional soul revivalist band as a part of a musical sketch for the fledging late-nite weekend comedy show.

In their big screen debut, they are couple of orphan-raised white guys who soulfully sing the blues, regularly defy the law and like to drive at night wearing their sunglasses. Basically because they're on a mission from God.
It's safe to say that, as a non-religious person, I came to see the light when I realized that the Blues Brothers is probably my favorite spiritual film of all time.
People who added this item 239 Average listal rating (143 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Southern songstress Loretta Lynn is considered by many barnyarders as the Queen Of Country. Coal Miner's Daughter is a story that provides yet another example of how the rise to the very top is never a smooth ride.
Perfectly portrayed in both dialogue and song by Sissy Spacek, an actress who, at the time of filming, was riding her own skyrocket to success.
Even as a non-fan of country music, I felt engaged to this down-to-earth ditty of a simple backwards belle whose life-story would inspire the kind of lyrics that would eventually take her from being a humble honky-tonk act to a Grand Ol' Opry superstar.

People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.8
Melvin is an ordinary guy trying to carve out a slice of Americana in the southwestern region of the country. But as honest as his life is, it's also a hardluck one. Despite his easygoing nature, Melvin is still atypically riddled with the typical impulses and weaknesses that consistently befuddle his ability to live the American Dream. That is, until the result of a good samaritan act comes acallin'.
Based on a true story of a man claiming that he was included in eccentric multi-millionaire Howard Hughes' will, Melvin And Howard is a quaint little film about the desire and frustrations to live a successful little life. And how sometimes, the only hope for such a life comes from the possibility of a big payoff.

People who added this item 501 Average listal rating (292 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 8
In the late 16th century, during the Warring States Period in feudal Japan, a small time thief who strongly resembles a powerful warlord is drafted as kagemusha, a Japanese term used to describe a body double for political leaders.
When the warlord dies, the thief finds himself in a struggle to live up the warlord's position of power, wisdom and honor.

Initially, the idea for Kagemusha sounds like the kind of plot device that the Hollywood machine likes to devour and crank out as heavy handed formula for the masses. But in the hands of Akira Kurosawa, it's a means to demonstrate the kind of twisting and turning epics that can come from Japan's rich history. Shot with an eloquent detailed production and with a vibrant cinematography that will act as a precursor to the Shakespearean flavored "Ran", Kurosawa's follow up film and my number one favorite out of his filmography.
People who added this item 251 Average listal rating (147 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.6
Bob Hoskins plays a well-to-do English king of the mountain mob-boss who tries to legitimately enter into the world of business. However, even with the best of intentions at heart, he soon comes to realize that, just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in again.
So I guess The Long Good Friday is kinda like the British version of The Godfather Part 3.
And I mean that in a good way.

People who added this item 223 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.3
An incredibly young Susan Sarandon and an very aged Burt Lancaster team up in a film that reveals the dark and dirty underside of the Atlantic City Boardwalk.
And let's be honest here,
we all live in an age now where everyone knows that just about any large gambling district located anywhere on this planet, probably comes a dark and dirty underside. Particularly, if it is on a boardwalk.

People who added this item 116 Average listal rating (49 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9
Here is a French animated film that was originally started back in 1948, tentatively titled "The Shepherdess and The Cimneysweep". However, after some production and financial problems, work on the project came to a halt. Several years later, in 1954, the title was changed to "The Curious Adventures Of Mr. Wonderbird", and it was released in it's unfinished state, much to the dismay of the original animators. Many more years later, the original director was able to acquire the film and arrange financial backing so that work on the project began again in 1977. Retitled "The King And The Mockingbird", the finally finished full length feature was released in 1980 and since then has become regarded as one of the best works of traditional animation to come out the country of France.
A semi-surrealistic semi-fable, it is an obscure masterpiece that is definitely worth the time and energy of looking it up.

People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.1
My Bodyguard (1980)
After experiencing the shakedown that has become typical on the grounds of Lake View High School, the new kid on the block decides enough is enough, and seeks to hire the "creepy" kid that everyone else fears, to protect him and his fellow school chums from the oppressing ruffian and his gang of thugs.

This particular decade was one that featured many a John Hughes film about the last years of adolescent learning. And even though My Bodyguard doesn't have the Hughes moniker attached to it, it is still a worthy 80's flick about the up and down journey that comes during life in the public high school system.

Personally speaking, I think that the main reason I enjoyed this move so much is b'cuz, for me, it's always cool to see schoolyard bullies get their just desserts (or in this particular case, their just condiments).

Not that I was ever bullied when I was in high school.
I was always one of the kool kids.

No, really....
I was.
People who added this item 266 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.3

At one point in his life, just about every young boy in America fantasizes about living the life of a gigolo.
Then comes along this movie, and shows that being a ladies' man-for-hire, isn't as sexually glamorizing as one might think.
Even if one looked like Richard Gere and sported a wardrobe supplied by Armani.
People who added this item 2483 Average listal rating (1412 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
No, this movie is not about a guy who gets elephantine-like powers after he gets bitten by a radioactive elephant.
It's a movie directed by David Lynch, his first major film after Eraserhead (no, it's not about a guy who gets bitten by a radioactive eraser). Told in a more straight-forward manner than his debut film, but with the same black & white palette that adds an eeriness to the "based on a true story" life of Joseph Merrick,
a man so afflicted with a physical deformity, that, after being pursued by a group of on-lookers who have boiled over into an angry mob, he finds himself anguishly reminding them that, despite his bestial physical imperfections, he is not an animal, but a human being.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 2073 Average listal rating (1442 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.7
Airplane! (1980)
Before Epic Movie, Scary Movie, Superhero Movie or Dance Movie, there was this movie. The original gangsta of the "modern" take off movie.
Or to put it another way,
this is a movie about another movie but done as a spoof movie. And since I've used it nine times, here's the word "movie" just one more time, to make it an even ten.

People who added this item 1237 Average listal rating (834 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 6.8
Superman II (1980)

Okay, after his intro in the first movie, Supes finally gets to take the kid gloves off, kick some real @ss and take names. Three rogue Kryptonians come to Earth to reveal to the Last Son of Krypton that he's not exactly the last son of Krypton. And though this isn't as good as the first one, it's still a pretty solid for a sequel, especially back when good sequels were rarer than last sons of Krypton.
The only problem is, his love for a mere mortal woman demands that his cape, tights and superpowers have all gotta go.
And so the fate of the world finds itself hanging in the balance as The Man Of Steel must decide between either his heart's desire of kneeling before Lois Lane,
his super-terrestrial duty of kneeling before Zod.
In the end, Kal-El discovers comes to discover that with great power not only comes great responsibility, but also, great sacrifice too.

In this, the second installment to the very first comic-book super hero blockbuster, the strength of the Lois Lane/Clark Kent romance subplot, merely hinted at in the first film, is one that adds enough emotional depth to the film's super-powered theme that it negates much of the flaws that resulted from this movie's stilted production (even the infamous out-of-left-field "wtf" moment when Superman pulls off a big plastic-wrap S insignia off his chest during the climatic battle with Zod and his Kryptonian Krew.)

The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 2213 Average listal rating (1418 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.2
Raging Bull (1980)
Okay, seriously...

... do I really need to explain this one?

Well, maybe not, but I will say this....
Often considered as one of the best sports films ever, I always thought that Raging Bull was more than that. To me, this movie, one of Martin Scorcese's best (particularly, on an artistic level), with it's emphasis more the self-destructive tendencies of a man who gets paid to act on his animalistic instincts, comes off more as a character study than it does a sports film with a linear purpose. Balancing his his Hew York back street sensibility with an art direction of a dream-like, almost otherworldy quality, Scorcese manages to show the craggy journey of a down-to-earth "warrior" struggling with the uncontrollable neanderthalic personality that was a blessing within the ring, but a curse outside the rest of the world.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 488 Average listal rating (255 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.7
A family portrayal that depicts how even the most ordinary people are not very ordinary.
And that trying to live a life of normalcy can often be much more of an emotional household hindrance than it is as a sign of achievement of the American dream.

Before I ever saw this movie,
I thought that Mary Tyler Moore was the most beautiful, heart-warming human beings ever to be onscreen.
After I watched Ordinary People,
I couldn't stand to even look at her.
Now that's acting.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
People who added this item 6529 Average listal rating (4540 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4
  First of all, let me just say that I've always incredibly partial to Stanley Kubrick's work. IMO, he is a unique visual storyteller who tends to make movies that are just an inch away from being abstract beyond understanding, but keeps the flow of the film reeled in just enough to make it seem like it makes sense on some kind of creative level. Add in the grounding of a Stephen King story and a role taylor made for Jack Nicholson, and what you have is one of my top favorite horror movies of all time. The Shining is an effective piece when it comes to building up fear with very little slashing, gore, or shock that most films of this genre (especially today) tend to rely on in order to frighten their audiences. The horror stems more from Jack's delivery and facial expressions as his character, writer Jack Torrance, gradually slips into the madness of a haunted hotel's dark intentions.

  The truth is that the phrase "Here's Johnny!", from just one of many memorable scenes of this movie, wouldn't be a very scary line at all if it were in any other scare flick. But in the Shining, it's has become part of horror history due primarily to the sight of Jack's maniacal mug peering thru the bathroom door's craggled "peephole". The viewer can almost feel the soul-seering fright of his victim as, straining to smash thru the freshly splintered gash, materializes the psycho-ridden sneer of a frustrated author who suffers from writer's block, a possessed spirit, and a severe case of "redrum" on his mind.

The Mighty Celestial's rating:

   As dominating as the  original Star Wars Trilogy was within cineplexes and movie theaters back in the day, it was clear that they weren't going to go in history as the the sci-fi equivalent to Shakespear in any way. And at the present time, we are experiencing an age in cinema in which there are more  science fiction films with much grander and more updated special effects to dazzle the movie-going sense more than ever before. But, if we're gonna be honest here, none have been able to match the expansive imagination that went into The Empire Strikes Back or its predecessor and successor. And, other than Star Trek, none have been able to touch the heart of an entire generation of nerds, particularly with such a long lasting impact.
  And while I know that Star Trek is the only one that can compete when it comes to the amount of sci-fi geeks this franchise has affected, but, for me, as "big" as their stories and concepts were, Trek has never seemed to go all out with their depictions of aliens races as much as Wars did. And as intergalactic as they tried to make their stories, I never felt that they were as epic or as sweeping and George Lucas' vision for this franchise.
 As for the movie of TESB itself, I agree with the rest of the world that this is the pinnacle of the entire Star Wars catalog, with its darker tone and its cliff-hanger ending, all encompassed within its still fairytale-like structure. Here, the saga of the intergalactic war between the Empire and the Jedi-led Rebellion hits it stride as Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, Princess Leia and the rest of the crew find themselves pursued and cornered by Darth Vader and the forces of the Dark Side.

   I remember how this second installment of the ST series came out at a time back when movies would stay in wide release, not for weeks at a time, but for months, and a few of 'em, like this one, for almost a full year.
  From my own point of view, I think that, on the majority, audiences today have been so desensitized from so-so blockbusters being released every other week-end or so, that they will never get to fully understand or experience the feeling of what a big movie-event like Star Wars was. The year of Empire was one of my favorite summers ever as a kid. As a burgeoning sci-fi nerd, it was really cool knowing that I could hop on the city bus at any point during the year and go watch TESB. And every time that I did, the other audience members were just as excited to be seeing this film at the end of the summer as they were at the beginning of winter. The reality back then was that every year that one of the three original films was released, you could feel the power of the "Force" within the air. And not just until the next "big" movie came out. You could actually feel it was in the air for almost the entire year long. And then some. With each release, it was palpable to each and every movie goer that went to see it that the Force was strong in this one. 

The Mighty Celestial's rating:

Continuing my list of favorite films by year: 1980.
With the decade of disco finally over, now we move into the decade that spawned the gerri-curl, parachute pants, and MTv.
And in cinema, with the Empire Strikes Back and the following year's Raiders, we see the advent of the blockbuster sequel by the two kings of movie franchises, Steven Spielberg & George Lucas.
Which, coincidentally, are two of my favorite blockbusters ever.

Updated Entry:
-Caddy Shack

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